We typically rose before seven. Classes often started at eight, and if we woke any later we wouldn't make it on time. With this in mind, the maidservant was always up around six. On that day, however, it was not yet six when I went to wake her. As I did so, Okusan reminded me it was Sunday. She'd woken to the sound of my steps. I asked Okusan, since she was already up, if she couldn't come to my room for a moment. She threw her half coat on over her nightgown and followed me back. As soon as we were in the room, I immediately slid shut the fusuma that stood open in the partition between K's room and mine. I then informed Okusan, in a hushed voice, that something terrible had happened. She asked what it was. With my chin I gestured toward the next room. "Please brace yourself," I started. The color drained from her face. "Okusan, K has taken his own life," I continued. She froze in place and gazed at my face in silence. In that moment, I suddenly put my hands to the floor, lowered my head, and apologized. "I'm so sorry. This is my fault. I've brought this all on you and your daughter." Until I'd seen her reaction, I'd had no intention of voicing such words. However, the look on her face had made me forget myself. This was the apology I could never now make to K, delivered instead, of necessity, to Okusan and her daughter. In short, my better nature overcame me, broke through my façade, and brought forth words of repentance. Fortunately for my sake, Okusan did not read these words so deeply. "No one could have known. You mustn't take it personally," she spoke to console me. Her face was still without color. Shock and fear had seized its sinews and pulled them taught, etching deep lines.