Shortly thereafter we moved to our present home. Both Okusan and her daughter were averse to remaining, and reliving the memory of that evening, night after night, was more than I could face. We talked it over and decided to leave.
Two months after we moved, I graduated from the university as anticipated. Half a year after my graduation, the daughter and I were finally wed. From the outside, all was progressing as hoped, and one would have to conclude that these were happy times. Okusan and her daughter seemed duly content. And I too was content. However, to my contentment was tethered a dark shadow. I saw my contentment as a powder train, burning its way toward some final, sorrowful fate.
After we were married, the daughter -- we were married now, so I should rather say my wife -- my wife, for whatever reason, suggested that we visit K's gravesite together. My immediate reaction was visceral aversion. Why, I asked, had she suddenly thought to do so. To have us both visit together, she replied, would surely be pleasing to K. I gazed back intently at her face. She had no idea why, and she asked me what was wrong. Only then was I aware of what I was doing.
I took my wife to Zōshigaya as she wished. I ladled water onto K's gravestone to cleanse it. My wife set out incense and flowers. The two of us inclined our heads and pressed our hands together in prayer. My wife, I expect, was telling K of our life together, thinking how pleased he would be. In my own heart, all I could do was reproach myself over and over.
My wife ran her hand over K's gravestone and noted how splendid it was. It wasn't much of a stone, but I'd gone to the stone seller and picked it out myself, so for this reason, I expect, she made a point of praising it. Conjuring in my mind this new gravestone, my new wife, and the newly interred bones lying under the earth, I couldn't but feel mocked by the Fates. After that day, I decided I would never again visit K's grave with my wife.