There was more that I wanted to say. However, I did not wish her to see me as the argumentative male, so I held my tongue. As I gazed into the bottom of my empty tea cup, she re-engaged me by offering to refill it. I handed her the cup.
"How many? One? Two?"
She held a cube of sugar with a curious utensil. She was looking at me to ask how many I'd like in my tea. Her manner seemed somewhat contrite. She was trying, through use of feminine charm, to soften the blow of her earlier words.
I drank my tea in silence. The cup was empty, and still I held my silence.
"You've become awfully quiet," she remarked.
"I'm afraid," I answered, "that should I speak, you'll dismiss me as argumentative."
"I promise not to," she assured me.
We began conversing again, and the subject of our conversation soon returned to Sensei, in whom we shared a common interest.
"Can I continue a bit where we left off previously. It may have struck you as empty argument, but to me it was no such thing."
"Suppose that Sensei suddenly lost you. Do you think he could carry on?"
"Now how would I know? If you want an answer to that, you'd best ask Sensei. It's really not for me to say."
"But I'm serious. You mustn't evade the question. Tell me honestly what you think."
"I've told you already. I honestly wouldn't know."