Initially, I'd engaged with Sensei's wife as a partner in rational discourse. As we'd spoken, though, her manner had gradually changed. Instead of appealing to my reason, she began to touch my emotions. There was no ill will between her and Sensei, nor should there have been. Yet something was wrong. Then again, on closer inspection, there was nothing to be found. Such was the nature of her angst.
She had first asserted that since Sensei was weary of the world he must also be weary of her. Even while asserting this, she was not fully satisfied with it. Digging deeper, the converse had also crossed her mind. She imagined that Sensei's displeasure with her had turned him away from the world in general. However, try as she might, she could not substantiate this fear. Sensei's demeanor was that of the good husband. He was always kind and caring. Day by day, though, she'd harbored shades of doubt and tucked them away in the depths of her bosom. On this evening, she brought them forth in my presence.
"What do you think," she asked, "is it my doing? Or is it as you said, that his view of the world has somehow disturbed him? Please be candid."
I had no intention of being anything but candid. However, if there were facts unknown to me, and I believed that indeed there were, then any answer I gave would certainly prove inadequate.
"I don't know."
Her look at that moment was one of dismay, of one who's hopes had been dashed. I immediately added to my answer. "But I can assure you that Sensei holds you in highest regard. I've heard this from him directly, and Sensei is nothing if not an honest man."