We withdrew to our respective rooms and saw each other no more. K was as quiet as he'd been all morning. I was lost in thought.
It did occur to me, of course, that I should open myself to K. At the same time, though, I felt that I'd missed my chance. It seemed to me now that I'd failed grandly. Why had I not been able to stop him, to cut him off and counter him? I should at least have followed his example and related, without hesitation, my own feelings. Now that the moment had passed, to broach the subject anew seemed awkward. I could think of no way forward. My head was swimming in regret.
I hoped that K might open the partition and engage me again. As I saw it, he'd blindsided me earlier. I'd been caught unprepared. My heart now schemed how to recoup the morning's loss. From time to time I lifted my gaze to the fusuma. I looked in vain, however, as it never moved. K held his silence.
After a time, the silence began working mischief in my mind. I wondered, in desperation, what K was thinking on his side of the partition. Ordinarily, we lived in our own silent worlds, with only this thin partition between us. Under usual circumstances, the quieter he kept the less I sensed his presence. It's fair to say, though, that at this time I was far from my usual self. Even so, I couldn't bring myself to open the fusuma from my side. Having once missed my chance, there was nothing to do but wait to be re-engaged.