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. She 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.