My sentiments regarding my deceased friend were never to change. Truth be told, I had feared such an outcome. It's fair to say that even at my wedding, which I'd looked forward to for so long, I was riddled with anxiety. As humans, however, we're not blessed with the luxury of foresight, and I had hoped that, perhaps, marriage would serve as a turning point, renewing my spirit and setting my life on a new course. As a husband, though, looking daily on his wife, my hopes were short-lived, easily broken by harsh realities. During our times together, K would appear without warning and haunt my mind. My wife, as I came to see things, was the bond between K and myself, securely grasping both of our fates. I could find no fault with her otherwise, but this one facet was enough to push me away. A woman soon senses such things. But what she sensed, she could not explain. She pressed me at times for an answer. She wanted to know why I felt as I did, if there was something she'd done to displease me. At times I was able to disarm her with a smile. At other times, though, her patience reached its limit. In the end, I would suffer her reproaches. "Why do you hate me so?" she would say, or "There has to be something you're hiding."
There were many times I resolved to confide in her, to tell her all. However, whenever I found myself on the verge of doing so, other forces would intervene and hold me back. You know me well, so I believe this goes without saying, but I state it here for the sake of completeness. I was never one to put on airs with my wife. Had I approached her in good faith with words of penitence, the same way I approached my deceased friend, I know that she would have embraced me, shedding tears of joy, and forgiven my indiscretions. It was certainly not a calculated self-interest that kept me from doing so. It was rather the thought of tarnishing her past, of smearing it with a dark stain, that I couldn't accept. Please understand how loath I was to let something so pure be defiled with stains of black.