A year passed, and thoughts of K continued to grip my soul, fueling a constant anxiety. To dispel this anxiety, I immersed myself in my books. With great intensity of purpose, I applied myself to my studies. I looked toward a future where I would share the fruits of my work with the world. As it turned out, however, my concocted goals, and my visions of renown, were nothing but hollow façades. Dissatisfied, I lost my drive and turned away from my work. I sat with folded arms, watching the world go by.
My wife attributed my let-down to lack of immediate necessity. Her family was well enough off that she and her mother could get along without outside income, and my own circumstances did not compel me to seek an occupation, so it was only natural she should see things so. I do have a tendency to indulge myself. However, the real reason behind my withdrawal lay entirely elsewhere. After my uncle deceived me, I'd lost my faith in the world. While deeming the world flawed, I'd declared myself to be true. I'd held the conviction that, be the world as it may, I could hone in myself a shining example of humanity. That conviction was laid waste by K. The sudden realization that I was no better than my uncle was devastating. My disenchantment with others extended now to myself, rendering all effort futile.