“It was Hotta who had treated me to a dish of fruit-flavored ice when I first came to the school. Well, if he was as two-faced as that, I felt ashamed of accepting even that much from him. I’d only had one dish, so it had only cost him one and a half sen; but I’d feel bad for the rest of my life if I thought I owed one or even half a sen to an impostor. I decided that I’d give him back the money when I went to school the next day. “It’s true that, five years before, Kiyo had lent me three yen that I’d never paid back. It wasn’t that I couldn’t pay, but that I wouldn’t. She hadn’t thought of it as a temporary loan, nor had she ever been after my money, and I had no intention of returning it and making her feel as though I looked upon her as a stranger. The more I worried about such a thing, the more it would hurt Kiyo, because it would mean that I doubted her motives. It would be tantamount to accusing a wonderful person of usury.”

Posted April 18, 2003

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