“What do we do when we feel time is passing too fast?” she asked.
“Do ye feel that already?” her father asked, looking mildly surprised.
“Never mind,” Carrie said. But they had stopped.
“It’s not what I mind,” her father said. “It’s what ye mind. And maybe we haven’t been that much together the last 20 years but I know my daughter. What’s wrong?”
Carrie breathed deeply. They were both standing on the side of a hill overlooking the Bay of Portree. It was crisscrossed with small paths that were barely visible but her father knew them all and she had followed him this far, and he had allowed her to set her own pace.
“Megan died,” Carrie then said. “She was my age – a year younger actually. 37 … ”
Her father nodded gravely: “That’s sad.”
“Yeah … ” Carrie shook her head as if she had been hit by a sudden nausea. “Yeah, it is. She worked at that organisation I told you about. Didn’t know her that well, but … “
“But enough,” her father concluded.
They both looked out in the distance. There was mist, as always. In the harbour below small boats darted to and fro and there was a slight hum from the small town around it, giving a faint but reassuring indication of life. And it was life that – in later years, when she got in touch with her father again and more and more often thought of Portree and Skye – had often appeared to her as … uncomplicated. Much more so than the life she knew in the big cities in the States, where she had lived since she was a teenager.