Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Solid Air

Back in Portugal again to sort out her father's complex but, as it turned out, not very substantial financial affairs, and exhausted by the endless bureaucracy of bereavement and inheritance, Ana panicked.  Unless she left now -- right now, as soon as she could pack a bag, say goodbye to a few friends, and pick up a fresh set of strings -- the liquid Atlantic sky would set hard and become a solid, looming, cliff-sided cavern, making escape impossible forever, and darkening the rest of her days.  Run, Ana, run!

Foolish...  But she sat for a while in a favourite home-town spot in the autumn sun, reminiscing, and slowly began to imagine the way that solid sky might look.  She found herself wondering whether she had, in fact, already left it too long, and whether she might more happily stay and abandon all hope of a different, bigger life?  A wave of resignation swept through her that felt a little too much like relief.  To be off the hook of ambition, at last...

But then, barely noticing the pink submarine that had surfaced in the bay, she reached in her bag for her phone, and entered a number in England she had not dialled for years, but still knew by heart.

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