Next morning, Michaela was still a bit upset when she woke up.
“Sufferin’ succataz,” she muttered to herself. “How am I going to get out of this?”
But when she went outside to feed the chickens, she noticed that there was a bustle down in the village below her daddy’s farmhouse and a lot of commotion. Leaving her dad in front of the hearth with a cup of coffee and a digestive biscuit, she pulled on her boots and trotted down the hillside to see for herself exactly what it was that was going on down there. A flashy red car had just come off the ferry and a tall blond woman had alighted from it. The fact that she was blond was hardly surprising in Shetland where most of the population were Celtic or Viking descendents (with an occasional Norse man), but this blonde woman took her breathe away. Her hair was coiffured with no braids or Kirby grips. Her nails were painted red and there was makeup on her face, which was not common in Sheltand islands during the daytime. She was wearing a gabardine coat of the type mostly seen in European movies and capitals, a Burberry trench coat that swept down below her knees but when she walked the front opened to reveal long and shapely legs. Even after all these years, she recognized her at once. It was Samantha, her beautiful cousin who had migrated to Rio de Janeiro about ten or eleven years before back in 1981 or 1982. She looked great but her Shetland accent with its Scottish traits was still blatant as she caught site of her cousin and waved frantically.
“Michaela! Michaela” How good to see you! Its been such a long time and I’ve missed you. Have you read my letters?”
“Oh, my dear cousin Samantha!” Michalea cried, running into her open arms and hugging her tightly. “You look great and you smell great!”
“Oh,” said Samantha oof handedly. “It’s just a little lotion I picked up in Paris when I made a stopover there before flying to Glasgow to get the plane to here.”
Michaela was envious. She wished she could say things like that, and smell like that, and look like that. but she consealed this and embraced her cousin again so that she could smell the perfume once more it smelled so good.
A lot of other people were gathered round and Samantha patiently and perhaps genuinely said hello to all of them and answered their questions about Rio, so many questions that Michaela felt that there might be nothing left for her to ask later on because Samantha was saying so much now but she knew her cousin and sauspected that there were things that she was keeping back. She always had a rabbit to pull out of her hat!
Finally they were able to slip away. Samantha piloted her car up the path to the farmhouse. It only took about eight minutes although Michaela usually took twenty-five to make it.
“You wash up,” she said, “And I’ll see to lunch. Dad’s dropped off in front of the hearth, its so cozy but when he wakes up he’ll be sure to be awed at your presence!”
“I could sure use a shower,” said Samantha.
“We don’t have a shower,” her cousin informed her, only a bathtub. Bu tit is good for you in the cold weather.”
“How primitive,” Samantha joked with dancing eyes and a twinkle.
Mr. McMahon was overcome with emotion and choked with joy at the site of his long gone niece. “Och, it’s wonderful to see you again bonnie lassie, although I do wager ye’ve changed a great deal and all gone mixing up in fancy company and all. Noo it’s tme for ma wee nap and I’m sure ye lassies have goat a lot to talk aboot. Why don’t ye take the afternoon off Michaela, the sheep can make it on their own for one day. Ye can go into yer room like you used to do in the auld days and trade secrets and all that.”
“How cool, daddy,” said Michaela. “You can be such a dear at times”!
“Och,” said the old man in embarrassment.