I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how it is with us. It’s a shame….because we’ve loved each other… But in the end, we can’t stay together forever.
—  Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

“I remind myself I was lucky to have had any time with him at all. What I’m not sure about is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.”

It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you’ve made, and there’s this panic because you don’t know yet the scale of disaster you’ve left yourself open to.
—  Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one’s life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.
—  Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
Csakhogy zord, könyörtelen világ ez. És láttam egy kislányt, amint lehunyt szemmel magához szorítja a régi, barátságos világot, amelyről a szíve mélyén tudja, hogy nem maradhat fenn, mégis kapaszkodik belé, és könyörög, hogy soha ne engedje el.
—  Kazuo Ishiguro: Ne engedj el…
It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we’d understood that back then—who knows?—maybe we’d have kept a tighter hold of one another.
—  Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go