After work, I meet Hydrangea at the Metropolitan Hotel for a drink. She’s flying to Bhutan today and I don’t know when I’ll see her again, or – let’s face it – if I’ll ever see her again. I just don't play in her league.
Before she leaves she presses an amulet into my hands. It’s a small silver box hanging on a leather thong, inlaid with some kind of pretty stone.
“This is a gau, a prayer amulet,” she says. “Inside is a prayer that I’ve written for you. To keep you safe.” She touches my cheek and smiles a little sadly.
“Thanks,” I say. I’m completely at a loss for anything glib to say. “Listen, are you sure you can’t…?”
She shakes her head gently. “I have to go. We’ll meet again.”
Hydrangea gives me a kiss then quickly turns and ducks into her town car. Then she’s gone.
Then she’s gone.