In a frenzy to reach the orchid first, my hand brushes her hand. I gasp as a cold I’ve never experienced penetrates the area she has touched. The chill is complete: it is like death. Now, all I can do is stand here holding my hand, watching as she leisurely picks up the flower. When she smiles at me, I feel an awful sensation around my heart. It feels as if something vital is being drawn from me. In its place is a terrible numbness. She turns away, and I want to plead with her not to leave me here in this place, but my mouth is frozen.