We sat very neatly on the sofa. Out from the kitchen came Farra. Long blond hair. No make-up. A wholesome face. She sat across from us in a wing-back chair, a pedestal table before us displaying a little wooden box.


We exchanged smiles.


“Fifteen dollars,” Farra said, her voice husky.


Anna dug through her purse, handed over four bills. “Farra, this is my good friend Jackie.”


“Hello, Jackie.” Farra held out her hand gracefully like a wing.


The words “good friend” set off a pang of guilt in my chest. Anna and I had been besties since preschool. But now, I wasn't so sure. Back then, we were so young we swapped glimpses of our privates. High school, we wore matching scrunchies and sneakers. Once in college, I phoned Anna with every detail of a post-sex rash.




Now Anna was always the one to phone me first.


“So who wants to start?” Farra finger-combed her hair.


I nodded at Anna and her face lit up. She poked out her hand.


Farra unlatched the wooden box, pulled out folded cloth. Black velvet. She spread it across the table and tapped the center. “Place your palm here, please.”


Anna blinked, puzzled, her hand dangling.