"That same afternoon Om Bao went missing. A servant girl told us she'd gone out to the market near the airport. The girls knew it was dangerous but they couldn't stop her. She told them she needed to buy supplies for the New Year's party and was adamant she would find more there than in the shops of Phnom Penh. She'd been gone since just after breakfast, and although now it was evening,there was still no sign of her."
""Where do you think Om Bao is?" I whispered. Grandmother Queen gave me a blank look seeming only interested in the next life. Anything to do with this one was a huge void to her. I wondered if she even knew there was a war. "People are fighting..." "Yes, I know," she murmured. "There will only remain so many of us as rest in the shadow of a banyan tree..." "What?" I stared at her, thinking not only did she look like some kind of spirit but sometimes she sounded like one too, speaking in obscurity. "The explosions," I persisted. "Don't you hear them? A rocket must've dropped on Om Bao's head-""
""Why are you dressed like that?" I asked , wondering why he was wearing funerary white when there was no funeral. "I'm in mourning Princess," he replied, his voice faltering. I wanted to reach up and caress his face, as Om Bao had done in those moments when they thought themselves alone. "When you love a flower," he said, as if wishing to explain hi altered appearance, " and suddenly she is gone, everything vanishes with her. I lived because she lived. Now she is gone. Without her, I am nothing, Princess. Nothing." "Oh." To mourn then, I thought, is to feel your own nothingness. Tears rimmed Old Boy's eyes, and he turned his face away from me. I let him be."