Back in New York, Emily, Paul, Brian and Black Andy were enjoying after-dinner drinks at their usual table at Little Nemo's. Andy and Brian shared a pair of headphones, enjoying a new music video on the latter's smartphone. Halfway through Andy glanced up and said, "Look who it is."
"Heeeeey!" said a tall, handsome Latino in a dark sport jacket and colorful tie, walking toward them from the door. Behind him came a waif of a girl with unnaturally black hair, thick-rimmed "hipster" glasses and a camera bag strapped around her casually clad torso. Both of them were toting luggage.
"Ricard-o," said Andy, emphasizing the o as he always did. They clasped hands. Ricardo and Brian exchanged a similar greeting.
"What's up, guys?" Ricardo was raised in a Hispanic community in Atlanta and had a purely American accent.
"Hey," said Rachel with a smile, and the others greeted her warmly. She was not a conversationalist, but she was far from uninteresting and was well-liked by her friends at the magazine.
"How was Tasmania?" said Emily.
"Pretty great, pretty cool," said Ricardo, stealing one of Brian's french fries. "Tell ya what, I'll write up a report so you can read all about it. I'll put some great pictures in it!" He put an arm around Rachel's tiny shoulders, acknowledging her contribution. "Might even publish it somewhere. But hey, what's with this e-mail about Aggie and Brady? Dave went to El Salvador?"