I was on my lunch break, sitting at a table in one of the quieter lobbies where I worked. I had already eaten, and was using the rest of my free time to read some comic books that I had just picked up.
"Can I sit here?"
I looked up. It was my boss's daughter, Sheena, holding a plastic container with food in it. It was lunch break time for her, too, though I was never sure why she was ever there. As far as I knew, she was either a teacher or becoming one, but I would see her around quite frequently.
"Sure," I said. There were plenty of free tables, and I felt like I would prefer to just read my comic books, but I thought she was cute and didn't really mind a chance to sit and talk to her for a while. I had never had a chance to talk to her without her mom, my boss, being there.
She sat down and we started talking. She was happy and friendly, and didn't immediately bore me to tears like most people, though I may have found her purple eyes more interesting than anything she had to say. The conversation was upbeat for the first few minutes, but then I asked the wrong question.
"Do you like The Ramones?" I asked.
"Well," she said, "I am a child of the 80's, so... yes."
"Have you ever heard 'Sheena is a punk rocker'?"
Her smile immediately disappeared. The happy look on her face was immediately replaced by a cold stare. She looked like I had just asked her if she had ever heard a song called "Sheena is a huge filthy whore who stinks."
"No," she said flatly, "No, I haven't."
"Well," I said, "you should check it out. It's a fucking great song! I think of it every time I hear your name."
She seemed to sense from my tone of voice that perhaps "punk rocker" didn't mean "huge filthy whore who stinks", and the conversation once again became upbeat. It was too late, though, because I had decided in the previous few seconds that I didn't want to talk to her anymore. I made small talk for a few minutes before I told her I had to go back to work.
"Oh, OK. I'll see you later. It was nice talking to you," she said.
I found a quiet spot and went back to reading my comic books until it actually was time to go back to work.