“Have you ever seen him smile?” Beth was looking around while eating lunch with her friend Carrie.
Carrie looked up from her lunch. “See who smile?”
Beth pointed to a man, about thirty, eating lunch in a corner of the staff dining room. “Over there.”
Carrie shrugged, “I didn’t know his name was George.”
“Well it is. It’s on his cubicle.”
“I don’t know, I never really thought about.” Carrie went back to her lunch while Beth looked over at George.
“You really never thought about it?” Beth figured that George was not on Carrie’s radar as possible dating material.
“No, I really never thought about it. I mean, he’s not a friendly guy.”
“Just because he doesn’t want to get in your pants, doesn’t mean he’s not friendly.” Blonde, trim, but with appropriate curves, Carrie was more the beauty than Beth which meant she also had a much more active social life.
Carrie blew a raspberry. “Thanks a lot. But really, have you ever seen him at happy hour or any of the company parties?”
“No, but that doesn’t mean he’s not friendly. Maybe he’s just shy or no one ever invites him.”
“Beth, he’s not a lost kitten. You can’t take him in.”
“I know! I think he just needs a friendly gesture. I’m going over there.”
“Leave him alone.”
“You can stay here. I’m going to introduce myself.”
Grabbing her tray, Beth got up and walked over to where George was sitting. “Mind if I sit here?”
George wiped his mouth with his napkin, placed his storage containers back in his lunch bag. “I’m just leaving, so it’s all yours.”
“Oh, I didn’t …”
“No, I always take a short walk after I eat lunch.”
“But it’s raining.”
“I have a coat. Good day. Enjoy your lunch.”
Seeing George walk away, Carrie joined her friend. Beth stared at her tray. “Don’t say it.”
“Not a word.” Carrie mimed zipping her lip and then gave Beth’s hand a pat.
Later that afternoon, Beth walked over to George’s cubicle. He was focused on a spreadsheet displayed on his computer. Knocking lightly on the cubicle panel, Beth said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to spoil your lunch.”
George didn’t say a word, so Beth repeated herself and still got no reply. Walking away, she ran into Carrie who had seen the whole thing.
Taking Beth’s arm, Carrie asked, “Well?”
“He’s a jerk.” Beth said, “Won’t even accept an apology.”
“Wow. What did he say?”
“Nothing. He ignored me like I wasn’t there.”
Walking into his apartment, George put his phone in the cradle that would flash the lights if he got a call and then took out his hearing aids and put them in their holder.
“Finally,” he thought, “Peace and quiet.”