At last! Someone who actually wanted to buy a paper from him.
"Here you go," Darren put on his best sales smile and gave her a copy of Ghost Times.
She browsed through it quickly. "My, my, news these days is so depressing."
"It was just as bad when I was still alive. Somehow, I'd always imagined this place to be more pleasant."
"You mean you're new here?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Mm hmm...I see. And your name would be...?"
He paused for a moment, mind whirling quick to think what to say next. "So, how about your name?" It came out sounding quite dumb.
"Katrina," she smiled broadly, offering a handshake. "Most call me Kat."
"Kat," he nodded in return. "Cool."
Now came the out-of-pleasantries part of conversations he hated so much. He'd always been terrible at that, especially with girls.
"You know, you seem pretty tongue-tied," she laughed. "I'm guessing this is your first job?"
"Sold any yet?"
"Haha, that's how it was when I was selling papers too. Didn't sell a single one for the first two days."
"Wow, you sold papers as well? Then what're you doing now?"
"Well, would you believe me if I told you that I write the newspaper you're holding in your hands?"
"No kidding. But it wasn't easy, I had to work many years to get there."
"Whoa," Darren's eyes grew wide. "You're like...what, eighteen?"
"And you've been here for many years?"
"Yup. Not everyone dies at the ripe old age of seventy, you know. You just learn to live with it."
He pursed his lips. "H-hey, sorry, I didn't mean to bring that up. You know, I'm still finding it hard to come to terms with my death."
"Heh, don't you worry about any offense taken, I've pretty much forgotten about my previous life."
She said this with no hint of sadness in her voice, making him wonder how young she really had died. At least he felt better being around one who shared something in common with him. Not a bad start at all.
"That's a big pile of papers, if I must say so," she pointed out. "Want me to help you out?"
"Sure! That'd be nice."