The other night I sat down in a two seater next to the window. An older woman sat down next to me and I recognized her from the train stop I usually get on and off at. She smelled like booze and whipped out her phone. After a while of texting, she broke down sobbing. She took off her glasses and wiped her face with her hand. I didn’t say anything and continued reading.
She started crying again and was trying very hard to hide it. I went through my bag knowing I had tissues. I pulled out my tissue pack and offered it to her. She refused it. I didn’t even know what to do. I am just trying to be nice and her tears are just pouring down her face. I felt so bad…and I am stuck awkwardly on the inside seat until our stop.
I continue reading and try to pretend I don’t notice that she is just miserable next to me.
The train ride felt like forever. We finally get to our stop and she stands up, still crying and looks at me and mouths “Thank you.” to me and winked. I smiled back and I felt much better after that. Not because my niceness was acknowledged but because it seemed as though she was calming down and was going to be ok after we got off the train.
I have no idea what made her upset but sometimes just knowing someone is sitting next to you with a tissue for you is what you need whether you accept it or not.