Mystery on Amtrak

While on the train home, a woman took the aisle seat next to me. The car was quite crowded, and she accidentally knocked the seat check out of the baggage holder.

“Sorry!” She exclaimed, while also making no effort to pick up the slip of paper.

“It’s okay,” I replied, and looked down at it as it laid sadly on the floor. I too made no effort to pick it up. If it stays there, I thought, that’s fine and actually kind of funny.

“Sorry!” The woman repeated, pointing at the paper as if seeing it for the first time, “I can get it!”

“Thank you, it might be slightly important!” I said, smiling a friendly smile.

The woman replaced the paper and proceeded to sit. At this point, I was minding my own business and had no objections to my new neighbor.

“Sorry!” She cried as she plopped into the seat.

Confused, I fumbled over the words “It’s okay!”

Things went back to normal after that. I looked out the window, and my neighbor read a book.

I have to wonder though, why was she so apologetic? Is she just that type of human being? Am I an intimidating person? Perhaps I behaved as if the fallen paper was a grave insult? Or did my face do something I didn’t intend it to do?

Knowing my luck, it’s probably the latter. Curse my unconscious expressions!

-MC

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