“Priority Seating” (Part Two-Final)
Copyright 2016 R.B.Bailey Jr
All Rights Reserved
Sam started praying to himself that this little girl gets off at the next stop, or just shuts up for awhile.
There was an announcement over the PA, then the train slowly started moving again.
“Great! We’re movin’…” Sam started to say, but the little girl’s glare stopped him cold.
The little girl kept staring at Sam with a very angry look on her face…no more words ever came out.
Just a little small, knowing smile.
Lulled by the squeaking of the plastic straps against their poles, and the gentle sway of the train, Sam drifted back off into a deep sleep this time.
His last image of the girl was her brown, angry eyes glaring at him through her disheveled hair.
Sam was dreaming about seeing his family for the first time in two years, when he heard alot of commotion on the train, and woke up.
The train had stopped again, and this time, rescue workers were taking some old lady off the train on a gurney.
He saw the little girl again…her and her mom were following the gurney off of the train.
Her grandma did get hurt when the train came to a sudden stop.
This time, the little girl had tears in her eyes, as she looked over at Sam-Sensei.
Her eyes weren’t filled with anger this time…only hurt.
“I’m really sorry…” Sam tried to tell the little girl, but she didn’t hear him.
“You should be ashamed!!” The pregnant lady scolded him, then turned her back to him.
Sam knew that there was nothing he could do, so he tried to forget about it and go back to sleep.
A moment later, the little girl came back and whispered something in his ear.
His eyes opened wide in horror…because he knew she was right.
“NOOOO!” Sam yelled out loud, jumping up, taking a quick glance upward and starting pushing and shoving his way through the packed commuters.
The pregnant lady took the now empty seat, next to the elderly ladies.
Thinking it would be faster, he decided to step off the train and run down the platform to the car he was on before.
Just as he was about to step back on, the doors closed.
Already behind schedule, the train conductor blew his whistle and the train slowly eased on its way to Narita Airport Station…without Sam-Sensei.
Feeling sick, Sam takes a seat on the platform, to figure out what to do next.
He sat down in an orange seat…of all colors.
With all the commotion, the man in the orange knit hat was wide awake…and gave a small wave to Sam, as the train pulled away.
He offered his seat to the next person who really needed it, several stops ago.
Even though it wasn’t a priority seat.
Being a former tobacco user back in the day, quitting was one of the best things I could have done for myself. It all started with chewing tobacco at age 11, bringing on smokeless tobacco and cigarettes later.
Even losing my mother (a two pack-a-day smoker) to lung cancer (and all associated diseases that tobacco use can cause) didn’t sway me none.
Moving to Japan when I was almost 31 was my chance to quit, and I took it.
“Priority Seating” (Part One)
Written By R.B.Bailey Jr
Copyright 2016 R.B.Bailey Jr
All Rights Reserved
Sam had an early start that morning, to catch a flight home.
Taking a train to the airport, he was going back to America for Christmas vacation.
He wanted to nap for awhile.
One station later, a group of noisy high school students boarded the train, waking him up.
The train was full, but Sam saw one of the prized “priority seats” was empty in the next car, and
knew it was the perfect place to nap during a long train ride.
He rushed through the car, to get the seat, before someone else did.
A man in a dirty orange knit hat is sitting diagonally to his right, head bobbing up and down as he slips in and out of a shallow sleep.
Sam kinda chuckled, because the man didn’t have enough sense to grab a priority seat.
Across from him was an area for wheelchairs.
A moment later, a little girl, her mom and grandma came walking by, “You really shouldn’t be sitting there…” the little girl stopped and said to him.
Sam was surprised, then looked around and said, “No other seats…sorry.”
He closed his eyes once again, trying to sleep.
“You’re still here?” A tiny voice invaded his dream, waking him up a while later.
It was the little girl, again.
She came back, because this really bothered her.
“Huh?” Sam replied, “Where is your mom?” He looked around, and saw that the train was becoming very packed with the usual morning rush-hour traffic.
The two seniors sitting next to him now, gave him a cold look.
“She’s with my grandma somewhere over there…” She gestured towards the packed riders, “She couldn’t get a seat.”
“Sorry to hear that…” Sam replied, not about to give up his seat.
The two seniors were still giving him a cold look, along with the pregnant lady standing up in front of him.
Sam looked over to his right, and through the window, and saw even more people staring at him from the other car.
The little girl spoke up with bitterness in her voice, “You better pray my grandma doesn’t get trampled by all these commuters, or so help me…”
Just then, the train suddenly stopped, and all the commuters lunged forward, knocking both the little girl and pregnant lady over.
Sam heard a moan from the packed commuters.
It sounded like an old lady moan.
The commuters righted themselves, including the little girl and pregnant lady.
The pregnant lady was ok, but the little girl didn’t look happy with Sam.
“That sounded like my grandma…” The little girl said in a low whisper to Sam, her hair now disheveled across her face.
Sam tried his best to peer through the packed commuters, but it was useless.
Just too many people.
“I think your grandma is fine…” Sam said to her, not really knowing if she was or not.
The little girl’s eyes cut away from Sam, towards the general direction of her grandma…then back at Sam.
“Where are you going?” The little girl asked him.
“I’m going home to America…could you leave me alone?” He replied, starting to feel annoyed now, “Go stand somewhere else, please…”
The little girl looked up at the pregnant lady, over to the two old ladies, then back at Sam.
The four females looked at each other, agreeing that something was amiss…but that was going to be his punishment for being a jerk.
“Are you going to sit in the senior seats on the plane, too?” The little girl asked him.
Sam was glad she was a little comedian, “Airplanes dont have senior seats…”
But the little girl wasn’t smiling.
No one was smiling.
(To Be Continued…)