What happened on SkyTrain this morning

The woman sitting next to me on Canada Line folded one of the many free newspapers on her lap and stuffed it in the crack next to her seat and the side of the SkyTrain. And then she opened up the next newspaper and began reading the front page.

Sigh, aren't they all the same? I thought, and then I returned back to reading my novel about the journey of a young African woman being captured in Africa and brought back to America to work in indigo planting.


Twenty minutes later, when we approached the Vancouver City Centre station, I returned back to reality and put my book into my backpack when...

An Asian man standing beside my seat said, "Excuse me, you should take the newspapers away with you."

"Huh?" I thought and looked up to him and then realized he was talking to the woman.

"What?" The woman did not seem to hear the man as she was getting ready to stand up.

"I said, you should take your newspapers with you," the man repeated in a calm manner. Oh man, I thought, this is not going to be good, especially with me stuck between them.

"Hmm, the newspapers were already there when I sat down," the woman answered with an irriated tone. Unlikely, I thought, but I can't say for sure since I wasn't paying attention when I sat down next to her.

The train door opened and people started to rush out of the train.

The woman stood up and I shoved my backpack aside to make room for her to pass, but the man put his hands on adjacent bars and prevented the woman from leaving.

The woman gave the man a light shove, but the man resisted and pushed her on the shoulders.

"Hey, don't touch me!" The woman yelled.

"Take your newspapers with you!" The man insisted.

The woman pushed away his hands resting on the bars, or something like that, and passed successfully but without voicing her frustration one final time, "asshole."

The man walked away from situation but also replied, "bitch." I wonder if the woman heard.

And me? I stayed in my seat waiting for the final station to arrive. But also thinking about what just happened.

What a way to start the day.

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