i think we missed our stop

The woman stepped on the bus.

She'd done this before, but not often. Fifties? White. Certainly middle-class, she looked decidedly out of place moving down the scrappy rainbow corridor of people.

She paused toward the back. Every seat left required her to sit next to one of these "others." She considered her options.

The bell clanged and a young black woman stood.

"Oh, it's okay! You don't need to get up!" Her kindness tumbled over itself, falling to the ground.

The younger woman's face stayed blank. "This is my stop."

"Oh."

And they stood there in silence with their assumptions. Because there was nothing else to say.