The woman had no mercy as she yelled at the teenager, loud enough for everyone to hear. “I have two young children! You should have offered that seat to me the moment you saw me step on this bus, young man!” She screamed angrily, causing heads to turn.
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He stood up without any hesitation and looked her right in the eyes before bending down to lift the side of his jeans. Quiet murmurs were heard all around as the passenger saw what he had revealed. The woman couldn’t believe what she had done.
Thomas Scott was a hard working employee at a grocery store in Fort Worth, Texas. Today was no different from the usual, he was excited to return home after yet another 10-hour shift.
He switched off his mind as he made the familiar trip to the bus station. He got there just in time and greeted the bus driver as he hopped in.
Few Empty Seats
The bus was busier than it usually would be at this time. He made his way all the way to the back and took a seat on one of the very few open seats.
Thomas was relieved to be witting down for the first time in 11 hours. He got comfortable and looked around himself, that’s when his eyes focused on an unfamiliar face.
A teenage boy was sitting a few seats away from him. He had grown used to the people that would usually take the bus at the same time he would, but he had never seen this boy on his bus before.
He noticed the boy sitting on one of the disabled seats. These were reserved for disabled people, pregnant women and women with children.
When the bus stopped at its first stop, a bunch more people got on, including a mom and her two young children.
Thomas noticed when the woman’s eyes settled on the teen in the reserved seat. She was visibly disgusted that he was sitting there. He looked perfectly healthy, why was he sitting there? She was now staring at him shamelessly.
Not Paying Attention
While she was staring, the boy continued to look ahead of himself and ignore her obvious stares. He decided to look out of the window instead.
Thomas’ eyes drifted from him and back to the annoyed woman. He was alarmed to see how much anger she looked at this point.
It annoyed her that the teen wasn’t paying her any mind. She got impatient, he wasn’t intimidated by her threatening stare.
Thomas took a deep breath and braced himself for what she would do next.
When the woman saw that her methods weren’t succeeding in getting him to offer his seat, she decided to take a more direct approach.
She walked up to the teen. Thomas mentally prepared himself for how this would go down.
Cause A Scene
She stopped at his seat and bent down before speaking loud enough for everyone to hear.
Everyone turned to look at her and the boy. He seemed unimpressed by her. Thomas knew that the boy’s attitude would anger her even more.
The woman had a full on rage fit as she spoke to him, yelling “Do you realize you’re sitting in a reserved seat for vulnerable people? If you had any manners you’d offer that seat to someone more deserving!”
She folded her arms as she waited for him to respond. She was expecting an apology and for him to beg for mercy, but she would have to wait a lot longer.
The teen said nothing so the woman continued, wanting to teach him a lesson. Unaware that her plan would epically backfire.
“I have two young children! You should have offered that seat to me the moment you saw me step on this bus, young man!”. If anyone wasn’t paying attention, they were now. Silence engulfed the bus.
Thomas noticed the driver keeping watch on the situation from his front mirror. The teen boy raised his head and looked at everyone who was staring at him. Some were shaking their head in disapproval, others, like Thomas, were completely fixated on what his reaction would be.
Thomas could have never suspected what happened next.
Thomas wondered if it would break into a brawl. This kid really didn’t look like he cared about anything. He grabbed his phone, ready to call for help if needed.
Without a word, the boy stood up. The woman began to smirk, thinking she had won this battle but she was very very wrong.
The boy reached for the handlebars on the bus and steadied himself. “You think you deserve this seat just because you’re a mom?”, he jolted.
The boy was wearing denim jeans, a dark hoodie and chunky sneakers. Thomas could tell he was a cool kid. He still had one ear plug in his ear.
Thomas was on the edge of his seat. This kid had guts, standing up to the bull-headed woman like that with everyone watching him. He had to be careful or he’d have a bus-full of people against him.
The woman’s smirk was quickly replaced by anger. “Yes, I certainly deserve it more than you!”, she remarked. The boy laughed ironically before bending down and grabbing his jeans.
The boy looked at everyone’s eyes watching him as he struggled to get something from his jeans. He fiddled around and yanked at the ends of his bootleg denim jeans until the fabric came loose.
Everyone watched anxiously, wondering what on earth he was about to pull out of his garment. Safe to say, no one saw it coming – especially the entitled woman.
Worst Case Scenario
Thomas was on hyper-alert. He knew the dangers of the gun laws in Texas. Immediately, he feared the worst case scenario.
His heart pounded as his eyes were fixated on the teen boy’s hands. Just then, he saw a bulge from underneath his jeans. A chill went down his spine.
The boy pulled up his jeans and kicked his prosthetic leg out. There was an audible gasp on the bus. Suddenly, everyone was horrified that this young boy was forced to prove himself to this woman.
Mountain Home Air Force Base
Thomas watched as the mom’s face went red with embarrassment and shame. Suddenly, she was speechless.
And with everyone’s attention on her, words failed to leave her mouth. Instead, she retreated back to her standing space without a word.
The boy looked around at everyone before sitting back down and fixing up his jeans. Thomas couldn’t believe what just happened. Suddenly, an intense feeling came over him.
He felt awful for the boy. He almost felt sick to his stomach. Suddenly, he saw his brother who was also an amputee and had lost a limb in war.
Imagining his brother going through what the young man just went through made his heart pang with shame. He hoped he wasn’t embarrassed so an idea came to his mind.
Thomas yelled, “Man, that leg is so cool! Shame on you, lady!”. His single words of encouragement inspired other passengers to do the same.
Suddenly, an outburst of support and encouragement poured into the atmosphere for the young boy. And his reaction?
It wasn’t long before the young man was smiling again. He visibly looked much more confident about his disposition.
People clapped him on the back and apologized for seeing him experience that. But one lesson above all else, stuck with Thomas that day.
It’s never okay to judge people by their looks. Especially when it comes to someone’s conditions or ‘disabilities’. Many people who suffer from conditions present as perfectly healthy-looking people.
This is why it’s always important to approach everyone with kindness, compassion, and understanding. Which is exactly what Thomas decided to do next.
Once everyone was finished speaking up for the young boy, Thomas approached him and sat beside him.
He began to tell him that he had a brother who had the exact same condition. He explained to him how his brother lost his leg and told him of how well he’s doing now – even winning medals in competitive sports. The boy smiled.
An Unlikely Mentor
Thomas offered the boy his number and asked him to contact him if he’d ever like to meet someone like him. Perhaps they could relate in ways others couldn’t understand.
The teen boy’s face lit up. His eyes sparkled. He told Thomas that he’s never met anyone like him and would love to talk to him. The pair ended up meeting and hit it off. Now, the boy has someone who understands what he’s going through!