The backpack

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I’m one of those people who feel guilt about just about everything. If I have to kill a spider, I apologize to it first. When I worked at a place that had mass layoffs, I apologized to my boss because he had to tell me that I was among those being laid off.
So when I walked my dog the other day, I could not just walk past that backpack that was sitting by the side of the road.

Oh, I tried. I paused for just a minute, looked around for the owner of the backpack, and kept walking. “It’s not my business,” I told myself, “the owner of the backpack knows it is there.”

But as I walked, the image of the backpack was burned into my brain. I started thinking about the dirt covering it, more dirt than a student would ever have.

Then the scenarios began. Multiple reasons for the backpack’s presence at that particular location.

Finally, in my mind’s eye, I visualized the open zipper, and realized that there had been an adult male’s wallet in plain view. A full wallet. (Which brought forth a few rather sinister scenarios.)

I turned around and returned to the backpack, deciding that the least I could do was knock on a few doors to see if the anyone knew who the backpack belonged to.

A woman was working in her yard, and together we tried to figure out who the backpack belonged to. The wallet contained at least one credit card, a social security card, and a driver’s license with an address located on the other side of town. We also found a bottle of prescription medicine and a loaf of fresh baked bread among the items crammed into the backpack.

Not knowing what else to do I turned the backpack over to the woman, and she promised to ask all of her neighbors about it, and eventually turn it over to the police if the owner was not found.

I’m still not satisfied, not guilt free. Did I do all I could? Should I have done more?

Even though, I have no clue what that more could be!

What do you think?