Please check the following sentences. Which is acceptable?
(1) Since the bus was crowded with passengers and there were no empty seats, the woman stood beside Mike.
(2) Since the bus was crowded with passengers and there was no empty seat, the woman stood beside Mike.
The second one is not ungrammatical, but the first one is far more natural to my ear.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.