(Content has been edited for clarity.)
This Man Had It All One Day, Lost It The Next
“I was at a bar alone waiting for a friend. I was sitting at the bar, knew the bartenders sort of well, so I was chatting with them, and the guy sitting next to me joined in our conversation. He was wasted and upset. The bartender left to serve other people, and it was just this dude and me, and he ended up spilling his whole story.
He’d won the lottery. Not a massive $300 million thing, but a good-sized amount. He got married to the girl he’d been dating before he won, but she ended up just using him for his money, cheating on him a ton, and they were in the divorce process at the time, with her in position to get a good portion of his winnings. He’d also bought his brother a fancy sports car – I don’t remember the details of this part but for some reason, there was no insurance on the vehicle, and his brother was driving it across the country. I think he’d bought it in a different state and was driving it home? Anyway, doesn’t know how to handle a high-performance car and wrecks it. His brother died in the crash, which of course he felt responsible for as he’d bought the car. Also, because the car was in his name and had no insurance, he was financially on the hook for all damages, including medical bills for the people in the other car. So basically this dude won the lottery, and in a year found out his wife was just a money-grubbing woman, and lost his brother, which he felt was his fault, and lost the majority of his winnings between the wife and the car accident.
He was just sitting there choking back tears while telling all of this to a perfect stranger; I tried to be as comforting as I could, but it was a very uncomfortable situation to be in.”
Turns Out He Was NOT The Father
“One night, a friend drunkenly told me that he knew that the kid he had just had with his girlfriend wasn’t his because he had a serious injury to his groin years before that and was told he likely couldn’t have kids. When she told him she was pregnant, he thought wow, the doctor must have been wrong, but something was telling him that they weren’t, so he went to have a count done. He was told that it was very unlikely that he would be able to father a child. He said he stays with her and doesn’t tell her he knows the child isn’t his because he doesn’t want to be alone for the rest of his life.”
Her Life Seemed Glamarous, But The Road To Get There Was Tough
“I met up with a girl I had a crush on in high school, and we hit it off. She had two kids, but that was cool by me, and she was just a stunningly beautiful girl. Things were good. We spent the evening chatting and drinking and then it moved into making out and such things.
We stopped briefly to get another drink, and she wanted to the bedroom, so I followed her.
And then, after I commented on her snazzy bed, I was told this huge story about it being new because her last boyfriend left her, and she had to live in a dive apartment for a while where all of her kids and her belongings got infested with bedbugs, and she had to toss away most of her things and get new things. She was bawling talking about it, and it broke my heart.
Anyway, that killed the night, we chatted until she fell asleep and then I crashed on the couch.
The next morning she came out and saw me on the couch and started bawling again because she thought I just buggered off and left, but was happy I stayed and made me breakfast before I took off.”
Some Relationships Just Come And Go Sadly
“I went to the bar to tell my friend that I wanted to start dating another common friend of ours. For context, he had been chasing her for many months. However, she did not want anything to do with him and did not give him any indication that she did, but he kept trying. She and I had amazing chemistry, but I did not want to start dating her until he knew it was going to happen. He got mad at me because he ‘had already pictured me attending his wedding and our kids playing together in 20 years.’
Anyway, I told him, we get smashed, and he says ‘it is my fault… Karma is a true witch!’ I asked him to clarify, and he confessed that he fooled around with his step-mom while his dad was away on a business trip. Apparently, they were on the brink of divorce, she had already cheated with other guys, she was one of those chicks with a fake chest, and he hated that he was not strong-willed enough to say no to that. ‘I’m a real jerk,’ he said while he cried. He proceeded to tell me how his dad went crying to him to tell him about his upcoming divorce and that he had to hear all that and felt horrible.
I felt horrible. He felt horrible. I liked this guy as a friend, but with all the crap that happened that night, we disconnected. I tried to reach out to repair our friendship, but he did not want any of that and went around saying horrible things about my current girlfriend and me. She and I ended up moving cities to start fresh with a new circle of friends.
Even now, I still miss that guy and feel bad that we don’t talk to each other. Nevertheless, that girl has given me the best six years of my life, and I cannot fathom spending the rest of my life with anybody else.
Life is complicated.”
His Bottled Up Emotions Boiled Over That Night
“One of my best friends got hammered at my house party when we were 16, and my parents were out for the weekend. There were seven of us in total drinking apple sours (It was all our local corner-shop sold, and one of us in the group never got ID’d in there).
Anyway, at about 1 a.m., we noticed we hadn’t seen or heard from him in about an hour and a half, so I went to look for him in case he was sick. Instead, he was standing at the bottom of my driveway in just his underwear and crying, really heavily.
I managed to get him to calm down, and he was saying how his mother (who left his dad when he was 13 for another man) didn’t love him, never will and wonders what he has done to deserve that. She doesn’t answer his calls and bails out on planned days to see each other at the last minute all the time. Usually, he’s the ‘I don’t show my emotions’ type. I persuaded him to re-dress, and I have never mentioned this to my other friends. I still don’t know why he was nearly naked.”
He’d Signed Away On Maybe The Best Thing To Happen To Him
“I just started college, and at the first big party, my friend (we’ll call him John) got smashed. I stayed with him in the bathroom while he threw up everything he had eaten in the last, I don’t know, six years. After he had gotten it all out, he told me he had a 4-year-old daughter that he just found out about like half a year ago. I guess he got a girl he met on vacation pregnant, but she never told him, and just convinced her ex-boyfriend it was his. John went on to say how he flew over to sign away all parental rights to the girl’s boyfriend (now husband), which meant he would never have to pay child support, but he would also have no legal right to see his daughter. He said that at the time he felt good about it, but now that he realizes he might never get to see his daughter, it’s eating him up inside.”
He Might Have Stopped A Serial Child Abductor
“There’s this guy who lives in town, we will call him Mark. Mark has only lived in town a few short years and works at our local gas station. He’s friendly, and I can honestly say I’ve never gotten a bad feeling about him ever. I (a woman) normally don’t just trust people I encounter, but I’ve always known Mark to be a gentle soul and never thought of him to be violent.
One night, Mark comes into the bar where I’m at and sits next to me. He is wasted. I’ve seen him wasted many times but only one other time this wasted. This night, he starts telling me about his sister. Now, Mark is normally a very quiet, to himself, kind of dude. I don’t know a whole lot about him which made this story all the more powerful.
Apparently, when his sister was 15 years old, she left home with her ‘boyfriend.’ Mark wasn’t okay with this and after a few days decided to track him down. When he got to her boyfriend’s house, he found a house full of women that were his sister’s age/profile. He demanded his sister leave with him or he would call the cops. Her boyfriend claimed, ‘she isn’t your sister’ to which Mark apparently had a screwdriver in hand and promptly stabbed the boyfriend in the throat. Mark said with hand motions reenacting, ‘I stuck the screwdriver in his throat and he just collapses to the ground.’ He then said he told all the girls that if any of them wanted to leave to get in the car now and he ended up taking 10 girls home that night. This was a shock to me because A) I was pretty well wasted and B) Never known of a person in real life that killed another before. Though I don’t condone taking the life of any living thing, I think Mark did the right thing.”
“Can I Trust Them?”
“I have a friend that gets wasted and sleeps around. Well, usually she comes to me and asks if she can trust this guy. I always thought it meant in like a ‘call you back’ kind of sense or maybe an STD. Well since I know them all, I’d say yes. Well, all these guys started to tell me that she wanted them to finish her with no protection. She insisted she was on the pill, which she is, so everyone did it.
Weird behavior, right? Well, I had to investigate, and one night when she was wasted out of her mind, she just broke down and told me everything. Turns out that the May of last semester she got pregnant but the guy would not respond to her calls or text until finally, he said ‘get an abortion.’ Well, she did.
The reason she sleeps with so many guys and lets them finish inside is because some weird reactions she was having from the whole abortion situation. And the reason she asks ‘Can I trust them?’ Yeah, it’s to know if they’ll accept her child if she does get pregnant. She drinks because she’s afraid of being turned away from her past.
Now the phrase ‘can I trust them’ rings in my head over the fear of her getting pregnant with any of them because, with her definition of trust, she can’t.”
All He Could Do Was Hope She Found The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
“She was touched inappropriately constantly by her father and also violated by him. He had done it since she was a baby. It wasn’t until she saw an episode of TLC about child abuse that she realized it was wrong. Her father hopped up and turned off the television. She kept saying ‘All I wanted was some ice cream,’ to me that day. Apparently, one incident was involved where she was getting ice cream, and her father used it as an excuse to do his thing. He also used smack on her to get her high and continue the abuse. This was my first real girlfriend.
She’s married now and has a child. She also has a state job and graduated from college. I am honored to have known her and hope her life is continued with success.”
This Late Night Conversation Was His First Step Out Of The Closet
“One of my best friends and I had a drunken heart to heart years ago. He was way more smashed than I was and doesn’t remember a thing. I remember him telling me that he thinks he might be gay. He asked what he said to me the next day, and I just told him ‘A lot of things I won’t tell you, but if you want to talk to me sober, just know that I’ll love you like a brother no matter what.’
He has been through a rough patch in his life in the last few years, and I think that might be the majority of it, but he has never said anything to me since and I don’t want to force him to.”
“It Was A Night And Conversation I’d Never Forget”
“When I was a teenager, my mother worked two jobs, so I was often alone late at night. One night, I got a call. This was before cell phones and Caller I.D. so, not knowing if it was my mother or not, I answered.
A strange man’s tear-filled voice responded. Sobbing and hysterical, he begged me not to hang up and that he knew it was a ‘wrong number’ but he desperately needed someone to talk to. My mind raced, trying to think of someone, anyone who could help him more than a dumb kid like me, but there was no other phone to call for help and leaving the phone to go out and try to wake up a neighbor didn’t seem like it would get this guy the help he needed, either. So, stomach knotted with dread, I told him I couldn’t do much, but I’d listen.
Panicked, frantic, and making suicidal comments, he went on to explain that he was a teacher and an alcoholic. He’d been sober for a while, but tonight he’d slipped up. Bad. Horrendously bad. And with his AA sponsor away for the week on vacation, he didn’t know who to turn to, so he called a random number.
With me on the line, he proceeded to confess that he’d gotten smashed and was fairly convinced he had run over a child. He wasn’t sure how bad he’d hurt them or if he’d killed them, but he was terrified to find out and couldn’t live with himself if he had. He frequently spoke of killing himself if he had, between begging me for answers of what to do.
I was maybe 16 or 17 at the time, dumbfounded and completely aware of how unprepared I was for all this and no clue how to handle it. I was shaking, but trying to remain calm before this guy blew his brains out or anything else drastic while he was on the phone with me. I seriously felt like this guy’s life was in my hands, and that was terrifying.
I talked to him as he begged forgiveness. I think I managed to calm him down a bit and as he did, I told him tonight was a night he will never forget and should never forget. While he wasn’t 100% sure he hit someone or not, he should remember how he’s feeling right now whenever he even thinks about picking up a bottle again. I next told him that everyone makes mistakes, but to be forgiven, you need to stand up and take responsibility for it. I then told him he NEEDED to call the police; whether he hit someone or not, he NEEDED to call them. Taking responsibility for his actions will be a step towards atonement and that if he killed himself, he’d never atone and never make things better.
I think I got him calmer. I got him to agree to call the police and to call his sponsor when he could. But I’m not sure. I don’t know if he ever followed through. By the time I finally got off the phone it was nearly the end of my mother’s shift, and she was home soon after. I told her about it, and she said she’d look into it, but I never heard a thing after that, from her, him, or the news.
If it was a hoax, his acting was incredible. If my mother did it to keep me from drinking and driving, I neither had my license (or even my permit yet) nor had any desire to drink alcohol, anyway.
Whatever the heck it was, it was a night and a conversation I will never forget.”
They Couldn’t Believe Their Dad Could Live With This Secret
“My dad told me that he was violated by a youth pastor when he was 4 years old. Then, that he’d only ever told one other person, my mom, and she was so wasted at the time that she made fun of him and had no memory of it the next day. Knowing that he’s carried that around for more than 50 years, keeping it all in, and still torn up and could barely get the words out, is horrible.”
She Couldn’t Wait To Kick Him To The Left
“My husband telling me that he never really loved me that way, he just didn’t want to be alone all of his life. Then admitting he had finally fallen in love with another woman and I should be happy for him because they were secretly engaged now.
That was 13 years ago. They didn’t even last a year, and I still regret wasting the years of my time with him that I did.”
Turned Out Their Best Friend Was A Major Jerk
“High school buddy and I reconnected at our 10-year reunion. Nobody was popular at an all-male high school, but that being said, he was a football star and known and liked.
I happened to be in town on his 30th birthday, and since he didn’t have plans I call a few guys, and we proceeded to tie one on, Ubering to bars all over town (he’d never heard of Uber…) and drinking/smoking more than we should.
After a minor run-in with some park cops, his mood did a 180°, and he started loudly accusing me of not caring about getting him in trouble, or that his job was on the line, and that he couldn’t afford any more legal issues after three DUIs.”
This Divine Sign Saved His Life
“We have this friend who has a lightning bolt tattoo that we always make fun of, mostly because he won’t tell us what it means and it looks like the Gatorade symbol.
One night a couple of months ago, he and I get drunk off straight Vodka. He starts talking about getting more tattoo’s and his ideas so I asked him if he’d tell me what the lightning bolt meant.
He said back in 2008, he was going through a rough patch, and he started thinking about suicide. On one particularly hard night, he finally decided to go through with it. He had access to a couple of weapons, took one and put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The weapon jammed. He said the instant he pulled that trigger he regretted it beyond words and had never been more grateful for life.
Apparently, that night there was a rare thunder and lightning storm (we almost never get those here), and he saw the flash of lightning and realized his time wasn’t up yet.
He said he learned that night that no matter how bad life gets it does go on; he got the lightning bolt tattoo to remind himself.
I had a new understanding of him that night.”
This Sweet Man Had A Dark Secret
“I was in Cambodia a few years ago. I was staying at this great little hostel near to Angkor Wat and made friends with almost everyone there in the usual hostel fashion.
My favorite person there was this lovely elderly Irish guy. He was probably in his 70s and reminded me of a jolly Irish Santa Claus. He said he used to be a music teacher and would sing us songs every night. He had a beautiful voice. He was always so kind to everyone there, and it was obvious he had been there for a while.
One night he got a little wasted and asked me if I could help him respond to an email from his daughter since he wasn’t very good with computers. As I read his daughter’s email, I realized that it kept mentioning illness, doctors, and lawyers.
He finally broke down and told me his story:
He hadn’t been home in seven years. He sold everything and left Ireland after his son and wife both died in the same year. He just couldn’t stand to be there. He traveled around South East Asia mostly and volunteered to teach church choirs all over Thailand.
One night, when he was in Bangkok, he was attacked by a random guy. They fought for a bit when a police officer (who they suspect had been in on it) came out of nowhere and arrested him. He spent about a month in a Thai jail before his daughter was able to send him the money to get out on bail. Now, the problem is that his court date wasn’t very soon and his money was quickly running out. He had cancer and didn’t have enough money to continue buying medicine while abroad.
He panicked and made a rash decision. He paid the last of his money to someone to smuggle him across the border to Cambodia. By jumping bail, he became a fugitive. He is now stuck because the Irish embassy was refusing to help a fugitive and demanding that he return to Thailand. If he returns to Thailand, he will go straight to prison where he will whittle away with no medicine.
For the week or so I was at that hostel, I helped him email back and forth with his daughter. I always wondered what happened to him. I don’t remember his full name. I don’t remember what the hostel was called. All I remember is how sweet and gentle he was to everyone and how beautiful his voice was.”