All we have stories and some of them are might be unforgettable. A Reddit user asked people their ‘unforgettable stranger’ stories. Here are 30 responses that people share their unforgettable stranger stories.
I went on a spontaneous, long ride with my bicycle along a couple of beaches in NSW, Australia one day and had forgotten my wallet or the fruits I’d usually take with me. Couple of hours later, I sat on one of two benches, watching the waves crushing along the shore of the empty beach whilst listening to the rumble inside my stomach, announcing it requires feeding.
A man twice my age (I was 25,f) sat down on the bench next to mine and we shared a smile and a nod. He got comfy and my attention wandered back to the blue horizon over the sea when suddenly I heard
“Hey, you hungry?”
I looked over and he held out this bag filled with plums. I moved to his bench, biggest smile on my face, where we shared his plums and our names. He introduced himself as ‘Captain Cook’, a name his mate’s had given him. He told me how he’s been homeless for many years after losing his job and wife, how his daughters are embarrassed about his situation and how he’s never met his grandkids before. When he talked about his daughters he had such a shine of pride in his gaze despite the sadness that followed along. I hugged him then and that tipped him over the edge. He cried and cried, not moving his head out the crook of my neck. I’ve never heard a grown man’s heart break like that before. He wailed so loud, not even the seagulls were a match for him.
Within the blink of an eye Captain Cook peeled himself out of my arms, put his sunnies back on, grabbed his bags and turned to leave.
All he said was
What really got me, like really really got me, was that he couldn’t bear showing me his tears. He was embarrassed for his sadness, embarrassed for his vulnerability. He ran-waddled as fast as his legs allowed with all the bags and backpacks swinging on his shoulders.
I never saw Captain Cook again. All that was left of him was the bag of plums, still sitting where he had sat before. He’d left them for me.
When I was super overweight, I was just starting to workout somewhat regularly. Being morbidly obese at the gym is terrible – I have never felt more eyes on me before in my life.
I was on a treadmill, grinding out some inclined walk/ light jogging, and a super fit girl got on the machine next to me (this was all pre-COVID). She did a short warm-up, and before she got off the treadmill she turned to me and gave me a high five and told me to keep it up.
It was so encouraging to have that support, when I was used to getting stared at by everyone else in the gym. Her small, kind gesture went a long way!
My son was a week old, and had to go to the doctor. I had severe early onset post partum depression, and I hadn’t slept more than an hour at a time since his birth.
I locked my keys, phone, and son in the car.
This incredibly wonderful older couple calmed me down, called CAA, parked beside my car and sat with me until the tow truck came and unlocked the car. The tow driver refused payment.
I will never forget those three people.
When I was a broke-as-sin 18 year old trying to make ends meet, I had a side hustle providing IT support for households (like a geek squad sort of thing).
In practice, I would mostly set up computers for elderly people and the tech illiterate, and teach them how to use them … Or get them out of technical binds (usually with printers) by googling on their behalf.
This elderly Korean gentleman hired me to set up his new computer for him; I spent an hour setting it up and teaching him how to use it, and two more hours eating a wonderful lunch with the man and his wife. He wouldn’t accept my invoice (for just the first hour) — instead, he paid me 3x my hourly rate for all three hours, and asked me to come back to train him the next week.
Over the course of about a month I came back four times, worked with him, had a lovely meal, and he would tell me about his family and his kids (he was so proud of his daughter, who was about to finish her residency and become a pediatrician).
By the end of the month he was pretty comfortable on the PC, and I thanked him profusely for how kind he was and how ridiculously he’d overpaid me.
He told me I reminded him of his son (who was estranged for some reason — I didn’t press), and that he hoped somewhere out there somebody was being kind to his son, and sharing a home cooked meal with him.
I don’t know why, but more than ten years later I can’t think of that guy without tearing up. I hope everything turned out well for him.
There are a few. The biggest one was when I was homeless and asked a lady for the time. She told me and asked if I wanted to share her sandwich and the paper. She was the first person to treat me like a person, like I was worth something in years. I never got her name but I will remember her fondly for the rest of my life. I know that she’ll never, ever know what a difference she made in my life. Just that one simple thing she did and the humanity she showed me changed my life. I got sober just a few days later and completely turned my life around.
One person, one smile, one kindness that you may never think of again in your life can change someone else’s life beyond measure.
The woman who pulled over in the pouring rain and talked me down off the railing of a bridge over a Florida highway when I was 18.
She looked like she had just left a business meeting, but she stayed with me for probably an hour, no umbrella, no raincoat, car still running, listening to me, offering words of encouragement. She truly believed that God had a plan for my life and it wasn’t supposed to end that night. She finally convinced me that suicide was a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
I’m 51 now. I still haven’t figured out what God’s plan is for me, but I’m starting to believe she was right.
My lost wallet was returned in the mail.
The anonymous stranger sent it back at their own expense ($9.75 postage) with all the money, credit cards, drivers license, and other items intact – nothing was missing.
A note enclosed read: “Please do something kind for a stranger whenever you have the opportunity.”
I was fiddling with my camera on a train platform in Melbourne, Australia, trying to take an artsy shot of the trains or something. I noticed through my viewfinder a guy about my age (early twenties or so at the time) full-on flipping me off on the train on the opposite platform.
I lowered my camera, laughing, and flipped him off back. He laughed. The train started to pull away, and I waved, and he waved back.
When my oldest was a toddler, he went to daycare in the downtown area of our city. We took the bus, then the subway and then walked to daycare (didn’t have a car), then I’d get back on the subway for a few stops to go to work.
One afternoon, it was POURING. I’m by myself, holding a 2yo, his backpack, my work bag and trying to book it 4 city blocks to the subway station. No hands left for an umbrella. A businessman (prob a high priced lawyer, based on the area) walked us all the way to the entrance of the subway station, holding an umbrella over us the whole time.
I encountered a lot of nastiness commuting with a kid that year, but we also met with random kindness from strangers too.
When my wife and I first started dating, we were walking into a Trader Joe’s holding hands. This elderly woman looks at us and says rather loudly “CUTE COUPLE ALERT!!”
My wife and I still laugh about it, it’s been 12 years at least.