I can't possibly tell anyone I know about this story, so here it goes. Two years ago, I returned home from my father's funeral. As soon as I opened the door to my apartment, a guy holding a crowbar came out from my kitchen holding my TV. I live in the city, so robberies are common.
The guy began shouting at me and he clumsily dropped my TV and began holding the crowbar like it was a baseball bat. I was so stunned at what was happening that I didn't move.
The guy screamed at me to empty my pockets. From the stress of the last few days with my father passing away, I simply started crying. Not out of fear at what was happening, but because this was literally the worst time of my life. The worst moment. The worst minute and second.
While crying hysterically, I gave the guy my wallet. I just sat on my floor and hugged my knees and told him, through my tears, to "take whatever you want." He hesitated, looked down at me. He dropped my wallet and sat down beside me. Immediately, he began to comfort me.
He began to apologize. He put my TV back on the table and told me it wasn't damaged. He told me that he lost his job and that his mom needed medicine that he couldn't afford and that they were homeless.
He told me all of this while I just wailed; I cried for my father, who was lost, I cried for my future, for it was uncertain, and I cried because my home had been intruded on in the most violent way.
For a good 10 minutes I sat in the floor with a guy who had every intent to rob me, telling me that it would be okay and that he was sorry. He begged me not to call the police. I just started screaming at him to get out. He ran away so fast that he left the crowbar. I threw it after him as he ran down the street.
Two days later, I came home from work and he was sitting in front of my door. I was so terrified that I pulled out my phone, but he had this look on his face of--I'm not sure how to describe it--remorse, regret? He told me that he told his mom what he did, and his mom made me some soup.
He handed me this tiny bowl wrapped in tin foil. Again, I was stunned and overwhelmed and so angry that I slapped the bowl out of his hands and it shattered on the floor. I told him to leave or I was calling the police. He left. I remember he looked upset. I left the soup and shattered bowl outside my door, almost as a warning for him to not come back.
About three months after that, I got a note in my mail slot from the guy. He told me his mother had passed away and that he was no longer homeless and that he had a job. He wanted to repay me for breaking into my apartment. He wrote down his address and told me that I was welcome to break into his place if I wanted, but he didn't have much stuff.
This all overwhelmed me. I threw away the letter, but I remembered his address. I remember walking by there one day, out of curiosity. It was a ratty apartment building across the city. He was walking up to his room and he saw me. He waved. I turned away and left.
He ran after me, apologized again. He told me that he never meant to do what he did. He showed me the program from his mother's funeral that he kept in his wallet. He wasn't lying, she was real. He was real. He was a real person. I don't know what it was, but I believed him. We slowly began to grow together as people? I can't describe it.
After a year of maintaining communication and learning about who he was, he enrolled in a local community college and began taking courses to earn credits before applying to university. I helped him study for his history class a lot. He's great at math and science, though.
I never invited him over to my apartment, however. No matter how much I got to know him, I was still afraid of him. And he knew that. He knew that I couldn't trust him. But tonight, we went out for coffee because he said he had an exam in his world civ class. When I got there, he said he forgot his book.
We just talked for a bit, we laughed, and then he told me he wanted to cook for me. On a whim, I decided to invite him to my apartment. After picking up some things from the grocery store, he came over. I was so nervous that I was shaking. He noticed, he squeezed my hand, and then he made dinner.
It was amazing. We talked, we laughed, we sat in the floor and watched a movie on the TV he tried to steal. We made jokes about it. And then he told me that he missed his mom. I gave him a hug. Then he left.
I don't know what I feel, but I do know that I can't give up on people anymore. Some people just have the sh*t end of life. Maybe things have a way of working themselves out? And I miss my dad, too.
I am...beside myself to log on this morning and see this at the top of this page. I have been a redditor for a few years, but never thought this would happen. Also, to those of you who are messaging/commenting to confirm the validity of this--I guess it never occurred to me when I wrote this that it sounded so... ridiculous?
It really does, I don't blame you for saying it's false, but it's real. He's real. I'm real. It all happened/is happening currently. Thank you all who have messaged me and commented! And thank you to the two people that gave me gold--this is just insane to me. I'm so grateful, so very grateful.
Sorry for neglecting this; today has been insane with work and hosting a friend's bridal shower. I want to clarify a few things about this, because I am getting a LOT of messages about a lot of different things. People are saying that I am being too "trusting" of him after what happened.
You're right, I suppose. I mean, I live in the heart of one of the most dangerous cities. My friend was robbed just a few years ago and was actually physically injured as a result of it, so me "trusting" him did not constitute me giving him a hug after he broke in. It was much, much more than that.
My dad died of a brain aneurysm in March 2013. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. The thing about my dad, though, was that he was the most generous, kindest man in this world. I know people like to say that about their parents, but it's true about my dad.
When I was 4, I remember him giving these guys a ride from prison--they were released after serving their sentence, but had to walk to get to where they were going. My dad picked them up, had them hop in the back of his pick-up truck, and took them home. He put his life, and basically mine, in the hands of these people who could have hurt us.
They didn't, thank God. My dad taught me to be selfless and understanding of the world, and of people, and I loved him for that. But when I lost him, it shattered me and turned me into an entirely different person.
After my dad died, I became severely depressed and angry. I was angry at everything. I had to take a leave from my job (I teach second grade). All day, I would lay in bed and think about how much I hated God--or whatever higher power--for taking my dad away. Nothing seemed worth it.
After the guy--my friend--broke into my apartment, I hated him for a while. I hated my dad for making me so trusting (because I didn't call the cops on the guy). I hated my dad for dying, I hated him for being so incredibly compassionate and better than me. I hated myself for being vulnerable. I just hated everything.
The guy who tried to rob me is a person. And of course, I constantly ask myself when I'm with him, "What happens if he tries to hurt me? Or rob me again?" But the thing about him is that--he knows I'm thinking this, and he constantly tries to reassure me. We have grown together as people, as I said.
There's a whole two years that I didn't post in this recounting because it would be like a novel-length post. Do I "like" him? I don't think so. I don't think he "likes" me. I think we both understand, respect and honor the other for our mutual struggles.
We're proud of each other, and we're both guilty of things. Me for shutting out my friends, family and students and becoming an awful person after I lost my dad, and him for going to incredible lengths to try and save his mother from experiencing incredible agony in her final moments.
I intend to show him this post. I want him to know. He doesn't have a computer or internet, but I think he'll find this humorous. His story is not mine to tell; how his mother died is not my story to tell; what exactly drove him to pry open my front door with a crowbar is not for me to tell; what happened to his family is not for me to tell.
But what is for me to tell is that he is a human; he is flawed; God, he's so flawed. But after knowing him, and learning about his life--about his childhood and the tiny little child who used to be so passionate about school and learning as he was, as he told me, I know that he has his story. I have my story. You have yours.
And although I think it is irrelevant, the thought of even dating after the last few years hasn't crossed my mind. Was I involved in relationships prior to my dad's passing? Yes. One was long-term and had a foreseeable end with an engagement, but things happen. Life happens.
I'm meeting with him tomorrow at his work, while he's on break, to give him some old study materials that I have from a literature class I took in college. It's all so normal, and I'm not afraid. My dad was never afraid, so I shouldn't have to be. I choose not to be.
Probably the best "So how'd you two meet?" story I've ever heard.
This could be made into a movie and I would totally watch that movie.
I'm sorry for your loss. I hope life continues to get better.
I really applaud you for giving him another chance to prove he's not a bad person. Everyone can hit rock bottom and make poor decisions at one point in their life...
Well, this was backwards of what I thought the story was going to be. Was expecting: He was so great and charming. We hit it off right away, and I invited him up to my place, stupid, I know on the first date.
I went to freshen up and I heard weird sounds so I peeked out and there he was rummaging through my purse. I asked him what he was doing. This startled him and he dropped my purse and bolted out my front door. I like yours better.
Hey! So I posted a couple of days ago about how I went on a date with this guy who tried to rob me. This is just a quick follow-up. Nothing major. Last night, I showed him the post and some of the comments from you guys.
He was a little apprehensive about this place, and the fact that I had shared this with the entire world. But the comments really made him so happy. He wanted me to thank you all, and I tried to get him to make a post of his own, but he thinks it's too weird. Plus, he considers himself a "bad speller."
I just wanted to update everyone with this little unimportant tidbit. My dad's birthday is in a few weeks. I always have to prepare myself for it year-round, really. But this year is different, because I know I have people to support me. Especially a really close, new friend, who came--well, I'd like to say out of nowhere, but he really just came out of my kitchen holding a crowbar.
One more thing--when I showed him the post, he looked up at me and went, "Wait...it was a date?" And I got so embarrassed. Then he laughed and told me that he was relieved, because he thought it was a date. We haven't talked about anything else along the lines of dating in the future. I just wanted to extend my gratitude, my thanks, and my love--as well as his--to you all. Thank you, thank you.
"He wanted me to thank you all, and I tried to get him to make a post of his own, but he thinks it's too weird. Plus, he considers himself a 'bad speller.'."
If you're both comfortable with it, you should totally do an AMA here together. Then again... Maybe not. Leading questions from a few thousand rabid Redditors is a lot of pressure for a new, already complicated, relationship. Either way, thank you for sharing your story, and the update.
These types of stories are why I actually like reddit.
I hope life works out for both of you, either independently or together!
I guess you could say he....
Stole your heart YEAHHH ▨-▨¬ლ(•_•) (▨_▨¬)
You guys should write a book! I would most definitely read it and recommend it <3 I send you both the biggest and warmest hugs!! Take care! And stay out of trouble Mr!! :P
I’ve been trying to write this for the past three months, but I always kept getting busy. I truly don’t know what to say because so much has happened in the six months since I wrote all this down for the first time. I want to say this for me, to get this off my chest: I cared about him. I cared for him. I did, I can’t deny that.
In January, right after the new year started, I got a phone call at half-past two in the morning from him. He was in jail; he and two of his friends were arrested for public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. He wanted me to bail him out. I’m a teacher living on a teacher’s salary. I said no, I couldn’t. This is when things fell apart.
Before then, he and I had been incredibly close. We spent Christmas together. I didn’t have enough money for a plane ticket home, so I stayed in the city. He came over, we cooked, watched movies. Before Christmas, we spent Thanksgiving together. I helped him study. I helped him get his finances in order. He had no idea how to do taxes and how to do all of the “adult stuff,” as he said.
But I noticed I started doing things I didn’t normally do. He would come over in the middle of the night, visibly panicked, and ask if he could stay with me. I let him, no questions asked. I stopped asking questions because I wanted to believe that he was good and everything was fine.
He started asking me that if “others” asked about him if I would lie and say I didn’t know him. This scared me, but I assumed it was about work stuff. I wanted it to be his work stuff. He was released from jail about a week later. He didn’t talk to me. I called his apartment. Nothing.
I came home from work one day and a woman was waiting outside my door. She appeared disheveled. She was wearing a tank top and flip flops in mid-January in the northeast. It was cold. When I tried to key into my apartment, she started verbally attacking me. She told me to “stay away” from him. Like she owned him. She told me that she knew “what I did” to him. And that I would “get what’s coming.”
She left. I was scared out of my mind. Before calling the police, I decided to call his apartment one last time. He answered. I told him about the woman. He apologized, said that he was “seeing” her. He didn’t intend for her to come over and interfere. But that led me to another question: how did she know where I live? And how many others had he told where I lived?
He hesitated before answering, I remember that. He just said he was sorry. I immediately packed an overnight bag, grabbed my most valuable items, and went to stay in a hotel. I used my credit card (my “only in case of emergencies” card). Because I no longer felt safe, because of him. I came back to my apartment the next day.
Everything was fine. He came over to apologize. I told him to get out. I started crying. When I’m angry, I cry. He tried to hug me, but I remember picking up a piece of wood (I had a dismantled Ikea shelf) to protect myself. I demanded to know what he was doing.
He told me he was selling drugs; he told me that he “had” to do it because he knew people that would hurt him. Lies. I guess. I don’t know. I told him to get out, never want to see him again. Etc. Etc. He got angry, threatened to “come back” with his friends. I was wracked with guilt for trusting him. He apologized again, said he was sorry. I was questioning everything about him. I pushed him out. Locked the door.
The teaching program I’m a part of rotates teachers in and out of schools across the country. Last year I put in a request to move across the country to be closer to home. Two weeks after this encounter with him, I found out that my request was accepted and I was set to leave in March.
My apartment was broken into and vandalized in early February. At night, he would come and knock on my door. I would call the police but he would always leave before they got there. His “guys” started harassing me. Nothing was ever stolen, just broken. They broke a glass bottle my dad made for me when I was six. He knew how much that meant to me. It was shattered.
The week before I left, I saw him outside my building. I called the police. He was walking over to me, and I remember having this fiery rage in me. It was this impassioned, red, angry heat that washed over me and I took my keys (which are on a lanyard) and I just started hitting him.
I ended up cracking his eye socket. When the police questioned him, they realized he was the one that was harassing me. He was wanted for a myriad of other charges. After he fell down (after I cracked his eye socket with my keys,) I started kicking him. I wanted him to die. I really did. Then I thought about what my dad would think.
But then I realized—I’m not my dad. I will never be him. I’m different. This is different. People are different. Not all of them are good. But some of them are. I am good. I am a good person.
Right now I’m sitting in my new apartment in a brand new city. It’s warm. Rent is cheaper. I live in a neighborhood of old people. They’re nice. They love that I teach kids. It makes them feel safe, I guess. Some days I leave my front door open and let in a breeze. I’m never afraid. The beach is literally a seven minute walk (I’ve timed it) from my back door. I’m happy.
So I’m putting this to rest. It’s done. It’s over. I’m tired. I’m posting this and not checking back anymore. I just wanted to tell someone, because no one in my personal life even knew this was happening. I still can’t believe it happened. But it did. And it’s done.
Glad everything worked out better for you after the move. Glad you weren't physically harmed at least that I am aware of. Emotionally, hope you're okay or that you get better. Good luck to you and success in your life.
If this OP is a teacher, I hope they aren't teaching young, impressional kids. She sounds like she doesn't have that teacherly wisdom or good judgment they need. Sheesh.
Holy crap. What a crazy insane story. Don't stop being kind and trusting. The world is full of wonderful people and you're one of them. I'm so happy you're in a better place and things are going well. Great story, thanks for sharing.
Holy hannah what did I just read!
This is a sad one. OP is a kind soul who was betrayed by her kindness. He sounds like someone who tried to lift themselves out of a bad situation and failed. He is a victim. He isn't innocent. Oh no, he definitely isn't innocent. But He is still a victim. He will pay for his choices. I'm glad OP moved to get away and get closer to family. I hope she can learn to trust again.