Sometimes, people land themselves in sticky situations, and all it takes is for one wrong move to have serious consequences. Nothing in life is guaranteed, and every moment has the potential to change someone’s fate in an instant. So, whether by fluke or by cold calculation, strap in for a wild ride as Redditors share how they narrowly avoided disaster in these critical moments.
A few years ago, I had pneumonia, but my whole family insisted that it was just a postnasal drip, which runs in the family. After a week or two, I woke up in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t feel my arm. After I got to the emergency room, the doctor took one look at me and his jaw dropped. He said that mine was the worst case he’d ever seen, and he was surprised I wasn’t dead.
I had three pounds of mucus cut out of my lungs, and I spent another two weeks in the hospital while the rest of it siphoned out. For three months afterward, I could barely walk half a mile without starting to pass out, and I still can’t run for more than 200–300 yards without collapsing.
My dad was an oilfield truck driver in Canada. He worked a lot of long hours every single day. So on the weekends, he would bring my younger brother and me along on some of his jobs. One day, we were on location with my dad, and my three-year-old little brother and my 10-year-old self were waiting for him and playing in the cab of the truck. My little brother opened the passenger door, and my little arms closed it.
When we finished for the day, we started our trek home. We were going about 35 KPH (22 MPH) when suddenly the door flew open, and I got sucked out of the truck. I remember doing about 10 backflips as I tumbled out, hitting the ground on my back a few times and rolling my way to a stop. I stood up before the truck even finished breaking in absolute shock.
The next thing I saw was my dad looking for me, and he burst into tears. It was the first time I’ve ever seen him cry. I’m 33 now, and he still won’t talk to me about it. Luckily, the rig was in a farmer’s field when it happened, so I landed on softer dirt. I didn’t have a single scratch on me. My dad thought he ran over me with the trailer. I don’t think we ever went to work with him again. I work for the company now.
Many years ago, my flight had just landed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Our plane was taxiing to the gate when the pilot suddenly slammed on the brakes. People were literally thrown forward against the seat in front of them. A few seconds later, another plane taking off went screaming by after cutting right in front of us.
They gave us no explanation for the dangerous incident, although our imaginations provided a lot of gory details of what-could-have-been.
I dodged a figurative bullet weighing around 30,000 pounds. I was driving with my wife in town one snowy evening, and we had pulled up to a stoplight. I happened to glance up at the rearview mirror and saw a city bus heading toward us—and it was rotating sideways. I hit the gas and pulled ahead into the intersection, and left into the turning lane.
Less than a second later, the bus went sliding through right where our car was. It came to a stop on the other side of the intersection and fortunately didn’t hit anything, but just a single second or a two-foot difference more, and we would’ve had some nice spinal injuries.
As a kid, after running errands in town with my mom, we returned to our car. I was climbing into the backseat of our family station wagon when a semi-truck hit a power line pole down the street, causing the still-live wire to fall, bounce off the roof of the car, and hang across the open door just a foot or two above my legs.
My family raised me as a Catholic, and I wondered for a while afterward if I had actually passed that day and whether the rest of what I thought was my life was my purgatory.
I was invited to drive down to this lake with a hot girl from high school. But I chickened out and didn’t end up going because I was socially awkward. On the way, she got wasted and was involved in a car accident, and all of her passengers lost their lives. Being an SAP saved my life! I dodged two bullets that day: the car crash and her.
I changed jobs on March 9, 2020. Two days later, my city shut down, and everyone had to work from home. My new company committed to zero covid layoffs; the company I left laid off about 80% of my department. I dodged a bullet, haha.
After I had a stroke, I was in a coma, and it didn’t look like I’d wake up. The doctors asked my wife if they should let me go. I only exist today because she said no. I didn’t dodge a bullet so much as my wife blocked it for me.
I had a field service engineer working on one of my big robotic liquid handlers. He decided to bypass the safety pin that prevented the heads from moving with the cover open while having a diagnostic program queued up on the computer. What he didn’t know was that the instant he reinserted the safety pin, the machine would execute the queued instructions and start moving, and he still had his hand inside it right in the danger zone.
I grabbed his shoulder and yanked his hand out an instant before the machine crushed it. He stopped ignoring me when I told him to stop bypassing safety lockouts to save a few minutes.
My newborn needed to be rushed to a super high-level NICU to be put into a state of induced hypothermia because he only had hours left before suffering permanent brain damage. Unfortunately, I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. However, the small town next door had just barely upgraded their hospital with that exact hypothermia suite. It was one of only a few in Texas, my home state.
He’s doing great now, with no sign of any damage.
I stayed up all night before taking a day trip to Hong Kong. You know that daze when you haven’t slept; you’re just kinda robotic and doing the human stuff, with nearly zero awareness of anything? Well, I went to cross a street, and my friend behind me SNATCHED my shoulder and yanked me backward just in time to feel the WHOOSH of a double-decker bus breeze past us.
I just looked at him like, “Oh, thanks, man.” It took a whole extra minute for my brain to process that I would be freaking dead had he not grabbed me.
My husband, my sister, and I were hanging out around my parents’ house on a very boring Fourth of July. We decided to wash my husband’s new car sitting in the driveway because it was hot out and because it was an excuse to play in the hose. We were literally walking out the front door, and I said, “Eh, we should eat lunch before we get all wet and stuff,” and everyone agreed, so we turned around and went back inside.
I was warming up something in the microwave (a hot pocket, I think), when all of a sudden, I hear the loudest BANG I think I’ve ever heard, from the direction of the front door. My husband and I look at each other wide-eyed and run outside. I was greeted by the back-end of a Crown Vic, smoking something fierce, plowed into the tree in the middle of our yard. I was just stunned for a split-second, then I screamed to my sister inside to call for help.
Then I looked over to the driveway, at the car we had been planning to wash just five minutes ago. My stomach dropped. It was totaled. Completely totaled. A brand new 2011 G6, destroyed. The guy hit it so hard it did a complete 90-degree turn across the driveway. He actually hit it so hard that it ended up ricocheting and hitting the other cars in the driveway, mauling two of them in the process. It messed up the yard, it messed up the Crown Vic, and it messed up the tree.
We immediately assumed it was intoxicated driving, being the Fourth of July and all. I went over to the driver’s side and found a very old man; he was bewildered and unable to comprehend what I was saying, but he was conscious. I will never forget the look he gave me—confused, helpless, and scared. I was on the line with the paramedics as they sent over the ambulances and tried my best to follow their instructions (my sister was only 14 at the time, so I handled the call).
It turned out the dude had diabetes and had passed out behind the wheel due to low blood sugar, hit the gas pedal with his weight, and then plowed down our residential street at about 65 MPH. He jumped the curb, drove down the sidewalk past another house, then slammed into my husband’s car, and subsequently, the tree.
If we had been anywhere near that driveway, I have no doubt one or all of us would have been seriously injured or dead. It was sheer dumb luck and timing that saved us. Huge bullet dodged...or should I say, huge car dodged.
I was going to move to a different apartment complex last month, but I got injured at work and lost a bunch of hours. So, I couldn’t come up with the deposit money in time. Then last week, some idiot tried cooking crank and caught the building on fire.
I dodged a .50 cal bullet, which penetrated my windshield, grazed my headrest, and blew out the back window. An American Marine fired it at me because he thought I was an enemy, and when I got closer to his position, he said, “Oh, sorry ‘bout that man. My bad, dude.”
I survived a rocket attack that landed about 10 meters from me, very close to where we were standing. We were so close to the launch site that the warning alarm came AFTER the rocket had already impacted. Thankfully, we were able to dive under a vehicle for some shelter, and the three of us made it through unscathed.
I had a high school teacher who was wicked sarcastic, and witty while also being a hard grader. To me, he was the perfect teacher; the class was challenging, but we were all laughing and having a good time. He was a great mentor, and I continued to visit his class even after I graduated. One time, post-graduation, I was sitting in his office, and I had just given him some art to decorate his classroom. He was so excited that he blurted out, “I could KISS you!”
Something about the intense eye contact unsettled me, but I laughed it off (I was a 17-year-old girl, what can I say). Then I finally learned the dark truth. A couple of months later, officers apprehended him for having a physical relationship with an underage student.
There was a pile of things that people would leave at our house after parties when I was at university; coats and stuff. On moving day, we found a random samurai sword within the pile. We were messing about with it and trying to make it go “swoosh.” I stood facing my brother while he was swooshing it when the blade suddenly dislodged from the handle, flew straight past me, and stuck horizontally into my headboard.
So yeah, my brother nearly impaled me while messing around with a random sword we found after a house party.
I interviewed for a job that I wanted desperately in August 2019. After the initial phone interview, I went in for an in-person interview at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday. I had a rejection in my inbox by 8 p.m., which completely gutted me. Then 2020 happened, and they laid off 60% of their staff and will probably go under. I’m thankful for that rejection every day.
My mother left me in one state and went back to my abusive stepfather. She tried to get me to drop out of my senior year at high school, move back to their state and just get my GED (they wanted a live-in babysitter, cook, and maid). I was so lucky my grandparents let me move in with them and finish school.
My high school sweetheart and fiance was my bullet. He ghosted me out of nowhere, no explanation—just gone. So needless to say, no wedding. I sent the ring back to his mom because I didn’t want it, and I was angry. I went on to live a great life; I found a wonderful guy, and we have been happily married for 21 years.
Twenty-five years later, I found out that officers took my old flame into custody for underage solicitation, inappropriately texting underage girls, possession of illicit graphics featuring children, and many charges for having physical relations with minors. Apparently, officers apprehended Mr. Big-Man-In-His-Community in a sting operation after this 12-year-old girl’s parents found a whole series of explicit texts and had found that he set up a “romantic” hotel room get-together for them.
The officers pretended to be her, and they caught him in the parking lot of the hotel. Even better, he was married to the same chick he apparently saw while we were together, and they had a couple of kids—all around the same age as his victims. Yeah, before finding all this out, I regretted that we didn’t work for a long time. After finding out this had been going on for at least 20 years...I was rather glad I got ghosted! I’ve never been so glad to dodge a bullet.
In my freshman year of college, I had a calculus class. It was material I had learned before, but for various reasons, they didn’t give me any transfer credit. So I skipped class quite frequently. Although I usually slept in, one morning, I found myself awake at 8:30 a.m. and I didn’t really feel like going back to sleep. I thought that I might as well check in on the class and see what was going on.
It was the midterm exam.
A girl I knew had a few drinks and decided to hitchhike home to a town about 40 minutes away from the one in which she’d been drinking. Note: It’s very common for people to hitchhike in this area. She got picked up by a car full of guys, and all seemed fine until she pointed out they could drop her off just up ahead, but they ignored her and kept driving.
She had that "instant sober" feeling that only comes with sheer panic. She played it off like she was clueless and totally down to keep hanging out with them, and she acted like she was very wasted. In the meantime, they were passing through a more forested area of the highway. She fake dry-heaved and said she was about to puke, and really put on a show, so they stopped to let her out. She booked it into the bushes and just didn’t look back until she was safe.
The bullet I dodged was getting chased by someone with a knife across my apartment. I closed my door at the right moment so that the person ended up stabbing my wooden door instead of me. The mark was there until I left the apartment a few years later as a constant reminder of what could have been.
In 1992 I was 16. A bunch of us were about to leave a party, and I called the front passenger seat of the car. But my friend Pat kind of wrestled me out of the spot, and I wound up jumping into another car since the first car was now full. The other driver and I watched as our friend’s car skidded into oncoming traffic.
Pat got airlifted to the local trauma hospital, where his dad later told a huge group of us teenagers that Pat had succumbed to his injuries. Maybe that’s not exactly a “bullet dodged,” but...
I had a cardiac arrest about four years ago and dropped dead(ish) in the middle of my shift. I found out after I woke up about a week later that: A) The manager who saw me fall was a former lifeguard and knew proper CPR, B) An ambulance happened to be passing by about two blocks away, C) Probably the best cardio unit in my state was just a ten-minute ambulance ride from where it all happened.
I walked out of the hospital about two weeks later and made a full recovery.
I worked at a bank, and I would often fill in for other branches that were understaffed. One day, I offered to fill in at another branch in place of a newer girl who was terrified of being robbed, but I got told that she needed to get over her fears and start doing her job. The bank got robbed that day. The poor girl had to lie down on her stomach with a weapon shoved in her face while being yelled at by a large masked man.
I hate that it happened to her, but I’m glad it wasn’t me.
I was walking back to our barracks in Afghanistan, talking with my peers and my staff sergeant. Suddenly, my staff sergeant grabbed my collar and pulled me back. Right there was an unexploded 40mm grenade projectile from a launcher sitting where my foot was about to land. Big yikes.
My high school sweetheart ended up marrying the girl he dated after me. He was the first part of their murder-suicide several years later. I don’t necessarily feel like “that could’ve been me,” but I do wonder how different our lives would’ve been if I’d stayed with him. This happened years ago, but I’m still very sad for him that he felt whatever led him to do this.
I think I saved a baby’s life once. It was in a city center, crossing a major road with a whole bunch of other people. The dad was pulling the pram behind him onto the pavement while he texted on his phone, and the dumb guy didn’t realize he’d left the pram just...there on the road, while he was safe on the pavement.
Everyone kinda ignored it while the traffic lights kept that section of road clear. But then the lights changed, and the freaking moron still hadn’t looked up from his phone. I looked down the road, and my blood ran cold. A huge double-decker bus was bearing down on his offspring. Out of the whole crowd, I was the only one to push forward and pull the pram onto the pavement.
The complete imbecile gave a grunt of surprise and dropped his phone as the bus whooshed past, and he realized he’d utterly failed in his parenting responsibilities, which was some consolation. I hope his phone shattered.
Well, about 15 years ago, I dated a guy for less than a year. It was an awful, abusive relationship, and I was happy to get out of it when I did. Then, about eight or nine years ago, I saw him on the news. He strangled his girlfriend. He then dismembered her and lived with her body for a month or so before someone caught him.
My sister’s ex-husband served in the marines. One night in Afghanistan, he and his squadmates were woken up and told to check out a nearby area where enemies had been seen. They searched the area on foot, but it was late at night, and they didn’t find anything. They returned to their base and went back to sleep.
Well, in the morning, they had some other guys go check it out. It turned out that enemies were indeed there at some point, and they found multiple IED landmines with footprints all around them. It was my ex-brother in law and his squad’s footprints, and they somehow managed to miss every one of them.
I fell out of a farm truck when I was about eight-years-old, going about 35 MPH down a “just out of town” stretch of highway. I bounced a few times and came to a stop near the shoulder of the road. I remember feeling an overwhelming certainty that I was going to die, and I rolled to the ditch. I missed getting run over by about 10 inches.
I got up, and my mom came back for me and immediately took me to the emergency room, where the doctors gave me a totally clean bill of health. There wasn’t a single bump on me, although I did have a nasty bruise from where I initially hit the road. Who knew that kids were rubber?
Once in my junior year of college, I was planning to get up at 6:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. economics final. I wanted to give myself enough time to fully wake up, get a decent breakfast, and do some last-minute reviewing. Instead of my alarm clock, an ambulance siren woke me up. I looked at my clock, and it read 6:35 a.m. I had done the classic "set the alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. thing."
Even though I had a buffer of 90 minutes, I would have most certainly overslept because, throughout that whole semester, the earliest I normally had a course was at 10 a.m.
I was going out with my mom and sister when I was in middle school. I always sat in the passenger side backseat if there were more people in the car than just the driver and me. At the last second, my sister decided that she would stay home, and we got t-boned on the way home in a hit and run. The other car totaled our car, with all the damage on the back passenger seat, where I should have been sitting.
I still think about that often.
I grew up in Yemen. I attended a small international school located on the outskirts of the capital city, Sana’a (I’m American; my parents taught at the school). I was staying after school to rehearse a play with a bunch of other students. About 20 of us were in a big room with lots of windows; only one of the windows was open because it was a bit cold outside. We were sitting all throughout the room, reading from our scripts.
Suddenly, we heard the noise of a rock skipping off of a tile. The noise repeated itself around the room, except sometimes it sounded like the rock also glanced off of wood or the chalkboard. After the final skip, a bullet dropped from the ceiling and spun slowly to a stop next to me. I picked it up and showed everyone: “Hey guys, a bullet!” Everyone else was not as excited as I was, and we had to hide against the wall.
Here’s the amazing part: The classroom was inside a courtyard with no direct line of sight to anywhere nearby. We eventually determined that, miles away, someone fired a bullet into the air; the bullet followed a ballistic trajectory, entered our classroom through the only open window, and ricocheted through the student-filled room without hitting anyone before landing a foot away from me.
They didn’t let me keep the bullet as a souvenir.
Four Christmases ago, I was in México with my mom, dad, and brother doing some last-minute shopping at the local Walmart. We finished our shopping and went to the car. As soon as we were leaving, two trucks stopped right in front of the main Walmart entrance. They were a cartel and were hunting for the son of one of the opposing cartel’s main dudes.
They fired a FREAKING BAZOOKA, and I think they got the guy. And then bullets started flying everywhere. My dad was driving; he hit the gas, and we almost crashed because there was panic everywhere, and we had a red light. The army showed up while we were driving away and a chase ensued. Luckily we were close to the house where we were staying and made it back quite fast.
We heard gunshots for the next three hours. We dodged some bullets and even a missile that day.
So, about 20-something years ago, I was on my way to an interview through a Washington DC suburb. That particular road has you driving at a not-so-slow speed, with no shoulders and sidewalks with many pedestrians. A woman standing on the sidewalk stepped backward into the roadway just as I was approaching.
I slammed on the breaks, honked, and she turned slightly. I stopped and got out, and she’s rolling around, clutching her foot, and wailing about her foot getting rolled over. My heart was hammering, I had no idea how much trouble I was in, and my brain was ticking away the time to the interview. Pedestrians kept coming up to her to tell her that they saw me run over her foot. Duh, of course, you did.
It was sheer terror in those moments—but I never expected what happened next. After a few minutes of this, the woman stood up, said, “Merry Christmas” (it was definitely nowhere near Christmas), and she walked away through the people standing there. I took my dodged bullet with much appreciation, got in my car, and drove away.
I didn’t get the job, for what it’s worth, but a couple more inches and my life could have changed for the worse in so many ways.
Five of my buddies in high school invited me to go “cruise” around the backcountry roads because we had nothing else to do as teens in Iowa. I was getting ready to go but then decided I would stay home that night instead. Well, I’m glad I stayed home because their truck rolled several times after sliding out on a gravel road.
There was a couple in the truck bed, and they got ejected. One of my friends lost his left nut, one ended up in a coma, one ejected through the windshield, and the rest had several broken bones and concussions. They all should have lost their lives, and I’m very grateful they didn’t, but I’m also grateful that I chose not to go.
We were at Arches National Park once. One night there was a lightning storm. The next day we talked to a park ranger, and she told us that people were hiking back from Delicate Arch during the lightning storm. A guy on the trail was hit by lightning, stopping his heart. Right behind him on the trail were two nurses who immediately started CPR. A minute or so later, a cardiac surgeon hiked up and also started working on him. They saved his life.
I nearly lost my life in a car accident about a month ago. I was extremely shaken up at first and in shock for a few days, but after talking to the psychiatrist about it, I realized that if the guy driving hadn’t crashed the car, he would have attacked me. I’d told him I wanted to go home, but he said, “My apartment first,” before driving off. And then we crashed.
It was probably the biggest bullet I’ve ever dodged, even if it resulted in internal bleeding.
My dad grew up in Safford, a rural town in Southeast Arizona. Back in the 1930s, kids there got their first .22 caliber rifle at age five or six. He and a friend found an old WWI helmet, and my dad suggested he put on the helmet and ricochet a bullet off it to see what it would be like. His friend took aim, but before pulling the trigger said, “Benny, put the helmet on the fencepost there to test it first.” The bullet went straight through both sides of the helmet.
If my dad hadn’t dodged that bullet, I could not tell that story.
My ex-husband! He told me he wanted a divorce, but I didn’t. He agreed to work on our relationship and give it a few months. We set a date and went to work, and he acted like things were changing, and he wasn’t going to leave. He started encouraging me to take out debt and spend money out of our savings, etc. It turned out that he was lying to me and had every intention of leaving on the date we set and “crushing” me emotionally so I’d hate him forever. He’d encouraged me to incur debt because it was all in my name, and he’d get half the savings.
I only found out his little scheme because he gave me his Apple Watch (that we’d just purchased) while he was working on something, and I read his messages because I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right. For those of you who don’t know, if you delete a message on your phone, it doesn’t automatically delete it from your Apple Watch.
I found a few hundred messages to his best friend and mom talking about how much better he could do than me; he had feelings for a coworker and knew she wanted him too (spoiler alert: she didn’t, she’s just a nice lady). I also read that he hated me, and I was the worst decision he’d ever made; he never really had feelings for me anyway, etc.
It was a bunch of savage, cruel stuff. Finding it rocked me to my core. I’d never imagined anyone could hate me like that, let alone someone I was married to! This happened like two weeks after he’d initially sat me down to talk. We were in public, and I cried after finding the messages. I went up to him, held up his watch, and quietly told him I knew his plans and to find a different ride home. His smile dropped, and the color drained from his face so quick.
I went straight home, and by the time he arrived, I’d packed him a bag of essentials, left it on the doorstep, and called both his mom and best friend to let them know he’d be needing a place to stay. He was crying, and we hashed it out on the steps, which wasn’t my proudest moment. I won’t lie though, to see him cry after what he had said about me was so satisfying.
The next day, I had the locks changed. By the end of the day after that, I had all his stuff packed and waiting neatly in the living room for him to pick up. By the end of that month, I had filed for divorce, and then we were officially and legally done forever.
He’s a freaking loser, and I absolutely dodged a bullet. It’s been a long road to rebuilding my trust in people, though. I’m definitely better off having gone through the whole situation and looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened, but it absolutely sucked to go through.
When I was 20, I was in Fallujah, Iraq. This was during some of the worst fighting and deadliest years of the conflict. Anyway, I was out on patrol with my squad. We were moving through one of the more dangerous parts of the city (it was densely populated and had a lot of foot traffic with the tallest buildings and the narrowest allies).
I was farthest back on this patrol. We made our way through an alleyway. We were staggered but nearly single file, with six to seven-story apartment buildings towering over us on either side. Suddenly, there was an explosion; I remember the pressure in my ears, the taste of copper swelling in my throat, and dirt and debris showering over us as a cloud of dust enveloped the entire alleyway.
Some shouting followed, and some quick movements. But I was fine, all things considered.
The insurgent that set this IED used a 155mm illumination artillery round instead of a 155mm HE (high explosive). An illumination is basically just a big freaking firework that lights up the sky at night and lets you see something, like a one-kilometer area. If it had been an HE round, it would have turned me to hamburger instantaneously.
My side hurt, and I was throwing up. I went to the hospital with my mom, who is a nurse. They said it was my gallbladder and that they could schedule surgery in two weeks. My mom threatened them (she’s not a Karen, thank God), and they “found time” for the following day. It turned out it was gangrene, and my gallbladder did not contain gallstones, but rather only one stone the size of a baseball.
My one-hour surgery lasted more than three hours, and my two-day convalescence turned into two months.
I was living in Paris during the fall of 2015 for my semester study abroad in college. My apartment was right by Republique, and every Friday night, I had a standing reservation at Le Petit Cambodge. This local Cambodian restaurant had the best wake up at 2 a.m. dream-worthy noodles. Cue to November 11th, my best friend who was studying in Scotland calls me crying about getting dumped and was hoping I could come to visit for the weekend.
I was a little reluctant because I had wanted to go to the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan that Friday, but I hadn’t gotten my tickets yet. So, I said sure and booked a flight for that Friday afternoon, November 13th. When I landed and made it to my friend’s apartment after we went out to dinner, I turned on my phone to find hundreds of messages. It turned out Isis had targeted both Le Petit Cambodge and the Bataclan, and more terrorist hits were going on in my neighborhood.
Dumping my friend was the best thing my friend’s ex ever did; otherwise, I would have been either at dinner or a concert at those locations, and I more than likely wouldn’t be here to write this.
My dad and a few friends went on a big fishing trip in Michigan. Ever since I was really young, I’d been fishing with my dad. I went fishing anytime he did—except for this one trip. This was because I was too young, the water on the Great Lakes can get a bit treacherous, and the weather was always bitter cold when they went (but still a great time to catch big walleye).
Long story short, this year was the year I was old enough to go. I was sooo excited I could barely contain myself. But about three days before we were to leave, my dad decided at the last minute that maybe I wasn’t old enough after all (I was about 15). So, I didn’t go. They usually stayed in these run-down cabins because they are “manly men” and don’t need a nice place to stay or anything.
When my dad walked into the cabin, he noticed the heating ducts were on backward (essentially causing heat and such to leak out into the room). That night as they slept, carbon monoxide filled the room. Luckily, my dad is diabetic. And by that, I mean he has to wake up to pee roughly five-plus times per night. When he woke up, he was extremely dizzy and had a pounding headache, so he started yelling for his buddies to wake up.
Everyone went outside, and luckily no one lost their lives (because they were all pretty big guys). They bought a carbon monoxide detector and put it in the house, and even after a couple of hours of airing out the place, the ratio was still off the charts. I am a tall, lanky kid, and especially being only 15, there was no doubt I would’ve passed in my sleep. Good call, dad.
My girlfriend and I were going to see Cats, the movie. Our Uber pulled up, and straightaway, we noticed something about the driver. To this day, we can’t articulate what it was, other than to say he just felt “off.” We got into the car, already hesitant and a touch anxious. He looked at us in the rearview mirror and made a comment like, “Two lovely ladies in my car tonight,” or something weird.
A few minutes in, he made another semi-carnal innuendo about “riding” with him. My friend noticed the handle of a knife just poking out the side of his jacket. She said, “Hey, can we stop at 7-Eleven? We need to grab a Gatorade real quick.” So we went in and refused to come back out. We considered whether to call for help not (it was so creepy, but what would we say? “Ah, some dude was creepy to us?”).
While we were hesitating, the driver wound down his window, brandished this freaking hunting knife at both of us, screamed something about devil-women, and then just tore it out of the parking lot. To this day, my girlfriend and I are so thankful that we got out of that Uber. Otherwise, we would have made it to the movie in time, and we would have seen Cats.
My first husband and I were separated. He showed up at my apartment building unannounced, and someone let him in because they recognized him from when he lived there. He wanted to come upstairs, but I met him in the lobby instead, where there were cameras and other people. He had never been violent towards me, but it didn’t feel right to allow him into my space.
He asked me to go for a drive with him, and I refused. I offered to help him get help (he had mental health issues that he refused to treat). He declined and drove away. I didn't know it yet, but I'd dodged a bullet. He was missing for a few days but turned up several states away visiting a friend. A few days after that, he took his own life using a handgun.
Later, we found out that he’d purchased the weapon here and headed straight out of town when I refused to get in the car with him. To this day, I am thankful that I never got in that car. He’d never even talked about buying a weapon before, and I had no idea he was armed. Who knows what would have happened.
This is why I’ll never live in a condo again. We bought one a few years ago, and for some reason, I started feeling really claustrophobic—to the point where after only a few months, I begged my husband to sell the place and either buy or rent a house. He humored me because I was so uncomfortable and adamant. Less than a year later, the whole building burned to the ground.
It was something like a 12-alarm fire. The thing is, the building was an old, historic schoolhouse. We lived on the fourth floor, which was once the school’s attic. There were no windows, just skylights set into the slanted roof. There was also no fire exit since the building had been grandfathered in when safety codes were implemented—just one door in and out of the place.
The fire had started in my neighbor’s apartment (we shared a wall), who was a smoker. I was pregnant and newly laid off at the time, so I likely would have been home and thus trapped. Watching it on TV was so weird; seeing the flames shooting out of the skylight of my old bedroom was a little heartbreaking.
No human lives were lost because the other residents were at work, but I do think people lost some pets (so awful). Everyone was left homeless, and I think they had to completely raze the building. After that, I can’t share a wall with someone else. As to why I made us leave, the only thing I can think of is that I subconsciously registered the lack of fire exits and windows, and it set off a red flag…or eight. The result was an intense feeling of claustrophobia.
Years ago, I lived in Vancouver and liked to go for long walks (it was a beautiful city to do so). I was heading to a friend’s house first to drop something off and cut through a neighborhood with a lot of Southeast Asian immigrants (the ones I got to talk to were mostly from Vietnam). I was aware of a van behind me, but it was mid-day, and there were people out, so it was only a passing thought.
A lady was working in her garden, and as I approached her house, she started to look behind me. Then she came out onto the sidewalk and started talking to me in her native language. I understood none of it, but her body language was agitated. She kept gesturing for me to come with her up to her walkway. As I looked behind, I saw three men getting out of the van, which was now parked just behind me.
By this point, the woman had a good grip on my arm and dragged me almost to her porch. She kept talking to me and pointing to stuff in her garden, and I just listened, nodded, and kept a good eye on the men and van. I don’t remember how long we were there, but the men finally left. Both the woman and I let out huge sighs of relief. She then patted me on the arm, said something, and then went back to her gardening. I booted it to my friend’s house. I tried to forget about it—but the next day, I heard utterly chilling news.
The news ran a story on a woman who was kidnapped. The victim was grabbed on the next street over from the woman’s house, not long after my encounter with her, by five men in a van. The men were distinctive, and their descriptions and the van they used fit the ones I had seen. That woman saved me from something horrible, and I am forever thankful.
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