Sometimes a person just walks into a room at the exact wrong moment, or they were snooping through a relative's belongings, or they were just out on the street, minding their own business and - WHAM! - they walk right into a situation that they absolutely were NOT supposed to see. Whether it's an old family secret, an affair, or a crime, these folks accidentally bumbled their way into what was supposed to be secret knowledge. Now they have to face the future with this information that they were never supposed to know.
Content has been edited for clarity.
"I saw a guy steal, like, four candy bars from a gas station. He was in front of me in line and I was gonna say something discreetly. Then I heard a voice from outside. It was his son, who looked to be about 5. He was wearing dirty clothes and sitting in a shopping cart. He was waving hi and his dad waved back and it hit me that they were homeless and he was getting food for his kid. I didn't say anything as he walked out after only paying for one candy bar and then going outside and giving all of them to his son. Still a crime but I couldn't bring myself to say anything."
"Way back in the day, back before WiFi, back before cell phones (for ordinary people), back when getting online meant sitting at a desktop and waiting to connect, I wanted to connect to the internet and couldn’t - dad had been on the phone for hours.
I had assumed he had forgotten to sign out and picked up the phone to be sure. Instead of hearing the grating internet sounds, I heard a woman talking. I distinctly heard my father say, 'And would you kiss me?'
So I hung up and calmly walked to his door and yelled at him. He cornered me and kept yelling that I had made it all up. This went on for hours until I agreed.
Not long after, he left our family and pretty much cut off contact with us. I saw on Facebook recently that he took his wife (not my mom), her 40 and 45-year-old daughters, one of the daughters' husbands, and their two children on a cruise.
He can’t be bothered to even pick up his phone and talk to my children.
He’s a piece of crap. Can’t say it anywhere else, but I feel nothing but scorn for him and his vile wife."
"It was about a year after my mom passed away, so I was about 11 years old and my sister was 13. She and I had a rocky relationship at the time but we had our moments. When she was at a band competition on the weekend, I was dropped off with her. The time came when she had to perform so she gave me her phone. I went through it, being the nosey 11-year-old sister I was. I was expecting to find some exciting 8th grader gossip or a secret boyfriend, but what I did find was no laughing matter.
I found dozens of self harm pictures. Bloody sinks and bloody words carved into my sister's skin. At the time, I didn't even know self harm was a thing. I didn't confront my sister about the photos until years later, but I did immediately rethink all of our fights and how we were all hurting as a family. My sister and I are best friends now and those photos did help me gain the perspective I needed to change our relationship, but they still haunt me."
"My father-in-law sent a dic pic to my wife on accident...yes his own daughter. Luckily, I picked up her phone first and saw it. I was so confused at first and then realized what happened and started dying laughing! It was his shaft and there was an old spice deodorant cap hiding the top part with the caption: 'Is this what you want?'
As soon as I laughed, she came over and the phone rang. It was her dad calling. I threw it at her because there was no way I could answer it and not be cackling. The poor guy was crying and apologizing and she said she had no idea what was going on but would delete the picture before even looking at it. She got off the phone, deleted the pic and then was mortified when I told her. It's my favorite family story....she wouldn't let me get him an old spice deodorant stick for Christmas."
"When I was 14, my parents divorced. My father moved us to a lower middle class area and he began hitting the bottle. Soon, he was no longer sleeping at home and it was pretty much me, alone, every night.
I started rebelling and hanging out with a little crew of hoodlums.
One random Thursday night my new found hoodlum friends and I all snuck out at about 12am to see if we could talk someone into buying us some Natty Light.
As we were standing outside, where we shouldn't be, doing things we shouldn't be, we were laughing and enjoying the early morning. We felt grown up. Nothing could touch us that night.
An older gray truck screeches around the corner and stops dead in the middle of the street. A Hispanic man in his late twenties jumps out, he looks angry. He turns to face a newer white truck and throws his hands in the air. He looks like a working man, Jeans and a flannel type shirt. From the white truck, a younger white male in his early twenties pops his head out the window and screams 'Eff you.' He puts his head back into the window and starts revving the truck loudly...full rpm.
A young white female in the passenger side screams a deathly scream: 'Noooooooooo!' The white guy floors it, running over the Hispanic male...
My heart instantly sank in my chest as I knew in that moment that I was not 'grown,' but in retrospect, that was the night I grew up.
I turned to my friends in shock, they all had already started running except for one, the oldest of the neighborhood mob, an 18-year-old who worked at Burger King on weekends. He ran to the body... I followed. My first instinct was that we must help this man so I figured he was running to provide aid. I had to man up. I had to help. Only he wasn't running to his aid. He ran to him... and laughed in this dying man's face...then took his wallet and told me to run.
I stood in shock. Everything was happening so fast I couldn't react...I couldn't move. I kept saying why...how...and yet I wasn't saying anything. I stood over the man for a few minutes and I finally realized he was saying something in Spanish.
He was saying, 'Please God, don't let me die, please forgive me God, please God give me mercy, God I don't deserve to die like this,' over and over and over.
I knelt down and told him, 'I'm sorry, I'm just a kid...I'm so sorry sir, please don't die, police are coming...' He was moving his head side to side in wincing pain. He wasn't even acknowledging that I was there...it was as if he was talking to God directly. Pleading with him... I wasn't even there to him.
The sirens were coming from a distance now...they would be there at any moment. I ran to the gas station and told the clerk it was a white newish truck, they must have left this country bar around the corner. The man yelled, 'Go home, kid,' and so I ran home.
I tucked myself into a ball and cried until morning. I didn't sleep a second. The next day, I moved to my mother's, never talking to those pieces of crap again.
23 years later... I can still hear his voice...I can still see his pain...I can not forgive myself for that night. SO MANY THINGS I could have done. A real man could have done....but I was a kid and I wasn't supposed to have been there and seen that."
"A few years ago, I took my daughter (age 4 at the time) to see Sesame Street Live. During the intermission, she needed to go to the toilet, but the lines were insane. She started crying and a staffer took pity on us and led us through a series of doors to the backstage area. I'm holding my daughter in my arms such that her head is facing behind me, and suddenly I feel her tense up, and she LOSES it. Just a complete meltdown. I look behind me and—one by one—the Sesame Street characters are entering the green room area and taking their heads off. It's like a Sesame Street mass-decapitation. She was traumatized for weeks."
"I stayed home from school sick one day and thought it was odd the woman next door was home. Then her child's soccer coach showed up. All the houses on our street had giant picture windows in the front. From where I sat in my living room, I could plainly see them walk around her living room naked.
A few days later, I tell my best friend. By the end of the day everyone in school is talking about it. I watched her daughter be told by her friends. I watched her fall apart as we waited for the bus home.
Later that night, the woman shows up at my house and cornered me. For literally 45 minutes, she crouched next to me, her face inches from mine, demanding that I tell her I lied. I'm still not sure why. She knew I knew. I knew I knew. Nobody was there to hear me lie to cover her butt. All I could remember thinking was, 'Wow. This woman is not only sleeping with her kid's coach, she's forcing a child to lie about it.' It was the first time I realized that not every adult deserves respect.
A few months later, the soccer coach's wife finds a receipt for an expensive necklace. Sees cheating neighbor wearing it at a child's basketball game. A fist fight ensues. Divorces came shortly after. The neighbor ended up marrying the soccer coach.
I felt bad, but I was in 5th grade. I had no idea how to process the information I had. To me, it was a story about how I saw the hot mom next door naked, not something that would destroy marriages."
"When I was about 8, my dad was raising me by himself. He partied all the time and always had his biker buddies over at the trailer 24/7 and I would always hang out with them and bum smokes sometimes.
Well, one night they were having a huge bonfire. I heard screaming and fighting, then I see my dad beating the snot out of this man. I mean, he was close to death. My dad grabs him by the hair and tosses him in the fire. The man jumped out of it kinda quick and dad kicked him hard in the jaw, sending him flying back in.
Later on in life, when I was about 14, I learned that guy my dad about killed stole a couple pounds of 'supplies' from my dad and his friends. Dad passed away a few months later and he told me he was sorry for all the messed up stuff I saw as a kid and not to grow up and be like him.
But I’ll never forget smell of that dude getting burned."
"When I was in college, my friends and I frequented this restaurant near our university.
We were there so often that we'd become really close to the owner and fondly called him 'Resto Dad.' We even used to play with his little daughter.
One day, as I was washing my hands in the bathroom, I adjusted the mirror and a tiny bag of smack fell out.
Not knowing what to do, I freaked out and quickly placed it back behind the mirror. I never told anyone about it.
Years later, Resto Dad found me (and my friends) on Facebook and we started catching up. He told me he's fallen on hard times and lost the restaurant.
He was also now living alone and has been estranged from his daughter for years. He said she refuses to talk to him.
He didn't tell me what caused all of it, so I just offered a sympathetic ear. But deep down I know that what I found in the bathroom all those years ago has something to do with it."
"I was walking out of a bar one night with my wife (girlfriend at the time) after celebrating my sister's birthday. When we got close to where the car was parked, we noticed a group of guys sitting on the front bumper of a car near ours. I pay no attention to it and get in the car, followed by my wife in the driver's seat. I look over at her and she is white as a ghost, blankly staring ahead. The guys end up helping us back the car out so we won't bump into another car and we head out.
I ask her what was wrong and she tells me that she saw one guy hand over a Glock to another, who hastily put it under a rag/towel that he had in front of him. I remember seeing the guy with the rag, but figured it was nothing. We called the police, who already had a street patrol going on, to let them know. Six cops descended on them and found two weapons and three people with warrants. Turns out they were looking to ambush someone who was still in the bar because he'd had a verbal altercation with one of the group members. I had to hand it to my wife on how calm she stayed until after we left because I wouldn't have been nearly that composed."
"My stepmom's lover, ugh...
My sister was a bit of a snoop and had read some very racy emails between my stepmom and this man, Paul. They were very flirty and my god, they were graphic. Paul was a coworker who worked with my stepmom and my dad. You see, my dad owns the family business where he met (and cheated on my mom with) my stepmom and Paul works there too. My sister and I also worked there during summers throughout the years and had met Paul.
One day we show up to my dad's unexpectedly to borrow a cooler for the long weekend. You can see the back patio from the driveway and there’s some dude straight up kickin’ it, feet up on our outdoor couch as our stepmom comes through the back door, rather scantily clad and carrying drinks, giggling away.
She sees us and...the look of terror. So we walk up and she introduces this man as ‘Bill.' Mind you, we’ve literally met this guy many times before as Paul! She makes some lame excuse that they, too, were just picking up something from the house.
We knew, they knew and yet we just had an awkward stand off before we grabbed the cooler and left. Things were already awkward before with her but that really solidified it.
We would have told our dad but...well, we also knew he was cheating on her so we kind of felt like the two of them deserved each other. It was a really awkward dynamic. They both found out eventually and got divorced."
"Worked for a downtown metropolitan hotel for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot I wasn’t supposed to see. Probably the worst was a kid with an old man.
Checked this guy in at like 1 in the morning (not uncommon because people travel at different times) but he was alone. Like an hour later he asked for something like a towel or blanket. Anyways, dispatched our runner to deliver it. After the runner comes to me and says he thinks something is wrong because he caught a glimpse of someone and the old guy was trying hard to block the entrance.
Being that we were supposed to take stuff like human trafficking seriously, I asked our maintenance to cut his power so we would get a call to come up to try and fix the problem. He does and I go up with him to apologize for the inconvenience because the guy was also a tor tier member. Sure enough we hear a kid in the bathroom hiding.
Tried to ask who the kid was and the old guy tried everything to shut us down from throwing his status around to bribing. Called the cops and let them deal with it.
I had the next two nights off. Was called in my last day to meet a detective to take my statement with HR and a lawyer from the hotel chain’s legal team. Talked to the cop a bit afterwards, and she told me to just kinda keep quiet about it all because I could be called to testify if there was a trial.
Never ended up getting called, but for a few months I would run the old man’s name throw our in-house system to see if there were any company notes on his account. Took like 2 months, but his status was revoked and his name popped up on our DNR (do not rent) list."
"Years ago a colleague had an old smartphone that he brought in to give to another coworker as theirs broke. The phone was sitting on the new owners desk but she hadn't yet tried it out, as it was still charging after months of not being used. We were talking about how cool it was with the coworker (smartphones were not widespread yet), and I picked it up to see how it felt in my hand. I pressed a button and the first thing that I saw was a Google search for 'lump on butt hole.' I quickly put the phone back down.
This must have been the last thing he searched for when he last used it a long time ago, and forgot about it..."
"I woke from sleep at a hotel in Santa Fe. Looking out my window, I saw two men with military haircuts and two women who looked to be their girlfriends. The girlfriends headed into the hotel with their bags, and the two guys stayed outside, talking. Once the women were out of sight, one guy grabbed the other by the back of the neck and pulled him in for a really intimate kiss. They kissed for a bit, and then one of them got down on his knees and gave the other man a pretty good time from the looks of things.
After they were done, they got up and walked close but increasingly distant physically from each other into the hotel. It made me really sad. It seemed like they wanted to be together, but couldn’t given the confines of culture and expectations."
"When I was in my late teens, I was sitting with a friend in his car at a set of traffic lights around about 3 am on a quiet street in the city. At the next set of lights ahead (which was maybe 30 feet away) I saw a guy walk up to the car waiting for the lights to change. He extended his arm and fired a shot almost point blank range at the passenger window, before quickly walking off.
We sat there in shock for a minute thinking, 'Did we just see what we thought we saw!?' while the car sat there through 2 more light changes, before we just slowly rolled away. No other cars were on the street at the time.
The next day, I saw on the news some dude from a gang called 'the Assyrian Kings' was shot in the head in a car and died right around where we were the night before.
We never said anything about it to anyone as we decided we didn’t want to get involved being paranoid teenagers."
"I walked in on an attempted suicide. It was just a girl in the school bathroom with a hand full of pills.
I don't know why but I just stood there, cause I knew if I left she'd eat them. So we stood there and stared at each other.
I was so shocked, all I could say was. '...Pee?'
She just looked so shocked. Then she started laughing. After that we actually talked a bit. Turns out she was pregnant at 16 and was worried her parents would force her to have the baby. They did not, we're still friends today."
"When I was about 16, I was snooping in my parent's wardrobe. I found a diary written by my mother when she was 14 (from the year 1970). Read some beautiful and brilliantly written entries about meeting and dating my dad (who was 16 at the time). I had to read a little between the lines in some slightly later entries as they were written with such flowery language. In one such entry, all of a sudden she discloses that she's had an abortion. Performed by my grandfather, an anesthesiologist. She never told anyone."
"One time I went into the bathroom after my stepmom had just gotten out to go to bed as she was 'extremely tired.' I turn the light on and there's a grinder and short straw sitting on the counter area. I immediately knew something was up and I take it out to her and ask her what it was as she was getting a glass of water. She snatched it out of my hands and got defensive, saying it was none of my business. I was 16 years old and had enough knowledge to know she was crushing and snorting her pills. Not sure if she still does it but it would explain why she'd stay up for days at a time and then crash for almost an entire day as crushing your pills can have some pretty bad adverse effects, especially since she was taking ADD meds."