We've all had moments where if we had followed through with a plan the results would have been life-changing - whether for the good or the bad.
Here are twenty-eight people's "that could have been me" moments.
We Thought You Were Dead!
I used to work in landscaping for a museum and estate with extensive grounds and many beautiful gardens.
One morning I was clearing off the paths by the museum prior to opening with a leaf blower as usual. In addition to the loud noise of the leaf blower, had my earplugs in and had protective earmuffs on top of that, so I couldn’t hear much if anything. I had pretty much finished up and started to head back to my vehicle when I noticed I missed a pile so I turned around and started to walk over to it when I heard a LOUD crack.
Within seconds, a ~90ft beech crashed across the path where I had been standing moments earlier. Possibly in shock, my only thought was, “well, I guess I’m going to have to clean that up today too.” And I went about clearing up the pile of leaves I had noticed a minute earlier.
After that, I started heading back, stepping over the homicidal beech when I ran into a coworker.
She was freaking out and pointing at the tree, but I couldn’t hear a word she said so I only responded, “yeah, isn’t that crazy? Ya think they would’ve told me they were taking down trees today!” At that point, she ripped off my headgear and screamed, “what the hell! We thought you were dead!”
We had contractors working not that far from where I was and they apparently got on the radio when the tree went down, panicking that “the little girl with the leaf blower” just got smashed by a tree. I didn’t have a radio that day so no one had a clue whether I was still alive up until that point. On the bright side, our arborists were the ones stuck cleaning up that mess, not me. And that was only the first of many times I cheated death at that job.
The Free Ice Cream That Never Was
Once in first grade, I let a kid cut me in line and he got the lucky tray. The ice cream he won should have been mine.
I went to Taco Bell with Mom and friend. They both got a drink and I said I would just share with them, even after being offered that Mom would buy me one no problem.
Next guy in line got a drink.
He won a 40,000 Land Rover off the cup contest.
Nickelback Saved Her Life
I was at a stop light in the left lane about to turn onto the highway. Nickelback came on the radio so I looked down to change the station to something less like nails on a chalkboard. I missed the light change to green. The guy next to me didn’t.
He drove forward and was immediately t-boned by a truck running a red light on the access road going 70.
Nickelback saved my life.
They Could Have Died
In 2011 at the beginning of my junior year in high school I had surgery to fix a hole I tore in my shoulder muscle.
I had it the Monday before the national championship air races (on a Saturday) in Reno, Nevada and I live decently close. We go every year and had tickets to the box seats. Parents decided I couldn’t go because my meds were too powerful (double dose of Percocet plus a pill to make me not throw it all up) and I was in a brace and if I got bumped I could have really messed myself up. So I stayed home.
That night on the news we discovered that one of the racers had lost control and crashed into the box seats killing I don’t know how many people. If I would have gone there’s no way a doped up teenager with one working arm would have survived.
Thank Goodness For Over Time
My significant other had gotten into a car accident in winter of 2010.
He was going to pick me up from work. Just as I was clocking out, I was asked to work over time. Which I accepted. When he arrived I told him I would be done at closing, then he headed home.
A few blocks from our house he tried to swerve around a car that was parked illegally at an intersection. Hit a patch of ice and lost control.
Amazingly the driver’s side was unaffected by the crash. However, the passenger side, MY side, had a rod impaled through it from the front windshield.
The angle and impact would have killed me had I been in that seat.
To this day it still freaks me out.
That could have been me.
The Beach Is Scary
When I was 16 I was at a beach in Santa Cruz with my family and 10 year old little brother. My little brother started playing with two little girls who were collecting sea shells and stacking them on a giant log near the water line. My brother walked away to find more sea shells.
A few seconds later a huge wave rolled in and lifted up the log (we found out later that it weighed around 1,000 lbs) . When the tide receded, the log landed on top of one of the little girls chest and face and crushed her and pinned the second girl down by her arm. My parents aided in the rescue efforts but the little girl whose face was crushed died the next day in the hospital. That could have been my little brother. Beaches still terrify me.
Being A Good Driver Pays Off
Back in 2012 I was leaving a gas station on my way to school and let a truck go ahead of me. He was in front of me at a stop light and when it was our turn to cross the intersection, an SUV ran the red light going about 45.
The truck was totaled and the guy was knocked out and bleeding from his head. I drive a small car and it scared me to think that if he had it that bad, I could have been a million times worse.
He’s actually still fighting the guy that ran the light because he swears he didn’t run the light, but I testified for the driver of the truck and it looks like they are just now settling the lawsuit.
Television Could Have Been So Different
On September 11th Seth MacFarlane (the guy who writes family guy) was scheduled to return to Los Angeles on American Airlines Flight 11 but his travel agent told him his flight would leave at 8:15 am. It was actually scheduled to depart at 7:45 am. So he arrived at the airport a few minutes after boarding was stopped on his flight and he was told he would have to wait for the next flight. An hour later, Flight 11 was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The Injury Didn’t Seem So Bad After All
I was in the service, in Afghanistan during a deployment. I was injured and they had to call a medevac to get me out.
I had always been in the lead vehicle with my Team Chief, but after I was injured our team was one person light so they switched him out of the lead vehicle and gave the position to a full team.
That team hit an IED less than 24 hours later, killing the driver (would have been me) and the TC (would have been him). I never complained about my injuries again.
Dodging’ em Left And Right
Five of my ex-girlfriends are currently pregnant or have already had children by the very next guy they dated after me.
Dodging bullets like Neo over here.
Should Have Been A Rock Star
The band “The Presidents Of The United States of America” once opened for my dad’s band in the 90’s. A record label rep was at that show and signed the Presidents the next day.
Needless to say, my dad has not let it go.
Thank You Brother!
In 1996, I and my family were standing a few feet from where the bomb went off in the centennial park… Luckily my brother was not feeling well so we had to leave early. We were driving through the streets of Atlanta and saw police and rescue vehicles flying down the street, we turn on the radio and hear about the bombing then get home and see if it was right where we were.
When I was 7 years old, a man attempted to kidnap me outside of my school. It was me and one other little boy standing there after everyone left.
He told me my mother wasn’t going to be able to get me and had sent him instead. He leaned over from the driver’s seat and opened the passenger door trying to grab me. He also called out several girls names trying to guess mine.
The boy motioned for me to go with him. I took a step back to think 1st. I did remember my teacher saying a few weeks before a man like this tried to kidnap a little boy who he told he had forgotten his lunch. The boy jumped out of the car as it drove away. My mom pulled up behind him as I was trying to figure what to do at that young age. He drove crazy fast out of there.
As an adult, I realized I most likely would have have had a very violent and sad outcome. When I watch missing kids reports I think “that could have been me”.
I’ve Heard Of Explosive Diarrhea Before, But Come On
Baghdad, Iraq. The stall of the bathroom trailer that I normally used during my two mile walk from my hooch to my work area got hit by a 105mm rocket.
I left late and the rocket beat me to it.
Talk about blowing up the bathroom.
I Could Have Been Bit Coin Rich!
Definitely buying Bitcoin. I could have been bathing in my money right now, if I’d bought when I first heard about it.
Almost Taken Out By A Great White
I was invited to a concert at a small venue to see Great White. I had just started a job and was in training so declined. The show was at the Station Nightclub in RI. A fire broke out and many of the people died.
In 2004, a 1-ton car bomb exploded in front of the Australian embassy in Jakarta at 10:30 AM. I was working at a language school on the other side of the road, and every morning I did a U-turn at the embassy at that exact time.
The previous night, I had been very tired and was too lazy to fill up on gas, which meant I was 10 minutes late. When the bomb detonated, I was about half a kilometer away – my car rocked, debris rained down on my windscreen, and I thought it was an earthquake.
Laziness saved my life.
One morning in the summer that I was 7, I went across the street to play with my friends in their yard. We did kid stuff in the back area by the fence for a while, and then it got hot in the early afternoon so we went back to my yard to play in the sprinkler at my house.
Now the fence we were playing by was low and open, and even at 7, we could easily see into their back-neighbors yard on the other side of the fence. There was a little patio and picnic table just on the other side.
Early that same afternoon, the dad of the family snapped and murdered his wife and two kids. For some reason, he immediately dragged the bodies outside and hid/put them on the picnic table.
I’m not saying he would have shot us too, but I remember thinking back then that us deciding to go to my yard was very much fate being on my side.
Skip Parties On That Side Of Town From Now On
I Left a bbq/party in a park early in a nasty part of the North Bronx. 15 minutes after I left a gang showed up and held up the entire party at gunpoint. My friends had to walk home barefoot and then convince the MTA employees to let them on the train since they couldn’t even pay for a ride without their wallets or call for help without their cellphones.
Childhood Dreams Dashed!
Oh, this was a while back, I was at my local library for the unveiling of the new captain underpants book. They had activities there for the kids and I found myself thrust into a circle of kids sitting down. We were supposed to pass around this diaper until the music stopped. Whoever had the diaper last would have to open the diaper.
So the diaper went around and as soon as I had it in my hands, the music stopped. I didn’t want to open it fearing whatever was inside so I quickly handed it to some curly haired kid next to me. He opened it and inside was a whoopie cushion. I gave up possibly the coolest thing my elementary self could possibly have come in contact with.
It haunts me in vivid memory to this day. It could have been me.
I Could Have Been The One On The News
When I was a kid, I was bullied pretty bad. It was getting so bad that, after being suicidal for a while, I had pretty much decided that if I was going down, I was taking some members of my class with me. Eventually, my parents noticed the warning signs and put me in a new school, got me counseling, etc. and I abandoned my plans.
However, whenever I hear about a school shooting or teen/child suicide, I always think, “that could have been me.”
Maybe not the kind of story you were looking for, but hearing about these events always makes a chill run down my spine.
No Toilet Time For Me Tonight!
I was third in the line to the BBQ and the two people in front of me got the two last pieces of hamburger bread before opening a new one (I got the first piece of that bag).
At the end of the night, the two both suffered from a severe case of diarrhea. Apparently, the bread was old.
IT COULD’VE BEEN ME.
Could Have Had A Piece Of That Apple Pie
Not my story but my uncle sold his Apple stock to pay rent and buy beer like 6 months before it skyrocketed. He said he didn’t have a lot of stock but didn’t make as much as he could have.
I Am Gmail
I owned Gmail. Several years back I found a website that provided email services, it let me pick my own domain and I wasn’t very creative so I just used my first initial and added mail and voila: Gmail! Wasn’t too popular, me and five family members out of pitty had @gmail.com email addresses. I have no doubts that had I kept it google would have went another way or paid me 100 bucks for the rights but at least I can say I owned gmail.
Just Wanted To See What Would Happen
Years ago I stood not ten feet from a friend and actually watched him get hit by lightning.
Yeah, that could have been me.
Shipped Off Just In Time
Not me personally but my grandfather.
He was in the navy in World War 2 and sent a letter to his wife (my grandma) saying his ship was leaving Pearl Harbor. The letter was dated December 6, 1941, a day before the naval base was attacked by the Japanese.
Not me, but my uncle, who is an electrician, was working on the top floors of the World Trade Center, my uncle is someone who will never call in sick, on 9/11 my grandma convinced him he should stay home because he had a bad cold.
Good job grandma.
The Zodiac Killer
My friend’s mom canceled a double date in California in the 70s because she was sick, the other couple went on the picnic like they planned and both got murdered by the Zodiac killer.
Chances are he wouldn’t have attacked all 4 of them since that’s a bigger group.
Note: Comments have been edited for clarity.