10 "Overheard" Stories That Had Us Crying and Laughing in 2016
Life is full of amazing events — funny, touching, and, sometimes, sad. Compiled in this article are the incredible true stories that brought tears and smiles to many readers this year, including Bright Side’s hardened editors.
- Not long ago, there was a fire in our apartment. It happened at night, but, fortunately, me, my family, and our family dog all managed to get out unscathed. Or so I thought. Once we were safely out of the building, it suddenly dawned on me: our pet turtle was still there, in the burning flat... But then my eyes fell on the dog, and I saw him carefully holding the turtle in his jaws! This is how one of our four-legged friends saved another!
- Today, as I was shopping, I noticed a nine-year-old girl who was begging her mother to buy her a chocolate bar. After saying "No" several times, her mom finally gave in. As soon as she had the chocolate bar in her hands, the girl immediately went over to a small boy who was crying nearby, and she gave it to him. When asked by her mother why she did it, the girl replied that she overheard the boy’s mother tell him they can’t afford anything until she finds a job. A kind heart shows itself at a very early age!
- It’s been two and a half years since Mom passed away. Today, my sister sent me a photo and a message, saying, “Remember these?“ Looking at the photo, I recognized the mittens our mother started knitting for me just before her death. She almost managed to finish them — except for one little finger. My sister had found some similarly colored yarn and completed the job for her. ”This is a memento to you from Mom," the message went on. Right now, I’m sitting at work, crying my eyes out.
- My name is Kate, and I am 25 years old. My son is now 8, and he is in second grade. I gave birth to him when I was 17, so I hadn’t been able to get a full education. I currently work as a consultant in a large clothes store, earning a little, but not much. I’m spending all my money on paying for my son’s private school — I really want him to have as bright a future as possible. Recently, his rhetorics teacher gave the class an unusual piece of homework. Each of them had to bring to school something that he or she loves more than anything else in the world (they also had to hand in an essay on the subject). The next day, one of the kids brought his skateboard. Another one brought his dog. One girl brought her Apple tablet and smartphone. And my little darling brought...me! I couldn’t help crying while he was reading his essay to the class. I suddenly understood that, despite the fact I can’t afford to buy my son expensive gadgets and toys, he still loves me with all his heart. Yesterday, I managed to fulfill a couple of my boy’s biggest dreams. First off — we now have a dog! It’s a mongrel, but a faithful and loving one. Also, I bought my son a good smartphone (well, as good as our family budget could allow).
- When I was little, there was this man who was about 60 that lived down the road from us. He seemed strange because he always wore old-fashioned suits and dark glasses, and he didn’t have any family. The local kids (myself included) used to taunt him by calling him insulting names or ringing his doorbell and running away. Then, one day, a neighbor told me that this man was a retired war hero who’d lost his wife and kids in an accident long ago. I felt so sorry for him that I went to his house, rang the bell, and, when he answered, offered him my most treasured possession in those days — my ginger and white kitten. I remember saying, "Please, sir, take this kitten! I don’t want you to feel lonely!"
- Yesterday, my wife came home from work angry and tired. She immediately yelled at me for forgetting to wash the dishes and leaving my dirty socks on the windowsill. A major-league row seemed imminent. But I know one helpful trick that always helps in a situation like this. First of all, I instantly wrapped my lady love in a comfy blanket and gave her a cup of tea. Then, I went into the kitchen to wash the dishes. It’s important to do everything QUICKLY and SILENTLY (and I mean, like, without uttering a single word!). After about nine minutes she cooled down, relaxed, and even started cuddling up to me, apologizing for the things she said. That’s the whole secret of a perfect relationship. What’s so difficult about it, guys?
- Last week, I had to spend nearly a whole day away from home. My husband was busy at work, so I asked my brother to look after our five-month-old daughter. I left him a supply of baby food and all the other things he might need. When I returned home, I crept into the living room very quietly, in case the baby was asleep. What I saw was a scene worthy of a Renaissance painting! My 30-year-old bro was standing by the window, his beefy, 240 lb body wrapped in a toga-like, tiger-patterned blanket. He was holding the baby to his chest while feeding her from her bottle! Seeing my astonishment, he explained that he wanted to feel like Madonna. Well, now he also has the chance to feel what it’s like to be teased by his sister for the rest of his days!
- My neighbor used to have a parrot who was a bit too talented for its own good. In a short period of time, it learned to imitate the sound of the doorbell. This meant that the poor woman had to run to open the door every 15-20 minutes, only to find out that there was no one out there. Then, about a year later, someone got my neighbor a dog for her birthday. The lady immediately grew very fond of it because it only barked when someone rang the doorbell for real. The constant misguided dashes to the front door became a thing of the past. But her happiness didn’t last for long. Just two weeks later, the parrot learned to imitate both the doorbell ringing and the dog barking.
- When I was 5, my godmother and I went to see a children’s play. On the way to the theater, we bought some flowers to give to the actors after the performance. When the play finished, all the actors came to the front of the stage to receive applause, still dressed in their animal costumes. Many kids from the audience left their seats to give their favorite characters flowers. Everyone got some, except for the guy who played the Cow. He just stood there in the corner, looking really dejected at not receiving any bouquets. So I made my way straight for him and handed him mine. He was so happy that he lifted me in his arms and waved the flowers to the audience, as if to say, "Look, everyone! Someone likes me as well!" That was the first time I realized how good it feels to be nice to people.
- I met this great guy recently. It happened at a Chinese consulate where both of us came to pick up our tourist visas. After we were done there, we went on to have dinner at a nearby restaurant and then went for a stroll, talking about all kinds of stuff. When it finally came time to say goodbye, it was rather late in the evening. We already had the feeling we’d known each other for ages. He asked me for my phone number, getting ready to key it into his cell phone. However, it turned out that it was out of charge. Unfortunately, neither of us had a pen or paper. And there were no passers-by to ask for help (we’d just walked through a small park and were standing at its entrance, near an empty bus stop). It was then that this guy did something that made me truly understand the phrase “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.“ He looked around and picked up a sizeable tree branch and a small sharp stone. Then, he walked over to the nearest streetlight and used the stone to carve the numbers into the wood. After that, he promptly put the tree branch on his shoulder. When we met again a few days later, he told me how shocked his mom was as he came home that night. I sure can understand the poor woman: at first, her son doesn’t answer his phone the whole evening, and then he arrives home in the small hours, looking happy and carrying a large club over his shoulder, saying, ”Mom, please don’t touch it until I wake up in the morning!"
Illustrated by Astkhik Rakimova for BrightSide.me
Based on materials from Overheard