It’s way easier than ever to track down people with social media these days, but there are always a couple of people from my past that I wonder about who aren’t on anything like that.
What happened to those folks?
Where did they end up?
And I bet you have a few folks in your life like this, too…
AskReddit users discussed the people they still think about who drifted out of their lives. Let’s see what they had to say.
1. Literally my brother.
“When I went backpacking around SE Asia I went with no particular plans. I ran into a Polish paratrooper my second day there who used me to get a couple of girls to go out for drinks with him (us) since I said “hey” to him earlier in the day.
He wasn’t going anywhere in particular either so we spent the next two months on the road going to 5 different countries. The guy was literally my brother for those two months.
We parted ways when I had to go to a country he couldn’t get a visa for and it was where I was to catch my flight home. We still talked daily for a few weeks and we were talking about starting a business then he falls off the face of the earth.
I’m positive his dad was a someone so he didn’t talk much about certain aspects of his life. He didn’t have any social media and he didn’t renew the domain he hosted his email on so no way of contacting him. Even friends who we met along the way frequently ask if I’ve heard from him since they wanted to connect with him again.
I keep hoping one of these days we’ll run into each other at a cafe or something by the waterfront having a beer like we did traveling.”
2. High school friend.
“Friend of mine in high school. We wound up working for the same place.
He started dating one of the women working there, and fell hard for her. (We were 18/19, she was 24.) When I say hard, I mean HARD. Every conversation would somehow get steered back to her.
After about three months, he says “We’re getting married!”
My mouth engaged before my brain and I said “You’re making a mistake.”
He was a little shocked. I backtracked and said that you haven’t known each other very long, maybe you should wait a bit longer, etc, etc. They didn’t, and did the courthouse wedding thing, and he dropped off the earth into wedded bliss for a couple months.
After those couple months, when the marriage had crashed, burned down, fell over, and sunk into the swamp, we were doing that guy bonding get-the-guy-who-got-dumped-drunk thing. He told me that I was the only person that told him not to do it, and he should have listened.
He started down some weird depressive spiral. Looking back on it, I think he may have had other issues. He’d call me late at night and ramble about weird s**t. The last time I talked to him, he called me at 3am rambling. He’d say something, and punctuate it with stuff like “YOU KNOW?? YOU GET IT?? DO YOU SEE??”
I hung up on him, because I wanted to sleep. Never heard from him again.
This was the late ’70s. I feel bad now, but back then I was a callow youth and had no idea what the hell was going on, or what to do about it.”
3. A good teacher.
“I had a teacher in middle school who was awesome. Great teacher, loved her subjects (history and literature) and had the most awesome sense of humor.
A couple of weeks before the end of the school year, one of her children was k**led in a freak accident. I left the school at the end of that year and she left teaching entirely to deal with her own stuff.
I heard she returned to the school about three years later, but was a changed person (losing a child will do that to you, I’m sure). She stayed for two years, and then decided to return to the area of the country where she’d grown up, far from where I live.
I think about her all the time. She was a very influential teacher for me. I’d love to track her down and reach out to her, but she has a very, very common name and when I search it along with the state where she moved, I get hundreds and hundreds of hits. She’d also probably be in her 70’s by now, so she may not have any social media at all.”
“I worked with a girl back in my early 20s when I was still in the service industry. We would hang out pretty regularly. I had a bit of a crush on her. I really thought there may have been something there….
Anyways. She stopped showing up to work. Everyone just assumed that she had quit. She was a bit of a wild child. Moved around a lot and had a bunch of different serving jobs. So nobody really thought twice about it. (People just stop showing up all the time in that line of work.)
A few weeks later we found out that her family/police had been searching for her. Apparently she disappeared. Still think about it a lot actually. I’m guessing she’s dead. But you never know.”
5. Old friends.
“My old buddy.
He was a part of my daily life for an entire decade. I was the best man at his wedding. They moved away to a new town and started a family.
We last went to a ballgame together in 2011. I never heard from him again after that.
In that 10 years I was sure we would be friends for life. I did not expect that we would drift apart, but it happened.”
6. What a story.
“I often wonder what happened to the girl that hit me with her car that icy night and took my leg.
It’s been over 25 years now and I don’t hold any animosity towards her (never did, it was just an accident).
I hope she went on to have a good life. Mine has had it’s ups and downs but I’m in the best place I’ve ever been now.
I’d just like to have the chance to reassure her that I’m doing fine.”
7. I still remember.
“She was a friend in like 3rd grade, and we used to do normal kid stuff, but we had great chemistry and we’re the best at making our own fun – inventing games with what was around us.
I haven’t seen her in 25 years. I wonder what kind of person she turned into.
Little weird things remind me of her when I see something we would make a game out of or the weather is like the summer we played outside the most.
Completely absent from social media and google results, but also had a challenging name to spell from memory.”
8. Hope he got better.
“Kid I knew when I was 15.
We weren’t close friends, but he called me up in the middle of the night once to tell me he was going to k**l himself. He hung up on me and wouldn’t answer his phone after that.
I woke up my mom and convinced her to drive me to his house at like 3 am. He came out and was fine, he was just completely shocked I actually came to check on him. He was really thankful that I cared at all.
His home life was pretty crummy and he moved away to stay with his grandma soon after that. After he moved out of state we lost touch. That was 20+ years ago and I still wonder if his life got better. I hope he did.”
9. A mystery.
“When I was seven years old, I had a best friend named Shannon. One day she didn’t come to school, and nobody answered at her house when my mom called.
A month later I got a phone call from her and she said they had to go away and she missed me, then the call cut out like someone took the phone and hung up on her.
I never heard from her again.
I assume she and her family went into witness protection or something similar.
I hope they made it through and she grew up okay.”
10. A man named Hoon.
“When I was a child and living with my parents, we rented our basement to a man named Hoon.
He was super nice to us and even tutored my brother and I in school. The coolest thing was that he was super into astronomy and every so often, he set up his telescope in our backyard to look at stars and the moon and invited us to look as well.
He became like family to us and when my parents decided to tear down our house and build a new place, Hoon came along with us to live in a temporary space until the house was built, and then moved back to our new house as our tenant again.
During this period, Hoon also drove my brother and I to school as we were not living within walking distance from our temporary space. After 1-2 years, one day my parents said that Hoon moved back to Malaysia and we never saw him again.
My then friend, who was another one of our tenants, told me that Hoon d**d and my parents were lying to me. I asked my parents about this but they said that isn’t true. I think my then friend was just messing with me. I always wondered why he suddenly moved and haven’t been able to find any online presence of him.”
11. Kids can be awful.
“In third grade, there was this black kid (only one in our grade) who was absolutely hilarious. He was a complete spaz and the whole class ate it up.
Then one day he gave out invitations to his birthday party at some arcade, mini golf, and go kart place. Every kid’s dream. The popular girl in the class laughed and said “why would I go to this?” and threw out the invite.
Several classmates followed. The day of the party comes, and it turns out it was literally his family and me that showed up. He didn’t seem to care, but you could see the hurt in his parents eyes. Honestly, that party was an absolute blast because it meant more tokens for each of us.
After that school year ended, his family moved to DC and I never saw him again. I still think about him sometimes to this day. Kids can be so cruel.”
12. First grade.
“There was a girl with a speech impediment when I was in 1st grade. I thought she was cute and would love to hang out with her on the swing sets. Nobody talked to her because they were either shy or felt she was mentally disabled.
Our class did a butterfly project where we were all given a caterpillar to raise. They came in these little plastic containers and hers ended up dying. I switched mine with here without her noticing and told the teacher mine d**d instead.
The teacher got me to partner with somebody else and I was okay with sharing. The girl was really happy to see the caterpillar become a monarch and released that Spring.
I never told her what happened to the caterpillar and she eventually moved never to be found again. I tried to search her on social media but no luck.
Weird how that still crosses my mind now and then. This was 2001 for me.”
13. Hope he’s okay.
“Benny. He was my best friend for a long time.
We were closer that I was to my real brother. Then he and my brother’s girlfriend fooled around and fu**ed everything up. We parted ways, I got clean and went to school. He stayed in it and lived the life I always thought I wanted.
Now, his family never mentions him on social media and I don’t know where he is. I hope he’s OK. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do.”
14. What happened to him?
“I got married very young. My wife and I were friends with another young couple.
They broke up right after their first kid and then the husband went out and got two other women pregnant.
19 years old, divorced and 3 kids with 3 different women.
I’m 41 now.
We rarely fight but when my wife and I have a fight I think about him.”
15. Hope you reconnect!
“Hey Julien from Edmonton, if you read this- it’s me!
You had the coolest indoor sandbox, and you gave me my first kiss while we were painting Easter eggs.
It was either ‘90 or ‘89.
Always wondered what happened to you after my parents moved us!”
16. An interesting guy.
“My high school history teacher.
He’s an interesting guy who toes the line between hilariously gruff and sometimes rude in a roasty way. It sounds odd, but it works – he treated us students like he did his friends and other adults. He was the real deal and even though I was far from his favorite student, to this day I respect him.
He had a scandal a few years ago and resigned from his position as Vice Principal of the STEM school. Knowing him more personally than the outside world, I gave a respect for what he was trying to do and his intentions. He fell on his sword to protect the fledgling school’s reputation and faced intense personal hate from ridiculous evangelicals because he’s a gay man.
It’s funny you asked this, I was even thinking about him today.”
“My best friend in high school. We stopped talking on a bad note.
I stayed friends with her mom and brother on FB for a while, but slowly we all deleted our accounts.
I wonder what she’s doing now and how everything is going for her and her family.”
18. Hope they turned it around.
“As a recovering addict, all the people I did drugs with.
Most were degenerates but some I know could be great members of society if they could get clean.
I often wonder what they are doing right now, probably not good things but I bet some turned their life around and it would be cool to catch up.”
19. Wonder about him…
“I wonder about my uncle, when I lived in my small hometown with my mom he’d come over every couple of weeks to just hang out and talk.
I asked him shortly before I moved out on my own if he wanted to go to a comic book convention with me, but he never got back to me.
That’s the last time I’ve seen him, I’ve heard he’s doing ok though.”
20. Walking buddy.
“My 2am walking buddy/protector from college.
After a bad relationship ended, I had a more than year long bought with insomnia. Living on campus, by 2am I’d just be itching to get out of my dorm room and walk off some energy. I’d walk around campus in the dark, by myself from about 2-4am every night just way up in my own head.
One night this guy I didn’t know, but who I’d walk past at the s**king area every night asked if he could walk with me since he was bored, couldn’t sleep and figured he might as well walk while he smoked. We fell into an easy, nonchalant rhythm with each other and we walked together every night thereafter until I started sleeping again.
We were buds, but only between 2-4am. We kept things light, and chatted about media, books and classes mostly. Sometimes we’d just walk silently for long stretches and it never felt weird. He was a cool guy who in hindsight was probably just trying to make sure this nutty girl who walked by him every night wasn’t going to get assaulted alone in the dark.
I was so self-obsessed at that point that none of this occurred to me. I think about him now and again and I really hope he’s had a great life!”
21. Young love.
We dated in high school, and it was cute, but was going nowhere. Then, as adults, we ran into each other again. The love and fun times were authentic, and we both were better people with each other. I knew our love couldn’t work, because we both wanted two entirely different things out of life. It was a case of being too opposite to attract.
The break up hurt us both, and just a couple years after the fact, I had my son. She liked a picture I had posted of him, and she blocked me from there. I think that was to save us both any sense of longing.
Fast forward six years, and I ran into her family at a restaurant and spoke with them a bit. She’s married now, living on the other side of the world in Australia. Her husband is a teacher, and it made me happy to hear it.
There was a song I used to sing with her, and a lyric in it goes, “…Even though I haven’t seen you in years, yours is the funeral I’d fly to from any where.” It still stands true.”
Now we’d like to hear from you.
In the comments, tell us about the people you’ve lost touch with that you still think about.
Please and thank you!