A woman digging through a garbage bin | Source: Shutterstock
A woman digging through a garbage bin | Source: Shutterstock

Man Sees Homeless Lady Eating from Dumpster and Recognizes Sweetheart He Lost 53 Years Ago — Story of the Day

Sonali Pandey
Mar 25, 2024
05:53 P.M.

A man is frozen in place when he sees his first love dumpster diving for food 53 years after they broke up.


The impact was shocking. Unexpected. Painful. It was heart-wrenching and devastating when William recognized Amanda as the woman who was dumpster diving in search of food in an alley in San Francisco, California.

It was a glorious, colorful autumn day when they'd first met. Amanda was 17, and he was 18. He was sitting on the campus of their university when she came up to him and offered him a cup of coffee. "Hi, I'm a part of a campaign that helps the disabled. Can you please buy a cup and contribute to it? It's just $2," she asked in her gentle voice.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

William didn't like coffee. He never had. But when she offered a cup to him and looked into his eyes while he tried it, it was the best thing he'd ever tasted. This had been their first encounter, and after that, they began meeting often. Eventually, these encounters turned into friendship and then into love.


He was an introvert, reserved and internal, while she was wild and extroverted. It was a match made in heaven; she grounded him, and he was a breath of fresh air for her. But then fate intervened, and a simple misunderstanding separated them.

William saw Amanda with another man. He didn't even wait for her explanation and accused her of cheating on him. Amanda stayed firm and declared that there was no need for an explanation if he trusted her. The consequences, of course, were not favorable, and the two college sweethearts parted ways.

After the breakup, Amanda didn't contact William even once and threw away all the letters he'd written to her. He never approached her either, and they both became engrossed in their respective lives. Amanda stayed in California after graduation to start her business, while William moved to Austin, Texas, to work as an accountant at a reputable firm.

A few years down the line, William was transferred to the California office of his firm, where he fell in love with a woman named Carrie. They got married soon after and welcomed two beautiful daughters named Ava and Sophia.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels


By this time, Amanda had been married to a man named Trevor, who by all accounts wasn't bad, but he wasn't good for her either. Trevor was loving and caring at first, and Amanda adored him too. But he wanted to start a family right away, and Amanda wasn't ready for it.

Initially, he supported her decision and gave her several false promises, pretending to be a perfect husband. But that lasted only until he tricked Amanda into transferring her full-fledged business in his name and kicked her out of the house.

Amanda's entire idea of romance and trust in men had crumbled once more, and she was at a loss for what to do. She had some savings, which helped her get by for a while, but she eventually became homeless. Love, or rather toxic love, had entered Amanda's life when she was 45, and no one wanted to hire her at that age.

Meanwhile, William's life had taken an ugly turn too when Carrie was diagnosed with cancer. The woman didn't make it for more than a few months and died.

After Carrie's passing, William had to step in as a mother to his daughters, raising them alone until they became teens, graduated from high school, and enrolled in university.

With Carrie's death, and later, his daughters' departure for college, and now living independent lives with their own families, William wallowed in loneliness, occasionally drinking heavily and reminiscing about the past.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

One evening, he was walking past a restaurant on his way to buy another batch of booze when his gaze was drawn to a homeless woman dumpster diving for food in an alley.

She was rummaging through the bins with vigor, gathering leftovers, eating them, and occasionally putting them in a bag. It was dark, and William couldn't see her face clearly, but he could see she was shabbily dressed and starved for several days, judging by the way she couldn't resist herself at any bit of food she discovered in the dumpster.

Feeling terrible for her, William decided to approach her and offer some money. But as he took a few steps closer to her, her face shone brightly in the tiny light that lit the alley, and he froze in place. "Amanda, is that you?" he gasped, covering his mouth in shock.


The woman looked up from the bin at the sound of the familiar voice and dropped the bag from her hands. Her eyes welled up, hands trembling as she turned to face William.

"IT IS YOU! Oh my god, what happened to you, Amanda? What are you doing here?"

"I'm sorry, but I'm not Amanda," the woman lied, hesitantly picking up her bag and preparing to leave, hiding the tears in her eyes. But William knew he wasn't mistaken. He wouldn't fail to recognize his first love.

"Well, running away won't help you. Are you going to make the same mistake you did 53 years ago?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The woman abruptly came to a halt, and tears began streaming down her cheeks. "Don't do this to me, William," she whispered in a trembling voice. "I've had enough, and I can't take it any longer."


William approached her and took her hand in his. "Stop being so rigid, Amanda. Please come with me."

That evening, William brought Amanda to his home to properly feed her and allow her to wash up. He worried about her, and never expected to see her in such bad shape. After dinner, Amanda retired early.

The next morning, when Amanda woke up, William made her breakfast. They spoke about their lives, including how William had become both mother and father to his children when his wife died. Amanda, too, opened up about her life, including how her husband had duped her and dumped her.

With time, Amanda found herself getting close to William again and their feelings from decades past resurfaced, even brighter than they were before. One night after dinner, they brought up the topic of what happened 53 years ago that caused them to part ways, and they cleared up the misunderstanding.

One year later, they finally decided to complete their love that was left unfinished 53 years ago and solidified their relationship by tying the knot.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels


What can we learn from this story?

  • Misunderstandings ruin relationships. If William and Amanda had given each other the opportunity to understand and explain themselves, they would not have parted ways.
  • Matches are made in heaven. William and Amanda were fated to be together, and it happened despite the fact that it took 53 years!

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a teacher who mocks a poor girl who has no money to pay for a school party.

This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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