Woman bumps into ‘dead’ ex-boyfriend
Running into an ex partner can be uncomfortable at the best of times but this becomes even more alarming when you believed they were dead.
It may sound like something out of a bad rom-com but this is exactly what happened to a young Australian woman, Rachel, when she bumped into her ex-boyfriend years after his family told her had died.
What could possible warrant someone faking their death, you might ask. Did he get mixed up with some bad people? Was he on the run from the police?
He just didn't want to pay back the $700 he owed his ex.
Rachel was just 18 when she met 21-year-old Alistair*, who was the chef at a local pub she worked at.
The pair got into a relationship, with Rachel telling the ABC everything seemed normal and there was nothing "odd" about her new boyfriend.
They had been dating for about three months when Alistair came home one night with a broken hand, claiming he had gotten into a fight on a night out but it wasn't his fault.
His injury meant he couldn't work for some time so Rachel lent him $1000 to help him out.
The couple broke up a few months later and while he paid her back $300 of the money he borrowed, the chef stopped answering her calls and messaged when she asked for the rest.
Shortly after Alistair went silent his belongings started disappearing from the share house he lived in.
"The initial story was he'd gone to rehab in Queensland," Rachel told the ABC.
After speaking with his other friends Rachel found out that he had also borrowed money from them and all up owed about $2200.
The revelation of the debt her ex had racked up and the fact she had never known him to have drug or alcohol issues caused the 18-year-old to question the story of him going to rehab.
But just as Alistair's story seemed to be falling apart, Rachel received a call from a friend saying he had died.
His mum had told his friends he had been murdered because he owed money to a bikie gang.
"It sounds stupid in retrospect, but you don't have any reason to question it," Rachel said.
"If I called you and told you my mum died, you wouldn't be like, 'give me a death certificate'."
After hearing the tragic news she chose not to ask for extra details so she could grieve and move on with her life.
It wasn't until two years later that she found out it was all a lie.
Rachel was at a restaurant with a friend and knew that her ex's brother worked there so she asked the waitress if he was around.
To her surprise the waitress said no he wasn't there but his brother was, the man that Rachel believed to be dead.
After the initial shock she asked the waitress if he could come out and see her.
The manager then came out and asked Rachel and her friend to leave the restaurant.
After finding out that her ex boyfriend wasn't actually dead Rachel decided to go to the police to see if there was any way she could get her money back.
"I was basically told by the police that it was my word against his that I'd ever even given him money," she said.
That night Rachel received a text message from Alistair's mum to complain that she had made a "scene" at the restaurant and cost her son his job.
After that night Rachel decided to give up on getting answers or money from her ex.
Two years went by without another encounter until one day she bumped into him at a different restaurant.
Rachel said he clearly recognised her and she immediately struck up a conversation.
"I was like, 'long time no see!' And he went, 'Oh yeah, it has been a long time'," she said.
She asked him about the money he owed her and he pretended to act confused and claimed he didn't know her.
That was the end of their encounter, with Rachel claiming she wished she had a chance to ask him more questions.
*Name has been changed for legal reasons.