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"And if you're under him, you ain't gettin' over him..."

By Jonathan ApolloPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 5 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Dua had it right all along. Listen to her. | Photo from YouTube/Dua Lipa

At some point during the high Spears era; somewhere between “Toxic” and it’s Britney, bitch, a good Judy introduced me to a term that I use to this very day.

At the time, I had been trying to accept the reality of a recently failed relationship - that reality being, it was less of a coupling and more of a one-sided situation-ship. I had began the phase of false acceptance, where I managed to fool myself and almost everyone around me that I was finally past the sweet nothings he whispered to me in the bedroom. My friend, however, knew better.

During a casual hangout, I let it slip that I had bumped into my former dude out of the blue (that was a lie. I went out of my way to bump into him that particular day). I then breached the possibility of reaching out to them.

“It would be nice to talk to him,” I stated. “And I’m sure he wouldn’t mind giving me a lil’ sum’n-sum’n’’.”

The ol’ “closure, sans clothing” technique.

My friend, of course, saw right through my bullshit.

“Jon,” she responded, “you need to move on and leave him in your yesterdick folder.”

Getting under your ex to get over them is nothing new, nor does it ever actually work. Even icon-in-the-making Dua Lipa knows better, and she’s probably judging me right now. I admit that I’ve made this dumb mistake repeatedly. I can blame it on my stubbornness or even the diehard romantic that still resides within this human shell, but it’s all the same. To borrow another quote from another singer, K. Michelle, “I keep learning the same lessons while I’m missin’ out on blessings” (“God, I Get It”).

Page break from PNG Tree

Not long before Momma passed, I made the emotionally broken decision to text another person from my past - my not-so-sweet L.A. ex. This would be the same ex who threw me out of his house as I started to come down from high-potency marijuana, and minutes before multiple waves of intoxication took over that had me rambling to terrified strangers on the streets of the O.C.

Yes, there’s a whole story there. We’ll get into that another time.

I was seeking a distraction to temporarily dull the trauma of Momma’s health crisis and the possibility of the phone call no one ever wants to receive (sadly, I would get that call a week or two later). But honestly, I also wanted to rectify how we met our brutal end. I had attempted to do so before just weeks after our initial breakup. That attempt was doomed once he confirmed that I was nothing more than an emotional shuttle bus to his current relationship with his best friend.

This would be the same friend he swore that he had no romantic interest in throughout our relationship, despite an FWB situation between them that, to this day, I’m unsure ever ended. Again, stubbornness. God, I get it.

It was surprisingly easy to coerce him into a conversation.

“Hey. I found some old pictures we took together,” I wrote. “They brought back some nice memories. Hope you’re well.”

We started with a bit of small talk which led to some flirting, followed by some adult-rated memories of our time together. Before I knew it, we were in the midst of what *NSYNC calls a “digital get down.” And yes, it was pretty hot. That man could always get me going.

Unfortunately, his take on intimacy usually was a double-edged sword - part of the reason for our split - and this magic moment was no different. A few seconds into the electronic afterglow, he unloaded again; and this time, with words.

“I don’t know if you put some spell on me,” he explained, “but if you did, I deserve it. These last few months have been hell. Most days, I just want to end it all, but that’s not your problem.”

Ridiculously, I pressed for more details:

  • his health, which was already in bad shape before our introduction, had deteriorated greatly.
  • his best friend/now partner’s health had also taken a severe nosedive, including a stroke after undergoing several surgeries. Sadly, none of them helped and his partner would ultimately die from these health issues
  • his mother died just months after his best friend/partner – and quite terribly, according to his description.

As I lay there, half-nude and feeling screwed in more ways than one, I began to finally comprehend a truth that had been such a hard, but necessary sell: The concept of closure is complete and utter bullshit.

You are not Ross or Rachel. Let it go. | Taken from Twitter/Warner Bros. Television

Every time I tried to rewrite our ending, it blew up in my face, and this time was the worst. I just couldn’t leave well enough alone. How could someone who claimed to love me turn around and find a way to blame me for multiple misfortunes they experienced, including the deaths of two of their loved ones, after we just had (cyber) sex? I wouldn’t learn until future therapy sessions that this is one of many signs of a narcissist, but I digress.

Even if I possessed some hereby untapped great energy or some form of magick, I could never harm another; especially someone I once loved and planned to marry.

“An' it harm none, do what ye will.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” et. al.

In that moment, I couldn't help but think of Momma, who, with her infinite wisdom, would often say, “You don’t believe shit stinks until you smell it. And then, you’d still need to rub your nose all up in it.”

As usual, she was right. And the whiff was unmistakable.

Folks, the reality is, there is no need for closure after a relationship. The end of the situation is usually all the closure you need. Learn to leave certain doors closed, locked, and dead-bolted.

And before you ask yourself, “Oh, but what if I was wrong? What if I gave up on us too soon? What if they just got overwhelmed and didn’t know how to handle love?”

Spoiler alert, folks: You weren’t wrong, it takes two to tango, and someone who is meant to be your “one” will be easy to love and know how to love in return. You’re welcome.

The next morning, I deleted his text thread and blocked his number for the final time. Lesson learned.

Bad habitsDating

About the Creator

Jonathan Apollo

I bang my keyboard and words come out. It's what I do. 40-something, M, NYC. He/Him/His. #TPWK

Twitter/X & Facebook: @JonnyAWrites

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Comments (15)

  • Dr. Jason Benskin26 days ago

    Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • J. Delaney-Howeabout a month ago

    Nice writing. I felt like it was a conversation, which I love. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability.

  • Lily Séjorabout a month ago

    I loved this story. The music in it, the humor, the voice. I felt like I was sitting with some of my friends talking about trade. 💛🌿

  • ROCK about a month ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Gabriela Trofin-Tatárabout a month ago

    Yes! You learned the lesson, sometimes it takes time to sink in and really grasp the meaning of relationship and who is worth your time and effort. Congrats for top story!

  • Jabir Shooabout a month ago

    A Ghost Writer

  • Crystal Caneabout a month ago

    This ATE!! So good!! Very relatable!! Keep going!!🫶🏽

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    Wow! Look at that, TS. Congrats, keep on keeping on J.

  • TahimaAniabout a month ago

    good story

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Letting go isn't always as easy as it seems. But worth the effort. Congratulations

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    I knew this would make the TS! 🏅

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    This is so accurate and so funny, what a way to move on

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    To err is human, to forgive divine. Forgive yourself your follies and head on down the road, is my motto. You are off to a great start. Great things come along when you least expect it.

  • Raphael Fontenelleabout a month ago

    I know how that can be. Some lessons you gotta learn the hard way.

  • Oneg In The Arcticabout a month ago

    So many thoughts, but your writing it’s just so smooth and has such subtle wit and humor. It’s also so enjoyable to read your writing, even if the content is heavy or hard (in this case literally and metaphorically haha). You’re just such a smooth writer!! And I always love how you weave in the pop culture (which I know is your shtick) Just another wholesome piece you put together

Jonathan ApolloWritten by Jonathan Apollo

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