A retelling of the story of Daphne and Apollo, set on Reddit
Sometimes when I’m not watching myself, I find I obsessively click refresh on my Reddit messages. I don’t need to, I have a Chrome plugin that notifies me on incoming messages…..
It wasn’t that long ago. Four, maybe five months? I was still numb from my girlfriend cheating on me. It had been nearly a year, and I still found myself mechanically going through my life, only stopping to break down and cry without fail every now and then. I didn’t obsessively refresh my girlfriend’s Facebook anymore, I was in reasonable shape, I did make an effort to go out with my friends…. but still that void remained, like something rightfully mine had been snatched away unfairly.
I couldn’t take it one night. I was three whiskeys in… I’d taken to drinking alone in moods like this. I turned my phone off. My eyes glazed as I scrolled down the Reddit homepage, and familiar, uncomfortable memories rushed back. How long had she been cheating on me? What if I hadn’t come back early from work that day? What pushed her? Was I inattentive? I’d had no answers; I’d plain asked her to leave, and not said a word. The questions haunted me still.
I logged in. Went to /r/offmychest.
I ranted. Ranted about how I’d been the best boyfriend I’d ever been. About how I’d moved cities. How happy I’d been with my new life. I said everything, even stuff I’d never said before. Even about the hairy ass of the guy who’d been banging her and how it gave me nightmares and drove me to tears. About all the attempts I made to move on. And how they’d all been futile. And how I’d be forever alone, a shell of a person.
I cried out loud that day. Fifteen minutes later, I wiped my tears, feeling lighter. And went on a trolling spree. After a long-ranging argument which ended in me taunting someone getting his major in Public Relations about how those degrees are pointless, I decided it was time for bed.
I woke up the next morning feeling like crap. Somehow, the lightheartedness of the previous night didn’t carry over. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I called in sick to work.
There were about a dozen responses to my /r/offmychest post. Most of them told me to not kill myself and that I needed to hit the gym and hang out with better friends and date more girls…… just like everyone who’d ever met me in the past year had said.
And then there was the message from daphne_scoobydoo.
OP, you got cheated on. It’s not a small thing. It’s a huge deal. A. Huge. Fucking. Deal. Sit back and acknowledge that for a minute. There. Feel it? So why do you expect to be able to just pick up and move on? You can’t. Don’t even try. Or if you do, don’t expect much success. You’re like a baby bird trying to fly. Your wings aren’t strong enough to move on. And you didn’t have a big bird catching you when you fall. Obviously it’s going to hurt a lot. It mightn’t even make sense to try for a while until you’re stronger. But how’ll you get any stronger if you don’t exercise those muscles?
Get on a rebound, OP. It’s the only way.
Edit: Is your username a 30 Rock reference? No wonder you’re unhappy all through. You need a phone sex ad clip to laugh at.
Heh, she’d even caught my username reference to the episode of 30 Rock called Apollo, Apollo! And made references to it.
Went through your post history, and nope, no phone sex ad clips. Guess I’ll have to make do with the thought of my ex’s boyfriend’s hairy ass and laugh until I puke. Or puke until I laugh.
And I got a bunch of nowkiss.jpg’s in reply to that, one from a familiar username. Turned out to be the PR guy I’d argued with.
An hour of dicking around later, I realized I hadn’t thanked daphne_scoobydoo. I sent her a private message, saying thanks. And about how I’d thought about what she’d said, and it made perfect sense. I was being too hard on myself. Guess I needed to give things time.
She replied not five minutes later.
Six hours later, I realized we’d been PMing back and forth the whole while, and I’d pretty much been following her about on Reddit, and adding to what she said, or playfully arguing with her…
I went in to work the next day, on a song. I came back home and messaged her all about how wonderful my day went. She told me about her day as a nurse. ‘People put the darndest thing up their asses’, she ended it with.
Two weeks later, I realized I’d smiled more these two weeks than I had my entire last year.
Say, daphne_scoobydoo, would you mind if I asked you out sometime? I really enjoy your company, and would love to get to know you better!
A few cryptic smileys was all that she sent, before a distant ‘I don’t know, apollo_apollo’.
I was obsessed with her. I continued following her around Reddit, my replies getting increasingly flirty, and openly asking her out on multiple subreddits.
Look, apollo_apollo, I’m not a rebound girl.
And that seemed to end all my persuasion.
And then I received a message, from necro_mancer.
He was the PR dude I’d argued with long ago.
So…. I see you’re hitting on daphne_scoobydoo. She’s a good friend of mine, and she’s been burned bad in previous relationships and really just needs a nice guy to take care of her. I really think it’ll do her a world of good to go out with someone. And you seem an okay guy…. Tell you what, her name is Shoshanna Richter. Now she’s all yours, Hope she says yes to you. I’d love you both to get together! Good luck, man!
…. Why would he do that? I didn’t know. And I didn’t care then. I found her on Facebook. My, she was beautiful. And had an adorable three-year-old. I scrolled through her timeline enough to find people posting condolence messages….. Seemed like she had been widowed a year ago…..
And now for the unmasking, daphne_scoobydoo 😉 –Regards, apollo_apollo.
I received no responses anymore, not on Facebook, not on Reddit.
I couldn’t find her account on Reddit anymore after that night. And she made her Facebook private.
Luckily, I’d saved her first reply to me. The one where she asked me to go easy on me.
It’s been a few months. I read it whenever I’m down. I’ve been dating a whole lot since then, but have kept coming back to this goofy brunette…. we might actually go exclusive soon.
But when I’m not really aware of myself, I still obsessively refresh my Reddit messages, hoping for a message from Shoshanna.