Yesterday Junior, Willow, and I had two separate conversations about exes announcing to us that they are doing well…after we long broke up. It made me want to revisit the ex known as Julio! Once again, it ain’t Throwback Thursday nor Flashback Friday but we are still going to go back in time! ?? Hold on to your seat belts because it’s about to be a rocky ride! For those of you who haven’t been reading the blog from the beginning, Julio is my first love that I have known for 19 years! The first 10 of those years we dated on and off…it was a complete roller coaster! It’s these 10 years that I will reflect on today. Julio told me he loved me the first day we met. It was the night of my sophomore semi formal in high school and it was indeed a special night. It took me until about 1.5 years later to return his love though when I reflect on it now…I fell the same night he did…I just didn’t fall easily and fought it every step of the way as a teenager. When we became young adults, that’s when I tried really hard to make things work with Julio. He grew colder and colder over the years and those years will always be remembered as my very own “trail of tears.” Every time we would split up, I would focus on myself and my education as Julio roamed the tri state area for his wife and mother of his children. When I was 15 years old, I told Julio that I never wanted to have children. It took meeting and falling in love with the Ex Factor for me to realize that I didn’t want to have just any man’s child…he had to be my GREAT love! Hands down as scared as I am of being pregnant…if the Ex Factor wanted 10 children then by the grace of God…we would have 10 children! That’s how deep my love runs for him. But back to the story at hand. It was my sophomore year of college and some how Julio had managed to get my apartment phone number from one of my family members. We had been broken up for about a year and had not spoken since. But there my phone was…ringing…and it was him. Julio uttered the words “I am engaged!” And I secretly lost it. It never occurred to me at that moment in time that he went to all that trouble of finding me in State College, PA to tell me he was…HAPPY! Folks…if you take no other lesson from this blog, please take this one…no one who is truly happy has the time nor the energy to find their ex and announce it! There’s trouble in the waters! Trust and believe that! When you are living it….you think…omg…he’s found the ONE! But truth be told that shit was around year 2000/2001 and it’s now 2016…and Julio still ain’t found shit!?? Now I’m not saying this to rejoice! My own personal story hasn’t been easy but as an adult I never did Julio like how he did me. He got several of my family members wanting to beat his ass in the streets for real! But I digress….whoosa! Lol. If you are wondering what happened to his fiancé….she cheated and is now married with children to the guy she cheated on him with! Julio told me this in November 2015 when he said she tried to friend request him on Facebook! Now pause…I swear I’m not laughing. All I’m saying is Karma is a bitch that just don’t care!? She will do you dirty every time. For every tear I cried when he announced his engagement….I am sure he cried double if not triple when that shit fell apart! But wait…it don’t stop there! I’m only giving you the highlights of what happened that first 10 years of us trying to make it work! This one pains me but it must be said. As I’ve mentioned before, at the end of my first year in graduate school…as I waited for my grades from a very difficult program…Julio pulled the rug from under me and broke up with me! Let’s go back before this breakup… As I waited for my grades, I told Julio I was so worried because it was such a difficult program but it was my DREAM program. He suggested if I didn’t pass all my classes (FYI I had never failed anything nor had a reason to believe I had failed but anxiety just got the best of me as I waited), I could take time off to give birth to his children and maybe go back to school in a couple years!? When I told him that wasn’t going to work for me, he broke it off with me and that would always be our last and final real breakup! He left me when I needed his love and support! As a matter of fact, in the 19 years I have known Julio…he had only showed up for me ONCE and that was when all the craziness was going on as I tried to run from the Mister Toss Salad relationship! Other than that, Julio was never there for me! He even handed my heart over to the Ex Factor! The Ex Factor supported me in small ways that he will never understand how much it meant to me when I had finished graduate school and was on my face financially! The Ex Factor took what he had and fed me…physically and emotionally while Julio looked on with his money in hand just watching me suffer! Now y’all get why in January 2016 when Julio asked me to give him another chance…I told him about Elijah and refused to take Julio back! In 2007, he broke my heart and my spirit and must forever live with that! I healed but not because of him and his selfish ways. Julio left me to die yet I thrived! God is good all of the time!?? Interestingly enough, the Christmas of my second year in my graduate program…I was in the mall with Junior, Brenda, and some of my cousins. We all split up to shop for Christmas presents for each other. I didn’t know until a few days later when Junior broke the news to me…that he and one of my male cousins had ran into Julio…arm in arm with some chick. That was probably 6 months after we split for good! He was never arm in arm with me shopping anywhere. I cried and cried. This woman went on to be pregnant for him many times but they were never able to bring a living breathing baby into the world. Even with all the hurt Julio brought to me…I would never wish anyone such pain. I am really sorry for all their losses.?? And so Julio moved on and on. Moving in with this one and that one. Treating them all like gold when I was nothing to him. It’s 2016…and he is still begging me to take him back! Not only am I not in love with Julio and am no longer attracted to him, but I would never want such a man as the father of my children. He’s not good enough and the way he treated me over the last 19 years as a boyfriend, lover, and friend is living proof. I promise you I rejoice in none of this. I am sorry for the things he went through chasing love with others while running away from a good and solid love. Julio said love, marriage, and children would continue without me…and so far…they haven’t. I try to remember all of this while I interact with the Ex Factor. You see…I am the Julio in our situation. Each time…he takes me back and asks me little questions but there is always an emotional price to pay. He is more closed off and less trusting each time I come back. ? The Ex Factor has put me through a lot but he has never left me nor told me any woman was higher than me…that wasn’t related to him. So I try to gain patience because I now know that love will never do without him. No Phoenix, no Mister Toss Salad, no Elijah, and damn sure no Julio will ever replace the Ex Factor! So I take what I have learned and try to apply them to my life. I could waste my whole life waiting on the Ex Factor to grow up but if he is in fact the love of my life…no day will ever be wasted. Each day, instead, will be our “Voyage to Atlantis” and we will always come back to each other. It’s a huge risk…but by being patient and putting in the work…what I’m actually saying to the Ex Factor is…“Our friends think we’re opposites Falling in and out of love They all said we’d never last Still we manage to stay together There’s no easy explanation for it But whenever there’s a problem We always work it out somehow Work it out somehow They said it wouldn’t last We had to prove them wrong Cause I’ve learned in the past That love will never do without you Other guys have tried before To replace you as my lover Never did I have a doubt Boy it’s you I can’t do without I feel better when I have you near me Cause no other love around Has quite the same ooh ooh (ha ha ha!) Like you do do do do babe They said it wouldn’t last We had to prove them wrong Cause I’ve learned in the past That love will never do without you” by Janet Jackson ~KJM on Temptation Tuesday saying thanks to all who supported the Ex Factor and I. And thank you to all who doubted us! We…are…still…standing ?