it’s called balance.

“What did you and Paige talk about at your touch base?” I asked Brendan at lunch the following week.

“Nothing really. She just wanted to introduce herself and stuff like that. She seems cool. Had a ton of questions,” Brendan replied.

We were having salads and smoothies – we both needed a detox after eating like shit over the weekend. It’s called balance. I hadn’t seen Brendan in about a week and a half and hadn’t really heard from him on the normal emails we correspond on.

“Do you want to know what she’s done since being hired?” I didn’t wait a beat for him to say yes. “Literally nothing. She’s always running around like she’s busy and important, but never speaks in meetings or contributes at all. And she’s always in Mike’s office with him. It’s so weird. He even stays past 3:00pm working with her.”

Brendan laughed. “I’m sure she is just getting into the groove of things. Mike knows what he’s doing – he wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t valuable.”

I side eyed him. “Yeah, I’m sure.”

Brendan lifted his smoothie to drink, with his left hand and I noticed something.

“Wait. Where is your ring?”

He quickly hid his hand and shook his head slowly like he didn’t want to talk about it.

I leaned in close. “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

Brendan was never seen without his ring prior to this and his reaction told me that something really was going on. I’m sure I should have seen it coming.

“We’re separated,” he revealed and then immediately tucked back into his salad.

I couldn’t believe it.

“What? Since when? What happened?” It was clear he didn’t really want to talk about it, but I needed more details and talking about it would make him feel better, wouldn’t it?

“It’s just a trial thing. Her dad’s idea. She’s staying with her parents right now.” I was shocked to realize that Brendan was getting choked up slightly talking about it. He rarely ever talks about his wife at all so it was surprising that he was getting so emotional. And this is completely awful and terrible (especially since he was so upset), but the only thing I could imagine is a single Brendan and having sex with him (not pregnant of course).

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” I grabbed his wrist and he didn’t push me away.

“It’s fine. We agreed on it and it’s temporary.”

I wanted way more details (like why the dad even suggested separating), but it was clear Brendan was uncomfortable so I dropped it. We grabbed lunch a few more times during the week and he started cheering up a little bit more and dropped subtle details like, “She had her dad text me so she could make sure I wasn’t home when she came to pick up some stuff.” I was thinking what did Brendan do that made his wife not even want to see him? Did he cheat on her? With who?

Carly visited that weekend. When she saw me she cried, as if I hadn’t been sending her pictures of my bump for months (“Is this normal?”). We mostly just sat around the apartment eating while Brady worked (he’s back to working 16 hour days which I’ve confronted him about. More about that later).

I told her the story of the Connecticut house and she said, “I mean, I’ve heard of people living in Connecticut and working in New York City. In fact, I know people who live in Philly who work in New York City.”

“That is completely absurd and I’m not doing that,” I said. I’ve pretty much made up my mind about not leaving the city even though we have no prospects here and Brady’s house has just been reduced.

“Have you thought of [Carly got a look in her eye that told me she was going to say something ridiculous] not going back to work and being a stay at home mom?”

I hadn’t. Because for the most part, I’m liking what I do. Mike lets me do what I want, I love working with Brendan and Kristina. But now that I was thinking about it – maybe it was something to consider. Without having family around, who is gonna watch the baby while I’m working? A random nanny?

Brady started working late again coming home between 8:00 and 9:00 each day. When he walked in at 10:00 one night, I lost it. I’d already cooked, eaten, put the leftovers away, had dessert and cleaned the entire kitchen.

“What’s happening at work that you need to be there this late?” I demanded when he walked in.

“There’s work to do. There’s always work to do. You know that,” he said dismissively.

“Yeah, but a normal person would call or text to let their pregnant girlfriend know they are going to be late,” I said very calmly.

Brady rolled his eyes and threw up his hands. “Reese, I don’t have time to check in with you all the time. If I wasn’t completely swamped, I wouldn’t be home late! God!”

“I get it – your job is so important and the whole hospital would collapse if you weren’t there, but I’m literally pregnant with your child and I think you should show me a little bit more respect.”

And instead of showing me respect, Brady started shouting at me.

“Reese, do you really think I want to be at work this late? Why is it so hard for you to understand? I can’t just do whatever I want and come and go as I please like you can. I have fucking work to do! And the last thing I need is you bombarding me as soon as I walk in the door. haven’t eaten or even put my stuff down and you start with this shit.”

Calmly, I said, “Don’t you ever speak to me like that.”

He walked off and I changed into silk PJs and got in bed. I handled his outburst like a tough bitch, but as soon as I got in bed I started crying like a baby. A little while later, after I was sleeping Brady finally came and got in bed. I glared and turned over.

“Hey,” he said, poking me. “Hey.”

“Please leave me alone. I am sleeping,” I said.

He wrapped his arms around my torso like he normally does, acting like all was well. “I’m sorry for yelling at you. I’ll be home earlier tomorrow and I have something special planned for us this weekend.”

I ignored him and waited until the next morning to let him know his actions were not acceptable. Usually I sleep in as late as I can, but I got my ass up at 5:00 with Brady. I caught him in the kitchen.

“You’re up early,” he said brightly as he prepared Tucker’s food.

“I couldn’t sleep because I kept having flashbacks of you screaming at me,” I said. It wasn’t entirely true, but I needed him to feel guilty.

His face fell. “I’m sorry about that. Work has been frustrating and I apologize for taking it out on you.”

Brady was sure to be home before 6 on both Thursday and Friday. And do you know what his “surprise” for the weekend was? To register for the baby shower. Apparently Kendra has been asking me to, but I didn’t fast enough so she told Brady to take me. It was kind of fun, I guess, but kind of tough because we don’t know where we will be living. What if the nursery is small and the RH crib I found doesn’t fit?

I also used this time to talk to Brady about my plan after we have the baby. I explained to him what Carly and I talked about.

He thought about it for a second and said, “You didn’t grow up wanting to be just a mom, right?”

I’m sure he was trying to be helpful and get me to think in a different way, but I was so offended. Just a mom? Excuse me? Who says that to a pregnant woman?

With Brady’s recent shortcomings, I haven’t felt guilty that Brendan stops by to bring me lunch almost daily. One day he even came by on his way to a site and he called me to come down and retrieve my food because he was double parked. He was sitting there waiting in his big blacked out Jeep Grand Cherokee and I just can’t believe he’d fight all the city traffic just to bring me food. He’s basically my personal UberEats driver.

And my new thing is to go through Brady’s pockets and wallet. He’s been coming home late and hasn’t been very nice so I figured something must be going. Or maybe I’m insecure. Or maybe I just feel guilty myself. Anyway, I found a business card in his wallet.

“Jennifer.”

“Consultant.”

After further investigation I found that she recently graduated from Harvard Business School. I’m sorry – what business does Brady have with a consultant? And she’s far younger than us. Since I’ve been approaching 30, I’ve been really insecure about age. I’ll update once I find out more.

My parents are coming next week to help me celebrate being old and pregnant and I am so, so excited to see them. Bye.

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he told his parents.

On Thursday, Brady worked late and I got home long before he did. Hunter was sitting on the couch watching tv like he’d been doing for the past two weeks which slightly annoyed me. I was behind on all my shows because Hunter had spent so much time in front of the tv. I had plans of making buffalo chicken wraps for dinner (I’ve been craving all things super spicy lately) and I headed into the kitchen to start. Hunter joined me a few minutes later. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and popped it open.

“So what’s the deal? You excited for this baby?” he said.

“Yeah,” I said back. “Why? Did Brady say he’s not excited?”

“No, no. Once he gets over being a pus…being a baby about it, he will be more excited.”

Even though Brady is a bit of a pus/baby about it, I felt defensive of him.

“He likes to be in control and he wasn’t in control of this situation. That’s all.”

Hunter took a huge swig if his beer. “When my wife got pregnant with our oldest, I thought my life was over.”

“Wow, thanks for the words of encouragement,” I said sarcastically.

“But it wasn’t. I couldn’t have asked for two better kids. My kids are awesome.”

“And your wife?”

“Yeah, she’s amazing with them. Super calm and sensible. We make a good team,” he said.

“And she doesn’t mind you being away for two weeks and literally doing whatever you want all the time?” I couldn’t help myself.

Hunter didn’t take a moment to think. “See here’s the thing, and you’ll learn this quickly: raising kids together will make or break you. Dom and I have our vices, but if we didn’t, things would have imploded years ago.”

“Really?” I paused. “Do you guys actually like each other?” I had a fleeting feeling of panic – Brady and I already bicker about the smallest things. If what Hunter says is true, we will never make it.

“Of course. We wouldn’t be married if we didn’t.” Hunter gave me what he probably thought was a really charming smile.

Next, I wanted to ask what Dom’s vices are (can you imagine? I have so many theories, but mostly think she participates in witchcraft/voodoo/devil worshiping), but Hunter said, “I want to run something by you. I haven’t told anyone about this, but you’re smart and I want your opinion.”

“Oh?”

“Every consumer good, service, idea right now is targeted toward millennials, right?”

“Right,” I agreed.

“No one is coming up with new concepts with old people. That’s a underserved market.”

I nodded.

“I’m creating a vehicle for old people to easily get around in. In SF you see people using bikes, skateboards, scooters, rollerblades – you name it – to get to and from the office. Traffic is a bitch. Old people can’t be biking down the street, can they? My invention will allow them to forgo traffic in a unique way like the young people on their bikes.”

“Oh…” I wasn’t sure I was following. “Like a wheelchair.”

He shook his head, making a face like what I said was ridiculous. “Nah. Cooler. It’ll be electric, easily accessible, comfortable, have pockets for all their medications and stuff…”

I laughed, thinking he was joking.

“No, I’m serious. In a few years there will be a lot of old people, especially in SF and no one has really honed in on that market yet.”

“But don’t all of the young tech people retire early and get replaced by younger people?” I pointed out.

Hunter considered this. “Nah, I don’t think that’ll be an issue. I really think this is a good concept. I have some guys creating a prototype for me. I’ll keep you posted.”

So obviously I’m on the edge of my seat wondering how that’s all going.

On Friday, we had an appointment with Dr. Sabrina bright and early for my anatomy scan. I felt indifferent about the baby’s gender, but I was pretty sure I was having a boy. Boys run in Brady’s family. And even though neither of us had a preference, I figured having a little son would make Brady happy. We’d call him some royal sounding name like Frederick (Freddie for short) and he’d play sports and grow up to be a pharmacist or a politician or something. I could see it all happening.

Dr. Sabrina let us know that we are having a girl. I didn’t realize how much I really believed my vision until she revealed that I’m pregnant with a girl. I felt like crying.

Brady looked stoic and said, “That’s awesome.”

Brady doesn’t use the word “awesome” very often so I wasn’t sure how he actually felt. After the appointment, I was starving so we stopped to get breakfast before heading to work.

As soon as we sat down, Brady started in. “I know you don’t want to move to Connecticut, but I thought we should go to an open house on Sunday. I don’t want you to write it off before actually seeing what it’s like.”

I groaned. “I can’t live in the suburbs, Brady. I honestly can’t.”

“I know you think that, but I’d like you to see it. Please.”

So I agreed to go to the open house. We talked about things we wanted to buy immediately (Brady shared an iPhone Note with me that’s he’s been updating with links) and things we can hold off on for now.

“I didn’t think I cared what we were having because I was convinced we were having a boy. But now I’m so excited. She will be best friends with Mia and Sloane.”

He nodded. “I know. I am excited.”

“Are you actually excited?” I said, not convinced. He wasn’t even smiling.

Brady looked back up at me. “I am. I’ll feel better once we have a few more things in place. And…I’ll tell my parents soon. They will be thrilled to find out we are having a girl.”

I laughed out loud at the thought of Brady’s parents being thrilled.

On Friday night, Brady and Hunter went out and I elected to stay home. Lola came over so we could stalk a girl who tagged Kellen in a picture on Instagram. She guzzled down a bottle of wine and we ate Flaming Hot Cheetos. I told her about Brady wanting to move to Connecticut and the open house. Her eyes got wide.

“You’re going to become a Stepford wife, oh my God.”

“I’m only going to appease him. There’s absolutely no way we are actually going to move there. I found a two bedroom on 43rd that I love. We will look at that next.”

Brady, Hunter and I got brunch on Saturday morning then went to a brewery and then walked several miles around the city. I haven’t taken public transportation since finding out I’m pregnant meaning I haven’t been walking as much. It felt nice to walk and see the city again.

When we got home from the walk, I was getting ready to take Tucker out, and I heard Hunter mention dinner plans and their parents’ names. I looked up.

“The parents invited us to dinner and I guess I should see them while I’m on this side of the US of A,” he explained.

Brady didn’t say anything and continued to the bedroom.

“You coming?” Hunter asked.

I gestured to my tummy and he nodded. It’s actually quite easy for me to conceal my belly, but apparently you can see it in my face so I didn’t want to risk it. Plus I just didn’t want to go.

With the boys gone, I turned on reruns of RHONY (I’m one of them now), ordered a grilled cheese on Seamless and reveled in the house alone. Just as I was screaming at Ramona for being a monster, I got a text from Brady.

“I told my parents.”

I screamed. He did what?

“What did you tell them?” I replied. “And what did they say?”

Brady didn’t text me back which drove me absolutely up the wall – I needed to know what was going on at that dinner! Then I started to think his parents had taken the news worse than we could have imagined and he was in danger. So I called him. A few times.

“Yes. Hi,” Brady finally answered. He was trying to talk softly.

“What’s going on? Are you okay? I’m dying here,” I said quickly.

“Mmhm. Are you okay?” he said back.

“Totally. So what did your parents say?” I needed to know.

“I’ll talk to you when I get home, okay? We won’t be too much longer here.”

Ugh, fine. So I had to wait another hour for them to get home to find out what happened.

Hunter whistled as I met them at the door. “You’re lucky you missed that.”

“Oh, how was dinner?” I asked casually.

Brady shook his head like he didn’t want to talk about it. I followed him into the bedroom. “At least it’s over, right? Now they know and it’s happening and we can’t change anything.”

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. That was not fun though.” He paused and kissed me. “We are going to go out for a few beers… Do you want to come?”

I expected him to stay home with his pregnant girlfriend – obviously I had no business being out at the bars with them. So I was annoyed, but it was Hunter’s last night in town so I guess it was fine.

They didn’t come home until 4am again – being loud and smelling of booze. Hunter was leaving the next morning so I woke up early to make breakfast/hangover cure that included bacon, egg bites, French toast and a spread of fresh fruit from the farmers market. The plan was to drop Hunter off at the airport and then head straight to the open house in Connecticut.

As we were driving, I heard Brady and Hunter talking in the front.

“Do you think they’ll ever speak to you again?” Hunter asked.

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Brady said.

“Were they like crazy mad?” I chimed in from the back.

“I don’t know if mad is even the right word,” Hunter said. He turned and looked at me. “What words did they use? Disappointed, disgusted, embarrassed… they said the same thing when I got married.”

Ouch. Hunter seemed to enjoy relaying the message – he was no longer the biggest disappointment of the two! Brady hasn’t talked to his parents since, which is fine – he doesn’t talk to them that often anyway. He’s always said how much he dislikes them, but it seems like he still wants them to have a relationship with us/the baby. Honestly though, with everything going on in this country, I’m not even sure I want that.

Anyway, the open house. The house was beautiful. It took us about an hour to get there and the exterior of the home was super colonial with big pillars at the porch. I discovered that it’s actually a townhouse with three floors, four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. It was massive – 2,500 square feet and much more space than we really need. I was actually doing most of the talking: “What are the HOA fees?” “What year was it built?” “Who is the neighbor?” “Who staged the unit [because the furniture is fabulous]?” It’s right on the water and the New York State line.

Did I love it? No. It was nice, but honestly kind boring and I’d want to change all the paint and the countertops and all of the finishes in the bathrooms because they don’t match (and definitely aren’t my style). On our way home, Brady let me know that he’d already crunched some numbers and if we proceeded with the house, we’d be paying less than we do at our one bedroom place in the city by almost $3,000 a month.

“I think if we can save that much, we should,” Brady said.

And I’m sure he’s right, but is saving money worth being somewhere I don’t want to be? We would be so far from everything – all of the shops and restaurants I love, friends, the city. And the neighborhood isn’t even that cute – I was picturing manicured lawns, hedges, circle driveways with three car garages, but it wasn’t like that at all.

That’s all I have for now. I’m really stressed now because we’ve gone month to month on our lease and we really need to find somewhere soon. Brady hasn’t sold Connecticut to me and I haven’t found anything in the city (the place on 43rd was tiny).

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i’m not moving to connecticut.

Hunter arrived on Friday evening. I’d been kind of dreading his extended stay, but ran around making sure the apartment was spotless and filling the refrigerator with groceries and beer.

When I got home from work, Brady and Hunter were already there. We were going to dinner and then possibly out for drinks after.

“Heyyy, Reese,” Hunter greeted me when I walked through the door.

I’d decided I would play nice and try to have a better relationship with him (I give Hunter shit for everything he does even though it is not my place), so I said, “Hey! How was your flight?”

He gave me a side hug which I feel is sometimes even more awkward. Just hug me like a normal person. “It was nice. Flew right by. You can even tell you’re pregnant by your face. Wow.”

Brady knew the comment was rude and his panicky eyes quickly cut to me.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“Our reservation is at 8:30 so we should start getting ready,” Brady said.

“Cool. I was gonna make a drink. Anyone want anything?” Hunter said.

“Whatever you’re having,” Brady said and then Hunter looked at me expectantly.

I walked off without saying anything. After showering, I changed into a red floral wrap dress and small heels. Recently I went on a shopping spree for non-maternity clothes that I can wear while pregnant while not looking pregnant. Am I still trying to hide it? I haven’t even bought anything (except a onesie from an Instagram ad) for the baby which concerned Kendra.

“Are you like, not excited?” she asked.

Honestly, I’m waiting for the baby shower she’s throwing for me. I don’t even know what I’m having yet! Plus, I’ve just been concerned about other things. Like the fact that Brady wants to move to Connecticut. More on that later.

When I emerged from the bedroom, Brady and Hunter were standing at the bar area with tall glasses of what looked like vodka Red Bulls.

“She’s alive,” Hunter said, smiling.

I rolled my eyes.

Brady grabbed my waist gently because he treats me like I’ll break and said, “You are so beautiful.”

“She is, but let’s go. I’m fucking starving,” Hunter said.

We went to a new American restaurant where I watched them pound down beer after beer. They barely even touched their food (in fact, I ate half of Brady’s macaroni and cheese). Hunter talked about Dom at dinner, which was a surprise since usually I’m the one who brings her up.

“The wifey is talking about baby number three,” he said. “Said she misses the kids when they were babies. We just got our sleep pattern back on track.”

“Really?” I exclaimed because the last thing those two need to be doing is having more children.

Hunter shrugged. “We always said we’d have a big family. Don’t you want your kid to have a lot of cousins to play with?”

Later in the evening, the place turned off the lights and took the tables away so it’s like a little nightclub. Brady and Hunter were drunk.

“Three shots of Maker’s Mark,” Hunter said to the bartender and then looked back at me. “Actually, make that two shots.”

That annoyed me plus I was stuffed and ready to pass out. So I went home.

They got home later, a little after 3am and made a ton of noise while making drinks in the kitchen. And then, they took their party out to the terrace where they continued being loud and probably waking the entire neighborhood up.

I got up and went to the door to confront them wearing just one of Brady’s Cubs t-shirts. Before I could say anything, Drunk Hunter said, “Take that fucking shirt off!”

And maybe it’s because I have inappropriate thoughts about Hunter already or because the t-shirt was literally the only thing I was wearing, but I could not believe the crude comment he made in front of Brady, who just smirked. I didn’t even know what to say and let out a little gasp.

“I…what?” And then I realized that Hunter must not like the Cubs and that was why he was telling me to remove my shirt, not because he wanted to see my pregnant ass naked. “Y’all need to shut up. It’s 4 o’clock in the morning.”

Another day in the weekend, I was in the kitchen making an arugula, prosciutto and burrata salad with a strawberry vinaigrette and meatballs and Hunter needed to get past me. We have a galley kitchen and it’s narrow and on his way past, Hunter touched my hip lightly. Like not my back or my waist, but my hip which was much lower than what I think is appropriate. His hands are huge. And of course after that encounter, I immediately had a dirty dream about him.

Other than that, I’m mostly just annoyed at how much Hunter eats. Obviously Brady and I eat a ton, but feeding Hunter is like feeding a village. I had to replenish the refrigerator before his first weekend was even over. And y’all know I hate for people to eat my food. Oh, and I also hate how he objectifies women and Brady does not hold him accountable for that. One day we were sitting on a restaurant’s patio and he was watching women walk past.

“Damn, legs for days,” he mumbled about a young girl in short shorts.

“Ew!” I said loudly and Brady acted like he didn’t see any of it. Hunter winked at me.

One night before Hunter came, Brady handed me his phone where a bunch of pictures of an empty house were displayed. It was beautiful – with wood planked floors, brightly painted white walls, vaulted ceilings, a big deck and a backyard.

“What’s this?” I asked because he’d given me no context.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

“I mean, yeah. Where is it?” I said back.

Brady took his phone back. “It’s in Connecticut. A lot of my coworkers who have children live there.”

“Connecticut,” I repeated.

“Really, it’s the only way we’d be able to get as much room as we need for all of us,” he explained.

“All of us? I’m pretty sure all of us can fit in New York without having to move out of the state.”

“We’d still be able to commute into the city. A lot of people do it. I think if we want to buy, that’s where we should be looking.”

So instead of entertaining his little Connecticut idea, I searched for two bedrooms in New York which actually proved difficult with our budget and requirements (I will not not have in-unit laundry). And Brady sent a couple more he’d found, equally as spacious and beautiful. I’m not fucking moving to Connecticut.

Mike hired a VP. And she’s my age (well, 30). He didn’t even tell me he was looking for someone. I walked in one Monday and this tall blonde was walking briskly through our lobby area. She waved quickly and continued on. I didn’t think anything of it until Mike sent out a company-wide email telling us to welcome Paige, our new Vice President, to the team. He went on to talk about her experience and accolades and said she’d be working on “strategy” with him.

I decided to stop by Mike’s office to confront him and I passed Paige in the hallway. She didn’t plan on saying anything to me, I could tell, and I can’t stand that. Especially in our small office and especially from someone in a high level role.

“I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Reese,” I said.

“Oh, hi! Nice to meet you, Reese,” she said. She didn’t reach to shake my hand which is another pet peeve. Clearly I could’ve shaken her hand first, but she’s the VP, not me. So I stuck my hand out to shake hers.

“How’s your first day going?”

“Really, really busy. I’ll set up some time for us to TB later in the week, k?” Paige scampered off.

Kristina and I spent the rest of the day finding all her socials and discussing our first impressions of her.

At our touchbase later in the week, the first thing Paige said was, “Is it true that you’re pregnant?” Which I thought was really awkward.

“I am,” I said, opening my laptop. “I’m glad that the news made its way to you.”

“Congratulations. You look fantastic,” she said. I noted the huge princess cut diamond on her left ring finger – even more impressive than it looked on Instagram. And I watched as she looked for a ring on my finger.

I walked her through some of the reports and what I do on the daily. She’s actually really smart and well spoken and asks really good, relevant questions. Maybe she isn’t so bad.

And then, Brendan. We had lunch the other day. He stopped by the office and as usual, Paige was running out the door because she’s just so busy.

“Who’s that?” Brendan asked as she breezed past us.

“I don’t know. Mike hired her,” I replied.

We got to lunch where we ordered salads and talked shop a bit. There was a lull in the conversation and Brendan asked awkwardly, “So…how does it feel to be having a baby?”

I wasn’t expecting that. And I feel like I really don’t think about it because people don’t typically ask that. Usually it’s, “Do you know what you’re having and what what do you hope it is?” and “What are you doing for your gender reveal?”

“It feels really weird. I don’t think it’s hit me yet. Like, I’m going to be someone’s mom,” I said back. Every time I realize that, I start tearing up.

“That’s awesome. You must be excited.”

“Eh, yeah.” I don’t know if excited is the word. I have visions of a sweet, beautiful baby with blue eyes and then I immediately think of them growing into a teenager and hating me. And then I picture myself as a 45 year old. And then I want to vomit.

As I was calendar stalking, I saw that Paige had set up a intro meeting with Brendan (not Thomas, just Brendan) and that triggered me. Usually Brendan only works with me and/or sometimes Mike (they are besties) because Thomas handles their accounts. Not sure why Paige thinks she needs to meet with Brendan, but I’m not pleased.

Anyway, I find out what I’m having on Friday and I actually am really excited about that. I’m also excited for Hunter to leave on Sunday. Two weeks is way too long of a visit.

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i suddenly liked him more.

Mike and I had to go to LA for a day to check on a project and I was thrilled. I love visiting LA. At first I was going to go alone, but then at the last minute, Sam told me she booked him a ticket too.

“You’re coming too, right?” I clarified, thinking about how awkward it would be if it were just me and Mike.

“Nope,” she said.

Luckily, we were not flying together though so I didn’t have to spend an additional six hours alone with him.

“Don’t invite anyone over,” I warned Brady on Sunday evening before I left. I had visions of him inviting Sydney over for dinner and a glass of wine. I hate Sydney.

The next morning I met Mike in the lobby of the Loews Hotel. He made it clear that we had a tight schedule and that our day had to begin at 7am to keep up with East Coast time. I wore my best Cool Girl outfit: animal print skirt, Golden Goose high tops and a baggy sweater. Mike was wearing his standard suit sans tie, but this was West Coast so no need for such formality.

“Good morning,” he greeted me, not looking up from his phone. He was sitting on a bench with his legs spread open, leaning forward. “I like your outfit.”

“Thanks! I thought I’d dress down, but still fashion forward since we’re in California,” I said back.

Mike glanced up at me, dragging his eyes from my feet up to my face. “Let’s go.”

We had meeting after meeting which was annoying because I had the day perfectly planned out before Mike decided to come and add additional meetings to the calendar. And then he had the nerve to treat me like an assistant at the first meeting – a meeting I’d put together.

“Good point. Reese, add that to our notes.”

“Reese can pull together the numbers and email it to the group.”

And at one point, he shoved a packet to me that someone handed him, not wanting to deal with it. Like, I’m not your little bitch, dude. Then I realized that these were my meetings and I had to get him under control. After that, I was sure to be more vocal and took charge. I’m sure Mike was rolling his eyes at me behind my back.

By 2:00pm, we’d had four back to back meetings and mama was starving and cranky. I’d only had a banana in the hotel that morning. We had some downtime so I thought we’d stop and get food, but Mike said, “Let’s go through the deck for the next meeting.”

“Should we grab something to eat?” I asked.

“I’m fine with my coffee,” Mike replied, holding up the free coffee he’d snagged at the previous place.

Obviously I don’t drink even drink coffee so it’s not like that I had to hold me over.

“Okay. I didn’t have a very big breakfast so I’ll need to eat soon. Otherwise I’ll get hangry,” I said, trying not to snap. I can’t believe I said “hangry” to Mike.

“We will have some time after the next meeting. You can eat then,” he said dismissively.

But after the next meeting, he had our driver take us to visit a showroom he was interested in.

“I thought we were going to eat now,” I said.

“We probably won’t have time to eat until we get to the airport. Is that okay with you?” Mike said. Before I could even let him know that it was not fucking okay and I was about to keel over, he walked into the showroom.

Mike was right. We didn’t eat until 7:00pm when we got to the airport. We had a little bit of time to kill so we stopped in one of the sit downs. I ordered a burger and fries before even seeing the menu. I was ravenous.

Mike opened the dinner conversation by asking, “So do you like working for us?”

Oh boy. This was going to be fun.

But I was actually pretty honest about what I liked about work (the small office setting, freedom to be creative, our clients and vendors) and some of the pain points (everything else). Later on in the conversation, after the food came and I was stuffing my face, Mike said something like, “When Brendan gets back from vacation we will need to sort of the logistics of that.”

“Oh, Brendan is on vacation?” I said back with a mouth full of food.

Mike nodded. “I’m not exactly sure when he’s back. Will you reach out to Thomas to get him to send over some estimates?”

Naturally, immediately after he told me that, I pulled my phone right out and went to Brendan’s Instagram to see where he was, but he wasn’t even posting pictures or stories and that’s unheard of while on vacation. Maybe he blocked his story from me? Then I checked his tagged pictures to see if the wife had posted anything and she hadn’t – at least not that she tagged Brendan in. Then I checked he wife’s page. She was posting pictures in NYC.

“So how are your kiddos?” I asked after I put my phone away.

Mike glanced up at me. “They’re fine.”

I don’t think Mike has ever told me about his kids – the only reason I know he has them is because of the pictures in his office.

“That’s good. I can’t imagine being a kid and growing up in New York. I feel like I’d get into so much trouble,” I said.

“We live in New Jersey.”

“Oh.”

After a little bit more small talk, Mike announced that he had to go to the restroom. Perfect. More time to stalk Brendan. I pulled out my phone and began looking through Brendan and his wife’s Instagram pages again. When I looked up again, I saw Mike standing across the restaurant at the bar with his wallet out. The bartender was sliding a shot glass with dark liquor in it. And then, I watched as Mike took the shot. No way! I suddenly liked him more.

Mike didn’t put his phone away the rest of the evening which was great because we’d run out of things to talk about. I was more interested in finding out where Brendan was anyway.

The rest of the week was quite uneventful. Mike invited me to lunch and by invite I mean, we ran into each other in the hallway and he mentioned he was going to grab a salad and did I want to join?

Did I? No. I wanted Chipotle. But you can’t say no to Mike. We didn’t speak at all on our way to get salads, but at the restaurant he did the nicest thing he’s probably ever done. When we got the register and they asked, “Is that all?” Mike said, “And whatever she is having.”

“Thanks for lunch, Mike,” I said as we walked back to the office.

“You can thank the company. It will be expensed,” he said, not looking up from his phone.

That weekend, one of Brady’s friends invited us to dinner at a restaurant in the East Village. I was mostly excited to get out of the house and to eat. We arrived at the restaurant and met up with Connor and Owen, Owen’s girlfriend, Jess, Sydney and Sydney’s friend (I forgot the girl’s name but Sydney finally has a friend! Thank God).

The restaurant had big family style tables and Sydney made a point to plop down right next to Brady. I rolled my eyes. On the other side of me sat a friendly bald man who belonged to the group sitting next to us. Brady and Sydney were completely engrossed in conversation about politics so I started talking to Connor, Owen and Jess. Connor and Owen are both nerdy, but sweet doctors who work with Brady. They’re like nice guys I would never date because they probably only like missionary sex and are annoyingly particular about their beer. That’s exactly what they wanted to talk about. Beer.

“It’s lacking hoppiness. You’d expect an IPA to be more hoppy,” Connor said, sounding like a Chopped judge.

I rolled my eyes. The bald man next to me nudged me, grinning at my reaction to Connor’s commentary. We started talking. He lives out in Long Island City, but it was someone in his group’s birthday and he hoped he made it to the evening festivities.

“Tell me about it,” I said, also feeling exhausted (huge).

I talk a lot. He told me he has a pilot’s license and then started quizzing me on US geography. I failed that and instead impressed him with my knowledge of regional United States cuisine. I could tell him the most famous restaurants and dishes in the largest US cities – I even surprised myself. How/Why do I know any of this?

“Oh no, no, no,” I heard someone say. A tall blonde woman was approaching the back of the bench we were sitting on. She looked like she was from the Midwest and likes to eat beer cheese soup. “I see what you’re trying to do here. This is my husband.”

“Excuse me?” I said back.

“You’ve been talking to my husband for an hour. I know he isn’t wearing a ring, but we are married! And this needs to end,” she said.

I looked at the bald man, who said nothing and back at her. “You’re joking, right?”

“No, you’re joking right? He’s married and what you’re doing is inappropriate!” she said.

“Okay, you have one minute to get away from me before I am requesting the police to escort you out for harassing me,” I said very calmly.

“Harassing you?!” she erupted and then she started screaming belligerently, talking about me hitting on her husband. He sat there and did nothing.

At this point, Brady noticed the commotion and jumped up, but only because Connor or Owen or someone alerted him. He was too busy talking to Sydney.

“What’s going on?” he asked. He hadn’t put in his contacts that day and was wearing his glasses and looked completely adorable. At the same time, an employee came over and asked the same thing.

“I think she needs to leave,” the lady said as if she wasn’t the one who had just been screaming.

“I actually think she needs to leave. I’m pregnant and she is being violent,” I said.

“If the two of you cannot keep it down, you will both need to leave,” the employee said.

“You’re pregnant?” asked Connor or Owen.

Sydney gasped (Brady tells her literally everything, but apparently hadn’t told her that yet).

Needless to say, I did not leave until I was good and ready and the lady dragged her stupid husband to the other end of the table. Good fucking riddance.

For the long July 4th weekend, Brady and I wanted to get out of the city so we flew to his grandmother’s house in Florida. It was risky, but he was sure that no one else would be there. No one in Brady’s family knows I’m pregnant except Hunter. And it’s a bit hard to hide a belly when you’re in a bathing suit.

Luckily though, we didn’t have any run ins, not even with Daniela, the hot housekeeper I catch Brady texting sometimes. I asked him where she was.

“Ah, uh, I don’t know. I thought she’d be here,” he stammered.

We spent three days sitting by the pool eating fresh fruit and tacos and the last day, we walked around the town, going in and out of the shops.

“So when are you going to tell your parents? This feels wrong,” I told Brady at lunch.

“What does?” he said back.

“Having to hide that I’m pregnant. You went out of your way to make sure no one would be here to see me and I just think it would be easier if you just told them. The longer you wait, the more disappointed they’ll be that you have been hiding it,” I explained.

Brady nodded like he had it under control. “I was thinking we should tell them soon. I want to do it in person though so I thought we could have them over for dinner or something.”

“We? They already hate me so you should probably do that on your own…”

Brady didn’t say anything, but sighed like I was being ridiculous. I should probably be more supportive, but that’s a problem I just don’t feel like I should have to deal with. I’m sure I’ll end up being there when he tells them anyway.

Brendan was back at work the next week. We still hadn’t talked at all and I never figured out where he was vacationing, but shockingly on Tuesday, he stopped by the office and we were so happy to see each other that we hugged.

“I’m meeting with Mike now, but let’s catch up later in the week!” he said and ran off.

I was feeling so hopeful – friends again! But he was so busy with work that I didn’t see or hear from him again. So much for catching up. It’s probably good though. A few people in the office know I’m pregnant now (thanks Kristina) so I shouldn’t be spending so much time with Brendan. I don’t want anyone getting any ideas.

Anyway, Hunter is here and it’s a lot and I will fill y’all in later!

Standard

did i break his heart?

The same night I broke up with Brendan, I had a really inappropriate dream about him. In it, I was pregnant, but it was Brendan’s and we were in love and having a ton of amazing and there was his penis. I vividly remember touching it and the way it felt in my dream. It was pretty graphic. I woke up feeling super guilty. I always have the most inappropriate dreams about people I should not be dreaming about (usually Hunter – more on him later).

The next day, we had a meeting where Mike and Brendan were presenting and I just got to sit there taking notes, thank God. Brendan was already in the filled room when I arrived so he didn’t come over to say hi or even make eye contact with me. I kind of felt bad because he seemed kind of sad during the whole thing and kept looking down at the floor. Did I break his heart? Or was I thinking too highly of my influence? He didn’t come over and talk to me after the meeting and he didn’t stop by to say goodbye before he left.

Okay. This was what I asked for. I spent the day actually working, ordered fried chicken for lunch and left early so I could stop and pick up dinner for my man. The following day though, Brendan texted me. We hadn’t talked at all since I dumped him, but I’d been waiting for him to reach out.

“I’ve been thinking and everything you said is absolutely correct. We probably shouldn’t hang out anymore. We still have work together, but I’ll try to transfer as much of it to Thomas as I can. I’m sorry if I made things weird between us. I didn’t realize it until you mentioned it,” he said.

Wait. No. I backtracked.

“I don’t think we have to stop hanging out completely – just not as much. Like you said, we still have to work together and it isn’t fair to make Thomas do everything just to avoid me. Can we have lunch together tomorrow?”

“Okay,” Brendan said.

All of the drama with Brendan made me extra horny so when Brady got home from work, I made him sit down on the couch so I could undress him.

“Ohh, okayyyy,” he mumbled, liking where was going.

I rode him for a little while before he (gently – I’m carrying a child) flipped me onto my tummy and we finished in that position. I’m not really showing that much, I kind of just look how I look after I’ve eaten a whole Chipotle burrito. Which I do frequently so it makes sense.

Afterwards, Brady got dressed again and sat back on the couch. “I was doing some thinking and I think we should get married.”

“Excuse me?” I said back, halting my search for my bra.

“It’s the smartest thing to do given our situation. My health insurance is very good and I think you should be on it to have the baby and I think the baby should be on as well. For tax purposes, it makes more sense for us to be able to file together. And…my parents will take the news a lot better if we are married,” he explained, like it was a business deal.

“I see what you mean, but I’m not getting married for your parents’ benefit. And never once did you say, ‘because I want to marry you,’ and really, that should be the only reason – not because of the government.” I gave up looking for my bra and threw my top back on. No ring, no romance. Really, it was just a suggestion and I didn’t like that.

Brady nodded. “You’re right.” And then he walked off and didn’t mention it again.

For some reason, I was super excited for my lunch with Brendan the next day. I guess I kind of missed him as I was used to seeing him everyday. And after Brady’s perfunctory proposal, I needed a pick me up.

At 12:30, Mike and Brendan walked past my open office door and I watched Brendan laugh lightly at something Mike said. My heart melted into a puddle. Only he could get along and joke with Mike like that.

“Hey,” Brendan said, joining me in my office. He wore slacks and a button down tucked in, with two buttons opened at the top.

“Hiiii,” I said, sweetly. “I’m almost ready.”

I quickly sent an email back to Connie, who was hassling me again, while Brendan pulled out his phone. Normally he would have been chatting my ear off, but things were still off.

Once I was ready, we headed down in the elevator and walked the two blocks to a café with a huge menu because I was craving everything. Brendan told me about work, complaining about Thomas’ lack of focus and some of the projects he was wrapping up. We quickly fell back into our normal rhythm – joking, rolling our eyes about people we don’t like, ordering a bunch of stuff all together so we could share. This was more like it.

“Lydia [the girl I hate, Connie’s boss] did something similar yesterday. She sent an email saying that my team was late on delivering something when it had already been communicating that the deadline had been changed. She copied Mike and you and literally everyone in your company,” Brendan explained.

“Oh, I saw that! And then when you corrected her, she said, ‘This conversation is no longer productive so I’m removing myself from the chain,” I said. “What a bitch!”

“Removing herself from the chain because she was wrong,” he said laughing. “Mike and I just made fun of her.”

“Those two are the worst. Literally so miserable. I see where Connie gets it.”

After what felt like a back-to-normal lunch and Brendan was waiting for the waitress to bring his card back, I leaned over and grabbed his wrist, the one he always wore a thin gold link bracelet on.

“This was so fun. Should we do it again tomorrow?” I asked as casually as possible, batting my eyelashes at him.

Brendan pulled his arm away slowly and then with more conviction. “Reese, what the fuck?”

I was startled, and withdrew my hand.

“You said you didn’t want to hang out anymore. Why did you say that if you didn’t mean it?” he demanded.

“I said we shouldn’t hang out as much. We can still hang out as friends though. As long as we both know we are just friends,” I clarified.

“Do we both know that? I kinda feel like you’re sending me mixed signals here. One minute you’re all over me and the next you’re saying you love your boyfriend.”

My heart sped up and I felt like I might vomit. Did he actually think I was “all over” him? I thought about how I’d so comfortably grabbed his wrist and other times when I’d link my arm with his while walking or reach over and help myself to his plate or grab his shoulders/neck to emphasize a point.

“And the next minute you’re suddenly married with a wife you don’t ever talk about. Funny how you don’t mention being married until I bring up my boyfriend.”

Brendan stood up, pulling out his wallet to return his credit card. “I’m gonna head back to work.”

I haven’t seen or heard from Brendan since. A few days later, Kristina and I walked to get smoothies for lunch.

“What happened with Brendan? Thomas said he said you’re driving him crazy,” she said on our walk over.

“He’s driving me crazy!” I exclaimed, but refused to tell Kristina what happened.

Hunter will be visiting next month – for two weeks. And he’s staying with us.

“Are you sure he should stay with us? Two weeks is a long time. I’m sure a hotel isn’t out of his budget,” I said when Brady told me.

“I’m not going to make my brother stay in a hotel, Reese. And that’s rude,” Brady replied.

We don’t even have a guest bedroom for the guy to sleep in so he will just be…there. So I have that to look forward to.

Lastly, I caught Brady looking for places to buy. I didn’t get a good look, but what I saw was a open floor plan kitchen and living area, big windows and “$1,099,999” at the top. I don’t know who can afford that, but I haven’t gotten the courage to ask him about it since I’m trying not to be a snooping girlfriend anymore.

Standard

i had to break up with him.

My mother decided to visit for Memorial Day. Normally I would have been excited to spend the weekend drinking, but since that wasn’t an option I guess seeing my mom was good too.

Between Mike and Connie, I was ready to retire from my job. Mike didn’t talk to me for days after the samples mishap. He normally doesn’t talk to me anyway, but this was painful. And Connie continued sending passive aggressive emails telling me to update spreadsheets and that my numbers were wrong while refusing to make eye contact with me in the halls of the office.

Brendan stopped by the office to pick me up for our “working lunch” and we ran into Mike on our way out.

“Brendan,” he said, shaking his hand. “Thank you for setting up the reservation. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.”

“What was that about?” I asked Brendan in the elevator.

“Mike and I will both be up north this weekend. We are going to meet up for dinner,” he explained.

I didn’t say anything. I had absolutely not right to, but I felt left out. Why would those two be hanging out? I thought Brendan was on my team. And I was frustrated that Mike was going out of his way not to acknowledge me – in front of Brendan!

We spent all of lunch talking shop and about his parents dog. On the way back, Brendan said, “Can we do this again tomorrow?”

How did he have time for another hour and a half working lunch the following day? I don’t know and didn’t ask. We did the exact same thing the following day – only I chose the restaurant. I dragged him all the way to the other side of Central Park because I wanted crepes.

After the weekend with my mom, Brady and I were in a really good place. She’s a therapist and seemed to talk some sense into both of us (at least Brady because I like to think I was never the problem). We all had dinner on the first night she arrived and my mom said, “Brady, I’m dying to know how you’re feeling about everything.”

And instead of saying “I don’t think we are ready” or anything like that, he said, “I’m nervous, but I am extremely excited.”

My mom, the therapist, asked, “What are you nervous about?”

“I mean, everything,” he laughed. “When I imagined becoming a parent, I pictured things a little different.”

“Like?”

“I didn’t think I’d be renting an apartment in a city I don’t want to be in, I thought we’d be married, and that we’d have more money saved up. Among a lot of other things…” Brady glanced at me timidly.

My mom nodded. “Of course. Those things would be nice, wouldn’t they? But you both have wonderful jobs here, don’t you think it’s great that you are here, for now? If you did have more money saved up, what would you do with it? If you needed anything at all, you know you have family who will do anything and everything to help. And lastly Brady – I know you know this – there is still time to get married.”

“Mom!” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I just know that y’all are completely capable. Don’t forget – your father and I were young and not as successful when we had you. I hadn’t even finished all of my schooling!” she went on.

“I know.”

On her last night in town, we went out to dinner – just the two of us.

“So I talked to Brady,” she said over ravioli, meatballs, mussels, and lots of bread. “It must drive you nuts to not know what he’s thinking.”

“It does!” I exclaimed. “But I’m used to it by now. What did he say?”

“He doesn’t know when he is going to tell his parents you are pregnant. I asked him what he was waiting for and he said, ‘a plan.’ I can’t imagine if you didn’t feel like you could reach out to us for support.”

“Yeah, well. They’re probably going to disown him so I can understand why he’s putting it off,” I explained.

“But why? He’s a grown man.”

I agreed.

She told me about the other things they talked about like the fact that Brady was thinking of taking on an assignment that would take him out of the country for a month, but my pregnancy stopped it. Wish he would talk to me about things like that!

“Y’all need to talk more. I know he isn’t very open, but it sounds like you aren’t either. I told him the same thing.”

And like I said, ever since my mom left, things have been exponentially better. So much so that I think Brady is actually getting excited. He checks on me fourteen times a day and sends articles and reminds me to eat (as if I need a reminder) and drink water. He even took off work to come to the doctor with me again. And now that the weather’s getting nicer, he comes home before it gets dark so we can go on a walk with Tucker.

The following weekend, Lola wanted to get brunch and I agreed. I’d have to think of an excuse for why I wasn’t drinking. We went to a reformer class and then walked to a cute French place to eat.

“We will share the chocolate chip pancakes and two of the bottomless mimosas please,” Lola told the server.

“Oh no, that’s okay. I’m not drinking,” I said quickly.

“Why?” she scoffed.

“I’m not in the mood for that.”

“Do you want a Bloody then?”

I shook my head and Lola gave me a weird look. Once her carafe arrived she said, “I want to know why you’re not drinking.”

“I just don’t want to,” I said back.

She slid her flute toward me. “Just have a sip. It’ll get you in the mood.”

“I’m okay.”

“Why won’t you just take a sip? Like what’s wrong with you?” she demanded, in a teasing voice.

“Because I’m pregnant,” I said. If she wanted the truth, I’d give it to her.

“I knew it!” she exclaimed. “Why couldn’t you just tell me that? I’m not an idiot.”

“I was going to do a grand announcement, but you ruined it.”

Lola took it better than I thought. I think she felt bad for forcing me to tell her, but made it clear she was not happy about losing a drinking partner. We spent the rest of brunch talking about sustainable baby clothing.

With all of our “working lunch” dates and the fact that Brady and I were doing so well, I felt like I needed to break up with Brendan. We were spending way too much time together – we’d have lunch (his treat) almost daily, where we’d talk about business, but also our weekend plans, and what we were going to make for dinner, and how we wanted to go to Spain and Palm Springs and French Polynesia, and how I needed a new wardrobe (every time I showed Brendan things I’d put in my Revolve.com cart, he’d say, “That would look great on you! I really like it.” Little did he know, I couldn’t buy any of it because it was not baby bump appropriate), and if this were another life, what would we be doing? (Living in Paris as an artist, obviously).

He brought me pastries from his favorite bakery sometimes because he knew I’d like them and got way too excited watching me have a mouth orgasm every time I bit into one. Brendan also let me borrow books and an immersion blender. It’s like he loved me “needing” him. Kristina was loving our blossoming relationship.

I’d made up my mind that I was going to break things off (the guilt was getting to me) and Brendan stopped by the office one afternoon. Oh, perfect, I thought, I’ll just do it now before he tries to invite me to lunch the next day.

“Hey! I wanted to say hi before heading home. How are you?” he said, popping his head in my office.

“Good, thanks! I’m actually headed out too. Wanna walk down together?” I said back.

I gathered my things and we took the elevator down to the lobby together while making small talk. He told me he was grilling out for dinner and I think I moaned out loud.

“You know, you’re welcome over if you want,” Brendan laughed.

Ugh.

“Can we talk for a sec?” I asked. We were outside of the building now and with the millions of pedestrians on the sidewalk, it was the worst place to talk.

“Yeah, of course,” he said back.

“We should probably stop hanging out so much,” I said as we walked. “I enjoy going to lunch with you and all of our conversations, but it doesn’t feel platonic anymore. I want to be friends with you, of course, but we can’t go on lunch dates and you can’t invite me on trips with you anymore. I love my boyfriend…and I’m pregnant.”

I glanced at the side of Brendan’s face to gauge his reaction and he briefly looked like he had been punched in the gut. He recovered quickly.

“It is platonic,” he said, glancing back at me quickly. “I’m married, Reese. We are nothing more than friends. I’m sorry if I gave you a different idea or made you uncomfortable, but…..yeah. I’m not interested in being anything other than friends.”

“Okay,” I said, coolly, not sure how to react. I couldn’t remember a time when he said “I’m married” so explicitly, but all right. “Glad we’re on the same page.”

“Yeah, of course.” Brendan stopped walking and gestured the opposite way, “I’m headed back this way though. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Sure, see you tomorrow,” I said.

He took off the other way, not even congratulating me on being pregnant.

Standard

we will figure it out.

Getting out of bed is so hard. It’s always been hard, but particularly now. Especially with Mike and all of his temper tantrums lately.

Brady worked Saturday and I got up early to hang out with Lola. I’d decided that I would do Barry’s, but I would have to pass on brunch after. Trying to come up with another excuse for why I wasn’t drinking would be too hard.

After sweating our tits off, we walked out and Lola said, “I need a mimosa spiked with coke right now. Where should we go?”

“Oh, I can’t. Brady and I have a thing,” I said.

“What kind of thing? Skip it. We haven’t gotten fucked up before noon in ages,” she said.

I was tempted to just blurt the news out, but for some reason I just didn’t want to share it with Lola yet. I guess I’m not ready for her scrutiny since she thinks all men are evil.

Brady texted me during the day asking if I wanted to go to dinner. Of course I did. I made a reservation for pizza at 7:30 so Brady wouldn’t be able to stay at work late. I put on high waist jeans, a lowcut bodysuit, a cabbie hat and a black trench coat.

“You look pretty,” Brady said, pretending my boobs weren’t on full display.

I threw on a scarf on the way out. We ordered two whole pizzas because I couldn’t choose and Brady ordered a pitcher of beer.

“I’m sorry, who’s gonna drink that?” I asked once the server walked away.

“Huh?” he said, pretending he didn’t hear me. “I am. What? Should I not?”

I realized that I expected Brady not to drink since I couldn’t. Maybe I was jealous.

We talked a bit about work, but then I was ready to talk baby. It’s hard to get Brady to talk about literally anything, but we had to discuss this. I reminded him about my first real doctors appointment that I wanted him to come with me to.

“Ah, what time is it again?” he asked.

“10:30am on Tuesday.”

“I have an important meeting at 11 so I wouldn’t be able to make it-”

“You have to make it. Are you joking? I mean, if you don’t care, cool. I see where your priorities are and that’s disappointing,” I said.

“I do care. Uh, I’ll try to rearrange things so I can go with you,” Brady said.

“Your lack of enthusiasm is depressing.”

We’d talked about the baby a little bit and Brady seemed to be coming around slightly. He even came home one day telling me about some research he’d done on maternity and paternity leave and health insurance for both of us. This lead him down a rabbit hole of different birthing options and he asked, “Have you thought about this?”

To which I replied, “I haven’t even had my first doctor’s appointment so no.”

On Mother’s Day, Brady hopped out of bed at some ungodly hour and even though I was excited to call my parents, I could not peel myself out of bed. Eventually Brady came and told me he had a surprise and that got me up.

He had a little breakfast spread set up on the bar area with pancakes, avocado toast, fresh fruit, and little sausages. It was very cute and looked like it belonged in a chic hotel or restaurant, which might be exactly where he got it.

There was also a pretty pink card with a mama elephant and a baby elephant on it. Not sure what he was trying to insinuate there, but noted. I only ate 75% of the food I wanted to since he was comparing me to an elephant. Inside Brady wrote a ton of very sweet things, but just had to include, “I know we aren’t ready and still have a lot to figure out, but I can’t wait to see what an amazing mother you’ll be.” That annoyed me and kind of negated everything else. I feel like now when I think of my first Mother’s Day, the only thing I’ll remember is Brady writing “We aren’t ready,” in a card.

The breakfast was delicious though.

“So, my grandmother is here in New York City and my mother has invited us over for dinner. I know it’s last minute, but would you want to go?” Brady asked.

I didn’t take a moment to think. “No. I can’t.”

We hadn’t heard much from Brady’s parents since around the holidays when the mom confronted me about living with Brady. So needless to say, I was not really in a hurry to see them now that I was pregnant.

“Are you sure?” Brady asked, as if he expected me to say yes.

“I’m sure. You should go though and have a great time.”

Later in the day, I FaceTimed my parents. I wanted to be alone for it so I shut myself in the bedroom and told Brady I’d let them know how they took it. He was getting ready to meet up with his parents anyway.

My mom cried of course and after asking a few initial questions like when I’m due and if I’ve been taking care of myself she said, “So is Brady planning on asking you marry him now?”

“I do think now would be an appropriate time for him to ask that,” my dad agreed.

“I know things are different now and less traditional, but babe, since you’re going to be raising a child together, being married will make things much, much easier. You don’t just want to just have a baby daddy, right?”

I nodded. “I know, Mom. We will figure it out.”

“Has he told his parents yet?” my mom asked.

“Not yet.”

She smirked, not even able to hide her amusement. “Please let me what his mother says.”

I knew Brady wouldn’t tell his parents about my pregnancy at the dinner, but I was still dying to know how it went.

“Fine. My grandmother was looking forward to seeing you,” he told me.

“Really?” I was looking forward to seeing her and whatever vintage Chanel ensemble she was wearing also.

That night my mom called to talk without my dad.

“I wanted to let you know that I am so happy. I have been waiting for this. I’m booking a flight to come see you later this month so let me know your schedule. Also, Dad is going to be talking to Brady because the two of you really need to be married before the baby comes,” she said in her thick Houston accent.

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “Please don’t have Dad try to talk Brady into proposing! We will figure it out!”

“It’ll be so much harder if you aren’t married, I assure you,” she sniffed.

And then for the first time since my pregnancy revelation, me and Brady had sex. On a barstool. He was sure to pull out though.

It was hard to get out of bed again on Monday, but we had a big meeting that I needed to prep for. All of our vendors and partners would be there and a lot of the data was coming from me.

In the middle of my set up, I realized that I’d forgotten to order samples that we needed for our presentations. I should’ve ordered it weeks prior, but with everything going on, I completely forgot. It’s so not me to forget something like that and I couldn’t even concentrate on the rest of the stuff I was supposed to do because I was so worried about how I was going to cover up the fact the I forgot the samples. I couldn’t decide if I should warn Mike that we didn’t have them or just let him be surprised in front of all of our guests. I decided on the latter. That way he couldn’t yell at me.

“And Reese has some samples she will pass around. You’ll see what we have in mind in terms of flooring. We have tons of options depending on the route we want to take,” Mike said.

“The samples actually didn’t come in time, but I have enlarged pictures printed off so you can see the detail and texture,” I said.

Mike gave me a look that was not pleasant and I passed my images around. I didn’t say much the rest of the time even though I normally have so much to say. Afterwards, as we were all packing our things to leave, Mike asked to speak with me.

“Sure, what’s up?” I said sweetly.

He waited until the last person left the room so we were alone.

“Help me understand why the samples aren’t here,” Mike said, calmly.

I had to lie. “I’m not sure. They were ordered, but they’ve been with UPS for like two weeks.”

“Why didn’t you express them? Why didn’t you do everything in your power to get them here?” His voice was rising. “And these goddamn print outs? Are you fucking kidding me?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Don’t embarrass me or yourself again, Reese. I’m fucking serious.”

I nodded and grabbed my things and left. I can’t think of a time Mike has been so upset with me so I wasn’t surprised when I felt myself tearing up as I walked out. I picked up the pace so I could cry in the privacy of my office.

I saw Brendan, who was in the meeting, loitering around the lobby like he was waiting for someone.

“Hey!” he said before I could hide. When he saw that I was crying, he reached out and grabbed my arm. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, but then shook my head when I realized I wasn’t.

“Do you want to take a walk?” he asked.

I nodded.

Brendan touched the small of my back and led me out to the elevators. We didn’t say anything on our way down and as we hit the pavement. I shoved the printouts in the first trashcan I saw. I’d stopped crying.

“I hate Mondays,” Brendan finally said.

“I hate working here,” I said back.

“Really?”

I remembered what Kristina said about Brendan wanting us to come work for him and I needed to backtrack before I got myself into something I couldn’t get out of. “No, it’s fine.”

“Is Mike being a dick?” Brendan asked.

“How’d you know?” I hoped he hadn’t overheard my lashing.

He shrugged. “Just a guess.”

We didn’t say anything for a moment and then he said, “I thought about you over the weekend. I went wine tasting with my parents and their new puppy. It was so relaxing and beautiful…and I know you love wine and puppies.”

I laughed. “I do. Thanks for the invite.”

I realized the moment the words left my mouth that I shouldn’t have said it. I needed to stop flirting with him. Brendan looked over at me with a serious expression, reading my face like he was wondering if I was being serious.

“If I would have thought you’d come, I would have invited you.”

“Thanks. It’s totally okay, but I’m expecting photos of the puppy,” I said back.

“You got it.”

And then, he scheduled a “working lunch” for us later in the week.

Later that day, fucking Connie was back with errors in my report. She sent screenshots and again, copied Mike.

“This report needs to be updated urgently so I can efficiently process my accounts,” she said.

Urgently? Fuck off. I didn’t reply.

Brady picked me up on Tuesday morning so we could travel to my doctor’s appointment. He dropped me off in front and then had to go find parking, which took him thirty minutes. I was already sitting in the exam room talking the doctor’s ear off when he joined us. I absolutely love my new doctor. We can call her Dr. Sabrina. I knew we’d get along when I saw that she was wearing bright blue tassel earrings and pink lipstick.

“He’s a neatfreak and works really hard and really late. Obviously things are gonna have to change a little bit,” I was saying as the receptionist let Brady in. “There he is!”

After he and Dr. Sabrina introduced themselves, we all sat around and talked a bit. She wanted to know about us and our families and if we had any concerns. At one point, something Brady said made her say, “Oh, so this wasn’t planned.” And I guess I didn’t explicitly say that at the beginning. Meaning, I hadn’t told her about the birth control mishap or all the drinking so I had to go back and tell her all that.

And then she was ready to get started. It wasn’t until then that I realized I’d be disrobing and having them prod things up my vagina in front of Brady. I know, I shouldn’t be having a baby with someone if I’m uncomfortable doing that in front of them, but still.

Luckily though, I was just in my head and literally no one cared at all. Although Brady’s neck turned red and he gave me a weird look when the doctor said we might not be able to hear the heartbeat.

“We can try though. Do you want to try?” Dr. Sabrina said.

I shrugged.

“Let’s try,” she said.

She moved the the tube thing around my tummy a bit, stopping in random places. After a couple minutes of this, she declared that it was too early.

“That doesn’t mean anything is wrong though. Everything is progressing just fine. You’ll hear the heartbeat at your next visit,” she assured me.

Finally, we went back to her chic all white office so we could schedule additional visits and talk about me some more.

“Are you having any symptoms? Morning sickness?” she asked.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, leaning into her desk. Thank goodness she’d asked. “Some days I will be sick literally all day and all night. I was going to ask if you could prescribe something for that.”

“Possibly-” she began, but Brady – Brady, of all people, cut her off.

“No. I don’t think you should be taking prescription medications,” he said to me.

“Excuse me, what?” I couldn’t believe him. “You aren’t the one who is vomiting all day.”

Dr. Sabrina laughed like I was joking. “There are plenty of natural remedies that can help curb your symptoms. Your diet could also play a role. I recommend ginger tea, whole foods only and a good prenatal vitamin. I’ll have the nurse type all of this up for you.”

When we were walking to the car, I let Brady know I didn’t like him speaking for me.

“You don’t have to deal with puking your brains up 24/7. I don’t think that was your decision to make,” I said.

“I know, but…it’s my baby too. According to what I researched, morning sickness should subside after the first trimester. I think we – you – should stick it out rather than risk taking a drug you’ve never taken before.”

I mean, I guess I was happy he was actually showing that he actually cares, but still. He patted me on the shoulder like I’m fucking five years old.

But, to Brady’s credit, I haven’t been sick all week and I’m not even out of the first trimester yet.

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i deserved that.

Brady logged out of his iPad because he found out I was reading all of his shit. He found out because I confronted him about the conversation he and Hunter had been having about me. After he initially told Hunter and they talked about it respectfully for a little bit (aside from Brady saying, “I think she’s lying”), Hunter said, “Good job locking that down forever, bro. She can’t leave you now, haha.”

To which Brady said, “She will still leave if she wants.”

And Hunter said, “And bankrupt you along the way.”

Excuse me? Fucking bankrupt him? What kind of gold digger do they think I am? And I’m not a “that” you can lock down. I continued reading.

“Exactly. I can’t believe I am in this situation. I’m pretty sure she planned this. She isn’t even upset,” Brady said.

Hunter sent a .gif of a baby crying. “I know it’s hard, but you have to learn the art of pulling out, bro.”

Brady didn’t reply to that.

A few days later, Hunter texted Brady saying, “Have you told [Brady’s mom’s name] yet?” Either I never noticed or they just started calling their parents by their first names.

“Not yet. I’m not in a hurry to tell her. This isn’t going to elevate her opinion of Reese, that’s for sure.”

When Brady got home from work, I immediately laid into him. I couldn’t help myself.

“I can’t believe you think I got pregnant on purpose and I’m going to bankrupt you. I mean, really? Do you think I need any-fucking-thing from you? I’ll gladly take my baby and never speak to you again,” I said.

Brady looked at me like he was confused before realizing that I’d been reading through his messages. “Reese, I respect your privacy and I’d appreciate if it was reciprocated.”

“And please tell me more about your mom’s opinion of me. I love how her opinion of me will change, not her own fucking son who got me pregnant!”

“She will be disappointed in both of us, Reese. I don’t care what she thinks though so it is fine.”

“Obviously you do otherwise you wouldn’t have brought it up!” I screamed.

Brady had the nerve to roll his eyes. “Stop shouting at me. Going through my private messages and speaking to me like this is disrespectful.”

Okay, true. But still. And the next morning when I checked, Brady had logged out of his iPad so I lost access to everything. Which I guess I deserve.

Other than that, Brady and I have not really spoken about my pregnancy at all. And he hasn’t even touched me. He’s been working super late, usually until 9 or 10pm. I thought he’d at least try to come early to his pregnant girlfriend. It’s okay though because I’ve been busy at work too.

There’s a girl I hate. Okay, I guess I don’t hate her, but she really annoys me. Everything at work is super manual – all of our reports are done in Excel and Google Sheets which I’m not used to and I’m trying to make more automated.

A woman who owns one of the reports, Connie, emailed me to let me know that I’d left some of the required fields blank on the report and I needed to fix it. She also copied Mike. I went back in and put in some estimated numbers and she replied all, “My calculations are coming up different. Will you check your numbers and re-enter them?”

Wait, why did she have time to check my work? We went back and forth for several emails, all with Mike attached. He messaged me to stop by his office and when I did, he fucking shouted at me, “Would you figure out this report with Connie? The back and forth is ridiculous and I’m sick of seeing it!”

I messaged Connie so we could talk about it offline, but she didn’t reply and she wasn’t at her little cubicle when I stopped by. But then when I re-sent the report she said, “This still isn’t correct. Will you double check?” I was ready to kill her and now she’s on my shit list for creating all the drama.

I forgot Brady and I invited people over for Cinco de Mayo until Lola texted me on Saturday asking if she needed to bring anything. So I spent all of Saturday grabbing stuff to make frozen margaritas and Mexican inspired appetizers. I was mostly excited to see Lola since it’d been a while since we hung out last.

It didn’t occur to me that people would want to know why I wasn’t drinking.

“Where’s your margarita?” Lola asked, gesturing to my glass of lemon water.

“Oh, I’m way too hungover from last night to drink,” I quickly said. I was not ready to break the news to Lola yet.

“Really? What’d you do?” It’s like she knew I was lying.

“I drank all day and then we went out. Just to the bar around the corner. So what’s going on with Kellen?”

That got her off my back. She told me about how Kellen is focusing on his music and they haven’t hung out much.

“It’s totally fine though because work is busy and I’m talking to someone else,” she explained.

“That’s fast! Who is it?”

“You can meet him soon. Let’s do Barry’s Bootcamp and day drink next weekend,” Lola suggested.

I nodded yes even though I wouldn’t be able to participate in the day drinking part.

Sydney showed up. She had her hair up in a high pony and wore tight workout clothes and no makeup. She followed Brady around the apartment all day, which I noticed because I was watching Brady the whole time. He didn’t hang out with me until he was good and drunk.

“Thanks for making all the food. Everyone keeps talking about how good it is,” Brady said, scooping up some of my not very authentic Mexican spinach dip.

My normal m.o. would be to say something snarky back, but I couldn’t even think of anything. “Of course.”

“Are you having a good time even though you can’t…drink?” He looked over his shoulder, knowing that we weren’t telling people about my being pregnant yet.

“I mean, I guess it’s fine. Luckily I like most people here.”

Sydney came and found me as I was putting out more chips.

“How have you been, Reese? Your hair is so long and shiny. What do you use in it? It looks amazing!” she said.

You know how people will give you a ton of compliments just to make conversation? That’s clearly what Sydney was doing. Especially since she has long and shiny hair as well. But hey, a compliment is a compliment.

“Thanks! I like to use hair masks. I use all different ones, but my favorite one is by Ouai. Do you want me to send you the link?” I said back.

She nodded excitedly.

A few hours later, it had started to get dark and our crowd dwindled to just Connor and Owen (Brady’s doctor friends) and of course, Sydney. I cleaned up all of the food and mess and then joined the group to see when they’d be leaving.

“She is not going to be president,” Brady said, shaking his head.

“I know she won’t be next year because she isn’t old enough, but she is our best chance for a female president since Hillary Clinton,” Sydney said.

“She’s a minority female socialist who is a former bartender. I’m sorry, but that is not who this country elects to be it’s president,” Brady explained.

“You sound like such a privileged and sexist white man. I didn’t realize you were like that,” she said.

So she was falling out of love with my boyfriend – a good sign that she will stop coming around.

“I’m not saying I agree with it at all. I’m just stating the facts,” Brady said.

Sydney huffed and crossed her arms.

“Does anyone want any food to go?” I cut in.

On Monday, Mike sent me out to check on a project. He was in a pissy mood and shouted, “Make sure those idiots know they are behind!”

….k.

I got to the site and the first person I saw was Brendan, wearing a tool belt and Workman boots. They were so far behind on the project that even Brendan was jumping in to help. Normally he just works on the business side. He looked so good in the tool belt.

“Hey, here to help?” he greeted me with a smile. He walked over to me so I wouldn’t have to walk around the construction area in my heels.

“Mmhm,” I smiled, surprisingly happy to see him since it had been a few weeks.

“How are you? How was Paris and stuff?” Brendan was standing way too close to me. I could smell his Le Labo Santal 33.

“Paris was absolutely amazing. I’ll have to show you pictures.”

“I would love that.”

We were flirting and I needed to get out of there. Especially because I didn’t know when I’d start spontaneously puking again.

“Mike sent me here to check the progress here. How’s everything going?” I asked.

Brendan looked around at the scene of construction/destruction behind him. “It’s coming along. There were some hiccups two weeks ago so we’re behind, but things are moving steadily now.”

“When do you think you’ll be finished?” I said and he looked back at me. “Mike wants to know.”

“We are probably still a few weeks away.”

“How about end of next week? Can it be done by then?”

Brendan rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at his boots. “I’m not sure. I can’t call anymore of my guys over because they are working on another project. Can I give you an update toward the end of the week?”

I felt bad coming in demanding stuff from him when clearly he was trying hard for us.

“Of course. And thank you for digging in and getting your hands dirty. It’s rare to see a CEO do that.” I touched Brendan’s forearm for emphasis and he smiled at me. “Is the bathroom under construction also?”

I was happy that all of the sawing and construction noises drowned out the sounds of me throwing up. And now I’ve begun carrying oral care in my bag so when I do puke during the day I can clean myself up after.

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!

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five years.

Y’all, it’s been five years since my first post. I honestly cannot believe it’s been that long.

I have really enjoyed writing and posting. Posting here grounds me and holds me accountable and definitely feels like therapy. I appreciate everyone who reads, comments and especially those of you who have been here from the beginning! Reading back to posts from years ago is so cringey – what was I doing?!

Thank you for all for the advice, comments, emails, tweets and especially for all of the call outs! I still have so much I want to work on, but any growth I’ve experienced is a direct reflection of keeping this blog. Y’all have literally helped shape who I am which is wild.

Cheers! I love you guys!

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please don’t call me dude.

Brady went to work the next morning without making a sound. I overslept slightly and woke up with Tucker snuggled at my feet. What an asshole. I got up and got dressed, determined to prove to Mike that I was ready to work.

When I got to the office, I went face first into my overdue work, only coming up for air twice to go puke. Kristina talked me into going to Chopt with her for lunch and even though I wanted Taco Bell, I agreed. The fresh air would be nice and it’s not like my stomach could disagree with a salad.

“Sooo, Thomas told me something…” Kristina said as we walked down 42nd Street.

“What did he tell you?” I had to know.

“That he and Brendan want me and you to go run their sales department,” she answered, sounding delighted.

“Oh really? That’s a fun idea.” A fun idea to just throw around – it would obviously never happen.

“Super fun! I’d love to work with them. People we actually get along with!” she enthused.

“I couldn’t do that to Mike,” I revealed. I don’t know why I feel like I have loyalty to Mike, but he handpicked me (even if I was a second choice) to come work for him and I’m not going to jump ship after a few months.

“He also said he catches Brendan stalking your Instagram several times a week,” Kristina sang as we walked into the restaurant.

I gave her a disapproving look before following her in. We ordered our salads and took them back to the office. I didn’t want to be gone too long since I had so much work to do.

“Expect a job offer in your email soon. Or in your DMs, I guess,” Kristina giggled as we walked back into the building.

I got back to my office and was surprised to see that I had a new text from Hunter waiting. Literally the last person I expected to hear from – especially since I hadn’t heard anything from Brady.

“Hey Reese,” he said, adding a star eyed emoji.

“Hi Hunter,” I said back, with no emoji.

“Are you really pregnant? Brady’s freaking out and doesn’t believe you,” he said.

Are you fucking kidding me? Instead of talking to me like an adult, Brady went and told his loser brother on me? I stared at my phone for five whole minutes.

“Not sure why he doesn’t believe me when I showed him my doctor’s note. He knows it’s true and I have absolutely nothing to gain by lying about this,” I finally said back.

“And it’s his?” Hunter said back.

And before I could send the scathing message I was drafting (I was gonna let him have it), another message from him came through. “Just fucking with you. I’m stoked dude. Can’t wait to be an uncle.”

I replied, “Please don’t call me dude.”

Needless to say, that was the end of our conversation. I could not wait to get home to confront Brady about his latest stunt.

Mike was leaving at the same time I was. It was 5:30PM and late for him. He’d ditched his suit jacket and didn’t have his backpack or any work stuff with him. He didn’t say anything to me as we waited for the elevator together.

“Do you have any plans this evening?” I asked because the silence was deafening.

Mike looked down at me out of the corner of his eye, like I had no right to ask that. “No.”

Okay. Go have fun with your hookers then.

I got home and made a fabulous solo dinner (pasta with kale pesto from Pinterest) and waited for Brady to get home. To my complete shock, he walked through the door at 6:45PM. I hadn’t even made him any dinner because I thought he wouldn’t be home for several more hours (and also, I was mad at him). He even had a bag of takeout. I blinked at him expectantly.

“Hi,” he said slowly as he dropped his stuff on the bar area.

“Hello,” I said back, super super sweetly.

“I brought you a burrito and a salad, if you want it.”

I’d already eaten, but I wasn’t going to admit that. “Ohh, what kind of burrito?”

I got up to dig through the bag while Brady went to get changed. By the time he came back, I was balls deep in my chorizo burrito. He sat next to me at the bar.

“So we should talk,” Brady said.

“We should,” I nodded. I put my burrito down because I have manners.

“I guess I’m just wondering how this happened.”

“Do you want a deeper explanation than that you came inside me and your sperm fertilized my egg?”

Brady grimaced. Too much? “I mean, you assured me you were on birth control. I understand that it’s not 100%, but it’s just hard to believe you’re that unlucky.”

“Brady, are you fucking kidding me? Unlucky? Why don’t you understand how this works? I didn’t do this on purpose and I for fucking sure didn’t do it on my own!” I exploded.

“I just think it’s unfair,” he said.

“What’s unfair?”

“I don’t want a child right now!” Brady screamed, standing up. “Neither of us is ready and I can’t think of a worse time for this to happen!”

“Okay, I’ll tell the baby to come back in a few years when you’re ready.”

“And when you’re ready, too! You’re not even close to being ready either, Reese. For God’s sake!”

I burst into tears. I wasn’t expecting Brady to still be upset and definitely didn’t like him in my face and screaming at me. He muttered something and stormed off to the bedroom and I finished my burrito.

Brady was an asshole the next day as well. At 8PM he texted me saying, “Eat without me. I still have a few more hours here.”

Of course he did. And when he got home, he didn’t bother waking me up and he slept on the couch. I would have felt super alone, but I ordered Chinese food and that kept me company.

The following day though, Brady came home early with his tie off and a bouquet of flowers. I watched him over the top of my cheeseburger. We made eye contact and he looked down at the ground.

“I wanted to apologize,” he said.

“Oh,” I said back.

“I’m sorry. Um, can we talk? We should talk.”

“The last time we talked you screamed at me and blamed this whole situation on me,” I pointed out.

“I know. That’s what I want to talk about.” Brady motioned for me to join him at the bar area and I grabbed my cheeseburger and sat next to him.

“There’s no excuse for my behavior. I apologize for being a jerk. I shouldn’t have blamed you or yelled at you.”

“True,” I chimed in.

“I was, I mean, I am really surprised that you’re…pregnant.” Brady closed his eyes like this conversation was too hard to bear. And the word ‘pregnant’ was obviously hard for him to say. “I didn’t even think it was a possibility. I take full responsibility for my part in this.”

“…okay. Thanks, I guess. I didn’t think it was a possibility either, for the record,” I said, putting my burger down since we were finally talking.

“I’m scared,” he revealed.

“I am too,” I said, accusatorially. “Why do you assume you’re the only one feeling this way? It’s like you think this was my idea all along and I’m happy it’s all playing out.”

“No, I know this isn’t your idea. I’m sorry. I’m just…afraid of having a child and not knowing how to love it.”

“What?”

“I don’t know. If I – we – at this point already don’t want a baby…in addition to me having a hard time showing [he used a weird word here. I meant to Google it, but I gathered that it meant like, affection or love]….”

“Brady, you are capable of loving a baby. We will both work on it. I’m not the best at showing my feelings either, but we will figure it out.”

There was a pause and then Brady said, “So you’re six weeks along? What should we do? Should we get married?” He was dead serious.

“I don’t want you to marry me just because I’m pregnant. And definitely not if that’s the way you ask,” I said back.

He nodded and there was silence. I took this time to finish my burger. After I was finished, Brady grabbed my greasy little hand in his.

“I love you. I’m sorry that I don’t say it or know how to show it. You are the best part of my life.”

When Brady said this, I realized that he’s probably worse at showing affection because I don’t know how to accept it. After the “best part of my life” comment, I was thinking, “Hmm, not true.” And then I didn’t acknowledge it at all.

We talked a little bit about what I knew so far, which was basically nothing and went through some things on the What To Expect app. After that, Brady wanted to go for a walk, alone, and I realized when he came back that it was so he could smoke.

Once I’d talked to Brady about it, I thought I’d share my pregnancy news with my mom/parents. But then I thought I should wait until Mother’s Day. Won’t that be an amazing time to let my mom know she’s going to be a grandma? She’s going to die. As far as Brady’s parents – that’s for him to figure out.

As you can see, I’m less numb now. I might even be a tiny bit excited.

The following day, Saturday, Brady had to work, but I expected him to come home early with chili cheese fries like I’d been craving, but he worked late again. That was fine though because I couldn’t keep anything down all day. I had a ginger ale and lettuce for dinner.

When Brady finally got home, we sat together while he ate. After he finished and cleaned up, he said, “Um, I wanted to tell you something.”

Oh, God.

“Okay…”

“Do you remember Hailey?”

“Of course I do.”

Hailey was a college student Brady used to work with who had a massive crush on him and would send him flirty messages all the time. She was a non-threat, or so I thought.

“Well, this one time some of us from work went out and she kissed me. Well, she tried to kiss me. Obviously I-”

“What?” I demanded.

“No, I didn’t kiss her back. I let her know that it was, you know, inappropriate,” Brady explained.

“She, like, kissed you though? On the lips? How long did it last?” I needed to know.

“A second. A few seconds…or less.”

“When did this happen? Didn’t you work with her like three years ago?”

He nodded.

“Why are you even telling me this now? Are you looking for ways to piss me off?” I was shouting now.

“No, no, no! Of course not. I just want to make sure everything is out in the open now that…” He gestured, not wanting to say ‘pregnant.’

“So you had to tell me that some little girl tried to kiss you three years ago?”

Brady nodded.

“Is there anything else?”

“No. No, that was it,” he said.

I wanted to fucking punch him. What a waste of an argument. I went and got in bed and Brady came and joined me even though it was only 9:30PM.

Also, I don’t know if I believe him that that was it.

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