we shouldn’t have to force it.

During my last interview for the job I was recruited for, the interviewer asked me what my salary requirements were and I told her.

“Oh my,” she said. “That’s significantly more than we wanted to pay for this position.”

To me, that was a dealbreaker – I wasn’t about to take a pay cut for a job I didn’t even ask for.

“But let me chat with my boss. We may be able to figure something out,” she said.

I assumed that meant they wouldn’t be able to pay me what I needed so I figured I wouldn’t hear from her again. A few days later, Scott called me in my office. Usually if Scott wants to see me or has something to say he will text or email me, so it was weird that he was calling.

“Hi Reese. Will you stop by my office when you get a chance?” he said.

“I’ll come after lunch,” I told him.

“Great! Looking forward to it!” he said back.

I rolled my eyes.

After lunch I waltzed into Scott’s office and the first thing I saw was the new picture he had framed of his baby. She was sleeping in the picture and looked like a typical pink newborn. Cute.

“What’s up?” I said, sitting down.

“Reese! Thank you for taking the time to see me today!” he said warmly.

“Cute baby,” I said.

There was an awkward silence and then he said, “HR called me this morning and let me know that a competitor called inquiring about your salary history. Obviously we won’t disclose anything without your permission, but… are you looking for a new job?”

I was so pissed. Like why would you think it’s okay to call my current employer before even offering me a job? Bitch.

I said, “Of course I am, Scott. I’ve been teased about a promotion twice now so I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to do.”

Scott looked taken aback like he wasn’t expecting a real answer. “Wow. It hasn’t been my intention to tease you. We just haven’t quite found the right fit for you yet.”

“And you expect me not to be looking for the right fit on my own?”

He kind of shrugged. “I guess I thought you’d be patient and trust me.”

“Trust you,” I repeated.

“I think you deserve to be promoted just as much as you do. I don’t want you to think I’m not looking out for you.”

I just stared at him.

“I’m asking that you trust me. I will put you at the top of my list of priorities.”

And maybe I’m just being a complete bitch, but how could he possibly even offer to make me his top priority? With all the other stuff going on at work, his wife and baby? There was no way I could be his top priority and I didn’t need to be.

I said, “Okay, Scott. I totally trust you.” I was being sarcastic, but I also just wanted to appease him so I could get out of there.

Work has been so boring lately. I literally sit on my phone all day and text people and read blogs. Nothing at all is going on. Which gives me more time to worry about Brady.

He’s different this time. When he’s mad at me, he’s distant and we won’t talk for at least a day. Obviously we still don’t communicate well, but now he waits at least an entire day before pretending that nothing is wrong.

Brady’s birthday is on Christmas Eve and I really wanted to do something for his Dirty Thirty. The weeks leading up to it, I kept pestering him to see what he wanted to do and he just couldn’t tell me. I suggested a fancy Michelin star dinner, a trip to New York City, a trip to South America, a wild bar hopping night, literally everything I could think of. But nothing seemed to excite him.

About a week before his birthday, Brady and I were standing in the kitchen eating Thai takeout and I asked, “So what do you want to do for your birthday? We need to decide like tonight.”

Brady dropped his plastic fork like he’d had enough. “I don’t fucking care, Reese! I literally do not give a shit. We can do whatever you want!”

I was taken aback. What the fuck? I dropped my fork too. “Uh, okay? We don’t have to do anything then. I just wanted to make your birthday special. I don’t give a shit now either.”

Like how ungrateful can you be? It’s not like I was begging for a gift or anything like that.

Brady said, “Good,” and we finished eating in silence.

I wanted to stay and hang out longer, but not if he was going to be a moody psycho. And I didn’t want him to think it was okay. So after we cleaned up, I said, “I guess I’m gonna go.”

Brady didn’t make eye contact as he said, “All right.”

This was on a Friday evening and I didn’t hear from Brady until Monday. I had a productive weekend drinking, doing laundry, stalking his and Tia’s Instagrams and deliberately not texting or calling him. Fuck that. He was the one who needed to reach out to me and apologize.

“Want to get dinner tonight?” he texted me on Monday afternoon.

Hi, how are you? My weekend was fine, thanks for asking.

“Fine,” I said back.

Brady sent me a screenshot from OpenTable – he’d gotten us reservations at Momotaro. I rolled my eyes, but I was excited because I love that place.

Since Brady would be getting off work late, we decided to meet there. I deliberately got there later than our planned meeting time and found Brady standing at the bar talking to a woman.

“Hey!” Brady greeted me excitedly as I approached. He hugged me with his free arm. “This is Jill.”

Jill looked like a typical Lincoln Park housewife with her ashy blonde hair and obviously designer jeans and sweater. She was probably in her early 40’s and I wondered how Brady knew her.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Reese,” I said, shaking her hand. She gave me one of those limp, princess handshakes (which I loathe) and it became obvious to me that she doesn’t work.

“Staying warm?” she asked, slipping her hand in her front pocket. She had a flute of champagne and she put it to her lips while still looking at me.

“Trying to. It’s supposed to get colder so I won’t complain yet,” I said.

“Mmhm,” she murmured as she finished her sip. And then she pointed to me. “Prada?”

I realized she was talking about my Prada down puffer and I was impressed because it isn’t even from this season.

“Actually yes,” I replied.

Jill smiled at me and then turned to Brady. “Listen, it was good seeing you. I’m going to go back to my table.” She touched his forearm while saying this and we both watched as she twitched her little yoga sculpted ass away.

“How do you even know her?” I asked Brady at the same time he said, “Let’s go see if our table is still ready.”

We sat down and talked about our days and then Brady said something I wasn’t expecting. He said, “Hunter is coming for my birthday and Christmas. So we can just have dinner with him and go to the bars and stuff.”

I wanted to explode. Like all of a sudden he gave a shit about his birthday? Because Hunter was coming? And how was Hunter going to get away from his wife and kids for Christmas? I answered my own question when I realized Dom probably doesn’t believe in Christmas.

“Oh,” I said. Brady smiled and I added, “That sounds fun.”

“Yeah. We don’t have to do anything too crazy, you know,” he said.

When the server brought our plates I squealed with excitement. I looked at Brady to see if he was just as excited as I was and he was adjusting his napkin in his lap and looking off to his right. I followed his gaze to Jill, who was sitting in a booth with a group of other Lincoln Park moms. She was looking in our direction and flipped her hair over her shoulder before looking down shyly.

I couldn’t even help myself.

“So now that you’re turning 30, you’re into older women?” I asked.

“What are you talking about?” Brady asked, with his eyes practically bulging out of his face.

“You and Jill are having eye sex and it’s gross,” I said dryly.

“No,” Brady said and kind of laughed. “No way.”

Dinner went on like normal and then we headed back to Brady’s in an Uber. I snuggled up close to him with one of my legs draped over him. I was thinking about how I hoped Hunter planned on leaving his drama in California because I didn’t want to deal. I felt Brady’s phone vibrate a couple times in his coat pocket. It was close to 11 PM – I was thinking it better be Hunter making some last minute arrangements.

We got inside and decided we wanted to watch tv on the couch with Tucker for a little while before going to bed. Brady got up to use the restroom and stupidly left his phone sitting on the coffee table. I willed myself not to touch it, but after about two minutes, it vibrated. A text message. I moved Tucker out of my lap so I could see who it was.

Jill.

Motherfucking Jill.

“Good,” she said.

As soon as the screen went black again, Brady walked back in.

“Jill is texting you,” I said, with this weird, manic smile on my face. It was either that or fly off the handle.

Brady’s brow furrowed as he walked back to the couch.

“Jill’s texting you,” I repeated. “Why?”

Brady sat down and picked up his phone, reading the message. “Oh my God, why does it matter? It doesn’t mean anything.”

“It matters because you spent all dinner staring at each other and now she’s texting you and I’d like to know why.” I was being so calm and cool, honestly.

“I wasn’t staring at her!” Brady yelled.

I actually wanted to strangle him.

“Don’t fucking yell at me because I caught you texting that milf,” I said.

Brady picked up his phone and stormed out. I waited about ten minutes before deciding to go find him. He was taking a shower. And I decided to leave him alone for the night so he could talk to Jill. I called an Uber to go home and I was quite surprised at what I did on the way home. I cried.

I didn’t hear from Brady again until Wednesday morning. He sent me a picture of Tucker sleeping under the comforter. It was obviously super fucking adorable and I texted back, “Aww, my baby ❤️”

But after that, he didn’t call me until Thursday evening. I’d gone back and forth between texting him again, but after the way he’d acted and Jill, there was no way.

“Hey,” I answered the phone on Thursday.

“Hey you,” Brady said back.

I rolled my eyes because I was seriously annoyed with him for pretending nothing was wrong.

He told me a coworker was having people over for drinks and snacks and asked if I wanted to come.

“Umm…” I wanted to see Brady, but I was still a little bit upset about everything. “Okay.”

He told me that he was going to shower and get ready, but I could meet him at his place whenever I was ready. I changed into a House of Harlow dress, tights and my Alexander Wang booties. When I got to Brady’s, he answered the door wearing jeans and a button down with a hoodie over it. He looked like a Harvard dropout.

Brady pulled me into a big hug, burying his face in my hair. Then he pulled away and kissed me. “I missed you.”

“I can tell,” I said sarcastically and then I walked past him inside.

I was a bit standoffish for a few more minutes until I was over it and just wanted to have fun with Brady. Especially because he suggested we take shots of tequila before we go and that’s the Brady I know and love. By the time we were walking out to the Uber, we were excitedly discussing the places we could go for his birthday, the bars we needed to show Hunter and who we was still in town to invite over for Christmas. And he slapped my ass as I climbed into the back of our Prius. I just knew it was going to be a great night.

We arrived at Brady’s coworkers house in West Loop where everyone was gathered in the open concept living room/kitchen. I saw some people I’ve already met and met some new people. I always love seeing Brady talk to people in his field because he’s so passionate about it and it’s so hot and like, nerdy. Alex was there too. I was chatting with him about some of his recent Bumble dates (I know I’m fucking crazy ((but kind of not even that crazy anymore)) but some of these broads are really crazy) when a flash of black caught the corner of my eye. I glanced over and saw a thin girl with the longest, shiniest black hair talking to Brady. Sydney!! I almost squealed with excitement.

Brady was talking to her, explaining something, and smiling and Sydney was smiling back. She glanced at me and gave me a cordial nod, then turned her attention back to Brady.

“So I told her I’d call an Uber for her to get home and she refused because she didn’t want me to know where she lives! It’s not like I’m a stalker or anything! I’m just trying to be a gentleman!” Alex was saying.

I was busy watching Brady and Sydney’s encounter. It was not at all flirty or sexual, but it seemed like Brady had so much to tell her. He never talks to me that much. I’ve never even seen him talk to Chris or Alex or Anna or even Hunter like that. When he finally stopped to catch his breath, I interjected.

“Hi, I’m Reese,” I said to Sydney, sticking out my hand to shake hers.

“Oh, hi! I’m Sydney!” She shook my hand like an adult and continued smiling at me.

“So good to finally see the person Brady’s always on the phone with,” I said as innocently as I could.

Sydney’s eyes cut to Brady, but her smile didn’t falter. Brady looked like he was holding his breath.

“We aren’t on the phone that much, are we?” she said to Brady with her little nose all scrunched up.

Did she think this was some sort of joke?

“I’d say so,” I said. “Usually on Saturday nights or after 8:00 PM – the most inappropriate times for a work conversation.” I scrunched my nose to mimic her.

“The medical field can be demanding, Reese,” I heard Alex say. I’d forgotten all about him. “It’s not like Sydney is deliberately calling him on date night.”

Sydney made this really weird almost like gaping fish face then she said, “Sorry, I didn’t even know about you.” And she walked off.

“God, here we go again,” Brady said, rolling his eyes.

“What?” I said, feigning innocence.

He shoved his hands in his pockets and walked off – in the opposite direction Sydney had just gone.

“I’m gonna go grab a drink,” Alex said and then he was gone too.

I stood there alone thinking about how Sydney had said she didn’t even know about me. Meaning Brady didn’t mention me or talk about me. Was he letting people at work think he was still single? I couldn’t wait to confront him.

I walked around the party, stopping to chat with people I know and introducing myself to others. I finally found Brady with Alex and a group of people. He looked up at me, but didn’t say anything. So I just waited until they were finished talking and Brady walked over to me.

“So strange how Sydney has never heard of me,” I greeted him. “You must not talk about me.”

“I don’t. I don’t talk about my personal life at work. You should try it,” he snapped.

“I’m sure you love letting all the girls think you’re single. That way they can all flirt with you all day with no guilt,” I continued.

“Whatever. I’m ready to leave when you are,” Brady said.

“I’ve been ready since the moment I got here.”

The ride back to Brady’s was completely silent. I couldn’t believe Brady wouldn’t at least mention me to his work friends. It’s not like he has to talk about all the ins and outs of our relationship, but how could I have not come up in conversation once?

When we got inside, Brady went to his room while I plopped on the couch to get on Instagram. He emerged a few minutes later wearing just the white button down he had on before and the All Saints jacket I got him.

“I’m going out,” he announced.

“Okay? Where? I’ll come,” I said.

And Brady said, “No.”

I was so shocked I was speechless. No?

“You can stay here if you want though. I have chips and salsa and ice cream in the kitchen.”

“Why can’t I come?” I wanted to know.

Brady threw his hands up. “Because I just want to go out and have a few beers. I don’t want drama or to have to babysit. That’s why.”

Well, excuse me. I didn’t say anything and I heard Brady grabbing his keys to go. Obviously I wasn’t even in the mood to go out after that. After he’d left, I sat on the couch for about an hour thinking up all the evil things I could do like run his laptop through the dishwasher or cover the shower floor with body oil. Then I realized I didn’t have the energy to do any of that. I just called an Uber to go home.

The next afternoon, Brady texted me saying he was going to pick up Hunter from the airport and did I want to come?

I said, “No thanks,” and he didn’t respond.

I figured Brady would want to hang out with his brother without me on Friday night so I’d already made plans to hang out with Kendra and the baby. I ended up falling asleep on their couch and woke up on Saturday morning with a start. Kendra and I had polished off three bottles of wine and I remembered complaining to Kendra about what an asshole Brady had been and her telling me to text him. I grabbed my phone and saw 4 missed calls from Brady starting at midnight. I opened my messages to see what I’d said to him.

I poured my heart out. I told him how hurt I was about the way he had been speaking to me and the way he handled the Jill situation, was Hunter rubbing off on him? I mentioned how I was also hurt that he didn’t think I was important enough to talk about me to his coworkers. What did he tell them he did in his spare time if he didn’t talk about me? He said, “Call me,” and when I didn’t he started calling me.

I called him back and he picked up almost immediately.

“Hey,” I croaked into the phone. I guess I didn’t realize just how much I drank.

“Hey. I was just going to text you. Do you to grab brunch?” Brady said.

“Ugh, fine. I just need an hour,” I said.

We hung up and I laid on the couch for a little while checking my socials. One of the first things I saw was a picture of Lexi on her Snapchat story. And she was in bed with a shirtless guy with a ponytail who was conveniently covering his face.

“Lexi!” I texted her. “You’re with Hunter?”

She sent back a smiling emoji followed by, “I’m sorry. He is addictive.”

I rolled my eyes and got up. I met Brady an hour later at a restaurant near his place. I’d changed into Lululemon leggings, a hoodie, no bra, my puffer jacket, a beanie and sneakers. I put on my largest pair of sunglasses I own so I wouldn’t have to bother with makeup.

“What did you do last night?” Brady asked, sensing my hangover.

And this is wrong, but I kind of wanted to make Brady feel how he’d been making me feel. So I said, “I met up with some people from work and stayed out way too late. Lots of tequila.”

Brady raised his eyebrows, but continued eating without saying anything.

After brunch, we met up with Hunter at the grocery store.

“Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes,” he greeted me.

I sensed he was being sarcastic so I said, “Glad to see you crawled out of Lexi’s bed in time to meet us.”

I saw him flinch, but I rolled my eyes and walked off down the aisle.

Brady was super sweet and attentive all weekend. Saturday night was a drama free shitshow where I got so drunk I literally barfed in my mouth on the way to the bathroom. Great time though.

We ended up going to an Indian restaurant for Brady’s birthday which was fun and different. After dinner, we went home, invited a couple people over and poured drinks. Hunter and I had a bit of a heart to heart. It started because I brought up Lexi. I should probably mind my own business, but sometimes I can’t.

“Your friend is cool, but I’m not looking for anything. At the end of the day, my kids are what’s most important to me,” Hunter explained.

“Of course they are and they should be. You know if your wife finds out what you’re doing then she will do everything she can to make sure you can’t see them. You know that, right?” I said.

Hunter shrugged it off.

“How can you be so selfish?” I continued, getting irritated. “You literally told Lexi you love her and you send her dick pics weekly and now you’re saying you don’t want anything? What a fucked up thing to do.”

“It’s complicated. My relationship with my wife isn’t like it used to be even though I wish it was. We are at a crossroads, Reese.”

“Then figure it out!” I urged. “Don’t fucking get all these other people involved!”

“I know!” he shouted back. And then he settled down. “I know.”

“I just feel like even though Dom is awful, she doesn’t deserve what you’re doing to her.”

“How do you admit you made a mistake?”

I took a second before I answered. At first I thought he meant he made a mistake by cheating on his wife and then I realized he meant marrying Dom.

“You admit it and then you fix it and learn from it. No one will judge you for that, but they will judge you for cheating.”

He told me that Dom has changed so much that he feels like he doesn’t even know her.

“I know women want a lot of attention, but men need it too,” Hunter said.

It got me thinking that maybe I’m not giving Brady attention and that’s why he had been 1. seeking attention from other girls. And 2. lashing out at me. It made perfect sense. So the following morning, Christmas morning, I made a huge breakfast, which I planned on doing anyway, and asked Brady to tell me all about work while we ate.

“I’m just really curious and feel like I should know more about what’s going on in your life,” I explained.

And Brady just laughed at me. I realized he probably thought I was just fishing for information about the girls at work, but that’s not even what I was trying to do. So then he didn’t share anything.

Hunter left early in the morning the day after Christmas and I talked Brady into going shopping with me after we dropped him off at the airport. We did collective damage at Nordstrom and then sat down for lunch at Shake Shack. I was a needy mood so I sat right next to Brady at our table.

We went back to his place after lunch and had a nap on the couch with Tucker. I woke up before Brady did and laid on the couch watching tv while waiting for him to wake up. Brady’s phone was sitting on the coffee table face up and I saw it light up a few times. I was going to ignore it, but this is me and I couldn’t. I leaned over as far as I could without disturbing anyone and pushed the home key to wake his phone up. Jill was texting him.

She said, “???” and then, “Just call me later handsome.”

I gave Sleeping Brady the most disgusted look I could muster and then I did the only thing that I could think of: I stalked the hell out of this woman.

I found out that she’s 36, divorced and has a 4 year old daughter. And she works in real estate (you should see the head shot she uses on her business cards). By the time Brady woke up, I was balls deep in her wide open Facebook page, looking at a vacation she took in 2012.

“Hey,” Brady said, sleepily. “How long have you been up?”

“A while,” I said.

He got up and tried to snuggle me so I had to hurry and hide my phone because I did not want to be caught stalking Jill.

I spent the next week stalking Jill daily (checking her Instagram and Facebook multiple times a day to see if she made any mention of my boyfriend), but I didn’t bring it up again to Brady until New Year’s Eve.

“Where’s Jill celebrating New Year’s Eve, handsome?” I asked.

Brady and I went to a big house party in River North.

He gave me a weird look. “At home? I don’t know.”

“Have you met her daughter?” I asked.

“What?” Brady was looking at me like I’d just asked him to buy me a pet llama.

“She has a child, you know. And an ex husband.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Just warning you before you get involved in that situation. She’s obviously fertile and you’re afraid to even get married so…be careful with that one.”

“Oh my God,” Brady groaned, throwing his hands up.

“Just sayinggggg,” I sang.

“I’m literally not doing this tonight. If you want to argue, then you can argue with yourself.”

“Of course! That’s how I can tell you’re guilty!” I went on.

“Guilty of what, Reese?” Brady was raising his voice now. “I’m not fucking interested in Jill or anyone else. Why can’t you understand that?”

“Because actions speak louder than words.”

He shook his head. “I’m done. I’m so sick of this shit. I can’t do this everyday. You’re allowed to do whatever the fuck you want, but if I so much as know a girl then you declare war.”

“Oh, whatever,” I said, rolling my eyes.

We went back and forth for a while, just kind of belligerently accusing each other of stuff. Looking back, it’s embarrassing and so stupid, but at the time I really felt like we were accomplishing something.

The next morning, I woke up in Brady’s bed in just my tights from the night before. We were snuggling because it was freezing. I started to stir and Brady grabbed my hips to pull me closer to him. He started kissing my shoulders and back and it’s was weird because like, didn’t we decide to break up? How did I even up back there? But I let him fondle me and we hooked up and it was amazing even though we were both hungover and dehydrated. We both rolled over and fell back asleep.

We woke up a little while later and Brady grabbed me to snuggle me again. We got up and had breakfast and watched football and it was like a totally normal day like nothing happened. I went along with it until the evening when I just had to address the elephant in the room.

“Do you want to talk about our fight last night?” I finally asked.

Brady glanced away from the tv at me. “Sure.”

And then there was just silence.

And he said, “What do you want to talk about?”

“Well, we both said a lot of things and I just want to know which of them you really meant,” I said.

“I just don’t want to fight with you. We have essentially the same fight over and over and I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t understand why we can’t just go out and have a good time.”

“We can, but I’m not going to tolerate you texting and calling and flirting with dumb random girls,” I said.

Brady looked confused. “I’m not doing that.”

I’ll call you later, handsome,” I recited.

“She’s just lonely. It doesn’t mean anything,” he told me.

“I’d prefer she go and be lonely elsewhere.”

So I’ve been thinking lately that maybe Brady and I just aren’t compatible. I don’t know how to make him happy (obviously, if he’s seeking attention elsewhere) and if that’s what he’s doing then I’m not happy. Like it shouldn’t be this hard. We shouldn’t have to force it. And now I’m starting to have dreams about Brady and all these other girls and him ditching me or not coming home until 6 AM. I hate it. And I always wake up from those dreams feeling like complete shit. It’s almost like I’m starting to see some of Hunter’s traits in Brady and I don’t like that at all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, y’all! How’s everyone been?

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your brother is drama.

Brady invited me to his dad’s party with him and I said yes because it’s basically a tradition at this point. And when he told his mom he was bringing me, she suggested we get a hotel. Hunter and his wife and kids would be staying at the house and she didn’t want us to disturb them. I was honored.

We booked a suite in this beautiful Victorian/French inspired hotel in the Back Bay Area of Boston. When we landed on Friday evening, we were too tired to even go out and drink, let alone go mingle with Brady’s uptight parents. So we checked into our room, ordered Chinese food and watched Mission Impossible. Brady’s mom planned a big breakfast for us all on Saturday morning so obviously we couldn’t miss that. She let Brady know that a car would be picking us up 7:45am and we woke up at 7:30. Well, Brady woke up and then woke me up. I was fast asleep and having a dream about al pastor tacos.

We took turns taking three minute showers and made it out the door at 8:01am. The really dumb and annoying thing is that Brady’s parents live almost an hour and a half away from Boston, but that gave me time make myself look presentable so I brought my entire makeup collection in my purse.

As we were arriving at Brady’s parent’s house, I suddenly got weirded out about being there. Like obviously he’d told them all we broke up, but here I was prancing my ass back in.

“Your parents know I’m coming, right?” I blurted out, now with a full face of makeup on.

“Of course. My mom is excited that you are coming,” Brady said.

And to my surprise, his mom actually greeted me warmly.

“Oh, hello dear! Good to see you,” she said and it sounded like she really meant it. We hugged.

Hunter and Dom were already inside. Brady’s dad was holding the baby girl and the little boy was running around screaming at the top of his lungs with a toy in his hand. Hunter and Dom just let him.

“Hey you!” Hunter said to me. I gave him a sassy look because I hadn’t seen him since he hooked up with Lexi. He stood up and hugged me and I turned to Dom to say hi. Even though I had absolutely nothing to do with it, I did feel guilty that Hunter cheated on her with one of my close friends. Especially since it’s a full on affair – they text all the time and he told her he loves her.

She had the nerve to give me a sympathetic look. “How are you?”

“I’m fantastic. How are you? Looks like you have your hands full,” I said.

“I do and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve never had a family and I always wanted one,” she said.

And that made me feel super bad about everything. So I decided to play nice and be friends with her for the weekend.

“I’m glad to hear that. You and Hunter are very lucky to have each other.”

Dom looked up at Hunter lovingly, but he was talking to Brady and not paying any attention to what we were talking about. She looked back at me and I realized that Dom is actually really, really beautiful. Like the kind of girl who doesn’t need any makeup and can get away with not grooming her eyebrows for years on end. If I tried that, I’d look like a homeless pet. She made tiny undereye bags look kind of cute. They were the result of her finally having a family right? It was sweet.

Brady’s mom hired someone to make breakfast which is no surprise since she needed to spend all her time worried about everyone else.

We all sat around the table cooing over the children and talking about their accomplishments. I was frantically looking around for wine or alcohol. Brady’s mom was  suggesting all the different activities the little boy could get involved like karate, swimming and rugby. Like the kid is two years old, let’s not have him breaking limbs before his fifth birthday.

“And Reese, it’s been so long, hasn’t it? How have you been?” Brady’s mom asked.

Finally, some attention on me.

“Honestly, things have been fabulous. I can’t really complain,” I replied.

Dom said, “Are you still drinking Brady out of house and home?”

Hunter and Brady’s dad laughed and after a moment, Dom started laughing too. This bitch.

“Actually yes,” I replied and everyone, including Brady and his mother started laughing.

“I don’t think Brady boy would have it any other way,” Hunter said.

Brady smiled at me and nodded which I thought was so cute.

The mom quickly changed the subject to something else, something about volunteering, and I saw Dom tap Hunter on the shoulder and whisper something in his ear while staring at me. Then Hunter looked up at me too. And when she saw me looking at her, she gave me a sort of evil smile. So much for being friends for the weekend.

By the time I gave her a bitchy look back, she’d turned away because breakfast was being served. Bagels, smoked salmon, frittatas, potatoes, an arugula salad and grapefruit juice. It was all so fucking good. I literally cleaned my plate and then sat there waiting for the second course.

After breakfast we migrated to the great room so Brady’s mom could start throwing her opinion out again. It was mostly toward Dom though about the kids. The little boy was cute and after breakfast he gave me a hug and then was attached to my hip after that. He sat in my lap and smiled/laughed with me and touched my face. Like it was so cute.

We were in our own little world for a while and then he jumped down so he could get a running start to jump back on my lap.

“Oh!” Brady’s mom said laughing. “It looks like someone likes you!”

Dom laughed too, but then stood up and took the little angel out of my lap. Okay.

The rest of the afternoon was really boring besides the expensive bottle of wine Brady’s mom opened. I was super relieved when it was time to go back to the city so we could get ready for the party. Dom had been deliberately making me feel stupid and like silly about things.

“He’s just a baby, Reese,” she’d said. But I’m not the one trying to get him signed up for rugby!

In the car on the way back to our hotel, I said to Brady, “Is it me or was Dom an even more uptight bitch than she normally is?”

“Whoa, do you think that’s a bit harsh?” he replied.

“No! She’s evil,” I said back.

Brady rolled his eyes at me and I realized that I  was being mean and probably annoying which I’m trying to grow out of. So I dropped it.

The best thing about our trip was that I got a new outfit out of it. The moment I found out we were going, I ordered a little black dress and statement earrings and then splurged on new shoes because I’ve been so good about not shopping lately.

We all arrived and said our hellos then Brady and I hit up the open bar. Hunter and Dom stuck with the parents because Brady’s mom still needed to introduce the happy couple to people. Because I know y’all are dying to know: Dom wore a tea length emerald dress that made her look pregnant (is she? Can you image?) and gold heels. She had her dreadlocks pulled into an adorable little braid.

“Is Anna here?” I asked Brady, raising my eyebrows suggestively.

I don’t think I told y’all, but Anna wrote Brady a poem. In 2017, y’all! I didn’t tell Brady that I knew about it because I found it when his emailed was pulled up on his laptop. There was no explanation or words or anything, just the poem in the body of the email, so I’m not even sure if it was to him or if she just needed a proofreader. The subject did say, “for Brady,” though.

“No. She’s in Malaysia,” Brady answered.

“In Malaysia writing poetry,” I said.

Brady gave me a blank stare, but then Hunter appeared.

“T minus one hour and forty minutes,” he said and then he saw me watching so he explained, “Until it’s time to ditch this place and go to the bar.”

“Is your little wife coming?” I asked sweetly.

“Fuck no,” Hunter said.

I was thinking, “Oh, thank God,” but I wasn’t about to say that.

The party went on for a little while longer – boring, not enough wine – and then Hunter came and found us again. Brady and I had been holding up the bar planning the big Thanksgiving rager we wanted to have.

“Let’s go,” Hunter said and nodded toward the door. Brady followed him without hesitation and so I followed too.

I was thinking, “Okay..? I guess we don’t have to say goodbye to anyone.”

But we were only down one flight of stairs when the door swung open and tiny little Dom stormed out in her tiny gold heels.

“Are you seriously leaving?” she asked.

“Relax, honey,” Hunter said, not even turning to acknowledge her. “I won’t be out long.”

“Hunter, if you walk out of here, don’t bother coming back tonight,” Dom threatened.

And Hunter just waved her off and kept stomping down the stairs. Can you imagine? If I were Dom I would’ve chased him down the stairs and ripped his fucking ponytail out. How disrespectful. But not my issue.

We got outside and Hunter suggested a bar we could walk to.

“I just need a break,” he explained.

And I just needed a drink. Have I ever mentioned that Boston people are rude? Like so rude. After a couple drinks I was obviously feeling friendly and started chatting up this guy who was standing on the other side of me at the bar. I was telling him all about my life and career goals and baby names. And then his friend leaned over and said, “Dude, stop talking to her. She’s just trying to get you to buy her a drink.”

And I thought he would laugh at his lame joke, but he didn’t and he was serious.

“Ew. I don’t even let my own boyfriend buy me drinks, what makes you think I need one from some random loser in Boston?” I said.

They walked away.

And at another bar, the place was busy and the bartender man was serving a ton of people at once. He sat a drink down that kind of looked like it could be mine, but I wasn’t sure.

“Patron with lime?” I asked him as he flew past me.

“That’s what you ordered, isn’t it?” he hollered over his shoulder.

Excuse me? There goes your tip dude. But I still ended up leaving a couple of dollars out of habit.

In the final bar, I was completely over it and ready to go back to the chateau with Brady. He and Hunter had had about a dozen beers each and probably needed to go home anyway. I was drunk and standing there glaring at everyone. All of a sudden I heard Hunter say, “Man, fuck off or we can take this outside.”

There was a guy in a Virginia Tech hoodie standing there looking like a drunk mess and like he was taunting Hunter. The kid walked away and I thought nothing of it. We tabbed out and headed outside. While we were waiting for our Uber though, the dude in the hoodie came outside.

“All right, Macho Man, what you got?” Hoodie Boy slurred. He was small, like Brady’s size.

It all happened really fast – Hoodie pushed Hunter, Hunter turned and grabbed the kid by his hoodie, almost lifting him off his feet. The guy literally spit in Hunter’s face (EW!) and Hunter started shaking him and Brady got in his face also. I was standing there with my mouth wide open. Like what? Who spits?

The door guy ran over and shouted, “Get out of here or I’m calling the cops!”

The guys didn’t seem to hear him and Hunter just kept shaking him and threatening to kill him.

“Do y’all want to go to jail over this loser?” I finally shouted.

They both ignored me and finally, I grabbed Brady’s shoulder and jerked him away. One second later two of the bouncer guys ran over and pulled the little guy away from Hunter.

“What the fuck, Brady? Are you crazy?” I demanded.

He seemed to realize how ridiculous it all was and started pacing. The bouncers were trying to calm Hunter down – he still looked like he was ready to eat the other guy.

After we calmed Hunter down and booked a room for him in our hotel, I came to a conclusion.

“Your brother is drama,” I told Brady.

“He’s not normally like this. He has a lot going on at home,” Brady explained.

“And the way he treated Dom earlier…so disrespectful,” I continued.

“Yeah, but we don’t know what goes on day to day with them, you know?”

And I don’t really care what goes on in their day to day life – Hunter has some serious issues he should work on.

I had dinner with Lexi when we got back and told her what happened.

“Oh my gosh, poor guy,” she said. “I wish I was there with my man.”

I rolled my eyes. Really, Lexi? She started off dinner telling me about a guy she’d met on Bumble and gave head to on their first date. And now Hunter was her man. K.

Brady and I decided not to have the Thanksgiving rager, but we did have people over. I encouraged him to invite all of his friends from work. Sydney has made a habit of calling Brady at the most inconvenient times like Saturday nights when we are getting ready to go out and during dinner times. And Brady made it a habit of going in the bedroom or bathroom to talk to her and making sure the door was shut and locked. She called the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and Brady hopped up from where were sitting on the couch to speak to her.

“Really?” I said, rolling my eyes.

He gestured that he would be right back, but I got up and followed him so I could eavesdrop. He was using words like “fluid levels” and “dosage” so it did sound like they were probably talking about work, but why did he always have to do hide to talk to her? And he kept laughing.

When I’d finally had enough, I banged on the door and said, “Should I start on the steak?”

Brady actually groaned out loud and said, “Hang on a second,” to Sydney. Then to me he shouted, “Yeah, if you want!”

I stormed off.

So I was hoping Brady would invite Sydney over for Thanksgiving. I told him to invite all of his work friends. I put a huge emphasis on all. I’d invited Lexi, Ava and her boyfriend because everyone else was out of town. Brady made most of the food and I made what people really wanted: queso, egg rolls, and crostinis with dates, bacon and goat cheese.

The first person to arrive was Brady’s friend, Alex. And he brought a girl with him! She was cute and tall and blonde with fabulous knee high boots. When I saw them walk in together, I made a, “Wow, good work,” face at Alex.

He introduced her as Emily and the three of us chatted for a few minutes. Alex went to find Brady and say hello and I said I’d show Emily where to find a drink.

“Soo, how do you know Alex?” I asked her as I poured her a glass of my special Thanksgiving sangria.

“We met at the gym,” she said excitedly.

Well, how fucking cute. Like, I work out and I met a cute guy at the gym. We chatted for a little while and I liked her because she was sweet and humble. Such a good catch for Alex! When we met back up with the group, I nudged Alex and gave him a knowing look. He shrugged like he didn’t know what I meant.

“I must say, I’m proud. She’s a good catch,” I said so no one could hear us.

“Oh, no! It’s not like that. She’s just a friend, that’s it,” Alex responded.

“Are you in any position to friendzone someone?” I asked.

“Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I have to settle with someone I don’t want,” Alex said and that made me feel bad for assuming his being single wasn’t a choice.

So I just shut my ass up after that.

Carly and Chris came over a little later. She’s still tiny and just barely showing and it was so adorable.

“I just want to eat everything,” she told me. “I had half a pound of mac and cheese at Chris’s parents’ house.”

I’d eaten half a pound of mac and cheese too and I’m not even pregnant. We caught up and she excitedly told me about the names they were thinking of (she is really hoping for a girl so she can name her Sloane) and her ideas for the nursery.

“Are you ready for your life to change that much?” I asked her, thinking I’d help her think of bigger picture things.

“I don’t have a choice, do I?” she snapped. “If Kendra can do it, so can I.”

Whatever.

And Sydney never showed up.

That weekend my mom and I went to Mexico for a mini vacation. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it seemed like Brady was super excited for me to be gone. He kept asking me what day I was leaving and what time and then eagerly offered offered to take me to the airport on that Friday morning. Like aren’t you going to miss me?

My mom and I had an amazing time at our resort and she even met this hot business man from Dallas. She and my dad are talking a lot more and usually have dinner together every night, but she said she wants to keep her options open because she doesn’t want to be hurt again and honestly, I don’t blame her. So I encouraged her to flirt with him and they had dinner and drinks together one night and obviously exchanged numbers/emails.

I got back on Tuesday morning and since I didn’t have to be back at work until Tuesday, I dropped my things off at home then rushed to Brady’s to snoop. Since he didn’t know I’d stop by, he wouldn’t have had a chance to clean up any evidence. I thought maybe I’d find some strands of blonde hair or an earring back or thong, but everything was spotless and perfect as usual. So that annoyed me.

I’m sorry about being MIA. About a month ago, one of my LinkedIn connections messaged me about this really cool job. I had to prepare a lot for my interviews, analyzing numbers and coming up with campaigns. I even had to reach out to one of my former classmates for help. I’m on my sixth interview though so I guess it’s going well.

Around the same time the lady messaged me, Scott cornered me in the office.

“Hey you!” he greeted me.

“Hi. How are you?” I replied.

“Will you stop by my office after lunch? I just want to touch base and know what you want in your career,” he said.

The fuck? He knows what I want in my career. We’d talked about it several times. But still, I stopped by after lunch.

“So, why don’t you just tell me what you feel your next should be and where you want to be in the next few years?” Scott said, sounding really formal.

I wanted to give a sarcastic, bitchy answer back, but decided not to waste time doing that. I told him how I wanted to get more on the creative marketing side and away from sales. I feel like I can help elevate the company in other ways and Scott nodded excitedly the whole time I was speaking.

“A role just opened up that I’d like to consider you for. I don’t know if you heard, but our director of marketing is moving to France and her position is open,” he explained.

I had heard about the marketing director leaving, but the position was based in New York so I didn’t really think it was an option for me.

“Do you think I’m ready for that?” I asked.

“I do. I think you’re a highly viable and qualified candidate. We are considering both internal and externals candidates here in Chicago and also New York, but when I heard of the position being open, I immediately thought of you.”

“Oh, well thank you for thinking of me,” I said.

“Of course. Are you interested in interviewing?” Scott asked.

“I mean, sure. You can consider me.”

So I needed to prepare for that too. I interviewed with Scott and then some bigwigs and ended up not even getting the job.

Scott texted me after my rejection call and said, “Other opportunities will come and I want to help make sure you are ready. The team in New York had nothing but amazing things to say about you and we will find the perfect position for you. I know you are capable of doing much, much more.”

And I wasn’t exactly disappointed about not getting the job since I hadn’t even asked for it, but it kind of motivated me to try a little harder in my current role since apparently the New York people love me.

Brady and I had a really, really good drama free couple of weeks. We got invited to an ugly sweater party one of his friends was throwing and I bought matching sweaters for me, him and Tucker. Tucker obviously wasn’t going to the party, but I thought we could take super cute pictures in them.

The party was in Wicker Park and do you know who had the nerve to be there? Fucking Tia. It’s like she knew we were coming because she was one of the first people we saw. Like, did Brady text her and tell her we were on our way?

“Heyyy, you!” she said to Brady and reached out to hug him. Something about the way she was hugged him seemed sexual. Like she leaned into him with her hips and threw her arms around his neck. It was definitely not a normal, friendly hug.

When they pulled away, she turned to me and said, “Hi, Reese.”

Before I could eve say anything back, she turned to Brady and put her arm around him. “How have you been? I have so much to tell you.”

The fuck did she have to tell him? And more importantly, why was he even talking to this broad? Brady glanced at me and bit his top lip guiltily and all of a sudden it hit me: he totally fucked her. It was so obvious. Sometimes you can look at two people and you can tell by their chemistry that they’d seen each other naked. Ew.

She stayed and told Brady about work and her stupid dramatic life while I stood there glaring at him with my arms crossed.

“Anyway, I have to go find my friend. Catch up with me later though?” Tia finally said. “Good to see you, Reese.”

Once she walked away, I laid into him.

“I seriously cannot fucking believe you,” I said.

Brady looked bewildered. “What?”

“You had sex with her! It’s so obvious!” I said kind of loudly.

“Oh my God, don’t do this right now,” he said, rolling his eyes.

“I’m honestly so disgusted. She is trash, Brady. Sometimes I really think you have no standards,” I went on.

“I told you I didn’t have sex with her. I’m not going to argue you with you about this right now,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Okay, I guess I’ll leave then,” I said.

I thought Brady would stop me and tell me I’m being ridiculous, but he didn’t. He said, “All right. Have a good night,” and then he walked away.

I got out my phone to call an Uber. While I waited for five minutes for my driver to show up, I thought Brady would come find me and apologize and convince me to stay at the party with him. But he didn’t. So I went home and drank a bottle of wine and cried and downloaded Bumble.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had a missed call from my mom and several notifications from Bumble. Nothing from Brady. I deleted Bumble before calling my mom back. She wanted to tell me about her dilemma – she’d been talking on the phone to the man from Dallas almost every single night, but also seeing my dad and did she have to choose one?

I didn’t hear from Brady all day on Sunday and naturally I was thinking he’d spent all night with Tia and they were still together having sex all day. Gross. And I was so upset about it that I couldn’t get out of bed all day except to retrieve my food from UberEATS.

Brady finally texted me on Monday morning.

“Hey. You want to meet for lunch today?” he said.

And Brady never wants to meet for lunch – usually he doesn’t even take a lunch – so I figured he was breaking up with me. I thought about declining, but I was curious to see what would happen so I said yes. We decided on a place near my office – Brady said he’d come to me which was also a red flag. I stopped in the bathroom to put on red lipstick on my way out because no man can resist red lipstick.

Brady was waiting outside the restaurant wearing the All Saints jacket I bought him and he looked so fucking hot. And he reached out for a hug when he saw me.

“I’m shocked you could sneak out of the hospital to meet me,” I greeted him.

“I probably shouldn’t be away long, but I wanted to see you,” he said.

We got inside and sat down and started talking like nothing ever happened. We were talking about Hunter and Dom, my mom, work, Christmas, etc. We were having such a good time that I didn’t want to know what happened Saturday night and Sunday. I didn’t want to talk about it at all. As we were standing up from the table, Brady said, “I love you.” Like it was so random and cute. I kissed him and we walked out.

The restaurant has a narrow little host area that isn’t really that well lit and as we were leaving, I saw Zach standing there with a few people who looked like his coworkers. Y’all remember Zach? I honestly thought I’d vomit. I’ve done an amazing job not thinking of him at all and not ever having to see him or see any of his social media helped. I’m actually surprised I hadn’t run into more because our office are quite close to each other. He was wearing his thick wedding band.

“You ready?” Brady asked because I’d apparently stopped right in the middle of the walk way.

Zach had not seen me yet so I continued on walking making sure not to look at him. But then he saw me, out of the corner of my eye I saw his face light up.

“Hey you!” he said excitedly.

I ignored him and he touched my elbow and then grabbed it when I didn’t stop walking. “Reese?”

I snatched my elbow away from him dramatically. “Don’t fucking touch me.”

Zach stepped back like I’d slapped him and I continued walking. Even though my office was in walking distance, Brady offered to give me a ride back.

“I’m not even going to ask what that was all about,” he said as we buckled in.

“Thanks,” I replied.

I could tell he was still kind of curious (I know I would be), but didn’t mention it again.

When I got back to the office, Zach had texted me. I was surprised because I thought I blocked him.

“That was very childish and unnecessary. I wish you’d talk to me like an adult,” he said.

The nerve of him to even try to criticize me.

“You know what else is childish and unnecessary? Cheating on your wife and lying about leaving her. And for that reason I don’t need to talk to you at all,” I replied.

He didn’t say anything back.

Anyway, I’m still waiting to hear back from the job from LinkedIn. Obviously I hope I get it since I put in so much work and it pays more, but we will see. I’m mostly excited because Brady and I have a really cool trip planned next month. Can’t wait to tell y’all about it!

Standard

i no longer have credit card debt. 

Something that just started getting to me is how much Brady works at home. Like I don’t get it. How much work is there to do? Even with all of my little projects and big projects at work, there is no way I could work for 12 hours a day at the office and then come home and do 2 to 3 more hours of work. It just doesn’t make sense.

So now I feel like he must be doing something else at work besides work. Like Sydney and Jessica and Hailey and whoever else. I know Jessica doesn’t work there anymore, but still. And it doesn’t help that his phone semi blows up in the evenings too. Who is texting him that much after 8pm? I don’t like that. I mean, he gets texts back to back to fucking back. It’s ridiculous.

The only plan we had for the weekend was a Halloween party on Saturday night, but I assumed we’d hang out on Friday too. I didn’t hear from Brady all day so I texted him at around 9pm saying, “What are you up to?”

A few minutes later, Brady texted back saying, “Hey! I’m having sushi in Old Town. What about you?”

The fuck? “Hey!”? Like you don’t know me? Sushi with who? Where was my invite? I want sushi.

I decided not to respond and to just find my own plans for the night. Luke had texted me early in the week about getting drinks and I decided to take him up on the offer. He had plans of going bar hopping with some of his friends and they were all dressing up, but I was in no mood. Instead I wore a skin tight plunging black bodysuit, ripped black jeans, a cropped black bomber and maroon lipstick. We all met at a restaurant for apps and drinks and I was super disappointed to see Stacey sitting at the table. Do y’all remember Stacey, who I used to work with at my last job? She was so annoying. But she squealed when she saw me.

“I didn’t believe it when Lukey told me you were coming!” She stood up and I saw that she was also wearing an all black outfit with purple lips.

I rolled my eyes. “Hi Stacey.” We hugged.

Luke (dressed as the Joker) was also there with his friend Jason (dressed as Batman) and Elaina (dressed as a white cat. Yawn). We ordered fries, burrata and tuna sliders.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever. What’s new?” Luke asked.

The last time I hung out with Luke, Nick was still a thing so we had a lot to catch up on.

“I need a new job,” I began.

“Is this because of your boss or no?” Luke asked.

“Among other things. Have you heard of anything?”

He shook his head. “If I did, I’d be all over it. I’m ready to go too.”

I’m actually surprised Luke has lasted as long as he has.

“So Jason?” I whispered, gesturing to Batman next to him. “Coordinating costumes must mean things are serious.”

Luke shook his head. “We’re going slow. The costumes are a coincidence.”

I knew that probably wasn’t entirely true, but I accepted it.

“I’m seeing Brady again,” I said.

Luke’s eyes lit up which was Kendra’s exact reaction when I told her. For some reason I thought everyone would roll their eyes and say, “Why waste your time? You already know how this is going to end.” Which I guess is what I’m thinking.

“Finally! How did that happen?”

“I really don’t know. We went back and forth for a few months, but this we’ve been back together for a few weeks.”

“For good this time?”

“I mean, that’s the goal, isn’t it?”

“I love it. He is such a nice guy, Reese. Such a nice guy.”

And I wanted to go into how I don’t know if trust him and yadda yadda, but it didn’t seem like the time. So I agreed.

After food and a couple of drinks we walked down the street to a bar with louder music and more dancing. I got hit on a couple times by actual really hot guys and I was a bit concerned because I wasn’t interested. And I was also kind of mad because I couldn’t guarantee that Brady would fight off hot girls hitting on him. It’s not like we’d agreed to be exclusive.

I ended up calling an Uber around 1:00 am because I was tired and bored and couldn’t stop thinking about my box Cheez-Its I had waiting for me. Plus Stacey had ditched us for a guy she met on Bumble so I was third wheeling anyway.

On Saturday morning, I checked my phone hoping to at least have some drunk texts from Brady, but I didn’t. The last thing he’d said to me was that he was at sushi and hadn’t even followed up when I left him on read. Rude. And to me that meant he was having fun with someone else and wasn’t thinking about me at all. I got up and showered then got a mani/pedi. Brady called as I was leaving the salon.

“Hey,” I answered, making sure he could hear the cars and commotion outside so he knew I was out doing something.

“Hey you!” he said in this weird affectionate voice that I’ve never heard before. “What are you doing?”

“Just out and about,” I replied.

“Will you be free soon? I want to see you.”

I smiled. “Maybe. Can I call you back?”

With the ball now in my court, I slowly walked home, stopping in several stores to get a new fall scarf, earmuffs, gloves, a cookie jar, a face mask, perfume, and a pumpkin spice bone for Tucker. I had to call an Uber home. I got back to my apartment about an hour and a half later and hopped in the shower. I washed my hair, shaved my entire body and then I got out. Once I was dressed, I texted Brady, “Finally home. Want to meet?”

“Yes. Meet at my place. I’ll take you to breakfast,” he replied.

When I got to Brady’s, he pulled me into the biggest hug like he hadn’t seen me in years. It was like those military reunions you see on the news. We pulled away and he said, “I missed you,” while still gripping my waist tightly.

“Did you?” I said back.

Brady nodded. “I’m glad you’re here now.”

He needed to get dressed so I waited in his bed while he did so. I texted Kendra and watched a couple of YouTube videos and then Brady walked to the edge of the bed fully dressed in jeans and a white button up with a sweater over it. He actually looked really, really good.

“How was your night?” I finally asked.

“It was good.” Brady reached under the blanket to rub my legs. “How was yours?”

“Fine,” I said back.

We fooled around for a while and then got dressed again for breakfast. It was weird that Brady had no interest in telling me about his night and who he was with even after I told him about mine and seeing Stacey. And I wasn’t about to keep bringing it up so he would think I cared.

After breakfast, we stopped by Binny’s to get liquor for the party and also just to keep at the house for personal use. We spent $300 and had to take two trips to get it all in the house.

Even though it was a Halloween party, Brady and I couldn’t be bothered to dress up in costumes. I, again, went with an all black look with Alexander Wang booties and falsies. The party was at one of Brady’s coworker’s friend’s house in the West Loop. I was actually quite impressed with the amount of people in quality costumes, not just a bunch of slutty black cats walking around. And that townhouse was decorated really sophisticatedly like the owners had spent some real money on Halloween decorations.

Do y’all remember that one time I was out with my friend Lexi and we got super drunk and slept at some random guy’s apartment? One of the guys was there. I can’t even remember his name, but he recognized me immediately.

“Hey! Reese?” he said, patting me on the shoulder.

I knew I recognized him from somewhere, but I couldn’t place where at first.

“Hey! How are you?” I replied, hoping he wasn’t someone I made out with while drunk.

“Good! What’s up? Where’s your friend?” he said.

“Lexi isn’t here. This is my friend Brady!” They shook hands and I wondered if I actually just friend zoned Brady.

“Hey, what’s up man? How are you?” the dude said.

We stood there and talked about how we knew the hosts, costumes and football and pickup trucks. Have I ever mentioned how much I talk? I didn’t know the guy’s name, but discovered that both of our moms are blonde, but didn’t pass down that trait to us.

When he walked away, Brady said, “How do you know him?”

“I think I met him once when I was out with Lexi. I don’t know,” I replied.

Brady gave me a weird look, but didn’t say anything else. I was actually kind of amused that he was interested in my relationship with some random guy. Keep him on his toes.

We ended up getting completely hammered and leaving the party to go to a bar. I didn’t realize it, but we went to meet up with some of Brady’s friends. Brady is besties with this doctor named Alex, who is super single and I’ve offered to wing woman for. He’s cute and nerdy in a Brady kind of way. But not great with women, which I love about him.

I spent the majority of the night trying to scout of girls for Alex, who had the nerve to be picky. He’d be like, “I don’t like her hair,” and “She’s too big.” Like okay dude. Don’t be annoying.

Eventually we took our party back to Brady’s – Alex, Craig, Craig’s girlfriend and this annoying lawyer girl named Amy. She kept being like, “In law school we did this,” and “In law school this happened.” At one point in the evening, she started a sentence with, “When I was in law school,” for the one millionth time and I cut her off.

“Wait, you went to law school?!”

She looked at me like I am actually mentally handicapped.

They all smoked and we hung out until 4:45am. I woke up at 9am, curled into a ball on the armchair. Alex was passed out on the couch with a bag of Doritos on his chest. Brady wasn’t around and you know what the first thing I thought was? He’s probably in bed with Amy. Amy! Why would he even be in bed with her? I hate that my mind immediately goes there.

I found Brady sleeping on the bed in all of his clothes with Tucker. It was honestly so fucking adorable, I wish I would’ve taken a picture. I went to the side of the bed to wake him up and Brady opened one eye to look at me.

“Good morning, princess,” he greeted me groggily.

Brady never calls me any pet names and certainly not “princess” so y’all know what I thought? He must have another girl that he calls princess and it accidentally slipped out when he saw me.

We got up and cleaned and then I made smoothies and avo toast for us. We spent the majority of the day watching movies, eating and playing with Tucker. Toward the end of the day when I was thinking of packing up my things and going home, I decided to have a conversation with Brady. We were laying on the opposite ends of the couch with our legs intertwined with each other.

Brady was looking on his phone and I said, “So…” and he looked up. “Are we like back together? What are we doing?”

He looked confused. “What do you mean?”

I had to force myself not to get irritated. The question was clear. “I mean, are we friends hooking up or are we a couple?”

Brady grabbed my knee and it was actually so, so sweet coming from him. “No, we are more than friends. I hope.”

“So we are back together then,” I said.

“I don’t think we should force ourselves into anything. I don’t want to do that,” he said.

“You don’t want to force anything?” I echoed, trying to comprehend what that even meant.

“I just think the way we have been recently is perfect. I don’t want things to go haywire…again.”

I just stared at him for a moment, not even sure how to take that. When were things ever haywire? Brady started to say something else, but I started speaking at the same time and he let me finish.

“Are you seeing any other girls?”

“No…”

I waited a moment for him to complete his answer, but that was it.

“And you don’t want to? You just want to be with me?”

“Correct.”

“But you don’t want to force anything.”

“Can we just have fun without the pressure? I don’t want to fight with you about getting married. I just want to be with you.”

And even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, it was sweet and I knew Brady was being open and honest which he never used to be. I appreciated that.

“Okay.”

I was just thinking, “We are getting older and can’t be just having fun anymore.” But I wasn’t about to have that argument.

“I’m sorry. I want things to be better now than they were before,” he said.

“We have to communicate better, that’s the biggest thing,” I said.

Brady nodded.

“Meaning if you are going to hang out with your friends until 4am instead of hanging out with me like we planned, you should let me know.”

“Okay. I can do that. That won’t happen again.”

“Just like, don’t give me a reason to be mad.”

Brady smirked. “I don’t try to. No one wants to be on your bad side.”

The whole “I don’t want to force anything” comment didn’t sit well with me, but I was glad that Brady was honest about wanting to be with me and not any other girls. 

The next morning, I was sitting at my desk getting ready to begin my day and Brady texted me.

“Miss you,” he said.

I replied, “Just to be clear, you’re not interested in getting married?”

He didn’t respond for a while and I was kind of afraid that I’d pushed the wrong button.

About an hour later, Brady said, “I don’t want to spoil our relationship by focusing too much on marriage. If it happens naturally then great. I’m sorry if that’s not the answer you want to hear, but I think if we try it this way we will both be much more happy.”

I was just excited that he used the word “relationship.” I didn’t realize I even wanted that. And as much as I didn’t want to admit, he is probably right. 

Later on in the day, I wanted to make myself a bit more miserable so I asked Brady to tell me about the girls he dated while we weren’t together.

“Really, Reese? Does it matter?” he said back.

And I guess it really didn’t, but I still said, “Yes.”

He claimed he had drinks once with Aisha, but she was “crazy” and “clingy” and they never hung out again. And then there was the girl who he went on a date to the steakhouse with – someone he met through a coworker. No chemistry and they didn’t hang out again. And that was it, he said. I wanted to ask how many girls he hooked up with/who, but I knew that it would actually upset me. And honestly, does it matter?

Brady was super sweet and attentive all week, making sure to always check in and let me know when he was getting off and what he was doing. Don’t ask me why or how it happened, but he even paid off my credit cards. I no longer have credit card debt. It was so generous of him. 

On Saturday, we woke up and made a shopping list for the grocery store. As we walked through the aisles, Brady was texting and on his phone more than normal. I started getting really irritated then I thought maybe he’s texting Hunter or Alex to talk about sports or something. And then his phone rang.
“Hey, how are you?” Brady answered. “No, no problem. What’s the issue?”

He stood there with a pensive look on his face and one hand in his pocket.

“Oh, that’s tough. I’m sorry that happened to you. Is Steven there?”

“Are you able to get into the database or do you not have access? I can give you my log in information, no problem.”

Brady walked away until he was out of the aisle and out of sight. Like why would you walk away? It’s not like I cared about his log in information or would be able to do anything with it. I continued shopping alone, picking up things for breakfast and dinner and lunches for work. I found Brady in the international foods aisle, trying to pick out rice. He was still on the phone though.

“Yeah, I’m a bit frustrated by it too, but once we get consistent, it’ll be better.” He glanced up and saw me. “Well, I’m glad I could help, Sydney. No problem at all. Have a good rest of your weekend.”

Brady hung up the phone.

“Who was on the phone?” I asked innocently. I felt one of my eyes twitch.

“My coworker. Things always fall apart on the weekends,” he said.

So naturally I went home and scoured LinkedIn until I found this Sydney (I couldn’t find her on Facebook). She’s an intern at Brady’s hospital. I vaguely remember Brady telling me that he’s taken on a lot more responsibility at work and I wondered if that includes training the interns. Her profile picture is a half body shot with her wearing a tight cobalt blue dress under a white coat. The picture is too small and grainy to tell if she’s pretty, but she does have a hot little body and long dark hair.

So now I’m worried about Sydney and I fucking hate it. I think about how often Brady stays late at work, but then comes home and works. Meaning he’s probably not actually staying late – he’s probably wining and dining Sydney or hooking up with her in broom closets and then comes home and actually has to do his work.

And I feel like if I can’t even trust him at work then I have no business being with him and/or I need serious help.

Love y’all! 

Standard

i’m driving myself crazy.

I decided to get over the fact that I was overlooked for the promotion and that Monica is an idiot and just focus on my job. Like, what the fuck ever. Being mad and bitter about it was affecting no one, but myself.

It’s honestly just easier not to worry about anyone else or the office politics. I had so much time to think about other things – like overanalyzing every single thing Brady did or said. He’d ask things like “What day did you say you would be required to work late?”

I’d previously told him that we were working on a big project and had planned a late night in the office and I guess he could be wondering so he could plan to do something else, but that something else could involve his other girlfriend.

My mom and I planned a vacation and we ended up changing the original date we planned to go (they were a week apart). When I told Brady, he got a weird concerned look on his face.

“But I thought you were going the week before?”

And why would it matter? It’s not like Brady and I made plans for either date.

“Well, we changed it.”

Brady’s face calmed down. “Oh, maybe that will be better then.”

I can’t tell if Brady has always been this sketchy or if I’ve recently gone more psycho or if things aren’t sketchy at all.

One random Tuesday at work this girl named Julie accosted me and said, “Oh my God, Reese!”

She gave me this strange knowing kind of smile and sidled up next to me.

“What?” I replied, hoping she wasn’t going where I thought she was.

“Scott!” she hissed.

I gave her a look that said I still didn’t know what she was talking about.

“Everything’s been confirmed. He told Kelsey all about you guys. Apparently they had some sort of fling too and that’s how she got promoted.”

Kelsey is Mike’s former assistant and once he left, she got promoted to the operations team.

“Fling?” I repeated.

“Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what happened, but she has something against him. Maybe messages or pictures. She blackmailed him,” Julie said.

“I’m not sure what any of this has to do with me,” I said, not revealing anything.

“We are all wondering why you didn’t do the same thing to get promoted too! He has so much to lose with the wife and baby and new job!” Julie laughed.

I just stared at her for a minute before saying, “First of all, I have nothing to use against him as blackmail because we never did anything.”

Julie stopped smiling.

“And even if I did, what kind of person would blackmail someone in order to get a promotion? That’s pretty low if you ask me,” I said and I meant that. I may do a lot of morally questionable things, but what Kelsey did (if it were true) is wrong. Obviously Scott had no business doing what he did, but still.

So that’s what everyone has been talking about at work the past few weeks. Julie apologized to me for making that assumption, but continued gossiping with everyone else about me and Scott’s affair. It’s hard to focus on work when everyone is questioning your moral character.

On Monday, Scott texted me saying, “Where are you going for lunch?”

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“Let’s try the new taco place down the road. My treat. It’ll be nice to get out of the office even if it’s only for an hour,” he said.

I sat there and debated whether or not I wanted to spend a whole lunch period with him. But then I decided I was curious to see what he wanted. Scott and I don’t talk much these days and certainly don’t go to lunch together so obviously there was a reason for this invitation.

“Okay. I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes,” I said.

I hopped up and threw on my jacket and scarf so I could get out of there before Scott did. If we left fifteen minutes apart, then no one would suspect we were going to lunch together right?

We met outside the taco shop and ordered food then sat down. Scott commented on my super modest taco duo compared to his massive overflowing burrito bowl with a side of chips and salsa. I shrugged and dug into one of my tacos.

“So, I’m sure you are hearing what everyone is talking about around the office,” Scott said in a lowered voice.

I just looked at him like I was confused.

“About you and me…and some other coworkers…” he went on.

“Oh yeah, about how Kelsey blackmailed you for a promotion,” I said.

Scott’s face started coloring. “Among other things, yes. That isn’t true, by the way. I had nothing to do with Kelsey’s promotion.”

“You approved it,” I pointed out. Nothing happens in the office without Scott’s approval.

“After our director of operations sought her out and wanted her. I can assure you that Kelsey got this promotion because of her hard work, not because of me.”

I rolled my eyes. “And Monica too?”

He looked taken aback. “The New York team loved Monica. You know I would have chosen you in a heartbeat if it were just up to me.”

“You had the opportunity to and you didn’t so I know that’s not true,” I said.

“I don’t like the way that turned out either, but it was out of my hands, Reese. I want to apologize for that and for everything that is going on now. I feel like I’ve made a mess of things and I didn’t intend to.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

“I mostly feel bad because I’ve ruined any chance for a relationship with you. Friendship or otherwise-”

I put my hand up to stop him. “Please. Don’t even go there. That’s never going to happen… you have a happy life with your baby and wife.”

“But it’s not a happy life,” Scott said looking down and for a brief moment, I felt bad for the guy. But then I thought about him sending inappropriate messages to Kelsey when I wasn’t replying quick enough.

“Yeah, well I don’t want to be involved in it. You have a wife and a baby and I have Brady. The only relationship we can have is a working one.”

“You’re back with Brady?” Scott wanted to know.

“Yes. It was bound to happen,” I said.

After all that, the only thing Scott took away from the conversation was Brady and me. When we finished lunch, I told him that he had to wait 15-20 minutes before going back to the office because I didn’t need people seeing us walking in together. He told me he’d go for a walk and come back later.

As soon as I walked into the office, Julie was walking out of the break room.

“How was your lunch date with Scott?” she asked.

“What?” I was surprised that 1. she was bold enough to ask and 2. she’d caught on even though I thought I’d timed it correctly.

“Come on, Reese. I’m not an idiot. You both left at the exact same time. What did you talk about?” she wiggled her eyebrows and I walked away.

I went over to Brady’s after work. He wasn’t home yet, but texted me saying he would be soon and that I could start dinner if I wanted. I put some chicken in the oven and started chopping up vegetables. Brady got home and said he had about an hour of work still to do, but once he was finished, he would be all mine. He chatted with me from the dining room even though I didn’t want to disturb him since he was working. There was a brief lull in our conversation and then his phone rang. I stopped chopping and turned down the boiling water so I could listen.

“Hello, Sydney,” Brady answered. It sounded really warm and affectionate and I frantically tried to rack my brain to try to remember him mentioning a Sydney before.

“Yeah, I got home a little while ago. I tried waiting for you, but I was ready to be out of there.” He laughed.

“He’s always asking for pills and we always tell him no. Yeah. For sure. I’m glad you did that, thank you.” He laughed again. “No, I appreciate it. I’m not eating dinner yet, don’t worry.”

“What time do you think you’ll be in tomorrow? Okay. Why don’t you call me on your way in and we can discuss it? Yeah, I have to drive up to Palatine in the morning which will take forfuckingever, right? So call me then. I will probably see you Friday, too. Cool. Well, thank you, Sydney. I really appreciate you telling me that. Talk to you tomorrow. Good night.”

And now I’m focusing all of my energy on figuring out who Sydney is. It sounds like she works with him, but the conversation just sounded really personal. Normally I would just demand to know who she is, but I guess technically I have nothing to be jealous about (especially with her being a coworker and that’s exactly what he will tell me when I ask). But Nick calling me insecure that one time really stuck with me and the last thing I want to do is look insecure and now I don’t want to ask Brady about anyone or anything. Like I’ll just be calm and cool about everything and not make a scene about anything. I can confront him and then he’ll assure me that she’s just a coworker and that I’m overreacting as usual and then he will resent me and regret even hanging out with me again. I’m driving myself crazy.

Standard

i don’t know if i should be doing this.  

Brady texted me on Sunday night that he was having a couple people over on Monday for Labor Day. I rolled my eyes and decided I wasn’t responding.

On Monday morning my friend, Lexi, texted me saying, “I heard Brady is having a party today. You think we should go?”

And if Lexi was hearing about Brady’s party then he’d probably invited more than a “couple people.”

“We should go,” I texted back.

I got dressed and met Lexi out so we could eat and catch up before going to Brady’s. I didn’t let Brady know that I was coming because I thought it would be interesting to surprise him.

When Lexi and I arrived, the first person I saw was Hunter. He did a double take when he saw me.

“Whoa!!” he exclaimed like he was super surprised to see me. “It’s been a while.” He pulled me into a hug and then saw Lexi when we pulled away.

“Hey, I’m Lexi,” she said, shoving her hand in his. I thought nothing of this encounter because Lexi is always super outgoing and flirty and Hunter is pretty good looking.

“So what have you been up to?” Hunter asked me.

“Honestly, nothing new. Life is boring lately. How’s the wife and kids?” I replied. I glanced at Lexi out of the corner of my eye to gauge her reaction. Her huge smile didn’t break.

“Oh, they’re all good,” he said nonchalantly, almost brushing it off.

Brady appeared next to me with a beer in his hand. “Well, hello.”

I don’t know why, but seeing Brady and Hunter together made me kind of nostalgic and happy. To my surprise, Brady put his arm around my neck for a hug.

“You guys look just alike!” Lexi exclaimed.

I hadn’t expected Hunter to be there so I didn’t tell Lexi that they were brothers beforehand. I’ve never thought Brady and Hunter looked alike, but after Lexi’s comment I studied them. Hunter is a solid four or five inches taller than Brady and in general is just larger and has a larger presence. I guess I could see the resemblance in the nose and blue eyes though.

Brady and Hunter looked at each other and smirked and then Brady focused back on me.

“I’m glad you decided to come,” he said.

“Yeah, well. Lucky for you, Lexi dragged me here,” I said back.

Brady smirked at me because he knew that wasn’t entirely true. “Can I get you a drink?”

I said yes and followed him to the kitchen.

“Patron with lime,” I requested.

I watched Brady as he meticulously grabbed a rocks glass and the bottle of Patron, cut a lime and squeezed it into the glass. It was so hot. Why is Brady so hot when he’s just making a drink? When he finished he took a sip.

“Had to make sure it was good enough for you. You’ll love it,” he said and handed me the glass.

I rolled my eyes, but couldn’t help smiling. We started talking about our weeks and then about restaurants including this new steakhouse that’s been hard to get reservations at. Brady said he’d gone the weekend prior.

“With who?” I asked.

He got this look on his face like he was caught.

“Oh, a friend of mine,” he said.

“A girl friend?”

Brady smirked at me and tilted his head. “Does it matter?”

“Of course it matters. I wouldn’t have asked if it didn’t. So who was it?”

“A girl. It was a date,” Brady said defiantly.

Even though I’d assumed it was some sort of date, hearing Brady say it out loud actually kind of upset me.

“Oh. And where is this girl now? I’d love to meet her,” I said.

“I bet you would,” Brady said, smiling. He took a sip of his beer, but didn’t take his eyes off me or stop smiling.

“Yep, so I can warn her to stay away from a guy who actually can’t follow through with his commitments and in general is kind of a baby about most things.”

Brady’s eyebrows shot up like he was surprised, but he still said, “I wish I’d gone with you.”

I didn’t know what to say so I said, “Okay, Brady.”

He said, “Okay. Well enjoy your drink.” He walked away and it frustrated me to no end. Like stay and argue with me some more.

I went to find Lexi, but she wasn’t where I left her. I ran into Lindsey who was there with some guys from work (Lindsey is such a guy’s girl). I hung out with her for a little while and we caught up because I have not seen her in so long. She mentioned wanting to leave Chicago which made me sad because Chicago is a great city. She talked about how she and her boy want to move and settle in Ireland because they just took a long vacation and loved it. It actually sounded incredibly boring.

About two hours later I realized that I hadn’t seen Lexi or Hunter since Brady and I left them. I texted Lexi asking her where she was and then I ran into Brady again.

“Have you seen your brother?” I demanded.

He shrugged. “Not for a while. Why?”

“Because they’re missing. And I know how he is and I know how she is,” I said.

“And they’re adults. You don’t have to babysit them.”

I wanted to smack him.

“Well your brother is married with several kids and it is concerning that you don’t care about his extra martial activities. So…”

Brady actually had the nerve to roll his eyes at me. “Reese, it’s not your business.”

We went back and forth all day. Both of us wanted the last word and to continue talking to each other. Eventually it dwindled down to just a few of us and Lexi hadn’t responded to any of my texts or phone calls. Brady was sitting outside with some guy friends and I waltzed out there.

“I’m leaving,” I announced.

Brady jumped up. “Right now? But…”

He couldn’t think of an excuse and I just stared at him.

“Do you want to do something later?” he asked.

It was kind of hilarious because we’d literally been bickering all day and now he wanted to hang out. But I did too.

“Maybe. I’m meeting up with a friend now and I don’t know how late that’ll go,” I said which was 100% true and the friend was Preston. We had made plans to go to Boystown for drinks behind his boyfriend’s back.

So I didn’t end up hanging out with Brady that night, but at 10:00 PM, I finally heard back from Lexi.

“Where the fuck have you been?” I answered the phone.

“Dude, sorry,” she said. “I was hanging out with Brady’s brother. Hunter.”

“Yeah, and? I called you forty times.”

“We lost track of time…”

“What did y’all do?”

Lexi sighed happily. “Everything. I love him!”

“What do you mean everything?” I demanded.

“Everything. We ended up getting bored at the party and he came over to my place. We smoked… and had sex like four times. My vagina hurts!”

I screamed.

“Lexi!”

“What?”

“You know he’s married and has two small babies right?”

“Yeah, he told me about that. His wife knows he has needs,” she said.

I made her tell me every dirty detail including the fact that she and Hunter had unprotected sex even though he obviously has swimmers and she’s not even on birth control. I was so disgusted.

After I hung up with Lexi, Brady texted me saying, “I finally found Hunter.”

I replied, “Yeah, Lexi called me. Did he tell you what happened?”

“I didn’t ask,” Brady said and to me that meant he already knew what happened. Hunter does it all the time.

On Tuesday when I got to work, Monica was already there and was working on some sort of board to track the sales of individuals on my team. It was primary colors and she’d made a border on it with metallic stickers.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Scott asked me to track your sales since no one has been doing it,” she explained.

“I have been doing it,” I said back. Like, was that a joke? My sole job is to track my team’s sales so I could hold them accountable and help them bonus. Scott knows that.

“No, I mean, he wants it visible to everyone. It’s kind of dumb.” Monica rolled her eyes.

“Yes, it is,” I said and walked away.

Later in the day, Scott stopped by my office. I don’t see him as much because he’s traveling all the time, but sometimes he emails me, asking how everything is going.

“Hey! How was your weekend?” he asked.

“Fine, thanks,” I replied. I wasn’t about to ask about his.

“Good!” He paused. “I have some things I’d like to go over with you and have you take on to make Monica’s transition a bit smoother.”

My eyes shot up in a “You have to be kidding me” look. He wanted me to help the girl they chose over me do her job better?

Scott pulled out a folder and explained some of the reporting he does and what he does with the information.

“You’re great with analyzing reports and breaking down numbers so I’d love for you to take over this part of the business,” he said, flattering me (even though it’s true).

And it’s not like I could refuse to do what he asked me, but I was going to share my opinion.

“I really think if Monica can’t handle a few numbers and reports then she shouldn’t have been put in that role, but this is fine. I’ll help out,” I said.

Scott looked guilty, but thanked me. And then a few weeks later, after I’d been doing the reports for a while, he had the nerve to ask me to teach Monica how to do it.

It was through text message and I responded, “She doesn’t retain information at all, and I don’t want to waste my time teaching her something that she won’t even remember how to do. But fine. I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Scott replied, “Thank you, Reese! For everything.”

So I sent a calendar invite to Monica and spent an hour with her showing her everything and being patient while she took notes on a Post-It. And then the next day, I heard her complaining that she lost her Post-It and had forgotten everything I taught her. It was actually laughable.

Other than that, everything has been fine. The weekend after Labor Day, Brady invited me to a Cubs game. He was going with a group and had an extra ticket. I was just excited to have plans and happily said yes. The group consisted of Brady and some of his more established friends and their wives/girlfriends and I think he just wanted to have a (fun) date. I had one of those sparkly Victoria’s Secret PINK tanks that I got when I first moved to Chicago and dug in the bottom of my closet to find it.

The game was a lot of fun, mostly due to all the booze and shitty food they had available. I think at this point, the world knows baseball is boring and have to find ways to still get people to go to games.

Brady had to explain all the basics of the game to me like why the guys got so many chances to hit the ball.

“He’s just wasting time at the point. He’s had plenty of chances to hit the ball,” I said.

“Those were bad throws,” Brady explained.

“No wonder these games are so long and boring,” I said.

After the game, Brady’s friends went home, but he and I went to a bar in Wrigley. We drank and danced and after about an hour, Brady invited me to come over.

I made a face. “I probably shouldn’t, but I want to see Tucker.”

When we got to Brady’s, he ordered a pizza and we sat on the couch for literally five hours talking. I had even started to sober up. I realized that I’d been dying to talk to him. Like I just love talking to him. I can talk a lot and he’s actually a really great listener and asks a lot of questions and encourages me to talk about myself. I love that. And I love that he will eat shit food with me.

I unintentionally stayed over (swear!) after a long night of making out in bed. It was a bit juvenile, but I kind of liked it. When I woke up, Brady was sitting up in bed on his phone.

“Hey,” I muttered.

“Morning. Are you hungry? I was thinking we could get breakfast and then we could take Tucker to the dog park and I’ll show you where he goes for daycare,” Brady said. He was acting like all of this was normal and we hadn’t been fighting and seeing other people for months.

“Okay,” I agreed.

We spent the entire day together and to me, it kind of felt temporary. Like this was fun and cute, but we would never do it again. It’d been close to a year since Brady and I had been together (can you believe it?) and I didn’t think either of us had any intentions of going down that road again. I was thinking, “Aw, I kinda missed this,” but was fully prepared to go back to responding to any text or Snap from any guy because I’m lonely.

But we’ve been kind of inseparable. It’s like we fell back into how we used to be and I really don’t know why. It’s mostly weird because neither of us have mentioned how weird it is. We even planned a trip next month. When we booked it, Brady said, “Are you sure you want to go with me?” And that’s the closest we’ve gotten to discussing anything.

So I don’t know. You know that feeling you get when you know you’re doing something you shouldn’t be and it feels like going down a steep San Francisco hill on rollerblades? Yeah.

I know that Brady is a good guy and I am super happy when we are together, but I still wonder if I’m so eager to hang out with him because I don’t want to be alone. This is me overthinking what the blog comments will be. I know y’all hate Brady, but I kind of don’t. He’s had some questionable behavior in the past, but I definitely have too.

I don’t think I quite trust him though. We were supposed to hang out promptly at 7:30 one night and I texted him at 7:00 to check in and he didn’t reply until 10:05pm.

“I’m so sorry. I got pulled into something at work. You still want to hang out?” he replied.

The fuck? I understand shit comes up at work, but if you knew you had plans (especially with the girl you’re seeing) then wouldn’t you find some time to send a quick text? So I didn’t reply and we didn’t see each other that night.

And if that were the only time then it would probably be fine, but another night I was waiting at his place for him to come home from work so we could have dinner and then go out for drinks. I didn’t want to be a Nagging Ass Nancy so I just watched some shows On Demand and waited for him to him come home. This motherfucker didn’t come home until 4:30 in the morning. I was still up because I was waiting and coming up with different scenarios in my head.

“Hello,” I said in a cutesy voice so he wouldn’t know how pissed I was.

Brady waved and then went to the bathroom and stayed until I finally fell asleep. When I woke up he was sleeping downstairs. We never talked about that night like who he was with or what he did. He didn’t even apologize for ditching me again.

I can’t tell if I have true trust issues or if every guy I get involved with is a fuckboy.

Standard

i got dumped. 

Brady and I have been playing this game of cat and mouse for the past few weeks and it’s both exciting and super dumb and annoying at the same time. He texted me a few times after our little rendezvous and I ignored him because I was with Nick. But then after Nick started boring me, I was interested in him again.

One weeknight after work I texted him, “Hey! What are you up to tonight?”

I’d already made plans for us to go out for beer and pizza and then back to my place so I could kick him out later. I hopped in the shower with my phone sitting on the counter with the ringer on loud so I could hear when he responded. An hour into my shower, I realized that my phone hadn’t gone off at all. I hopped out, figuring I must have turned the thing on silent by accident. But the ringer was on and Brady just hadn’t replied. I checked and he had read my message one minute after I’d sent it.

So after that I was pissed. I kept going back and forth between texting him something nasty back and just deleting my message and pretending it never happened. I decided to ignore him.

A couple days later, Brady called. I was actually sitting on Nick’s couch waiting for him to serve me dinner so I obviously couldn’t answer.

I texted Brady, “Busy. What?”

“Seeing if you wanted to try to get into the Nutella Café. It’s okay if you’re busy though. Maybe another time,” he replied.

He knew exactly what he was doing. I would drop everything to go to the Nutella Café. Brady knows that. I sat there re-reading the message until Nick appeared in front of me with a huge plate of pasta. And I felt a bit bad, but in that moment I wanted to be at the Nutella Café with Brady more than I wanted to be anywhere else.

The next morning I texted him, “How was the Nutella?”

He said, “Don’t worry, I didn’t go without you.”

Later that day, after I checked my schedule, I texted him back suggesting another day and time we could go. Brady read my message and then didn’t reply. I wanted to fucking kill him.

Nick and I had an eventful weekend that involved meeting his sister. It was completely by accident actually, but I guess I knew the day was coming because she lives in Chicago. She needed Nick to run some sort of errand for her because she wouldn’t have time before leaving the country for a month. The errand required Nick to stop by her apartment and I tagged along with him. We ran into her on our way up and her way out.

“I didn’t know you were coming right now,” she greeted him. I didn’t even recognize her from the pictures Nick had showed me.

Nick started to say something back and Sister Dearest focused in on me. She had a nice, but bitchy face. She was super waify thin in a way that was somehow sexy with even thinner dark hair. Her face was really small kind of like a mouse or a hamster or something.

“Hey. I’m Reese,” I said, shocking even myself with my sorority girl impression.

Her eyes lit up, making her look even more mouselike. “Reese? I’m Stephanie.”

Obviously I knew her name already because of Nick, but he affectionately calls her “Steph.”

“Nice to meet you, Stephanie,” I said.

She crossed her arms over her chest standoffishly so I added, “Cute bag, by the way.”

“Yeah so we were just gonna run up quickly,” Nick said.

“Okay,” Stephanie said, still watching me and smiling.

“It was nice to meet you. I’m sure we will get to actually talk one day,” I said.

“Oh, for sure,” she smiled.

“Your sister is sooo nice!” I said on our way up.

“Yeah, she is. You don’t want to get on her bad side though. Trust me.”

Noted.

Nick and I went to brunch Saturday and spent the day out and about because it was nice out. Out and about consisted of a North Side bar crawl where we stopped and grabbed a drink at almost every bar we walked past. It was fun. We made it back to Nick’s place and while I waited for him to use the bathroom, I decided to send a semi-sexy picture to Brady with the caption, “Nutella this week?”

He didn’t respond right away and Nick, Cocoa and I chilled on the couch watching movies. I ended up passing out there until the morning. I woke up alone with my phone sitting on the coffee table and a huge mess of my clothes and stuff all over the living room area (did I mention that I’d practically moved in?).

I checked my phone and saw that Brady had called me three times, FaceTimed me twice and sent a few text messages. I couldn’t help smiling at how thirsty he looked.

“Nutella now,” Brady had texted. And then, “What are you doing?” And then, “Ordering tacos and queso if you want to come over.”

I put my phone away and skipped to Nick’s room. He was still asleep and I pushed Cocoa over so I could snuggle with him.

We woke up a few hours later and Nick climbed out of bed without saying anything to me. I got up and followed him to the kitchen where he was pouring a glass of water shirtless.

“Hey. Why did you leave me by myself on the couch last night? You could have woke me up,” I said.

“Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” he replied, not really making any kind of eye contact with me.

“It was rude, but I guess I’ll forgive you,” I continued.

Nick was drinking so he couldn’t say anything.

“What are we doing today? It’s supposed to be really nice out so maybe we can take Cocoa to the park,” I suggested.

Nick finally looked at me, but gave me a weird look and didn’t even acknowledge my cat at the park joke. “I don’t think so. I think maybe you should figure out what it is that you want.”

“What do you mean?” I demanded.

“I mean, if you are still wanting something with your ex, then I think you need to pursue that, not me.”

“What are you even talking about?”

I was genuinely confused about how or why Nick knew about Brady. Obviously Brady and I had been flirting and talking, but how did Nick know that? Was he reading the blog?

“I saw him calling and texting you all night. You left your phone on the table. I just don’t think he would have any reason to be contacting you at that time of night unless he thought you’d answer.”

I had never seen this side of Nick. He’s normally so playful and nonchalant and not at all serious. And I’d told him all about Brady, but I can’t remember ever telling him his name.

“He was just being annoying. Don’t be worried, I’m not interested in pursuing him,” I said.

“No,” Nick backed away from me like I might have cooties. “I think you should figure that out. And until then…”

I rolled my eyes and stormed off probably because I knew he was right. I packed up my things like a tornado and was out of there in about seven minutes. It sounds bad, but I was eager to get home and shower so I could possibly meet up with Brady. So obviously Nick was right.

I tried sending a meme to Nick the following week (after Brady didn’t bother responding to my message) as sort of a pulse check, but he didn’t bother responding either.

So I focused on work. It wasn’t hard because Mike ended up leaving the company which was drama and scandalous (even though we all smelled it coming). They put Scott in charge in the interim until he was officially offered the job. We had a little celebration for him in the break room with pizza, cupcakes and rosé and I took that moment to break my silence.

I walked up to him and said, “Congrats,” really dryly.

Scott looked almost startled that I was speaking to him.

“Well, thank you, Reese. I appreciate that a lot,” he said, sounding so genuine and sincere that I rolled my eyes at him. His dick was wet over a half hearted compliment. “This is a great opportunity for you to get to the next level. I’m very excited for that.”

“Yeah, well. We will see what happens,” I said casually. It had always been the plan for me to take over for Scott whenever the time came, but I was acting like I didn’t care that much.

“I feel like we haven’t talked in forever. How have you been? Okay?” he said.

“Has she had the baby yet?” I blurted out.

“Next month,” he answered automatically and rubbed him chin nervously.

“Cool.”

I was a bit standoffish for the next few days, but continued to focus on not only my own projects, but also take on extra work with Scott’s position being vacant. I was less mad at Scott with the whole possibility of getting to replace him there and started warming up to him and collaborating with him more. Both of us were very professional though and didn’t speak about our personal lives. How it should have been in the first place.

When it came time to interview for Scott’s position, I found out a girl named Monica in the office was also in the running.

“You’re interviewing?” she said to me, like it was a huge surprise. Everyone knew I had basically been doing Scott’s job since he got promoted and was the obvious choice.

We interviewed with Scott and two people from the New York office. They told us we’d have a decision by the weekend (we interviewed on a Thursday), but we didn’t. On Monday morning at 6 am, Scott texted me.

“I just wanted to let you know we are going with Monica,” he said.

Imagine waking up to that fucked up text. Like, excuse me? I thought it was a joke. He was trying to bring back our old friendship by pretending that I didn’t get the job. Then he’d tell me that I did get it and offer to buy me a drink. 

“Lol, okay?” I replied.

“I’m sorry. Your time will come though, I guarantee it,” he said.

On my way to work a few hours later, I realized he was serious. Monica was promoted over me. I’m not trying to sit here like some spoiled entitled bitch, but I am so much better than Monica. In fact, anything she knows, she knows because I taught her. She comes in my office at least twice a day asking how to do something remedial like submit her expenses (which I’ve taught her how to do on four different occasions). She knows nothing about the industry because she’s never worked in it and she doesn’t care and relies on everyone else to tell her what’s going on. The decision to promote her was ridiculous and insulting.

“I feel like I’m going to cry,” she said after she found out.

So now Monica is my boss. I’m honestly shocked and offended. She sends out tons of emails (riddled with typos) asking for sign offs and reminding us of things we do everyday and have been doing everyday.

“It is very important that we complete this,” she’s emailed on multiple occasions. I can bet if you asked her why it’s so important she would shrug her shoulders and come ask me.

Anyway, the day Monica got promoted, I went home and sulked on my couch with a bottle of wine.

Brady texted me, “What are you doing?”

I wanted to text him back and bitch and complain about the events of the day, but I was so upset that I couldn’t even bring myself to rehash everything that happened. So I didn’t reply.

I had the most boring birthday I’ve ever had. I worked during the day and Kendra and John took me to dinner in the evening. I was just happy to get to hang out with the baby (who is in love with me obviously and by the way). I thought at least Scott would do something cute for my birthday at the office, but he was traveling all week and wasn’t even around. Brady texted me saying, “Happy Birthday ❤️, Tucker,” so I’d know the birthday wish was not from him. Obviously I didn’t reply. 

Standard

he’s kind of boring. 

I literally haven’t spoken to Scott since I found out about his wife. Obviously. He didn’t bother me for a while, but I even went as far as canceling meetings that I knew we would both be at. I know it’s petty, but I can’t help it. I know I’m closed off emotionally and when I’m hurt, I lash out.

I talked to Nick. Admittedly, I let it drag on for a lot longer than I should have after my last post, but I finally got sick of living in my misery so I confronted him.

We were hanging out at his place watching TV and pigging out on the chips and salsa I’d brought over. The cat was sitting in my lap with her tail sashaying sassily in the air.

“You know, I think she really likes you,” Nick said, popping a chip in his mouth.

“What, compared to all the other girls you have over?” I said with a straight face.

He laughed with a mouth full of food and I just looked at him.

“What?”

“Why is that so funny? Do you have lots of girls over?” I asked.

Nick paused for a moment and I figured he was thinking up a lie to tell. Finally he said, “If you’re trying to ask if I’m seeing other people, the answer is no. Because I don’t want to.”

I liked that answer, but I still pursed my lips at him skeptically.

And then he added, “Are you?”

“No,” I answered.

“Okay, then that’s settled.”

And the conversation was over. But then another night, we were heading back to his place in a cab and his phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and looked at it, silenced it and put it back.

“Brittany?” I inquired.

“Brittany?” Nick asked with a furrowed brow. But then he looked relieved. “Thank God, no. She’s crazy.”

“I’m sure that’s what you tell her about me,” I said.

Nick looked so confused. “Why would I say that? You’re not.”

“I wish I believed you.” I crossed my arms over my chest and glared out the window.

He backed away from me. “What is this all about? Have I done something wrong?”

And I felt bad. Like really, genuinely bad. So the next morning while we sat on the couch eating eggs and waffles with the cat, I apologized.

“I’m sorry for being a bit silly last night,” I said and immediately busied myself taking a big gulp of my tequila spiked orange juice.

I could feel Nick looking at me and I glanced back at him over the glass.

“Yeah, that was kinda weird.” He paused. “I like you. You know that?”

I nodded.

“The Reese I’m used to doesn’t get insecure like that,” Nick said.

“I’m not insecure,” I said slowly. I wanted to put into words how I actually felt – that I wanted to believe everything he said and that I probably did but I also just didn’t want to be taken advantage of or for him to think for a moment that I was stupid.

We let it go. Nick got a little bit distant after that and it started to feel like I was always texting him first and bothering him. But when I did text him, he was happy to hear from me and fun. I didn’t like that though.

Carly and Chris were here last month. I haven’t seen them in forever so I was actually really excited to hang out with them. Chris’s brother is getting married so they were here for the festivities and we all went out dancing one night. Carly and I had dinner beforehand to catch up.

“Chris really wants a baby soon, but I don’t know if I’m ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready,” she told me.

“Shouldn’t you have figured that out before you got married?” I asked.

“I just realized this, Reese,” she said, rolling her eyes.

I rolled my eyes back at her.

She came back to my place to change and get ready for the night. We were meeting up with friends and I already knew Brady would be there and honestly, I was kind of excited to see him. And since I knew he would be around, I wore a little crop top, a leather skirt and heels.

When we arrived at the club, some of Carly’s suburban friends were already there including this Middle Eastern girl named Aisha. I met her probably four years ago, but she’s had quite the glow up since then. Long black hair down to her ass, blue contacts and a skin tight black dress. She looked good. She’s a retail pharmacist who used to wear boot cut jeans and glasses.

“Reese!” she greeted me with a hug. “It’s been so long. You’ve lost weight?”

I have lost a little bit of weight, especially since she last saw me. So I appreciated that.

Brady showed up about an hour later. I spotted him as soon as he walked in the door so I started talking to Carly to look busy. I was telling her that I was thinking of getting fake glasses to be taken more seriously when she literally threw her hands up to wave.

“Brady!!”

“Oh, I didn’t even know Brady was coming,” I said nonchalantly.

Carly turned and gave me a “Yeah, right,” look. Brady elbowed through the crowd and joined us, greeting Chris with a hug first. I don’t know why, but it touched my heart. He hugged Carly next and when they pulled away he seemed to notice me for the first time.

“Hey you,” he said, nodding his head at me.

“Hey!” I exclaimed and I threw my free arm around his neck. I don’t think he was expecting that and neither was I. When we pulled away, Brady kept his hand on the small of my back for half a second longer than he needed to and I smirked at him.

“How have you been?” he asked me.

Before I could respond, Aisha jumped out of nowhere and introduced herself. “I’ve heard so much about you. It’s about time we finally met.”

At first I was thinking, why would she have heard about Brady? But then I thought, well they are both pharmacists and Carly probably told Aisha all about him and how smart they are and how much they have in common.

“Nice to meet you,” Brady said. I stood there waiting for him to come back and talk to me, but he and Aisha continued chatting.

About an hour later, after I’d spent some time hanging out at the bar with Carly, we rejoined the group. I was shocked and appalled to find Aisha bent over at the waist, bumping and grinding on Brady. He was laughing, but not exactly pushing her off.

Carly caught me staring and said, “Relax. You’re allowed to move on and so is Brady.”

“Why would he want to move on with that?”

Carly rolled her eyes so hard that it probably hurt. I stared at the spectacle until Brady looked up at me and at least had the decency to look embarrassed.

Carly grabbed my arm. “Let’s go find Chris.”

The next time I saw Brady and Aisha, they were in the same spot, but they were just talking. Aisha ran over to me and said, “You don’t mind, do you Reese?”

“Mind what?” I asked.

“Me and Brady!” she sang. “He’s so nice!”

I couldn’t believe the nerve. I glanced at Brady, who was still standing in the same spot, but sipping his beer and talking to a guy friend. I stormed away from Aisha without saying anything.

The night ended at my favorite late night food spot and I noticed Brady was absent from the group. I hadn’t seen him in a little while and I was annoyed with myself and Aisha that I didn’t get to talk to him more. I wanted him to see how normal and mature and fun I’ve become. And I wanted to make sure he missed me.

The next morning, I woke up delighted to find a text from the man himself.

“It was nice to see you tonight,” Brady had sent at 2:34 AM.

I stared at my phone for about 15 minutes before deciding to reply, “You too.”

Carly and I met up with Preston to get lunch, have manicures and do some window shopping. I don’t know if I told y’all Preston is engaged? He’s still working part time at a boutique, but he’s playing the full time stay at home role to their 18-year-old cat. His fiancé is some real estate mogul and they live in this multimillion dollar penthouse not far from me. I’m totally jels.

That night, we went to a bougie dinner with Kendra and John (the baby was at home with John’s sister and her husband). Halfway through dinner, when John was having a conversation with himself about inflammation, I realized that Brady had not texted me back. I didn’t give him anything to text back to, but still. It’s me. I’d had four glasses of rosé and literally no pride, so I texted him again.

“How’s my baby?” I asked.

“Me or Tucker?” Brady replied immediately.

I couldn’t help smiling at him flirting with me. “Well, I meant Tucker but I guess you can tell me how you’re doing also.”

The three dots appeared and stayed for about two minutes. Brady’s response was long – about Tucker’s checkup (he’s about a pound overweight), haircut and daycare he’s being going to. And Brady’s low key life consisting of lots of work. He even had to hire a dog walker because he’s hardly home. I expressed that I didn’t appreciate him hiring some random person who I’d never met to walk Tucker. At the end of our conversation, we’d decided that we’d meet up later in the week to take Tucker to the dog park. I was ecstatic for my date.

I somehow ended up at Nick’s that night. Like I said before, he’d been distant and hadn’t initiated us hanging out so I finally just called him and asked to come over.

“Hey stranger,” he greeted me at his door.

“Hey. I was starting to forget what you looked like,” I joked.

We hung out in his living room for a little while and finished a bottle of wine. We had a lot to talk about since we hadn’t hung out in so long and while it felt like no time had passed, I couldn’t stop thinking about Brady. And I was so annoyed with myself for it. Here was a guy who was actually into me and wasn’t about to deal with my ridiculous shenanigans. But I guess that just isn’t fun for me.

Once the night was winding down, Nick asked, “Do you want to stay over?”

I thought about it, but decided not to because I knew we would hook up and I knew I would feel bad about myself since I would’ve thought of Brady the whole time. So I declined.

By the time our date rolled around, I’d pushed most of my lustful thoughts out of my head and was mostly just excited to see Tucker. I met Brady at his house after changing into my sexiest athleisure outfit. He was in the kitchen eating celery and carrots in jeans.

“You look cute,” I couldn’t help saying.

And then Brady looked up slowly from the counter to me. My vagina literally jumped.

Brady popped a carrot in his mouth and offered one out to me.

“I guess I could eat my first vegetable of the week,” I said, taking the carrot from him and joining him at the counter, making sure to stand about 6 inches too close.

“How was your day?” Brady asked me.

“Fine. We think my boss’s boss is leaving the company soon so everyone is on edge hoping we’ll all get promoted in a reverse domino effect,” I said.

“Really? What would it mean for you?” he asked.

“Hopefully a promotion. But considering…” I don’t speak to Scott and communicate to him through email and Post-Its. “Probably not.”

“Well, I hope you benefit…no matter what ends up happening.”

We headed to the dog park and played with Tucker outside for about an hour and a half. Brady let me have the most fun – throwing the tennis ball and rope – since obviously I don’t get to do that with Tucker very often. And I couldn’t stop watching Brady watching us. He looked so good in his jeans and t-shirt just fucking standing there.

Finally Tucker and I ran back over to him.

“I’m exhausted and I probably smell like a kennel,” I said.

Brady made a grossed out face and I slapped his arm. “I don’t really.”

“Okay, let’s leave then,” he said.

We walked back to Brady’s and I waited for him to invite me to stay longer.

“Do you want a glass of water?” he asked me.

“Yeah and do you have tequila or anything?” I said back.

Brady laughed and pulled a bottle of tequila out of a lower cabinet.

“You’re the best!” I squealed.

We made drinks and sat in the dining room talking for a little while. I couldn’t stop touching him. You know how in high school when you have a crush on a guy, you find any reason to touch his arm or shoulder and it’s borderline obnoxious? That was me. I could tell he enjoyed the attention, but I wanted Brady to touch me back. Or something. I wanted something.

When I finally called an Uber at 11 PM to go home, Brady was the one who reached in for a hug. I guess that was all I was getting.

On my way home, he texted me, “Thank you for coming by to see Tucker today. He and I really appreciate it.”

And since I’d come on so strong and was kind of embarrassed, I didn’t respond.

Until that weekend. I was out with my friend Ava and texted Brady to see what he was up to.

“At Halligans with some friends. You?” he responded.

I turned to Ava. “Let’s go to Halligans.”

We hopped in a cab and were there in less than five minutes. It wasn’t until I got to the door that I realized by “friends” Brady could have meant a girl. Fucking Tia for all I knew. But still I charged in (as much as I could with the crowded bar) like I owned the place. I spotted one of Brady’s loser friends standing at a table and headed over. Brady was sitting down.

“Oh my God, hi!” I exclaimed. “I had no idea you were here!”

I threw my arms around Brady before he could say, “I just told you I was here.”

“How’s your night going?” I asked, sitting down in the booth next to him.

“Good, thanks. I’m happy to see you.”

We began talking. First about how our nights were going and then the rest of our weeks and then our friends. Ava and the two other guys went to get more drinks from the bar and we all just hung out and drank and talked and bonded. It was actually a lot of fun and kind of felt like old times when Brady and I would get shit faced together.

Later on, the rest of the group decided they wanted to go to a rooftop in River North, but Brady and I didn’t want to leave the neighborhood.

“Reese, I’m gonna go,” Ava whispered to me, gesturing to the guys.

I shrugged. “Okay, have fun, hun!” I said and gave her a quick hug.

Brady and I stayed for about an hour after everyone left just sitting at the booth and drinking. Eventually I suggested we go get something to eat. I got up and watched Brady get up slowly, like he was just now realizing how drunk he was.

We got in a cab and Brady told the driver his address.

“I thought we were getting food?” I said, confused.

“I have food at my place,” he said.

I couldn’t help smiling at his smoothness.

“I have a question that I need a real answer to,” I said.

“Okay.”

I made sure Brady was looking at me and he was, like he was super curious about what the question could be.

“Did you have sex with Tia?” I I asked.

He looked taken aback, almost like I’d just hit him. And when he did that, I thought, “Yep. They definitely fucked.”

“No. No…never,” he answered.

“Do you swear?” I asked like a 13 year old.

“Swear. I never even kissed her. I’m not attracted to her at all. She’s sleeping with a 60 year old man,” Brady said, almost shuttering.

“I believe you.”

“Why did you ask me that?”

I shrugged. “Rumors.”

“Did you have sex with your boss?” Brady asked.

I gasped and felt like crying at the thought. “No! Oh my God, no! I could never!”

“I believe you.”

We got back to Brady’s and he put a frozen pizza in the oven for us. I was sitting on the couch and he came and sat next to me after the pizza was in. As soon as he sat down, I leaned over and kissed him. Within ten minutes, I was horizontal on the couch and Brady had my dress hiked up and was working on getting my panties down.

I decided I’d let him eat me out, but stop things there because I do have some dignity. And so I let him and was really enjoying myself until I was about to come and I randomly got a picture of my fucking stupid ex in my head. I literally screamed. At the same time, the smoke detector started going off.

Brady jumped up. “I forgot the pizza!”

Obviously the mood was kind of ruined after that. The pizza was black so Brady brought us Doritos to eat and we both passed out on the couch.

I feel like I kind of got the Brady thing out of my system so I’ve been hanging out with Nick the past week and a half. I’ve practically moved into his apartment and brought half my wardrobe over so I have plenty of options when getting ready in the morning. I can’t lie though, he’s kind of boring. Almost every night, he falls asleep after we eat dinner on the couch. The first few times he did it, I let him sleep but lately I’ve been waking him up to pay attention to me. Cocoa can only entertain me so much.

So now I’m forcing myself not to text Brady back.

Oh, and Carly just found out that she’s pregnant. 

Standard

even my boss is a fuck boy. 

A few months ago I’d made plans to visit my friend, Lauren, in LA for the weekend. She’s getting married and I missed some of the big events (picking out her dress, bridal shower) etc so I thought I should make it up to her. But by the time it rolled around, I was dreading going. I really just wanted to stay in Chicago to hang out with Nick and the cat.

I skipped work on Friday in order to fly to LA. Lauren was stuck in traffic (of course) so I had to kill some time while waiting for her to pick me up. Thank goodness for airport bars. I went and got sushi and a couple margaritas and made some new LA friends. I didn’t even have to pay for anything.

By the time Lauren came to get me, I’d had one drink too many and I had trouble finding the exit. It was ridiculous, even for me.

Lauren apologized when I got in the car and told me our plan for the day:

1. Go to the mall because she needed new shoes to go with her dress for the night.

2. Get vegan/gluten free burgers from her favorite place (“You can’t even tell it’s vegan!”)

3. Take a nap.

4. Get ready.

5. Go to a sushi place to pregame.

6. Go to the club where Lauren’s fiancé’s friend was DJing.

Spoiler alert: you could totally tell it was vegan. I requested to go to McDonald’s after we ate and Lauren lectured me the whole way there.

“This is just such bad energy, Reese. Such bad energy.”

Lauren is super spiritual now and into crystals, meditation, yoga, cards and weed. It’s an LA thing I guess. I can’t lie though, it became a bit much throughout the weekend.

The night turned out pretty tame except when we got back to Lauren’s, I locked myself in the her bathroom and drunk dialed Nick until he answered. It was 1:30 AM LA time, meaning it was 3:30 AM in Chicago.

Nick finally picked up after maybe the fourth try.

“Hello?” he answered, sounding adorably sleepy.

“Finally!” I said back.

“Sorry, I fell asleep on the couch watching House of Cards,” Nick said.

“Well, I’m glad you picked up. This is one of your tests and this was my last time trying to call you.”

He laughed. “I’m glad too then. How’s your trip?”

“Fine. Organic. Boring. What did you eat today?”

“Well, I grilled for dinner…”

“Grilled?” I exclaimed. “Like steak?”

“Yep, kabobs.”

I moaned then whispered, “My friend here is vegan so we had burgers made out of lentils. It was awful. So I had to settle for a chicken nugget happy meal.”

We chatted for a little while longer until Nick yawned audibly.

“Fine, go to sleep,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Well, I miss you. Get back here so you can try my kabob.”

I hung up.

The next day, Lauren and I went to another vegan restaurant, but this one was right on the beach and made for amazing Instagram and Snapchat photos so I didn’t mind. After that we went shopping again because Lauren needed more shoes to go with her outfit for the night. That’s why I always buy things when I see them because you just never know when an event will come up.

We were trying on shoes at Barneys when Lauren said, “Devin might be there tonight with his woman toy. You’re cool with that?”

“Excuse me?” I exclaimed.

Lauren rolled her eyes. “I know. They broke up for a while, but now she’s back. She’s a crazy psycho bitch, even more than you. No offense. She’s loaded though and wants to impress us all so drinks are always on her.”

I was not about to let Devin or his cougar sugar mama rain on my parade and I still planned on having a good time. So I put on a two piece set, hoop earrings and heels. Another DJ friend was playing in Hollywood so the plan was to get sushi and drinks, mingle then meet the boys at the club. I ended up running into a friend from high school at sushi and invited him and his friends out with us for the night. And then on our way out we ran into some of Lauren’s male friends, who all looked like grown up professional skate boarders. They decided to tag along too and that’s how our entourage came together.

We had a table and bottle service obviously and I ordered an extra bottle of rosé because why not? Lauren and I danced literally non stop for two hours until we met some (alleged) reality show boys and hung out with them for a little bit. I can’t remember which reality show they said they are on, but I took a ton of pictures just in case they get famous or something.

We ran into Devin and the girl on our way out. I knew the moment would come because that’s just how my life works. They were standing at the bar, fighting it looked like, and Devin did a double take when he noticed me.

“Oh my God, Reese!” I heard someone say and our friend from college, Ronnie, emerged from somewhere in Devin’s group.

We hugged and Devin reached in between us to grab my arm. Before I could even snatch my arm away like I wanted to, the girlfriend jumped in front of Devin, knocking a drink out of someone’s hand and all over my legs and feet. My natural reaction was to strangle her, but Mature Lauren stepped in and escorted us out. It all happened so fast.

“What the actual fuck?” I asked when we got outside.

“I told you she was crazy. Stuff like this happens every single time we go out.” Lauren pulled out her little rose gold vape pen that I discovered pretty early on contains cannibus oil. She offered it to me and I actually took it.

Ronnie’s phone called me about ten times after we’d left and I didn’t pick it up because I assumed it was Devin and I don’t know what he could possibly want. I found out my suspicion was correct when I got a voicemail from Devin saying, “Hey, why did you leave? And how long are you in LA for? If you’re around tomorrow night, you can come over.”

I was obviously super glad to get back to Chicago. I took an Uber straight from the airport to Nick’s apartment because I really, really wanted to see him.

I didn’t tell Scott about Nick because last time I told him about a date I went on he got really weird and quiet and it seemed kind of unnecessary. I decided I would just complain about being single and soak up the attention. We continued getting close and working on projects together and staying later than everyone else. He opened up about his fear of being alone in life and that got me wondering if that’s an actual possibility? Like, things with Nick don’t work out and things with the next guy don’t work out and I turn into a serial dater who continues getting dumped. Can you imagine?

And Scott talked about wanting his wife to move out, but not knowing how to go about it without hurting her feelings. Because he obviously still cares about her, just not in a romantic way. I actually felt bad for him.

The following weekend, I went to happy hour with Lexi and a couple of her friends and their boyfriends and we drank until we were dancing all around our table. We left at around 11:30 and Nick had already invited me over for a sleepover so I ran home, showered and packed the largest overnight bag with all my things.

We stayed up talking, drinking wine and eating chocolate ice cream. His phone rang a couple times and I finally glanced down at it to see who was calling. Someone named “Brittany.”

“Who is blowing up your phone at this time of night?” I asked.

“This girl I work with,” Nick explained. “We were all out tonight.”

“But why would she be calling you at 1:00 AM?” I wanted to know.

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe to ask why I left?”

It seemed to me that Nick was telling the truth because he was pretty straight forward and didn’t seem nervous and weird like Brady always did when I confronted him about his questionable behavior.

And so then we went and had sex for an hour before passing out. Nick had something to do early in the morning, but let me stay and sleep. I eventually woke up because I felt someone staring at me. It literally woke me out of my sleep. It was the fucking cat, who was laying on Nick’s pillow next to me.

“What do you want?” I asked and she meowed like super loudly. I took that as my cue to take me ass home.

Nick said he would probably go out on Saturday night and would text me so we could meet up. I got dinner with Luke and drank too much and after a quick power nap at home, I was ready to meet up with my man. I’d seen on his Instagram story that he was out drinking a Moscow Mule at some bougie looking bar that I didn’t recognize.

I texted him, “Where are you?” and I fell asleep again while waiting for him to reply.

Two hours later, my phone woke me up.

Nick had finally responded, “I miss you.”

“No, you don’t. Where are you? I want to see you.”

Nick sent back some heart emojis. Like what the fuck? Just answer my question. I sent back three knife emojis.

Nick didn’t even open my message until 3:00 AM so I was distraught wondering what he’d been doing the whole time and why he wouldn’t tell me where he was.

The next morning, Nick sent me a picture of a brunch plate like nothing had even happened. Um, excuse me? Was Sunday brunch not our thing?

“Looks tasty. Thanks for the invite,” I said.

Literally two hours later, Nick sent back a single smiling emoji.

“What are you up to?” I asked.

Two hours later, “Drinking. :-)”

I assumed he was with a girl. Brittany, perhaps? They’d spent Saturday night together and continued their date into Sunday. I could just feel it. When Nick is with me, he’s hardly ever on his phone, but when we are apart he responds to texts freakishly fast. So the fact that he was taking forever to text me back was not normal. And who else would he be hanging out with? He tells me all about his friends, most of whom are married and have kids. Except the one bachelor friend who I knew was away for the weekend. It only makes sense that he was with another girl all weekend. And obviously I wasn’t happy about it.

So I ignored him the rest of Sunday night, not that he would have noticed because he didn’t really text me.

We were required to work a half day on Monday which was so stupid, but fine because I planned on getting really drunk on Monday night with Lexi and Luke and spending all of Tuesday being hungover and eating. No one was really working Monday morning as we all talked about what our July 4th plans were and eating the pizza Mike’s assistant ordered for us.

Scott had brought me a green tea that morning and since I was mad at Nick, I followed him into his office and made out with him until I was sure he came in his pants. So we spent the rest of the day working together while sexting. He even gave me a ten minute shoulder massage which was amazing.

I’d gone to get another slice of pizza and a Diet Coke and spent like ten minutes talking to a coworker in the kitchen. When I came out, I saw Scott walking past with his tiny cute little blonde wife. The wife he says he plans on divorcing this year. And she was about eleven months pregnant. WITH A FUCKING BABY. Neither of them saw me and I thought my pizza was going to come back up.

I didn’t even know what to do. Like, what? How was his wife pregnant with an actual human being and about to pop and I had no idea? Did anyone even know? How could he hide something so big? And he was going to ask his pregnant wife to move out? 

I needed to leave after that so I went back to my office and powered down for the day. On my way out, Scott was standing in his office door with his hands in his pockets.

“Have a good Independence Day, Reese,” he said very formally. I just glared at him. The fucking nerve.

Nick texted me on Monday night inviting me over for dinner on Tuesday night. He said he’d be grilling. I waited three hours before responding, “Yes.” Because I actually did want to see him. And if nothing else, I could confront him about his weekend in person.

I spent the early part of the day with Kendra, John and the baby and it was so relaxing, but so boring. After a couple hours, I’ve had enough of the whole young family thing and I’m ready to go do my own thing/drink.  

Nick and I met at Whole Foods at 7 PM so he could pick up some things he needed for dinner. I was still kind of standoffish and didn’t greet him with a hug or kiss or anything. So he started with some small talk. He revealed that he’d gone to a bar on Saturday night and come home and fallen asleep on the couch. And that actually seemed kind of likely so I felt a little bit bad and opened up a little bit more.

When we got to his place, Nick was very sweet and made sure I liked everything on the menu. We sat on the couch and drank sangria and he said something like, “I thought you were ignoring me for a little while.”

I just smiled and said, “Why would I do that?”

Dinner was phenomenal and afterwards we opened another bottle of wine and finished before he grabbed me to take me to the bed. We had sex and even after I pulled out all my tricks, it took him forever to come. And it never takes him forever to come. But at the time, I wasn’t worried about that at all. Nick set an early alarm because he had to work today and we fell asleep. I didn’t plan on sleeping over, but whatever.

I woke up before the alarm and just stared at the night stand next to me because for a moment, I couldn’t remember where I was. Then I realized I was at Nick’s house, in his bed. I noticed a water bottle on the night stand and smiled thinking Nick put it there for me. How sweet. He usually does that when we’ve stayed up late drinking. But then I realized it was half empty like someone had already been drinking from it. And it obviously wasn’t me. Or Nick because he keeps his own water bottle on his side of the bed. Strange. To me, that meant someone else had been there.

When Nick’s alarm finally went off, he turned to me and I just glared at him.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Fine,” I said, throwing the blanket off me and getting up to get dressed.

Nick watched me getting ready to leave and didn’t say anything. He could tell something was wrong, but didn’t know how to address it.

“I hope you have a nice day at work,” I said because my Uber was still seven minutes away and I guess I didn’t want to sit there being a mute.

“You too. If you’re not doing anything later, let me know. We could grab dinner or something,” Nick said.

“Cool.”

As Nick was walking me out, he said, “Do you have everything? Your earrings and necklace?”

And I did, but why is it such a big deal if I accidentally leave some jewelry at his place? I have literally one million other pairs of earrings at my house. Unless he didn’t want his other girlfriend to come over and see evidence of me.

Am I jumping to conclusions? Like, I know I probably sound paranoid and crazy, but it all just sounds sketchy. I know the signs. Like I’ve been here before. I know the behaviors. And now I think I should just get out while I can. 

Standard

i met someone. 

Luke invited me to a wine tasting and I haven’t seen Luke in forever plus I love wine so I agreed. It was on a Friday afternoon after work at a cute wine bar. I didn’t plan on after work plans, but I always keep a spare outfit in my office just in case something arises. I changed into a dress and a choker and kept on my nude heels. I met Luke on a corner near the offices and we Ubered to the bar.

I was checking my makeup in my phone’s camera as we walked up to the bar. Their patio was open and when I glanced over, there was a man sitting there who looked so good that it made me stop dead in my tracks. He noticed me at the same time and gave me a weird, tight smile before laughing. He was tall, I could tell even though he was sitting, with James Dean hair and the sharpest jaw I’ve ever seen. He was wearing Ray Bans so I couldn’t see his eyes, but I just knew by the rest of his face that they were warm and gorgeous.

I regained my composure and kept walking, deciding that I was going to meet whoever this man was. We sampled a few wines then went to the bar to get actual drinks. Luke told me about all the office drama and no matter how long I’ve been gone, I will always want to know about drama in the office.

“Dale will never going anywhere in his career. Fact,” Luke said.

“Ugh, what a loser,” I said. “Honestly, he’s lucky to even be in the position he is now.” I started thinking about what it would be like if I was in Dale’s position at my old company and have Luke takeover my old job.

“I know. He keeps hiring all these people and then Dave will say we need to cut expenses and he will just eliminate their job. It’s happened like three times.”

“I would sue,” I said matter-of-factly.

“But anyway, what’s new with you? How’s work?” Luke asked.

“Well… there’s this thing with my boss,” I started.

“What kind of thing?” Luke asked, looking down at his phone.

“I guess I don’t really know. Like it’s weird. He’s married, but we have this connection.”

Luke’s head jerked up. “Reese, no.”

“I know. Believe me, I fought it for as long as I could. I used to hate him. Like he’s so annoying. But something about him just isn’t as annoying,” I said.

“But he’s your boss. And he’s married.”

I rolled my eyes. “He would leave his wife without hesitation if I asked him to.”

I turned back to the bar and saw that the hot guy from outside was approaching the bar next to me. He gave me another of his tight, awkward smiles.

“I can’t tell if you’re trying to be friendly or making fun of me with that smile,” I said as he joined me.

He turned slightly as if he was making sure I was talking to him and then his mouth dropped open a little bit.

“That’s how I smile at everyone,” he told me. And then he gave me a real smile, one that looked confident and sexy. I just stared at him. “What are you drinking? It looks like you gave up on the tasting.”

He introduced himself as Nick, an investment analyst originally from Michigan. I usually try to stay away from the finance boys (and Michigan boys), but Nick was really cute and even though he looked like Clark Kent, he had a small town vibe to him and that touched my little heart. We talked about brunch for a while, which normally would have been really lame, but I wanted to continue talking to him.

“Well, if you ever need a buddy to brunch with, I’m your guy,” Nick said.

I smirked and gave him a side eye. Buddy. Really?

“I’m not really looking for any buddies.”

Nick’s eyebrows shot up. “Oh… okay.”

“But I am super passionate about brunch.”

He laughed and we exchanged numbers. I fully expected him to wait two days to text me because that’s what boys do, but he texted me that same night.

“I’m suggesting Fig & Olive brunch on Sunday,” he said.

“I’m saying yes,” I replied back immediately. Usually I would’ve made him wait a couple hours/days to torture him, but no need.

He sent me a PDF copy of the menu because I told him I have to see the menus of restaurants before I go and even though I’ve been to Fig & Olive before, the gesture was sweet.

On Sunday morning, I woke up early, went a spin class, came home, showered, curled my hair, drank some champagne and put on a skort, a bodysuit, a jacket thrown over my shoulders and Stuart Weitzman Nudist heels.

Nick texted me, “Have you figured out what you wanted from the menu yet?”

I texted back, “I’m going to do their namesake salad sans the cheese and I was thinking we could share some crostinis – you pick. I’ll also do a couple glasses of rosé unless you think we should do a bottle and a side of fries.”

“Got it. I was just gonna do an omelette.”

We had agreed to meet at the restaurant so I called a car. Nick was waiting outside with his Ray Bans on and hands in his pockets. Usually I’m intentionally 15-30 minutes late on first dates, but this time I was 10 minutes late and it wasn’t intentional. There was one lock of hair that wouldn’t cooperate. I ended up having to put it in a bun. He was looking around casually, chomping on a piece of gum, and something about him just warms my heart.

I hopped out of the car and Nick noticed me right away. He smiled (his hot smile) and rushed over to me.

“Gotta love Uber Black,” he said gesturing to the SUV I was stepping out of.

I rolled my eyes. “Well, I only use them because I give my driver the weekends off.”

Nick laughed, but I was serious. We made our way inside and got seated. The server came over and Nick ordered everything I asked for, almost word for word.

I smirked at him. “Well, I guess you past the first test.”

He raised his eyebrows. “And how many tests are there?”

I pondered. “I’m not sure yet. Maybe fourteen, fifteen.”

Nick just stared at me.

“And here’s your next one. Why did your last relationship end?”

“Well, she broke up with me,” Nick said.

I gasped. “You let her dump you? Why?”

“Complications,” he said immediately.

“Like?” I pried.

“When I got a new job I couldn’t spend as much time with her and she didn’t like that.”

“You couldn’t make time?”

“I was going to. I wanted to get settled first and she didn’t give me the opportunity.”

I gave him a sympathetic look. He wanted to know about my last relationship too since we were on the subject. I vaguely told him about the communication issues Brady and I had.

“So, I guess the takeaway from that is I need to know everything about everything and everyone,” I said.

Nick nodded. “Good to know.”

We talked and ate and it felt really natural – like we’d known each other forever. After we finished our food, we asked to see a dessert menu, but after pondering for half an hour, we decided we didn’t even want dessert.

After Nick paid for our meal, we went outside and started walking. There are some shops around the restaurant and we looked in the windows and continued talking. He has a finance background and kind of lectured me on the importance of saving and investing and I just nodded and smirked at him.

“I’m serious,” he said. “Almost every industry is struggling right now and if you were to ever lose your job, you need to be prepared.” I gave him a look and he added, “I’m not trying to scare you.”

I knew he was right and vowed to save a little bit more each month. He continued on, talking about 401k’s, IRAs, stocks and bonds. How my rent/mortgage budget shouldn’t be more than 25% of my income. 

“I think it’s adorable that you care about this stuff,” I said.

I could tell Nick was a little embarrassed. “Well, it is a part of my job.”

What I love about Nick is how natural it feels to be with him. Even on our first date. Like it felt like I knew him forever. He catches on to my sarcasm and humor right away and sometimes that’s hard to find.

We were walking and passed a high end jewelry store with a huge ring in a window display. I stopped and said, “Whenever you’re ready to propose, I want something like this. Just keep that in mind.”

Nick peeked around me to get a look at the ring and replied, “Noted.” And then he grabbed my hand. “That ring would look good on you actually.” And then he didn’t let go of my hand.

I joked and said, “You only did that so you could hold my hand, didn’t you?”

Nick looked down at me and said, “Yes,” in a serious way.

After we had walked all the way down the street and back up, we just kind of looked at each other. I don’t think either of us was ready for the date to be over.

“I don’t live far from here. You could come over and we could watch a movie or something…” I suggested.

“Cool. I’m free all day,” Nick said.

I led the way to my apartment which was within walking distance from where we were. Thank goodness I cleaned so the place wasn’t a compete shit show when Nick walked in.

“You have a nice place,” Nick commented and then he pulled me closer to him before I could respond and kissed me. It was quick, but sensual and left me wanting more. But then he pulled away and gave me that stupid little smile.

I pulled up a movie on Netflix and we both laid down on the couch. Before I knew it, we were both sleeping and we proceeded to nap for two hours. I woke up with Nick’s arms around my torso and initially I was super confused, thinking, “Brady’s arms aren’t this big.” Ugh.

Nick didn’t go home until midnight, but we didn’t have sex. To be honest, I thought about it because we were getting along so swimmingly. I even forgot it was the first date.

After that though, we have been kind of inseparable. The following day, Monday, we met for lunch on our lunch breaks. We met at a place in between both of our offices and Nick strolled up in the typical finance fuckboy uniform: dark suit, brown shoes, a tie and sunglasses. Even his haircut fit the bill.

“This is so crazy to say, but I missed you,” he greeted me. The look on his face told me that he was annoyed to have to admit that.

“I should’ve warned you, I’ve heard I’m quite addicting,” I told him.

We were able to get a table at the busy restaurant and ordered sandwiches, salads and gin and tonics (my idea). I asked about his family and found out that his dad works in finance and his mom stayed home, which is exactly like my parents before their split. He has an older sister and a younger sister who I demanded to see pictures of. And he pulled up an Instagram post of the three of them looking stunning, honestly. Is it just me or do you not *really* know what people look like until you see a still picture of them? Like, obviously Nick was hot, but after seeing a photo of him, I realized he really could be some sort of super hero in a movie. I followed him on Instagram after that.

“What are you doing after work?” Nick asked as we stood outside the restaurant saying our goodbyes.

I thought about it. “I was gonna clean out my DVR, but I could hold off. Why, what’s up?”

“Well, I have some returns to make at Nordstrom, maybe you could come with me?”

I smiled. He was already inviting me to Nordstrom with him? Nick just knows the way to my heart.

“Fine. And we will pick out something new that isn’t so typical.” I rolled my eyes.

After work, Nick texted me his address so I could meet him at his apartment. I was kind of annoyed to see that he lives in River North. But his apartment is beautiful. Windows everywhere, dark wood and countertops, chic door knobs… I was a little weirded out when a cat came strutting out of one of the rooms.

“Who the fuck is that?” I asked.

“That’s Coco, my cat,” Nick said.

“You have a cat?”

He nodded and smiled a childlike smile.

“And it’s named after Coco Chanel? Is this your ex-girlfriend’s cat?”

“No, her name is Cocoa, like chocolate. Because of the color of her coat,” Nick explained.

The cat came and rubbed her body on my leg.

“She likes you already.”

“I can’t believe you have a cat and didn’t tell me,” I said. But imagining Nick taking care of the little feline kind of touched my heart.

We grabbed the returns and got in an Uber to Nordstrom. Nick returned some things he purchased online ($1,200 worth) and we proceeded to the men’s department so I could pick out things for him to try on. I noticed that Nick didn’t complain at all (Brady hated shopping and trying things on) and I decided that this was another test. We went to the dressing room and I convinced the sales girl to let us go in together. I really just wanted to see Nick undress.

And he did not disappoint. He has a swimmer’s body with big arms and shoulders and a really small waist. I tried to pretend I wasn’t gawking at him, but really I wanted to see more.

We ended up finding a few tops and a pair of jeans and then went downstairs so I could try on shoes. I can’t ever go in Nordstrom and not try on shoes. It’s physically impossible for me. I ended up taking home three pairs.

We called an Uber and took our loot back to Nick’s place. He poured wine and we sat on the couch talking for an hour before I ended up straddling him and making out until 2am. I had to physically peel myself off him.

“You could stay over if you want,” Nick said.

“No thanks,” I said back as I stood up and fixed my dress and hair.

We had lunch together (and dinner twice) the rest of the week and had our first sleepover on Friday. We both left work at 4 PM, met up to go to Whole Foods for groceries then went back to his place to make dinner. I thought it was so adorable how Nick’s tie was undone the whole time, almost like a signal of the end of the week. We decided to make mussels and pasta in a white wine sauce.

The cat hung out on the counter the whole time we cooked until I finally shooed her away.

“Doesn’t it bother you that she’s just chilling on the counter?” I asked.

“No, she’s not bothering anything. She just wants to be included,” Nick explained. And that made me feel kind of bad.

Dinner turned out amazing (thanks Pinterest) and we sat on the couch polishing off the bottle of wine (plus a second one) and talking.

The next thing I remember is Nick shaking me to wake me up. I opened my eyes and saw him standing over me.

“Hey, do you want to come to bed?” he asked.

I got up and followed him to his room wordlessly. Without even thinking about it, I threw off my dress and climbed in the bed. Nick grabbed me and spooned me, cupping my bare boobs. I could feel that his heart was actually racing. How adorable.

We fooled around for about an hour maybe and it was almost innocent (just lots of kissing all over the body, but no contact with any genitals). And then we fell asleep.

But the next morning, we both grabbed at each other when we woke up. It was like we both couldn’t wait to wake up so we could touch each other again. And obviously both of us wanted more of each other.

Nick climbed on top of me and kissed all over my shoulders and neck while trying to wiggle me out of my underwear. I tried to help him while also running my nails along his back. Guys love that, by the way. Try it.

When Nick finally pushed inside of me, I thought, “Finally. This is what I’ve been waiting my life for.” That few seconds felt better than any sex I’ve had for the past year.

Anyway, it was great. I had no doubts about it before, but still. I was hooked. When we finished, Nick said something stupid like, “That was cool.” And I wanted to slap him.

I went home and showered and got ready then we met for brunch. Again, we walked around for a little while after brunch before retreating back to his place to hook up again.

And I guess the rest is history. It’s only been a few weeks, but I feel like I’ve known Nick forever. It’s to the point where I’m asking about his family members by name, reminding him to do things that I know are a part of his everyday routine, and making grocery lists for his apartment. It’s fun because I can tell that he’s actually really, really into me. I feel like when I first got with Brady, I was unsure. And it just feels so natural. We talk about things in the future like we just know they are going to happen. Making plans for the rest of the summer and our birthdays and the fall. And we haven’t even had a DTR talk because it seems kind of unnecessary. We spend literally all of our time together so I’m not worried about being exclusive (except I see my other boyfriend, Scott, everyday at work 🙃).

Standard

am i addicted to drama?

Brady and I had plans to go to an awards ceremony for one of his work colleagues and then we would go out with his work friends after that. I thought it would be a nice time to meet the Poison Ivy looking chick from Brady’s Instagram.

I left work a little bit early on Friday to get ready because the awards dinner was supposed to be kind of nice or something and I wanted to look good for it (and for Poison Ivy). So I needed to get ready. I showered and changed into a tight black jumpsuit with a vest that I could ditch later when the real festivities began. I didn’t have time to deal with my hair so I swept it up into a high bun.

I texted Brady, “I’m ready,” and he said, “Meet me here? I just got out of the shower.”

Imagining Brady fresh out of the shower made my little heart palpitate and I immediately ordered an Uber. I’m sorry, but Brady is actually really hot. So I rushed over there.

“Hey. You look cute,” Brady greeted me at the door.

“Hi. Where’s my son?” I asked, breezing in past him. Brady looked good and smelled delicious, but I couldn’t let him know I was thinking that.

Tucker came bounding into the foyer so fast that he couldn’t stop and slid across the tile.

“Aww, my little angel face!” I exclaimed. I picked him up and kissed all over his face to make Brady jealous.

“Just give me 3 minutes and I’ll be ready to go, okay?” Brady said.

I nodded and watched him walk away. His ass looked hot in dark chinos, a button up and the preppiest loafers (who picked those out for him?). I hate that I am so attracted to him.

I put Tucker down and cleaned all the dog hair off me while I waited. Brady came back and told me that he called an Uber. On the ride over, he told me about Hunter and Dom and how much Dom has changed since giving birth.

“I’m sure she’s changed for the better. She was so awful before,” I said.

“Yeah well, Hunter thinks she’s pretty awful now,” Brady said.

I rolled my eyes. I wanted to tell him that Hunter probably just wasn’t ready for commitment (especially to a person like Dom) and wanted to continue meeting and hooking up with girls. Remember the girl he met in the grocery store here in Chicago and ended up spending the night with? That’s what Hunter wants. Not to be at home with a miserable woman and babies. And I don’t blame him.

When we got to the venue, I immediately discovered it was open bar. Thank God. I made Brady stand in the bar line with me to get drinks before we even went to find his friends because priorities. We needed to take full advantage of this situation. I got a modest glass of rosé and Brady got a beer. So then I was ready to see his friends.

Brady’s gotten pretty close with this guy named Alex, who recently moved to Chicago from New York. Brady talks about him a lot, but it was my first time meeting him. He reminded me of Chris – tall, dark hair, beard – but he’s a doctor.

“Reese! Nice to finally meet you. I’ve heard a lot,” Alex said. He glanced at Brady with a smile and of course, I glanced at Brady too, but I glared at him. Don’t talk shit about me to your new friends.

“Likewise,” I said, shaking his hand.

We hung out with Alex for the first hour and talked to some of their other coworkers. I was bored, but enjoying the mac and cheese balls, shrimp cocktails and blue cheese stuffed olives.

And then the red headed girl showed up. And I had a cracker in my mouth. She reached out to hug Brady first, I noticed, and then Alex. Her hair was literally dyed bright red and she was about 5’2 wearing a tight black dress and lots of eyeshadow. She was cute though.

“Sorry, I can’t stay out long. I’m overnighting this week,” she said. “But I thought I’d come out for a little bit!”

“Great!” I said.

“You haven’t met Reese, have you?” Brady chimed in.

Homegirl looked at me. “No! Nice to meet you! I’m Amelia.”

“Hi Amelia,” I said, dryly. I had no reason to automatically hate her, but I did.

She gave me a big smile and then turned back to the others. I glanced at Brady at and he was giving me a weird look so I rolled my eyes at him. He obviously didn’t know that I knew who this Amelia girl was and was going to try to make me feel like an idiot. Not today.

We hung out with Alex and Amelia for a little bit, but again I was bored. Alex is funny in a frat boy kind of way. Eventually, Amelia had to go and as soon as she walked away, I said, “So what’s the story with her?”

“What do you mean?” Brady asked, giving me a weird look.

“I mean, she’s cute. Nice.” I shrugged. “I just didn’t think that was your type.”

Brady threw his head back and rolled his eyes – a look I’ve seen on far too many occasions. “Reese, it’s not even like that.”

I shrugged again like “No big deal, do what you want.”

“Hey, I’ll be right back,” Alex said, sensing that things were getting personal.

As soon as he walked away, Brady said, “Please don’t.”

“Please don’t what? I saw your pics on Instagram. You don’t have to pretend.”

“What are you talking about, Reese? I’m not interested in her in that way at all.”

At that point I realized that it was pretty obvious Brady and Amelia had nothing going on (I mean, come on). They had no chemistry and she talked about her ex (who she kept referring to as “they” and kept things gender neutral like it could be a man or a woman). But I couldn’t even stop myself from confronting him, especially after I’d already started. Am I addicted to drama?

And maybe Brady is too because he still invited me back to his place at the end of the night. We spent about 45 minutes at a couple bars then he called an Uber and asked if I wanted to come. I said, “Fine.”

We got undressed which was my goal for the night and then got in bed. Brady started rubbing my legs and I realized I forgot to shave so I pushed his hands away. He made a face like, “Oh, guess that’s not allowed,” and I was cool with that because then at least he would think I was calling the shots.

We had sex for a long time and got in weird postions we haven’t even tried before, but in the end Brady couldn’t come. I always feel like when guys can’t finish it’s because they’re either super sexually active or they masturbate a lot. Either way, I was unimpressed and got up to find something to eat in the kitchen.

I slept over and the next morning Brady reached over and started fondling me really early. I pushed him off because I was not about to endure that torture again.

“Well, I’m gonna go,” I said and before I could even finish my sentence, Brady asked, “Do you want to get breakfast?”

He looked at me expectantly like I hadn’t even said anything. Since he seemed so eager, I said, “Okay, fine.”

Before we left, Brady proceeded to eat me out so at the very least I would be satisfied and I appreciated that. I got up and put on a white romper I’d brought with me and we headed to Summer House. By the way, I really hate that place. So overrated and pretentious and the exact reason I’ve fallen out of love with Lincoln Park. I will stay in Gold Coast where everyone is open about their money and plastic surgery, thanks. I got lip fillers by the way! I love. 

I haven’t really spoken to or seen Brady since our breakfast date that morning. I heard from a reliable source (Preston) that he had sex with Tia and I’m just so fucking sick of Brady’s dick. Like, you’re kidding me, right? Plus I met someone. I’ll tell y’all about that later. Brady texted me two weeks ago telling me that Hunter was in Chicago for the weekend and invited me to hang out with them. I said no thanks in my head and then didn’t respond. 

One day Scott and I stayed at work late working on a project. After we were finished, we were the last ones in the office and Scott invited me out for a drink. This was after our makeout and we hadn’t really talked or hung out since. And I was dying to talk about it and ease the tension so I agreed. We walked to this bar near Merchandise Mart. It was a Thursday night and the bar was surprisingly really packed. We grabbed our drinks and went to a corner. 

We talked about work a lot for a while, about what Mike wanted for 2017 and what Scott was envisioning. Scott is up for a promotion for a position on the same scale as Mike’s and obviously I’m hoping his promotion will bump me up too. I know it’s a little bit far fetched since I haven’t been in my position long, but I’m really fucking good. Ask anyone.

“So,” Scott asked with Australian/English accent. “Any new men in your life?”

I rolled my eyes. “No. Just the same old ones who I need to move on from.”

“I thought you and Brady would have found a way to make it work by now,” Scott said.

I shrugged. This was before the Tia tea. “I just don’t know about me and him. I feel like if it was going to work, it would. I shouldn’t have to fight so hard.”

“I know what you mean. Relationships are so complicated and…weird. I’m feeling like you feel. I shouldn’t have to fight this hard.”

“Really?”

Scott nodded. “When we first got married, my wife made me very happy and we had a lot of fun. Now all of that is gone. The excitement is gone.”

I frowned to show my sympathy.

“This sounds awful, but I’m not excited to come home and see her and I know I should be. I care about her a lot, but I don’t feel like I’m in love with her anymore. I feel like she’s my best friend and that’s it.”

“It shouldn’t feel like that,” I said, as if I know anything about marriage or have any business giving anyone relationship advice. 

“I know. I’ve felt this way before. I was engaged another time, but we were never married. It was my fault because I lost interest. In my fiancée.” Scott looked at me to gauge my reaction.

“So what happened?”

“Well, we called off the wedding. I told her I was getting cold feet, which was true, but I didn’t tell her that I flat out just wasn’t attracted to her anymore.”

“That’s terrible,” I said, feeling bad for the ex-fiancée. Especially because she didn’t know the full story (but didn’t need to). In my head, I was thinking wow, and now Scott feels the same way again. These poor women.

“I know. I feel like there might be something wrong with me. I don’t know if I’m capable of this large of a commitment. I love seeing new people and so I lose interest. I wish it weren’t like this.”

When Scott said this, it reasonated with me. Do y’all remember when I was having that crisis where I wasn’t sure if I could be in a monogamous relationship because I seek attention so much? I feel like the way Scott feels is kind of the way I feel. So then I felt sorry for him because you can’t help that you feel that way and you definitely don’t want to.

Scott and I got really close after that evening at the bar. We went back to working together a lot more and helping each other with various projects. We also went to lunch together most days – sometimes even opting for a liquid lunch. Scott and I are really similar in a lot of ways and I think that’s why we butt heads so much. We talked about each other’s love lives a lot because that’s how we bonded and he talked about his future and being single.

And we kissed again. A few times. A lot of times. Usually after too much wine at lunch, but sometimes not. I don’t know what it is, but we are just really passionate with each other. Our friendship/relationship is very fun and light, but also heavy and deep. This is going to sound really lame, but it almost feels magnetic. Like the universe is pushing us together.

One night, we were both the last ones left in the office besides the custodians. Scott and I had finished work and were sitting in his office talking. We were sitting way too close and if anyone was still in the office, people would be gossiping about it. 

“I guess I’d better get home before she starts texting me about my whereabouts,” Scott said.

I nodded because I understood who “she” was.

Scott leaned close to me like he was going to kiss me. “As crazy as this sounds, I would love it if you texted me about my whereabouts.”

I gave him a sassy look.

“I feel different about you than I have about anyone else. I could never lose interest in you.”

I gave him an equally sassy, but skeptical look.

“You would always keep me on my toes. When I’m not around you, all I can think about is when I’ll see you next and how you might surprise me.”

“What can I say? I’m unique,” I said, playing coy. I wasn’t about to admit to Scott that I imagine what it would be like if we were together often too. I know I shouldn’t and I can barely admit it to myself, but I can see it happening. And I go back and forth between wanting it and wanting to stay far, far away. But even when I try to stay away, the universe steps in (and also we work closely together so there’s that too).

Scott has been traveling a lot the past few weeks so I haven’t seen much of him. And I find myself texting him questions about work just so I can talk to him and see how he’s doing. I literally spend all day thinking up questions to ask that are relevant, real and don’t sound like I’m just looking for a reason to text him. I’m actually so annoyed with myself, but I can’t stop. And he’s always so happy to hear from me and talks about how he can’t wait to get back to the office to see me and plans where we will do lunch. And I kind of love that. 

Anyway, how are y’all? I can’t wait to tell y’all about my new man (not Scott) and it’ll literally be so soon! Promise!

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