BIG UPDATE — PART THREE.

It took me several seconds to realize what Brady said. His father just died.

“So I’m going to stay here tonight,” he continued.

“Oh my God, Brady. I’m so sorry. Are you okay? What happened?” I said back.

“I’m fine.”

“Do you want me and Winnie to come be with you there? Where are you? I can drive—”

He cut me off. “No, that’s completely unnecessary. I’m in Massachusetts and I don’t want to drive in the dark. I’ll be home tomorrow.”

God. Even in a situation like this he was so cold and logical and emotionless. We hung up and I sat there trying to process what he just told me. Brady’s father, who I had spent a good chunk of time with, had passed away. How? I knew he was sick, but I didn’t know it was that bad. But once I thought about it, how would I know? I hadn’t seen him in some time and it’s not like Brady would tell me.

How was Brady handling it? And his mom? She must be devastated. As much as I don’t like her, I felt awful at the thought of her being widowed. I hoped she and Brady were at least helping each other through it. And what about Winnie? She loved Brady’s dad. Just thinking about that made me burst into tears. I could not imagine how Brady must be feeling.

He came home the next evening and I immediately started peppering him with questions. He was vague with details — dad collapsed and had to go to the hospital — but was sure to let me know that Hunter would be coming and may stay with us for a couple of days. And then I demanded to know how he felt. Brady was acting almost robotic — not outwardly sad or upset; just stated the facts. Did he care? Had he already cried? Had it not sunk in?

“You know I wasn’t very close with him,” he said.

And that caught me off guard. Brady has never hidden the fact that he isn’t that fond of his parents, but his dad was dead! No matter what, it’s still his dad. And it’s not like they were estranged; we spent a lot of time with his parents. And if he supposedly wasn’t that close with his dad, why did he drop everything to drive to Massachusetts? It didn’t make any sense.

Over the weekend, I kept asking more questions. When was the funeral? How was his mother doing? Was she alone? Should we go be with her? Should we send her flowers? What should we tell Winnie?

“Not sure.”

“She’s okay.”

“No.”

“She doesn’t like flowers.”

“The truth.”

Eventually, I was sick of the short answers and ready to punch him in the face. I understand that everyone handles grief differently, but this was ridiculous.

“Do you like, not care about this or are you in shock? Or do you not want to talk about it with me?” I said.

“I’m not in shock. His health has been declining for several years and he was stubborn about treatments. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react,” he said coldly.

“You kind of sound like an asshole,” I couldn’t help saying.

Brady was silent for a moment and then he said, “Thanks Reese,” and walked away.

So of course, I felt bad after that. After I made dinner and we all ate together, I apologized.

“Don’t apologize if that’s how you feel,” Brady said, which was honestly one of the smartest things he’d said in weeks.

“I just feel bad about your dad and I wish you’d let me be there for you,” I said.

“I feel bad too but there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.

Seriously? I was so frustrated all I could do was cry. And then on Monday morning, he went to work like everything was normal. I assumed he’d take at least a few days off so I was surprised when I woke up and saw that he was gone.

“You didn’t take the day off?” I texted him.

“No. Why would I?” he said a few hours later. I just wanted to fucking shake him. Because your fucking father just died, that’s why you’d take the day off! It’s called bereavement. What the fuck?

The week went by in a bit of a blur. I felt like a zombie. I called Brady’s mom to offer my condolences and she didn’t answer, of course, and never called me back. My mom insisted on sending flowers (even though apparently she doesn’t like them) and I had her add my name to the card since Brady’s mom had no interest in talking to me. I’m probably the last person she wanted to speak to with everything going on and I don’t really blame her.

The funeral was scheduled for Friday of the following week. Brady took that Wednesday off, mainly because Hunter was arriving from California and he wanted to meet him. Of course. He let me know that they’d probably stay in Massachusetts, but he’d be back the next day. And this is completely awful, but I couldn’t help thinking that this was going to be a repeat of Florida. I really needed to get over myself.

But out of sight, out of mind I guess. Once Brady left I finally texted Brendan back. He’d reached out a few times the past few days, but I was so preoccupied with everything else that I hadn’t responded. So I made up some excuse about being busy with the baby because I didn’t want to share Brady’s business. Plus I needed an escape. I’d already cried six times thinking about Brady’s dad. Brendan was both the last person and only person I wanted to talk to and somehow, without even knowing what was going on, he made me feel like everything would be okay.

My parents came for the funeral and I was so excited to see them and especially that they were staying with us through the weekend. With everything going on, I needed my parents.

The services took place at a beautiful church in Massachusetts. I was surprised to see Brady’s mom stoically greeting everyone – politely laughing and smiling. Meanwhile, I could barely keep it together and sobbed throughout the service. I mean, how could not? It was so sad and I seemed to be the only one sad. Brady just sat there like a robot, although eventually he did put his arm around me and rubbed my shoulder to try to console me. It was the first time he’d touched me in weeks — months even.

And my demon child, who was sitting in my lap, continuously rolled her eyes and told me to stop crying. I wanted to say, “If you had any idea what was going on, you’d cry too! But you don’t! And you’re the one who cries when you’re sleepy instead of just going to sleep so I don’t want to hear it!” The nerve of that girl.

Brady didn’t shed a tear.

We all went to Brady’s parents’ afterwards. It was all a little awkward mostly because Brady’s family is awkward and my mom couldn’t read the room and was over the top in the delivery of her condolences. It’s like, I think they get it. Winnie got to see her uncle Hunter, which was pretty cute even if I hate him. Oddly his wife and kids didn’t make the trip, which he said was due to covid. Doubtful. She probably finally left him and he was too embarrassed to admit it.

It started to get better though because someone (Brady’s grandmother, I’m pretty sure) opened wine and champagne. Thank God. I chugged that shit like it was going to disappear.

Later that night, we came back to our house with my parents in tow. I put the baby to sleep and then the grown ups stayed up a little longer having wine and catching up. And Brady and I sat there talking and joking around with my parents like nothing was going on between us. As if we hadn’t given each other the cold shoulder for months. And seeing him actually smiling made my chest tighten. Maybe we really did like each other! Or maybe he was just so miserable being around me, he needed a buffer. That made sense too.

My mom and I made plans to go the grocery store in the morning and whip up a big southern breakfast for everyone. Then we all went to bed. And me and Brady did our normal bedtime routine — changing into pajamas and brushing our teeth in silence — and then we got in bed. I wanted to say something, not just go to sleep like I normally would. But I didn’t know what to say.

But then Brady rolled over in the dark and said, “Are you up?”

“Mmhm,” I said.

“Just wanted to say thanks for your support. I know it’s been hard,” he said.

And it’s like, what support? I’ve been a blubbering mess for a week and not exactly a stable person to lean on. So I felt guilty about calling him an asshole and assuming he was doing something bad with Hunter and about Brendan. Still unsure what to say, I pushed myself over so I could hug him. And it’s like he was waiting for me to because he put his arms around me and pulled me even closer. It was cute. He made it hard to be there for him, but at least he appreciated my efforts. And Brady definitely has trouble expressing himself with words so even just a hug seemed to say a lot.

We stayed like that for a while, not saying anything, and I thought he’d fallen asleep. But then I felt that he was getting a boner. Really? At a time like this? But I guess he couldn’t help it and at least that confirmed he was still somewhat attracted to me. What? Getting ignored for weeks on end can really take its toll on the self esteem.

And so he pulled me even closer and nuzzled my neck and then…I guess we had sex. Which I didn’t mean or plan to happen. We didn’t even kiss or say anything else — we just had a quickie and went to sleep. And afterwards, I for some reason felt guilty because I felt like I was cheating on Brendan. How would he feel about me sleeping with my boyfriend? My little fling with Brendan was only okay as long as Brady and I weren’t speaking.

The next morning I got up and met my mom and Winnie in the kitchen. I must have looked like shit because my mom said, “Oh, babe. Are you okay?”

I shook my head and told her I’d tell her all about it later. She knew something had been going on between me and Brady (the house hunting trip to Houston was a good clue) but we hadn’t fully discussed it. My dad and Brady joined us and as he walked past me, Brady swatted me on the butt like everything was normal. And then when I looked at him like he was insane, he grinned at me with little hearts in his eyes.

What. The. Fuck.

So my mom and I hopped in the car to go to the grocery store and as we walked through the aisles, I told her what was going on with Brendan. She already knew about him, of course, but I’d downplayed everything previously. She didn’t know the full details of the separation or about the divorce or the kiss. I explained how our relationship seemed to ramp up on its own especially after Brady pushed me away. And I told her how I actually might have real feelings for Brendan.

“Do you see Brendan outside of the office often?” she asked.

“Only for lunch. We just text a lot. Like, all day and all night.”

And then finally, she said, “Oh, Reese. I’m so disappointed.”

Which is not the response I was expecting. Usually when I tell her about my stupid decisions, she just offers up advice with no judgement. “Disappointed? Why?”

“Because Brady loves you,” my mother said.

“Does he? Why do you think that?”

“Because he tells me. All the time. He loves you and Winnie so much.”

Naturally, I burst into tears. My mom stopped pushing the cart and just stared at me.

“Maybe he said that,” I managed to choke out. “But he definitely doesn’t act like it.”

“Have you told him what you need from him?” my mom asked as if this wasn’t the most obvious thing in the world.

“Only a million times. He knows. He doesn’t like to communicate and he has no feelings and our relationship is toxic—”

My mother cut me off. “And you think a relationship with this Brendan would be better? As soon as he thought he had a chance with you, he kicked his wife to the curb. And you don’t think he’d do the same to you if the opportunity came up?”

It seemed unnecessary to correct her — the wife had actually kicked him to the curb — so I just stood there sniffling.

“Think about Winnie. Do you want her growing up in a broken home?” my mom said.

“Yeah because growing up with parents who hate each other is better,” I mumbled. And no offense, but growing up with parents who didn’t exactly like each other is probably how Brady turned out like he did. I wasn’t about to say that out loud.

“Well, I’m going to talk to Brady about this,” she said after a few seconds of silence.

“What are you going to say?” I exclaimed. Really? It’s like she was just dying to share my business.

“I’ll tell him what we discussed and see what he wants to do. If the relationship is as toxic as you claim and you went and got involved with someone else then we need to fix it. Or at least get the baby out of there. She’s more than welcome to stay with us in Houston.”

My mother and her big fucking mouth.

**Thanks for all of your messages and comments! The past few months have been a lot. I think I’ll have one more update post to get you up to date on my current situation. Love you all!**

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BIG UPDATE — PART TWO.

Despite looking like he hadn’t gotten much sleep, Brendan still looked fantastic. He was in a preppy cream colored sweater and jeans.

“Hi!” I said.

He smiled warmly. “Hey. Can I come in?”

“Of course!” It was like we had reverted back and now he was asking for permission just to come into my office. He stepped in and shut the door behind him.

“Are you busy?” he asked as he sat in one of my chairs.

“Extremely, but definitely not too busy for you. One sec.” I finished sending my email then closed out to give him my undivided attention. “What’s up? How are you?”

Brendan shrugged. “I’m sure you heard.”

I nodded, confirming, but not giving Thomas away. “You okay?”

“Yeah. It wasn’t exactly a surprise. Things haven’t been good for a while, but I thought she was willing to work through it. That’s what she said a few months ago. I think someone got in her head,” he said.

I nodded again, afraid to ask what exactly happened. Brendan and I were nowhere near as close as we used to be, but I would absolutely die if our friendship had anything to do with their divorce.

“It’s just weird,” he went on. “She’s the only person I’ve ever really been with. We were together forever. So it’ll be an adjustment, for sure.”

As in, his wife is the only person he’s ever slept with? How weird, but kind of cute I guess? But all the more reason to see what else is out there.

“So there’s no chance for reconciliation?” I asked.

Brendan shook his head. “No. Things were said and done that can’t be taken back, you know?”

Oh, I knew. “Yeah. So what now?”

“Business as usual, I guess. There’s still some stuff that has to be figured out, but I just got a place in Murray Hill so I’m happy.”

“A bachelor pad?” I teased.

“Hardly,” Brendan grinned. “Wanna come check it out? It needs some work, but I’m settling in.”

“Definitely.” There was no way I would go to see his new place. What a bad idea.

“Anyway. What’s going on with you?”

“The same shit. Everyone is pissing me off. You have to see what Paige just emailed me,” I replied.

Despite being terrible at her job, Paige had been on my ass about the stupidest bullshit. That day, she’d sent a message that said, “I don’t care how you do it, but this needs to be figured out today.” And it’s like, instead of demanding shit get done, why don’t you actually help? She’s a bitch and she’s annoying and it doesn’t help that she works from home every single day and answered a Zoom call from her bed one day. Really?

“Man,” Brendan said, laughing. “The two of you just can’t get along, can you?”

“No because she’s a cu—”

And then my door flew open and Sam rushed in. Brendan jumped up like he was caught doing something inappropriate. Sam, of course, stopped and looked back and forth between us.

“Sorry to interrupt…” she started to say.

“You’re fine. Do you have the samples?” I said back.

Meanwhile, Brendan waved and snuck off behind her out of my office. Not suspicious at all, dude. I didn’t see him again the rest of the day, but that evening he texted me saying, “Sorry I had to run. Wanna grab lunch this week to catch up?”

I knew I shouldn’t so I waited an entire day to say, “Sure! How’s Friday?”

So at least that gave me something to look forward to. On Friday, I got dressed in a brand new cute outfit; not so much to impress Brendan or anything like that, but because I’d spent the entire pandemic shopping online and I was excited to wear my new clothes.

And okay, so maybe I was a little too excited to be having lunch with a newly single guy when I was having so many issues in my own relationship. But we’d already decided that the only thing we’d ever be is friends so it was fine.

As soon as we sat down and ordered at the cute bistro near the office, I blabbed about what was going on with Brady. The only person I’d really talked to about it was Kendra and she, of course, sided with Brady.

“I mean, why were you spying on him? If John overheard some of our conversations, I know he wouldn’t be happy. And I’m sure Brady wouldn’t be either,” she said.

She’s so annoying. Sometimes I wonder how and why I’m still friends with her.

“Don’t you think you should talk to him?” Brendan said after my spiel.

“And say what? I’ve already told him exactly how I feel and he’s said nothing. The ball is in his court now.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “It just seems weird that you haven’t talked about it at all.”

“Welcome to my life!” I burst out. “This is what I’ve dealt with for years.”

“I’m sorry, Reese,” Brendan said, sounding sincere. “I guess we’re both having some issues in the relationship department.”

That was an understatement. I considered what he said though, and thought maybe I should bring it up again. It made zero sense that we were walking around the house ignoring each other when we could just talk about our problems. When I got home that afternoon, Brady was already home and in the kitchen with Winnie.

“Hey,” he said, barely looking up at me.

“Hello. You’re home early,” I said.

I put my stuff down and saw that he’d picked up the mail and it was all sitting on the counter. And right on top was a postcard from one of the places I’d looked at in the city with a note saying something like, “Greetings from your new home.”

“Yup,” Brady said. And then he started talking to Winnie and pretending I wasn’t there. So that got me even more mad. Clearly he’d seen the postcard and knew I was looking to move out and he wasn’t even going to say anything? He didn’t care? Typical.

Anyway, that was the new routine. Brady and me ignoring each other, looking for places to live around the country and meeting Brendan for lunch once a week. But that quickly turned into lunch 2-3 times a week. And then when we weren’t hanging out, we were in constant communication; binging shows on Netflix together, signing up for the same Peloton rides, exchanging pictures of our respective dinners, etc. And it was bad, like back to before I got pregnant, but even worse now that he was single and I was basically on my way to being single. It wasn’t like super subtle flirting that could be passed as friendly banter. The pics he sent after our Peloton rides were not exactly platonic. And neither were some of the conversations we had while we were texting in bed.

The last thing I needed was to get involved with Brendan — a very recently divorced (had the papers even been signed?) coworker. Not when Brady and I had so many unresolved issues and a needy toddler in the mix, but I didn’t care. I knew it would all blow up in my face eventually, but I’d cross that bridge when I got to it. For now, I’d enjoy the fruits of my bad decisions.

One day, we decided to go to lunch and then we would visit a site with Thomas and Mike afterwards. We opted for just green smoothies and as we sat there sipping, Brendan asked about Brady. We hadn’t really broached the subject since my first venting session, mainly because the situation hadn’t changed at all.

“He’s fine,” I said. “He’s been working from five am until like nine or ten so I usually don’t even see him. I’m sure he prefers it that way.”

“Do you think he’s really working all that time?” Brendan asked.

I just stared at him and so he continued.

“I mean, you’re the one who alluded to him doing something in Florida. I don’t know.”

Honestly, I hadn’t even considered that Brady was being sketchy in that way at all — he’s always been a workaholic. But perhaps he was getting into something/someone else. Maybe he was meeting up with Sydney in Brooklyn after work everyday and spending the evening with her. Or even someone else I didn’t know about.

“I’m sorry,” Brendan said when he saw the wheels turning in my head. “I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sure he’s not.”

“I have no idea,” I admitted. “But that’s my point. I don’t trust him.”

As if I had any room to talk.

Thomas called as we were leaving the shop to tell Brendan he’d lost his keys.

“Thomas is good at a lot of things, but he would lose his head if it wasn’t attached to his body,” Brendan said once he hung up. “I need to grab the spare set from my place. Do you mind?”

And I was mostly just eager to see his apartment because I’m nosy so I let him know I didn’t mind. We hopped in a cab and headed over there. To no one’s surprise, Brendan’s new bachelor pad is a hip, beautifully decorated brownstone just off Park Ave.

“I thought you said you were still settling in,” I said as we entered the fully furnished living space.

“My stepmom has been helping me. Just give a sec while I find the keys. You can look around if you want,” he said.

Which I was going to do anyway. I gave myself a tour around the living area and kitchen, noting the very expensive furniture and original art pieces. I wondered if he inherited some of it from the divorce since the ex-wife is supposedly “loaded.” I went through the hallway to look at a spacious bathroom and a guest bedroom that actually did need a little bit of work. I stopped just before I got to the open door of what I assumed was the master suite. Brendan was coming out and we stood there staring at each other.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

“It’s okay,” I lied. His place was stunning and clearly a lot nicer than he originally let on. “When you’re ready, I can help you revamp some things.”

Brendan smiled. “Thank you.”

And then, something about being in such close quarters when all I could think about was his sweaty shoulders and body after a Peloton ride made my body clammy.

“Did you find the keys?” I said to change the subject.

“Yep. We can get going,” he said.

And then I didn’t immediately turn to leave because some wicked part of me still wanted to see his bedroom. It wasn’t until Brendan began to walk toward me that I turned and hustled out of there.

He must have read my mind, because later that night he sent me a picture of his modern white and grey bedroom.

“You didn’t get to see, but still working on my room. I need art for above my bed,” he captioned. 

The picture was of the entire room and I couldn’t even fully see the bed. Which was completely fine. I didn’t need to be thinking about his bed anyway.

So that’s how things were for the next few weeks — lots of texting and lunches and flirting. But…it wasn’t just that. I realized that I actually really fucking liked the guy. I loved how open he was about his feelings about his ex and his divorce and how he was working through them. I didn’t exactly want to hear about her, but I enjoyed the fact that he’s not afraid to be vulnerable and he’s well adjusted, not emotionally unavailable like someone else in my life. And I love that when I complain about the most random and stupid shit, he always asks, “Is there anything I can do to help?” And it’s like no, I just want to complain. But at least he tries and he listens.

It sort of felt like we were in a long distance relationship. Like we were a couple, but lived on opposite coasts and that’s why we weren’t intimate. So when he invited me to his dad’s birthday dinner in Manhattan, I immediately said yes. It was on a Thursday night and I knew Brady would be working late so I arranged with the sitter to watch Winnie. I put on high rise light wash jeans by Agolde and a skimpy tank top and then threw a blazer over it in case my future in-laws his parents were conservative (but from everything Brendan told me, I didn’t think they would be). And that’s when it hit me that I was meeting his parents and maybe this was all really weird? Was I ready to meet his family? What had he told them about me? Did they think I was his date? But I’d already agreed and I didn’t want to back out at the last minute. It’d be fine.

The birthday dinner was at a bustling restaurant in Hudson Yards and Brendan’s family took up the back half of the space. I got really nervous going in, thinking about Brendan’s ex and his family and what they would think of him bringing another girl to his dad’s birthday dinner. But then I was introduced to the cute dad who was clearly a few drinks in and I suddenly felt fine. The stepmom rushed over and pulled me into a hug.

“I’m so glad to finally meet you! Brendan has told me such amazing things,” she said. And then pulled away, still holding onto me. “And he was right — you do have great style. Who’s the blazer by?”

So obviously we were pretty much inseparable after that. Brendan is really close with her and she’s super cute and active on Instagram; posting her outfits and tablescapes and makeup looks (we follow each other now obvi). I think she’s a bit younger than his dad, who is also fun. He ordered bourbon for the table to go with dinner and told inappropriate jokes all night. His brother — Brendan’s uncle — and his wife were also there along with two other couples. It was a boisterous group, but it was so fun and so normal. Obviously the booze helped, but I loved them all.

Dinner wrapped up, but a few people wanted to stay and drink at the bar. I debated staying since I was having fun and it wasn’t that late yet, but I felt bad about leaving Winnie at home so I decided that I should to get going. I went to the restroom and came back out, looking for Brendan to tell him I was leaving. He found me as I was walking out.

“Heyyy, I was looking for you. Wanna have another drink?” he said.

“I wish, but I need to get home to my brat,” I said back, rolling my eyes.

“Aww,” Brendan said, still coming toward me. We were in a tiny pocket of space next to the stairs partially hidden by a wall. “Well, thanks for coming. I hope you had fun.”

“Definitely. I’m expecting an invite to every birthday dinner going forward,” I said.

Brendan kept coming closer until I was backed into the wall. “You know I can make that happen. Everyone loves you.”

“Duh.”

He tossed his head back and laughed. “Do you need any help getting home? Can I call you a car?”

I let him know that I’d called an Uber. 

“Okay. Will you be around for lunch tomorrow?”

“Brendan.” I gave him a look because we’d already had lunch together three times that week. “Don’t you have work to do?”

“Yeah, but I can always find time to eat with you.”

At this point his face was like an inch from mine and clearly we’d both had too much bourbon. But something about him saying, “I can always find time to eat with you,” made me want to fucking melt. So naturally, I put my hand on his chest and shoved him away.

“Please. You’ll be too hungover to even get out of bed tomorrow,” I said.

Brendan grabbed my arm and laughed and just stared at me for a moment. And then he said, “Can I kiss you?”

I should’ve said absolutely not, WTF did he think this was? But I just stood there like a goddamn tit. And so he leaned down and kissed me and without me telling it to, my hand reached up and entwined itself into the back of his hair like this was at all normal. Brendan wrapped his arms around my waist and leaned into me, and there we were: in the corner of the restaurant making out. It felt like years and years in the making. We both reeked of bourbon and I knew would immediately regret it, but fucking finally. The moment he began to pull away, I pushed past him.

“I feel like my Uber is here,” I said and then I rushed out of there.

By the time I got home, I was overwhelmed with guilt and ready to jump off a bridge. Brady was home, working on his laptop, and didn’t even say hi to me or ask where I’d been. That made me feel a little bit less like an asshole, but I still felt like shit — not just from all the bourbon, but because I wanted to kiss him again. Maybe I didn’t feel all that guilty. I dry-heaved and cried all night.

I didn’t hear from Brendan until late the next morning. I decided against going into the office, mainly so I would have an excuse not to have to face him at lunch. As much as we’d been flirting, we’d never been physical. And I wasn’t sure how things would be after that.

“Hey. I’m sorry about last night. Needless to say, I had way too much to drink. And you were right, I’m too hungover to meet for lunch,” Brendan texted me.

He was such a gentleman about it that it made me melt a little bit more. So I didn’t reply. We avoided each other for a few days, but found time to get lunch the following week. We skirted around the dinner/kiss, but still fell back into our usual conversation and any awkwardness we felt went away.

The following weekend, Brady didn’t go to work and the three of us had breakfast together. We’d exchanged a few one word sentences, and I planned on going to get mani pedis with Mel in the afternoon. Brady got a phone call — which I didn’t eavesdrop on — but I heard him say, “Wow. I’m on my way.”

And then he grabbed his car keys and beelined for the door. We made eye contact briefly, but he didn’t bother telling me where he was going. I thought nothing of it and that he’d be back soon. But several hours went by and since I was home with the baby, I couldn’t leave to get mani pedis with Mel. I was thinking, what the actual fuck, Brady? Where the fuck was he and why did he leave knowing that I had plans? I wasn’t even going to bother texting him, I’d save my rage for later. I assumed he was doing something nefarious with Sydney or one of the girls he loves at work. And that was fine, I guess, now I’d definitely leave him for Brendan.

But then he finally called. It was eight PM and I was absolutely seething. Where the absolute hell had he been all day?

“Hi,” I answered boredly, ready to hear whatever he had to say.

“Hey,” Brady said. “My dad just died.”

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BIG UPDATE — PART ONE.

After my last post, I’d decided that I was going to take a break from posting here. The main reason being is that I felt bad about everyone trashing Brady in the comments based on what I wrote. I was venting and it was nice to do that, but at the end of the day, he was still my boyfriend and daughter’s father, you know? It was hard to read everyone telling me we should break up.

Brady went to Florida, we got in a fight about it and I thought it was over. Like, Brady was being an idiot as usual but that’s just who he is. I’ve gotten used to it. But then the following week, I overheard him talking to Hunter in his office. I’ve stopped eavesdropping for my own sanity, but I heard Hunter say something like, “Is she still being a bitch?” so I had to listen.

“Yeah, but that’s nothing new. I’m used to it,” Brady said.

Oh, really? I’m the bitch for not wanting my boyfriend partying in Florida with his nasty brother and a girl he’s had sex with? Of course.

“That’s rough. Did you tell her about-”

“No.” Brady cut him off and started laughing. “And not going to so you can just forget about that.”

Hunter started laughing too. “I don’t blame you. Wifey’s already on my nutsack so I’m ready for our next one.”

“Tell me about it,” Brady said and then said he had a meeting and he needed to go. As soon as he hung up with Hunter, I pounded on the door. A few seconds later, he opened the door looking guilty.

“Tell me what, Brady? What’s Hunter talking about?” I demanded.

“What?”

“Don’t act fucking stupid. I heard you on the phone. What do you think you’re never going to tell me? Because actually, you’re going to have to tell me,” I said back.

He rolled his eyes. “I need to get back to work.”

“Did Hunter have sex with someone? Did you have sex with someone? Did you have a threesome? What is it?”

“Really, Reese? Why are you spying on me anyway?”

“Why are you always hiding something?”

“I’m not doing this right now,” Brady said as he began to close the door. “I have to work and you’re being ridiculous.”

“No, you’re being ridiculous if you think I’m going to put up with your bullshit,” I said.

So I stormed off and did the only thing I could think of: I messaged Hunter.

“Brady told me what happened in Florida. Both of you are disgusting and should be ashamed,” I said.

I was bluffing obviously, but I thought for sure he would take the bait and not be able to resist taunting me and bragging about whatever happened. Hunter opened the message and read it, but didn’t reply right away. A few minutes later he said, “Nice try, sweetheart. He’s taking that to the grave. 😂”

So of course, I was even more mad. What the fuck were those two idiots hiding? My mind went all kinds of places — prostitutes, drugs, orgies, arrests. I mean, it’s Florida.

Later that night, he came up to me and started talking to me like nothing happened. I let him know that I was not over the conversation from earlier and I wouldn’t be until he decided he was ready to be honest. And of course he deflected and acted like I was being ridiculous. He pouted and told me that whatever happened didn’t even involve him and suddenly I realized. No matter what the big fucking secret was, I obviously couldn’t trust Brady and that was the issue. I’ve never been able to trust him. How many times have we had issues like this, where no matter what explanation or story he gave me, I wouldn’t believe him anyway. And I’m not sure if it’s him and his general sketchiness or my own insecurities, but what kind of relationship is that? Once I had that realization, I was so over him and the whole situation.

Over the next few days he went back to his usual shtick he does when I’m mad at him: bringing home fast food, complimenting me on my mothering, actually being affectionate and acting like he likes me. And that made me ever more mad. Instead of discussing the issue and trying to fix it, he tried to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened. No. I didn’t want to do that again.

So I sort of avoided him, throwing myself into work and spending time with the baby. Meanwhile, I was wondering if I really was over this relationship. Was the Florida thing really breakup worthy? And if so, what did that mean? Would I need to move out? Where would Winnie go?

On Friday, he called me as he was leaving work.

“Want to meet me in the city and get dinner somewhere?” Brady asked.

“Actually no.” I was still confused about my feelings, but I knew I didn’t want to sit across from Brady at a restaurant and pretend things were normal when they weren’t.

“Okay,” he said back.

“But if you want to stay in the city for dinner, have at it. I don’t mind,” I said. At least then I could have some space to think.

Brady said he didn’t want to do that and that he’d be home soon. And when he got home, I confronted him and let him in on how I was feeling. I was hoping he would say or do something that made me feel better and more secure in the relationship. I’m not quite sure how he was going to do that, but surely he could think of something. But he just sat there at the kitchen island with his undone tie staring at me while I told him I didn’t trust him.

“I’ve never given you any reason not to trust me,” he said with a straight face.

And so I brought up Tia, Sydney, and some of his other shortcomings. And rehashing everything out loud like that made me even more mad and started cementing my feelings. I may be slightly unhinged, but I don’t think I deserve that.

“Wow,” Brady said once I finished my monologue. And then he stood up from the barstool he was sitting in and walked out of the kitchen.

Really? He’s so emotionally stunted, it’s not even funny. Even if I wanted to talk through our issues, clearly that was not going to be an option when he is physically incapable.

I didn’t bring it up again and obviously Brady didn’t either. Over the next few weeks, he spent a lot of time at work, was polite when he got home and spoke only about Winnie. She was still acting like a little terrorist, but she’s so sweet in between her tantrums that it was easy to overlook. Seeing Brady and Winnie together sort of melted my heart because it’s clear how much they love each other, but it also made me that much more mad that he can’t get his shit together.

It was weird. Brady and I were cohabiting and coparenting, but not really communicating with each other at all. We avoided being in the same room at the same time, slept in the bed with our backs to each other, and ate dinner separately. Brady stopped working from home on Mondays and started going in on Saturdays again. All because he didn’t want to be honest about Florida.

And so I started trolling through Zillow, setting up tours for places out of my price range in the city. It was depressing seeing what I could afford when I didn’t have a trust fund like Brady does. So then I wondered if I even wanted to be in New York at all anymore. At that point, what was keeping me? I bookmarked places in Chicago and even Houston. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

While all of this was happening, work was picking up — a very welcome distraction. I didn’t even care that Mike was dumping loads of work on me and Lazy Paige was dumping even more work on me because at least it gave me something else to focus on.

I hadn’t really talked to Brendan and Mike let me know that Brendan would be “out of the business” for a while so if I had any construction related questions, I should reach out to Thomas. I thought nothing of it — Brendan was probably off the grid on vacation somewhere with his wife. Good for him.

But then while we were visiting a job site, Thomas let it slip that Brendan’s wife had filed for divorce. Whoa.

“He’s not really sure what he’s going to do now,” Thomas explained to me. “Her family is loaded so I guess it’s going to get kind of messy. I feel bad for the guy.”

And I did too, of course. I remembered how upset he seemed when they temporarily separated so I couldn’t imagine how he was feeling now that she’d completely cut the cord. I considered reaching out to him, just to let him know that I was available if he needed to talk, but with our history and what was currently going on with Brady, I figured I’d better not. As much as I wanted to know if he was okay, I kept my distance.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him though. I relied on Thomas for information, pretending not to care when he told me that Brendan was moving out of their townhouse or that they were meeting up for lunch. I couldn’t help wondering what made the wife finally file for divorce. Is it because she can’t trust Brendan like I can’t trust Brady? Did Brendan actually have a conversation with her and try to fight for their marriage? Was he sad? Mad? Relieved? And with all of these new developments, what would happened with our relationship? Would it change? Did he even still have feelings for me? And in typical Reese fashion, I had vivid dreams about Brendan every other night.

One Monday as I was sitting in my office, still exhausted from spending a weekend looking at houses with my mom in Houston, there was a knock on my door.

“Come in!” I called as I furiously typed up a reply to an email. I assumed it was Sam, who was supposed to be stopping by with some files and samples, but the door swung open and Brendan stood there.

**Hi! I still have a lot more to say so I’ll try to continue this later in the week. LOVE YOU ALL!**

Standard

florida is a cesspool.

My vaccinated boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to go to Florida with his cheater brother. Ew.

He proposed the idea one day while he was at work, via text message of course.

“Was thinking of going to Florida for a weekend at the end of the month. Would you mind?”

“Of course I would mind. Florida is a cesspool and you have no business getting involved in that,” I replied.

“Why? I don’t plan on coming into contact with anyone except Hunter and we’ve both been vaccinated.”

I was typing back something along the lines of, “I’m sure Hunter will be bringing enough germs to infect the whole state,” but then Brady said, “I already got a ticket. I assumed you wouldn’t care.”

Do you know what happens when you assume, Brady? He was already on my shit list because he let Winnie sleep in the bed with us one night and now she refuses to ever sleep in her own bed.

We got into a huge fight about it, after the baby screamed and cried because she wasn’t ready to sleep and wanted to continue playing on the iPad. It was already way past her bedtime. Brady gave in and I said, “You can’t just give her whatever she wants like that. She’s already spoiled and I don’t want her to turn into a brat too.”

“Oh yeah?” Brady said with a straight face. “And you don’t think she got it from you?”

I got up and walked out of the room because I didn’t want to curse him out in front of Winnie, but needless to say, I let him fucking have it over text message.

So now I was really mad at him.

Luckily though, work has been a good distraction. I’ve been going into the office 2-3 times a week, mostly just to get out of the house. Mike and Paige are almost always there and stay cooped up in his office, which I thought was odd. I can understand needing to work closely together, but it’s just weird. Half the time, they don’t even know I’m in the office because they never come out. One day I cornered Sam to see if she had more information.

“He has her on a performance improvement plan so I think he’s trying to work with her,” Sam explained.

A performance improvement plan?! Interesting!

“Do you think she’s going to get fired?” I asked.

“It’s hard to say. I’m not exactly privy to information like that,” she said back.

And it’s like, you should be. You have the most access to Mike, you should know everything. But whatever.

The weekend Brady went to Florida, Brendan was also on vacation too — to some chic private island. So Winnie and I headed over to Mel’s to have company while we kept tabs on them. The four of us sat perched in the sunroom facing the lake in their backyard with wine spritzers and I complained. I’d told Mel a little bit about Brendan, but when she saw me spiraling while watching his Instagram videos she figured there was more to the story.

So I explained everything, including the whole separation scandal. I showed her the videos of Brendan and his supermodel wife taking a private jet to the island and frolicking on the white, sandy beach.

Mel was quiet for a minute.

“What?” I wanted to know, sensing her judgement.

“You already know what I’m going to say,” she said.

“Yes, it’s kind of inappropriate. I know that.”

“You’re having an emotional affair.”

Mel!” I gasped. “That’s a bit of a stretch.”

“You may not think so, but even his wife agrees. And you’ve deliberately not told Brady about him so you must know it’s true.”

Jeez. I don’t remember asking for such brutal honesty.

“What do you want to happen?” she went on. “You can deny it all you want, but you obviously have some feelings involved.”

“I don’t want anything to happen. He’s one of the closest friends I have here and I want to keep it that way,” I said.

We were silent for a moment while we sipped our drinks.

“I’m surprised, I guess,” she said. “You and Brady seem so good together.”

“We are.” I was defensive now. “I haven’t told him because there’s nothing to tell. I don’t want to make it a thing.”

“You know, this happened to us a few years ago. It was with him though, with one of his nurses. It was when he was working overnight and they spent a lot of time together. And then when he was home during the day, he’d be on the phone with her. She was a little bit older, divorced a zillion times and super sexy.”

It sounded almost exactly like Brady and Sydney.

“So what’d you do?” I asked.

“I got him to admit he had feelings for her and when he did, I told him he had to end things with her if he wanted a future with me.”

And then I got a flashback of breaking up with Brendan. I can’t believe Mel handled the situation so easily. If Brady admitted to having feelings for someone else, I’d definitely leave. But Mel is so smart, it’s no wonder she and her husband have such a strong marriage. I need to listen to her.

I wasn’t really worried about Brady while he was in Florida despite the fact that he hadn’t texted me since he landed and was hanging out with his morally corrupt brother.

But then on Saturday night, Hunter sent a picture in a group chat between the three of us. The picture was of Brady slumped on a couch, looking like he was passed out with a beer in his hand. But in the corner of the picture I could see a sliver of a girl dressed in a strappy crop top and jeans next to him. Excuse me?

“Where are you and who’s there?” I asked.

Hunter sent some crying emojis back. I wanted to fucking kill him. In a separate message, I said, “Tell me who is there right now or I’ll tell your wife about your secret kid in Chicago.”

“Calm down. We’re at the house and the maid is here,” he said back.

It took me a few seconds to realize that by “maid” he meant Daniela, the gorgeous housekeeper I’ve met a couple of times.

“And you don’t have to worry. I have that situation under control 😉,” Hunter added.

“You’re fucking disgusting.”

When Brady got home on Sunday night, I confronted him — mostly just to guilt trip him.

“You know, you’re a dad now. It’s super irresponsible to go to Florida and party with girls like that. You could overdo it and die of a drug overdose or something. Then what would we do?” I said.

Brady, who was bouncing the baby in his arms, stopped and looked at me like I was insane. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m just saying. Obviously your brother doesn’t care about his family and I don’t want him to be a bad influence on you. I don’t think it’s a good idea to do a trip like that again.”

“Okay,” Brady said. “I hadn’t seen my brother in a long time so I thought you’d understand.”

“Of course I understand! I just don’t see the need to need to hang out with other women and drink to excess like that. And whatever else you did,” I said.

“Okay. I’m sorry.”

“And stop apologizing to me!” I exclaimed. “Just do better.”

A little while later, while we were getting ready for bed, Brady said, “We should watch what we say in front of Winnie now. She’s talking and might start repeating things. We don’t want her saying ‘drug overdose’ or anything like that.”

And it’s like, are you seriously trying to lecture me on parenting when you’ve created a little monster brat of a child?

“Okay then when you know you’re in trouble stop picking up the baby to protect you,” I said.

“Okay.”

We got in bed and I made Brady tell me the details of the trip: what they did, where they went, who they saw, etc. He was sure to be super vague about the housekeeper, but then I thought of something.

“Did you ever sleep with her?” I asked.

“Sleep with who?” he asked, to buy time.

“Daniela. I sensed some tension there when I met her. Did y’all have sex?”

“No! Jeez.” He looked away. “I mean, maybe when we were younger, but I don’t think so.”

Which means they absolutely did and I’m so sick of Brady having sex with every woman he knows. He and Hunter are really not that different.

Standard

homeboy has been working out.

I saw on Mike’s calendar that he had a meeting with Brendan in the office. So I got dressed in a midi sweater dress and heeled boots and dragged my ass to the city.

When I got there, the place was deserted, but I saw that Mike’s light was on through the frosted window on his door. Because I’m nosy, dropped off my things and then walked over to eavesdrop. I wanted to see if Brendan was in there with him for their meeting. Sure enough, after a few seconds I heard them in there laughing. I stayed to see what they were talking about because for some reason I always feel like they’re talking shit about me. I have no reason to feel that way, but I do.

They carried on talking for a minute or two and then Mike suddenly stopped.

“Hello?” he called out. “Is that Reese?”

They could see me through the frosted glass, I realized too late. Fuck.

I pushed the door open. Mike was sitting behind his desk and Brendan sat in a chair opposite. They were both staring at me.

“Oh, hi! Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb. I decided to stop by today so if you need anything, I’m in my office,” I said.

Mike continued staring at me like he was utterly unamused, but Brendan broke into the hugest grin like he was thrilled to see me. I felt myself beginning to blush.

“Great. I will speak to you after this meeting,” Mike said pointedly.

“K!” I glanced at Brendan one last time before closing the door again. I wanted to die of embarrassment at being caught eavesdropping.

I went and worked in my office alone for a little while. Paige is still sending bitchy, passive aggressive emails while not replying to mine, so I’ve been deliberately excluding her from things and not responding to her either. Sorry, I’m petty and she’s messing with the wrong one.

Later on, I heard a knock on my office door, and I assumed it was Mike coming to talk to/yell at me.

“Come in!” I said and Brendan stepped in. I swallowed hard. He was wearing a fitted black t-shirt, those Lululemon joggers and Yeezy sneakers with his gold bracelet and an Apple Watch. He put a hand on his chest and I realized I had been completely checking him out. He’s like, very hot. It gave me a headache. “Hey!”

Hey,” he said back as he walked in completely and shut the door behind him. “I didn’t know you were coming in today.”

“Yeah, last minute decision. Didn’t know you’d be here either!” I lied.

“Cool coincidence.” Brendan sat in one of my spare chairs and looked around a little bit. “But I’m happy to see you. How have you been holding up? I thought life was finally going back to normal, but it doesn’t look like it.”

“Yeah, if I have to watch another minute of television I’ll probably blow my brains out. I can’t take it anymore.”

He laughed. “I feel you.”

Since things were going so smooth and normal, I decided to blow that up.

“You called me the other night. I assume it was a butt dial, or did you want something?”

“Oh, yeah.” His smile vanished and he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Sorry about that. I needed someone to talk to and I…sorry. I know it was late.”

So then I felt bad for not answering or checking to see if he needed anything. What would he need to talk about and why me, of all people?

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah.” He waved like it was no big deal while avoiding eye contact. Obviously lying.

“Brendan.”

He looked back at me. “She…”

I already knew who he was referring to.

“I don’t really want to talk about it, if that’s okay,” he said.

And it’s not like I could force it out of him. So naturally, this made me even more curious about what was going on. His wife must be giving him a hard time again, I assumed, but it can’t be about me since we hardly talk anymore!

We continued catching up for a while. I complained to him about how Winnie likes Brady more than me and Brady’s mom who has been harassing me and my weekly wine binges with Mel. Brendan told me stories about their dog and showed me some pictures and videos that made me sad because I miss Tucker. He relaxed more and leaned back in his chair and from that angle I could really appreciate the way his body looked in his outfit. Which is obviously terrible, but I’m not sure how I could have avoided it. Homeboy has been working out.

At one point, we heard the main doors chime open and I assumed it was Paige or Sam coming in or Mike leaving.

Then I heard a girl’s voice squeal, “Hey, Mikey!”

For a split second, I thought it was one of his prostitutes or something, but Brendan’s face went blank and he froze.

“We’re having lunch. The three of us.”

And then it all made sense. It was Brendan’s wife.

“Oh.”

“Sorry. I’d better go. It was nice to be able to catch up,” he said.

“Totally.”

There was a knock on the door and then Mike swung it open without waiting for an answer. What if I was naked? Or what if me and Brendan were doing something we didn’t want him to see? Rude. He poked his head in and Brendan jumped up.

“Ready?” he asked Brendan. Beyond him, I could see the wife standing there, waiting. She was tiny and beautiful and dressed in a Balenciaga leather jacket that I know for a fact costs $5,000.

“Yes,” Brendan said and squeezed past him out the door.

Mike looked at me. “We’re going to lunch if you’d like to join.”

Wow, Mike was actually being polite and inviting me. As tempting as it was, the thought of sitting at a table with Mike, Brendan and his wife after everything that has gone down, was too much. Even for me. Plus, wasn’t Mike fully aware of their marital issues and how I was somehow involved? I glanced quickly at Brendan, whose back was facing me, as he said something to his wife.

“You know, I’d love to, but I’m swamped. I’d better stay here and work. Thanks though!” I said back.

He didn’t say anything and closed the door. But before the door shut all the way, Brendan’s wife looked me right in the eye. It wasn’t until I heard the door chime again that I realized my heart was racing and I had to force myself to calm down. And then once I was calm, I burst into tears.

What the actual fuck? I don’t even know why. I’m back on birth control so something must be going on with my hormones.

Anyway, Brady’s been working a lot so we haven’t spoken that much. Usually he leaves before me and Winnie wake up and then when he gets home, we need to eat, put the baby to sleep and then he has more work to do. At this point, I’m not going to beg him to hang out with me and the baby. If he wants to, he will. And surely he knows that this is how a lot of relationships end — by growing apart. So it’s up to him.

He worked one Saturday and I made plans for me and Winnie: sleep in and then do chores around the house, order groceries, nap, paint, etc. But at 11am, the doorbell rang. I assumed it was one of my various deliveries so imagine my surprise when Brady’s mom was standing there. Unannounced. Carrying lots of bags and food.

“I brought lunch and gifts!” she said happily once I let her in.

“Thank you. I didn’t know you were coming,” I said. I was trying to be polite but in all those hours she spent driving here, she didn’t think it would be nice to call? What if we weren’t even home?”

“I told Brady,” she explained. “Did he not tell you?”

Of course. It made sense; Brady and I hadn’t talked much and he doesn’t tell me anything anyway.

“No, but it’s fine. Thanks for coming. Winnie will be excited to see you.”

She only stayed for an hour, but did plenty of damage during that time, talking complete shit as always. At one point, she asked if we’d signed the baby up for any sort of activities or schooling. And it’s just like, she’s not even 2. So no. Plus, we’re still in a pandemic.

“Well, I’ll speak to Brady about that,” she said haughtily.

After she left, I sent him a message.

“I would have appreciated it if you’d told me your mother was coming today. An unexpected visit was the last thing I wanted to deal with today.”

A few hours later, he texted back, “What? I didn’t know she was coming. She didn’t tell me.”

I assumed he was lying, like he always does when it comes to his mother, but then he added, “I wouldn’t have worked today if I knew she was coming.”

And that’s when I believed him. His crazy fucking mother. She knows Brady doesn’t tell me anything so it was easy for her to lie, knowing she could blame him. She’s so manipulative, I hate her! And she emailed me an article and long diatribe about how we are hindering Winnie’s growth. Bye. It went into the trash immediately.

Standard

i caved.

Okay, so I caved. I reached out to Devin. I really didn’t want to, but I was dying for more information and he doesn’t have Instagram and I don’t have Facebook so what else was I supposed to do? I found some old number of his, unblocked him, texted, “Heard you’re engaged!!!” then turned my phone on its face so I wouldn’t sit there staring at it.

Literally ten seconds later, my phone rang. It was an unsaved Los Angeles number.

“Reese [Brady’s last name],” I answered professionally since it was during the workday.

“Hey.” It was Devin. Hearing his voice kind of made it feel like my lunch was going to come back up.

“Oh, hey,” I said back casually. “What’s up?”

“Surprised to hear from you. Figured I was blocked,” he said.

“You were,” I admitted. “But I haven’t done anything charitable in a few months so I figured why not.”

Devin laughed. “I guess I lucked out then. It’s so good to hear your voice.”

“Mmhm. So? You’re getting married?”

“Yup, you heard correctly. How did you find out?”

“That is truly shocking.” Somehow, Devin confirming the news made me stop everything I was doing. I needed to fully digest this information.

“Is it?”

“I never thought you’d get married. Like ever,” I said.

“And why is that?”

“Because you have major commitment and monogamy issues. Quite frankly I don’t think you’re capable of either one.”

Devin laughed again. “Ouch. You know I’m not like that anymore. I’ve changed.”

So naturally I wanted to know everything about this girl and why he was able to change for her, but not me. I needed to know her name, her age and where she’s from. I also wanted to know what she does for a living, how they met and how long they’ve been together.

“It’s been,” Devin paused to think. “Almost four years I think.”

“Four years!?” I exclaimed. I figured they’d been together for way less time, like less than a year. I figured it wasn’t *actually* serious and wouldn’t even last. But four years is a long time. Wow.

There was a bit of background rustling, like he was moving around, and then Devin came back. The background was quiet, like he’d gone into the bathroom or something for privacy. “Yeah. It was casual at first, but things got serious. We decided we didn’t want to see other people.”

“I guess she must be really special then. I can’t imagine you not wanting to see other people.”

“Are you jealous?”

“I mean, kind of. That’s all I ever wanted from you, but you were physically incapable of keeping your dick in your pants so…”

He chuckled. “But you’re the only one I was in love with. Those other girls didn’t matter. I was just having fun.”

“That doesn’t make me feel better, you know. That’s like saying, ‘I know I killed a ton of people, but I was having fun.’”

“God, I miss you,” Devin said.

He’s so smooth, slipping that in there like that. Luckily though, it has no effect on me now. Suddenly, I had a thought.

“Is she pregnant? Is that why you’re rushing to get married?”

Devin laughed like this was completely hilarious and absurd. “What the fuck? No, she’s not pregnant. I don’t want kids. I’ve never wanted kids. Unless it was with you, but—”

“Well, that will obviously never happen. And I have a daughter now.”

He got really quiet. “You do?”

“Mmhm. She just turned a year old.”

“Damn. By who?”

“Uh, my boyfriend.” I’d completely forgotten that I was going to pretend to be married already. “Who I’ve been with forever.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, so…”

Neither of us said anything for several seconds and then Devin said, “Sorry, that caught me off guard.”

And it’s like, we haven’t talked in years, what did he expect? Did he think I’d be sitting around not living my life in case he wanted back in my life?

“Well, I’d better get going. I’m working and I’m sure you have a wedding to be planning,” I said.

“Yeah. Yeah, you are correct. Let’s stay in touch, beautiful.”

And I hung up right there because stop. You’re engaged and I’m pre-engaged so stop calling me beautiful and pretending anything could or would ever happen with us anymore.

Speaking of pre-engaged, the day after my freak out, Brady was so nice to me. He always does that; we get into a fight and then he just wants it to be over so he goes out of his way to be extra nice to me.

He brought me lunch to my little makeshift home office and had all these questions about work and what projects I’m currently working on. I was still reeling from my conversation with Devin and I needed some time alone so I was vague and pretended to be super busy.

I realized that I’ve been perfectly happy not being engaged or married the past few months/years. I haven’t even really thought about marriage at all. I’d decided to stop bringing it up because if Brady wants to get married then he’ll ask me. So I was definitely embarrassed about how I’d acted over the weekend.

Devin texted me in the afternoon saying, “Can we FaceTime later? I want to see you.”

No. But I sent a picture since he wanted to see me so bad. It was of me and Winnie taken by my mom on my birthday. Obviously the only good picture I’ve taken in the last year.

“Fuck. You’re so beautiful. So is she,” Devin replied.

Brady cooked dinner and we all sat down and ate together. One thing that is really bugging me is that despite spending all day during the week with me, Winnie just prefers Brady. When we’re all home together she wants nothing to do with me and cries if I try to pick her up or feed her or anything. And she clings on to his legs and follows him around the house.

I suspect it’s because Brady gives in to everything she asks for. One night she refused to go to bed because she wanted more sweets so Brady let her stay up and eat cake and ice cream! Obviously she was up all night with a stomachache so he should’ve just made her go to bed in the first place. I never thought I’d be the strict/reasonable parent out of the two of us.

After dinner, Brady finished up work and I fought with the baby to get her to sleep. I mean, literally fought. I have wounds to show for it. When she was finally asleep, I left the room and Brady was waiting outside the door.

“Is she asleep?” he asked.

“Yeah, finally. She’s a terrorist.”

“Aww.” Brady pulled me into a hug. “You’re such a good mommy.”

Ew. I can really do without Brady calling me “mommy.”

Later, we were fooling around on the couch. My phone rang, loud, on the coffee table. I’d turned it off silent to watch Instagram stories earlier in the evening.

“Do you need to get that?” Brady, on top of me, asked.

“No.” I assumed it was Devin, who can’t take no for an answer. And it was 9PM — 6 on the west coast —so not a completely inappropriate time.

But later when we were going to bed, I saw that it was actually Brendan who had called me. What would he need from me at 9PM? That is an inappropriate time. He didn’t leave a message and I wondered if there was an emergency? But I was too afraid of what he might’ve actually wanted and I didn’t call or text back. And I haven’t heard anything from him since. I swear, friendship with him is so weird.

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he’s engaged?

Hey y’all.

A few weeks ago while I was casually tapping through stories and scrolling my feed on Instagram, I saw that Nick, my old fling from Chicago, got engaged. To that cute girl he has been dating, the one I met out at a bar. I was super surprised, considering the last time I was in Chicago, he tried very hard to hang out with me. But like, whatever. Nick is such a nice guy.

I messaged him to say congratulations and he replied, “Hey, thanks! 😉” and we proceeded to have a four hour conversation over Instagram message. I wasn’t really jealous or anything like that; I figured it would happen eventually. And I told him the truth — that he deserves to be happy, which made me feel bad because of what happened with us. Truthfully, I had no business even trying to date anyone when I still had feelings for Brady.

And then over the weekend, Preston sent me a weird text that said, “Devin is engaged.”

Y’all remember Devin, my awful ex from college? I have plenty of gross and traumatizing stories about him in the archives if you want to read.

“How do you know?” I texted back.

Preston sent me a screenshot from Facebook: Devin looking just as good as I remember with his arm around a cute brunette. The caption said, “Your boy is getting married! 🥂”

Oh fucking really?

I spent the next fifteen minutes studying the photo: the setting (it looked like a fabulous and modern high rise apartment), the girl (a rather plain brunette with pretty blue eyes and big pouty lips), their outfits (he wore skinny jeans that left very little to the imagination and she was in fucking leggings and one of those hideous tie dye hoodies the kids are wearing these days), what I could make out of the ring (the picture was too far away to see if it was even nice). Inside me, a weird feeling was brewing. I wasn’t sure if I was shocked or upset or if I cared at all.

I forwarded the picture to Kendra and seconds later, she FaceTimed me.

“Girl!” she exclaimed. “He’s engaged?!”

Luckily, I had locked myself in the closet for privacy.

“I know! It doesn’t make any sense!”

Devin is the last person I ever thought would get married. He can’t even commit to dinner plans. I minimized Kendra so I could study the picture some more. Devin looked seriously good, like he’s been spending the last several months working out and drinking plenty of water. He’s always been unnecessarily gorgeous, but he’s definitely aging gracefully.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

And then, for no reason at all, I burst into tears.

“Oh, Reese,” Kendra sighed sympathetically. “I’m sorry. I know it’s hard to see this.”

“No, no it’s not that,” I blubbered like a fucking idiot. “It’s just so weird.”

“I know. But he’s such a loser, Reese. I hope that poor girl knows what she’s getting into.”

“Yeah, I know. Such a loser.”

I was crying over my ex who I was with ten years ago so really, who was the loser? But it just didn’t make sense. I thought Devin would play women until the day he died. I can’t believe he got engaged before me.

So naturally, I started reevaluating my life. How is it possible that Devin, the biggest player on earth, who refuses to be tied down, has a fiancée? He’s engaged? He proposed to some plain Jane LA girl who wears tie dye?

Is something wrong with me? Does she have something I don’t? I know this is a destructive way to think, but I can’t help it.

Then I got (irrationally?) mad at Brady. How is that we can be together for so long, have a baby and buy a house together, but he doesn’t think I’m good enough to marry? I’m not sure if I’m being completely crazy about the whole thing because he did make suggestions of marriage a few times, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same as, “I think you are amazing, I am in love with you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He’s never really said that or shown that.

So I confronted him. He was sitting on the couch watching TV while Winnie napped next to him.

“You okay?” he asked, clearly noticing that I’d been crying.

“Not really.”

“What’s going on?”

“I just think it’s really weird that you haven’t proposed to me.”

A completely blank look took over Brady’s face so I continued.

“Why is it so hard for you? We have a baby and a house, but for some reason you’re scared to actually commit to me which is stupid because a baby is an even bigger commitment. It makes zero sense,” I said.

Brady just sat there blinking like this was out of left field and he was at a loss for words. But surely he understands my frustration. It’s not the first time I’ve brought something like this up.

“I’m not scared,” he said, turning back to the TV.

“Then what is it? Do you not actually like me? Because half the time it seems that way.”

“Can you please not do this right now? You’ll wake the baby,” Brady said.

Seriously? He is such an asshole, always dismissing me. I wanted to punch him in the side of his stupid head. I went upstairs and texted with Brendan for the next few hours.

Later that night, when we were in bed, I brought it back up because if Brady doesn’t think I’m good enough to marry, I’ll take my gorgeous baby to live far away from him and I dare him to fight me on it.

“You know I want to marry you, Reese,” he said, sounding exasperated. “I don’t even know why you’re bringing this up.”

“Then why haven’t you?” I demanded. “Don’t try to pacify me now when your actions have shown me the exact opposite.”

“What do you want me to do?” he exclaimed. “When would have been a good time to get engaged and married, Reese?”

“I don’t goddamn know, but you could’ve figured it out! You’ve had six years.”

“I’m sorry,” Brady said which made me even more mad.

“Don’t say sorry, just do better!”

We both turned to sleep and didn’t say anything else. A little bit later though, he had the nerve to reach over to me to try to get some. Read the motherfucking room, Brady. For fucks sake.

Anyway. I feel a bit ridiculous about how I acted over Devin getting engaged, but I’m still frustrated with Brady. We’re snowed in together though so hopefully this forces us to talk through our never ending issues.

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sizing them up.

We remodeled our bathroom. Brendan agreed to have his company do it before he revealed the stuff about his wife and since things got super weird. The project was supposed to take a team of two about a week total which was perfect. It wouldn’t take very long and I didn’t have to worry about a bunch of random men in the house. I designed it entirely myself with no input from anyone else and I chose everything white with lots of texture and brass hardware.

But then they ran into some sort of electrical snag which slowed them down. Then someone ordered the wrong tiles and didn’t notice until I checked in when they were halfway through laying them down. I had a mini panic attack, but they assured me it was fine and we’d get the right tiles in.

I guess my panic attack made it all the way up the chain because the following Monday, we got a visit from Brendan. I hadn’t talked to him since our lunch and had no idea he was coming. Imagine: I was walking into my house after a mid morning walk with Mel and the babies and Brendan of all people was walking down my staircase. I almost threw up. Neither of us said anything as he continued down the stairs. And then the baby screamed.

“Oh, who’s this?” Brendan asked all sweetly as he got closer.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Checking in on things.” He stopped several feet from us and looked completely gorgeous in a bomber jacket, jeans and boots. I loved his dressed down, urban look. And I guess I was just staring because he added, “Is that okay?”

“Oh, of course! Thanks for stopping by. This is Winnie. She just downed a triple espresso at Starbucks so forgive her for all the energy,” I said.

Brendan laughed, luckily, because it made things feel less tense. “How’ve you been?”

“Just fine. Can I offer something to drink? Water? Rosé? Vodka with lemon?” I said back.

Just as I was calming down and leading him to the kitchen, I realized that it was Monday and Brady was home. I was not ready for him to meet Brendan, especially after his little confession.

He laughed again. “Water is good.”

I poured him a glass and then slid it to him, not entirely sure what to say. It’s rare that I have nothing to say.

“The bathroom’s looking good. I told the guys to have it done by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest,” Brendan said. “Is that okay with you?”

“Oh, of course. I appreciate you checking in.” I was nervous. What the fuck? Who did he think he was, coming into my house and making me nervous?

“Sure, I’m happy to. Actually, I did want to talk to you about something.”

“Mhmm,” I said as I took a sip of my water, hoping he wasn’t going to bring up what I thought he was going to bring up.

“I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable at lunch the other day,” he said. “That wasn’t my intention at all. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

“Mmm,” I murmured, still slightly at a loss for words.

“I guess I was in denial about everything for so long, but I was finally honest with myself. Your friendship means a lot to me and I don’t want to jeopardize it by making things weird. I’m sorry.”

“I mean, it’s fine. But why didn’t you ever tell me how you were feeling? I was kind of blindsided the other day,” I finally said.

“I didn’t see a point. Nothing was ever going to come from my feelings for so many reasons and I didn’t want to make things awkward after we’d already sort of talked about it.”

“So what was the point of even telling your wife in the first place? Because like you said, nothing was ever going to come out of it so it seems like a bunch of drama for no reason.”

“I wanted to be honest with her. I thought she deserved that.”

But I didn’t?

We heard footsteps approaching and I looked over to see Brady walking into the kitchen carrying the baby.

“She can’t just wander the house when there’s construction going on,” he said as he shoved her into my arms. I’d forgotten all about Winnie. “Please watch her. I have a meeting.”

I didn’t say anything, suddenly paralyzed with anxiety about the two seeing each other and the possibility that Brady had overheard any of that conversation. With them standing there next to each other, I couldn’t help sizing them up. They were similar in build, toned and lean, though Brendan was a few inches taller. And while Brady looked laidback and preppy in his jeans and button down, Brendan looked ready to hit the town in his streetwear and trendy haircut. Brendan had emotional, expressive eyes while Brady stood there looking utterly unamused.

Brady looked over at Brendan, who waved like an awkward child who had just been caught masturbating, and then walked out. Winnie screamed at the absolute top of her lungs.

I can’t believe Brady spoke to me like I was a child in front of Brendan.

“Anyway, I’m going to get out of here. It was good seeing you,” Brendan said.

It was not good seeing him! And then of course that night, I proceeded to have a dirty dream about him. Winnie was in it, but she was ours together (despite her having Brady’s literal face) and we were trying for baby number two. Pleasant.

Brady never asked me about Brendan but a few days later, I found out that he’d talked to my mom about it and she blabbed everything she knows: that Brendan owns the company redoing the bathroom and that he gave me a totally undeserved friends and family discount that brought the cost of the reno down by like 80%. Which was an issue because I hadn’t told Brady about the discount as I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “Why would you tell him that?”

“He asked, sweetie,” she said back.

Brady didn’t bring it up and I wasn’t about to either, but I was curious about what he was thinking. I thought he’d at least bring up the discount since he’d given me tens of thousands more than the actual cost of the renovation.

Anyway.

Work has been completely awful. I hate Mike and Paige. He’s always been an asshole, but he’s obviously rubbed off on her because now she’s an asshole too. She loves using a “in the future,” and “going forward,” in an email. But rarely responds to any emails I send.

And her VP title has obviously gone to her head and she thinks she’s above most things. I emailed her asking a question from one of our vendors with Mike copied. He replied back to just me saying, “When you get a question like that, just let the vendor know Paige will reply when she gets to it. No need to forward it along, Paige is very busy.”

And another day, I was giving her and Mike the lowdown on the progress of a project during a conference call. She interrupted me and said, “Yeah, I don’t need the details. Just tell me when it will be complete.”

Normally, I would have checked her, but I’m focusing on not getting fired these days. I complain to Brendan about it a lot and may have tainted his feelings about her because now he hates her too. And maybe it’ll work in my favor since Brendan and Mike are close. He can tell Mike how terrible she is and help get her the fuck out of here.

Ever since that day Brendan stopped by the house, things have been super strictly platonic between us. Well, mostly. He talks to me about his wife a lot, like how she absolutely loves the show Versailles and that I should watch it too and that she’s been growing her hair out for four years and has been debating cutting it, should she cut it? It’s like, stop. I usually tune him out when he starts up with the wife talk. And he’s back to posting super gross sappy shit about her on Instagram, I guess trying to make up for having “feelings” for someone else.

One night though, while he was spending the weekend at one of his family’s vacation homes, he sent me a text that said, “I wish you were here.”

And it’s like, do you really? Because if I was then what would you do about your wife, who is also there? I didn’t reply and the next morning, he apologized, blaming it on all the cold medicine he was on the night before. Yeah, okay.

Let’s see, what else?

Other than the weird stuff with Brendan, Brady and I have been getting along swimmingly. He’s been behaving and we’ve gotten into a regular sex routine, one where he uses a condom every single time. ☺️

We did get into a little fight though because I scraped the side of my beautiful car on the garage door opening. What? I don’t drive that often.

“I don’t understand how you can be so careless. It blows my mind,” he said, after seeing the damage a month later.

“Oh, fuck off. It was an accident,” I said back.

But then he took my car to the body shop to get it repaired without me even asking so whatever.

It was Winnie’s first birthday a few weeks ago. Obviously the huge bash I would’ve wanted wasn’t a possibility, but I was excited to celebrate the occasion with my little family. At the last minute though, Brady’s mom called wanting to drop some things off.

“Ew,” I couldn’t help saying. We hadn’t seen them in months and I was not looking forward to seeing them again. In the end though, the visit for very brief; his mother just dropped off some books, a tablet, clothing and a bottle of wine for us, which was nice. The dad didn’t even come.

Three days later, it was Christmas Eve and Brady’s birthday so we had Mel and her family over for dinner. It was chill and fun and Winnie was having a fantastic time hanging out with people other than us. Naturally, we all drank way too much and the six of us camped on the living room floor.

Lastly, we had to put Tucker down. I’ve been so distraught about it, especially since the baby has been looking for him and missing him. This is literally the saddest thing I’ve ever had to go through and I can’t really talk about it.

Okay, well bye.

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is something wrong with him?

Hey.

My parents came to visit at the end of August for my birthday. It was such a relief to finally get to see them again after so many months. My mother arrived wearing a face shield, gloves and a mask because she’s not fucking around. My mom’s immune system is trash so she’s been being extremely safe since she gets sick often. So I was even more grateful that she traveled on a plane to see us.

They stayed for the weekend, giving Brady and me both alone time and much needed relief from each other. Brady got to talk to my dad about news and politics — things I have no interest in — and I got to complain to my mom about his behavior.

I told her about Sydney and the girl from the pool and she said, “Is something wrong with him?”

Yes, Mom, there is!

And then she offered to talk to him.

“I know sometimes you have a hard time expressing yourself,” she told me. “So I’m happy to translate how you’re feeling to him.”

And it’s just like, Brady understands exactly how I feel. He’s just choosing to act stupid about it. I appreciated the gesture though and since my parents left, he’s been on his very best behavior.

Okay, but the reason I really wanted to post is because I found out some juicy information from Brendan. I’ve been going into the office once a week, just to catch up with Mike and use some of the fancy equipment we have there. Brendan stopped by on one of the days I was there. We don’t talk or text as much as we used to; just a “How are you?” or stupid meme here and there. We used to text constantly, but I’ve been busy with the baby and he’s been busy with his wife and we just sort of fell out of it.

But he invited me to lunch and I happily agreed. I was excited to catch up with him. I used to love hanging out with him and talking to him.

He immediately started talking non stop about his wife and I was just like, 🙄😒. Even before their little separation, he never talked about her this much. So it was kind of weird and it almost felt like he was overcompensating.

“Well, I’m happy you guys aren’t having problems anymore,” I finally interjected.

“Yeah. I guess the issue kind of worked itself out.”

“Mmhm. So what was the issue? You never told me,” I said, taking one of his French fries.

I figured he wouldn’t tell me because he’d been so evasive up until this point. But then he looked at me and said, “Do you really want to know?”

“Of course!”

“It was because of you,” he said and immediately took a sip of his drink.

“Excuse me? Because of me?”

Brendan nodded. “Yeah. Because of how I felt about you.”

I just sat there, speechless. I had so many questions. But mainly, how did he feel about me?

“What?” I said.

He was suddenly super interested in the condensation on the side of his glass. He explained that his wife found out how much we were talking and hanging out last year and when she confronted him about it, he admitted that he liked me in “an intimate way.”

An intimate way? Fucking Brendan!

And she proceeded to blab to their families about what he told her and they had a meeting about it which resulted in the trial separation. And you know how Brendan and his wife hang out with Mike and his wife a lot? And vacation together? Apparently the wife even talked to Mike about it during one of their trips. Can you fucking imagine? I was so horrified at the thought of Mike knowing anything personal about me or hearing gossip about me. But apparently this is how and when he found out I was pregnant. He never mentioned anything.

After finding all of this out, I sat there for a moment and then I just started crying.

“Uh, I’m sorry? I didn’t mean to make you cry,” Brendan said. He tried to touch my back, but I shook him off.

“I wish you hadn’t told me that.”

“You asked me to,” he said back.

“And why would you tell your wife that you had feelings for me? You’ve never even told me that.”

“Well, I’m not going to lie about it.”

And maybe it’s irrational, but I was so annoyed with him. I felt blindsided. I had no idea he felt like that, especially after we had the talk about being just friends. I know we were kinda flirting, but I never thought it was harmful enough to cause problems in either of our relationships. I don’t even think Brady knows who Brendan is. I can’t believe he told his wife that he had feelings for me, but didn’t bother telling me this and continued hanging out with me and complaining about his wife to me as if everything was normal and didn’t have anything to do with me.

In my mother’s words, is something wrong with him?

“We probably shouldn’t hang out anymore,” I said once I’d stopped crying.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he said back.

We haven’t talked since that day. I need space to gather my thoughts. I had so many questions. Like, how much does Mike know about me and Brendan’s relationship, does Brendan’s wife know we had lunch that day, does he no longer have feelings for me and that’s why “the issue worked itself out.”

I’ve toyed with the idea of texting him, even started typing messages to him, but I don’t even know what to say. And I definitely don’t want his wife to see me texting him.

Bye.

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i’m the least deceptive person ever.

Remember how I was bragging about Brady and how amazing he’s been lately? Literally a day later he made me mad and ruined everything.

He texted me saying, “I’m having dinner out so I’ll be home late. Eat without me.”

“For what reason?” I said back. Obviously I have no issues with him getting dinner with a friend or whoever, but it seemed a bit weird to me that he was purposely vague and didn’t really seem apologetic about missing dinner. He knows I kill myself every evening in the kitchen to have dinner ready for us.

He didn’t text me back of course and I spent the evening on FaceTime with Kendra. It started getting late and I hadn’t heard from him so I texted Brady again.

“Did you die? What’s going on?”

“Home in twenty minutes,” he said back.

And when he walked in twenty minutes later with his tie off I got even more mad.

“Who was so important that you needed to have dinner with them during a pandemic?” I asked.

“Uh.” He looked everywhere but at me. “Sydney stopped by the hospital for something and we decided to catch up after work.”

Fucking Sydney. Before I could go off, Brady grabbed Winnie from my arms and made a big show of spinning her around and goo-goo gah-gahing. I followed them into the kitchen.

“Sydney, huh?” I said. “You’re in love with her, aren’t you?”

“Excuse me?” Brady looked at me, offended.

“I can’t figure out why else you’d think it’s at all appropriate to have dinner with her in public when you have an infant at home.”

“I haven’t seen Sydney in months, Reese, and she’s my friend. There isn’t anything inappropriate about it.”

“And you know I hate her so I’m perplexed as to why you would think this was a good idea.”

“You have no reason to hate her.”

A thought popped in my head. “Mmhm. And where did you have dinner?”

Brady looked at me, suddenly silent and still. “Her apartment.”

I almost screamed. “You’re kidding me?”

He didn’t say anything, just stood there looking frightened so I continued.

“You schlepped your ass all the way to Brooklyn to have dinner with her at her house? It’s like you want me to get mad at you.”

“No, I’d like to be able to hang out with my friend without you reacting like a child.”

He is such an asshole. I didn’t have anything to say back immediately so he rushed off to change and I conspired to get rid of him. We didn’t talk much for the rest of the evening; he tried to tell me stories about work, but I ignored him and left rooms when he entered. I’m working on being a grown up and in general being less petty, but fucking Sydney. She’s a trigger for me.

By the following day, I’d forgotten about it and had a big dinner waiting for Brady when he got home. We even had sex that night.

But then.

We have this community center for our subdivision with a gym and pool and gathering areas, and Brady has been going to the gym there sometimes. Which is totally fine, but one day he wanted to take the baby to the pool with him. Obviously I was like ew, no. My baby has no business at a nasty pool — pandemic or not. This caused an argument, of course, because Brady’s favorite line is, “She’s my baby too.”

“Fine, you can take her but if she so much as catches a cold, we will never speak to you again.”

They left and I spent the alone time tidying up the house and ordering bullshit online. A few hours went by and I hadn’t heard from Brady. He said they’d be gone two hours tops and they’d been gone for almost three hours.

So I texted him, demanding to know what the fuck was going on. He didn’t reply for a while so I sent a few more messages. And then I called. When I still didn’t get an answer, I started to get a little panicky. What if something bad happened? You just never fucking know.

Since he wasn’t replying, I got myself dressed and made my way down to the pool. I’d worked myself into a frenzy at this point, convinced that I was going to see hundreds of ambulance, firetrucks and police cars outside the pool area.

But I didn’t. What I did find was a small pool area packed with gross people including Brady and Winnie. She was standing on his lap while he sat in a lounger. And sitting next to them was some woman, who was holding onto Winnie’s little hand with hers.

Oh fucking really?

I stormed over there.

“Hi!”

They all turned to look at me. The baby screamed.

“Hey!” Brady said. He turned to the lady he was with. “This is Allison.”

“Nice to meet you,” I lied. Obviously Brady already told her my name and if not, she had no business knowing it anyway.

I figured we’d all leave together since I’d clearly come to pick them up, but no one moved so I sat my ass right there next to Brady on the chair.

“You may as well have made this baby yourself. She looks exactly like you,” Allison said to Brady.

Here we go. People love to tell Brady how much the baby looks like him.

“She has my mouth,” I pointed out.

“No, I mean, identical. Every single feature. I’ve never seen a baby and parent look so much alike. It’s cute,” she went on.

“I was telling Allison how strong our family genes are. Even Hunter’s kids look just like him.”

“Yeah, except Winnie does look a little bit like me,” I said.

“No, she doesn’t,” Allison laughed.

This bitch. I gave her a look that told her I was done with her shit.

“Are you from Massachusetts too?” she asked me.

“No.” I turned to Brady. “Are y’all ready to go? She’s getting hungry.”

“Sure,” he said back.

We started packing up the toys, towels and drinks. From the corner of my eye, I saw Allison hand a towel to Brady, one she had been laying on, that apparently belongs to us. Ew. On top of everything else, he was letting strangers borrow our things. He put it in a bag and I made it a point to grab it with with fingernails and put it in a separate bag by itself.

Needless to say, Brady has not been allowed to take the baby to the pool since that incident. He’s not going to use my cute baby as a chick magnet. He really gets on my nerves with this shit. He knows how I am, but also, who would be okay with that? So many lines were crossed.

Anyway, that was a while ago. We are a lot better now. I’m back to loving the shit out of him again. He really takes care of us, but also he actually acts like he’s interested in me. Like, when he gets home from work he comes and finds me to give me a kiss and tell me how good I look and then suggests dinner options and activities to do for the evening. What a difference a little attention makes!

I’ll even forgive him for letting his mother call me “deceptive” and “unkind.” Lol, me! Can you imagine? I’m the least deceptive person ever — I’m very direct. And she said something like, “Well this was your decision, so you’ll have to live with it.” She’s such a bitch. I’ll have to tell y’all why she called me deceptive sometime.

I went into the office the other day. I was getting antsy at home and I’ve found someone reliable to watch Winnie occasionally so I figured why not. When I got there, Mike was the only person there. Well, him and Brendan. I had no idea Brendan would be there, I swear! And when I walked in to say hi to Mike in his office, they both looked shocked to see me and then looked at each other like they had just been talking about me.

Ugh. I love Brendan. Like, so much. He stopped by my office before he left and I demanded to know if he and Mike were talking shit about me.

And he looked at me like 🤨 and said, “Uh, no. Why would we?”

So I guess I was flattering myself as usual.

He then proceeded to sit and listen to me tell him stories about Winnie for two hours. I think his eyes started glazing over.

“Anyway, what’s new with you?” I asked.

He told me about how he and his wife got a puppy during quarantine. He hadn’t even admitted that they were back together by this point.

“And what did her dad have to say about this?” I asked sweetly.

“He’s happy. It’s not like we are having kids, at least not anytime soon, so this is good for now,” he replied.

Interesting.

“And they forgave you for whatever you did?”

Brendan gave me a weird look, staring me straight in the eye. Then he looked back down at his phone. “Yeah.”

I guess he’ll never tell me what really happened. But at least he’s happy, I suppose. And I talked him into redoing our bathroom so I’m very excited to get that project started!

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