On Thursday, Andrew wanted to have another touchbase phone call. He wanted an update about how my interviews were going, if I’d found any candidates on my own (I hadn’t) and when I would be available for travel – I told him at the beginning of January, just like Kate and I discussed.
On my way home, Brady texted me saying he was on his way over. It was only 4:45 which was extremely early for him, but I thought nothing of it. I got home and changed into a pair of shorts, a tank top, and a zip hoodie then made a drink and waited for Brady to get there. I buzzed him up when he called and unlocked the door so he could let himself him. I was sitting on the couch half listening to the news/SnapChatting when my door flew open and Brady stormed in.
“What the fuck did you say to Jessica?” he demanded, looking absolutely furious.
Oh, shit. Shit shit shit.
“Um, nothing,” I said really quietly.
“Yes, you did!” Brady bellowed. I had never, ever seen him this mad before and I cowered into the couch. His face was turning red.
“Whatever you said really upset her and now everyone in the hospital knows what happened. Everyone! And she won’t talk to me so I have no idea what you said!”
I looked on with huge, scared eyes.
“What the fuck were you thinking? Do you think? I told you that you have nothing to worry about! Why did you even feel the need to say anything to her?”
I was silent. You know the really painful lump you get when you’re about to burst into tears? I had that and I tried to swallow it down.
“I can’t fucking believe you. You go out of your way to embarrass me! You thrive on it!” Brady’s fists were balled up at his sides and I actually thought he might punch me. “Are you going to say anything or are you just going to sit there looking stupid?”
My mouth opened, but nothing came out. I was afraid that the moment I tried to say something I would start bawling.
“Let me see the message,” Brady said in the most normal voice he’d used all day.
Oh God. The message. I couldn’t possibly let him read the belligerent and hateful message I’d sent her. He would never speak to me again.
“I deleted it,” I said in a voice that didn’t sound like my own.
“No you didn’t, Reese. Let me fucking read it,” Brady said and I could tell that his anger was coming back.
And that’s when I cried. I curled into a ball in the corner of the couch and cried so Brady couldn’t see me. I can’t handle this kind of confrontation. I literally just wanted to die.
I heard Brady walk a couple of steps and sigh as he sat down on the couch. When he didn’t say or do anything for a few minutes, I peeked through my arms and saw him sitting on the other end of the couch, staring straight ahead with his chin resting on his steepled fingers.
I must have fallen into some sort of crying coma because the next thing I remember is Brady gently tugging on the bottom of my hoodie. I pulled my hoodie away and tightened up in my ball.
“Reese,” Brady said. Then I felt him scoot closer to me and grab my arm to try to pull me out of my ball.
“Reese, look at me.”
I knew I probably had mascara smeared all over my face, but I still looked up at him.
“I’m sorry for yelling at you,” Brady said. He wiped my cheek with his thumb. “I’m sorry.”
“I don’t want you talking to her,” I heard myself say. “Or her talking to you. I want you to myself.”
“You have me to yourself. How many times do I have to tell you this?” His voice was gentle. “I don’t want anyone else, Reese.”
Brady put an arm around me and I fell into him, my face resting on his cold jacket.
“Sorry,” I said.
“It’s okay,” Brady sighed and we were both silent for several minutes. I tried to piece together how everyone found out about Brady and Jessica because if my message. Unless she showed people? But I don’t see why she would unless she just wanted to incriminate herself. I bet all of Brady’s coworkers think I’m insane. Which is accurate.
Eventually we got up wordlessly and walked to my room. Brady took off his jacket, shoes and tie and got in bed. I got in after him and he pulled me on top of him. He pushed my hoodie off and tossed it on the floor.
I smiled, liking where this was going. I began slowly unbuttoning his dress shirt and then pulled it and his white undershirt off. I ran my hands over his smooth skin, my fingernails grazing his little chest tattoo, his subtle skinny boy abs and the purplish red hickey I’d left on his neck. I thought back to when we first met – when we had those innocent sleepovers where he explained why he couldn’t wear a shirt to bed.
It’s so crazy how things change. Remember when I first met Brady? I was so enamored with him. He was this successful pharmacist who used big words and liked to run and keep his condo clean. I tried so hard to pretend to be this perfectly put together girl who also ran and didn’t drink into her face fell off thinking that’s what he wanted. I kind of miss that.
“I love you,” I said abruptly. “Do you still want to meet my parents?”
“Yes. Do you want me to?” Brady replied.
I nodded happily.
“I like you like this,” he said.
I scrunched my nose. On top of him? With mascara all over my face? Horny? “Like what?”
“You put on this front like you don’t care about anything so you’re abrasive and confrontational and mean. It’s like you’re afraid to show that you are capable of being emotionally invested in anything.”
I felt like he opened me up and read me like a book. I blinked.
“When you make yourself vulnerable you look so happy and carefree.”
I didn’t confirm or deny Brady’s psychological diagnosis of me and instead helped him finish getting undressed. He flipped me over so he could be on top and then we proceeded to have the best make up sex ever. It wasn’t like scratching, spanking, “Are you sure you’re sorry?” “Yes, please forgive me.”
It was like, “I love you,” “I love you more,” “Do you still want to marry me?” “Of course.”
Which is so not me.
So I was up all night thinking about what Brady said. I know it’s true, but I had no idea he could tell too. God. I’m such a trainwreck.