Hey y’all. I’m sorry. So much is going on.
On Wednesday night, a former coworker had a birthday dinner at a restaurant downtown and Brady and I made plans to be in attendance. I stayed at work late then texted Brady to meet me at the office so we could walk to the venue together.
It started off fine, we were walking hand in hand and talking about life. I’m not sure how it happened, but we got in a disagreement about our living situation. It was super passive aggressive. I’m fine with where we live now, but I thought I’d bring up the topic of buying a larger condo again. I mean, just to throw it out there. Brady wouldn’t even entertain it.
Finally I said, “Ugh, fine. You never want to do what I want,” or something like that.
Brady slowed down and let go of my hand. I turned to him to see what was up and he had this weird look on his face.
“What?” I asked.
“Sometimes… I feel like we are going in two different directions,” he said, sounding unsure.
“Okay? What does that even mean?” I said.
“We want different things.” Brady said this confidently and definitively.
“What the fuck, Brady? What are you talking about?” I demanded.
He scrunched his eyebrows together. “I’m going to go. Enjoy dinner.”
Seriously, what the hell?
“What? Why?” I exclaimed.
Brady didn’t reply and turned to walk away. I called after him. When he didn’t turn around or even acknowledge me, I got pissed and walked away to go to dinner alone. Whatever. Brady is moody sometimes and I wasn’t even about to feed into it. He would get over whatever issue he had eventually.
Halfway through dinner, I caved and texted him, “Okay, what was that all about?”
He didn’t reply right away so I just sat there staring at my phone. The birthday girl called me out for being on my phone at dinner so I put it away. After dinner they all wanted to go to a bar to have more drinks. I checked my phone and Brady hadn’t responded to my message which was annoying.
“Hellloooooo, what are you doing?” I texted him again.
We got to the bar and the birthday girl’s fiancé bought us all shots and drinks so I put my phone away. I felt guilty because I hardly ever talk to the girl (Kristen) anymore and we used to be pretty close. She’s a more responsible version of me and I used to love learning from her. She’s a good balance of psycho party chick and successful consultant and I needed to be more like that.
After we left the bar, I was ready to go home even though they all wanted to go somewhere else. I got my phone out to call Brady to come get me and he didn’t answer. Was he dead? Annoyed and drunk, I sent another text.
“Seriously fuck you. You’re such a fucking pussy sometimes Brady. Just tell me why you’re pissed at me instead of being a baby.”
I called an Uber to take me home, fell asleep on the ride then ran inside when we arrived. Brady’s keys were in his usual spot, but he wasn’t in the bed. I cut up some tortillas to make homemade tortilla chips then threw them in the oven. I had a thought. Maybe he was in the guest bedroom? That’s where I always seek refuge when I’m mad at him.
So I ran down the stairs and sure enough, the door was closed and locked. And it didn’t take me long to realize that Tucker must have been in there with him.
“I hate you,” I called through the door (probably not loud enough to hear) because don’t take Tucker from me.
I didn’t even want my tortilla chips anymore and just got in bed. I was confused and sad, but too drunk to really comprehend what was going on.
On Thursday morning, I woke up unnaturally early, around 6:00 AM. Brady should have been getting ready for work so perfect time to ambush him. He wasn’t in our bathroom so I jumped up, preparing to find him.
Brady was walking out of the main bathroom, fully dressed and ready for work with his glasses on.
“Brady!” I exclaimed, so ready to put an end to whatever stupid fight this was.
He put his hands up defensively, almost like he’d been caught. Then he said, “Not talking to you.”
“Why?” I demanded and Brady walked off.
What the actual fuck? I stormed off and got back in bed. Whatever. I fell back asleep and woke up with a start a few hours later when I realized that Brady was 100% serious. I checked my phone and he hadn’t made any effort to contact me or explain himself. What was I supposed to think? Seemed like he was giving up to me.
I called my dad.
“Good morning, love,” he answered.
“What’s up? What do you have going on today?”
“Can you help me find and buy a condo? Brady isn’t speaking to me and I don’t want to be here anymore,” I blurted out.
“What? Why isn’t he speaking to you?” my dad wanted to know.
“I don’t know. He isn’t as smart as y’all think. I’m over it,” I said.
So my dad informed me that he’d look into flying in Friday morning. A few minutes after we hung up, my dad texted me informing me that he would land the next morning just before 11 am.
I went to work a little later than normal. Scott had requested a meeting for 10:30 and I got in with just enough time to prepare for it.
“These sales are ridiculous,” was how he opened the meeting.
“I know. I’m trying not to get discouraged,” I said back.
“Yeah. Keep the morale of your team up. Has Mike said anything to you?”
I shook my head.
“Good. Let’s get some plans together so he can at least see your efforts.”
So we spent the morning and into the afternoon working together. I generally like working alongside Scott because then he can at least see how I work and think and see that I’m not an idiot. I really feel like he thinks I am sometimes.
I stayed at the office until 9:30 PM because I was engrossed in my work. I only took one break. I guess I figured I needed to start producing some results before Mike fires me.
When I got home, I heard the TV on in the basement. It sounded like an action movie. I started gathering some of my stuff from the bedroom and taking it to the office. My things have pretty much overtaken Brady’s former plain white bedroom and I thought it would be beneficial for Brady to see his room without it. Maybe it would be a sign of how boring his life would be without me.
After I’d emptied the room to my satisfaction, I headed to the kitchen to find something to snack on. But Brady beat me there and walked past me without saying anything. Or even looking at me. Do y’all know how hurtful that is? We are supposed to be in love and Brady didn’t even acknowledge me after not speaking to me for over twenty four hours.
After that, I didn’t even want a snack. I locked myself in the bedroom and cried. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Brady was serious and I didn’t even know what I’d done.
About an hour into my crying fit, I received a picture from a Los Angeles number. It was of me and my ex Devin circa 2011. We were in a reverse prom pose with my arms wrapped his waist from behind. I had big hoops in, a tiny stud through my lip and a backward ASU baseball cap on. Devin had his head leaned back with a cocky smirk on his face.
“Devin stop,” I replied to the message.
“What? You look beautiful. I miss you,” he said.
“I’m not in the mood.”
“Why? I’m not trying to be a dick or anything.”
“Well my boyfriend broke up with me so I’m dealing with that right now.”
I don’t even know why I felt the need to share that with Devin. I think I just wanted sympathy or someone to talk to about it. Someone who would obviously be on my side.
Devin called me.
“What?” I groaned into the phone.
“Hey. I’m sorry to hear that,” Devin said. He sounded genuine, not using his salesman voice he uses to get whatever he wants.
“No you aren’t. You live for this shit,” I said.
“I want you to be happy, Reese. If I can’t do that for you and someone else can, I gotta accept it.”
“Obviously someone else can’t cuz he wants nothing to do with me.”
“I don’t even know. He said we want different things. It’s so stupid.”
“What is it that you want?”
I paused. I hadn’t thought about that. I was so busy being upset about Brady ignoring me that I hadn’t thought about what he really meant when he said we are going in different directions and want different things. I hadn’t even brought up marriage.
“To build a life with him,” I answered.
Devin sighed. “And he doesn’t want that? He really isn’t for you then just like I thought.”
“And you think you are? Please, Devin,” I rolled my eyes.
This opened a whole other can of worms. We talked about when we first met on campus. I’ll tell y’all that story in a flashback post. But we were inseparable immediately. We shared the same feelings right away and I didn’t have to second guess myself at all which is the the exact opposite of when I first met Brady.
By the time we hung up two hours later, I’d come to the following conclusions:
1. Devin and I had an instant attraction and connection and I didn’t feel like I had to force anything.
2. Devin and I have similar personalities hence why we butt heads often. Brady and I fight a lot less because he’s agreeable and doesn’t stand up for himself when he should.
3. When Devin and I dated, we were both starving college students with nothing to show for ourselves. We still had fun and made it work. I don’t know why, but I can’t imagine that with Brady. He’s so established and put together. Privileged. He would never be slumming it.
4. Devin and I haven’t been together in years and he still talks about the future with me. The future in general. Brady breaks out in hives when the word marriage is even mentioned.
5. He still has a ton of growing up to do, but now that we are older, I think Devin finally has a grasp of his feelings. I think in college, a lot of times he told me what I want to hear and now he tells me what he genuinely feels.
After that phone call, I felt a little different about Devin. I don’t really hate him.
My dad ordered a car for when he landed and picked me up from Brady’s house. He knows someone who knows someone in real estate here in Chicago and set up a meeting for us.
“Good morning, princess! How are you feeling?” my dad greeted me.
“Like crap,” I told him. “Thank you for coming.”
“Of course. I’m happy to help. What do you have in mind?”
“I don’t even care.”
I felt my dad watching me, waiting expectantly so I added, “All the upgrades. You know my taste.”
We met up with the realtor at his office downtown to go over the important details. What were my requirements, neighborhood, price, etc. And then he took us to look at a few places. One in Old Town, one in River North and two in Gold Coast. I fell in love with one of the Gold Coast ones. My dad whistled when we walked in. It was staged with all white furniture, it had a big open living room and dining room area with windows taking up one wall and mirrors covering the adjacent one. It made the place look huge. The bathroom was all glass and marble – light and airy and white too. The kitchen had marble countertops, stainless steel appliances and a pearly white marble backsplash. It also had a great view of the lake. The place was about $15,000 over the budget my dad gave me, but he saw how much I loved it and told the realtor to do whatever he could.
After I’d found my perfect home, it was almost 3:00 and my dad suggested we find something to eat. We had the driver take us a to a restaurant not far from Brady’s hospital which I thought was ironic, but thought nothing of.
We were seated and ordered cocktails. My dad was stalling on ordering food even though I knew what I wanted. And then my dad looked up from the table, his eyes lighting up.
“Hey! You made it,” my dad said, standing up. I turned and saw Brady walking toward our table. What the hell?
I turned back around and pulled out my phone because this was about to get real awkward. How had Brady found his way to me and my dad’s lunch? How annoying.
My dad and Brady shook hands and hugged and then Brady leaned down and kissed my cheek. Uh, okay. I’d been texting Devin all day, sending him pictures of the condo which he said he liked, but wished was in LA with him. I quickly fired off a text that said, “SOS, come save me.”
Brady sat down and I put my phone away. My dad asked him how his day was going, what he wanted to drink and then my dad ordered his drink along with food for all of us after the server came back.
“So what’s new with you? Reese? Brady?” my dad asked to try to break the ice. Since he’d arrived, we hadn’t said a word about Brady. He hadn’t asked me what happened or mentioned him at all.
Brady took a sip of his drink so I started talking. “Nothing. Can’t wait to move.”
“Yeah, I’m hoping it’ll work out in our favor,” my dad replied.
“It’ll have to.”
My dad turned to Brady. “How’s work?”
“It’s going well. I’ve been assisting in some virus and disease research the past month which has been interesting,” Brady answered. Do you think I knew about that? Nope. Because Brady doesn’t tell me anything. And what a great thing to talk about over food.
My dad’s eyebrows shot up. “Wow. What an important thing you’re doing. Yeah, Reese?” He looked at me.
The last thing I wanted to do was sit there stroking Brady’s ego. “I guess.”
“She’s proud of you,” my dad said to Brady trying to make up for my lack of interest.
“Brady hasn’t talked to me in two days so I don’t really care,” I blurted out.
Brady was taking a drink and almost spit it out. He stared at me with all seriousness.
“Reese, that isn’t nice,” my dad said.
“And ignoring my entire existence is? Cool. So glad you’re on my side.”
“I’m not taking anyone’s side, Reese,” my dad said in a warning tone.
“Why did you even invite him here?” I asked. “I’m trying to get away from him.”
Brady just continued looking at me and didn’t say anything.
“Your mother and I didn’t teach you to be nasty to people.”
“Don’t bring up my mom because you’re ignoring her too. Just stop!”
They looked at each other and then they both stared back at me.
“I’m sorry if you feel you’re being ignored,” my dad said.
“It’s not how I feel, it’s the reality of the situation! Brady, what’s the last thing you’ve said to me? You have no idea!”
“Reese, relax. You have no reason to feel attacked right now,” my dad said.
“I don’t feel attacked, I’m just annoyed.”
The server brought our food and I immediately dug into my salad, eager to have something to do besides talk to them.
Brady cleared his throat. “Reese, I love you. I suck at showing it sometimes, I know that. But I-”
I glared at him. “I’m sorry, are you speaking to me?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Okay, well what’s your purpose? You don’t treat someone you supposedly love like that. You just don’t.”
“I think you could take your own advice.”
“Excuse me? My life literally revolves around you,” I said, appalled.
“Your actions and words don’t reflect that,” Brady said softly.
“What are you talking about?” I exclaimed.
“This. This is exactly what he’s talking about,” my dad spoke up.
“Is this like an intervention? Leave me alone.”
Neither of them said anything and all you could hear was our silverware clinking on our plates. I sat my fork down and looked up to take a drink. Brady was watching me while he ate. I thought about making some snarky remark, but decided not to.
My dad got a phone call and excused himself from the table so Brady and I sat there alone. I pulled out my phone and Devin had texted me a couple times and FaceTimed me. I was replying when I heard Brady say my name. I looked up.
“Are you done?” he asked.
“Done with what?”
Brady gestured between the two of us. “This. Us.”
“Well, you’ve made it pretty clear that you are.”
“That isn’t what I asked.”
“What are you even doing here?” I couldn’t help asking.
“Your father asked me to be here,” Brady replied.
“So what? You could’ve said no. Probably should’ve.”
Brady ran a hand over his face, a weird gesture I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do.
“I’m sorry for coming then,” he said.
When my dad came back, he was ready for the check. After he paid, we all got up and headed outside. I stood at the curb waiting for the car while my dad and Brady talked just outside the restaurant. They were close and speaking quietly and it looked like they were plotting something. I’d grill my dad about it in the car.
Once our car came, my dad and Brady said goodbye and Brady kind of just waved at me.
“What did you say to him?” I asked my dad as soon as he shut the door to the SUV.
“I know why you’re lashing out, Reese. Your mother and I separating shouldn’t make you doubt your own relationship. Don’t take it out on Brady,” my dad said.
I scoffed. “I’m an adult. I’m not lashing out because my parents are separating.”
“We’re very sorry you have to go through this,” my dad went on as if I hadn’t said anything. “We’ve tried to make it work. This isn’t going to affect our relationships with you at all.”
“Dad, I don’t care. Just don’t be a dick to my mom.”
My dad was leaving later that evening so we went back to Brady’s to hang out. He needed to do some work so I set him up in the home office (with all my crap) and then sat on the couch talking to Devin. A little bit later, Kendra called.
“Hey,” I answered.
“Hey! What’s your dad doing here?” she wanted to know.
“How do you know he’s here?” I asked.
“Birdy told me. What’s up? How are you?”
I hadn’t talked to Kendra in a little while and it felt good to talk to her. So I let it all out, telling her all about what was going on with Brady and Devin.
“Well, you know how I feel about Devin and why I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she said.
“I know. But he’s different now. He’s grown up a lot,” I said back.
“I’m sure he has, but you can’t just find morals somewhere,” Kendra laughed. “You and Brady need to seriously talk and you need to stop being so defensive. I don’t think he knows how to get through to you.”
“He knows me better than anyone. Except maybe you.”
“But he’s terrified of you, Reese. He feels like he can’t be honest without you freaking out.”
“How do you know?” I asked, suspiciously.
“I can just tell. Anyway, go easy on him. He wants to please you, but doesn’t know how.”
“I literally tell him exactly what I want.”
“Do you have a comeback for everything?” Kendra laughed again. “Let me know what happens!”
After we hung up, Devin called. We talked for an hour or so until my dad appeared in the living room to announce he was leaving for the airport.
“I’ll keep you in the loop about what’s going on with the condo,” he told me and I thanked him.
Brady didn’t get home until super late that night and I was already in bed. Tucker whined at the door for a little while until Brady went to sleep.
On Saturday morning, I had plans of going to brunch with Luke. I missed him and hadn’t seen him in forever. I put on jeans, a plaid boyfriend button down with sunglasses on no makeup.
“I think I want to move to Arizona. Scottsdale,” I told him after we’d started eating.
“Really? Why there?” Luke asked.
“Change of scenery. It’s so laid back. And I don’t want to be in Chicago if I’m not with Brady,” I said and quickly filled him in on my current situation.
“So, are you moving there with Devin? That’s what sounds like is going to happen.”
“No!” I exclaimed. “Devin lives in LA. That would never happen. I’m not interested in him like that right now.”
Luke gave me a skeptical look. “I believe that you aren’t, but your situation with Brady is making you gravitate toward him. I think until you figure that out, Devin needs to be out of the picture. Right now you just need someone to talk to.”
“Of course you do. Give me your phone so I can block his number.” Luke held out his hand.
I rolled my eyes. “No. It’s honestly fine. I’ll try to talk to Brady today.”
I didn’t get the opportunity to though because after brunch Luke and I went perfume shopping then met up with some of his friends for a rooftop party. After the party, I was tipsy and had a headache so I headed home. When I got there, Brady and Tucker were out in the front. I was caught off guard and just said, “Hey,” automatically as I walked past.
Brady nodded and I continued into the house. I was starving so I made nachos and cut up a pineapple to eat. I sat at the dining room table and scarfed down my meal then I played around on Snapchat for a little while.
When I went to the bedroom Brady was laying on the bed with Tucker. For the past several days, the bedroom had been my domain so I wasn’t really sure what to do. I decided that it was probably my turn to sleep elsewhere so I started grabbing clothes to sleep in and stuff.
“Hey,” Brady said and my head jerked up, but I didn’t say anything back. Then he said, “Come here.”
I gave him a dirty look. “Why?”
“Just come here.”
I put down what I was holding and walked to the edge of the bed, crossing my arms. “Yes?”
Brady reached out to grab my arm and said, “Sit down.”
I sat. Tucker jumped on my lap. “What can I help you with?”
“You’re sorry? About what?”
“We shouldn’t have let that go on as long as it did.”
“That’s your fault.”
“I know. That’s why I’m apologizing.”
“Maybe we just aren’t compatible.”
Brady’s face fell. “I don’t think that’s it.”
“What is it then? This is so stupid! Like I can’t deal.”
“I want you to respect me,” Brady said.
I was about to object, but realized that maybe he had a point. It made sense – he’d gotten mad at me for yelling at him about moving, I sent him that rude text calling him a pussy, and then lunch with my dad when they ganged up on me. He really does feel disrespected by me. Isn’t it sad that I didn’t even notice until he mentioned it?
“That’s all I ask.”
“Well, I didn’t even realize that you felt that way.”
Brady gave me this stupid smile.
“So thanks for telling me this now.”
I was going to get up and go to bed, but Brady grabbed my waist. “Don’t leave. Stay here with me.”
And then, I didn’t even try to stop it, but we hooked up and then fell asleep.
I woke up because my phone was ringing and I reached down and found it on the floor next to the bed. It was Devin. I considered answering it, but Brady was still sleeping next to me. After I declined the call, I shook Brady to wake him up.
He rolled over and peeked at me with one eye. “Yeah?”
“Wake up, please.” I was trying my hardest to be super nice.
Brady stretched a bit then sat up, yawning. “What’s up?”
“I’m sorry that I’ve been disrespectful to you. I didn’t realize you felt that way and I feel really bad about it,” I said.
Brady’s face softened when he realized that I was being genuine and thoughtful.
“Thank you,” he said.
We looked at each other for a moment and I said, “So that’s all I wanted.”
“Do you love me?” Brady asked and he had this strange look on his face.
“What?” was all I could think to say.
“Do you love me?” he repeated.
“Yes. Do you really have to ask?”
“I guess so. Are we friends? What are we doing?”
“I don’t know. You said we want different things so what did that mean?”
“I want to spend everyday with you,” Brady said.
I felt hot tears stinging my eyes. “Do you think that’s not what I want?”
“I don’t know. I can’t tell.”
“I tell you that all the time, Brady! I don’t understand where this is coming from.”
“I just want to be sure.”
Brady got up and went to the bathroom and I picked up my phone to text Devin. I texted him, “Good morning,” and a few minutes later he said, “Do you want to come see me next weekend?”
And I guess I could. I know y’all hate Devin, but I think I portrayed him negatively because I was holding a grudge. He’s seriously different now. Like he’s sweet. And he worships me. And Brady hasn’t spoken to me since yesterday afternoon so why not?