A few months ago I’d made plans to visit my friend, Lauren, in LA for the weekend. She’s getting married and I missed some of the big events (picking out her dress, bridal shower) etc so I thought I should make it up to her. But by the time it rolled around, I was dreading going. I really just wanted to stay in Chicago to hang out with Nick and the cat.
I skipped work on Friday in order to fly to LA. Lauren was stuck in traffic (of course) so I had to kill some time while waiting for her to pick me up. Thank goodness for airport bars. I went and got sushi and a couple margaritas and made some new LA friends. I didn’t even have to pay for anything.
By the time Lauren came to get me, I’d had one drink too many and I had trouble finding the exit. It was ridiculous, even for me.
Lauren apologized when I got in the car and told me our plan for the day:
1. Go to the mall because she needed new shoes to go with her dress for the night.
2. Get vegan/gluten free burgers from her favorite place (“You can’t even tell it’s vegan!”)
3. Take a nap.
4. Get ready.
5. Go to a sushi place to pregame.
6. Go to the club where Lauren’s fiancé’s friend was DJing.
Spoiler alert: you could totally tell it was vegan. I requested to go to McDonald’s after we ate and Lauren lectured me the whole way there.
“This is just such bad energy, Reese. Such bad energy.”
Lauren is super spiritual now and into crystals, meditation, yoga, cards and weed. It’s an LA thing I guess. I can’t lie though, it became a bit much throughout the weekend.
The night turned out pretty tame except when we got back to Lauren’s, I locked myself in the her bathroom and drunk dialed Nick until he answered. It was 1:30 AM LA time, meaning it was 3:30 AM in Chicago.
Nick finally picked up after maybe the fourth try.
“Hello?” he answered, sounding adorably sleepy.
“Finally!” I said back.
“Sorry, I fell asleep on the couch watching House of Cards,” Nick said.
“Well, I’m glad you picked up. This is one of your tests and this was my last time trying to call you.”
He laughed. “I’m glad too then. How’s your trip?”
“Fine. Organic. Boring. What did you eat today?”
“Well, I grilled for dinner…”
“Grilled?” I exclaimed. “Like steak?”
I moaned then whispered, “My friend here is vegan so we had burgers made out of lentils. It was awful. So I had to settle for a chicken nugget happy meal.”
We chatted for a little while longer until Nick yawned audibly.
“Fine, go to sleep,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Well, I miss you. Get back here so you can try my kabob.”
I hung up.
The next day, Lauren and I went to another vegan restaurant, but this one was right on the beach and made for amazing Instagram and Snapchat photos so I didn’t mind. After that we went shopping again because Lauren needed more shoes to go with her outfit for the night. That’s why I always buy things when I see them because you just never know when an event will come up.
We were trying on shoes at Barneys when Lauren said, “Devin might be there tonight with his woman toy. You’re cool with that?”
“Excuse me?” I exclaimed.
Lauren rolled her eyes. “I know. They broke up for a while, but now she’s back. She’s a crazy psycho bitch, even more than you. No offense. She’s loaded though and wants to impress us all so drinks are always on her.”
I was not about to let Devin or his cougar sugar mama rain on my parade and I still planned on having a good time. So I put on a two piece set, hoop earrings and heels. Another DJ friend was playing in Hollywood so the plan was to get sushi and drinks, mingle then meet the boys at the club. I ended up running into a friend from high school at sushi and invited him and his friends out with us for the night. And then on our way out we ran into some of Lauren’s male friends, who all looked like grown up professional skate boarders. They decided to tag along too and that’s how our entourage came together.
We had a table and bottle service obviously and I ordered an extra bottle of rosé because why not? Lauren and I danced literally non stop for two hours until we met some (alleged) reality show boys and hung out with them for a little bit. I can’t remember which reality show they said they are on, but I took a ton of pictures just in case they get famous or something.
We ran into Devin and the girl on our way out. I knew the moment would come because that’s just how my life works. They were standing at the bar, fighting it looked like, and Devin did a double take when he noticed me.
“Oh my God, Reese!” I heard someone say and our friend from college, Ronnie, emerged from somewhere in Devin’s group.
We hugged and Devin reached in between us to grab my arm. Before I could even snatch my arm away like I wanted to, the girlfriend jumped in front of Devin, knocking a drink out of someone’s hand and all over my legs and feet. My natural reaction was to strangle her, but Mature Lauren stepped in and escorted us out. It all happened so fast.
“What the actual fuck?” I asked when we got outside.
“I told you she was crazy. Stuff like this happens every single time we go out.” Lauren pulled out her little rose gold vape pen that I discovered pretty early on contains cannibus oil. She offered it to me and I actually took it.
Ronnie’s phone called me about ten times after we’d left and I didn’t pick it up because I assumed it was Devin and I don’t know what he could possibly want. I found out my suspicion was correct when I got a voicemail from Devin saying, “Hey, why did you leave? And how long are you in LA for? If you’re around tomorrow night, you can come over.”
I was obviously super glad to get back to Chicago. I took an Uber straight from the airport to Nick’s apartment because I really, really wanted to see him.
I didn’t tell Scott about Nick because last time I told him about a date I went on he got really weird and quiet and it seemed kind of unnecessary. I decided I would just complain about being single and soak up the attention. We continued getting close and working on projects together and staying later than everyone else. He opened up about his fear of being alone in life and that got me wondering if that’s an actual possibility? Like, things with Nick don’t work out and things with the next guy don’t work out and I turn into a serial dater who continues getting dumped. Can you imagine?
And Scott talked about wanting his wife to move out, but not knowing how to go about it without hurting her feelings. Because he obviously still cares about her, just not in a romantic way. I actually felt bad for him.
The following weekend, I went to happy hour with Lexi and a couple of her friends and their boyfriends and we drank until we were dancing all around our table. We left at around 11:30 and Nick had already invited me over for a sleepover so I ran home, showered and packed the largest overnight bag with all my things.
We stayed up talking, drinking wine and eating chocolate ice cream. His phone rang a couple times and I finally glanced down at it to see who was calling. Someone named “Brittany.”
“Who is blowing up your phone at this time of night?” I asked.
“This girl I work with,” Nick explained. “We were all out tonight.”
“But why would she be calling you at 1:00 AM?” I wanted to know.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe to ask why I left?”
It seemed to me that Nick was telling the truth because he was pretty straight forward and didn’t seem nervous and weird like Brady always did when I confronted him about his questionable behavior.
And so then we went and had sex for an hour before passing out. Nick had something to do early in the morning, but let me stay and sleep. I eventually woke up because I felt someone staring at me. It literally woke me out of my sleep. It was the fucking cat, who was laying on Nick’s pillow next to me.
“What do you want?” I asked and she meowed like super loudly. I took that as my cue to take me ass home.
Nick said he would probably go out on Saturday night and would text me so we could meet up. I got dinner with Luke and drank too much and after a quick power nap at home, I was ready to meet up with my man. I’d seen on his Instagram story that he was out drinking a Moscow Mule at some bougie looking bar that I didn’t recognize.
I texted him, “Where are you?” and I fell asleep again while waiting for him to reply.
Two hours later, my phone woke me up.
Nick had finally responded, “I miss you.”
“No, you don’t. Where are you? I want to see you.”
Nick sent back some heart emojis. Like what the fuck? Just answer my question. I sent back three knife emojis.
Nick didn’t even open my message until 3:00 AM so I was distraught wondering what he’d been doing the whole time and why he wouldn’t tell me where he was.
The next morning, Nick sent me a picture of a brunch plate like nothing had even happened. Um, excuse me? Was Sunday brunch not our thing?
“Looks tasty. Thanks for the invite,” I said.
Literally two hours later, Nick sent back a single smiling emoji.
“What are you up to?” I asked.
Two hours later, “Drinking. :-)”
I assumed he was with a girl. Brittany, perhaps? They’d spent Saturday night together and continued their date into Sunday. I could just feel it. When Nick is with me, he’s hardly ever on his phone, but when we are apart he responds to texts freakishly fast. So the fact that he was taking forever to text me back was not normal. And who else would he be hanging out with? He tells me all about his friends, most of whom are married and have kids. Except the one bachelor friend who I knew was away for the weekend. It only makes sense that he was with another girl all weekend. And obviously I wasn’t happy about it.
So I ignored him the rest of Sunday night, not that he would have noticed because he didn’t really text me.
We were required to work a half day on Monday which was so stupid, but fine because I planned on getting really drunk on Monday night with Lexi and Luke and spending all of Tuesday being hungover and eating. No one was really working Monday morning as we all talked about what our July 4th plans were and eating the pizza Mike’s assistant ordered for us.
Scott had brought me a green tea that morning and since I was mad at Nick, I followed him into his office and made out with him until I was sure he came in his pants. So we spent the rest of the day working together while sexting. He even gave me a ten minute shoulder massage which was amazing.
I’d gone to get another slice of pizza and a Diet Coke and spent like ten minutes talking to a coworker in the kitchen. When I came out, I saw Scott walking past with his tiny cute little blonde wife. The wife he says he plans on divorcing this year. And she was about eleven months pregnant. WITH A FUCKING BABY. Neither of them saw me and I thought my pizza was going to come back up.
I didn’t even know what to do. Like, what? How was his wife pregnant with an actual human being and about to pop and I had no idea? Did anyone even know? How could he hide something so big? And he was going to ask his pregnant wife to move out?
I needed to leave after that so I went back to my office and powered down for the day. On my way out, Scott was standing in his office door with his hands in his pockets.
“Have a good Independence Day, Reese,” he said very formally. I just glared at him. The fucking nerve.
Nick texted me on Monday night inviting me over for dinner on Tuesday night. He said he’d be grilling. I waited three hours before responding, “Yes.” Because I actually did want to see him. And if nothing else, I could confront him about his weekend in person.
I spent the early part of the day with Kendra, John and the baby and it was so relaxing, but so boring. After a couple hours, I’ve had enough of the whole young family thing and I’m ready to go do my own thing/drink.
Nick and I met at Whole Foods at 7 PM so he could pick up some things he needed for dinner. I was still kind of standoffish and didn’t greet him with a hug or kiss or anything. So he started with some small talk. He revealed that he’d gone to a bar on Saturday night and come home and fallen asleep on the couch. And that actually seemed kind of likely so I felt a little bit bad and opened up a little bit more.
When we got to his place, Nick was very sweet and made sure I liked everything on the menu. We sat on the couch and drank sangria and he said something like, “I thought you were ignoring me for a little while.”
I just smiled and said, “Why would I do that?”
Dinner was phenomenal and afterwards we opened another bottle of wine and finished before he grabbed me to take me to the bed. We had sex and even after I pulled out all my tricks, it took him forever to come. And it never takes him forever to come. But at the time, I wasn’t worried about that at all. Nick set an early alarm because he had to work today and we fell asleep. I didn’t plan on sleeping over, but whatever.
I woke up before the alarm and just stared at the night stand next to me because for a moment, I couldn’t remember where I was. Then I realized I was at Nick’s house, in his bed. I noticed a water bottle on the night stand and smiled thinking Nick put it there for me. How sweet. He usually does that when we’ve stayed up late drinking. But then I realized it was half empty like someone had already been drinking from it. And it obviously wasn’t me. Or Nick because he keeps his own water bottle on his side of the bed. Strange. To me, that meant someone else had been there.
When Nick’s alarm finally went off, he turned to me and I just glared at him.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Fine,” I said, throwing the blanket off me and getting up to get dressed.
Nick watched me getting ready to leave and didn’t say anything. He could tell something was wrong, but didn’t know how to address it.
“I hope you have a nice day at work,” I said because my Uber was still seven minutes away and I guess I didn’t want to sit there being a mute.
“You too. If you’re not doing anything later, let me know. We could grab dinner or something,” Nick said.
As Nick was walking me out, he said, “Do you have everything? Your earrings and necklace?”
And I did, but why is it such a big deal if I accidentally leave some jewelry at his place? I have literally one million other pairs of earrings at my house. Unless he didn’t want his other girlfriend to come over and see evidence of me.
Am I jumping to conclusions? Like, I know I probably sound paranoid and crazy, but it all just sounds sketchy. I know the signs. Like I’ve been here before. I know the behaviors. And now I think I should just get out while I can.