Brady and I have been playing this game of cat and mouse for the past few weeks and it’s both exciting and super dumb and annoying at the same time. He texted me a few times after our little rendezvous and I ignored him because I was with Nick. But then after Nick started boring me, I was interested in him again.
One weeknight after work I texted him, “Hey! What are you up to tonight?”
I’d already made plans for us to go out for beer and pizza and then back to my place so I could kick him out later. I hopped in the shower with my phone sitting on the counter with the ringer on loud so I could hear when he responded. An hour into my shower, I realized that my phone hadn’t gone off at all. I hopped out, figuring I must have turned the thing on silent by accident. But the ringer was on and Brady just hadn’t replied. I checked and he had read my message one minute after I’d sent it.
So after that I was pissed. I kept going back and forth between texting him something nasty back and just deleting my message and pretending it never happened. I decided to ignore him.
A couple days later, Brady called. I was actually sitting on Nick’s couch waiting for him to serve me dinner so I obviously couldn’t answer.
I texted Brady, “Busy. What?”
“Seeing if you wanted to try to get into the Nutella Café. It’s okay if you’re busy though. Maybe another time,” he replied.
He knew exactly what he was doing. I would drop everything to go to the Nutella Café. Brady knows that. I sat there re-reading the message until Nick appeared in front of me with a huge plate of pasta. And I felt a bit bad, but in that moment I wanted to be at the Nutella Café with Brady more than I wanted to be anywhere else.
The next morning I texted him, “How was the Nutella?”
He said, “Don’t worry, I didn’t go without you.”
Later that day, after I checked my schedule, I texted him back suggesting another day and time we could go. Brady read my message and then didn’t reply. I wanted to fucking kill him.
Nick and I had an eventful weekend that involved meeting his sister. It was completely by accident actually, but I guess I knew the day was coming because she lives in Chicago. She needed Nick to run some sort of errand for her because she wouldn’t have time before leaving the country for a month. The errand required Nick to stop by her apartment and I tagged along with him. We ran into her on our way up and her way out.
“I didn’t know you were coming right now,” she greeted him. I didn’t even recognize her from the pictures Nick had showed me.
Nick started to say something back and Sister Dearest focused in on me. She had a nice, but bitchy face. She was super waify thin in a way that was somehow sexy with even thinner dark hair. Her face was really small kind of like a mouse or a hamster or something.
“Hey. I’m Reese,” I said, shocking even myself with my sorority girl impression.
Her eyes lit up, making her look even more mouselike. “Reese? I’m Stephanie.”
Obviously I knew her name already because of Nick, but he affectionately calls her “Steph.”
“Nice to meet you, Stephanie,” I said.
She crossed her arms over her chest standoffishly so I added, “Cute bag, by the way.”
“Yeah so we were just gonna run up quickly,” Nick said.
“Okay,” Stephanie said, still watching me and smiling.
“It was nice to meet you. I’m sure we will get to actually talk one day,” I said.
“Oh, for sure,” she smiled.
“Your sister is sooo nice!” I said on our way up.
“Yeah, she is. You don’t want to get on her bad side though. Trust me.”
Nick and I went to brunch Saturday and spent the day out and about because it was nice out. Out and about consisted of a North Side bar crawl where we stopped and grabbed a drink at almost every bar we walked past. It was fun. We made it back to Nick’s place and while I waited for him to use the bathroom, I decided to send a semi-sexy picture to Brady with the caption, “Nutella this week?”
He didn’t respond right away and Nick, Cocoa and I chilled on the couch watching movies. I ended up passing out there until the morning. I woke up alone with my phone sitting on the coffee table and a huge mess of my clothes and stuff all over the living room area (did I mention that I’d practically moved in?).
I checked my phone and saw that Brady had called me three times, FaceTimed me twice and sent a few text messages. I couldn’t help smiling at how thirsty he looked.
“Nutella now,” Brady had texted. And then, “What are you doing?” And then, “Ordering tacos and queso if you want to come over.”
I put my phone away and skipped to Nick’s room. He was still asleep and I pushed Cocoa over so I could snuggle with him.
We woke up a few hours later and Nick climbed out of bed without saying anything to me. I got up and followed him to the kitchen where he was pouring a glass of water shirtless.
“Hey. Why did you leave me by myself on the couch last night? You could have woke me up,” I said.
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” he replied, not really making any kind of eye contact with me.
“It was rude, but I guess I’ll forgive you,” I continued.
Nick was drinking so he couldn’t say anything.
“What are we doing today? It’s supposed to be really nice out so maybe we can take Cocoa to the park,” I suggested.
Nick finally looked at me, but gave me a weird look and didn’t even acknowledge my cat at the park joke. “I don’t think so. I think maybe you should figure out what it is that you want.”
“What do you mean?” I demanded.
“I mean, if you are still wanting something with your ex, then I think you need to pursue that, not me.”
“What are you even talking about?”
I was genuinely confused about how or why Nick knew about Brady. Obviously Brady and I had been flirting and talking, but how did Nick know that? Was he reading the blog?
“I saw him calling and texting you all night. You left your phone on the table. I just don’t think he would have any reason to be contacting you at that time of night unless he thought you’d answer.”
I had never seen this side of Nick. He’s normally so playful and nonchalant and not at all serious. And I’d told him all about Brady, but I can’t remember ever telling him his name.
“He was just being annoying. Don’t be worried, I’m not interested in pursuing him,” I said.
“No,” Nick backed away from me like I might have cooties. “I think you should figure that out. And until then…”
I rolled my eyes and stormed off probably because I knew he was right. I packed up my things like a tornado and was out of there in about seven minutes. It sounds bad, but I was eager to get home and shower so I could possibly meet up with Brady. So obviously Nick was right.
I tried sending a meme to Nick the following week (after Brady didn’t bother responding to my message) as sort of a pulse check, but he didn’t bother responding either.
So I focused on work. It wasn’t hard because Mike ended up leaving the company which was drama and scandalous (even though we all smelled it coming). They put Scott in charge in the interim until he was officially offered the job. We had a little celebration for him in the break room with pizza, cupcakes and rosé and I took that moment to break my silence.
I walked up to him and said, “Congrats,” really dryly.
Scott looked almost startled that I was speaking to him.
“Well, thank you, Reese. I appreciate that a lot,” he said, sounding so genuine and sincere that I rolled my eyes at him. His dick was wet over a half hearted compliment. “This is a great opportunity for you to get to the next level. I’m very excited for that.”
“Yeah, well. We will see what happens,” I said casually. It had always been the plan for me to take over for Scott whenever the time came, but I was acting like I didn’t care that much.
“I feel like we haven’t talked in forever. How have you been? Okay?” he said.
“Has she had the baby yet?” I blurted out.
“Next month,” he answered automatically and rubbed him chin nervously.
I was a bit standoffish for the next few days, but continued to focus on not only my own projects, but also take on extra work with Scott’s position being vacant. I was less mad at Scott with the whole possibility of getting to replace him there and started warming up to him and collaborating with him more. Both of us were very professional though and didn’t speak about our personal lives. How it should have been in the first place.
When it came time to interview for Scott’s position, I found out a girl named Monica in the office was also in the running.
“You’re interviewing?” she said to me, like it was a huge surprise. Everyone knew I had basically been doing Scott’s job since he got promoted and was the obvious choice.
We interviewed with Scott and two people from the New York office. They told us we’d have a decision by the weekend (we interviewed on a Thursday), but we didn’t. On Monday morning at 6 am, Scott texted me.
“I just wanted to let you know we are going with Monica,” he said.
Imagine waking up to that fucked up text. Like, excuse me? I thought it was a joke. He was trying to bring back our old friendship by pretending that I didn’t get the job. Then he’d tell me that I did get it and offer to buy me a drink.
“Lol, okay?” I replied.
“I’m sorry. Your time will come though, I guarantee it,” he said.
On my way to work a few hours later, I realized he was serious. Monica was promoted over me. I’m not trying to sit here like some spoiled entitled bitch, but I am so much better than Monica. In fact, anything she knows, she knows because I taught her. She comes in my office at least twice a day asking how to do something remedial like submit her expenses (which I’ve taught her how to do on four different occasions). She knows nothing about the industry because she’s never worked in it and she doesn’t care and relies on everyone else to tell her what’s going on. The decision to promote her was ridiculous and insulting.
“I feel like I’m going to cry,” she said after she found out.
So now Monica is my boss. I’m honestly shocked and offended. She sends out tons of emails (riddled with typos) asking for sign offs and reminding us of things we do everyday and have been doing everyday.
“It is very important that we complete this,” she’s emailed on multiple occasions. I can bet if you asked her why it’s so important she would shrug her shoulders and come ask me.
Anyway, the day Monica got promoted, I went home and sulked on my couch with a bottle of wine.
Brady texted me, “What are you doing?”
I wanted to text him back and bitch and complain about the events of the day, but I was so upset that I couldn’t even bring myself to rehash everything that happened. So I didn’t reply.
I had the most boring birthday I’ve ever had. I worked during the day and Kendra and John took me to dinner in the evening. I was just happy to get to hang out with the baby (who is in love with me obviously and by the way). I thought at least Scott would do something cute for my birthday at the office, but he was traveling all week and wasn’t even around. Brady texted me saying, “Happy Birthday ❤️, Tucker,” so I’d know the birthday wish was not from him. Obviously I didn’t reply.