i no longer have credit card debt. 

Something that just started getting to me is how much Brady works at home. Like I don’t get it. How much work is there to do? Even with all of my little projects and big projects at work, there is no way I could work for 12 hours a day at the office and then come home and do 2 to 3 more hours of work. It just doesn’t make sense.

So now I feel like he must be doing something else at work besides work. Like Sydney and Jessica and Hailey and whoever else. I know Jessica doesn’t work there anymore, but still. And it doesn’t help that his phone semi blows up in the evenings too. Who is texting him that much after 8pm? I don’t like that. I mean, he gets texts back to back to fucking back. It’s ridiculous.

The only plan we had for the weekend was a Halloween party on Saturday night, but I assumed we’d hang out on Friday too. I didn’t hear from Brady all day so I texted him at around 9pm saying, “What are you up to?”

A few minutes later, Brady texted back saying, “Hey! I’m having sushi in Old Town. What about you?”

The fuck? “Hey!”? Like you don’t know me? Sushi with who? Where was my invite? I want sushi.

I decided not to respond and to just find my own plans for the night. Luke had texted me early in the week about getting drinks and I decided to take him up on the offer. He had plans of going bar hopping with some of his friends and they were all dressing up, but I was in no mood. Instead I wore a skin tight plunging black bodysuit, ripped black jeans, a cropped black bomber and maroon lipstick. We all met at a restaurant for apps and drinks and I was super disappointed to see Stacey sitting at the table. Do y’all remember Stacey, who I used to work with at my last job? She was so annoying. But she squealed when she saw me.

“I didn’t believe it when Lukey told me you were coming!” She stood up and I saw that she was also wearing an all black outfit with purple lips.

I rolled my eyes. “Hi Stacey.” We hugged.

Luke (dressed as the Joker) was also there with his friend Jason (dressed as Batman) and Elaina (dressed as a white cat. Yawn). We ordered fries, burrata and tuna sliders.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever. What’s new?” Luke asked.

The last time I hung out with Luke, Nick was still a thing so we had a lot to catch up on.

“I need a new job,” I began.

“Is this because of your boss or no?” Luke asked.

“Among other things. Have you heard of anything?”

He shook his head. “If I did, I’d be all over it. I’m ready to go too.”

I’m actually surprised Luke has lasted as long as he has.

“So Jason?” I whispered, gesturing to Batman next to him. “Coordinating costumes must mean things are serious.”

Luke shook his head. “We’re going slow. The costumes are a coincidence.”

I knew that probably wasn’t entirely true, but I accepted it.

“I’m seeing Brady again,” I said.

Luke’s eyes lit up which was Kendra’s exact reaction when I told her. For some reason I thought everyone would roll their eyes and say, “Why waste your time? You already know how this is going to end.” Which I guess is what I’m thinking.

“Finally! How did that happen?”

“I really don’t know. We went back and forth for a few months, but this we’ve been back together for a few weeks.”

“For good this time?”

“I mean, that’s the goal, isn’t it?”

“I love it. He is such a nice guy, Reese. Such a nice guy.”

And I wanted to go into how I don’t know if trust him and yadda yadda, but it didn’t seem like the time. So I agreed.

After food and a couple of drinks we walked down the street to a bar with louder music and more dancing. I got hit on a couple times by actual really hot guys and I was a bit concerned because I wasn’t interested. And I was also kind of mad because I couldn’t guarantee that Brady would fight off hot girls hitting on him. It’s not like we’d agreed to be exclusive.

I ended up calling an Uber around 1:00 am because I was tired and bored and couldn’t stop thinking about my box Cheez-Its I had waiting for me. Plus Stacey had ditched us for a guy she met on Bumble so I was third wheeling anyway.

On Saturday morning, I checked my phone hoping to at least have some drunk texts from Brady, but I didn’t. The last thing he’d said to me was that he was at sushi and hadn’t even followed up when I left him on read. Rude. And to me that meant he was having fun with someone else and wasn’t thinking about me at all. I got up and showered then got a mani/pedi. Brady called as I was leaving the salon.

“Hey,” I answered, making sure he could hear the cars and commotion outside so he knew I was out doing something.

“Hey you!” he said in this weird affectionate voice that I’ve never heard before. “What are you doing?”

“Just out and about,” I replied.

“Will you be free soon? I want to see you.”

I smiled. “Maybe. Can I call you back?”

With the ball now in my court, I slowly walked home, stopping in several stores to get a new fall scarf, earmuffs, gloves, a cookie jar, a face mask, perfume, and a pumpkin spice bone for Tucker. I had to call an Uber home. I got back to my apartment about an hour and a half later and hopped in the shower. I washed my hair, shaved my entire body and then I got out. Once I was dressed, I texted Brady, “Finally home. Want to meet?”

“Yes. Meet at my place. I’ll take you to breakfast,” he replied.

When I got to Brady’s, he pulled me into the biggest hug like he hadn’t seen me in years. It was like those military reunions you see on the news. We pulled away and he said, “I missed you,” while still gripping my waist tightly.

“Did you?” I said back.

Brady nodded. “I’m glad you’re here now.”

He needed to get dressed so I waited in his bed while he did so. I texted Kendra and watched a couple of YouTube videos and then Brady walked to the edge of the bed fully dressed in jeans and a white button up with a sweater over it. He actually looked really, really good.

“How was your night?” I finally asked.

“It was good.” Brady reached under the blanket to rub my legs. “How was yours?”

“Fine,” I said back.

We fooled around for a while and then got dressed again for breakfast. It was weird that Brady had no interest in telling me about his night and who he was with even after I told him about mine and seeing Stacey. And I wasn’t about to keep bringing it up so he would think I cared.

After breakfast, we stopped by Binny’s to get liquor for the party and also just to keep at the house for personal use. We spent $300 and had to take two trips to get it all in the house.

Even though it was a Halloween party, Brady and I couldn’t be bothered to dress up in costumes. I, again, went with an all black look with Alexander Wang booties and falsies. The party was at one of Brady’s coworker’s friend’s house in the West Loop. I was actually quite impressed with the amount of people in quality costumes, not just a bunch of slutty black cats walking around. And that townhouse was decorated really sophisticatedly like the owners had spent some real money on Halloween decorations.

Do y’all remember that one time I was out with my friend Lexi and we got super drunk and slept at some random guy’s apartment? One of the guys was there. I can’t even remember his name, but he recognized me immediately.

“Hey! Reese?” he said, patting me on the shoulder.

I knew I recognized him from somewhere, but I couldn’t place where at first.

“Hey! How are you?” I replied, hoping he wasn’t someone I made out with while drunk.

“Good! What’s up? Where’s your friend?” he said.

“Lexi isn’t here. This is my friend Brady!” They shook hands and I wondered if I actually just friend zoned Brady.

“Hey, what’s up man? How are you?” the dude said.

We stood there and talked about how we knew the hosts, costumes and football and pickup trucks. Have I ever mentioned how much I talk? I didn’t know the guy’s name, but discovered that both of our moms are blonde, but didn’t pass down that trait to us.

When he walked away, Brady said, “How do you know him?”

“I think I met him once when I was out with Lexi. I don’t know,” I replied.

Brady gave me a weird look, but didn’t say anything else. I was actually kind of amused that he was interested in my relationship with some random guy. Keep him on his toes.

We ended up getting completely hammered and leaving the party to go to a bar. I didn’t realize it, but we went to meet up with some of Brady’s friends. Brady is besties with this doctor named Alex, who is super single and I’ve offered to wing woman for. He’s cute and nerdy in a Brady kind of way. But not great with women, which I love about him.

I spent the majority of the night trying to scout of girls for Alex, who had the nerve to be picky. He’d be like, “I don’t like her hair,” and “She’s too big.” Like okay dude. Don’t be annoying.

Eventually we took our party back to Brady’s – Alex, Craig, Craig’s girlfriend and this annoying lawyer girl named Amy. She kept being like, “In law school we did this,” and “In law school this happened.” At one point in the evening, she started a sentence with, “When I was in law school,” for the one millionth time and I cut her off.

“Wait, you went to law school?!”

She looked at me like I am actually mentally handicapped.

They all smoked and we hung out until 4:45am. I woke up at 9am, curled into a ball on the armchair. Alex was passed out on the couch with a bag of Doritos on his chest. Brady wasn’t around and you know what the first thing I thought was? He’s probably in bed with Amy. Amy! Why would he even be in bed with her? I hate that my mind immediately goes there.

I found Brady sleeping on the bed in all of his clothes with Tucker. It was honestly so fucking adorable, I wish I would’ve taken a picture. I went to the side of the bed to wake him up and Brady opened one eye to look at me.

“Good morning, princess,” he greeted me groggily.

Brady never calls me any pet names and certainly not “princess” so y’all know what I thought? He must have another girl that he calls princess and it accidentally slipped out when he saw me.

We got up and cleaned and then I made smoothies and avo toast for us. We spent the majority of the day watching movies, eating and playing with Tucker. Toward the end of the day when I was thinking of packing up my things and going home, I decided to have a conversation with Brady. We were laying on the opposite ends of the couch with our legs intertwined with each other.

Brady was looking on his phone and I said, “So…” and he looked up. “Are we like back together? What are we doing?”

He looked confused. “What do you mean?”

I had to force myself not to get irritated. The question was clear. “I mean, are we friends hooking up or are we a couple?”

Brady grabbed my knee and it was actually so, so sweet coming from him. “No, we are more than friends. I hope.”

“So we are back together then,” I said.

“I don’t think we should force ourselves into anything. I don’t want to do that,” he said.

“You don’t want to force anything?” I echoed, trying to comprehend what that even meant.

“I just think the way we have been recently is perfect. I don’t want things to go haywire…again.”

I just stared at him for a moment, not even sure how to take that. When were things ever haywire? Brady started to say something else, but I started speaking at the same time and he let me finish.

“Are you seeing any other girls?”

“No…”

I waited a moment for him to complete his answer, but that was it.

“And you don’t want to? You just want to be with me?”

“Correct.”

“But you don’t want to force anything.”

“Can we just have fun without the pressure? I don’t want to fight with you about getting married. I just want to be with you.”

And even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, it was sweet and I knew Brady was being open and honest which he never used to be. I appreciated that.

“Okay.”

I was just thinking, “We are getting older and can’t be just having fun anymore.” But I wasn’t about to have that argument.

“I’m sorry. I want things to be better now than they were before,” he said.

“We have to communicate better, that’s the biggest thing,” I said.

Brady nodded.

“Meaning if you are going to hang out with your friends until 4am instead of hanging out with me like we planned, you should let me know.”

“Okay. I can do that. That won’t happen again.”

“Just like, don’t give me a reason to be mad.”

Brady smirked. “I don’t try to. No one wants to be on your bad side.”

The whole “I don’t want to force anything” comment didn’t sit well with me, but I was glad that Brady was honest about wanting to be with me and not any other girls. 

The next morning, I was sitting at my desk getting ready to begin my day and Brady texted me.

“Miss you,” he said.

I replied, “Just to be clear, you’re not interested in getting married?”

He didn’t respond for a while and I was kind of afraid that I’d pushed the wrong button.

About an hour later, Brady said, “I don’t want to spoil our relationship by focusing too much on marriage. If it happens naturally then great. I’m sorry if that’s not the answer you want to hear, but I think if we try it this way we will both be much more happy.”

I was just excited that he used the word “relationship.” I didn’t realize I even wanted that. And as much as I didn’t want to admit, he is probably right. 

Later on in the day, I wanted to make myself a bit more miserable so I asked Brady to tell me about the girls he dated while we weren’t together.

“Really, Reese? Does it matter?” he said back.

And I guess it really didn’t, but I still said, “Yes.”

He claimed he had drinks once with Aisha, but she was “crazy” and “clingy” and they never hung out again. And then there was the girl who he went on a date to the steakhouse with – someone he met through a coworker. No chemistry and they didn’t hang out again. And that was it, he said. I wanted to ask how many girls he hooked up with/who, but I knew that it would actually upset me. And honestly, does it matter?

Brady was super sweet and attentive all week, making sure to always check in and let me know when he was getting off and what he was doing. Don’t ask me why or how it happened, but he even paid off my credit cards. I no longer have credit card debt. It was so generous of him. 

On Saturday, we woke up and made a shopping list for the grocery store. As we walked through the aisles, Brady was texting and on his phone more than normal. I started getting really irritated then I thought maybe he’s texting Hunter or Alex to talk about sports or something. And then his phone rang.
“Hey, how are you?” Brady answered. “No, no problem. What’s the issue?”

He stood there with a pensive look on his face and one hand in his pocket.

“Oh, that’s tough. I’m sorry that happened to you. Is Steven there?”

“Are you able to get into the database or do you not have access? I can give you my log in information, no problem.”

Brady walked away until he was out of the aisle and out of sight. Like why would you walk away? It’s not like I cared about his log in information or would be able to do anything with it. I continued shopping alone, picking up things for breakfast and dinner and lunches for work. I found Brady in the international foods aisle, trying to pick out rice. He was still on the phone though.

“Yeah, I’m a bit frustrated by it too, but once we get consistent, it’ll be better.” He glanced up and saw me. “Well, I’m glad I could help, Sydney. No problem at all. Have a good rest of your weekend.”

Brady hung up the phone.

“Who was on the phone?” I asked innocently. I felt one of my eyes twitch.

“My coworker. Things always fall apart on the weekends,” he said.

So naturally I went home and scoured LinkedIn until I found this Sydney (I couldn’t find her on Facebook). She’s an intern at Brady’s hospital. I vaguely remember Brady telling me that he’s taken on a lot more responsibility at work and I wondered if that includes training the interns. Her profile picture is a half body shot with her wearing a tight cobalt blue dress under a white coat. The picture is too small and grainy to tell if she’s pretty, but she does have a hot little body and long dark hair.

So now I’m worried about Sydney and I fucking hate it. I think about how often Brady stays late at work, but then comes home and works. Meaning he’s probably not actually staying late – he’s probably wining and dining Sydney or hooking up with her in broom closets and then comes home and actually has to do his work.

And I feel like if I can’t even trust him at work then I have no business being with him and/or I need serious help.

Love y’all! 

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