up each other’s butts.

They wanted to send Monica off with goodbye drinks at a bar near the office on Friday. Initially I wasn’t going to go, but after everyone asked me five thousand times if I was going, I finally said yes. Fine. I’d grace them all with my presence. I even invited Brady.

He texted me on Friday morning asking what my plan for the evening was and I told him and then let him know that he could tag along with me. I haven’t showed Brady off to my current coworkers and I figured maybe it was time. However, as I stood at the bar with Scott and Monica drinking my dirty martini , I suddenly realized why Brady likes to keep his work life and personal life separate. I didn’t want anyone talking to him or asking him anything. I could just imagine Julie accidentally spilling the beans about me and Scott. Remember when Stacey met Brady and she told him that I don’t do any work and tried to make me look bad? I could see that happening again.

I was so busy worrying about Brady meeting everyone, but then I heard Scott start complaining about his wife. And that was something my nosy ass wanted to hear about.

“Ever since the princess arrived, we’ve been fighting about everything. Whether it be who uses the car or how well the steak is done, everything ends up in an argument,” Scott said.

Scott calling his baby “princess” kind of touched my heart.

“Do you think it’s just stress from the baby or do you think it’s something else?” Monica asked.

He saw me tuning in so he said, “Things haven’t been good between us in quite some time. A child obviously hasn’t helped things.”

I could not even help myself. “If things weren’t good then why did you have a baby?”

“If I had an answer for you, Reese, I’d tell you along with everyone else asking,” Scott said.

I rolled my eyes at him.

“Marriage is harder than I could ever explain to you. It’s such a weird thing,” he continued.

“You see, I don’t get that. Like of course it’s hard. Did someone tell you it was going to be easy? Don’t get married and don’t lead a woman on and have a baby if you aren’t ready,” I said. I was thinking mostly about myself at this point.

“No one told me it would be easy. I’m sorry if I offended you,” Scott said.

“I’m not offended, I’m just calling you on your bullshit,” I said.

Scott nodded shamefully.

“I don’t understand why it’s hard,” Monica said. “If you’re both willing to compromise then it shouldn’t be that hard. I had a hard time with that when I first got with my boyfriend, but now we are good. We hardly ever fight.”

I could remember at least three times where Monica came in bitching about her boyfriend and them fighting because she’s too emotional and threatening to leave him if he doesn’t propose. He still hasn’t though.

When Brady arrived, I was getting my fourth martini after talking with Scott for an hour. We were mostly talking about work and my new position, but he would occasionally throw in comments about how he thinks we should hang out outside of the office. Brady strolled in wearing his coat and laptop bag and I literally squealed with excitement. It was actually kind of strange seeing him there with his work bag and stuff. He looked like a little businessman.

“You must be the infamous Brady!” Scott greeted him when he walked over.

I glared at him for making such a scene.

“And you’re the infamous Scott,” Brady deadpanned.

“Infamous, am I?” Scott said, wiggling his eyebrows at me.

“Relax. He was being sarcastic,” I said, rolling my eyes. Then I grabbed Brady so he could grab a drink at the bar.

“Is that how you always speak to your boss?” Brady asked.

“Yeah. He likes it,” I replied.

We got Brady a beer and then headed back to the group. I was pleasantly surprised when he and Scott started talking about baseball and went into a full in-depth conversation about different teams and players. So I felt like I didn’t need to mediate or anything.

Julie came over to me and said, “Isn’t it awkward having your boyfriend and Scott here?”

“No. Why would it be?” I shot back.

She gave me a knowing little smirk. “Don’t play stupid, Reese. Everyone knows everything! Why are you embarrassed?”

“I’m not, I just really wish you’d stop bringing that up.” I was practically pleading with her at this point – Brady was just a few feet away and I didn’t need him overhearing the girl teasing me about hooking up with Scott. Obviously he could probably make some assumptions on his own, but I didn’t need Julie confirming anything.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it bothered you,” she said innocently.

“It’s just inappropriate. You know that.”

“Right. I’m sorry, Reese.”

When I rejoined Brady and Scott, I discovered they were talking about me.

“Reese really wanted a dog for a long time, but I was hesitant due to our busy work schedules,” Brady was saying.

“That’s my main concern. I know I’d be the one primarily taking care of it and I do work long hours too. Reese will tell you,” Scott said.

“You aren’t thinking of getting a dog, are you?” I asked.

“Actually I am. I was researching French bulldogs,” Scott replied.

“Do you really think it’s a good time in your life to get a dog?” I had to ask. Then I turned to Brady. “Scott just had a baby with his estranged wife.”

Brady gave me a look that told me he was neither impressed nor amused by the info.

“But anywayyyy, who’s ready for another round?”

Scott pointed to his empty pint glass. I skipped over to the bar and ordered two beers and a martini on Scott’s tab. I got back to our area and Brady and Scott were still engrossed in conversation. I wondered why no one was paying attention to me. Like they were so into each other and talking about nothing like I wasn’t even there. Normally I would’ve said something off the wall just to refocus their attention, but now that I’ve been promoted, I have to be more professional and mature, right?

So I just stood there sipping my drink and watched them continue talking. And watched when Monica and her boyfriend came over to chat and ordered wings for the group. Scott finished his drink before the rest of us and left to go to the bar and Brady walked over to me.

“Hey, are you having a good time? You’re so quiet,” he said.

“I’m fine. I’m just bored. We can leave whenever you’re ready,” I said.

“Oh,” Brady looked surprised. “Okay. I’ll just close out my tab.”

Scott and Brady came back to the group together and I said something silly and snarky to Scott. I can’t even remember what I said, but on our way out, Brady said, “Scott is actually a very good guy. Do you think you should be a little nicer to him?”

Excuse me? They talked about sports for two hours and that was enough to determine that he was a “very good guy?” Brady had no idea what had happened there and if he wasn’t careful, I was going to enlighten him.

“Yeah, okay. He really deserves for me to be nicer,” I said, rolling my eyes.

We got an Uber back to Brady’s and he let me know that Alex was coming over. The three of us sat in the basement drinking and talking. At one point, Alex said something like, “Emily is having something for her birthday, probably gonna have people over.” And then he just kind of stopped abruptly. I realized that Brady was shaking his head slightly like he wanted Alex to stop talking.

“But yeah, anyway, we will see. Today was so exhausting,” Alex continued.

What the hell? Why would Brady want to hide that Emily (Alex’s friend) was having people over or whatever? Did he want to go and not invite me? Because that’s what it sounded like. I glared at him for a few minutes before getting up to make food in the kitchen. I checked my phone and saw that Scott had texted me.

He said, “Brady is a good guy for you. I’m glad you’re happy with him.”

The two of them must have had some crazy compelling conversation that made them both so obsessed with each other and up each other’s butts. I replied, “Thanks. I think so too,” even though I was ready to strangle Brady.

He came and found me in the dining room a little while later after Alex had left.

“Are you okay?” Brady asked as I chomped on my carrots and hummus.

“I don’t know,” I said truthfully. “What’s with you lately? You’re so weird and secretive and I can’t stand it.”

“What do you mean?” Brady said, sitting down.

I mean, you shook your head at Alex so he would stop talking about that get together. And you’re always going to dinners and having plans without me and I just think that’s weird because I literally include you in everything,” I explained.

“I’m sorry. I’ll invite you to more things if you want,” he said.

“No! I want you to want to invite me. I want you to like me as much as I like you.”

“I guess I just thought because you do things with Preston and Lexi that I’m not invited to, you wanted me to do things on my own also.”

“Uh, no! I only hang out with them when you ditch me. I know you have no interest in hanging out with those two. I don’t even know the last time I saw Preston!” I said back.

“Okay. I didn’t realize I was doing anything different than what you’re doing. I’m sorry,” Brady said.

“Yeah, well. If this is how you’re going to be then I have no interest. I’d rather be alone.”

He blinked a bit like he was surprised. I kind of was too. I hadn’t meant to be so harsh, but his little headshaking thing to Alex really pissed me off.

“I understand. I’ll be more considerate of you,” Brady said.

“Great. I will be too,” I replied.

The next morning, I felt like I needed a new wardrobe for my new job so I got online and ordered a boat load of stuff from Nordstrom, Barneys, Revolve, and Anthropologie. I got blazers, shells, pants, skirts, a couple pairs of heels and a big bag to carry all of my important work stuff in.

Brady woke up early and went to the gym with Lindsey and I got this crazy urge to snoop through his things. I haven’t snooped in so long and I just wanted to. Maybe I’d find something that would tell me why he’s so weird lately.

He has this huge cabinet in the dining room that has shelves of knick knacks on top, but locked drawers on bottom. I know he keeps important documents in the locked part, but I guess I didn’t realize that he doesn’t actually lock them.

So I sat my ass in front of the cabinet and started with the bottom drawer. I found paperwork about all of his bills, his mortgage statements (wow), work he’s had done on the house, various receipts, etc. It was all organized and labeled in file folders and it was so cute. I need to do that to all my paperwork at home too. The next drawer had stuff from work, health insurance and doctor visit stuff and all of his previous years’ tax documents. Now this was what I was excited to see. I pulled out all the folders and spread them out in front of me. Every folder was labeled with the year and I started with the most recent one first. I flipped through all of them to see how Brady’s income has changed over the years. I reached back in and grabbed the folder labeled “Doctor Visits 2010-2016.”

There was nothing exciting in that folder so I kept pulling out folders from the drawer. One of the folders way in the back had no label, but looked super full. I pulled it out and a card fell out of the side. The red envelope said, “My love.” My ears started getting hot because I was so excited.

I opened the card and the front had glittery white snowflakes on it and the inside had this long handwritten message. It was like, “I can’t believe fate brought us together. Our souls are meant for each other. I can’t imagine life without you,” blah blah blah. It was really sappy and poetic and even though it was signed, “Your one and only,” I knew exactly who it was from. It was gross.

There was also a small picture of Anna, black and white, wearing a silky slip with her hair up. It looked like one of those professional pictures that was supposed to look amateur. She had on glasses and I couldn’t really tell how old the picture was. She always looks exactly the same to me. There was another small notecard that said, “Good luck today. You are a hero. -Your biggest fan.” Same handwriting. There were a ton of handwritten cards like that signed silly things like that or with Anna’s initials. I’m super surprised that Brady kept them all.

I was so deeply engrossed in my findings that I didn’t notice when Tucker got up to greet Brady at the door from the garage and only heard when the two of them started up the stairs to the living area. I heard Brady say, “Did you miss me, buddy?” and it was closer than I needed it to be. I didn’t have time to neatly put the folders back in the drawer like I found them and had to shove them all under the cabinet before Brady caught me snooping. I shut the now empty drawer and rushed to the living room to greet him.

“Hey. How was your workout?” I asked as Brady jogged up the stairs.

“Fine. Lindsey always likes to go hard so she kind of kicked my ass. Felt good though,” he said. “What have you been up to? Have you eaten?”

I suddenly felt terrible about invading his privacy and reading all of his personal, disgusting love letters from Anna.

“I haven’t eaten. I was waiting for you because I knew you’d be hungry,” I said.

We made a quick lunch and ate in the dining room. I could barely even talk because I had so much anxiety about Brady noticing the folders under the cabinet or thinking something was out of place. After we finished eating, I told Brady that I’d clean up and he should go shower.

“Wow, do I smell that bad?” he asked jokingly.

I laughed, but shooed him off and then I put all of the folders back where I found them and closed that chapter of my life.

That evening, John wanted to take Kendra out for her birthday and I agreed to babysit their little angel, Mia, so they could have an adult night out. And Brady agreed to come with me. Their daughter is about a year old and she was is the sweetest ever. Whenever I come over, she’s excited to play with me and pull on my jewelry and giggle at everything I do. So I was excited for an evening with her.

The moment Kendra and John walked out the door and shut it, she started screaming at the top of her lungs. Like not crying, screaming.

“Mia,” I said calmly. “They’ll be back.”

She ran to the door in her little Zara sneakers and threw herself against it. I followed her and picked her up and she tried to wiggle out of my arms to get back to the door.

“Oh my God,” I mumbled. The little tyke was probably less than twenty pounds, but she was strong and kicking and loud.

Brady was standing nearby and reached out to grab her from me. “Here, let me see. You’re okay, aren’t you, Mia? You’re just not used to us.”

And when she realized that Brady was holding her, the little brat started straightening up and quieting down. She looked at Brady and back and me and stuck a finger in her mouth.

“You don’t even have any tears! You put on that whole show for nothing!” I exclaimed.

“I’m sure she learned that from her godmother,” Brady said.

I glared at him. He stood there and held her until she calmed down and started trying to climb down. Once she got down she started running around gathering toys.

“She’s fine,” Brady announced. She brought a doll to him and made a grunting noise that meant she wanted him to take it. I quickly snapped a picture of Brady, Mia and the doll because it was adorable.

The two of them sat on the floor and started playing and I felt left out so I joined the group and grabbed a toy. Mia watched me sit down and looked back and forth at me and the toy a few times. She gave me a look that said, “Fine. You can play with that one,” and went back over to play with her new boyfriend, Brady.

Kendra told me that Mia should be in bed by 8:00pm so that gave her about half an hour to play. She was in love with Brady and kept giving him toys and giggling and running to him and away from him. And he was sweet and patient and was playing with her back. I just watched and documented everything.

At 8:00, I announced that it was bed time. Mia ignored me and continued playing and running. I went to pick her up and she screamed and kicked Brady in retaliation. She squealed and kicked like a little pig for a minute before breaking into a full on cry. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that every night.

“Mia, you’re gonna hurt yourself,” I told her.

“Maybe she can stay up a little longer tonight. It’s a special circumstance, right?” Brady suggested.

“I don’t know. Kendra made it seem like if she didn’t go to bed at 8, it would throw her off a routine,” I said.

Brady grabbed the little devil child from my arms and told her we could watch a movie. We all sat on the couch watching Zootopia and to my surprise, she fell asleep in Brady’s arms. The little runt knew exactly what she was doing. We carried her upstairs to her crib and she slept peacefully the whole way there.

“Do you want one of these little creatures?” I asked Brady as we watched her sleeping like a peaceful angel in her crib. After the emotional roller coaster she put me through all evening, I was second guessing everything.

“Yeah,” Brady said and then looked at me. “Don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

We went back to the living room and cleaned up all the toys she threw around and watched tv until Kendra and John came back. We had actually fallen asleep because they didn’t get home until 3:00am. But they deserved a night out so I didn’t mind. And I kind of miss Mia now. Maybe next time I won’t invite Brady so he can’t steal my shine.

This week, Scott was traveling for work and it was my first week on my own in my new role. On Wednesday, one of the VPs from New York just randomly popped in the office unannounced. I was sitting in the office replying to emails when Madeline from reception sent me a text that this bigwig had arrived. And I didn’t want this lady walking around seeing anything or talking to anyone so I hoped up to greet her and distract her.

Scott called me later when he got wind that the lady had stopped by. And he was not happy.

“Why didn’t I hear this from you, Reese? Everyone else has texted and called me telling me that Leslie came and I haven’t heard anything from you,” he said.

“I’ve been busy, like super busy. I meant to text you,” I said.

“You aren’t allowed to be too busy to keep in contact with me. It’s unacceptable. I told you that I want you to take this role seriously and I meant it,” he went on.

I’ve seen Scott get really stern and serious, but not with me. So I was a little taken aback, but determined to redeem myself. As much as Scott gets on my nerves, I don’t want to let him down or let him think that he made a mistake promoting me.

Brady made plans to volunteer tomorrow and actually invited me to come. I was so shocked to be invited that I said yes.

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maybe i can finally save money.

I got a strange email the other day. Mike left kind of abruptly. He told us on a Monday that Thursday would be his last day. So there was no going away party or any goodbyes or exchanging information to stay in touch, he really just left.

And I was really surprised when Mike’s name popped up in my work inbox. The email said: “Reese, I just want to make sure we have each other’s contact information. I’d like to stay in touch. Here’s my number and email.”

We already had each other’s phone numbers and email so it was weird that he would say that. And also weird that he wanted to stay in contact. It’s not like we were super close when we worked together or anything (I didn’t even think he liked me).

I sent a picture of the email to Brady and said, “What do I say?”

“Just thank him for the information and move on. I’m sure it’s harmless,” Brady said back.

So I did exactly that.

Scott has really been prepping me for the new job – even doing mock interview questions with me. And surprisingly, all of his help has been making me want the job. I thought the opposite would happen. Apparently the New York people asked him a ton of questions about me before he even threw my name in the hat and wanted to know about my interest level. But I was under the impression that they still needed to interview me.

Lexi texted me telling me about this guy she met – a chef at a restaurant here in Chicago – and she wanted me to meet him. So the plan was to go with his restaurant and then he’d make an appearance at the bar and have a drink with us. We invited Alyssa to come with us and we met at Lexi’s apartment before Ubering to the restaurant. Alyssa had already met the chef, but wasn’t sure about him and was eager to hear my opinion. Honestly, anyone who wasn’t my boyfriend’s married brother I approved of.

After we finished our (phenomenal, superb, perfect, divine, etc) meal, a skinny little guy with a weird hipster mustache sauntered over to our table. He was probably 5’5” and 20 pounds lighter than me with a man bun and big round frame glasses.

“Victor!” Lexi moaned and jumped up to hug him.

I watched as they hugged and she pulled away and kissed him then turned to us.

“Reese, this is Chef Victor,” she said.

“Hi, Chef Victor,” I said. I stood up to greet him and he seemed bored with me already.

“Babe, I was telling Reese about your restaurant you want to open and she loves it. She’s so into that kind of stuff,” Lexi said.

Victor gave Lexi and me the most unamused smirk. “Cool.”

I wanted to smack him. Lexi had told me about his silly little restaurant idea where there wouldn’t be a menu just a series of questions about what mood you are in that the chef will use to decide what to serve you. It was basically a real life Buzzfeed quiz and he didn’t even appreciate my fake support.

He stayed and had a beer with us and then insisted he needed to go test recipes with another chef. They needed to come up with new and innovative ideas for the new restaurant he told us.

As we were walking out, Lexi asked, “So what did you think?”

Recently, I realized it doesn’t matter what I think of someone else’s boyfriend. I don’t have to date them. I remember I used to give so much unsolicited advice and opinions to my friends about their men and like, how annoying. Like Kendra’s husband John, after he cheated on her, I couldn’t stand him and would always talk shit about him and tell Kendra she deserved better. And now look at how happy she is. What do I know?

“If you’re happy then I’m happy for you,” I said.

“So you hate him too,” Alyssa said. “I knew you would.”

“Alyssa,” I said disapprovingly, sounding like a teacher.

“Lexi can do better!” she whined.

I really wanted to say, “Would you rather her be with a married man who actually has no real interest in her?” but I didn’t. That’s mean.

Scott and I had a meeting so I could go over the business strategy I created for the job. He asked me a ton of probing, hypothetical questions that I could possibly be asked – just to get me thinking. And it was stuff I’ve never even thought about so it was helpful. Afterward, Scott suggested we go grab lunch.

“So I just want to talk to you about something,” Scott said after we sat down with sandwiches and soup.

“Okay.”

“The job is yours if you want it. Everyone already knows you and the only approval we need is mine.”

I blinked.

“But before you say yes, I want to set some expectations.”

“I’d love to hear them,” I said, trying not to sound sarcastic.

“You’re probably one of the hardest working people in the Chicago office. I don’t want that to change. I want you to continue doing everything you’ve done to get where you are now.”

I nodded.

“And I want you to take this seriously. Everything you say, everything you do, every decision you make, it’ll have an impact on this business. I want you to understand that.”

Scott has a tendency to be a bit dramatic and I knew he probably didn’t have this same conversation with Monica when she was promoted. But I knew he was right.

“I know, Scott. But that’s what I want. I want to impact that business. That’s why I’m here!”

“This is a big job that I know you can do and be successful in. And I want that for you. If you want it.”

“Well, I’m going to have to think about it obviously,” I said.

Scott’s eyes lit up. “And here’s how much I’m offering you, if you take the job.” He pulled out his phone and typed something into his Notes then turned it around to show me. The amount was about $32,000 more than I’m currently making. It made me wonder if I’m even worth that much. I started having visions of all the things I could do with a new higher salary, like more vacations and actually saving enough money to buy a condo. “I’ll send you an offer letter today and I want you to take the night to think it over before you sign it.”

When I got back to the office, I texted Brady saying, “I was just offered a promotion I think.”

“Congratulations! Let’s celebrate this weekend,” Brady said.

Brady’s new thing is to only hang out with me on the weekends now. I won’t hear from him at all during the week (unless I reach out to him) and then come Friday night, he’s obsessed with me and is super sweet and attentive and makes plans for our future. It’s so weird and frustrating.

I called him after work though because I wanted advice. I explained to him everything Scott said.

“So I don’t know. This is what I want, I think, but what if I’m not ready? Like what if I’m not good?” I said.

“Why wouldn’t you be good? You’ve done this for years. You will be great,” Brady said back.

“You think so?” I loved that he thought I’d be good, even though I can be dumb and irresponsible.

“Of course. And Scott isn’t going to offer you a job he doesn’t think you’re capable of. I don’t know why you’re doubting yourself. You know you’re amazing at what you do.”

“You’re so right,” I realized.

“How much did they offer you?” Brady asked.

I told him and he said, “You should counter and ask for a little more. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.”

“Really?” I thought asking for more money seemed a little greedy.

“Yes. You’ll have a ton more responsibility and be doing so much more. If Scott really thinks you’re worth it, he will do it.”

So the next afternoon after lunch, I stopped by Scott’s office. I hadn’t heard from him or seen him since our lunch meeting and I was actually surprised that he hadn’t reached out at all.

“Heya, Reese! How’s your day?” he greeted me.

“Hey. Can we talk?” I said.

“Of course. Close the door.”

I closed the door and sat. “So I’ve been thinking. And I think I want to take the job.”

“That’s great news!” Scott exclaimed.

“But I think I’d like to negotiate the salary,” I continued.

Scott looked surprised. “Oh? How much do you want?”

I actually hadn’t even thought about an amount. I just followed Brady’s instructions to ask for more. I wished he was there to tell me how much was appropriate.

“Well, I’ll let you decide that. However much you think I’m worth. I’m coming upon my two year anniversary here and I’ve done a lot. I even helped out with Monica when she was chosen over me last time. Just keep that in mind,” I said.

“Let me sit down and look at some numbers and then I’ll get back to you this afternoon. You know I would give you a million dollars if I could, Reese. You’re worth so much more than I can ever offer you,” he said.

I rolled my eyes and got up to leave, but I’ll admit, I smiled a little too hard on my way out. Scott sent me a revised offer letter right before I left for the day, offering me $2,000 more than the first offer. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it was still more. And I took it without consulting with Brady first.

So I’ve officially been promoted. I had a week of training with Scott, but I haven’t officially started in my new role yet. He keeps emphasizing that he wants me to take my role seriously and he wants me to continue working hard. Now I’m in charge of global sales, product development and vendor relationships. I’ll have four teams under me and I’ve already asked Scott for an assistant. Like it’s a lot of work and I want to be good at it, unlike Monica. Sure, she left because she found a new job, but she was looking for a new job because she couldn’t handle the pressure.

On Sunday night, I asked Brady what he wanted to do for Valentine’s Day.

“Oh, when is it?” he asked, looking confused.

“Wednesday. I can’t believe you haven’t planned anything for me yet,” I said.

“Wednesday. I completely forgot honestly. I don’t know if I’ll get off work in time to do anything. We can celebrate next weekend though, if you want?”

After him avoiding me during the week for two weeks, I was furious.

“Seriously? It’s one day out of the week and you know how important Valentine’s Day is to me. It’s not like I’m asking for a lot, it’s literally just one night I want to spend with you,” I said.

“Okay, okay. I don’t know if I can, but I’ll try to get off early that day,” Brady said, sounding frustrated with me. And then I was mad at him for being frustrated.

I assumed Brady wasn’t going to be able to get the night off or wouldn’t even try, so I had to look around for other plans. Literally all of my other friends are coupled off so that didn’t leave me many options. But Brady texted me on Tuesday night asking if I would more in the mood for Italian or steak. Steak obviously.

He ended up taking me to one of my favorite steakhouses in Chicago – I’m actually super surprised that he was able to get a reservation on Valentine’s Day. It made me wonder if he actually made the reservation months ago and the whole “I don’t know if I can get off work” was an act. But he also got me a gift card as a gift which seemed last minute to me. Brady usually takes pride in picking out gifts for me.

I don’t know about Brady. Like, I love him and I love when are together, but the way our relationship is not what I want. I want to do everything together and I feel like these days I never know if we are going to hang out or if he has other plans or if he will be working late. I don’t like having so much doubt. It’s getting to the point that I don’t even want to ask to see him because I don’t want to get rejected. I don’t like not knowing if he actually likes me or just likes me when it’s convenient (like on the weekends). Sometimes he makes me feel so amazing and special and sometimes he makes me feel like he doesn’t even think about me. It’s so strange and I don’t like feeling like this.

Kendra and John are going out on a date this weekend and asked me to babysit. I am honestly so excited about it, especially since I talked Brady into helping me. I can’t wait to see him with the baby.

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why are you being so nice?

Brady and I wanted to take a vacation that wasn’t your typical lay on the beach and drink for five days straight vacation. We wanted to do something different. One of my coworkers just got back from a ski trip in Utah so I told Brady I wanted to go skiing.

We decided on Aspen – since we were gonna do it, we wanted to do it the bougie way. I remember going to Aspen once when I was in the fifth grade with my parents, but I got to the top of the ski hill and I was too afraid to go down and cried and had to be rescued. I thought now was a good time to redeem myself.

For the trip, I needed some new things so I went into Barney’s and let my favorite sales associate deck me out in the warmest, most stylish items she could find. I got a Moncler, a faux fur scarf, wool socks, ear muffs and the cutest booties I just couldn’t leave without. I’m glad Brady offered to pay for the trip himself because my total at Barney’s almost made me vomit.

The beginning of our journey to Colorado felt really weird – like we were two people traveling together who didn’t even know each other. Like it just felt really distant despite my efforts to be fun and get him to be fun with me. I blamed it on it being early. But after a couple of in flight naps, things seem to go back to normal. Brady just went skiing in Vermont recently and told me some stories about that. I was enjoying trying to imagine his mom skiing and falling.

We got a shuttle from the little airport to our bomb ass Airbnb. Like, I’d move to Aspen just to live in that house. It was situated in the middle of the woods with huge windows everywhere. Both of the bedrooms were lofted and the master led out to the balcony where there was a hot tub and a little wine cellar. The décor was really dark and modern and super woodsy. It made me want to put on a set of plaid flannel pajamas and warm socks with a glass of like scotch or something.

We put down our stuff and changed so we could go explore. I’d done my research and found out that there are tons of shopping options in Aspen so that’s what I wanted to do first. We ventured to one shopping area and went in and out of stores with our coffee and tea. I was obsessed with all the local shops and told Brady that I wanted to quit my job and move to Aspen to open a home store. He laughed, but I wasn’t really kidding.

We found a tiny little cabin restaurant to have dinner in and got salads, soup, wine and Moscow mules. Everyone was super, super nice and we met this good looking older couple, Lisa and Kevin. Loved them so much. They have a vacation house in Aspen, but live in San Diego full time. So they said they’d show us around the nightlife.

Our next stop was a cute little cocktail lounge. I was suddenly annoyed with myself for wearing just wearing jeans and riding boots because Lisa had on heeled booties with her fur bomber and she looked so cool. Kevin is a shot guy and encouraged three rounds of shots upon entering. I realized that I’m too old to be taking shots at the bar anymore. My poor tummy can’t take it.

Lisa told me all about their life in San Diego. Kevin works as a cardiologist and Lisa sells Lipsense. She describes herself as an entrepreneur which I think is a bit of a stretch, but that’s fine.

We went home around midnight because we were all tired. But we told Lisa and Kevin we’d meet up with them after breakfast the next day.

When we got back to the cabin, Brady made us drinks and we sat in the living room watching tv. It looked so cool with all the windows and trees and snow. He started being really sweet randomly like, “I always miss you when I’m not with you.” And I didn’t even know what to say so I just said, “Aww.” The both of us are so terrible at expressing any kind of emotion and since we never do, we don’t know even know how to. It’s kind of sad actually.

I even said, “Why are you being so nice?” and then he stopped.

The next morning, we walked and got breakfast and by then, Brady was itching to get out on the slopes. There was all this drama around getting all of our gear and then riding the lift to the top of the mountain. And then I told Brady that he and Kevin should warm up without us so Lisa and I could drink hot chocolate and Bailey’s.

I actually didn’t end up actually skiing until the second to last day of our trip. There was just so much else to do like get my nails done, drink my weight in all of the local and imported wine, eat twice my weight in cheese, ask Lisa for marriage advice, make Brady take pictures of me all over the cabin, etc. Brady was convinced I was afraid and wouldn’t go up there, but finally I put on all my gear and I skied. Well, I went down once, got embarrassed, dirty and scared and I didn’t try it again.

But I had a great time in Aspen and will go back. And it was nice to be with Brady for a week without any drama and when we got back to Chicago, we went back to his place to spend the weekend together. It still felt like the Jill thing was lingering even though we squashed it. The thought of Jill and Brady talking and flirting made me itch. Every time Brady’s phone vibrated it made me anxious. When we were in Aspen, I had a distraction, but back in Chicago, all those awful feelings suddenly came crashing back.

We got back to the city on Friday morning and of course, Brady wanted to rush to work to see what he’d missed. I was exhausted from all the skiing I didn’t do. So I took the longest shower of my life then got in bed with Tucker.

When I woke up, I had nine emails from Scott. Eight of them were about business, but the last one said:

“I wanted to be the first to talk to you about this. Monica just put in her notice. She accepted a position at another company that is more in line with her career path. Would you be interested in interviewing for her current job? Let me know.”

First of all, interview? Was I not a shoe in after training Monica and basically helping her do her job for months? And maybe I’m just a bitter, petty bitch with too much pride, but after all that I didn’t even want the job.

So I replied, “I’ll have to let you know about that.”

I went home and spent the day catching up on laundry and housework and then packed a weekend bag so I could go to Brady’s. In the Uber there, I found a new restaurant on Instagram that looked good so I texted Brady a screenshot and asked if he wanted to try it for dinner.

He said, “I already have dinner plans tonight. We could go tomorrow or Sunday.”

How could he already have dinner plans? What the fuck? With who? I went back and forth between demanding some answers and just not responding. It’s just so weird. I wasn’t upset that Brady had plans with someone other than me, but it was just strange that he didn’t mention them until I brought it up. But I’m so chill these days. A few years ago I would’ve blown up like a psychopath, but I kind of felt like if he had dinner plans then I needed my own plans too.

So I texted Lexi, “Where are we drinking tonight?”

She replied, “So glad you asked. Let’s do wine and dinner at the winery and then we go to the bar. Meet at my place at 7:30!”

By the time I called an Uber to go to Lexi’s, Brady still hadn’t come home from work. I texted him, “I’m going out with Lexi. See you later tonight.”

And he immediately read my message and didn’t say anything back. What the fuck ever, dude.

We started at the winery and immediately started with a bottle of rosé and a charc board. I’m vegetarian at the moment so I just nibbled on the crackers and cheese. Lexi was disappointed that there was no one good at the winery (aka no one came over to hit on her) so she texted some friends and found a bar we could go to.

In the Uber to the next place, I checked my phone to see if Brady texted me. He hadn’t so I got on Instagram. I was just mindlessly flipping though the stories when a video made me stop. It was Nick and he was spinning a girl around and then kissing her. The caption was, “The most beautiful girl in the world.” With all the spinning, I couldn’t tell if she actually was, but it was so cheesy, I could’ve puked. Who even took that video and what made him think we, his followers, wanted to see it? But cute. Good for him.

At the next place, Lexi introduced me to a bunch of guys she knew (obviously) and we sat down and had drinks with them. They were typical douchey business boys who used super generic lines and Lexi ate it all up. I kept rolling my eyes as I drank my Paloma. After a couple drinks with them, they said they were going to a different bar, but I told Lexi I wanted to stay. I was enjoying the vibe of the place and the drinks were good. Plus I was sick of those boys.

A little while later, a bald guy came over to us. He looked a few years older than us, but was pretty good looking and dressed well.

“My friend and I want to come over and have a drink with you, if that’s okay?” he said after our initial greeting. He gestured to the friend, who was still sitting at the bar.

Before I could say anything, Lexi said, “Sure. There’s room here.”

So we chatted with those guys for a bit. One of them owns a flooring company and the other works for him so I actually had a lot to talk about with them. We exchanged business cards.

Eventually one of them asked, “What are you girls doing after this?”

Lexi and I looked at each other and she shrugged.

The owner guy said, “I’m inviting some people back to my condo. It isn’t far from here.”

“We’ll come!” Lexi exclaimed.

They paid our tab and then we got in a cab to their place. I gave Lexi a look while we sat in the backseat.

“What?” she whispered.

“Why do you always do this?” I whispered back. She shrugged and smiled, obviously loving where the night was going.

When we got to the condo there were already a ton of people there. I got a weird feeling about the whole situation like it was a big orgy waiting to happen. But it actually ended up being weirdly super fun. There was a piano and someone played all night and we all danced and socialized. I met so many people. Someone placed a food order so we were all eating sliders, fries, and mac and cheese at 3 am.

Before I knew it, it was 5:40 am. My eyes were burning and I kept yawning and finally I said, “Lexi, it’s 6 am. Let’s go.”

I could tell she still wanted to stay and mingle more (the party was still raging), but she still obliged and went around saying goodbye to all her new friends.

At this point, I didn’t know if I should stumble into Brady’s house at 6 am or just go home and pretend I wasn’t out that late. Not that he would even be able to judge me for staying out late, but he already thinks Lexi is a bad influence. And I didn’t want him to have any reason to second guess what I was doing when the night was honestly so innocent.

But I really wanted to sleep with Brady and wake up next to him so I could ask who he had dinner with. So I had the cab drop me off at Brady’s house. Tucker blew my cover by barking at the top of his lungs when I let myself in. When he realized it was me, he calmed down and rolled over so I could pet him. I took of my heels and padded to Brady’s room barefoot with Tucker in my arms. I was surprised to see Brady’s phone illuminating the room. He was awake.

“Hey,” I whispered.

Brady glanced at me and then back at his phone. “Hey.”

“I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“Not directly, but don’t worry about it.”

I got undressed and climbed into bed, snuggling next to Brady. He was rigid for a moment and then he put his phone down and put his arm around me.

“So how was dinner?” I asked.

“It was good,” he told me and I cut him off before he could elaborate.

“Who did you go with?”

“Just Alex and some people from work. It was someone’s birthday.”

“Was Sydney there?” I knew I shouldn’t have asked that, but I couldn’t help it. I really wanted to know.

“She was.”

“No wonder you didn’t invite me as your plus one!”

Brady didn’t say anything and we fell asleep. The rest of the weekend was uneventful. I bought some new furniture and rearranged/decorated my apartment. On Saturday night, Brady and I went to dinner and went back to his place to binge watch some tv. Lexi sent me videos on Snapchat from a bar, but I was not up for her shenanigans.

I’d forgotten about Scott’s email until I got to work on Monday and he stopped by my office.

“Hey there! Good morning!” he greeted me.

“Hi,” I replied back.

“Did you have a good weekend?” Scott asked, making himself comfortable.

“I did. Thanks for asking.”

“Glad to hear it.”

I gave him a look like, “Get to the point already.”

“I wanted to follow up on my email. About Monica’s position.”

“Okay…”

“I know you’ve interviewed before and I don’t want that to stop you from interviewing again. I think now is the right time for you to take on this role. I think you are the best and only candidate and I don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity because of what happened last time.”

It’s like he had read my mind and knew exactly how I was feeling.

“Why is now a better time than before?” I had to ask.

“Because I’ve been in my position longer. The two of us have always worked well together and now I can really mentor you into what you need to be to succeed. I think we can really make a huge impact, me and you.”

“I really just don’t want to do all this prepping and get my hopes up just to get told no again,” I said honestly.

“That won’t happen. Because I’m going to help you. Now is your time.”

So we spent the rest of the week coming up with a business strategy that I would present to the New York office once interviews started. I’m still not sure if I even want to interview, but I would kind of feel silly saying no and then just staying in my current job doing nothing. Monica officially put in her notice so interviews will start next week and Scott keeps emailing me to keep me in the loop even though I never actually said I wanted to do. So we will see what happens.

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