On Friday I visited my stylist for a seasonal highlight and trim session. I told him I wanted subtle ashy layers and about three inches chopped off for a more updated look. I’ll do something crazier in the summer. My phone started blowing up so much that I asked him to pause his work so I could see who was calling me. I figured someone died.
Scott had called me four times and sent me a text.
“Where are you?” he asked.
Scott wasn’t due back until the following week and I had just spoken to him the evening prior.
“A bit tied up at the moment. I’ll call you later,” I replied.
“I’m in the office. You don’t have any meetings or anything on your calendar at the moment so I’m a little confused as to where you are,” Scott said.
It’s like he knew I was standing there with foils in my head. I decided honestly was the best policy in this situation. No point in making up some elaborate story only to get caught later.
“I’m getting my hair done.”
“And you thought right now was a good time to do that?”
Before I could reply, “Yes,” Scott texted me again.
“When I need to get my hair cut, I go after work – not right in the middle of the day when people might potentially need me. I thought you’d make better decisions.”
I rolled my eyes. It was all so dramatic and unnecessary and typical Scott. I needed to apologize and grovel a little to make him happy.
“I’m sorry. I always get my hair done on a Friday in the middle of the day. I didn’t think it was a problem. If I would have known you were coming back today, I would’ve canceled my appointment. So sorry, Scott.”
I threw my phone back in bag and went back to the task at hand. I totally planned on going back to work after my hair appointment, but I didn’t get out of there until 6pm. So instead I texted Lexi to meet me at happy hour. We went to a bar in the Loop because she caught Chef Victor sending nudes to another girl and she wanted to meet new guys. My main concern is who wants to see Chef Victor’s nudes? He’s quite literally 80 pounds. His legs are probably the size of my arms.
The bar was packed and playing trap music. Lexi was salivating at all the suits over 6’0. Welcome back to the club. We got a little high top and ordered vegetarian tacos, sweet potato fries and a margarita pitcher. It didn’t take long for the boys to start flocking. Lexi hit off immediately with this startup guy who came over to our table with his startup friends all wearing button ups and khakis. You can always tell the people who work for startups. So business caj, emphasis on caj.
They talked us into going to the next bar with them. I hadn’t heard from Brady that he’d left work yet so I figured I could entertain these losers for a little while. All of them were trying to talk to me of course since I looked single. I just kept ordering food and drinks to keep myself busy. Finally I texted Brady the name of the bar and, “Come here now.”
He responded, “I didn’t plan on doing anything tonight since we have that thing tomorrow.”
What the fuck ever, dude. And I don’t know, I was a little irritated that he didn’t text me to ask to hang out or ask me to come over or anything. Sometimes it’s like if I don’t ask to hang out, then we won’t hang out.
So I threw my phone in my bag and decided not to text him again. By that point, I probably should’ve gone home, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could have fun without Brady. But I wasn’t having fun – the boys were boring and Lexi was being annoying.
Randomly she leaned over to me and said, “Reese, do you think Brady could get me Adderall?”
“Ugh, why?” I said, judging her.
“Hey, if you need Adderall, I’ve got you covered,” one of the guys said.
“That would be amazing! I really just need to be able to drive home later,” Lexi exclaimed excitedly.
The guy pulled a little baggie of pills out of his coat pocket and then proceeded to spill them all over the floor. He and Lexi scrambled to pick them up and I rolled my eyes and continued drinking. I remember Lexi and the guy talking A LOT like to the point where I got annoyed and walked away from them. They wouldn’t shut up and they were talking about literally nothing at all. I continued drinking like a fish, but really no more than usual.
I woke up at 9:00am in my bed in all my clothes. I felt like complete and utter ass. It took me a while to find my phone which was in my purse which was under my bathroom sink. I was supposed to go volunteering with Brady and he’d texted me a couple times.
“Are you up yet?”
“I can come and get you when you’re ready.”
And finally after I didn’t respond, he called me at 8:15. I texted back, “Sorry, I overslept. I’ll be there soon.”
I frantically jumped in the shower and got dressed. Brady had invited me to the volunteer event and I didn’t want to disappoint him by not showing up. And it was important to him and he wanted me there. I couldn’t miss it. I sat in front of toilet for a little while because I felt like I was going to vom and I had an awful headache. I chugged a bottle of water and sat my ass back in front of the toilet, but nothing would come up.
By the time I arrived, Brady hadn’t replied back to me. There was a lady checking the volunteers in and she seemed happy to see me and not upset that I was late. She was so nice.
“Just follow the hallway until you see the easel outside the double doors. Go on in,” she told me.
As I walked away, I saw a big table buffet set up filled with bagels, muffins, fresh fruit, etc that looked like it hadn’t been touched. In my mad dash to get out of the house, I hadn’t eaten anything and I realized that food would help my tummy.
“Can I have some food?” I asked the nice girl.
She must have seen the bags under my eyes or smelled the booze seeping out of my pores because she hesitated a moment before saying, “Um, sure. Help yourself.”
I scarfed down an everything bagel – dry, with nothing on it – then walked down there. The job was to pack food for needy families so we were working in a food bank warehouse full of food. I walked in and saw shelves and shelves of bread and canned goods. I started walking down the main aisle looking for Brady. There seemed to be a lot of volunteers there so I was surprised to find him alone in a smaller aisle with Sydney. It looked like they were pretending to be working, but were actually just talking.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I overslept,” I told Brady.
He looked over at me as I approached them. “Hey! I was wondering what happened to you.”
Sydney stepped from behind Brady wearing compression pants, sneakers, a super high ponytail and bright lip gloss. She smiled at me, but said nothing.
“Are you hungover?” Brady asked.
“I feel like I got drugged,” I replied and until I said it out loud, I didn’t realize it was true. I felt worse than my typical hangover and all of our drinks were just sitting out in the open. Who knows what could have happened.
Brady gave me a skeptical look. “Really?”
Sydney was still standing there looking at me and I stared at her blankly for about twenty seconds until she got the hint and turned around back to the food.
“I don’t know. I feel crappy and weird. I’m probably gonna go now,” I said to Brady.
“Yeah. I’ll talk to you later if I’m not dead.”
I turned and walked away then stood in the lobby area for a minute while I called an Uber to go back home. I fell asleep in the Uber and the driver had to wake me up when we got to my apartment.
A little while later, I woke up because someone was knocking on my door really hard. I was back asleep in my bed and I’d pulled the comforter all the way over my head so I could barely breathe. The knocking had become a part of my dream about being locked in one of the shopping malls back home.
I groaned as I walked to the door. My head was pounding and I felt even worse than before. Brady was standing there in running pants with shorts over them, workout shoes, a hoodie and a jacket. I couldn’t remember if it was the same thing he was wearing earlier, but it seemed like he had just gotten finished working out. Maybe with Sydney and her compression pants.
“Reese, what the hell? Are you okay? I’ve been calling you for an hour,” Brady said as a greeting.
“I told you I didn’t feel good,” I said back. “Where’s Sydney?”
“Home? I don’t know,” he said. “Are you sick? What’s wrong?”
I explained to Brady what happened, but then concluded with “I think I’m just hungover,” instead of telling him my theory. He already doesn’t like Lexi, I definitely didn’t need him thinking she was taking me somewhere where people might drug me. Brady suggested we go and grab food and even though I looked like I’d just climbed out of a sewer, I brushed my hair, put on a beanie and we went. I had my mind set on a big plate of pancakes with a side of bacon, but I found out that it was almost 5pm and breakfast wasn’t an option.
After a sandwich, greasy fries and a large Coke, I felt a little better, but went back to Brady’s house and watched movies on Netflix in bed all night.
After that day, I haven’t seen Brady at all. It’s been over two weeks. I have been crazy busy with work, but I’ve actually really been enjoying it. Scott and I had to go to LA last week for work. It was exciting because it was a brand new deal and it was nice to get out of Chicago and have an excuse to be in LA.
On our first night there, we decided to grab dinner. We went to this ramen and sushi place and ordered a lot of food and a bottle of wine. I was excited and happy about work, but not excited about Brady. It really felt like he was deliberately avoiding me and I couldn’t understand why. He went out of town one weekend then was back for a few days before having to travel three days for work. But during the days between his travel, he didn’t try to hang out with me at all. I obviously stopped asking him to hang out too and because we are both so stubborn, we haven’t seen each other. I told all of this to Scott.
“Well, I don’t think he’s met someone else. I don’t think that’s the problem. From what I know of Brady, if he didn’t want to be with you then he wouldn’t,” Scott said. “I think he’s punishing you for something.”
“Like what?” I exclaimed.
“That, I don’t know. But I do think you are correct that it is deliberate. People find the time for things they want. I don’t believe for one second that he’s too busy for you,” Scott said.
Preston found Sydney’s Instagram (which is so impressive because I’ve been looking for her for so long), but her page is obviously private. And I want to know what’s going on in her life and to see if it has anything to do with Brady, but I’m not about to follow her. So Preston created a fake profile and we are waiting for her to accept. He also found out what gym she goes to and what workout class she takes and it just so happens to be right across from one of our favorite bars so one night we staked out to see if we would see her and Brady. It was completely psychotic, I know, but when you are bored, lonely and stubborn that’s what you do.
We were on our third martini when Sydney finally emerged from the building. I squealed and pointed and leaned close to the window to see if Brady followed behind her. I figured they are workout buddies. She was wearing tight yoga pants and a sports bra with a jacket tied around her waist. I could see her abs. And a bunch of other girls followed behind her and no sign of Brady at all. I watched her as she walked to her VW Beetle and drove away. I was disappointed and relieved at the same time. If Brady isn’t spending all of his time with Sydney then who is he spending it with? My brain hurts at the thought of having to figure out who else he knows.
In the mean time, I may have fallen in love with someone else. I’ll tell y’all about that later.