Heidi called me on Monday afternoon. I’d actually given up hope on the job and was focusing my search elsewhere.
“Hi Reese,” she said on the phone. “My apologies, I thought someone had reached out to you last week. We’d like to invite you back in to meet a few more people from the team. Do you have any availability this week?”
I didn’t, but I could make time. I told her I’d come in the following afternoon. I’d just have to cancel a few meetings.
When I walked into work on Tuesday, Brett was waiting by my desk.
“There you are!” he shouted.
I was walking in forty five minutes later than I normally do because I’d been talking to Gabby at reception. We’d decided that we were going to dress up for Halloween and hit the town after work. “Dressing up” would consist of all black with Ariana Grande style bunny ears because we are adults here.
“Sorry, I got caught up. What’s up?” I said, putting my stuff down.
“I wanted to talk to you and see if you’d be interested in a project,” Brett said.
“Okay. Tell me more.” I was sitting now, booting up my laptop. I was half listening, half overwhelmed by the amount of email I knew I had waiting since everyone relies on me for everything.
“We had a ton of installations recently and we need to analyze them for quality. Make sure they are up to standard, on brand, that kind of thing. We also need to document the best ones and get them photographed for the website and social media,” he explained. “I guess the role is kind of like a project manager. I thought of you when we talked about it because of your attention to detail.”
I’d pointed out a typo on the website and now I was known for my “attention to detail.” But I was bored and looking for something to do.
“Okay. That sounds good. When do you want me to start that?”
Brett seemed relieved that I’d said yes and brought his laptop over to show me the docs I’d be using to keep track of all of my work. I wouldn’t get a chance to start on my new project that as I had a list of things I wanted to get done. Plus I’d scheduled my interview for 2:00pm and I didn’t know what time I’d be back.
Just as I was heading out to the interview, Michelle walked past.
“Hi there. You are coming to the meeting at 2:15, aren’t you?” she asked.
There was an optional company update meeting where the execs were going to let us know what was going on and what we had in store. And since it was optional, I figured it was one I could skip in order to go to my interview.
“I have a prior engagement,” I told her.
“What is it? Is it something more important than hearing whatever your exec team has to say?” Michelle asked.
My priority was in a different place so for me, it was. I couldn’t tell her that though.
“If I could reschedule my meeting, I would. It’s with [the software company we use to track sales]. One of their agents is in town and since we are having so many glitches recently, I thought I’d better meet with them,” I lied.
“Well, thank you for doing that. Do let me know if anything important comes from the meeting,” she said.
“Of course. And I’ll have Brett fill me in on the company updates,” I said.
I was glad I’d gotten myself out of that, but felt slightly bad that Michelle thought I was doing something nice/helpful. I walked to the interview and met with Heidi and who I gathered is the second in command, Valerie. Valerie wanted to talk numbers and business, how I’d driven sales and examples of how I’d showed innovation. Heidi looked on like a proud show mom as I answered the questions with ease.
At the end, Valerie said, “If we wanted a professional reference, who would we call?”
I told her I’d email her the contact information once I got back to my office. Why do people even bother calling references anymore? Like, of course your references are going to say amazing things about you otherwise you wouldn’t be using them as a reference.
Anyway, by the time the interview was over, it was 4:30 and I figured I’d head back to the office to do some work for a few hours. It was the least I could do before jumping ship.
I decided to tell Brady about the interview since it seemed like I was in the final stages and I didn’t want to suddenly drop a bomb on him.
“I mean, it sounds like something you’d enjoy doing. I‘d say make sure it’s what you want though so you aren’t job hopping a lot,” Brady said after I told him (at 9:30pm because that’s what time he came home).
Obviously dude. As if I want to be job hopping.
“It’s more in line with what I want to do in the long run. I don’t want to be doing just sales. I think I’m better than that,” I said.
“Is there any opportunity at your current office? Maybe you could work toward a promotion rather than leaving the company all together,” he suggested.
I hadn’t thought about that, but I feel like I’ve given up on my job so much that it’s out of the question. I can’t imagine working hard for a promotion when I’m so not motivated.
No one at the office dressed up for Halloween which is so annoying. Obviously I wasn’t going to dress up for work, but at least a couple people in my old office would come in costume. These people are just so boring. Gabby and I left at 4:30 so we could each run home and put on our black attire and then meet at a bar in FiDi.
When I got home I was surprised to find Brady home. On any given day he doesn’t come home until 8:30-9:30pm. He was still in work clothes and pouring a glass of water in the kitchen.
“Heyyyyyy, what are you doing home?” I asked, half confused, half excited to see him.
“I got off a little earlier,” Brady said and took a drink from his water.
“But why? Is everything okay?” I couldn’t help asking.
“Everything is fine. I came home early,” he said, his voice softening. “I thought we could maybe do something tonight. Grab dinner or drinks. Or cook here and drink wine and wait for trick or treaters.”
My little heart was so excited that he’d come home to hang out with me. “Aw. That is so sweet! I have plans though. I’m meeting up with Gabby in like twenty minutes.”
“Oh.” Brady didn’t even try to hide his disappointment. “Okay.”
I apologized and kissed him and I walked past to go get changed. I came back out after changing and Brady was still in the kitchen, leaning against the counter.
“Hopefully I get home at a decent time and we can still see the trick or treaters,” I said.
Brady looked at me and my outfit (black bodysuit, black skirt and fishnets) and said, “Are you not even going to invite me?”
For a moment, I felt terrible that he felt left out. But then I got defensive.
“Well I didn’t know you’d be home, Brady, so I planned a girl’s night,” I said.
He didn’t say anything and pulled out his phone. His face told me that he couldn’t believe I wasn’t cancelling my plans to hang out with him.
“I’m so sorry that I made plans thinking you wouldn’t be home since you always stay at work until 9pm. I’m so sorry I didn’t drop everything because you decided to come home early,” I said sarcastically.
“I’m not asking you to drop everything. I’m asking to be invited,” he said.
“I’m sorry, but no. I need to make friends without you so I will have someone to hang out with when you’re working for 70 hours out of the week. And if you come I’ll be worried about you the whole time and I don’t want to do that,” I explained.
“Okay, then.” Brady walked out of the kitchen and I heard him asking Tucker if he wanted to go for a walk.
Whatever. I walked out and set out to the bar. Gabby was already there when I arrived and had attracted a guy to the table she was sitting at. She waved me over.
“Hey. Need a refill?” I greeted her, noting that her glass was half empty.
“Why not? This is Kevin, by the way,” she said, gesturing to her friend – a typical fuckboy in his button down and Patagonia. She gave me a discrete look that told me she was excited about him.
I headed to the bar and got two vodka sodas and rejoined them at the table. They were talking about Colorado (they both have ties to Colorado) and I watched with a critical eye to make sure Gabby was presenting herself correctly. I chimed in here and there, but I didn’t have a lot to say as this was not my conversation.
“I’m gonna go grab another beer and I’ll be back. Stay put,” he told Gabby, touching her hand lightly.
“Thoughts?” Gabby said excitedly as soon as he walked away.
“I’m into it. And y’all seem to have a lot to talk about so that’s great,” I said.
Kevin came back and he had a friend with him.
“This is David. Gabby and, what was your name again?” Kevin said.
Ugh, I was being so boring that he thought I needed company. I didn’t, but whatever. I couldn’t sit there watching Gabby and making them uncomfortable, so fine. I’d entertain this loser for a few hours to help a friend out.
An hour later, I was on my fourth vodka and had my phone out showing David pictures of Tucker. He’d told me that his family back home had a dog thirty minutes ago and I’d been telling him about Tucker since.
“I just found a recipe to make him a vegan Thanksgiving pâté. I can send it to you if you’d like,” I said.
David kind of looked like he wanted to take his own life.
“Reese, we are going down the street to a comedy show. Are you coming?” Gabby asked.
“Yeah, I guess. Sure,” I said. I was aware that I should think about getting home to Brady, but the night was still young.
We walked a few blocks to a dark, basement comedy club. Since there was a show going on, we couldn’t talk which I’m sure David was thankful for. After the show, we all headed outside. It was 11:00pm at this point.
“Did you want to grab another drink somewhere?” Kevin asked Gabby.
Gabby was thinking about saying yes, but I cut in.
“She does, but we have a busy day at work tomorrow. Another time perhaps?” I said.
Kevin looked like he was wondering why I was speaking for her and what our busy day possibly consisted of.
“Yeah, maybe another time,” Kevin said. He pulled out his phone to get Gabby’s number.
“Would you like to grab a drink another time?” David asked me.
“No, thank you,” I said, not looking up. I was calling an Uber.
Once the guys walked away, I explained my reasoning to Gabby.
“I know you were having a great time with him, but you have to leave the evening on a high. If you continue drinking you’re going to have sex with him and then everything will be ruined,” I said.
“No, I wouldn’t have,” Gabby said, not even convincing herself.
When I got home, Brady was sitting on the couch with his laptop and Tucker, drinking a beer.
“Hi, trick or treat!” I greeted him.
He raised his eyebrows, but didn’t say anything.
“Don’t you have a treat for me?” I asked, joining them on the couch.
“Sure. You can have the whole bowl of candy there since we didn’t get any trick or treaters,” he said and it sounded sarcastic.
“Aww! The kids could probably sense that you were grumpy and didn’t want to bother you,” I said.
“Yeah, probably.” Brady went back to work on his laptop.
I got up to change and came back out wearing my velour pajama set. I turned on the TV and Brady tried to ignore the fact that I was sitting next to him. A few minutes later, he shut his laptop and got up. Tucker got up with him and they walked out. Rude.
After I heard Brady brush his teeth and get settled, I decided to go confront him.
“I’m so sorry, was I bothering you?” I demanded in the dark. Brady and Tucker were in bed.
“Reese, please. Don’t start this right now,” Brady said.
“What? You obviously have an issue with me because I wanted to do something without you. Sorry I want to create my own life here. Unlike you, I don’t have friends who already live here!”
“I don’t care what you do. If you want to go out with your coworkers or whoever, please do so. But I’ve always included you in all of my plans and tried my best to make sure you don’t feel alone here.”
“I want my own friends! I don’t want to hang out with your friends all the time!” I exclaimed, shocked he didn’t get what I was saying.
“Okay. I’m really tired and I’m going to sleep now,” Brady said.
I climbed into bed and we fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up at the literal asscrack of dawn, happily not hungover. Brady was still sleeping next to me and I wrapped my legs around him. It took him a moment to wake up and realize what was going on and respond. He rubbed my leg for a minute before turning around to face me. He pulled me on top of him and tried to take my top off without unbuttoning it.
“Allow me,” I said since obviously he was having trouble with it.
We proceeded to have sex twice back to back and then Brady suddenly jumped out of bed because it was way past the time for him to start getting ready.
I was still in bed when he came back fully dressed.
“I don’t know what time I’ll be home tonight. And I don’t know if I told you, but I have to go to Connecticut on Saturday.” His cold demeanor was back.
“You know you didn’t tell me, but fine,” I said back.
Once I found out that Brady was working on Saturday, I reached out to Lola and we decided to hang out that day.
On Friday night, I’d made plans in my head for Brady and I to go out and have dinner and a few drinks – nothing crazy since he had to work the next day.
When Brady wasn’t home by 9:30, I poured a glass of wine. I was already dressed thinking he’d be home soon.
At 10:00pm, I was on my third glass of wine and FaceTiming Preston.
At 10:30pm, I was so anxious that Brady was still not home this late on a Friday night, that I needed something stronger and poured a tequila with Red Bull.
Brady finally waltzed in at 10:45pm. I was raging.
“Are you absolutely shitting me right now?” I screamed.
“Whoa. What are you talking about?” he said, confused and not coming close to me.
“Where have you been?” I demanded.
“I’ve been at work. What do you mean? Where else would have I been?”
“You expect me to believe you’ve been at work until almost 11 on a Friday night? Do I really look that stupid?”
Brady still hadn’t moved from the doorway. “You know I work late-”
“Not this late!” I was fuming.
“We can talk about it when you’ve calmed down,” he said, walking past me.
I was so upset that I didn’t even want to go out and do anything anymore. I glared at Brady as he came back from putting his things down and walked into the kitchen.
“Did you already have dinner?” he asked.
“Of course I have. It’s 11:00pm!”
Brady shook his head like I was ridiculous as he started pulling out stuff to make dinner. I felt a little bad and wanted to make food for him, but he could not think what he’d done was okay. There’s just no way your job needs you that late on a Friday night. The story in my head was that he’d gotten off early and hung out with someone else before coming home. And it didn’t help that he opened his laptop at the little bar area while he ate.
“How do you still have work to do if you’ve been at work for literally 16 hours today?” I asked, sipping my drink.
“Prep work for tomorrow,” he said, not looking up.
Whatever, dude. I took my drink and a bag of pretzel chips to the living room with me. A little while later, Brady came and joined me on the couch. I was going to sit there and ignore him as I was still mad at him.
“I’ll for sure be getting off earlier tomorrow,” he told me. “Maybe we could do something in the evening.”
“Yeah, maybe. I’m hanging out with Lola and I don’t know how late that’ll go. Please know that I’m not going to alter my plans to hang out with you when you can’t even call to let me know when you’re going to be home extra late,” I said.
“I know,” Brady said back.
We sat there in silence for a few minutes until Brady grabbed my hand and brought it to his lips. Oh, he wanted to get some. That was fine because I did too.
Lola and I had plans to go to yoga then brunch and then wherever else the day took us. We met outside the yoga studio in our cute Lulelemon and Outdoor Voices gear. I’d gotten a fun printed yoga mat for the occasion.
“Ugh. I’m so hungover. I hope this helps me recover,” she greeted me.
“What’d you do last night?” I asked.
“Me and the boy went to a show. We were out until like an hour ago,” she said.
After yoga, we walked a few blocks to a cute little French restaurant to eat. We ordered avo toast, sausage, fruit and bottomless mimosas.
“Did you quit your stupid job yet?” Lola asked.
“Not yet. Hopefully soon though. I’ve been interviewing with this company and I’m hoping they extend an offer soon,” I told her.
Lola works as a copywriter at an advertising agency. She loves it because she gets to be creative and she says her bosses always love all of her crazy ideas.
After our bottomless time limit was up, we Googled a place nearby for more drinks. While we were there making plans for later, I got a Insta-Snap from Nick. It was a selfie with his tongue out, wearing a Michigan football jersey and a U of M flag behind him. Lola and I were at a sports bar that was playing the game and I saw that Michigan was winning.
I took a video of the bar and said, “Seems like we have all Penn State fans here.”
He sent back another selfie and I showed it to Lola. “Thoughts?”
“He looks like a douchey bro,” she said back.
“He is. I liked him though.”
Nick and I continued talking the rest of the day. About nothing mostly and it was completely innocent. Then he said, “Wanna FaceTime really quick?” And I forgot to reply back to that.
That evening, Brady, Lola and her boyfriend, Kellen, made plans to go out to dinner then hang out at one of Brady’s friend’s apartments in Brooklyn. We had tacos and margaritas for dinner and then headed to the house party. The apartment was right on Water Street with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge (only from outside though because it was a garden unit). It was so fucking nice and I demanded to know why Brady hadn’t found something like it for us.
Lola and I were two of three girls at the apartment which was strange. The guys were sitting around smoking weed out of weird contraptions.
“Let’s see what Marie is up to,” Lola suggested.
She pulled out her phone and texted, “Plans this evening?”
Marie let us know that she had worked late at the brewery and was headed home for the night. And then a few minutes later, she said, “Let’s see a pic of you :-)”
“Okay, we need to get a picture of Brady right now,” Lola instructed.
“I don’t see how that’s going to happen. Brady doesn’t like pictures,” I said.
She rolled her eyes and marched over to him on the couch. “Take a pic with Reese for Instagram.”
Brady smiled at me and gestured for me to join him. I climbed on his lap and Lola snapped a picture of us. It actually turned out well and I did post it on Instagram (sorry, Nick). But we also sent it to Marie.
“You look especially cute,” she said back.
The girl couldn’t even take a hint.
How was everyone else’s weekend? Update me.