lying comes easy to me.

Mike didn’t show up at the office until Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we corresponded through email a bit, but I mostly caught up with people in the office. It quickly became apparent that no one was prepared for my arrival and had any idea that I was coming.

One of the girls, an account manager named Kristina, said, “Mike hired you? Really? For what?”

I laughed. Haters gonna hate.

“No, I’m not trying to be rude!” she quickly recovered. “He was hiring for a project manager. Is that you?”

“That’s me,” I said back.

Kristina looked embarrassed. “Amazing. That’s really cool. Where did you work before?” She had a deep voice, especially for her small body.

We chatted for a bit and decided to grab coffee (juice). I sensed I could get some good info from her and she seemed to like to talk.

“So you worked with Mike before?” she asked while we waited in line at Joe & The Juice.

I nodded. “For a bit. He left to take this job and no one had heard from him since.”

“Cool. We actually don’t see him often, but he’s brilliant when he speaks. He always has really intelligent things to say,” she said.

I searched her face for any trace of sarcasm, but she was serious.

“Yeah. He’s a bit intense and unnecessarily unkind, but he’s okay,” I said back.

We headed back and chatted on Google the remainder of the day. My first friend!

When Mike finally showed up on Thursday, I was perfecting some busy work he had assigned me while adding to my growing to-do list I was making for myself. I was also texting inappropriate things to Brady because I feel that it’s my duty to entertain/bother him while he’s working.

“Hi Reese,” I heard Mike’s voice from the door, sounding like a serial killer. I jumped five feet in the air.

“Oh, hi!” Mike was standing in my doorway wearing a suit and dress shirt with no tie and Samantha was peeking in from his side. Mike is kind of cute I guess, with his linebacker build, shaved head and pointy ears. “It’s good to see you.”

“Let’s touch base in fifteen minutes. Samantha will add it to your calendar,” he said, not sounding amused with me at all.

The thing about Mike is that he can’t be won over by batting eyelashes and compliments. I’d kind of forgotten that.

“Sure, that sounds great!”

For the next fifteen minutes, I wrote down a list of the observations I’d made and questions I had for him. I wanted to have something prepared just in case.

Mike wanted to meet in the conference room and before I even sat down, he explained that he had a to-do list for me. He didn’t bother looking up from his iPad.

“There’s a project we are right in the middle of and it’s a disaster. The contractors have pulled out of the agreement and the project has been put on hold, but we still have deadlines to meet. That is your first priority,” he said.

I scrambled to pull out my notebook to write this down.

“Second priority, we are juggling another project in Miami and it needs some tending to. I don’t have time to go to Miami. Head down there and see what’s going on. Take someone with you,” he continued.

“Okay.”

“Third priority, now that you’re here, we need to push for more accounts. We need more business. We will fail if they don’t open more accounts.”

Mike finally looked up from his iPad.

“Sounds great. I think I can handle this,” I said back. Mike is super intimidating, has Big Dick Energy and I hate how childish I sound around him.

“I’d hope so,” he said, looking at me like I was two years old.

I really forgot how lovely Mike is.

“Anything else?” I asked.

Mike didn’t answer me and started rattling off something to Samantha, who was sitting next to him. I got up and left.

That evening, Brady worked late which was perfect because I needed to buy gifts for him. Brady is hard to shop for because he’s basic, borderline minimalistic and doesn’t like things. I love things. Plus he’s busy so it’s hard to plan stuff for us to do together because I don’t know his schedule.

I decided on unnecessary electronics and books. I don’t fucking know. I got a set of classic books from Barnes and Noble to fill our bookcase. Aesthetic.

By the weekend, the gifts (from me) under the tree had filled up and we’d finalized our plans for Christmas. My parents would be getting into town (Boston) on Sunday afternoon and we’d meet them for dinner and drinks. We were all staying at a 5-star chain hotel per Brady’s mom’s recommendation, but the festivities weren’t starting until Monday.

On Saturday night, we got dinner with Lola and Kellen in Brooklyn. Afterwards, Brady thought it was a cute idea to invite them and others over. Which was fine because I bought half of Pier 1’s Christmas decoration inventory and it would be nice for people to see it.

Lola and Kellen came back with us and we made vodka tonics and whiskey gingers and turned on Lola’s Dub/Trap Christmas playlist.

“So he said to take someone to Miami with me and he didn’t say who. Are you in?” I was saying to Lola.

“Totally. I’d love to lay on the beach topless for a few days,” she said.

I was completely shocked when Anna of all people walked though the door a few minutes later. A few others had already arrived, but I hadn’t been expecting to see Anna. I thought she was living in Asia somewhere. She was bundled up in a weird witchy hat, scarf and peacoat and carried a bottle of wine.

“Hi there! Long time no see,” I greeted her.

Anna looked relieved that I was talking to her. “Hey! I know, it has been a while, hasn’t it? Um, I brought wine,” she said.

She was being kind of awkward so I took the wine and let her go do her own thing. Anna has always been a little bit weird in general, but especially with me.

Later on, most of us migrated outside to the terrace because they wanted to smoke. I was mingling with the other guests (Zeke and those guys), talking to them about the fast food industry, meat, and Hawaii. Eventually the others walked away, leaving me and Zeke alone to talk about sex.

I noticed Brady and Anna standing in the corner of the deck, turned away from us. Brady glanced back a moment, a pensive and upset look on his face. Ooo, I was dying to know that they were talking about.

“Heyyy, you two,” I greeted them, putting my arms around each of their shoulders. “What are you talking about?”

Neither of them said anything and Anna just looked at me with her creepy eyes and pale skin.

“Okay, I didn’t care anyway. Have fun!” I said and walked away.

After everyone was gone, Brady pinned me down on the couch and was saying super sweet and cute things to me.

“Mmhm, so you like me more than Anna?” I said.

“Of course. I love you more than anyone,” he said back.

It’s so sweet when Brady says things like that, but I literally could vom. I pushed him off and climbed on top of him so he would stop talking.

We drove to Boston on Sunday with Tucker and all of our gifts. We checked into our room and Brady immediately pushed me onto the bed and wiggled my jeans down. Could I at least freshen up after that long ride before he wanted to be all up in my vagina? He doesn’t care.

I needed to get fully dressed after that and put on jeans, a denim shirt, a fabulous leopard coat and pointy toe booties. My parents came to our room to meet us and I heard my loud ass mother before even opening the door.

“Well, hello! I don’t think the neighbors heard you so maybe speak louder!” I greeted them at the door.

“Hi, babe!” my mom squealed back, hugging me.

We all said our hellos and took an Uber to dinner. My mom was dressed in trendy Vans, boyfriend jeans and hoop earrings. I can’t deal with her.

After dinner, we went to a lounge for a few drinks which turned into us ending up at a gay bar/club. I don’t think any of us realized it was a gay bar, but it was close by the lounge and we heard music coming from the place we went in. The guy at the door had on a lot of leather and long dangly earrings, but that was fine. As long as they had alcohol and music.

It was 80s night. My parents danced for two hours straight while Brady stood at the bar awkwardly and I talked to a Bear who called me adorable. We hugged and exchanged numbers at the end of the night. I kept shouting over the music and telling everyone that it was Brady’s birthday and they kept buying him shots. After several, Brady asked me to stop and didn’t want to drink anymore so I ended up having to take the shots for him. Because you can’t just waste them.

On Monday, Christmas Eve and Brady’s birthday, a few of us got up to have breakfast. Brady’s parents were hosting Christmas Eve dinner at 5:00pm in the city and we didn’t have plans before then. Brady had already opened my lame gifts at home so I just wanted to make sure he had a good day.

We met my parents at the hotel’s restaurant after a joint shower and Hunter was standing, waiting with them.

“Well, hey hey hey! I heard you had a good night,” he said.

“So good,” I deadpanned.

We all sat and my mom started in on Hunter, wanting to know every last detail of his life. My mom is like me and can have a conversation with anyone about anything, but sometimes she can pry and ask questions that are inappropriate. She asked him how much his house in San Francisco cost and how much he has to make in order to afford his house, wife and two kids. Mom, you can’t just ask people that. Hunter didn’t care though and opened himself up like a book.

Afterwards, the parents, Brady and I walked along the wharf taking pictures before we got too cold. Later on, we got dressed for the dinner. We hadn’t seen any of Brady’s family besides Hunter which was odd since we were all staying in the same hotel. My mom texted me saying that she’d met a snooty woman at the spa though and could she possibly be related to Brady?

I replied, “Probably.”

I put on a plaid dress, faux fur coat, tights and booties and shivered outside as we waited for the car to take us to dinner. Just as our car was pulling up, Hunter and Dom and all of their children came downstairs. Hunter and Brady had on basically the same white button down gray pants and black coat and I thought that was so cute. Dom wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.

“Ohh, the kids are so cute,” I couldn’t help saying because they were. The little boy was all dressed up in shiny shoes and had wild curly hair everywhere that he obviously doesn’t like to get brushed. The little girl who Dom was carrying and was about Dom’s size, had huge blue eyes and deep caramel skin. She had a big black bow in her hair – Dom’s attempt at Christmas spirit.

“They are gorgeous!” my mom cried.

“I do make cute kids, I’ll say that,” Hunter smiled at me.

Dom rolled her eyes and turned so the adorable little girl was out of our view. What a bitch. Brady, my parents and I waved and took off in our car. Dinner was at a beautiful restaurant in a suburb. Brady’s mom had done a good job picking it out. She booked a private room with a fireplace and huge floor to ceiling windows and a wooden table long enough to accommodate everyone.

I immediately saw Brady’s Aunt Kat with her tits out and her two gremlin children. She was talking to Brady’s grandmother who was wearing a fabulous red blazer and big statement clip on earrings. She’s gaudy just like both of my grandmothers and I think that’s so relatable. I think one of Brady’s aunts on his dad’s side was there also, one of those pretentious ladies from New York. Probably who my mom saw at the spa. You know people who walk around looking at everyone like you are supposed to perform a circus act for them? I try to avoid eye contact.

There were some introductions – Brady’s mom loved being a host. I noticed she didn’t bother acknowledging us as she was too busy elsewhere. So I ordered a cocktail.

By the time we all sat down for dinner, I’d talked to Brady, my mom and Aunt Kat about New York City, my dad and Hunter had hit it off (what the fuck did they have to talk about?) and Brady’s grandma had ordered several of the $200 bottles of wine for the table. I love her. I sat next to Brady on one side and my mom on their other, right across from Dom. Oh, what fun.

“I am thrilled that all of you are here,” Brady’s mom called from the end of the table. “Today is a special day and I thank each and every one of you for being here. Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” everyone mumbled back.

Brady’s mom began to sit down, but she forgot the most important part of the day.

“It’s also Brady’s birthday,” I blurted out. And when I saw Brady glance over at me in horror, I pointed to him enthusiastically.

“Oh yes. And it is Brady’s birthday,” his mom said, continuing to sit down.

“Happy birthday!” people murmured to him and his neck started to go red. He looked like he wanted to kill me. I wanted to suggest we all sing happy birthday to him, but didn’t want to push it.

Some things happened at dinner.

1. My mom told anyone who would listen about her past career as a therapist. Can you imagine my mother being your therapist? She told scandalous stories about her past clients (who she ended up being friends with, of course), and I kept pinching her under the table because who knew what these women hid behind closed doors? They probably had the same scandals as my mom’s former clients.

2. Dom kept trying to talk to Hunter and he wasn’t paying any attention to her. It was kind of sad to see. Eventually I could tell she was getting irritated and was tugging at his shirt like a nagging gnat. His shirt was literally hanging off his shoulder from where she was pulling at it.

3. Hunter and my dad kept smirking at each other and giggling like they shared some secret. Why did my dad and Hunter have inside jokes?

4. I was talking with my hands as I do and knocked over my half full glass of red wine all over the white table cloth and some on Brady’s shirt. Hunter and my dad pointed at each other and smirked when this happened. You can imagine the face I made at them.

5. Brady’s grandmother called Brady’s mother melodramatic and a martyr because she wouldn’t stop talking about how she much she put into planning Christmas. Then Grandma cackled loudly just like my grandmother.

6. I noticed that Brady’s parents are a lot older than my parents. By at least 10-15 years. I noticed because my mom was talking to Kat and even she looked/acted older than my mom (my mom thinks she’s 25, but still) and I remembered Kat saying Brady’s mom is a lot older than her.

After we all ate, we had a little mingling session and continued sipping wine. During a brief moment when Brady was using the restroom and my parents were deep in conversation with Brady’s dad, I was standing alone and Brady’s mom made a beeline for me.

“Hiiiii!” I greeted her enthusiastically. I’ve seen her so much lately that it seems like we are friends.

“Hi, Reese,” she scowled. “I wanted to ask you, have you had any luck finding your own place in the city yet?”

“Excuse me?” What was this broad talking about now?

“Because the two of you are not married, it is completely inappropriate for you and Brady to be living together. I understand your living situation is temporary and I am happy to help if you need any guidance finding an apartment. New York City can be tough-”

I literally laughed at her. The bitch is crazy.

“We can connect in the next few weeks to discuss some options for you. I do have friends in my network who can assist. I’m not trying to rush you as I know it is hard, but living like this is not allowed,” she continued.

Before I could say anything back, Brady’s other aunt came over to talk to her. I couldn’t wait to talk to Brady about it. I watched him walk back into the room, softly closing the door behind him because he’s so sweet, he didn’t want to interrupt anyone’s conversation. He strode toward me and his face lit up when he saw me watching him. Ugh, Brady is so fucking cute. Ever since he started working out, his face looks more defined and like, older almost, but in the best way. Plus, he filled out his gray pants so nicely. The only imperfection on him was the small drop of wine on his shirt.

“Hey,” he greeted me.

I leaned over to whisper in his ear, deciding at the last minute to bite the lobe – so hard that he flinched.

“Your mom confronted me about why I haven’t found my own place yet. I didn’t even know I was looking for my own place,” I said.

Brady gave me his typical look of confusion and then alarm and then annoyance. “I told her it was temporary just to shut her up. It’s fine, don’t worry.”

“Brady, you are 31 years old. Are you fucking kidding me?” I said back, smiling despite myself.

“I know, I know.”

Suddenly, I was so over it. I am adult and it’s not like I owe her anything or she’s paying any fucking rent. No. I am not dealing with her. That’s something Brady will have to handle.

We headed back to the hotel later. We made plans to meet at the hotel bar with my parents and Hunter. I changed out of my dress and put on something more cozy, grabbed Tucker, then we headed out. Everything was fine – they were all talking about Trump, of course, until Dom waltzed in. Where was the little zoo of children?

“What are you doing?” she asked Hunter in a hushed voice, gritting her teeth.

We all sipped our drinks and watched the altercation go down. Because Hunter had been sitting right next to me, I had a front row view of the action.

Eventually, after some back and forth whispering, Hunter stood up.

“Good night, ladies and gentlemen,” he said.

I hope I’m not that much of a bitch when I’m a wife.

When we got back to our room it was late, but Brady deserved birthday sex. Afterwards, to ruin the mood, I brought up his mom again. Imagine discussing Brady’s dry ass mother while we were naked and covered in each other’s bodily fluids. It was so romantic.

The next morning, Brady wanted to give me my gift right away, but I made him wait until I showered and washed my hair first. I assumed it would be some sort of item I’d need to try on so I wanted to be clean for it. Especially if it was an engagement ring.

But it wasn’t. He handed me two envelopes and told me to open the larger one first. He booked a trip for us to Paris!

“Hopefully the riots are finished by then,” Brady said.

I literally cried because I’ve never been to Paris and I’ve always wanted to go. Brady laughed at me and told me to open the other envelope. He also booked a trip for me to go Arizona, but I was confused when I saw that it was booked for me and Kendra.

“John and I coordinated it so the two of you could take a weekend trip together. I know you miss her and she’s busy…” Brady explained.

Wait. That was so thoughtful. I felt guilty for getting him random bullshit. Brady gets the award for best gift giver.

We got dressed and headed downstairs to drive to Brady’s parents house for the rest of the Christmas festivities. We had breakfast that Brady’s mom catered and then we sat around talking over mimosas for most of the morning. There were a ton of gifts under the tree, but it was super unclear who they were for or if they were even real or if they were there for show.

A few hours later, drunk on mimosas, Brady came and found me sitting in a big armchair. I was engrossed in my phone and he sat on the arm of the chair next to me.

“Dom said something weird to me a few minutes ago,” he said, making sure to be quiet.

I dropped my phone.

“She said something sort of suggesting she doesn’t trust you with Hunter or Hunter with you. Do you have any idea why she would say that?” he said.

It’s so not like Brady to bring something like this up in such a public setting especially when the person in question was still around, but he seemed to be genuinely confused and weirded out by what she said.

“Why is she talking about me?” I wanted to know.

He shrugged. “I’m just as clueless as you are.”

I could’ve come clean and told him about the time Dom caught me and Lexi FaceTimeing Hunter. Like, I’m innocent. It was the easy and mature thing to do. But I panicked and I guess lying comes easy to me. I told him I had no idea what she was talking about.

I avoided Dom, Hunter and Brady’s mom and dad (just due to association) the rest of the evening.

I don’t think I have anything else to share. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, I love you all!

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you have to trust your intuition.

On Friday night, Brady’s team at work had a holiday dinner/get together. He didn’t tell me until 2:00pm that he was going and that I was invited.

Andrea had planned it and Brady said he’d stop by at home quickly to change and then we’d go. Obviously I didn’t have much going on at work so I met him at home so I could change (black turtleneck, skirt, tights, booties and a wool cabby hat) also.

Brady got home and I danced around and bothered him while he got undressed to change.

“You look amazing,” he said, grabbing my ass under my skirt.

I let him grope me for a few minutes before I grabbed him hands to stop him.

“Enough of that. Let’s get going.”

Brady looked disappointed. “Are you sure?”

I nodded. “Later.”

He seemed satisfied with that answer and finished getting dressed. We took an Uber to a dimly lit dive bar and restaurant with wood paneling and shabby Christmas lights and wreaths everywhere. It reminded me of my friend from grade school’s basement at her house, the one we used to avoid going in because it was super creepy.

Andrea was already there, wearing reindeer ears, and her face lit up when she saw us (Brady).

“Hi, you guys!” she squealed and shoved her hand toward me. “You must be Reese! I’ve heard so much about you!”

I liked her teeth. They were straight, but kind of fanned out and weren’t all uniform in size.

“You too, Andrea. So nice to finally meet you,” I said politely.

We joined the rest of the team and their significant others – about a dozen people or so total.

I sat in a seat right next to Andrea and she said, “Brady says you are an interior decorator.”

I looked back and forth between them blankly. “Hmm, not at all. I work for an interior design firm, but hardly ever do any designing. I work on the business side. But close though.” I smiled at Brady.

“Yeah, I was telling her what an amazing job you’ve done with our apartment,” he clarified.

“Anyway,” I said, deflecting. “What’s your story, Andrea? Where are you from, where did you go to school, et cetera.”

She started telling me and I zoned out, but somehow asked relevant follow-up questions and asked her to elaborate. It’s so mean how I do that, but I literally can’t help it. She was sweet enough though and I guess I’m happy Brady has a friend at work. Somehow Andrea just isn’t as annoying as Sydney and I can’t exactly figure out why.

Brady wasn’t feeling well so we left after only two drinks and a small appetizer. I was actually pretty tired myself and while Brady’s coworkers were nice, they were incredibly boring. And we were the only group in the bar which is odd for a Friday night. It was time to go home.

Brady still didn’t feel well on Saturday. He becomes such a baby when he’s sick and he didn’t want to leave the house all day. I went to the grocery store in the morning, made us lunch and then we watched movies all day on the couch. By the time the evening rolled around, I had cabin fever and quite literally jumped in the shower when Lola texted me asking to hang out.

“Where are you going?” Brady asked, looking like a little boy wrapped up in blankets on the couch.

“Just out for a couple hours with Lola. I won’t be out long!” I said. I’d put on jeans, an oversized sweater and booties.

He looked disappointed, but said okay and went back to the Tom Cruise movie he was watching. We had probably watched three movies featuring Tom Cruise that day and that is beyond enough Tommy for one day.

I met Lola at a little tiki themed bar in a hotel. The place was packed and the guy at the door attempted to give me a hard time getting in. I rolled my eyes and said, “It’s fine. I’m gonna call my friend who is inside so we can go elsewhere.”

The guy smiled and said, “Listen, I’ll let you in even though I shouldn’t. Don’t get into any trouble.”

I can’t stand a place that has a pretentious bouncer and if the place hadn’t been completely packed with beautiful, well dressed people, I would have grabbed Lola and went somewhere else.

We ordered two viciously strong drinks in skull mugs and tucked ourselves into a corner to catch up. Within an hour, we had attracted two bros and despite our short answers and apathetic faces, they wouldn’t go away. Lola is even more of a bitch than me.

Eventually she said, “Okay well, we’re leaving.” And she marched over to the bar and ordered another drink.

I was telling her about Brady’s family and Christmas and what a mess it was all destined to be.

“Can you please Instagram live Christmas dinner?” she said.

“I know. Like I can’t imagine what we are all going to talk about,” I said back.

“I feel like Jimmy Kimmel needs to host dinner and be a buffer.”

And then I told her what my mom said about Brady proposing.

Her eyes got big. “Do you really think he is going to?”

“I mean no, but still. What if he does?”

Lola shuttered. “I don’t believe in marriage, but more power to you both.”

“You don’t?”

“No way. I would never! Can you imagine getting married to someone and giving him your whole life and then the asshole cheats on you or gets another woman pregnant? I’d have to kill him,” she said.

Lola has even more trust issues than I do and is convinced that all men cheat. But somehow she still has a boyfriend who she completely neglects. I thought about when Brady told me he doesn’t want to get married. Maybe he has the same mindset as Lola!

Anyway, by 3, we were at our third bar and completely trashed. Lola was shaking her ass on some guy to EDM music, occasionally dropping down low while hanging onto his jeans so she didn’t fall. There was a small crowd forming.

She leaned over to me. “Should we leave?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

We left abruptly, not saying goodbye to any of our friends/fans. I suggested we stop for pizza at a 24 hour place next door. There was a tall guy with big shoulders in front of us in the pizza line and naturally I began chatting to him. He was from Wisconsin or Minnesota or something so I vaguely remember talking to him about Chicago and football and religion. The line was long so we talked for what felt like forever. After we all got our pizza, I made a beeline for the door and my new friend followed.

“Hey, can I get your Instagram?” he asked.

And to my surprise, I recited it to him. A girl can’t say no to Instagram followers, can she? I went back and checked his profile the next morning and discovered that he was 1. really hot and 2. engaged. He kind of looked like Nick from Chicago and had 12,000 followers. I followed him back.

When I got back home, I woke Brady up. He was sleeping soundly in bed and I came clamoring in, taking off my jeans and I face planted. I quickly recovered and climbed in bed with Brady.

“Are you feeling better?” I asked in what I thought was a soft and soothing voice, but Brady shushed me.

“I’m feeling okay. A bit more rest and I’ll probably be back to 100%,” he said. “How was your night?”

I was already on top of him and grinding on his penis. We started to have sex and then I thought of something.

“Hey, if you’re planning on proposing please let me know so I can get my nails done.”

“What?” Brady looked at me like I was crazy.

“Proposing at Christmas…” I said.

“I-I’m not ready to propose…” he said back.

“Oh.”

We continued and I feel asleep. When I woke up on Sunday morning, Brady was up making breakfast and watching some sort of sports game on tv.

“I feel like shit,” I said, crawling on the couch with Tucker. I drank way too many of those fruity drinks at the tiki bar.

“I figured you would so I’m making you breakfast,” Brady said. Trying to make up for not wanting to propose to me, I guess.

And I know I’m somewhat vegetarian, but the bacon Brady was making was the only thing that could break my hangover.

Despite corresponding with Samantha throughout the week, I was still unclear what was happening for my first day on Monday. I got ready and headed to the office and discovered neither Mike or Samantha was there.

“I’ll show you where I think you’ll be working though,” the girl at the front said.

She took me to a small conference room that only had a long table and chairs. Excuse me?

I texted Samantha to ask what was going on and she said, “I forgot you were starting today. Mike isn’t coming into the office, but I’ll be there later on. We can meet then.”

Uh, okay?

I left my things in the conference room and walked around, taking in my surroundings. There were about ten private offices and a little shared space with cubicles. If anyone thought I was going to take a cubicle, they were sadly mistaken. There was a cute reception area with a teal circle bench, mirrored sideboards stacked with books and orchids. I saw what looked like awards and certificates in gold frames on the walls.

Since I didn’t know what else to do, I grabbed my things and went to a coffee shop to work. Since I didn’t have anything to work in yet, I walked around some stores. What? Was I supposed to just stay in that office doing nothing?

Samantha finally texted me just before lunch asking where I was. The whole thing was just weird. I spent the remainder of the day setting up my email and laptop and (private) office. Samantha tried to sit me in a corner desk in the room with the cubicles and I asked her if she was sure if it was where I was supposed to be sitting. She wasn’t and had to text Mike. And just as I suspected, I was supposed to have my own office. You have to listen to your intuition. The whole office is really small, less than fifty people total, which is different for me. Mike never showed up.

When I checked my phone at the end of the day, Brady had texted me saying that his parents invited out for dinner and drinks.

“Drinks?” I said back, laughing to myself. Brady’s parents are not people to go out for “dinner and drinks.”

“I don’t know. We are meeting them at 7:30pm.”

Which at least meant Brady wasn’t going to stay at work until midnight.

I got home and changed into heels, put on powder and lipstick and poured a glass of wine since we were “getting drinks” anyway. Brady came home and needed to shower and put on different clothes. He rushed into the shower, but came out and talked to me while he was getting dressed.

“How was your first day?” he asked.

“Unproductive. Mike wasn’t even there and he didn’t give anyone instructions for what I was supposed to be doing. I spent the day decorating my office,” I said.

“Okay. Did you at least get a sense of what the office and people are like?” Brady asked.

I shrugged. “Yeah. Everyone is fine. I’m sure I’ll have more to report later.”

When we got to the restaurant for dinner, Brady’s parents were obviously already there waiting for us. They chose a restaurant in a hotel with an expensive prix fixe menu. I wondered what the occasion was.

I feel like now I can tell what kind of interaction it’s going to be based on Brady’s mom’s initial greeting. This time, we met them in the lobby and Brady’s mom hugged him and asked how he is doing and made small talk before even acknowledging me. So that’s the kind of evening it was going to be.

We sat down and started dinner and I figured I’d just sit there not talking since Brady’s mom had gone out of her way to exclude me. Brady and his dad started talking about Donald Trump, the looming government shutdown, investigations, Twitter, etc. Brady’s mom was chiming in every so often, but mostly just nodding in agreement. I realized that they all disapproved him.

“It’s really just a shame. No one predicted that this is the way this presidency would play out,” Brady’s mom said.

Brady and his dad nodded in agreement.

“Actually,” I butted in, even though I knew I shouldn’t have. “We all knew it was going to be exactly like this. That’s why we didn’t vote for him.”

They all looked at me.

“From a policy standpoint, a lot of them aligned with my views as well,” Brady’s dad said.

“What policy?” I had to know.

“Immigration,” Brady’s dad said, matter-of-factly.

“You are kidding,” I mumbled, just as Brady’s mom started talking, something about Hillary Clinton

“Just because we oppose Donald Trump does not mean we are pro Hillary Clinton,” I said. I couldn’t believe we were even still having this conversation.

Brady’s mom just glared at me and continued talking like I wasn’t even there. They changed the subject soon after that and I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Later on, as we were leaving the restaurant, Brady’s dad fell into step by me.

“You know, we Americans are loyal to our political party. And with any presidency, there are highs and lows. Rights and wrongs. There have been mistakes, but we can only go up from here,” he said.

We? I actually didn’t want to talk about this with him anymore. When we got home though, I sounded off.

“I think it’s so fucking insane how Americans are against immigration as if they are indigenous in the first place,” I said.

Brady nodded.

What really fucked my night up though is when we were in bed fooling around. I was just in my thong and a ratty old VS Pink tee and Brady was in between my legs making his way down my body. And to my absolute horror, he grabbed a handful of my love handles on each side and grinned at me.

Excuse me? It is probably the rudest thing he’s ever done. Brady is too much of a gentleman to ever comment on my appearance unless it’s gushing praise so I was shocked and completely mortified that he was essentially calling me fat or saying that I have gained weight. I haven’t eaten since.

*Merry Christmas, friends! I’ll see you next week!*

Standard

i wish i hadn’t taken this job.

Something weird happened.

On my first day of work, I realized that I didn’t want to work with jewelry. I wanted to work in interior design. It’s what I love and what I’m passionate about. As I was going through my onboarding, it dawned on me that I was not excited about jewelry and even though the office was beautiful and everyone was really nice, I was not excited about the new job.

I was thinking, “Great. I made the wrong decision again.”

During my lunch break, I checked my phone and saw that Scott had called and texted me and Mike had texted me. Y’all remember Mike? I was dying to know what he wanted so I opened his message first.

“Hi. I hear you’re in NYC. Let’s meet for lunch,” he said, staying true to his cold and demanding self.

I said back, “Hi Mike. You heard correctly – I live here now! Here’s my schedule…”

Scott had texted me, “Hey! How are you? I know you’re in the market for a new job and I think Mike is looking for someone so I told him to reach out to you. I’m not sure what the opportunity is, but it’s worth looking into. We are missing you here in Chicago…” He continued on telling me about the office and his dog.

How funny that the moment I realized I wanted to be back in interiors, I potentially had an opportunity back in interiors.

My first day was fine though. Quite boring and everyone was dying to meet me. And that’s fine and all, but I didn’t remember a single person’s name.

When I got home, Brady was home. He was on a video conference call and I debated lifting my shirt and flashing his colleagues. But I didn’t.

When he was finally off his call, he immediately wanted to know how my first day went.

“It was fine, but Mike and Scott texted me. Mike found out I’m here and has a job I might be interested in,” I said.

Brady’s jaw clenched. “Scott texted you?”

“Just to tell me about Mike.”

“Okay.”

“So I’m having lunch with Mike on Wednesday. People at work have already put lunches on my calendar for this week. They’re so annoying,” I said.

“Okay,” Brady said again. He went in the kitchen and started pulling things out to make dinner.

“I hope it’s something good,” I went on. “Like I was so bored today when I was learning about what I’d be doing.”

“You probably want to figure things out. I don’t recommend hopping from job to job until you find something you like. Maybe you shouldn’t have left your job if you weren’t sure,” Brady said.

“I mean, of course I shouldn’t have left if I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t know and I definitely didn’t expect Mike to reach out to me,” I said back defensively.

“Just figure out what you want to do, Reese. You don’t want all these random holes in your resume.”

He sounded like my dad.

“Oh my God, Brady, where are the holes? I had my job for two and a half years and before that I was with my last company for over two years also. Why are you lecturing me like I don’t know this? You just got a new job, why can’t I?” I said.

“I’m sorry, I’m not trying to lecture you. I am trying to help.” His voice softened. “I just want you to have a career you are proud of.”

I rolled my eyes and stormed off. Scott was still texting me and we texted for a little bit. I’m still mad he didn’t give me a reference even though he said he would.

Brady came and found me a little while later.

“Do you want to go out and find something for dinner?” he asked.

“Fine,” I said back, realizing I was a bit hungry.

We got sushi for dinner and then Brady suggested we stop somewhere else for drinks. We went to a nearby sports bar to drink tequila and watch football. Afterwards, I could tell Brady had a lot to drink because he followed me into the bedroom while I was taking my coat off and grabbed my jeans.

“Can I at least take my jacket off before you start molesting me?” I pretended to be annoyed, but obviously I didn’t mind.

“I can’t help it,” he said, kissing the back of my neck.

I turned around and we kissed for a bit before I decided that Brady deserved a blowjob because he’s just so cute. His penis gets so erect when we are fooling around – like more than I’ve ever seen on another guy and I like that.

Suddenly, he yanked me off my knees by my arm and pushed me over the side of the bed. In one swift motion, he pulled down my jeans and pushed right into me. I had to grab onto the bed to catch myself. He immediately came.

On Tuesday, Heidi took me to lunch. Tons of people were adding things to my calendar and coming over to my desk to chat and I was overwhelmed by all of it. One of the girls who works on my team came up to me and started talking about Chicago and my previous job. I didn’t remember telling her any of it or talking to her at all previously. I even said, “So sorry, what was your name again?” at the end of the conversation. She didn’t seem to like that, but what was I supposed to do?

I stopped at the grocery store after work so I could make pho for dinner. By the time Brady got home, dinner and dessert were both ready and the house was clean and the laundry was done. It was 10pm.

“Dinner looks amazing,” he said as he was putting his laptop and coat away. And then he came over to me. “But you look even better.”

I peeled him off since he was literally stuck to me like a leech. “None of that yet. You have to try my pho.”

“Okay,” Brady said reluctantly.

We ate and I told Brady about work. Well, complained.

“There are literally no men in the office. Which is totally fine, except not fine at all. Everyone wants to be my friend and it’s like a big sorority house. I hate it,” I said.

He laughed. “Shouldn’t everyone wanting to be your friend be a good thing?”

“It’s not! I haven’t had a chance to even fucking think because everyone has been hounding me,” I told him.

After dinner, we headed to the couch to do naughty things. Blow job, sex, and then sex again. And then we watched Love, Actually.

I didn’t prepare for my lunch with Mike on Wednesday mostly because I was thinking about having sex with Brady and his perfect penis.

We met at a little French café a few blocks from my office. It was small and Mike and his assistant were sitting at a tiny table in the corner. I could tell before even hearing them that he was barking orders at her. Aw, I kinda missed him.

I approached the table and the assistant waved at me as a greeting. Mike didn’t even look up or stop talking and just nodded at the empty seat across from. Always so charming, that Mike. A server came over and I ordered a frisée salad even though neither of them were eating.

A few minutes later, after I’d drank an entire glass of lemon water, Mike finally seemed to notice I was there.

“Reese, hi,” he said, glancing up at me. “Good to see you. How is everything?” It seemed so forced, like it pained him to ask how I’m doing.

“Everything is going fine. I love being in New York. Thanks for asking,” I said back.

“Okay. Yeah, glad to hear. Where are you working?” he said, pulling out his phone to multitask while making small talk with me.

I briefly explained my new job and let him know my feelings about all of it. When I mentioned that the job was not in décor and interiors and I wanted it to be, his head shot up.

“If that isn’t what you want to do, then what do you want to do?” Mike asked me.

I took a moment to think before giving an answer. I thought about how happy I was at my previous job with Diana. I loved what I was doing back then.

Before I could articulate that, Mike said, “I’m not sure if you heard but I’m heading an award winning commercial architectural design and firm. We – well I -need someone to take over a mid-level role. My first thought was Scott, but of course, he is not relocatable.”

“Right,” I said.

“Then he suggested you. I had a feeling you’d end up here at some point. The job is everything you’ve done before, I’m sure it pays more than what you’re making now and it’ll be reporting directly to me.”

I almost laughed at him saying “you’ll report to me” as if that was some sort of added benefit.

“I don’t know if you’re interested, but I think you should be,” Mike continued. He asked his assistant to send a job description to me and she nodded without looking up.

“Yeah, I’d love more information to consider this,” I said.

“Essentially, you’re in charge of all of our corporate projects. We work with corporate offices, restaurants, hotels, luxury apartments, car dealerships, that kind of thing. Your role is to see each project through completion,” Mike said. He instructed the assistant to send me a portfolio.

“That sounds nice,” I said. I liked the sound of the job, but I didn’t want to make any sudden movements.

“We have to get going. Please email me if you have any questions,” Mike said abruptly.

I hadn’t even gotten my salad yet. Like thanks for inviting me to lunch and then not even treating me to said lunch. Mike and his assistant left and I texted Brady letting him know what happened.

“Is it something you want to do?” he asked.

“Of course!” I replied.

“And you’d work with that guy again?”

“Mike?”

“Scott.”

“No, I’d be working with Mike. It’s a totally different company.”

“Okay. Go for it if you want.”

I sensed Brady was unamused with my continued job search so I continued my lunch in silence.

Mike’s assistant called me that afternoon.

“Hi Reese, it’s Samantha. Mike wanted me to reach out to see if you have any questions,” she asked.

I hadn’t even had a chance to read through the job description she’d sent yet.

“Hi, not at this time. I might later though. I can email him if I need anything,” I said.

“Okay. He also wanted to know when you’d be able to start?” Samantha asked. “It’s no rush, but he said he wants someone by Christmas and he’s talking to a few other candidates….?”

“Probably soon, Sam. I’ll let him know, okay?” I said.

“Okay, Reese. Thanks!”

Mike’s always been super aggressive so I wasn’t surprised that he was having his assistant put pressure on me.

I went back through and reviewed my contract that I’d just signed on Monday and tried to figure out if there was even a way out of it. The bonus hadn’t hit my account yet, but as far as I could tell, if I quit, I’d have to pay it back. Gladly!

Since Brady didn’t seem to want to talk about careers with me anymore, I texted Scott.

“Working with Mike is very, very tough. But I think you’d learn a lot,” he said.

“I’ve worked with him before,” I pointed out.

“Not very closely. You worked closely with me and I worked closely with him,” Scott countered. I rolled my eyes.

“The office I work in is full of women and they ramble and gossip all day long. It’s like being at a Sunday brunch with 5,000 girls everyday,” I said.

“I don’t know what that’s like but I can imagine.”

“Today one of the girls in my office had a meltdown because she’s turning 26 and has to get her own health insurance. Everyone crowded around her and consoled her for like two hours. I told her that her hangovers would also become more debilitating and it would be much harder to lose weight and everyone looked at me like I’d committed a crime.”

“I can’t lie, I wish you were coming back to work here you me. Your absence is noticed, that’s for sure,” he said.

That seemed like a good place to end the conversation and I didn’t text back. Brady worked late again so I spent the evening writing a resignation letter to Heidi. What? You have to be prepared.

The next morning, I woke up to three messages from Mike.

One said, “Have you thought about the job, tease?”

And then he said, “I mean Reese.”

And then he sent me a picture of the dark-ish sky from a window. In the reflection of the window, I could see Mike and his big shoulders taking the photo. He looked kind of hot in the reflection.

“View from the office,” he captioned.

I didn’t get a chance to respond because Brady came out of the bathroom in just his towel looking like he wanted to get some.

After a super quick hookup and a shower, I texted Mike back, “How much are you paying?”

Blunt, but what was the point of beating around the bush?

When Mike didn’t respond, I was afraid I scared him off, but then Samantha emailed me.

“Mike wanted me to send this to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

Attached was a job offer with a starting date of 12/17/18 and a benefits packet.

I didn’t reply and focused on work all day. I was still just doing training, but shockingly I’d gone to two meetings in the morning and had a lot to say during them. I always have a lot to say, but still.

With all that was going on, I forgot about the big Christmas extravaganza until my mom sent me a screenshot of their flight confirmation.

“We can’t wait to see y’all!”

So then I was super worried everything that was obviously going to go wrong. Plus I needed a fabulous dress to wear.

Brady worked on Saturday again. That was fine, Lola and I needed to catch up anyway. We met up for a boot camp class at 10am and then headed to brunch. I told her all about my work situation.

“Mike sounds like an arrogant prick. I’m obsessed with him,” she said.

“I assure you, he sounds more intriguing than he really is. The job sounds so fun though! I wish I hadn’t taken this job,” I said.

“Just tell them you’re not coming back. Like yeah, maybe you wasted a little bit of their time, but who cares? People have done worse,” Lola advised.

“What about my contract and signing bonus?” I asked.

“Send it to me. I’m sure it’s really easy to get out of as long as you pay back the bonus. Plus, I’m sure they aren’t going to want you around for a whole year if you don’t want to be there. You’re doing them a favor.”

She was right.

After brunch, we ran some errands (shopped and tried on clothes) until Brady texted me letting me know he was coming home from work. So I rushed home because I’d been thinking about fucking him all day.

I showered and put on yoga pants and a white cropped sweater and waited for Brady to get home. He finally walked through the door and I jumped on him before he could put his things down.

“It’s good to see you too,” he laughed, pushing me off slightly.

“I’ve been waiting for you all day,” I pouted.

“Have you?” Brady stepped around me and sat his bag and jacket down on our entry table.

“Yes, I missed you,” I said, throwing my arms around his neck.

Brady peeled me off and gave me a quick kiss. “I told some friends we’d meet them for dinner and I need to shower.”

Ugh.

I let him go shower while I procrastinated getting ready. I still had plans of hooking up and I didn’t want to ruin my dinner outfit. When I heard the shower turn off, I barged into the bathroom. Brady was stepping out of the shower, obviously naked, reaching for his towel. I threw off my sweater and unhooked my bra while he started to ask what I was doing. But then he realized and didn’t have any questions after that. We had sex facing the foggy mirror and it was amazing. Brady and his magical penis. I needed another shower after that then I got dressed in black jeans, a satin button down and a Helmut Lang bomber.

We met up with Zeke and some of their other friends at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar served food, but it wasn’t exactly “dinner” as Brady described. The group started off with the three of us plus two other guys, but slowly started growing until there were about ten of us. I ordered tater tots and a salad because I was starving and then I got annoyed because Brady wanted to share my food. If you’re hungry get your own food, bro.

We ended up staying out until 4am and I wasn’t prepared for that and was yawning all night. Brady was chugging beers and even taking shots and I could not roll my eyes hard enough. I chatted with Zeke mostly and he told me a graphic story about doing anal with some girl.

When we got home, we sat on the couch before going to bed. Drunk Brady started talking.

“I think you’re amazing and I want to be with you forever, but I’m afraid I can’t give you what you need,” he said.

“What?” I said back, not expecting this conversation.

“You need someone who is around all the time and I like to work. Work is my hobby and I enjoy being there.”

“You enjoy being at work more than you enjoy being with me?” I clarified.

“No, but I have to. In order to be where I want to be, I have to put in a lot of work.” He kind of fell into me and I pushed his drunk ass off.

“I don’t want to talk about this right now, you’re drunk,” I said. I got up and changed into pajamas and when I came back out to the living room, Brady was passed out on the couch with Tucker.

The next morning, Brady was up and ready for the gym.

“Do you want to talk about what you said last night?” I asked, glaring at him. I started changing into my gym clothes without bothering to shower.

“Sure. What do you want to talk about?” he said back and it became apparent to me that he didn’t even fucking remember.

“Do you remember the very first time you broke up with me? You said, ‘I can’t be what you need.’ You said that to me last night,” I said.

Brady nodded.

“You obviously don’t realize how badly that hurt me. Is that what you’re doing again? You dragged me all the way to fucking New York City with you only to decide work is your number one priority. You could have left me in Chicago where I was perfectly happy.”

“That’s not-” he began, but I interrupted him.

“I’m so sick of your goddamn games, Brady. I’m sick of wondering what you’re doing and thinking because you’re a closed off little mute who won’t tell me anything. Oh, except that I need to figure out what job I want so I can be taken seriously by your family.”

“I’m sorry.”

Of course he was. I went and brushed my teeth and combed my hair. We didn’t say anything as we walked to the gym. I thought that maybe I was overreacting, but the whole thing was so frustrating. It felt like he was blaming me, like I had these crazy, unattainable needs. Just don’t work 20 hours out of the day – I think anyone would ask for that.

I was so mad that I actually worked out at the gym.

When we got home I showered and when I got out it sounded like Brady was cooking. I found him in the kitchen making breakfast – a little avocado and egg sandwich because I’m somewhat vegetarian at the moment.

“Hungry?” he asked, watching me poke around the kitchen.

We sat and had breakfast, talking about everything except what we should’ve been talking about. I’d all but accepted Mike’s job offer and I was excited about it and didn’t care if Brady didn’t approve. I didn’t approve of his work life either. So we talked about the new job and how exactly I was going to leave the new job I’d just started.

“I want you to be happy and if taking this new job will make you happy, I think you should do it,” Brady said.

“I am. You know what else would make me happy? If my boyfriend actually wanted to spend time with me instead of working,” I said.

He nodded and looked down.

I took a deep breath to calm myself because I felt like going off again. He is so fucking frustrating. We didn’t say anything for the remainder of our meal.

I put on a movie and we sat on the couch watching with Tucker. Halfway through Coco, Brady grabbed my hand.

“I’m sorry if I haven’t been clear about how I feel about you,” he said. “I want to spend every second with you and if I could, I would.”

I just stared at him.

“I’m not trying to be selfish. Are we okay? I can’t imagine being here without you.”

“If you aren’t trying to be selfish then why are you?” I challenged. “I’m obsessed with you, Brady, my life literally revolves around you. It’s a slap in the face when you work so much and even volunteer to work more after I dropped everything and moved here to be with you.”

I felt kind of bad that I was bringing up the fact that I moved to New York because he asked me to, knowing that I’ve wanted to move here forever.

“I know. I will make time for you, I promise.” He kissed my hand.

Okay. If that’s what Brady was claiming, I’d wait to see if he kept his word. He was home when I got home on Monday and came home at 7:30pm on Tuesday! And immediately jumped my bones as soon as he saw me both times. And he came home with McDonald’s on Tuesday so maybe he really does care.

Standard

should i kill him?

Brady worked late last week. Not even just late – like crazy late. He promised to come home early on Mondays, but he didn’t walk through the door until 10:30pm on Monday night.

I looked at him like he had five heads when he walked into the living room where Tucker and I were watching a movie.

“Wow, so much for working from home on Monday nights,” I said.

“I’m sorry, I had a lot to catch up on from the weekend. I’m going to try to get off early tomorrow though,” he said. He put his stuff down and made a beeline for the bedroom and didn’t kiss me or anything which I think is rude.

So I followed him.

“Was work okay though?” I asked, sweetly.

“A bit of a bitch, to be honest. Anytime we work with benzodiazepines, it can be unpredictable,” he said.

“Benzos?” I clarified. Back over the summer when I was secretly texting that Xanax-addict musician, I learned the term.

“Yeah. But the team I work with is very good.”

“Oh, like who?” I asked.

“Like Andrea. She helps me out with a lot of paperwork and note taking,” Brady said and then he walked out of the kitchen.

“Let me see Andrea!” I said, innocently. I continued following him.

“Why?” I could tell he was getting increasingly more annoyed, but it’s like, I need to see who you are working late with every night.

“I just want to see her. Please.”

Brady sighed. “I don’t have a picture, Reese.”

“You have Facebook,” I pointed out. “I’ll grab the iPad. Please, please can I see her?”

I was begging to see a picture of Brady’s coworker because he loved her and I had no shame about it.

I pulled up Facebook on the iPad and instructed Brady to log in. A few minutes later, Brady handed the iPad back to me, looking unamused.

“Cute!” I exclaimed, meaning it. Andrea’s photo was a professional black and white headshot and she had what looked like dirty blonde shoulder length hair, with trendy beach waves in it. She was wearing some sort of dark lipstick that was apparent even in her black and white picture.

Brady walked into the kitchen and I continued scrolling through her page. I quickly discovered that she has a hipster looking boyfriend with a big, disgusting beard and they had a ton of pictures traveling together. And girls don’t cheat on their boyfriends so I decided she is a nonissue.

I was more interested in the unopened message he had. With Brady occupied, I clicked the message and saw that it was from Brittany. Houston Brittany! This bitch. Before I could open it, Brady came back around with his bowl of cereal.

“How was work for you?” he asked.

I sat there with him while he ate his dinner, telling him about all of my opportunities I had going on. I’d told him about everything while we were on our way to Houston, but I wanted to talk about it more to see if he had more insight. Plus, my interview for the social media position was unexpectedly cancelled.

“I think you should move on from there. Even if they do decide to move you into that new role, it sounds like it’ll just be putting a bandaid over things for now. We don’t know if you’ll like the new office more and it’s a risk. I want you to be happy though,” Brady said.

Later, Brady fell asleep on the couch and I took the time to get back into his Facebook messages. There was a brief moment where I felt bad about what I was doing. How I needed to trust him especially after realizing that I had jumped to conclusions about both Kim and Andrea. But luckily that feeling passed and I proceeded to snoop anyway.

The most recent message from Brittany said, “Lol, let me know when y’all make it back home!”

I scrolled up and saw that the original message was from Sunday morning at 3:00am. Around the time when we were all leaving the club.

“You know Christian is the ex, right?” she said. The last time they spoke before that was a long time ago.

At 10:00am, Brady said back, “Really?”

“Yeah. I’m not sure how long it lasted though, Reese never talked to me about it,” Brittany said.

Like, what a bitch. Christian could hardly even be considered a fling. I barely even hooked up with him.

Then Brittany said, “I know they slept together, but I’m not sure the exact details. Just wanted to make sure you knew.”

“Haha, well obviously he’s far from the only other guy she’s slept with. Thanks for the info though,” Brady said back.

I was furious! What was Brady trying to say? And fucking Brittany! What was her issue? I immediately texted her, “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull by telling Brady about Christian, but nice try. He already knew.”

Brittany called me and I sent her to voicemail.

“Reese, call me before you freak out,” she sent me.

I ignored her and since I was already in Brady’s messages, I decided to continue snooping. Obviously Brady isn’t really into social media so there wasn’t a whole lot to see. But I did find a message from 2009 where he asked a girl to come over. Asshole.

I was seething. I blocked Brittany and then I went through and deleted as many random friends and photos as I could. Too far? I don’t give a shit. No one uses Facebook anymore anyway.

When Brady finally woke up to get in bed, I launched into him.

“Did you and Brittany have fun talking shit about me?” I demanded.

“What are you even talking about?” he said back.

Christian obviously isn’t the only other guy she’s slept with!” I repeated.

“Oh my God, why are you yelling at me? She’s your friend! I was defending you. What did you want me to say?”

“Literally I don’t want you to say anything at all, especially not to me. Fuck you,” I said. I got in bed and didn’t talk to Brady before falling asleep.

You know that exhausted feeling you wake up with after a night of debauchery? I woke up feeling like I’d just robbed a bank and performed at a strip club in front of everyone I know the night before. Thinking about my little Facebook rampage, I felt kind of guilty.

Brady appeared at my side, kneeling by the the bed.

“I love you,” he said, putting a hand on the side of my face in my hair. “I’m going to try to be home early tonight, okay?”

I nodded. He kissed me and left. If only what he said was true.

When I got to work, I saw that one of my marketing leads who I was going to meet with later in the day cancelled our meeting in Google. That was weird. All day I waited for the updated calendar invite, but it never came. Ooookay, so I guess I was no longer in the running for that job. Whatever then.

I stayed at work a little later than normal (5:45pm) and then headed home expecting Brady to either be there or be on his way. After feeding Tucker, taking him out and even running around the park a bit, Brady still wasn’t home.

“ETA?” I texted him at 7:30pm.

“Not sure. Still lots to do, but I’ll let you know, baby,” he said.

Ugh. Don’t fucking call me baby. Especially when you’re being an asshole.

The fucker didn’t come home until 10:30pm. Again. I didn’t even say anything to him when he walked through the door. I did my nighttime routine and then got in bed. When Brady joined me, he wrapped his arms around my waist and tried to pull my close to him.

“Did you you have a good day?” he whispered in my ear.

I ignored him, pretending to be asleep. And then, because I was still mad when I woke up, I waited as long as possible to get out of bed so I wouldn’t have to talk to him.

Later that morning, I got a message from the girl in marketing who I was supposed to interview with.

“Hey, sorry about canceling the interview. I had a time conflict. Are you available to meet tomorrow?” she asked.

Was this a joke? I literally had 2 days left and had obviously mentally checked out. But whatever. I told her we could still meet. I’d entertain her a bit.

Gabby and I walked to Chopt for lunch and I told her what was going on with the position and interviews.

“Obviously you aren’t going to take the job if they offer it to you though, right?” she asked.

“I mean, the timing is super off. My last day is Friday and they want to meet with me on Thursday. Unless they conjure up an amazing offer in two days which I highly doubt, I am leaving,” I said.

“If you don’t end up getting that job, I wonder who they will choose,” Gabby pondered.

“They’ll probably go external,” I said.

Gabby’s face seemed disappointed. Wait. Did she want to be considered for the role? The poor thing is sick of being a receptionist and wants to put her degree to use. Maybe after I get comfortable in my new job I can find her something at my company.

On Wednesday night, Brady came home at 10:45pm. It was finally time to confront him.

“What’s going on at work that keeps you so late?” I asked as politely as I could.

“I’m working on divvying up some responsibilities so I don’t have to work as much. There’s a lot to do and at this moment, I am the only one able to do it. But eventually I’d like to pass some responsibilities onto other people. That takes time and training,” he explained.

It honestly sounded really stupid.

“Okay, so tell me about your timeline of when all of this is going to happen and you can come home at a decent time,” I said

“Well, as soon as possible obviously.”

“That’s not that answer I am looking for,” I said.

“It’s the only answer I can give you right now,” Brady said, getting defensive. I wanted to slap him.

But do you know who was home at 6:00pm on Thursday? I came home needing a drink. I had my interview with the marketing woman and to put it politely, it was a complete waste of my time. It seemed like she’d never conducted an interview before and I basically dominated the whole thing. At the end, I even said, “If you have someone else you think would be a good fit for this role, by all means, hire them. I already have another job lined up so..”

She looked surprised, but said okay.

I was measuring the fourth tequila shot for my drink when Brady walked in. Aggressive? Yes, but it was Thirsty Thursday.

“Oh my gosh, hi! You’re home so early,” I greeted him.

“Yeah. I still have some work to do this evening,” he said.

I felt guilty that he was home for dinner and I had no plans for what we would eat. Usually I eat silly things for dinner like chik’n nuggets with mustard or a plate of homemade nachos.

So I ordered a pizza for us and annoyed Brady for the majority of the evening. He came home at a decent time on Friday too. We went out for drinks to celebrate my new job and stuff and proceeded to stay out until 4:00am getting fucked up and dancing. Brady revealed that he was working on Saturday despite not being “scheduled.”

“Why would you volunteer to work when you don’t have to? It’s bad enough you work weekends sometimes anyway,” I said.

“I just have some work I want to catch up on. It’ll only be a few hours, don’t worry,” he said.

And honestly, it was nice to be able to sleep in and not have Brady waking me up for the damn gym. Tucker and I finally rolled out of bed at noon. I was bit hungover and starving and texted Brady to see what his ETA was so I could decide if I should wait for him to eat.

He didn’t reply right away so I took Tucker on a walk around the neighb. Brady finally responded saying, “Not sure.”

What the fuck ever. I decided to grab lunch on my own. Something weird happened while I was out. Brady’s mom texted me.

“Hello. I understand Brady is working so I am reaching out to you. We’d like to invite the two of you over for dinner this evening, if you are available,” she said.

How sweet.

“Of course. What time is dinner?” I said back.

“Whenever is convenient. I know Brady likes to work late.”

“Should we bring anything?”

“Just yourselves. We are looking forward to seeing you.”

I immediately texted Brady, “Your parents invited us over for dinner. So you probably need to get off work soon.”

He didn’t reply right away, but I felt like I needed to mentally prepare myself for the evening ahead. I cleaned the whole apartment, found a cookie recipe on Pinterest, texted Brady, ran to the store to get the ingredients for my white chocolate cranberry cookies, baked burned the cookies, threw them out, showered, texted Brady, picked out four outfits and curled my hair.

Brady finally waltzed in after 8:00pm. I was sitting on the couch in my underwear with my hair and face done.

“Where have you been? Why haven’t you texted me back?” I screamed.

“Relax. I just talked to my mom. I just need to change and then we’ll head over,” he said, rolling his eyes at me.

I followed him. “Just so you know, it’s super inconsiderate of you to volunteer to work today even though you’ve already worked a ton this week. And then you decide not to come home until almost 8:30. It’s like you are purposely trying not to spend time with me and Tucker.”

Brady sighed. “You know I wish I was home with you guys more. I don’t even know why you’re doing this right now, Reese.”

I quickly got dressed in jeans, Alexander Wang booties and a modest sweater. Brady and I took an Uber to the Upper East Side to his parents’ apartment, packing a bottle of red wine we had at the house so didn’t turn up empty handed.

Brady’s parents have an apartment in New York City because they are here for work so often. They have a corner unit off Park Ave with a bomb ass view. I’m not surprised. Also not surprised with how little they did with the interior. If it were me, I’d do a midcentury mod vibe with rich colored wallpaper, funky shaped lighting, intricate framed mirrors and tons of plants. But it’s not me and it’s them, so everything was white and grey and obviously expensive, but boring.

Dinner went on as normal, the parents talking to Brady about work, about housing (What do you have planned for your condo in Chicago?), about what he’s (we’ve) been doing on for fun in the city.

Suddenly, Brady’s mom said, “Reese, I emailed your mother. We are having a Christmas celebration in Massachusetts and we thought it would be a nice gesture to extend the invitation to both your mother and your father. If they are still working on their relationship, of course.”

“Wait, what?” I said, out loud.

Brady’s mom looked at Brady and he looked like he’d been caught red handed.

“I’m sorry, I forgot to mention that to you,” he said to me.

“Oh my God,” I said.

“Your mother hasn’t gotten back to me, but I hope they can make it,” Brady’s mom continued.

Y’all know what I planned on doing for Christmas? Waking up with Tucker and Brady, making a huge and disgusting breakfast (pancakes, bacon, biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, crepes, mimosas, etc) and opening all of our gifts in the living room alone. Then we’d have sex a few times before getting up and showering and then maybe we’d consider some sort of contact with the outside world. I did not plan on socializing with anyone’s family, including my own.

“I figured Brady would want to spend the holidays with you, and I thought to myself that you must want to see your own family as well. Hunter, Dominique and the kids have already made travel arrangements to join us, along with my sister Katherine and my mother…” Brady’s mom went on.

I was so furious I couldn’t even make eye contact with Brady. I was afraid if I did, I would start laying into him and that would not be a good look in front of his parents.

“That sounds really nice,” I said, with angry tears in my eyes. I was mad that Brady knew about this and didn’t tell me and also that it was all happening so fast and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to prepare myself/my crazy parents.

Brady could sense how mad I was and tried really hard to make small talk in the Uber home.

“I really want to strangle you,” I blurted out. “Like, you’re so annoying. Why didn’t you think it was important to tell me about your mom’s huge plan for Christmas?”

“I’m sorry, I honestly forgot. I only found out recently, also. I wasn’t deliberately trying to keep it from you,” he said.

“Maybe if you didn’t smoke so much fucking weed, you’d remember to tell me things,” I said.

Brady didn’t have anything else to say after that.

So yeah. My mom confirmed that she got the email and was discussing details with my dad because they’d love to see me and Brady again for the holidays, according to her.

“I don’t know why she thought to invite us, though. Is Brady proposing or something?” my mom asked.

I literally laughed. “He wouldn’t dare.”

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