Brady’s mom sent him a long text message after our Thursday meeting. She basically said the same things she told me, but it was obvious that they’d spoken on the phone beforehand because she said things like, “You don’t seem to care how she spoke to me today and that’s disappointing.”
You know what else is disappointing? You are, you bitch. She also said things along the lines of, “I didn’t raise you to be this way,” and “I thought you’d be a little more considerate after how Hunter handled things with his wife.”
She’s such a victim. I rolled my eyes at her long message and was at least happy that Brady didn’t bother responding.
On Friday, Mike was back in the office. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Sam, who had been busy, but chill the past several days, was clearly stressed about him being around. Like, relax.
Mike and I were meeting with the head of a construction company we partner with for a lot of our projects for lunch.
“How was your uh, New Years?” Mike asked on our walk over.
Sam wasn’t with us and I really needed her as a buffer. Mike has zero social skills.
“It was okay. My boyfriend and I went to a house party with some friends and spent all of New Year’s Day recovering,” I said. Why did I say that? Why? “Uh, how was yours?”
“It was all right. We need to turn here,” he replied.
We didn’t say anything else the rest of the walk. We were meeting with Thomas, the head of sales and Brendan, the CEO. Brendan was cute, I noticed, with his dirty blonde fuckboy haircut (faded on the sides and styled on top with a damn part cut into it), manly dimpled chin and super soft, gentle green eyes. Do you ever look at someone and feel like you can tell their entire story just by the way they look? With his long sleeved henley and swimmer shoulders and pea coat draped over the back of his chair, I could tell that he came from old money, was clearly filthy rich and liked to sail as a hobby. He was obviously the president of his fraternity in college (an Ivy League), was a self proclaimed beer snob and worked out like it was a religion. I was surprised that he wasn’t working on Wall Street. He looked younger than me in my opinion, but had a wedding band on. I could even picture what his wife was like.
Mike and the guys spoke mostly, but then Brendan said, “Do you have anything to add to that?” to me. And he said it kind of shyly, like he wasn’t sure if it was his place to ask me to talk.
“Yes, I have loads to add,” I said back. I always have things to add. I didn’t shut up the rest of the lunch and kept talking so much that Mike actually raised an eyebrow at me.
Eventually we stopped talking business and Brendan started telling us about the ski trip he was taking to Yellowstone. To my surprise, Mike actually showed a bit of interest and they carried on talking about the resort and stuff I could not relate to. Typical rich New Yorkers.
“Do you like to ski, Reese?” Brendan asked, realizing I hadn’t said anything for a while.
“I’ve only been a handful of times and as you can imagine, I’m not very good,” I replied.
Brendan tossed his head back and actually laughed a real, genuine laugh, revealing the most adorable smile with the cutest teeth even though he had noticeable fangs. His mouth was kind of wide too with dimples punctuating it. The rest of the conversation I spent staring at his mouth.
After lunch, we all got up and Mike told Thomas that I was the main point of contact and that we’d probably be working together a lot.
Thomas, a ginger (I love gingers), smiled big like this was the best news ever. “Looking forward to working with you more, Reese.”
As we were walking out, Brendan fell into step next to me and the other two were a few feet ahead of us.
“Where are you from?” he asked me.
“Most recently Chicago. I went to school in Arizona and grew up just outside Houston, Texas,” I answered politely.
He laughed again. “What company did you work for? I see you’re new.”
Oh. So he didn’t want my whole life story?
I told him and he just said, “Ah, I see.”
“What about you? Where are you from?” I asked.
“Born here and went to school in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I was working on my own business for a while out of school until I sold it and took over this job.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem really young to have such a big job,” I said.
Brendan laughed, once again. “You’re not the first person to say that, don’t worry. It’s a family business. I was the only one fit to take over for my dad. Yeah, it might be a bit premature, but it is what it is.”
Typical. Taking over the business from Daddy. There seemed to be more to that story, but I didn’t think it was my business. We chatted a bit more about the city and when I told him the neighborhood I live in, he gave me some recommendations for places to eat and things to do. I added them to my mental NYC Bucket List.
Later on in the day, Mike forwarded me an email that was originally addressed to him asking for some reports to be summarized.
“Please complete this by end of day. Thx,” he said.
Not only did I have other shit to work on, but it was already 3pm. The day was practically over. Mike went offline immediately after sending that to me.
Kristina stopped by my office a little while later.
“Hey chica,” she greeted me. She’s 26 and high energy – she’s always running around, sending emails and talking on the phone and in a hurry. Love her, but her job is not as important as she tries to make it. I think she’s super cool though and she’s single so we talk about men and dating a lot. Unlike Gabby, she doesn’t feel like she needs a boyfriend, but just likes to have fun. “What time are you leaving? We should get a drink. Or several.”
“Ugh, I’m not sure. Mike just give me a ton of extra work to do and then just left. So…” I said back.
Kristina made a face and pranced out of my office, shouting to let her know when I was finished. I ended up finishing things up at 6 and Kristina was waiting for me at the office door. We walked to a nearby restaurant for their happy hour.
We immediately began gossiping about work. Kristina was filling me in on everyone’s stories: who is a suck up and who is lazy, etc. We seemed to have the exact same opinion of people and I loved that about her. I’m a good reader of people and it was nice to know that she is too. Kristina has a trendy blonde bob and always wear lipsticks and dresses like an Instagram fashion blogger with her layers and colors and prints. She’s super cute.
We moved onto Mike and she said, “It’s weird that he left so early today. He probably has a date with one of his ladies.”
“What ladies?” I needed to know.
“What?” I gasped. “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, you didn’t hear. He hires hookers all the time. Sam found out when she saw a hotel room in the city for him on his statement. He told her that it was for personal use, but he needed to book it with his corporate card. After digging a little bit, Sam realized that he was meeting prostitutes. There are hotel charges on his card like twice a month.”
“Oh my God!” I screamed. Finally! Something juicy. For some reason, I just wasn’t surprised. Like, of course Mike would. He’s hot, but he has no social skills so he probably can’t pick up women on his own. I bet Scott hires them for himself too.
Brady came home late on Friday night even after I texted him saying we should go out for dinner. See how he makes me a priority? He doesn’t. I made myself a protein smoothie for dinner and made him fend for himself. I was still upset about the whole thing with his mom and I was annoyed that he hadn’t brought it up again.
Brady worked again on Saturday and I used that as an excuse not to leave the house. By the time he got home from work, I’d done nothing except go through every single one of his messages. I was disappointed to not find anything incriminating, not even in his messages with Sydney. In fact, he said some really sweet stuff about me to her before Christmas. Clearly he’s onto me and knows I’m reading his messages.
“I’m super tired. Let’s stay in and watch a movie tonight,” he said when he got home.
“Gladly,” I said back, thinking we’d be able to talk.
That is, until he said, “I think I’m gonna go in again tomorrow. I have a lot to do and I want to get it completed as soon as I can.”
Seriously? After we ate dinner, I locked myself in the bedroom and texted him, “This relationship won’t work if I’m the only one trying. You’re choosing to work instead of spending time with me and that’s not okay. You promised you wouldn’t work as much anymore and you’re not even making an effort. And don’t even get me started on your mother.” I was hiding in the bedroom so he wouldn’t try to kiss me or kiss my hand or distract me.
Brady opened my message and spent five whole minutes trying to formulate a response.
“I don’t want you to think I’m choosing work over you because I’m not. I’d like to finish my work this weekend because it will make it easier for me in the long run. I have a very large workload which I warned you about [he did, back when we were in Chicago]. I’m seriously trying my best and I’m sorry I’m not doing a better job.”
I felt like he was blowing smoke just like he did with his mother. And, to my horror, I caught myself thinking, “Brendan would never choose work over me and I bet his mom wouldn’t try to bully me into moving out.” Of course she would, bitch, because he’s married!
I stayed in the bedroom until morning and Brady had to bang on the door so he could get in the closet. I felt a teensy bit bad that I’d unintentionally forced him to sleep on the couch, but not really. We haven’t spoken much since, but he’s been trying to be really nice and sent me all these ideas for what to do next weekend.