Brady went to work the next morning without making a sound. I overslept slightly and woke up with Tucker snuggled at my feet. What an asshole. I got up and got dressed, determined to prove to Mike that I was ready to work.
When I got to the office, I went face first into my overdue work, only coming up for air twice to go puke. Kristina talked me into going to Chopt with her for lunch and even though I wanted Taco Bell, I agreed. The fresh air would be nice and it’s not like my stomach could disagree with a salad.
“Sooo, Thomas told me something…” Kristina said as we walked down 42nd Street.
“What did he tell you?” I had to know.
“That he and Brendan want me and you to go run their sales department,” she answered, sounding delighted.
“Oh really? That’s a fun idea.” A fun idea to just throw around – it would obviously never happen.
“Super fun! I’d love to work with them. People we actually get along with!” she enthused.
“I couldn’t do that to Mike,” I revealed. I don’t know why I feel like I have loyalty to Mike, but he handpicked me (even if I was a second choice) to come work for him and I’m not going to jump ship after a few months.
“He also said he catches Brendan stalking your Instagram several times a week,” Kristina sang as we walked into the restaurant.
I gave her a disapproving look before following her in. We ordered our salads and took them back to the office. I didn’t want to be gone too long since I had so much work to do.
“Expect a job offer in your email soon. Or in your DMs, I guess,” Kristina giggled as we walked back into the building.
I got back to my office and was surprised to see that I had a new text from Hunter waiting. Literally the last person I expected to hear from – especially since I hadn’t heard anything from Brady.
“Hey Reese,” he said, adding a star eyed emoji.
“Hi Hunter,” I said back, with no emoji.
“Are you really pregnant? Brady’s freaking out and doesn’t believe you,” he said.
Are you fucking kidding me? Instead of talking to me like an adult, Brady went and told his
loser brother on me? I stared at my phone for five whole minutes.
“Not sure why he doesn’t believe me when I showed him my doctor’s note. He knows it’s true and I have absolutely nothing to gain by lying about this,” I finally said back.
“And it’s his?” Hunter said back.
And before I could send the scathing message I was drafting (I was gonna let him have it), another message from him came through. “Just fucking with you. I’m stoked dude. Can’t wait to be an uncle.”
I replied, “Please don’t call me dude.”
Needless to say, that was the end of our conversation. I could not wait to get home to confront Brady about his latest stunt.
Mike was leaving at the same time I was. It was 5:30PM and late for him. He’d ditched his suit jacket and didn’t have his backpack or any work stuff with him. He didn’t say anything to me as we waited for the elevator together.
“Do you have any plans this evening?” I asked because the silence was deafening.
Mike looked down at me out of the corner of his eye, like I had no right to ask that. “No.”
Okay. Go have fun with your hookers then.
I got home and made a fabulous solo dinner (pasta with kale pesto from Pinterest) and waited for Brady to get home. To my complete shock, he walked through the door at 6:45PM. I hadn’t even made him any dinner because I thought he wouldn’t be home for several more hours (and also, I was mad at him). He even had a bag of takeout. I blinked at him expectantly.
“Hi,” he said slowly as he dropped his stuff on the bar area.
“Hello,” I said back, super super sweetly.
“I brought you a burrito and a salad, if you want it.”
I’d already eaten, but I wasn’t going to admit that. “Ohh, what kind of burrito?”
I got up to dig through the bag while Brady went to get changed. By the time he came back, I was balls deep in my chorizo burrito. He sat next to me at the bar.
“So we should talk,” Brady said.
“We should,” I nodded. I put my burrito down because I have manners.
“I guess I’m just wondering how this happened.”
“Do you want a deeper explanation than that you came inside me and your sperm fertilized my egg?”
Brady grimaced. Too much? “I mean, you assured me you were on birth control. I understand that it’s not 100%, but it’s just hard to believe you’re that unlucky.”
“Brady, are you fucking kidding me? Unlucky? Why don’t you understand how this works? I didn’t do this on purpose and I for fucking sure didn’t do it on my own!” I exploded.
“I just think it’s unfair,” he said.
“I don’t want a child right now!” Brady screamed, standing up. “Neither of us is ready and I can’t think of a worse time for this to happen!”
“Okay, I’ll tell the baby to come back in a few years when you’re ready.”
“And when you’re ready, too! You’re not even close to being ready either, Reese. For God’s sake!”
I burst into tears. I wasn’t expecting Brady to still be upset and definitely didn’t like him in my face and screaming at me. He muttered something and stormed off to the bedroom and I finished my burrito.
Brady was an asshole the next day as well. At 8PM he texted me saying, “Eat without me. I still have a few more hours here.”
Of course he did. And when he got home, he didn’t bother waking me up and he slept on the couch. I would have felt super alone, but I ordered Chinese food and that kept me company.
The following day though, Brady came home early with his tie off and a bouquet of flowers. I watched him over the top of my cheeseburger. We made eye contact and he looked down at the ground.
“I wanted to apologize,” he said.
“Oh,” I said back.
“I’m sorry. Um, can we talk? We should talk.”
“The last time we talked you screamed at me and blamed this whole situation on me,” I pointed out.
“I know. That’s what I want to talk about.” Brady motioned for me to join him at the bar area and I grabbed my cheeseburger and sat next to him.
“There’s no excuse for my behavior. I apologize for being a jerk. I shouldn’t have blamed you or yelled at you.”
“True,” I chimed in.
“I was, I mean, I am really surprised that you’re…pregnant.” Brady closed his eyes like this conversation was too hard to bear. And the word ‘pregnant’ was obviously hard for him to say. “I didn’t even think it was a possibility. I take full responsibility for my part in this.”
“…okay. Thanks, I guess. I didn’t think it was a possibility either, for the record,” I said, putting my burger down since we were finally talking.
“I’m scared,” he revealed.
“I am too,” I said, accusatorially. “Why do you assume you’re the only one feeling this way? It’s like you think this was my idea all along and I’m happy it’s all playing out.”
“No, I know this isn’t your idea. I’m sorry. I’m just…afraid of having a child and not knowing how to love it.”
“I don’t know. If I – we – at this point already don’t want a baby…in addition to me having a hard time showing [he used a weird word here. I meant to Google it, but I gathered that it meant like, affection or love]….”
“Brady, you are capable of loving a baby. We will both work on it. I’m not the best at showing my feelings either, but we will figure it out.”
There was a pause and then Brady said, “So you’re six weeks along? What should we do? Should we get married?” He was dead serious.
“I don’t want you to marry me just because I’m pregnant. And definitely not if that’s the way you ask,” I said back.
He nodded and there was silence. I took this time to finish my burger. After I was finished, Brady grabbed my greasy little hand in his.
“I love you. I’m sorry that I don’t say it or know how to show it. You are the best part of my life.”
When Brady said this, I realized that he’s probably worse at showing affection because I don’t know how to accept it. After the “best part of my life” comment, I was thinking, “Hmm, not true.” And then I didn’t acknowledge it at all.
We talked a little bit about what I knew so far, which was basically nothing and went through some things on the What To Expect app. After that, Brady wanted to go for a walk, alone, and I realized when he came back that it was so he could smoke.
Once I’d talked to Brady about it, I thought I’d share my pregnancy news with my mom/parents. But then I thought I should wait until Mother’s Day. Won’t that be an amazing time to let my mom know she’s going to be a grandma? She’s going to die. As far as Brady’s parents – that’s for him to figure out.
As you can see, I’m less numb now. I might even be a tiny bit excited.
The following day, Saturday, Brady had to work, but I expected him to come home early with chili cheese fries like I’d been craving, but he worked late again. That was fine though because I couldn’t keep anything down all day. I had a ginger ale and lettuce for dinner.
When Brady finally got home, we sat together while he ate. After he finished and cleaned up, he said, “Um, I wanted to tell you something.”
“Do you remember Hailey?”
“Of course I do.”
Hailey was a college student Brady used to work with who had a massive crush on him and would send him flirty messages all the time. She was a non-threat, or so I thought.
“Well, this one time some of us from work went out and she kissed me. Well, she tried to kiss me. Obviously I-”
“What?” I demanded.
“No, I didn’t kiss her back. I let her know that it was, you know, inappropriate,” Brady explained.
“She, like, kissed you though? On the lips? How long did it last?” I needed to know.
“A second. A few seconds…or less.”
“When did this happen? Didn’t you work with her like three years ago?”
“Why are you even telling me this now? Are you looking for ways to piss me off?” I was shouting now.
“No, no, no! Of course not. I just want to make sure everything is out in the open now that…” He gestured, not wanting to say ‘pregnant.’
“So you had to tell me that some little girl tried to kiss you three years ago?”
“Is there anything else?”
“No. No, that was it,” he said.
I wanted to fucking punch him. What a waste of an argument. I went and got in bed and Brady came and joined me even though it was only 9:30PM.
Also, I don’t know if I believe him that that was it.