My mother decided to visit for Memorial Day. Normally I would have been excited to spend the weekend drinking, but since that wasn’t an option I guess seeing my mom was good too.
Between Mike and Connie, I was ready to retire from my job. Mike didn’t talk to me for days after the samples mishap. He normally doesn’t talk to me anyway, but this was painful. And Connie continued sending passive aggressive emails telling me to update spreadsheets and that my numbers were wrong while refusing to make eye contact with me in the halls of the office.
Brendan stopped by the office to pick me up for our “working lunch” and we ran into Mike on our way out.
“Brendan,” he said, shaking his hand. “Thank you for setting up the reservation. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.”
“What was that about?” I asked Brendan in the elevator.
“Mike and I will both be up north this weekend. We are going to meet up for dinner,” he explained.
I didn’t say anything. I had absolutely not right to, but I felt left out. Why would those two be hanging out? I thought Brendan was on my team. And I was frustrated that Mike was going out of his way not to acknowledge me – in front of Brendan!
We spent all of lunch talking shop and about his parents dog. On the way back, Brendan said, “Can we do this again tomorrow?”
How did he have time for another hour and a half working lunch the following day? I don’t know and didn’t ask. We did the exact same thing the following day – only I chose the restaurant. I dragged him all the way to the other side of Central Park because I wanted crepes.
After the weekend with my mom, Brady and I were in a really good place. She’s a therapist and seemed to talk some sense into both of us (at least Brady because I like to think I was never the problem). We all had dinner on the first night she arrived and my mom said, “Brady, I’m dying to know how you’re feeling about everything.”
And instead of saying “I don’t think we are ready” or anything like that, he said, “I’m nervous, but I am extremely excited.”
My mom, the therapist, asked, “What are you nervous about?”
“I mean, everything,” he laughed. “When I imagined becoming a parent, I pictured things a little different.”
“I didn’t think I’d be renting an apartment in a city I don’t want to be in, I thought we’d be married, and that we’d have more money saved up. Among a lot of other things…” Brady glanced at me timidly.
My mom nodded. “Of course. Those things would be nice, wouldn’t they? But you both have wonderful jobs here, don’t you think it’s great that you are here, for now? If you did have more money saved up, what would you do with it? If you needed anything at all, you know you have family who will do anything and everything to help. And lastly Brady – I know you know this – there is still time to get married.”
“Mom!” I said, rolling my eyes.
“I just know that y’all are completely capable. Don’t forget – your father and I were young and not as successful when we had you. I hadn’t even finished all of my schooling!” she went on.
On her last night in town, we went out to dinner – just the two of us.
“So I talked to Brady,” she said over ravioli, meatballs, mussels, and lots of bread. “It must drive you nuts to not know what he’s thinking.”
“It does!” I exclaimed. “But I’m used to it by now. What did he say?”
“He doesn’t know when he is going to tell his parents you are pregnant. I asked him what he was waiting for and he said, ‘a plan.’ I can’t imagine if you didn’t feel like you could reach out to us for support.”
“Yeah, well. They’re probably going to disown him so I can understand why he’s putting it off,” I explained.
“But why? He’s a grown man.”
She told me about the other things they talked about like the fact that Brady was thinking of taking on an assignment that would take him out of the country for a month, but my pregnancy stopped it. Wish he would talk to me about things like that!
“Y’all need to talk more. I know he isn’t very open, but it sounds like you aren’t either. I told him the same thing.”
And like I said, ever since my mom left, things have been exponentially better. So much so that I think Brady is actually getting excited. He checks on me fourteen times a day and sends articles and reminds me to eat (as if I need a reminder) and drink water. He even took off work to come to the doctor with me again. And now that the weather’s getting nicer, he comes home before it gets dark so we can go on a walk with Tucker.
The following weekend, Lola wanted to get brunch and I agreed. I’d have to think of an excuse for why I wasn’t drinking. We went to a reformer class and then walked to a cute French place to eat.
“We will share the chocolate chip pancakes and two of the bottomless mimosas please,” Lola told the server.
“Oh no, that’s okay. I’m not drinking,” I said quickly.
“Why?” she scoffed.
“I’m not in the mood for that.”
“Do you want a Bloody then?”
I shook my head and Lola gave me a weird look. Once her carafe arrived she said, “I want to know why you’re not drinking.”
“I just don’t want to,” I said back.
She slid her flute toward me. “Just have a sip. It’ll get you in the mood.”
“Why won’t you just take a sip? Like what’s wrong with you?” she demanded, in a teasing voice.
“Because I’m pregnant,” I said. If she wanted the truth, I’d give it to her.
“I knew it!” she exclaimed. “Why couldn’t you just tell me that? I’m not an idiot.”
“I was going to do a grand announcement, but you ruined it.”
Lola took it better than I thought. I think she felt bad for forcing me to tell her, but made it clear she was not happy about losing a drinking partner. We spent the rest of brunch talking about sustainable baby clothing.
With all of our “working lunch” dates and the fact that Brady and I were doing so well, I felt like I needed to break up with Brendan. We were spending way too much time together – we’d have lunch (his treat) almost daily, where we’d talk about business, but also our weekend plans, and what we were going to make for dinner, and how we wanted to go to Spain and Palm Springs and French Polynesia, and how I needed a new wardrobe (every time I showed Brendan things I’d put in my Revolve.com cart, he’d say, “That would look great on you! I really like it.” Little did he know, I couldn’t buy any of it because it was not baby bump appropriate), and if this were another life, what would we be doing? (Living in Paris as an artist, obviously).
He brought me pastries from his favorite bakery sometimes because he knew I’d like them and got way too excited watching me have a mouth orgasm every time I bit into one. Brendan also let me borrow books and an immersion blender. It’s like he loved me “needing” him. Kristina was loving our blossoming relationship.
I’d made up my mind that I was going to break things off (the guilt was getting to me) and Brendan stopped by the office one afternoon. Oh, perfect, I thought, I’ll just do it now before he tries to invite me to lunch the next day.
“Hey! I wanted to say hi before heading home. How are you?” he said, popping his head in my office.
“Good, thanks! I’m actually headed out too. Wanna walk down together?” I said back.
I gathered my things and we took the elevator down to the lobby together while making small talk. He told me he was grilling out for dinner and I think I moaned out loud.
“You know, you’re welcome over if you want,” Brendan laughed.
“Can we talk for a sec?” I asked. We were outside of the building now and with the millions of pedestrians on the sidewalk, it was the worst place to talk.
“Yeah, of course,” he said back.
“We should probably stop hanging out so much,” I said as we walked. “I enjoy going to lunch with you and all of our conversations, but it doesn’t feel platonic anymore. I want to be friends with you, of course, but we can’t go on lunch dates and you can’t invite me on trips with you anymore. I love my boyfriend…and I’m pregnant.”
I glanced at the side of Brendan’s face to gauge his reaction and he briefly looked like he had been punched in the gut. He recovered quickly.
“It is platonic,” he said, glancing back at me quickly. “I’m married, Reese. We are nothing more than friends. I’m sorry if I gave you a different idea or made you uncomfortable, but…..yeah. I’m not interested in being anything other than friends.”
“Okay,” I said, coolly, not sure how to react. I couldn’t remember a time when he said “I’m married” so explicitly, but all right. “Glad we’re on the same page.”
“Yeah, of course.” Brendan stopped walking and gestured the opposite way, “I’m headed back this way though. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Sure, see you tomorrow,” I said.
He took off the other way, not even congratulating me on being pregnant.