“What did you and Paige talk about at your touch base?” I asked Brendan at lunch the following week.
“Nothing really. She just wanted to introduce herself and stuff like that. She seems cool. Had a ton of questions,” Brendan replied.
We were having salads and smoothies – we both needed a detox after eating like shit over the weekend. It’s called balance. I hadn’t seen Brendan in about a week and a half and hadn’t really heard from him on the normal emails we correspond on.
“Do you want to know what she’s done since being hired?” I didn’t wait a beat for him to say yes. “Literally nothing. She’s always running around like she’s busy and important, but never speaks in meetings or contributes at all. And she’s always in Mike’s office with him. It’s so weird. He even stays past 3:00pm working with her.”
Brendan laughed. “I’m sure she is just getting into the groove of things. Mike knows what he’s doing – he wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t valuable.”
I side eyed him. “Yeah, I’m sure.”
Brendan lifted his smoothie to drink, with his left hand and I noticed something.
“Wait. Where is your ring?”
He quickly hid his hand and shook his head slowly like he didn’t want to talk about it.
I leaned in close. “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”
Brendan was never seen without his ring prior to this and his reaction told me that something really was going on. I’m sure I should have seen it coming.
“We’re separated,” he revealed and then immediately tucked back into his salad.
I couldn’t believe it.
“What? Since when? What happened?” It was clear he didn’t really want to talk about it, but I needed more details and talking about it would make him feel better, wouldn’t it?
“It’s just a trial thing. Her dad’s idea. She’s staying with her parents right now.” I was shocked to realize that Brendan was getting choked up slightly talking about it. He rarely ever talks about his wife at all so it was surprising that he was getting so emotional. And this is completely awful and terrible (especially since he was so upset), but the only thing I could imagine is a single Brendan and having sex with him (not pregnant of course).
“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” I grabbed his wrist and he didn’t push me away.
“It’s fine. We agreed on it and it’s temporary.”
I wanted way more details (like why the dad even suggested separating), but it was clear Brendan was uncomfortable so I dropped it. We grabbed lunch a few more times during the week and he started cheering up a little bit more and dropped subtle details like, “She had her dad text me so she could make sure I wasn’t home when she came to pick up some stuff.” I was thinking what did Brendan do that made his wife not even want to see him? Did he cheat on her? With who?
Carly visited that weekend. When she saw me she cried, as if I hadn’t been sending her pictures of my bump for months (“Is this normal?”). We mostly just sat around the apartment eating while Brady worked (he’s back to working 16 hour days which I’ve confronted him about. More about that later).
I told her the story of the Connecticut house and she said, “I mean, I’ve heard of people living in Connecticut and working in New York City. In fact, I know people who live in Philly who work in New York City.”
“That is completely absurd and I’m not doing that,” I said. I’ve pretty much made up my mind about not leaving the city even though we have no prospects here and Brady’s house has just been reduced.
“Have you thought of [Carly got a look in her eye that told me she was going to say something ridiculous] not going back to work and being a stay at home mom?”
I hadn’t. Because for the most part, I’m liking what I do. Mike lets me do what I want, I love working with Brendan and Kristina. But now that I was thinking about it – maybe it was something to consider. Without having family around, who is gonna watch the baby while I’m working? A random nanny?
Brady started working late again coming home between 8:00 and 9:00 each day. When he walked in at 10:00 one night, I lost it. I’d already cooked, eaten, put the leftovers away, had dessert and cleaned the entire kitchen.
“What’s happening at work that you need to be there this late?” I demanded when he walked in.
“There’s work to do. There’s always work to do. You know that,” he said dismissively.
“Yeah, but a normal person would call or text to let their pregnant girlfriend know they are going to be late,” I said very calmly.
Brady rolled his eyes and threw up his hands. “Reese, I don’t have time to check in with you all the time. If I wasn’t completely swamped, I wouldn’t be home late! God!”
“I get it – your job is so important and the whole hospital would collapse if you weren’t there, but I’m literally pregnant with your child and I think you should show me a little bit more respect.”
And instead of showing me respect, Brady started shouting at me.
“Reese, do you really think I want to be at work this late? Why is it so hard for you to understand? I can’t just do whatever I want and come and go as I please like you can. I have fucking work to do! And the last thing I need is you bombarding me as soon as I walk in the door. haven’t eaten or even put my stuff down and you start with this shit.”
Calmly, I said, “Don’t you ever speak to me like that.”
He walked off and I changed into silk PJs and got in bed. I handled his outburst like a tough bitch, but as soon as I got in bed I started crying like a baby. A little while later, after I was sleeping Brady finally came and got in bed. I glared and turned over.
“Hey,” he said, poking me. “Hey.”
“Please leave me alone. I am sleeping,” I said.
He wrapped his arms around my torso like he normally does, acting like all was well. “I’m sorry for yelling at you. I’ll be home earlier tomorrow and I have something special planned for us this weekend.”
I ignored him and waited until the next morning to let him know his actions were not acceptable. Usually I sleep in as late as I can, but I got my ass up at 5:00 with Brady. I caught him in the kitchen.
“You’re up early,” he said brightly as he prepared Tucker’s food.
“I couldn’t sleep because I kept having flashbacks of you screaming at me,” I said. It wasn’t entirely true, but I needed him to feel guilty.
His face fell. “I’m sorry about that. Work has been frustrating and I apologize for taking it out on you.”
Brady was sure to be home before 6 on both Thursday and Friday. And do you know what his “surprise” for the weekend was? To register for the baby shower. Apparently Kendra has been asking me to, but I didn’t fast enough so she told Brady to take me. It was kind of fun, I guess, but kind of tough because we don’t know where we will be living. What if the nursery is small and the RH crib I found doesn’t fit?
I also used this time to talk to Brady about my plan after we have the baby. I explained to him what Carly and I talked about.
He thought about it for a second and said, “You didn’t grow up wanting to be just a mom, right?”
I’m sure he was trying to be helpful and get me to think in a different way, but I was so offended. Just a mom? Excuse me? Who says that to a pregnant woman?
With Brady’s recent shortcomings, I haven’t felt guilty that Brendan stops by to bring me lunch almost daily. One day he even came by on his way to a site and he called me to come down and retrieve my food because he was double parked. He was sitting there waiting in his big blacked out Jeep Grand Cherokee and I just can’t believe he’d fight all the city traffic just to bring me food. He’s basically my personal UberEats driver.
And my new thing is to go through Brady’s pockets and wallet. He’s been coming home late and hasn’t been very nice so I figured something must be going. Or maybe I’m insecure. Or maybe I just feel guilty myself. Anyway, I found a business card in his wallet.
After further investigation I found that she recently graduated from Harvard Business School. I’m sorry – what business does Brady have with a consultant? And she’s far younger than us. Since I’ve been approaching 30, I’ve been really insecure about age. I’ll update once I find out more.
My parents are coming next week to help me celebrate being old and pregnant and I am so, so excited to see them. Bye.