I saw on Mike’s calendar that he had a meeting with Brendan in the office. So I got dressed in a midi sweater dress and heeled boots and dragged my ass to the city.
When I got there, the place was deserted, but I saw that Mike’s light was on through the frosted window on his door. Because I’m nosy, dropped off my things and then walked over to eavesdrop. I wanted to see if Brendan was in there with him for their meeting. Sure enough, after a few seconds I heard them in there laughing. I stayed to see what they were talking about because for some reason I always feel like they’re talking shit about me. I have no reason to feel that way, but I do.
They carried on talking for a minute or two and then Mike suddenly stopped.
“Hello?” he called out. “Is that Reese?”
They could see me through the frosted glass, I realized too late. Fuck.
I pushed the door open. Mike was sitting behind his desk and Brendan sat in a chair opposite. They were both staring at me.
“Oh, hi! Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb. I decided to stop by today so if you need anything, I’m in my office,” I said.
Mike continued staring at me like he was utterly unamused, but Brendan broke into the hugest grin like he was thrilled to see me. I felt myself beginning to blush.
“Great. I will speak to you after this meeting,” Mike said pointedly.
“K!” I glanced at Brendan one last time before closing the door again. I wanted to die of embarrassment at being caught eavesdropping.
I went and worked in my office alone for a little while. Paige is still sending bitchy, passive aggressive emails while not replying to mine, so I’ve been deliberately excluding her from things and not responding to her either. Sorry, I’m petty and she’s messing with the wrong one.
Later on, I heard a knock on my office door, and I assumed it was Mike coming to talk to/yell at me.
“Come in!” I said and Brendan stepped in. I swallowed hard. He was wearing a fitted black t-shirt, those Lululemon joggers and Yeezy sneakers with his gold bracelet and an Apple Watch. He put a hand on his chest and I realized I had been completely checking him out. He’s like, very hot. It gave me a headache. “Hey!”
“Hey,” he said back as he walked in completely and shut the door behind him. “I didn’t know you were coming in today.”
“Yeah, last minute decision. Didn’t know you’d be here either!” I lied.
“Cool coincidence.” Brendan sat in one of my spare chairs and looked around a little bit. “But I’m happy to see you. How have you been holding up? I thought life was finally going back to normal, but it doesn’t look like it.”
“Yeah, if I have to watch another minute of television I’ll probably blow my brains out. I can’t take it anymore.”
He laughed. “I feel you.”
Since things were going so smooth and normal, I decided to blow that up.
“You called me the other night. I assume it was a butt dial, or did you want something?”
“Oh, yeah.” His smile vanished and he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Sorry about that. I needed someone to talk to and I…sorry. I know it was late.”
So then I felt bad for not answering or checking to see if he needed anything. What would he need to talk about and why me, of all people?
“Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, yeah.” He waved like it was no big deal while avoiding eye contact. Obviously lying.
He looked back at me. “She…”
I already knew who he was referring to.
“I don’t really want to talk about it, if that’s okay,” he said.
And it’s not like I could force it out of him. So naturally, this made me even more curious about what was going on. His wife must be giving him a hard time again, I assumed, but it can’t be about me since we hardly talk anymore!
We continued catching up for a while. I complained to him about how Winnie likes Brady more than me and Brady’s mom who has been harassing me and my weekly wine binges with Mel. Brendan told me stories about their dog and showed me some pictures and videos that made me sad because I miss Tucker. He relaxed more and leaned back in his chair and from that angle I could really appreciate the way his body looked in his outfit. Which is obviously terrible, but I’m not sure how I could have avoided it. Homeboy has been working out.
At one point, we heard the main doors chime open and I assumed it was Paige or Sam coming in or Mike leaving.
Then I heard a girl’s voice squeal, “Hey, Mikey!”
For a split second, I thought it was one of his prostitutes or something, but Brendan’s face went blank and he froze.
“We’re having lunch. The three of us.”
And then it all made sense. It was Brendan’s wife.
“Sorry. I’d better go. It was nice to be able to catch up,” he said.
There was a knock on the door and then Mike swung it open without waiting for an answer. What if I was naked? Or what if me and Brendan were doing something we didn’t want him to see? Rude. He poked his head in and Brendan jumped up.
“Ready?” he asked Brendan. Beyond him, I could see the wife standing there, waiting. She was tiny and beautiful and dressed in a Balenciaga leather jacket that I know for a fact costs $5,000.
“Yes,” Brendan said and squeezed past him out the door.
Mike looked at me. “We’re going to lunch if you’d like to join.”
Wow, Mike was actually being polite and inviting me. As tempting as it was, the thought of sitting at a table with Mike, Brendan and his wife after everything that has gone down, was too much. Even for me. Plus, wasn’t Mike fully aware of their marital issues and how I was somehow involved? I glanced quickly at Brendan, whose back was facing me, as he said something to his wife.
“You know, I’d love to, but I’m swamped. I’d better stay here and work. Thanks though!” I said back.
He didn’t say anything and closed the door. But before the door shut all the way, Brendan’s wife looked me right in the eye. It wasn’t until I heard the door chime again that I realized my heart was racing and I had to force myself to calm down. And then once I was calm, I burst into tears.
What the actual fuck? I don’t even know why. I’m back on birth control so something must be going on with my hormones.
Anyway, Brady’s been working a lot so we haven’t spoken that much. Usually he leaves before me and Winnie wake up and then when he gets home, we need to eat, put the baby to sleep and then he has more work to do. At this point, I’m not going to beg him to hang out with me and the baby. If he wants to, he will. And surely he knows that this is how a lot of relationships end — by growing apart. So it’s up to him.
He worked one Saturday and I made plans for me and Winnie: sleep in and then do chores around the house, order groceries, nap, paint, etc. But at 11am, the doorbell rang. I assumed it was one of my various deliveries so imagine my surprise when Brady’s mom was standing there. Unannounced. Carrying lots of bags and food.
“I brought lunch and gifts!” she said happily once I let her in.
“Thank you. I didn’t know you were coming,” I said. I was trying to be polite but in all those hours she spent driving here, she didn’t think it would be nice to call? What if we weren’t even home?”
“I told Brady,” she explained. “Did he not tell you?”
Of course. It made sense; Brady and I hadn’t talked much and he doesn’t tell me anything anyway.
“No, but it’s fine. Thanks for coming. Winnie will be excited to see you.”
She only stayed for an hour, but did plenty of damage during that time, talking complete shit as always. At one point, she asked if we’d signed the baby up for any sort of activities or schooling. And it’s just like, she’s not even 2. So no. Plus, we’re still in a pandemic.
“Well, I’ll speak to Brady about that,” she said haughtily.
After she left, I sent him a message.
“I would have appreciated it if you’d told me your mother was coming today. An unexpected visit was the last thing I wanted to deal with today.”
A few hours later, he texted back, “What? I didn’t know she was coming. She didn’t tell me.”
I assumed he was lying, like he always does when it comes to his mother, but then he added, “I wouldn’t have worked today if I knew she was coming.”
And that’s when I believed him. His crazy fucking mother. She knows Brady doesn’t tell me anything so it was easy for her to lie, knowing she could blame him. She’s so manipulative, I hate her! And she emailed me an article and long diatribe about how we are hindering Winnie’s growth. Bye. It went into the trash immediately.