i foiled his plan.

Kendra decided to throw my baby shower in New York and I was excited to have all of my closest friends and family together in the city. People began trickling in on Thursday evening, starting with Kendra who I was probably most excited to see. I haven’t seen her since I’ve been pregnant.

We grabbed dinner and talked about who all was coming, who wasn’t coming, Kendra’s job, John, Mia, Brady, Brady’s mom, the house, my diet, etc. I loved sharing all of my grievances (again) and getting a different perspective. Kendra is for the most part rational and she has a baby so she knows what I’m going through. She also knows my mom really well and everything I’ve told her about Brady and his parents.

“The fact that his mother is offering their apartment to you says a lot. She’s come to terms with the fact that you’re pregnant and is trying to make up for being a witch before. Honestly, it would take more effort to stay mad at her,” Kendra said.

She’s had similar issues with John’s controlling mother, who wants to dictate everything Mia does or eats. Because of that, she and John have stopped trying for a second until they can figure out the relationship with his parents.

For the baby shower, I wore a leopard dress with white booties and my hair in waves courtesy of a new large barrel curling wand. Kendra had rented out the penthouse of a hotel not too far from our apartment so a few people stopped by before we all headed over. It was all a bit chaotic because Carly and Chris brought over champagne and I was still getting ready and my parents showed up and then two other friends from college who I haven’t seen in probably two years. So I was curling a lock of hair and then running back out to entertain and then going back. Eventually Carly offered to help and made my hair look amazing.

As I was leaving the bedroom, I saw Brady’s phone on the charger and that he had an incoming phone call. Curious, I took a peek. I just needed to know who it was. Maybe they were running late or needed directions?

It was Sydney. I picked up. What in the world did she want at 11am on a Saturday morning? She obviously was not invited.

“Hi Sydney,” I answered.

“Hey. Reese?” she said back.

“It’s me,” I sighed. “What do you need on this beautiful morning?”

“Well, I was hoping to speak to Brady. I’m doing the marathon tomorrow and he’s been helping me to-”

I didn’t let her finish. “Sydney, our baby shower is in an hour. We are literally getting ready so we can spend the day with all of our friends.”

“Oh.”

“So I think you’re going to have to figure out this marathon thing on your own. I believe in you.”

She sounded annoyed. “Will you have Brady call me back when he gets a chance?”

“Sydney, no,” I said, losing patience. “You can’t rely on Brady to help you through life. We are having a baby now and his priorities have changed. You’re going to have to learn things on your own as he won’t be able to hold your hand anymore.”

Kendra poked her head in. “You ready?”

“Anyway, I have to go. Take care, Sydney.” I hung up and put the phone back where I found it.

The penthouse was decorated in rose gold, silver and white – I told Kendra I didn’t want nauseating pink shit everywhere. There was a display of different toasts and a spread of colorful macarons and other desserts and even a mimosa bar. I also requested no cheesy baby shower games and wanted it to feel more like a wedding reception or cocktail party. Kendra laughed but delivered – there was no diaper cake in sight. I was surprised by the size of the pile of pastel wrapped gifts in a corner – mostly wondering where all of it was going to go because there no way it would fit in our tiny apartment.

It wasn’t until I was dancing inappropriately in the middle of the penthouse with Carly that I realized none of Brady’s family was there. Not his parents or aunts or cousins who live in New York.

“I asked both of you individually several times for your guest list. If Brady wanted his family here, he had at least three different opportunities to tell me,” Kendra explained. And that made me feel really bad. Even my grandparents made the trip and they almost never leave Texas.

Kendra gave a nice speech to all the guests which was great because I definitely didn’t have anything prepared. She actually teared up which made me and Carly tear up and made my mom full on cry. I’m sure all the mimosas helped facilitate that.

Once she was done, she gestured for me to come in and say a few words, but I shook my head vehemently. I was on the verge of tears.

“Brady? Can you say a few words to all your guests?” Kendra asked politely.

I looked at Brady, who was standing next to me, and he looked like a deer in headlights.

“Yeah, give a speech!” Carly enthused, clapping.

So Brady had no choice, but get up there. Brady is not comfortable with public speaking, unless he’s completely hammered.

“I, um, want to thank everyone for coming. I think I speak for both myself and Reese when I say that I was not expecting this turnout. Your support really means a lot to us,” he began.

“Especially because this was so unexpected,” I said, joining him at the front. “Anyone who knows me knows how unexpected my getting pregnant was. So I appreciate everyone rallying.”

“Super unexpected, but so exciting!” Kendra chimed in with hearts in her eyes.

“It is. We’d like to thank everyone in advance for the generous gifts and name suggestions. We will take all of them into consideration before making a decision,” I continued. This wasn’t necessarily true. Three people suggested Ava and I’m just not doing that.

After that we opened all the gifts and while I was so, so appreciative of everything (we literally only have a couple things to get now), I still couldn’t fathom where we were going to put it all and even how we were going to get it back to the apartment. That’s how my mind thinks now. Logically.

My parents and Kendra ended up taking care of all of that while we went back to the apartment to change before meeting some of our friends for an early dinner and drinks. It was nice to candidly talk about the baby with Carly and Chris and my friends who don’t have kids yet. And everyone reassured me that living in Connecticut won’t be that bad – lots of fun things happen in the suburbs!

I had completely forgotten about the whole Sydney conversation until we were in a car on the way back to our apartment that evening.

Brady studied his phone for a moment before saying, “Reese, what the fuck?”

“Hmm?” I said back, still not putting it all together.

“You talked to Sydney?”

“Oh yeah,” I said. After having such a good day, there was no way Brady could be mad about that.

“Why would you answer my phone and then be rude to her? What’s your problem?” he demanded.

“What’s your problem? Why does Sydney think it’s okay to call you an hour before our baby shower? Boundaries. They’re called boundaries,” I countered.

“I think you need to learn boundaries too. Just because we are having a baby doesn’t mean you get to rule my life.”

We’d arrived back to the apartment now and Brady hopped out of the SUV and headed inside without even helping me out like he should have.

“You’re such an asshole,” I said following him. “I wasn’t even rude to Sydney so thanks for blindly believing her without even hearing my side of the story.”

“I believe her because that is absolutely something you would do. You’ve done it before.”

I glared at him. “With who? Jessica? The girl you were literally fucking at work? The one who sent me a picture of you naked after you had sex?”

“Oh my God, you have to be kidding me. You’re being such a psycho. This is ridiculous,” he said.

Naturally I blew up. “No, you’re being a fucking psycho! If you think I’m going to continue putting up with you talking to me like that, there is clearly something wrong with you.”

Brady went into the bedroom and came back out wearing a casual long sleeved tee. “I’m meeting Chris at the bar.”

I didn’t say anything.

“I think you need to apologize to Sydney. I treat your friends with nothing but respect and I’d appreciate the same.”

“Fuck Sydney,” I mumbled.

Brady left and I changed into silk pajamas. The whole time he was gone, I thought about what it would be like to raise the baby on my own. I didn’t need Brady and Sydney’s shit. I’d get a small 2 bedroom apartment in the city with a den and decorate the whole place exactly how I want it (all white with lots of texture, gold accents, and roses) and join mommy and me classes. I’d get a gay manny who would take care of Baby, but also shop with me and give me dating advice for a single mom. My mom would visit monthly to help out and give me and the manny a night off to pick up guys.

The next morning when I woke up, Brady was already up and working on his laptop in the kitchen. We had plans to meet up with my parents for dinner later, but my mom and I were going shopping during the day.

“Good morning,” Brady said, not looking up from his computer.

I didn’t reply because I was still mad. I told my mom about our fight while we were out shopping and she just kept saying, “Oh, he didn’t mean that. He’s trying his best.”

And it’s like, I’m trying my best too. And if he didn’t mean it, he would apologize. When I got home from my day of shopping, Brady had moved all of the baby shower gifts into a corner and cleaned the place a bit. My parents would be back to pick us up for dinner in an hour.

“Are you sure you want to come to dinner with me and my parents?” I asked.

“What?” Brady said back.

“Are you sure you want to come to dinner with us or do you think meeting up with Sydney would be a better use of your time?”

He rolled his eyes. “Reese, please. Are we still talking about this?”

“Yes! This doesn’t go away just because you want it to.”

Brady reached out to grab my hand and I pulled it away. “I need to shower and get dressed.”

I changed into a bump hugging black dress and black booties with a furry jacket and my hair up in a bun. When I emerged, my parents had arrived and Brady and my dad were speaking quietly near the bar area.

“Baby doll, you look beautiful! I love the red lip!” my mom exclaimed.

Brady and my dad stopped talking and looked at me. I breezed past them and headed out the door and Brady caught up with me.

“Are we okay?” he asked.

“We can talk about it later. And by the way, I’d prefer some alone time with my parents, but I guess it’s fine if you come,” I said.

He nodded and retreated, falling into step with my dad again.

“Honey, make sure you are being nice to Brady. He really is trying,” my mom said.

“Tell him to make sure he’s being nice too. He’s the one who called me a psycho,” I said.

Dinner went well – all of the attention was on me which I obviously love. Our table was secluded on the second level by itself overlooking the rest of the restaurant.

Brady didn’t say much and I started to feel bad for being mean to him even though I was annoyed that he hadn’t apologized yet. If he would just acknowledge that he overreacted about me talking to Sydney, things would have been fine. Or at least asked for my side of the story. I honestly don’t think I was rude to her. Dismissive and condescending? Maybe.

So I started including Brady in conversation, but he was still a bit quiet (even more so than usual and even after all the wine). My parents exchanged a couple of looks, I noticed, and I got the feeling I would be getting a lecture later.

When we got home, Brady finally apologized for blowing up at me, but said he was still upset that I’d “invaded” his “privacy” by answering his phone. And that he’d done “nothing” for me not to trust him. And it was “just” Sydney on the phone. I apologized for being a bitch, but let him know that Sydney is a predator and obviously exaggerating about that happened. He emphasized that he less mad about the “content” of the phone call and more that I didn’t trust him. I had to end the conversation after that.

My parents flew out the next morning and I met them at their hotel before work to say goodbye. My mom pulled me aside while my dad checked out at the front desk. She was wearing studded booties, red lipstick and a grey ushanka hat. It was a lot of look.

“I must say, I was pretty disappointed by your behavior yesterday,” she said.

My mom is never disappointed in me.

“You were not raised to treat people that way, especially someone who loves you as much as he does.”

“Mom, you don’t understand. Brady needs tough love otherwise these things will continue to happen,” I explained.

“He planned that dinner because he wanted to do something very special for you.”

“It was just dinner and y’all were already in town. You act like he went out of his way to do anything.”

Very special,” my mom repeated. “Because he really loves you. I think it’s safe to say you were successful in completely pushing him away.”

“What do you mean ‘very special’?”

“Brady wanted you to have a memorable evening and he pulled back because of the way you treated him,” she explained, sniffling.

My dad rejoined us and then I realized that Brady planned to propose. Hence the romantic dinner with my parents and them trying so hard to get me to make up with him. The very special plans. And I was such a brat that he chickened out.

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i’m sorry this post sucks.

The next morning, we got up and got dressed to meet them at the church. My mom kept saying, “Keep an open mind. Don’t be defensive. Let’s hear what they have to say.” I rolled my eyes.

I sent Brady a text that said, “Good luck with the marathon. My mom and I are meeting up with your parents and I’m obviously thrilled.”

I actually was a little bit excited to see how Brady’s mom would behave in front of my mom. It’s one thing to act like an ass to me, but it’s another thing to act that way to my mom, who has nothing to lose (she’s not the one dating Brady, after all) and is the epitome of a southern belle. Who can be mean to someone who is so nice to you? When we arrived, she was waiting at the front pew and gave a cold greeting.

“Good morning. I’m happy the two of you could join me. Unfortunately my husband was unable to make it, but he sends his best,” she said. She didn’t greet either of us with a hug and I caught her eyeing the bump in my black dress.

“That’s too bad!” my mom crowed. “How’s he doing? We’re so happy to be here!”

“He’s fine.” There was an awkward silence and then Brady’s mom said, “Shall we sit?” There were no pleasantries at all.

After the service (I zoned out and thought of baby names the whole time – can’t wait to reveal my list), the three of us hopped in a car to go to breakfast. Brady’s mom made a reservation at a bougie bakery café and my mom rattled on about how beautiful the restaurant was and how thankful she was for the reservation. I gave her a look because she was overdoing it.

Once we’d ordered and were waiting for our food, my mom began.

“So I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to be a grandmama.”

Brady’s mom remained stone faced. “I do already have two lovely grandchildren.”

“I know, I saw them over Christmas! Beautiful!” Mom interjected. “You’re so lucky! This is all I’ve wanted for years.”

“Really?”

This was a lie. My mom obviously has asked when I planned on having kids, but was mostly concerned about when Brady and I planned on getting engaged and married first. She’s traditional too.

“Of course, I think we’d all prefer that they were married before doing all this, but a blessing’s a blessing,” my mom continued.

“Yes. They should have been married. That was always my requirement and they both knew that-”

“My husband said it best. He said, ‘We only have so long on this earth. We can’t waste time trying to change things we can’t change.”

“He said that, did he?” Brady’s mom deadpanned. She sighed. “I guess he right in that we can’t change anything.”

“The best thing we can do for them is be supportive. We are having a baby, after all!” my mom exclaimed.

Brady’s mother took a tiny sip of her water and looked at me. And then she did the unthinkable. She actually smiled. An unconvincing smile, but still – it was a smile.

“Yes, we are. We are having a baby.”

My mom started rambling on about the upcoming baby shower, the names she’d been thinking of, her predictions about what features the baby would have – barely letting Brady’s mom get a word in edgewise. But to my shock, Brady’s mom was smiling tightly and laughing along with her.

“We don’t have many girls in our family, but we’ve got some family names we’d love to pass down,” she said.

And, “With us living so close, we are more than happy to help in any way we can. Especially the first few weeks after she’s born. We all know those are the toughest.”

She was totally into it. My mom was nodding really exaggeratedly, just happy that she was making some headway.

And then when my mom reached over to rub my belly, Brady’s mom moved her seat closer to me so she could join. Even her hand felt cold and stiff.

“You’re measuring small,” Brady’s mom said after touching my belly uninvited.

I gave her a grimace even though Dr. Sabrina had said the same thing the prior week.

The two of them started bombarding me with questions: what’s my birthing plan, have I began interviewing nannies, will I breastfeed, etc. And each question turned into, “Well, when I was pregnant I did this…” They’re both know-it-all’s, I realized, and had answers and anecdotes for everything.

Eventually I put my hands up in each of their faces.

“Oh my gosh, enough! I’ll write a whole diary entry with my plans and email it to both of you.”

My mom gave me a disapproving look. “I know you’re grumpy, but don’t take it out on us. The food will be here soon.”

So after that, they began talking about me like I wasn’t there. Whatever. As soon as my quiche and cinnamon rolls arrived, that was all I cared about. I let them knock each other out with stories and advice while I devoured my feast. Brady’s mom continued being slightly resistant – disagreeing with most things my mom said and shaking her head a lot.

After breakfast was cleared, they argued about who was going to pay (“No, I get points on this card, I insist on paying,”) and didn’t even notice that I’d slid my card to the waiter when he brought the check.

Right before leaving, Brady’s mom said, “I don’t know if Brady has told you, but we’d love to offer our apartment here in New York City to you. I understand that you are still in the process of finding somewhere to raise the baby and as I mentioned before, we want to help in any way we can.”

Before I could say anything, my mom turned to me. “How nice of you to offer! Reese, that’s not a bad option! You must consider it. How amazing!”

Should have seen the look I gave my mother. The betrayal. She’s the one who even told me not to accept anything from that family.

“It comes with parking and a maid service biweekly. I understand you are also looking in Connecticut so this would be temporary, of course. Like your mother said, consider it,” Brady’s mom said.

“I certainly will,” I said even though it’s definitely a no.

Ever since our church/lunch date, my mom and Brady’s mom have been in contact – texting and calling each other several times a week. It’s honestly shocking. My mom always calls me after they talk to tell me how antiquated and dated her thinking is.

“Bless her heart. So are you going to take her up on her offer?”

My mom legitimately thinks moving into Brady’s parent’s apartment is a good idea and Brady brought it up again because his mom asked him about it. And I really don’t want to do that so we put an offer in on the house in Connecticut. Our realtor thought we could get a deal since it’s been on the market for a while, but our offer has not been accepted yet.

I’m sorry this post is late and it sucks. I’ve been having a hard time lately. I feel huge and miserable and I don’t think I’m allowed to say this, but I’m so sick of being pregnant. I can only fit like four things I own (this is including shoes), I’m uncomfortable all the time, I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate, I randomly cry at work, I can’t stop eating, people touch me without asking, people stare, walking hurts, etc.

I had my baby shower last weekend and I can’t wait to fill you guys in.

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not an option.

Kristina was let go. Since I haven’t been on Mike’s good side lately I couldn’t save her. We knew something was up when Paige scheduled a “Performance Conversation” for a Friday afternoon, but I figured she was just getting some feedback. But then at the last minute, Paige added our HR manager to the invite and I knew something big was happening. I had a separate meeting at the time same as Kristina’s but watched from my office door anxiously, waiting for her to go past. Kristina’s blonde hair and pastel colored striped sweater flew by my door and I immediately ended my call.

“Kristina!” I hissed, chasing her all the way to her cubicle.

She began pushing stacks of papers in the recycling bin. “Paige is such a bitch. She said I don’t have the skills required to my job. And I’m not qualified to do anything else so…I’m leaving.”

The nerve of Paige – as if she’s qualified for anything. And I could not believe Mike was having Paige do his dirty work. So after I helped Kristina pack up and walked her out, I texted Mike. He was obviously already gone for the day.

“You could have given me a heads up about Kristina. I was still working with her like you asked. Paige was super rude to her, by the way. Basically told her she has no talent. I think that’s a bit unnecessary,” I said.

Mike replied, “I know Kristina is your friend, but this is just business. It’s nothing personal and we wish her the best.”

I rolled my eyes at his politically correct answer. I wasn’t going to say anything back, but then Mike texted again.

“I’m sorry for not warning you. I didn’t expect this to happen today, but I still should have told you it was coming.”

And when I didn’t respond, he said, “We can talk more on Monday.”

So without Kristina, I’ve been leaning on Sam a lot to keep me company. She doesn’t trust me enough to talk shit though (even though it’s all I do) and Brendan, bless his heart, is so wrapped up in his soon to be ex-wife that it’s exhausting. I just want to slap some sense into him – she’s playing with you! Move on! Her latest stunt was sending him a picture of her and a bunch of other people and she was draped all over this nauseatingly preppy guy who was wearing boat shoes and had a gross combover hairstyle. He looked like one of the Trump kids.

“Sorry, wrong text,” she said and that shook Brendan up for days. I had to avoid him because I just couldn’t handle it.

Luckily though, I’ve been busy with things at home. Brady has been obsessed with me lately. I gave him a little snippet of my lunch with his mother (I couldn’t tell him everything – I was embarrassed) and he’s been trying to make up for it since. He usually comes home before 8PM with takeout and advice he’s gotten from the moms at work.

“Let’s ask Dr. Sabrina about this at our next appointment,” he’d say. Our appointment.

Normally after dinner, we sit on the couch watching complete trash on TV (my favorite) while Brady massages my tummy or feet and stares at me. He tries to talk to me (“One of the moms asked if we have taken any parenting classes. Do you think that is something we should explore?” “I ordered some nightlights. We forgot to add that to the registry. These ones are cool because…”), but I’m way too into my shows and end up ignoring him.

One night, he came home and I was sitting at the bar area after FaceTiming Kendra. Brady sat the takeout bag down and then rushed over to me like he was on a mission to kiss me. Obviously I have not been interested in doing anything sexually with Brady for the past four months (I just cannot get in the mood with Brady, but fantasize about Brendan and sometimes Hunter almost every night. Plus I don’t feel sexy now that my breasts have ballooned to the size of my head) and I kind of felt bad for him. When he kisses me, I literally run away. So I figured I’d better give something before he went looking for it elsewhere.

“I missed you all day,” he mumbled as I reached for his belt. He rubbed my shoulders as I undid his belt and zipper, his perfect penis springing out. I actually hadn’t even seen it in so long. I wrapped my hand around Brady’s dick and he moaned at me just touching it.

I don’t know what I planned to do (I certainly wasn’t going to let him see my fat ass naked), but I stroked his penis maybe four times and he came. It came oozing out like candle wax.

“Um, sorry,” Brady said backing away. Poor guy. He was obviously embarrassed for coming so quickly. I just feel bad for depriving him for so long. But I secretly hoped that would hold him over for a while because I am just not interested right now. Hopefully that passes eventually.

We went back to look at the house I liked in Connecticut again. I can’t wrap my head around moving out of the city and into a little suburb, but I figured I need to consider it. I walked room to room deciding where I’d put furniture (and what furniture we need to buy), what colors I’d want to paint, visualizing us living in the space. I was annoyed that I really liked it. We sat with the father of one of Brady’s friends who does mortgages for a living. He pulled up a calculator that showed us how much our monthly payments would be after the massive down payment Brady suggested.

“How much were you thinking of putting down?” the dad asked.

Brady replied, “20%.” And 20% of the cost of that house made me lightheaded. It’s literally twice what I make in a year.

But we haven’t pulled the trigger yet. When I think of moving to Connecticut, I feel like crying. It’s just so not me. But maybe it needs to be me now that we are having a baby.

One evening Brady was asking me if I wanted to put an offer in on the house as he usually did every other day.

“Mmmm. Maybe,” I said, instantly feeling anxious at the thought of moving and anxious at the thought of having no where to move to.

“You know, my parents offered their apartment to us. I realize it’s not ideal, but we are running out time here,” Brady said. “They won’t be around since they aren’t in the city as much and it will buy us some time.”

I made a face and then shook my head. I pictured their boring, but huge Park Ave apartment and then immediately imagined sharing a space with Brady’s mom. Brady’s mom all but called me a gold digger so I will not be accepting anything from her. I’d rather stay in this one bedroom apartment.

He shrugged. “Well, it’s an option.”

It is 100% not an option.

Brady was in Chicago over the weekend. I was not in any shape to tag along so I stayed in New York and my mom came to spend the weekend with me. I was excited to spend time with her so she could assure me that everything will be okay. As crazy as my mom is, she’s a therapist and can normally make me feel better. She arrived on Friday night and the three of us went to dinner before Brady left Saturday morning. My mom did her usual interrogation of Brady – is he still nervous? Does he feel ready? What does he need to feel ready? How does he feel about his mother’s actions? Are his parents planning to have a close relationship with the baby?

They split of a bottle of wine and Brady started talking more, letting my mom know that he was embarrassed about the way his mom treated me (without even knowing the extent of it) and has become numb to his parents’ words. He said he’s really only concerned about my and his own happiness, but that his mother wants to be supportive. Brady used to always be really vocal about not being close with his parents and purposely keeping his distance. And now he seems to think their actions are acceptable, we both just need to deal with it because they will be around anyway. Which is exactly why I will not want to take them up on their offer to stay in their apartment.

On Saturday, my mom and I went shopping a bit, looked at an apartment, picked up a ton of groceries and finally went to an Italian for dinner. Brady had been day drinking at a party and blowing up my phone all day.

I finally picked up and heard Brady saying, “Hold on, hold on, I gotta call Reese.”

By the way he was slurring, I could tell exactly how much he’d had to drink (around 14 beers and a couple of shots, probably both whiskey and tequila).

I gotta call Reese,” I heard a girl say in a mocking voice in the background. It sounded loud – I could hear a lot of people talking and glasses clinking.

“Who the hell is that?” I demanded.

“Hold on.” There was shuffling and then Brady came back to the line. “I miss you. I wish you were here.”

“Where are you?” I needed to know.

“At the bar.” It sounded like he was sipping a drink. “Kendra’s here.”

“I don’t think bar is a good place for a woman who is six months pregnant. Who were you just talking to?”

“What?”

What? Who were you just talking to? She said my name.”

“Uhh, I don’t know. It doesn’t even matter.”

“It does matter. Don’t call back until you figure out.” I hung up.

I really just didn’t feel like dealing with Drunk Brady and I knew that I’d find out who all was at the bar from Kendra anyway.

At dinner, my mom revealed that she’d reached out to Brady’s mom and we had plans to join them for church the next morning.

“After the conversation we had last night, I felt bad. Someone’s gotta talk some sense into them and I want to help,” she explained.

“I can’t believe you think you can help these people! His mother is a monster,” I said.

My mom grabbed my hand. “Honey, you can’t give up on people. They are your daughter’s family.”

“Do they deserve your help, Mom? They choose to be this way! It’s not like they don’t know any better.”

“Baby. I’ve always taught you empathy. We have no idea what they must be feeling and it’s our duty to find out. If she’s still horrible after this meeting, you have my permission to distance yourself.”

So the plan was set.

** Sorry to have been away for so long. Obviously I have been busy. I’ll pick up where this left off on Sunday.

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i’ve been getting in trouble.

Oh, hey you guys.

I’ve been busy getting in trouble. Ever since my parents visited and I got a pep talk from my mom, I’ve been out of control. The pep talk came after I told my mom about a meeting I had with Brady’s mother. She finally reached out to me and asked to take me to lunch. Her exact words were, “Hi Reese. I’m sure you’ve heard that we are not happy about your announcement. Although I think the reasoning for my disappointment is obvious, I’m quite happy to explain myself.”

So I agreed to have lunch with her. I didn’t tell Brady, but I’m not exactly sure why. I thought wearing something that displayed my belly was kind of rude, so for the lunch I wore a black belted sweater dress (slimming), a trench coat and booties. I made the Uber driver turn the AC on full blast on the way there because I was dying in the backseat because I was so hot.

Brady’s mom was sitting down at the table already waiting for me and didn’t get up to greet me.

“Hi, nice to see you, Reese. Please sit,” she said.

I sat.

“Thank you for meeting with me. I thought we should speak about what is going on.”

I nodded.

“My husband and I have always been clear about our concerns and you understood. You had no right to force someone into something they don’t want – especially something as serious as parenthood.”

Excuse me?

“I’m not forcing anyone into anything. Brady is just as culpable as I am,” I began, but Brady’s mom put her hand up to stop me.

“Well, Brady knows better. Brady fell into temptation and that’s unfortunate. He’s going to have to deal with the consequences of that, isn’t he? But I’ve already spoken to Brady. And he knows how disappointing this all is.”

“I actually don’t think it’s that disappointing and I think it’s a bit rude for you to say that,” I said, very politely.

“It’s not rude, Reese. Brady was not ready to marry you any time soon and you know that. You were careless and manipulative.”

“I think that’s unfair. I may have been careless, but so was Brady.” I, for some reason, was still being super polite to this lady.

She shook her head. “I would like to discuss a few things with you and decide how to proceed from here. Obviously it’s too late to do anything to change the situation and we need to prepare for the inevitable.”

I didn’t say anything.

“I don’t want you to think you can profit from this. Brady cares about you and will be doing his part in taking care of your child together. However, you will not take advantage of his generosity. You’ve chosen to have a baby despite not being married and you, too, must deal with whatever consequences ensue.”

I felt my eye twitch.

“I’m confident Brady would like to marry you…eventually. I think we can all agree that at this time, we must focus on making sure you have a healthy baby. I’d like you to see our family physician in Massachusetts. I understand you’ve seen a doctor, but a second opinion would not hurt as this is a potentially risky pregnancy.”

“Okay,” I said, knowing I would not be going all the way to Massachusetts when Dr. Sabrina is wonderful. And how in the world in my pregnancy at all risky? Dr. Sabrina let me know that everything is progressing perfectly.

“I think carrying on some sort of texting and picture exchange relationship with Hunter is quite unbecoming. That will end. Brady and Dominique are both aware of it and I trust I won’t hear anything about it again.”

“I-” Wait, what? I was so stunned that she went there that I didn’t know what to say. “Okay.”

“I’m also happy to sit down with you to go over your finances. Brady mentioned that you still have a lengthy list of supplies you need and while we are willing to help in some ways, this is your responsibility and I expect that you will contribute.”

I actually felt like I might cry. It was like she’d pushed me down and then kicked me continuously. After her lecture, she touched my arm with her cold, bony hand and wanted to know how I’m doing and feeling. It’s like I was just fine until I met her for lunch.

When I told my mom what happened, she was furious.

“Don’t you ever let someone speak to you like that. That woman is out of her mind. I don’t know why she thinks you come from poverty, but they aren’t the only ones who have money. Don’t you dare accept anything from her. The only thing you need to worry about is yourself and that baby,” she said.

And that last sentence was all I really needed to hear. My mom wanted to meet with Brady’s mom while she was here, but she was so fired up that I told her it wasn’t a good idea. They’ve been emailing though. Brady’s mom reached out to me a few times since our lunch.

“Would you like to join us for church this Sunday in the city?” she texted me one day.

I replied, “No.”

And another time she said, “I’m checking to see if you are available this Saturday to come to Massachusetts to see our doctor. After the appointment, we can drive into the city to browse some of the shops and pick up some of the things you need.”

I replied, “I’m not available.”

One day at work, I made a minor mistake on a spreadsheet (and the fix involved copy and pasting a formula) and Mike was annoyed.

“Where is your head?” he said, rolling his eyes at me. I’m super organized at work and hardly make mistakes so I’m sure that’s why Mike was so annoyed. He knows he can trust me, but I was letting him down.

“Well, I’m sorry I didn’t catch one small error. I’m just growing another human inside me so forgive me if my head isn’t on quite straight,” I said.

Mike glared at me and I smiled sweetly before running away.

Another time, I was talking to Kristina after getting back from an hour long lunch with Brendan. We hadn’t been talking for even one minute before Mike walked past.

“I trust that you have everything ready for our 2:00,” he said.

“If not, I guess we’re both screwed,” I couldn’t help saying.

Mike turned back like he wanted to say something else, but ended up just walking away. Kristina gasped and then burst into laughter.

Later on, Paige messaged me.

“You might want to be careful with the way you speak to Mike,” she warned.

And I’ve known Mike a lot longer than she has so this annoyed me. I can handle him. I replied, “Thx.”

But obviously I was a little concerned because the next day at lunch, I asked Brendan if Mike had mentioned anything about me.

He looked guilty for a moment then quickly recovered. “Now why would you want to know if he’s talking about you? It doesn’t matter,” he said playfully.

“Because Paige sent me this cryptic message so I need to know if I’m getting fired,” I said.

“Well, he knows we are friends so he doesn’t talk to me about you,” Brendan said.

I’m definitely getting fired.

Brendan really wants to work things out with his wife, but she is enjoying playing games with him. It’s pretty sad. Once, he let me read through their recent messages.

“Hi,” she texted after several weeks of only speaking through her parents.

“Hi,” he replied within a minute. And then she didn’t say anything back. Eight hours later, Brendan sent a single “?” and she still didn’t reply. Almost all of their interactions go like that. She calls him sometimes, he said, asking for stuff that she knows the answer to, like whose name the Nordstrom credit card is under. And when he tries to talk about anything other than what she needs, she will talk over him or quickly try to revert the conversation back. I guess her parents are still very mad at him (he still hasn’t told me why) and she pretends talking to him will her get in trouble or something.

“I shouldn’t be messaging you, but I can’t find my hot pink bikini and I’m going to Vegas tonight. Can you check to see if you can find it?” she will say. And then he will reply saying he has it and will never hear back from her.

Then she will post cute pictures of them on her Instagram story with a kissing or broken heart emoji as a caption.

One day, she texted Brendan while we were at lunch.

“Hi, I need a HUGE favor from you ❤️,” she said.

Brendan got excited, thinking the heart meant something. He loved that she needed a favor.

“Will you get the package that is being delivered to the house today? My dad will come and pick it up later in the week,” was all she wanted.

I could tell this is not what Brendan wanted to hear and the whole emoji thing was just an act to continue to play with him. And he’s my friend and I felt like I needed to stand up for him since he wasn’t going to do it himself.

“Can I text her back for you?” I asked.

Brendan shrugged and gestured that I could.

“Are you interested in working on our marriage or do you just want me to do things for you? I’m happy to help, but if you just want to play games then you should continue sending messages through your dad like you were before,” I typed.

“I think it’s a little soon for you to be asking to work on things, Brendan,” she said back.

He definitely cheated on her.

“Stop texting me then,” I replied.

Obviously she didn’t reply and I handed Brendan his phone back. Of course, a few days later, Brendan admitted that he told her I was the one who was messaging her and that got her even more mad. She’s since stopped texting him, but continues posting pictures of them on Instagram. I guess I didn’t help, but someone needed to say it.

Sydney came over the other day. She’s so annoying. She wanted Brady’s help with something work related (they don’t even work together anymore). She wouldn’t stop staring at me. Whenever I walked across the room I felt her beady little eyes following me. Have you never seen a pregnant bitch before? Eventually I retreated to the bedroom to watch TV in peace. After three episodes of Real Housewives, I went to check on them and could immediately tell that they were stoned. Sydney was sitting cross legged on the couch giggling while Brady sat back next to her with his eyes closed.

“Okay, I think it’s time for you to go home, Sydney,” I said, politely.

“I know, right?” she giggled, not moving.

“Now.”

She stood up quickly and packed her stuff before leaving. See how quickly I’m getting the hang of this parenting thing?

“That was a bit rude, don’t you think?” Brady said once she was gone.

So this started a fight. Obviously Brady has been getting the brunt of my wrath. Some of my phrases have been:

“I’m not eating a frozen pizza for dinner like a peasant. I want steak.”

“If you aren’t home in 20 minutes, Tucker and I will be staying at the W for the night.”

“If your mother wants to fight, we can fight.”

“No, I can’t turn the music down. The baby loves gangster rap.”

“I mean, even I’m smarter than Hunter.”

He’s certainly been coming home on time though. And slowly bringing home things from our list. Oh, and we looked at another place in Connecticut. This one was more convincing. It’s a new build with an all white kitchen (my dream), a massive living room with a fireplace, and the chicest modern light fixtures. I wouldn’t need to upgrade anything except all of our furniture. The master is also huge with a walk-in closet, but the other three bedrooms are pretty small. That doesn’t really bother me – there’s already a nursery next to the master. Plus all of the houses in the neighborhood have curb appeal and it’s within walking distance to the train that goes to NYC. I actually really, really liked it. The only issue is the place is significantly more expensive than the last place we looked at. For the price, we may as well get a 2 bedroom, 1,100 square foot apartment in the Upper East Side.

“Do you want to put in an offer on the house we looked at?” Brady asked me the next day.

And since I told him I wasn’t sure (I’m nervous!), he hasn’t brought it up again. I’ve been secretly checking it everyday though and it’s still available.

Standard

it’s called balance.

“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. I 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 on. Or maybe I’m insecure. Or maybe I just feel guilty myself. Anyway, I found a business card in his wallet.

“Jennifer.”

“Consultant.”

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.

Standard

he told his parents.

On Thursday, Brady worked late and I got home long before he did. Hunter was sitting on the couch watching tv like he’d been doing for the past two weeks which slightly annoyed me. I was behind on all my shows because Hunter had spent so much time in front of the tv. I had plans of making buffalo chicken wraps for dinner (I’ve been craving all things super spicy lately) and I headed into the kitchen to start. Hunter joined me a few minutes later. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and popped it open.

“So what’s the deal? You excited for this baby?” he said.

“Yeah,” I said back. “Why? Did Brady say he’s not excited?”

“No, no. Once he gets over being a pus…being a baby about it, he will be more excited.”

Even though Brady is a bit of a pus/baby about it, I felt defensive of him.

“He likes to be in control and he wasn’t in control of this situation. That’s all.”

Hunter took a huge swig if his beer. “When my wife got pregnant with our oldest, I thought my life was over.”

“Wow, thanks for the words of encouragement,” I said sarcastically.

“But it wasn’t. I couldn’t have asked for two better kids. My kids are awesome.”

“And your wife?”

“Yeah, she’s amazing with them. Super calm and sensible. We make a good team,” he said.

“And she doesn’t mind you being away for two weeks and literally doing whatever you want all the time?” I couldn’t help myself.

Hunter didn’t take a moment to think. “See here’s the thing, and you’ll learn this quickly: raising kids together will make or break you. Dom and I have our vices, but if we didn’t, things would have imploded years ago.”

“Really?” I paused. “Do you guys actually like each other?” I had a fleeting feeling of panic – Brady and I already bicker about the smallest things. If what Hunter says is true, we will never make it.

“Of course. We wouldn’t be married if we didn’t.” Hunter gave me what he probably thought was a really charming smile.

Next, I wanted to ask what Dom’s vices are (can you imagine? I have so many theories, but mostly think she participates in witchcraft/voodoo/devil worshiping), but Hunter said, “I want to run something by you. I haven’t told anyone about this, but you’re smart and I want your opinion.”

“Oh?”

“Every consumer good, service, idea right now is targeted toward millennials, right?”

“Right,” I agreed.

“No one is coming up with new concepts with old people. That’s a underserved market.”

I nodded.

“I’m creating a vehicle for old people to easily get around in. In SF you see people using bikes, skateboards, scooters, rollerblades – you name it – to get to and from the office. Traffic is a bitch. Old people can’t be biking down the street, can they? My invention will allow them to forgo traffic in a unique way like the young people on their bikes.”

“Oh…” I wasn’t sure I was following. “Like a wheelchair.”

He shook his head, making a face like what I said was ridiculous. “Nah. Cooler. It’ll be electric, easily accessible, comfortable, have pockets for all their medications and stuff…”

I laughed, thinking he was joking.

“No, I’m serious. In a few years there will be a lot of old people, especially in SF and no one has really honed in on that market yet.”

“But don’t all of the young tech people retire early and get replaced by younger people?” I pointed out.

Hunter considered this. “Nah, I don’t think that’ll be an issue. I really think this is a good concept. I have some guys creating a prototype for me. I’ll keep you posted.”

So obviously I’m on the edge of my seat wondering how that’s all going.

On Friday, we had an appointment with Dr. Sabrina bright and early for my anatomy scan. I felt indifferent about the baby’s gender, but I was pretty sure I was having a boy. Boys run in Brady’s family. And even though neither of us had a preference, I figured having a little son would make Brady happy. We’d call him some royal sounding name like Frederick (Freddie for short) and he’d play sports and grow up to be a pharmacist or a politician or something. I could see it all happening.

Dr. Sabrina let us know that we are having a girl. I didn’t realize how much I really believed my vision until she revealed that I’m pregnant with a girl. I felt like crying.

Brady looked stoic and said, “That’s awesome.”

Brady doesn’t use the word “awesome” very often so I wasn’t sure how he actually felt. After the appointment, I was starving so we stopped to get breakfast before heading to work.

As soon as we sat down, Brady started in. “I know you don’t want to move to Connecticut, but I thought we should go to an open house on Sunday. I don’t want you to write it off before actually seeing what it’s like.”

I groaned. “I can’t live in the suburbs, Brady. I honestly can’t.”

“I know you think that, but I’d like you to see it. Please.”

So I agreed to go to the open house. We talked about things we wanted to buy immediately (Brady shared an iPhone Note with me that’s he’s been updating with links) and things we can hold off on for now.

“I didn’t think I cared what we were having because I was convinced we were having a boy. But now I’m so excited. She will be best friends with Mia and Sloane.”

He nodded. “I know. I am excited.”

“Are you actually excited?” I said, not convinced. He wasn’t even smiling.

Brady looked back up at me. “I am. I’ll feel better once we have a few more things in place. And…I’ll tell my parents soon. They will be thrilled to find out we are having a girl.”

I laughed out loud at the thought of Brady’s parents being thrilled.

On Friday night, Brady and Hunter went out and I elected to stay home. Lola came over so we could stalk a girl who tagged Kellen in a picture on Instagram. She guzzled down a bottle of wine and we ate Flaming Hot Cheetos. I told her about Brady wanting to move to Connecticut and the open house. Her eyes got wide.

“You’re going to become a Stepford wife, oh my God.”

“I’m only going to appease him. There’s absolutely no way we are actually going to move there. I found a two bedroom on 43rd that I love. We will look at that next.”

Brady, Hunter and I got brunch on Saturday morning then went to a brewery and then walked several miles around the city. I haven’t taken public transportation since finding out I’m pregnant meaning I haven’t been walking as much. It felt nice to walk and see the city again.

When we got home from the walk, I was getting ready to take Tucker out, and I heard Hunter mention dinner plans and their parents’ names. I looked up.

“The parents invited us to dinner and I guess I should see them while I’m on this side of the US of A,” he explained.

Brady didn’t say anything and continued to the bedroom.

“You coming?” Hunter asked.

I gestured to my tummy and he nodded. It’s actually quite easy for me to conceal my belly, but apparently you can see it in my face so I didn’t want to risk it. Plus I just didn’t want to go.

With the boys gone, I turned on reruns of RHONY (I’m one of them now), ordered a grilled cheese on Seamless and reveled in the house alone. Just as I was screaming at Ramona for being a monster, I got a text from Brady.

“I told my parents.”

I screamed. He did what?

“What did you tell them?” I replied. “And what did they say?”

Brady didn’t text me back which drove me absolutely up the wall – I needed to know what was going on at that dinner! Then I started to think his parents had taken the news worse than we could have imagined and he was in danger. So I called him. A few times.

“Yes. Hi,” Brady finally answered. He was trying to talk softly.

“What’s going on? Are you okay? I’m dying here,” I said quickly.

“Mmhm. Are you okay?” he said back.

“Totally. So what did your parents say?” I needed to know.

“I’ll talk to you when I get home, okay? We won’t be too much longer here.”

Ugh, fine. So I had to wait another hour for them to get home to find out what happened.

Hunter whistled as I met them at the door. “You’re lucky you missed that.”

“Oh, how was dinner?” I asked casually.

Brady shook his head like he didn’t want to talk about it. I followed him into the bedroom. “At least it’s over, right? Now they know and it’s happening and we can’t change anything.”

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. That was not fun though.” He paused and kissed me. “We are going to go out for a few beers… Do you want to come?”

I expected him to stay home with his pregnant girlfriend – obviously I had no business being out at the bars with them. So I was annoyed, but it was Hunter’s last night in town so I guess it was fine.

They didn’t come home until 4am again – being loud and smelling of booze. Hunter was leaving the next morning so I woke up early to make breakfast/hangover cure that included bacon, egg bites, French toast and a spread of fresh fruit from the farmers market. The plan was to drop Hunter off at the airport and then head straight to the open house in Connecticut.

As we were driving, I heard Brady and Hunter talking in the front.

“Do you think they’ll ever speak to you again?” Hunter asked.

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Brady said.

“Were they like crazy mad?” I chimed in from the back.

“I don’t know if mad is even the right word,” Hunter said. He turned and looked at me. “What words did they use? Disappointed, disgusted, embarrassed… they said the same thing when I got married.”

Ouch. Hunter seemed to enjoy relaying the message – he was no longer the biggest disappointment of the two! Brady hasn’t talked to his parents since, which is fine – he doesn’t talk to them that often anyway. He’s always said how much he dislikes them, but it seems like he still wants them to have a relationship with us/the baby. Honestly though, with everything going on in this country, I’m not even sure I want that.

Anyway, the open house. The house was beautiful. It took us about an hour to get there and the exterior of the home was super colonial with big pillars at the porch. I discovered that it’s actually a townhouse with three floors, four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. It was massive – 2,500 square feet and much more space than we really need. I was actually doing most of the talking: “What are the HOA fees?” “What year was it built?” “Who is the neighbor?” “Who staged the unit [because the furniture is fabulous]?” It’s right on the water and the New York State line.

Did I love it? No. It was nice, but honestly kind boring and I’d want to change all the paint and the countertops and all of the finishes in the bathrooms because they don’t match (and definitely aren’t my style). On our way home, Brady let me know that he’d already crunched some numbers and if we proceeded with the house, we’d be paying less than we do at our one bedroom place in the city by almost $3,000 a month.

“I think if we can save that much, we should,” Brady said.

And I’m sure he’s right, but is saving money worth being somewhere I don’t want to be? We would be so far from everything – all of the shops and restaurants I love, friends, the city. And the neighborhood isn’t even that cute – I was picturing manicured lawns, hedges, circle driveways with three car garages, but it wasn’t like that at all.

That’s all I have for now. I’m really stressed now because we’ve gone month to month on our lease and we really need to find somewhere soon. Brady hasn’t sold Connecticut to me and I haven’t found anything in the city (the place on 43rd was tiny).

Standard

i’m not moving to connecticut.

Hunter arrived on Friday evening. I’d been kind of dreading his extended stay, but ran around making sure the apartment was spotless and filling the refrigerator with groceries and beer.

When I got home from work, Brady and Hunter were already there. We were going to dinner and then possibly out for drinks after.

“Heyyy, Reese,” Hunter greeted me when I walked through the door.

I’d decided I would play nice and try to have a better relationship with him (I give Hunter shit for everything he does even though it is not my place), so I said, “Hey! How was your flight?”

He gave me a side hug which I feel is sometimes even more awkward. Just hug me like a normal person. “It was nice. Flew right by. You can even tell you’re pregnant by your face. Wow.”

Brady knew the comment was rude and his panicky eyes quickly cut to me.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“Our reservation is at 8:30 so we should start getting ready,” Brady said.

“Cool. I was gonna make a drink. Anyone want anything?” Hunter said.

“Whatever you’re having,” Brady said and then Hunter looked at me expectantly.

I walked off without saying anything. After showering, I changed into a red floral wrap dress and small heels. Recently I went on a shopping spree for non-maternity clothes that I can wear while pregnant while not looking pregnant. Am I still trying to hide it? I haven’t even bought anything (except a onesie from an Instagram ad) for the baby which concerned Kendra.

“Are you like, not excited?” she asked.

Honestly, I’m waiting for the baby shower she’s throwing for me. I don’t even know what I’m having yet! Plus, I’ve just been concerned about other things. Like the fact that Brady wants to move to Connecticut. More on that later.

When I emerged from the bedroom, Brady and Hunter were standing at the bar area with tall glasses of what looked like vodka Red Bulls.

“She’s alive,” Hunter said, smiling.

I rolled my eyes.

Brady grabbed my waist gently because he treats me like I’ll break and said, “You are so beautiful.”

“She is, but let’s go. I’m fucking starving,” Hunter said.

We went to a new American restaurant where I watched them pound down beer after beer. They barely even touched their food (in fact, I ate half of Brady’s macaroni and cheese). Hunter talked about Dom at dinner, which was a surprise since usually I’m the one who brings her up.

“The wifey is talking about baby number three,” he said. “Said she misses the kids when they were babies. We just got our sleep pattern back on track.”

“Really?” I exclaimed because the last thing those two need to be doing is having more children.

Hunter shrugged. “We always said we’d have a big family. Don’t you want your kid to have a lot of cousins to play with?”

Later in the evening, the place turned off the lights and took the tables away so it’s like a little nightclub. Brady and Hunter were drunk.

“Three shots of Maker’s Mark,” Hunter said to the bartender and then looked back at me. “Actually, make that two shots.”

That annoyed me plus I was stuffed and ready to pass out. So I went home.

They got home later, a little after 3am and made a ton of noise while making drinks in the kitchen. And then, they took their party out to the terrace where they continued being loud and probably waking the entire neighborhood up.

I got up and went to the door to confront them wearing just one of Brady’s Cubs t-shirts. Before I could say anything, Drunk Hunter said, “Take that fucking shirt off!”

And maybe it’s because I have inappropriate thoughts about Hunter already or because the t-shirt was literally the only thing I was wearing, but I could not believe the crude comment he made in front of Brady, who just smirked. I didn’t even know what to say and let out a little gasp.

“I…what?” And then I realized that Hunter must not like the Cubs and that was why he was telling me to remove my shirt, not because he wanted to see my pregnant ass naked. “Y’all need to shut up. It’s 4 o’clock in the morning.”

Another day in the weekend, I was in the kitchen making an arugula, prosciutto and burrata salad with a strawberry vinaigrette and meatballs and Hunter needed to get past me. We have a galley kitchen and it’s narrow and on his way past, Hunter touched my hip lightly. Like not my back or my waist, but my hip which was much lower than what I think is appropriate. His hands are huge. And of course after that encounter, I immediately had a dirty dream about him.

Other than that, I’m mostly just annoyed at how much Hunter eats. Obviously Brady and I eat a ton, but feeding Hunter is like feeding a village. I had to replenish the refrigerator before his first weekend was even over. And y’all know I hate for people to eat my food. Oh, and I also hate how he objectifies women and Brady does not hold him accountable for that. One day we were sitting on a restaurant’s patio and he was watching women walk past.

“Damn, legs for days,” he mumbled about a young girl in short shorts.

“Ew!” I said loudly and Brady acted like he didn’t see any of it. Hunter winked at me.

One night before Hunter came, Brady handed me his phone where a bunch of pictures of an empty house were displayed. It was beautiful – with wood planked floors, brightly painted white walls, vaulted ceilings, a big deck and a backyard.

“What’s this?” I asked because he’d given me no context.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

“I mean, yeah. Where is it?” I said back.

Brady took his phone back. “It’s in Connecticut. A lot of my coworkers who have children live there.”

“Connecticut,” I repeated.

“Really, it’s the only way we’d be able to get as much room as we need for all of us,” he explained.

“All of us? I’m pretty sure all of us can fit in New York without having to move out of the state.”

“We’d still be able to commute into the city. A lot of people do it. I think if we want to buy, that’s where we should be looking.”

So instead of entertaining his little Connecticut idea, I searched for two bedrooms in New York which actually proved difficult with our budget and requirements (I will not not have in-unit laundry). And Brady sent a couple more he’d found, equally as spacious and beautiful. I’m not fucking moving to Connecticut.

Mike hired a VP. And she’s my age (well, 30). He didn’t even tell me he was looking for someone. I walked in one Monday and this tall blonde was walking briskly through our lobby area. She waved quickly and continued on. I didn’t think anything of it until Mike sent out a company-wide email telling us to welcome Paige, our new Vice President, to the team. He went on to talk about her experience and accolades and said she’d be working on “strategy” with him.

I decided to stop by Mike’s office to confront him and I passed Paige in the hallway. She didn’t plan on saying anything to me, I could tell, and I can’t stand that. Especially in our small office and especially from someone in a high level role.

“I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Reese,” I said.

“Oh, hi! Nice to meet you, Reese,” she said. She didn’t reach to shake my hand which is another pet peeve. Clearly I could’ve shaken her hand first, but she’s the VP, not me. So I stuck my hand out to shake hers.

“How’s your first day going?”

“Really, really busy. I’ll set up some time for us to TB later in the week, k?” Paige scampered off.

Kristina and I spent the rest of the day finding all her socials and discussing our first impressions of her.

At our touchbase later in the week, the first thing Paige said was, “Is it true that you’re pregnant?” Which I thought was really awkward.

“I am,” I said, opening my laptop. “I’m glad that the news made its way to you.”

“Congratulations. You look fantastic,” she said. I noted the huge princess cut diamond on her left ring finger – even more impressive than it looked on Instagram. And I watched as she looked for a ring on my finger.

I walked her through some of the reports and what I do on the daily. She’s actually really smart and well spoken and asks really good, relevant questions. Maybe she isn’t so bad.

And then, Brendan. We had lunch the other day. He stopped by the office and as usual, Paige was running out the door because she’s just so busy.

“Who’s that?” Brendan asked as she breezed past us.

“I don’t know. Mike hired her,” I replied.

We got to lunch where we ordered salads and talked shop a bit. There was a lull in the conversation and Brendan asked awkwardly, “So…how does it feel to be having a baby?”

I wasn’t expecting that. And I feel like I really don’t think about it because people don’t typically ask that. Usually it’s, “Do you know what you’re having and what what do you hope it is?” and “What are you doing for your gender reveal?”

“It feels really weird. I don’t think it’s hit me yet. Like, I’m going to be someone’s mom,” I said back. Every time I realize that, I start tearing up.

“That’s awesome. You must be excited.”

“Eh, yeah.” I don’t know if excited is the word. I have visions of a sweet, beautiful baby with blue eyes and then I immediately think of them growing into a teenager and hating me. And then I picture myself as a 45 year old. And then I want to vomit.

As I was calendar stalking, I saw that Paige had set up a intro meeting with Brendan (not Thomas, just Brendan) and that triggered me. Usually Brendan only works with me and/or sometimes Mike (they are besties) because Thomas handles their accounts. Not sure why Paige thinks she needs to meet with Brendan, but I’m not pleased.

Anyway, I find out what I’m having on Friday and I actually am really excited about that. I’m also excited for Hunter to leave on Sunday. Two weeks is way too long of a visit.

Standard

i suddenly liked him more.

Mike and I had to go to LA for a day to check on a project and I was thrilled. I love visiting LA. At first I was going to go alone, but then at the last minute, Sam told me she booked him a ticket too.

“You’re coming too, right?” I clarified, thinking about how awkward it would be if it were just me and Mike.

“Nope,” she said.

Luckily, we were not flying together though so I didn’t have to spend an additional six hours alone with him.

“Don’t invite anyone over,” I warned Brady on Sunday evening before I left. I had visions of him inviting Sydney over for dinner and a glass of wine. I hate Sydney.

The next morning I met Mike in the lobby of the Loews Hotel. He made it clear that we had a tight schedule and that our day had to begin at 7am to keep up with East Coast time. I wore my best Cool Girl outfit: animal print skirt, Golden Goose high tops and a baggy sweater. Mike was wearing his standard suit sans tie, but this was West Coast so no need for such formality.

“Good morning,” he greeted me, not looking up from his phone. He was sitting on a bench with his legs spread open, leaning forward. “I like your outfit.”

“Thanks! I thought I’d dress down, but still fashion forward since we’re in California,” I said back.

Mike glanced up at me, dragging his eyes from my feet up to my face. “Let’s go.”

We had meeting after meeting which was annoying because I had the day perfectly planned out before Mike decided to come and add additional meetings to the calendar. And then he had the nerve to treat me like an assistant at the first meeting – a meeting I’d put together.

“Good point. Reese, add that to our notes.”

“Reese can pull together the numbers and email it to the group.”

And at one point, he shoved a packet to me that someone handed him, not wanting to deal with it. Like, I’m not your little bitch, dude. Then I realized that these were my meetings and I had to get him under control. After that, I was sure to be more vocal and took charge. I’m sure Mike was rolling his eyes at me behind my back.

By 2:00pm, we’d had four back to back meetings and mama was starving and cranky. I’d only had a banana in the hotel that morning. We had some downtime so I thought we’d stop and get food, but Mike said, “Let’s go through the deck for the next meeting.”

“Should we grab something to eat?” I asked.

“I’m fine with my coffee,” Mike replied, holding up the free coffee he’d snagged at the previous place.

Obviously I don’t drink even drink coffee so it’s not like that I had to hold me over.

“Okay. I didn’t have a very big breakfast so I’ll need to eat soon. Otherwise I’ll get hangry,” I said, trying not to snap. I can’t believe I said “hangry” to Mike.

“We will have some time after the next meeting. You can eat then,” he said dismissively.

But after the next meeting, he had our driver take us to visit a showroom he was interested in.

“I thought we were going to eat now,” I said.

“We probably won’t have time to eat until we get to the airport. Is that okay with you?” Mike said. Before I could even let him know that it was not fucking okay and I was about to keel over, he walked into the showroom.

Mike was right. We didn’t eat until 7:00pm when we got to the airport. We had a little bit of time to kill so we stopped in one of the sit downs. I ordered a burger and fries before even seeing the menu. I was ravenous.

Mike opened the dinner conversation by asking, “So do you like working for us?”

Oh boy. This was going to be fun.

But I was actually pretty honest about what I liked about work (the small office setting, freedom to be creative, our clients and vendors) and some of the pain points (everything else). Later on in the conversation, after the food came and I was stuffing my face, Mike said something like, “When Brendan gets back from vacation we will need to sort of the logistics of that.”

“Oh, Brendan is on vacation?” I said back with a mouth full of food.

Mike nodded. “I’m not exactly sure when he’s back. Will you reach out to Thomas to get him to send over some estimates?”

Naturally, immediately after he told me that, I pulled my phone right out and went to Brendan’s Instagram to see where he was, but he wasn’t even posting pictures or stories and that’s unheard of while on vacation. Maybe he blocked his story from me? Then I checked his tagged pictures to see if the wife had posted anything and she hadn’t – at least not that she tagged Brendan in. Then I checked he wife’s page. She was posting pictures in NYC.

“So how are your kiddos?” I asked after I put my phone away.

Mike glanced up at me. “They’re fine.”

I don’t think Mike has ever told me about his kids – the only reason I know he has them is because of the pictures in his office.

“That’s good. I can’t imagine being a kid and growing up in New York. I feel like I’d get into so much trouble,” I said.

“We live in New Jersey.”

“Oh.”

After a little bit more small talk, Mike announced that he had to go to the restroom. Perfect. More time to stalk Brendan. I pulled out my phone and began looking through Brendan and his wife’s Instagram pages again. When I looked up again, I saw Mike standing across the restaurant at the bar with his wallet out. The bartender was sliding a shot glass with dark liquor in it. And then, I watched as Mike took the shot. No way! I suddenly liked him more.

Mike didn’t put his phone away the rest of the evening which was great because we’d run out of things to talk about. I was more interested in finding out where Brendan was anyway.

The rest of the week was quite uneventful. Mike invited me to lunch and by invite I mean, we ran into each other in the hallway and he mentioned he was going to grab a salad and did I want to join?

Did I? No. I wanted Chipotle. But you can’t say no to Mike. We didn’t speak at all on our way to get salads, but at the restaurant he did the nicest thing he’s probably ever done. When we got the register and they asked, “Is that all?” Mike said, “And whatever she is having.”

“Thanks for lunch, Mike,” I said as we walked back to the office.

“You can thank the company. It will be expensed,” he said, not looking up from his phone.

That weekend, one of Brady’s friends invited us to dinner at a restaurant in the East Village. I was mostly excited to get out of the house and to eat. We arrived at the restaurant and met up with Connor and Owen, Owen’s girlfriend, Jess, Sydney and Sydney’s friend (I forgot the girl’s name but Sydney finally has a friend! Thank God).

The restaurant had big family style tables and Sydney made a point to plop down right next to Brady. I rolled my eyes. On the other side of me sat a friendly bald man who belonged to the group sitting next to us. Brady and Sydney were completely engrossed in conversation about politics so I started talking to Connor, Owen and Jess. Connor and Owen are both nerdy, but sweet doctors who work with Brady. They’re like nice guys I would never date because they probably only like missionary sex and are annoyingly particular about their beer. That’s exactly what they wanted to talk about. Beer.

“It’s lacking hoppiness. You’d expect an IPA to be more hoppy,” Connor said, sounding like a Chopped judge.

I rolled my eyes. The bald man next to me nudged me, grinning at my reaction to Connor’s commentary. We started talking. He lives out in Long Island City, but it was someone in his group’s birthday and he hoped he made it to the evening festivities.

“Tell me about it,” I said, also feeling exhausted (huge).

I talk a lot. He told me he has a pilot’s license and then started quizzing me on US geography. I failed that and instead impressed him with my knowledge of regional United States cuisine. I could tell him the most famous restaurants and dishes in the largest US cities – I even surprised myself. How/Why do I know any of this?

“Oh no, no, no,” I heard someone say. A tall blonde woman was approaching the back of the bench we were sitting on. She looked like she was from the Midwest and likes to eat beer cheese soup. “I see what you’re trying to do here. This is my husband.”

“Excuse me?” I said back.

“You’ve been talking to my husband for an hour. I know he isn’t wearing a ring, but we are married! And this needs to end,” she said.

I looked at the bald man, who said nothing and back at her. “You’re joking, right?”

“No, you’re joking right? He’s married and what you’re doing is inappropriate!” she said.

“Okay, you have one minute to get away from me before I am requesting the police to escort you out for harassing me,” I said very calmly.

“Harassing you?!” she erupted and then she started screaming belligerently, talking about me hitting on her husband. He sat there and did nothing.

At this point, Brady noticed the commotion and jumped up, but only because Connor or Owen or someone alerted him. He was too busy talking to Sydney.

“What’s going on?” he asked. He hadn’t put in his contacts that day and was wearing his glasses and looked completely adorable. At the same time, an employee came over and asked the same thing.

“I think she needs to leave,” the lady said as if she wasn’t the one who had just been screaming.

“I actually think she needs to leave. I’m pregnant and she is being violent,” I said.

“If the two of you cannot keep it down, you will both need to leave,” the employee said.

“You’re pregnant?” asked Connor or Owen.

Sydney gasped (Brady tells her literally everything, but apparently hadn’t told her that yet).

Needless to say, I did not leave until I was good and ready and the lady dragged her stupid husband to the other end of the table. Good fucking riddance.

For the long July 4th weekend, Brady and I wanted to get out of the city so we flew to his grandmother’s house in Florida. It was risky, but he was sure that no one else would be there. No one in Brady’s family knows I’m pregnant except Hunter. And it’s a bit hard to hide a belly when you’re in a bathing suit.

Luckily though, we didn’t have any run ins, not even with Daniela, the hot housekeeper I catch Brady texting sometimes. I asked him where she was.

“Ah, uh, I don’t know. I thought she’d be here,” he stammered.

We spent three days sitting by the pool eating fresh fruit and tacos and the last day, we walked around the town, going in and out of the shops.

“So when are you going to tell your parents? This feels wrong,” I told Brady at lunch.

“What does?” he said back.

“Having to hide that I’m pregnant. You went out of your way to make sure no one would be here to see me and I just think it would be easier if you just told them. The longer you wait, the more disappointed they’ll be that you have been hiding it,” I explained.

Brady nodded like he had it under control. “I was thinking we should tell them soon. I want to do it in person though so I thought we could have them over for dinner or something.”

“We? They already hate me so you should probably do that on your own…”

Brady didn’t say anything, but sighed like I was being ridiculous. I should probably be more supportive, but that’s a problem I just don’t feel like I should have to deal with. I’m sure I’ll end up being there when he tells them anyway.

Brendan was back at work the next week. We still hadn’t talked at all and I never figured out where he was vacationing, but shockingly on Tuesday, he stopped by the office and we were so happy to see each other that we hugged.

“I’m meeting with Mike now, but let’s catch up later in the week!” he said and ran off.

I was feeling so hopeful – friends again! But he was so busy with work that I didn’t see or hear from him again. So much for catching up. It’s probably good though. A few people in the office know I’m pregnant now (thanks Kristina) so I shouldn’t be spending so much time with Brendan. I don’t want anyone getting any ideas.

Anyway, Hunter is here and it’s a lot and I will fill y’all in later!

Standard

did i break his heart?

The same night I broke up with Brendan, I had a really inappropriate dream about him. In it, I was pregnant, but it was Brendan’s and we were in love and having a ton of amazing sex and there was his penis. I vividly remember touching it and the way it felt in my dream. It was pretty graphic. I woke up feeling super guilty. I always have the most inappropriate dreams about people I should not be dreaming about (usually Hunter – more on him later).

The next day, we had a meeting where Mike and Brendan were presenting and I just got to sit there taking notes, thank God. Brendan was already in the filled room when I arrived so he didn’t come over to say hi or even make eye contact with me. I kind of felt bad because he seemed kind of sad during the whole thing and kept looking down at the floor. Did I break his heart? Or was I thinking too highly of my influence? He didn’t come over and talk to me after the meeting and he didn’t stop by to say goodbye before he left.

Okay. This was what I asked for. I spent the day actually working, ordered fried chicken for lunch and left early so I could stop and pick up dinner for my man. The following day though, Brendan texted me. We hadn’t talked at all since I dumped him, but I’d been waiting for him to reach out.

“I’ve been thinking and everything you said is absolutely correct. We probably shouldn’t hang out anymore. We still have work together, but I’ll try to transfer as much of it to Thomas as I can. I’m sorry if I made things weird between us. I didn’t realize it until you mentioned it,” he said.

Wait. No. I backtracked.

“I don’t think we have to stop hanging out completely – just not as much. Like you said, we still have to work together and it isn’t fair to make Thomas do everything just to avoid me. Can we have lunch together tomorrow?”

“Okay,” Brendan said.

All of the drama with Brendan made me extra horny so when Brady got home from work, I made him sit down on the couch so I could undress him.

“Ohh, okayyyy,” he mumbled, liking where was going.

I rode him for a little while before he (gently – I’m carrying a child) flipped me onto my tummy and we finished in that position. I’m not really showing that much, I kind of just look how I look after I’ve eaten a whole Chipotle burrito. Which I do frequently so it makes sense.

Afterwards, Brady got dressed again and sat back on the couch. “I was doing some thinking and I think we should get married.”

“Excuse me?” I said back, halting my search for my bra.

“It’s the smartest thing to do given our situation. My health insurance is very good and I think you should be on it to have the baby and I think the baby should be on as well. For tax purposes, it makes more sense for us to be able to file together. And…my parents will take the news a lot better if we are married,” he explained, like it was a business deal.

“I see what you mean, but I’m not getting married for your parents’ benefit. And never once did you say, ‘because I want to marry you,’ and really, that should be the only reason – not because of the government.” I gave up looking for my bra and threw my top back on. No ring, no romance. Really, it was just a suggestion and I didn’t like that.

Brady nodded. “You’re right.” And then he walked off and didn’t mention it again.

For some reason, I was super excited for my lunch with Brendan the next day. I guess I kind of missed him as I was used to seeing him everyday. And after Brady’s perfunctory proposal, I needed a pick me up.

At 12:30, Mike and Brendan walked past my open office door and I watched Brendan laugh lightly at something Mike said. My heart melted into a puddle. Only he could get along and joke with Mike like that.

“Hey,” Brendan said, joining me in my office. He wore slacks and a button down tucked in, with two buttons opened at the top.

“Hiiii,” I said, sweetly. “I’m almost ready.”

I quickly sent an email back to Connie, who was hassling me again, while Brendan pulled out his phone. Normally he would have been chatting my ear off, but things were still off.

Once I was ready, we headed down in the elevator and walked the two blocks to a café with a huge menu because I was craving everything. Brendan told me about work, complaining about Thomas’ lack of focus and some of the projects he was wrapping up. We quickly fell back into our normal rhythm – joking, rolling our eyes about people we don’t like, ordering a bunch of stuff all together so we could share. This was more like it.

“Lydia [the girl I hate, Connie’s boss] did something similar yesterday. She sent an email saying that my team was late on delivering something when it had already been communicating that the deadline had been changed. She copied Mike and you and literally everyone in your company,” Brendan explained.

“Oh, I saw that! And then when you corrected her, she said, ‘This conversation is no longer productive so I’m removing myself from the chain,” I said. “What a bitch!”

“Removing herself from the chain because she was wrong,” he said laughing. “Mike and I just made fun of her.”

“Those two are the worst. Literally so miserable. I see where Connie gets it.”

After what felt like a back-to-normal lunch and Brendan was waiting for the waitress to bring his card back, I leaned over and grabbed his wrist, the one he always wore a thin gold link bracelet on.

“This was so fun. Should we do it again tomorrow?” I asked as casually as possible, batting my eyelashes at him.

Brendan pulled his arm away slowly and then with more conviction. “Reese, what the fuck?”

I was startled, and withdrew my hand.

“You said you didn’t want to hang out anymore. Why did you say that if you didn’t mean it?” he demanded.

“I said we shouldn’t hang out as much. We can still hang out as friends though. As long as we both know we are just friends,” I clarified.

“Do we both know that? I kinda feel like you’re sending me mixed signals here. One minute you’re all over me and the next you’re saying you love your boyfriend.”

My heart sped up and I felt like I might vomit. Did he actually think I was “all over” him? I thought about how I’d so comfortably grabbed his wrist and other times when I’d link my arm with his while walking or reach over and help myself to his plate or grab his shoulders/neck to emphasize a point.

“And the next minute you’re suddenly married with a wife you don’t ever talk about. Funny how you don’t mention being married until I bring up my boyfriend.”

Brendan stood up, pulling out his wallet to return his credit card. “I’m gonna head back to work.”

I haven’t seen or heard from Brendan since. A few days later, Kristina and I walked to get smoothies for lunch.

“What happened with Brendan? Thomas said he said you’re driving him crazy,” she said on our walk over.

“He’s driving me crazy!” I exclaimed, but refused to tell Kristina what happened.

Hunter will be visiting next month – for two weeks. And he’s staying with us.

“Are you sure he should stay with us? Two weeks is a long time. I’m sure a hotel isn’t out of his budget,” I said when Brady told me.

“I’m not going to make my brother stay in a hotel, Reese. And that’s rude,” Brady replied.

We don’t even have a guest bedroom for the guy to sleep in so he will just be…there. So I have that to look forward to.

Lastly, I caught Brady looking for places to buy. I didn’t get a good look, but what I saw was a open floor plan kitchen and living area, big windows and “$1,099,999” at the top. I don’t know who can afford that, but I haven’t gotten the courage to ask him about it since I’m trying not to be a snooping girlfriend anymore.

Standard

i had to break up with him.

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.”

“Like?”

“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.

“I know.”

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.”

I agreed.

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.”

“I’m okay.”

“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.

Ugh.

“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.

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