everyday is a celebration.

The New York recruiter called me on Wednesday to have another phone interview. I was furious and ready to just block her number.

She started in on asking me things and I actually cut her off. “I’m in New York. Do you want me to come by the office?”

“Oh, yes!” she said, sounding excited. “That would be great.”

Because I wasn’t doing anything except repotting some plants I got at IKEA, I told her I’d come that afternoon. I showered and put on a black dress, Alexander Wang booties and a fucking rain jacket because it was so gloomy out. I took the 1 train uptown to the office.

Our NYC office is located in a beautiful skyscraper. I was whisked up to the 40th floor and waltzed into the glass enclosed office. The receptionist was about 19 years old wearing a chic oversized sweater and had long red hair. Little known fact about me: I am obsessed with natural gingers. I think it is gorgeous. If they have the fair skin and freckles to match, I’m dead. It’s so fucking cute.

“Hi, how can I help you?” she asked me.

I let her know that I was there to see the recruiter and she gave me directions to get to recruiters desk. I was a little confused at the open office concept. Everyone’s desks were out in the open and not divided by cubicles or anything. Where was the privacy? How uncouth.

The recruiter was sitting at her desk that had a huge bouquet of flowers on it. She also looked about 19 years old, but very well put together.

“Hi, you must be Reese! Thanks for meeting me,” she said, standing up. She was wearing a chic pink tweed shift dress and white heeled booties.

She pulled up a chair for me to sit next to her at her desk. Before I could even begin the monologue I had planned (in front of my surprise audience), the recruiter, whose name is Sarah, said, “We’d like to offer you the sales manager position. If you are still interested.”

Obviously I was still interested, otherwise I wouldn’t have been there.

I said, “Oh, great!”

“We can pay you the same as what you were making in Chicago,” Sarah went on.

I assumed the sales manager job was a bit lower than my job in Chicago so I wasn’t expecting the same rate of pay. Obviously New York is more expensive though so I assumed that was why. I wasn’t about to question it.

“Okay. I guess I accept,” I said back.

Sarah looked relieved. “I’m so happy. You can start on Monday, can’t you?”

“Sure.”

She grabbed my arm, obviously happy that I had accepted. “Thank goodness. The sales team hasn’t had a leader in so long and things are starting to get bad.” She leaned in close. “There is going to be some fallout. These people have not had any accountability. I’m just warning you.”

Thanks for the heads up.

Back outside, it was beginning to get dark. I checked my phone and saw that Brady had texted me, saying we should meet up for drinks. He’d be getting off in the next hour-hour and a half and I told him I’d meet him at this cute hotel bar not far from home. I love a good hotel bar and I rushed right over even though I’d have to wait a bit for Brady.

I ordered a glass of champs (because everyday is a celebration, right?) and enjoyed my own company at the bar. After I’d downed my first glass of champagne, the bartender who had come over a few times to ask where I was traveling from, etc, slid another glass in front of me.

“Courtesy of the gentleman on the other side of the bar,” he told me.

I glanced over and saw the culprit – a middle aged man with salt and pepper hair and a tie. It’s been so long since someone has ordered a drink for me at the bar that I didn’t even know what to do. Especially since I am in a relationship.

The guy looked up at me and, not wanting to seem like the ungrateful bitch that I am, I raised my glass to cheers him. Whatever. I continued sucking down my free champagne and to my dismay, the kind gentleman got up from his seat and made his way over to me. For fuck’s sake.

“I was just getting ready to leave, but I thought it’d be rude not to come over and say hello first,” he said.

“Oh. Hello,” I said back. You can take the bitch out of Chicago, but…

“Where are you here from?” he asked.

“I live here. I just like to hang out in hotels. I’m actually waiting on my fiancé,” I said. I quickly hid my ringless left hand.

My admirer looked disappointed. “Such a lucky man. Can’t believe he’d leave you waiting this long.”

Excuse me?

“Well, he got called in last minute to do surgery as he’s an oncologist. One of his patients had a nineteen pound tumor and it was obviously an emergency. He will be here soon,” I said, stretching the truth just slightly.

“All right then. Hey, well I hope you enjoy your evening and I hope he shows up soon,” the man said.

I rolled my eyes as he walked away.

By the time my life saving fiancé showed up, the guy was gone. Ugh. I wanted to show off. Clearly I was lying, but at least when Brady showed up, my story would play out better.

Anyway, Brady showed up with his little laptop bag and glasses and Oxford shirt. He’s so fucking cute. His new job is really demanding though and I’m already over it. He’s working in a hospital with all these little pharmacists under him. I can’t imagine him telling people what to do, but it’s so cute. And he is enjoying it which I love for him.

I told him about the meeting and what Sarah had said.

“At least you have a job now. Even if it isn’t exactly what you want, it buys you some time to find what you do want,” Brady said.

I’d been thinking the exact same thing.

The rest of the week I spent sprucing up our new place. We ended up going with a townhouse in Greenwich Village. It is what my vintage dreams are made of. The apartment takes up the entire first floor of a townhouse and has 2 bathrooms, a massive bedroom and an outdoor terrace/garden. They didn’t allow dogs at first, but Brady negotiated and we were allowed to bring Tucker. What kind of asshole would say no to Tucker?

I wanted to go with a vintage luxe vibe. Think brass, marble, faux fur, plants. Very Art Deco. I ordered a bunch of stuff online, but soon discovered how complicated getting large packages delivered in New York is.

Over the weekend, Brady, Tucker and I explored our new neighborhood. We had brunch, bottomless Bloody’s (which was absolutely disgusting), filled our fridge with tons of organic food, went to the park, etc. I was actually exhausted for work on Monday.

I was actually really excited to start work though. My week of leisure was fun, but I really do like working and having a purpose. I strutted in on Monday morning and my girl crush, the ginger named Gabby, helped me get acquainted. She showed me my desk which was smack dab in the middle of the open room. That was going to have to change immediately. I had to get my computers and monitor set up and decorated a bit then right before lunch, I got to attend my first meeting.

I will be working alongside Brett, who I guess is the equivalent of my position in Chicago. He is the epitome of a salesman with his polo shirt and dress pants. He’s around my age, addicted to Red Bull (and probably cocaine) and talks unnecessarily loud. He reminds me of the guys in college who would stand in the middle of a crowd at a party and chug a fifth of vodka for attention. I immediately liked him.

After the meeting, he came over to give me a run down of everything. After we spoke, he said, “Well, rad dude. We’re stoked you’re here.”

On Tuesday, I came in with my homemade green tea latte and egg and avocado sandwich. I’m on a high protein, low fat and dairy diet now. It’s been fun. I think technically I’m supposed to stay away from avocados, but I eat them daily.

“I really love your outfit. You always look great,” Gabby greeted me when I walked in.

Obviously I’d tried hard to look great – I was wearing a printed mock neck dress, mustard colored booties and my new no-nonsense work bag.

“Thanks so much!” I replied and we began talking. I found out that she is a graduate from Parsons who wants to break into the fashion industry which I think is adorable. It’s like the Devil Wears Prada.

We ended up going to Whole Foods together for lunch and getting salads. Gabby told me about all the awful dates she’d been on lately. I thought all the stories about how bad New York men are were fake. I let her know that I’d be a great wing woman (I love to be a wing woman). She’s 25, which is young as I am looking for older friends these days. I’m trying to get my life together.

By Friday, I was ready to kill everyone except my darling, Gabby. Sarah is so annoying and loud and always everywhere I am. You know the people who laugh at literally everything? I can’t think of a more annoying characteristic. My entire team is completely lazy and talk too much and need their hands held for everything. I can’t fucking stand it. I spent the entire day Friday coming up with a huge game plan to get things back on track. I have to wear headphones and listen to music constantly because of our open concept office. Sarah came over and disturbed me to check on how I was doing, and I almost strangled her.

The following weekend, Hunter came to visit. I was not ready to see him again. And I was not prepared. Brady opened his phone and said, “Hunter’s flight just landed,” while we were having drinks at a bar.

“Where?” I asked.

“Here,” Brady said back.

I almost choked and prayed we wouldn’t have to actually see him over the weekend. On Saturday morning, Brady and I woke up naked and hungover in our nearly empty room. Our bedroom is so spacious that our furniture doesn’t fill it. Such a great problem to have!

“Do you want to shower first or do you want me to? I told Hunter we’d meet him for brunch,” Brady said.

Wtf, seriously? I just wanted to lay in bed and hate myself for drinking until 4am. I told Brady to shower first so I could get as much time in the bed. We met Hunter at a restaurant not far from Times Square.

“Heyyyy, Reese,” he greeted me with this super affectionate voice. I hadn’t seen Hunter since our maybe-encounter in which I’d called him “baby” in my sleep and getting caught FaceTiming him with Lexi and Dom.

“Oh, hey. Good to see you,” I said, sounding really cold.

He looked really, really good. Like his facial hair was super tame and trimmed and his hair was back in a neat bun.

“And you!” Maybe it’s my imagination, but Hunter looked at me straight in the eye for several seconds longer than he needed to.

Brunch was fine. They talked about their parents mostly which is crazy boring. I had anxiety worried that Hunter would bring up the FaceTime thing so I didn’t say anything.

Finally, I just needed to talk. “So what brings you to New York this weekend? It’s such a long way for you, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s a long way. I’m here for work next week, but I thought I’d come out a few days early. Wanted to see you guys and everything,” Hunter replied, with this really playful and flirtatious smirk.

I looked away, totally grossed out, but not that grossed out by the way he looked at me. I didn’t say anything for the rest of brunch.

That evening, Brady and I had plans of meeting people out, but ended up falling asleep on the couch at 7pm. Brady woke up a little later and jumped in the shower without even waking me up. I woke up when Brady was walking through the house in just a towel.

“Where are you going?” I demanded.

“Out. Are you coming?” he replied.

It was around 11, but that was fine and I got up and got ready. I put on boyfriend jeans, leopard heeled mules and a graphic tee. Because casual.

We Ubered to a bar in East Village where Hunter and a guy Hunter and Brady knows already were. The boys wanted to talk about Donald Trump and all of his scandals the whole night. I prefer not to talk about that man at all.

We all hung out and drank until around 1:30am, when Hunter announced he had to get going.

To me in particular, he said, “Gotta get back to the hotel. Check in with the ball and chain, you know, Reese?” He was smiling really big and seemed to be happy to be going back to his wife.

Wait. What? Why would I know anything about that? Did he think I was Brady’s ball and chain?

“No, I don’t know. You’re never worried about your wife whenever you’re out with us,” I said.

Brady didn’t seem to be listening until I said that.

“What do you mean? I’m always worried about the wife,” Hunter said. He still had that stupid smile on his face.

I didn’t bother saying anything back. I didn’t have anything nice to say anyway. On our way out, Hunter grabbed my shoulders.

“What do you mean, I don’t worry about my wife? I love her, you know that,” he said.

“Are you trying to convince me or yourself?” I asked.

Hunter walked ahead and turned around to smirk and wink at me. What? He is so weird.

I opted not to hang out with Brady and Hunter on Sunday. But then on Sunday night, I proceeded to have a gross dream about meeting Hunter in his hotel room. Have you ever woken up from a dream and just felt dirty? That was me.

Anyway, I have to go. I have a daycare to run (work to do).

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Standard

i’m unemployed.

The Friday before Brady left for New York, we decided to have a cute romantic dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Having him home was so nice. I felt less like a lonely, antisocial asshole. Plus, we really missed each other and we’re going out of way to be super cute and sweet. Brady kept referring to himself, me and Tucker as “our family.” He used the phrase a lot while we were looking at apartments. Kind of gaggy, but kind of cute.

At dinner, I addressed the elephant in compression pants in the room. Sydney.

“Isn’t it so weird that Sydney is moving to New York at the same time you decided to move to New York,” I said.

Brady finished chewing. “Yeah, it is a strange coincidence. I had no idea.”

Y’all know I don’t believe in coincidences.

“So when did you find out?” I had to know.

“When I got back from Peru. We’d both already had plans to move,” Brady explained.

“And don’t you think it’s so weird that you hate New York and threw a fucking fit when I wanted to move there with you. And now suddenly, you’re so excited for a career change,” I said.

He could tell what I was getting at and didn’t seem to appreciate it. “I am excited for this opportunity. It has absolutely nothing to do with Sydney. I didn’t even know she was moving until things were already in motion.” Brady chuckled.

“I don’t find any of this funny,” I said, keeping my composure.

“I know, but to imply that us moving to New York has anything to do with Sydney is completely ridiculous.” He shook his head.

I liked that he said “us” and I smiled.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fresh start in New York? I think we went through a lot in Chicago, but I’d love to leave that in Chicago. The drama, the feelings about people, the related issues, the negativity…” Brady said.

“The feelings about people?” I repeated.

“Yeah. It would be nice if you didn’t come to New York still harboring all of those negative emotions.”

I kind of felt like he was right and I felt excited about that. Starting over in a brand new city? Not bringing all of my negative feelings with us did seem like it would help me be overall happier.

“I love that, actually. Can we leave Sydney in Chicago too?”

Later that night, we met up with Alex, Emily, Lindsey, Lexi and some others. A bit of a last hoorah if you will. During a moment alone, I asked Alex if he thought it was weird that Sydney was moving to New York.

“You know, New York is a place of opportunity. I don’t think it’s weird that two young people want to go pursue their dreams,” Alex said.

I rolled my eyes because he is so annoying. Pursuing their dreams? Really? Shut up.

The following week was hectic as I had so much shit still to do. I’d sent most of my clothing with the movers, but still overestimated how much room I’d have in my luggage. So I needed to ship things to myself.

I sold my car. Honestly, it was a relief to get rid of the thing. I never even drive anymore. My dad helped me and somehow found a buyer who was not located in Chicago so there a bit of drama surrounding getting the car to the buyer. My dad let me know that it was worth it.

I spoke with the recruiter in New York again. I was a little unsure why she still had interview questions for me and why she wouldn’t schedule one official interview instead of calling me at random times. Luckily though, she caught me at a good time and we were able to have a decent conversation. She didn’t give me any insight as to if my transfer was approved the last time I spoke to her. So I was moving without a job lined up.

I had a phone interview for a client relationship manager for a medium sized interiors company. I think it went okay, but their range is less than what I’m looking for. I am not in any position to take a pay cut, especially when my half of the rent is almost $1,000 more than I was paying in Chicago. Yes, I’m helping with rent.

And finally, Scott had me working like a slave my last two weeks. Every time I did literally anything (everything) he’d say, “You know, we are really going to miss you around here.”

He planned a going away party complete with pizza, cake, ice cream and rosé. I was so wrapped up in being excited about moving that I didn’t even think to be sad. But my coworkers who I don’t even care about doing something so thoughtful for me really touched my little heart. It started sinking in. I’d be leaving all my friends, Kendra, my fucking best friend, Mia and everything I know. It’s sad, but I didn’t cry.

I’m in New York now. I’ve been here for three days and I do not have a job. Yet. So that’s what I’m working on. If you don’t hear from me for a while, that’s why. Ttyl!

Standard

i wanted to slap him.

On Wednesday, I was super busy with meetings and a lot of new projects we are starting. Like I’d planned my day down to the second. I had shit to get done.

I got a call on my cell phone from a New York number and I answered it, even though I was literally walking into a meeting.

It was one of the recruiters from the New York office.

“Do you have time to chat really quick? I just wanted to know your timeline of when you plan to be here,” she said.

“Sure, I have a minute,” I said. “My aim is to be there within the next month or so. Of course I have some loose ends to tie up here and other things to figure out.”

She didn’t even acknowledge what I said. “Can you tell me about your sales within the last year and how you contributed to the overall sales?”

I wasn’t expecting that question, but I pulled out some bullshit answer as I waved to everyone walking into the conference room.

Again, she didn’t acknowledge my answer. “What weaknesses do you have?”

Was she kidding? Why did she think I had time for an impromptu phone interview? But still, I answered her just as Scott stepped out of the room, obviously looking for me.

“And how do you see yourself adding value to our team?” she asked once I’d finished.

Scott gave me a weird look, like he thought I was having a personal convo, and looked looked at his watch.

“I’m sorry, I’m walking into a meeting. Can we talk another time?” I said.

“Oh,” the recruiter said, sounding disappointed. “Sure, I’ll call you back tomorrow.”

After we hung up, Scott was still standing at the door waiting for me.

“Everything okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, the recruiter from the New York office called,” I said.

Scott had the nerve to look surprised and I was tempted to say something snarky back, but there was a room full of people.

I didn’t feel like things went well with the recruiter so immediately after the meeting, I updated my resume and started saving some jobs on job boards.

That evening, Kendra was able to sneak out of the house for a couple of hours to go to happy hour with me. I was kind of nervous to hear what she’d have to say about my announcement.

“Are you happy to have Brady home?” she asked.

“Mmhm,” I nodded. “He had such an amazing time and like, had some sort of revelation. He accepted a job in New York City.”

“Oh, really?” Kendra said, not sounding surprised in the slightest. “How do you feel about that?”

“Well, I’m going with him so,” I said.

“Oh. When’s that happening?” Kendra still didn’t seem fazed by any of the news.

“He’s going next weekend. I’ll probably join in three weeks. I still have things to do work wise,” I said.

She finally seemed to take me seriously. “Wait, are you serious? Why so sudden?”

“It’s when Brady’s new job needs him. He’s really excited. And I’m excited for him. Like he never does anything and now he is. And I’ll probably get to transfer with work so I’m really excited about that too. Like, to be able to work with a different team and stuff. The opportunities are endless.” I realized I was trying to justify myself so she wouldn’t judge me and tell me it was a bad idea.

“What did your mom say?” Kendra wanted to know.

“Nothing. She’s happy for me, obviously,” I said.

“That’s amazing, Reese. You guys don’t have anything stopping you so why not? I’m so jealous.” She looked like she might cry.

I actually felt relieved that Kendra approved. Once I had her approval, I excitedly told her more about our plan, how Brady would go first and scout out the apartments we’d bookmarked – one that allowed dogs because Tucker has to come with us, the potential jobs I’d looked at, the exact day I wanted to book my one way flight for, etc.

The next day, I expected the recruiter to call me at some point like she said she would. After lunch I decided to email her, just to get a rough time frame when she might call as I had a lot planned for the afternoon. This bitch never called that day and never emailed me back. I was really mad and started “one click” applying to random jobs on Indeed.com to retaliate.

On my way home, Brady texted me asking if I wanted to get drinks with him and coworkers. Obviously I did so I had the Uber reroute and drop me off at the bar.

I was surprised to find out that Brady hadn’t made it yet, but Sydney and others were there. Totally missed her!

“Hey, Reese,” she said when she saw me. She had her hair in two Kim Kardashian-style braids which for some reason annoyed me. “You look really cute. Did you wear that to work?”

I was wearing a basic black outfit and I could tell she was really trying to be nice so I decided to play nice back. We exchanged some niceties and I pretty much spaced out the entire time. Do y’all ever do that? Like I couldn’t tell you a single thing we talked about and we talked for probably fifteen minutes. Sorry, Syd. You’re boring.

Once Brady arrived, we all sat around a big table drinking beer and wine and things were super normal and fine. I was loving the fact that soon Sydney would be left behind in Chicago, never to be heard from again. Good riddance.

That is, until I heard her say something like, “I think I found an apartment in Williamsburg. It’s with a girl my cousin knows and the current roommate is moving out…”

I was thinking, “Wait. Where is Williamsburg?”

And then I fucking realized that Sydney is moving to New York also. Immediately after my groundbreaking realization, I stared at Brady for two minutes until he looked at me back. He gave me a weird look when he noticed me staring and I rolled my eyes and didn’t say anything the rest of the time.

In the Uber on our way home, I said, “When did you plan on telling me Sydney is moving to New York?”

Brady looked surprised, but then suddenly not surprised. “Babe, she got a job there too. It’s not a big deal.”

“But why didn’t you mention that? I was obviously really caught off guard when she suddenly started talking about moving to New York,” I said.

“I would have told you, but I didn’t think you cared about what Sydney is doing,” he said.

“I don’t, unless it involves me,” I said back, matter of factly. I could feel Brady’s rebuttal coming so I added, “And it does involve me because now she’s going to be around a lot in New York also.”

“She’s my friend. I don’t see how her being in New York is a problem. At least we have someone else to hang out with.”

As if I want to hang out with that little pest! Brady is so off base sometimes. I wanted to slap him.

I finally heard back from the recruiter the following Monday. By then I’d applied to so many jobs that I was excited about, I’d forgotten all about the sales manager job.

“I apologize for the delay. Things have been so crazy here!” she told me.

We proceeded with a few formal interview questions then she started being nosy and wanted to know why I was moving and where we’d be living and stuff.

Speaking of which, Brady and I have it narrowed down to a few housing options.

1. A vintage townhouse in Greenwich Village.
2. A loft in West Village.
3. A 3 bed/2 bath mansion in Soho.

Brady is going to check them out this week while I send him additional options because there are so many amazing places and I am indecisive.

On Friday, the movers Brady hired came and packed up most of our shit. So I’m staying with Lexi for two weeks. I feel like refugee. Last night we went out for drinks and as expected, she got totally trashed. I was up until 3am babysitting her. In fact, I had only been asleep for 45 minutes when Brady texted me to say good morning. He started his new job today. I literally never thought Brady would start a new job. This is weird.

I’m sorry, I have to go. I’ll try to post again later this week. I’m busy with work, looking at apartments + jobs, planning a dinner for my birthday + going away and selling some of my things. Bye!

Standard

it’s so funny how things change.

Brady told me he was landing at around 9:00pm on Sunday and I planned on picking him up from the airport.

I woke up in the morning to have brunch with Lexi, Preston and Preston’s friend, Mikayla. I arrived wearing distressed joggers, a bodysuit, mules and Gucci sunglasses.

“I think Hunter blocked me,” Lexi said.

Lexi and I hadn’t hung out since that night.

“Why do you think that?” I asked.

“He’s not responding to my messages,” Lexi said.

“Why would Hunter block you?” Preston asked.

I gasped, realizing I hadn’t even told him the story. “Let me tell you what happened.”

“It’s not as bad as it sounds,” Lexi prefaced.

“This drunk mess FaceTimed Hunter at 4am one night,” I said. “And his wife answered.”

“Oh my God! The bitch?” Preston exclaimed.

“Yes! And to make matters worse, I was sitting next to Lexi when she called and the bitch totally saw me. She probably thinks I set the whole thing up!”

Preston cackled.

“What luck you have, baby doll!” he shouted.

“Like, I can understand how it’s kind of funny, but it’s not funny to me yet!” I said.

“Did she say anything to you?” Preston asked.

“I don’t know. I got a text from Hunter later, but I deleted it before I opened it,” I said.

“Wait, you didn’t tell me that,” Lexi cut in.

I ignored her. “So now I don’t know if I should address the issue or just pretend it didn’t happen.”

“Pretend it didn’t happen. Don’t admit guilt,” Preston said. Lexi nodded. “‘FaceTime Hunter at 4am? Why would you ever do such a thing!’”

Two hours of cackling later, we were all happily drunk and on the verge of getting kicked out of the restaurant. Lexi wanted to take our party elsewhere, but I really needed to do the sixteen piles of laundry I had all over the floor and go grocery shopping to prepare for Brady’s arrival.

I got in the house and sang, “Tucker! Come here you snickerdoodle, so I can take you outside for a potty.”

He didn’t immediately come running so I called out again, using Scott’s British/Australian accent. “Tucker, my boy, come to mummy so we can go to the loo.”

Tucker came strutting around the corner looking super proud that he was with his daddy. Brady was home.

“Ah! I wasn’t expecting you until later!” I said. He looked so fucking good in his crew neck and glasses and shorts and haircut.

“Thought I’d surprise you,” Brady said. He came and hugged me and that’s when it hit me that he was actually home.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re here! You’re finally home!” I squealed.

“I really missed you,” he said.

“I missed you like a ton,” I said. “I have so much to tell you.”

“I have so much to tell you, also,” Brady said in a way that made me step back to look at him.

“We can talk about all that later,” he said and grabbed me by my hips closer to him. “God, I’m so glad to see you.”

“What do you have to tell me?” I demanded, assuming my worst fear had come true and he had gotten some bitch pregnant.

“Don’t worry, babe,” Brady said, looking serious and cute. “Help me unpack and we can talk about everything.”

We went to the bedroom and Brady started unloading his suitcases, throwing clothes into the colorized piles for laundry. He was telling me about everything he did, the trails he hiked and what he ate. I had so many questions.

Mostly things like, “Who all was there?” and “Was she pretty?” and “Did you take your shirt off? Who were you trying to show off for?”

I was being a little bit annoying, but Brady missed me and loved it. Again, it was so nice to see Brady excited about something and so excited to tell me about his trip. I loved that he was so enthusiastic to tell me stuff especially because usually things are all about me and not about Brady.

Later that evening, after lots of catching up and sobering up and hooking up and tidying up, we showered and got ready to go out for dinner. I was so amped that I had a date and was hitting the town with my hot man that I needed to dress accordingly. I put on a beautiful Alice + Olivia mini dress, clear heels (sorry) and red lipstick.

I’d forgotten about Brady saying he had stuff to tell me mostly because I thought we’d covered everything. But after we finished a whole bottle of wine at dinner, Brady had more to say.

“So I think you’re really going to like this,” he said.

I took a break from my gnocchi to look at him.

“I was offered a position in New York. I really want to take it.”

I just blinked, feeling my heart sinking. Brady was leaving me again.

“One of my old professors reached out to me and-” I spaced out, the feeling of betrayal taking over. “I want you to come with me.”

“I thought you hated New York,” I blurted out.

Brady smiled. “I don’t love it. But being in Peru made me want to do a little more career wise and I do think this is the move I want to make.”

I didn’t say anything, but I must have looked sad because he said, “I want you to come, Reese. I know this seems random and you should probably have a think about it, but-”

“Of course I’m coming, but you’re right. It is super random.”

“Um, I need to be there by the 27th so I plan on being there the weekend before. I still have a lot to figure out…”

“Of this month?” I exclaimed.

“Yes. I am going to stay in my aunt’s apartment until I find a place which I hope to do soon after getting there,” Brady explained.

“What!? And what are you going to do about your house?” I continued exclaiming, shocked that Brady was being impulsive.

“Probably rent it out. Alex knows some people who are looking to move. I don’t want to sell yet – it’s not the right market.”

“Oh my gosh, you’ve really thought about this,” I realized.

“Well yeah. I wanted to make sure it was feasible before coming to a decision,” Brady said.

I was quiet for a moment, processing everything. I don’t have a job lined up in New York, but my company has an office there. I don’t have an apartment lease to worry about and my bigger furniture is in storage anyway. Like, it could totally work.

“You don’t have to decide now if you want to come. I just thought you’d be excited.”

“Oh, I’m coming,” I let him know. There was no way Brady was moving halfway across the country – to my favorite city – without me.

It’s so funny how things change. Do y’all remember when Brady got that offer in New York a couple years ago and he was so against it and there was all this drama? What a nightmare.

The rest of the night was so much fucking fun. We were happy to be back together and excited for New York. Brady told me more about what he’d be doing and who he would be working with and how he’d have to travel to Connecticut like twice a month. I’m so happy for him for taking a leap of faith and doing more of what he wants. You only live once and shit.

At the end of the night I asked, “So are there any pregnant girls in Peru I need to worry about?”

I’d decided in my head that I was 100% going to New York with Brady before I even sat down and thought about the logistics of it all.

On Monday morning, I cornered Scott to let him know what was going on.

“I need to transfer to New York,” I told him.

“Okay. Why? And how was your weekend?” he replied.

“Brady got a job and I’m tagging along. My weekend was obviously great,” I said.

“Wow, I’m surprised you’d want to go anywhere with him,” Scott said.

“What is that even supposed to mean?”

“Well, nothing really,” Scott shrugged. “I’m not sure what openings we have in New York, but let me do some research.”

Later in the day, Scott texted me, “We only have sales jobs in New York at the moment. Is that the route you want to go down?”

His text seemed condescending so I decided to do my own research and reach out to Keri in HR. She let me know that there was a sales manager position open. Technically it is sales, but Scott was obviously being petty by not at least telling me about it.

I reached out to recruiting, introduced myself and threw my name in the hat. Thanks for literally nothing, Scott.

Brady and I have been looking at apartments nonstop this week. Surprisingly he is the one being super particular and picky. If I had a dollar for every time he said, “Yeah, that kitchen is not going to work,” I’d have like $18. We have it narrowed down to about five.

Anyway, I know this seems rushed and y’all are probably wondering the same thing Brady keeps asking: “Are you sure you want to do this?”

I think the more important question is, is Brady sure he wants to do this? I’ve been ready.

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i can already see how this is going to play out.

Over the weekend, Lexi invited me out. I haven’t hung out with Lexi in a while. She got scouted for some reality show and was really invested in that. Like, girl. Everyone gets scouted for reality shows in Chicago. Relax.

Anyway, so I hadn’t seen her in a while and she wanted to get dinner and drinks. Is it ever just dinner and drinks with Lexi?

No.

We decided to get dinner at cute Italian restaurant in West Loop. I wore a romper, mules and hoop earrings with my hair in a bun.

“I can’t wait to tell you about this guy I’m seeing,” Lexi said as we sat down at the table.

“I’m dying to hear,” I deadpanned, but I was actually excited to hear about literally anything because my life lately has been so actionless.

“His name is Andy. It’s so funny, we met in line at Starbucks,” she said.

“What was he ordering?” I had to know.

“A grande black coffee and an oatmeal. Isn’t that so cute?”

“Adorable.”

“Anyway, so we ended up hooking up that weekend and-”

“Wait, how do we go from the Starbucks line to your bedroom?”

Lexi giggled. “I don’t know.”

I just looked at her.

“Anyway, he’s really cute though. Like very cute. This was two weeks ago and I’ve been sleeping over almost every night. We took a cooking class together yesterday and he invited me to a wedding this weekend. I can totally see why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson got engaged after a month,” she said.

“Lexi!” I exclaimed, realizing she was being irrational.

“I know, I know! I’m still kind of upset about the Hunter thing,” she said.

I guess when Hunter was last here, he finally told Lexi that he just wanted to have fun and that he cared about her, but didn’t want anything serious, blah blah blah. She really didn’t like that.

“I really do like him though. I want you to meet him tonight,” Lexi said.

“I’m willing to meet him,” I told her.

After dinner, we headed next door to a pretend dive bar. It’s one of those bars that is made to look like a dive bar, but is actually super upscale and nice inside. And definitely not your typical dive bar clientele.

Lexi got us fucking Moscow Mules and we sat at the bar people watching. I was really loving seeing who was with who, what people were wearing, etc. Suddenly, Lexi screamed into her phone.

“What is wrong with you?” I demanded, mad that she startled me.

“Andy is not fucking coming. He also claims he isn’t going to that wedding,” she said. “He’s saying that because he doesn’t want me to go with him anymore.”

I rolled my eyes. “Relax, you don’t know that. And even if that is the case, you’ve known him for two weeks. Who cares?”

Lexi got that crazy look in her eye – a look that told me it was going to be a long night.

“Two shots of tequila, please,” she told the bartender.

A couple hours later, we were in another dark bar and Lexi was grinding on some guy. No one else was dancing, but Lexi and I were trashed. I was chatting with this super cute girl who just so happens to be a model. She just moved to Chicago with her boyfriend and needed friends of her own. She was also very drunk.

“Let’s totally exchange numbers. I’ll show you around the city,” I told her.

We exchanged numbers and made plans to hang out the next weekend. Her name was Courtney.

Just before 3am, Lexi and I headed back to her apartment with a whole pizza to consume. I fucking love pizza. I was sitting at Lexi’s little bar area, making love to my slice of cheese pizza when I realized Lexi wasn’t even eating with me.

“Bitch, get over here and eat,” I called.

“I’m trying to call Hunter,” she said back.

Ugh, I thought to myself as I grabbed my pizza and joined her on the living room floor. I saw that she was repeatedly trying to FaceTime Hunter and he wasn’t picking up. It was actually comical and totally a page out of my book.

“I’m sure he’s sleeping. He has like a family, you know?” I said.

Lexi continued calling.

Y’all, I was sitting there next to Lexi, finishing up the crust of my pizza when the FaceTime was finally answered. And it was not Hunter.

Dom picked up the phone. I should’ve fucking known that was going to happen. How didn’t I know? She appeared on the screen, lit up creepily by a small lamp or candle. It took me a moment to process that it was her and that she could clearly see me. I made a weird noise and then dove to the floor.

“How can we help you?” I heard Dom ask.

I was shaking my head furiously, mouthing for Lexi to hang up.

“Where is Hunter?” she asked instead.

I completely wanted to die.

“Why are you calling my husband at this time of night? What do you want with him?” Dom said.

Lexi rolled her eyes like she couldn’t be bothered with the questions. And then she finally hung up.

“Holy fuck, this is messy. I’m going to die,” I said.

“She’s not that cute,” Lexi said.

The next morning, I woke up in bed with Tucker. I hadn’t checked my phone in a while, but I saw that I had a text from Hunter. I didn’t open it, but saw that the first line said, “Reese, I just want to…” I immediately deleted it. I didn’t want to see it.

It’s unclear if the message was actually from Hunter or from Dom when she hijacked his phone, but either way, I was not interested. I didn’t want to know if Dom had actually seen me and recognized me and was scolding me. I also didn’t want to know if she’d gone back and told Hunter that Lexi and I were FaceTiming him in the middle of the night. I haven’t heard from either of them since.

I literally want to vomit every time I think of that night – Dom picking up the phone and her seeing me. I don’t even know how I can explain myself. Even the truth sucks – Hunter was cheating on her with my friend and I knew and was okay with it. What if it gets back to Brady? What if she spins things and makes it seem like I was the one FaceTiming Hunter at 2am? What if it gets back to their parents that I’m hooking up with both brothers? I can already see how this is all going to play out.

Anyway, Brady is coming home tomorrow and the place is a shit show so Kendra is coming over to help me clean. I’ll talk to y’all later.

Standard

what’s been up.

Ugh. Hi.

Brady is due back next week. I almost forgot about him.

I’ve been spending most of my time at work. Ever since I got my little promotion, people have been relying on me to do everything. I mean, everything. And honestly, I kind of love feeling so important, but I am exhausted.

My weeks usually go like this:

Monday – Mondays are meeting days so I spend the first eight hours of my day in meetings. I actually hate the word “meeting” now because of Mondays. Everyone wants a meeting. People schedule meetings to discuss what snacks we want to order from Costco for the break room. Do you really think I have time for that? Just make sure I have a Party Size bag of Doritos and we’re good. After eight hours of meetings, I have to work an extra five hours just to catch up on emails I missed.

Tuesday – This is my most productive day. Usually I’ve had a good night’s sleep, packed a hearty smoothie for lunch and woke up in time to go to SoulCycle before work. I love Tuesdays.

Wednesday – Wednesdays are also rad. The day flies by because I leave at 4pm for wine night. This bar I love has a wine happy hour on Wednesday nights. I leave work, go home and change into my Wednesday Best and then meet Emma and whoever else at the bar. Emma has the coolest friends. More on that another time.

Thursday – Hungover all day on Thursdays. Don’t talk to me.

Friday – Finally Friday. Normally Scott and I order some sort of lunch or food to celebrate the end of the week. I almost always suggest pizza and everyone is over it. But how could you go wrong?

Saturday – I sleep in until 10am when Tucker wakes me up. I’ve actually been traveling for the past several weekends so Kendra and John watch him. Speaking of which..

Sunday – Usually I spend Sundays with my girl, Mia. She is so cool. We like to watch Paw Patrol and eat fruit snacks. Sometimes I’ll let her do my hair then I have to spend two hours later in the evening untangling it. It’s worth it though because she is my fucking girl.

I was in Houston last weekend. I was bored in Chicago and I needed to see my parents house. The place is stunning: brick, marble, brand new and on a lake. Very suburban Texas. But a bit unnecessary for a pair of on and off empty nesters. My mom is loving filling up the space.

We were at dinner one night, just the two of us, and she said, “When you and Brady start having kids, y’all can settle in here. That’s why we got that big house.”

I was flabbergasted beyond words. Mother, what? Stop. Brady and I just now on speaking terms again (I ignored him for a month after he ignored me for a month). I even told her about it.

The weekend before that, I was in Arizona to see my girls. I just miss Arizona sometimes. It’s so relaxing and beautiful. I even went hiking. Those bitches in Arizona love to hike.

Last month I went on the most amazing solo trip to San Diego. I am definitely retiring there. Can’t you imagine me, my husband and our six dogs riding our bikes along the beach? The only thing I did in San Diego though was drink wine in bars alone and order a lot of room service.

I guess Alex told Brady that I was complaining about him not calling me ever so Brady suddenly started calling, texting and FaceTiming. Interesting that he suddenly had internet and had so much time to contact me. So much so that I started unintentionally ignoring him. Work is so busy.

We hired this girl I hate. Work wouldn’t be work if there wasn’t a girl I don’t get along with, am I right?

Her name is Raquel, but she goes by Rocky. This was the first red flag. Raquel is so much more chic. She’s the assistant to the person who replaced me and fucks shit up all the time. She will book incorrect flights, send sensitive emails to the wrong person, order food for the wrong day, break brand new electronics. She wastes so much of our money.

We don’t have many straight guys in the office, but Raquel has made it a point to only hang out with them. Which is fine, but she deliberately excludes other girls in the office and always brings up the plans when girls are around.

Obviously I had to bring it up. There was a large group of us hanging out in the break room and Raquel did her thing – giggling with the boys about what they’d done over the weekend. It was super awkward because everyone who wasn’t included just kind of looked at each other like, “She can’t be serious.”

As we were walking out, I caught up with Raquel.

“Don’t you think it’s funny that you hang out with all the guys outside of work, but you’ve never hung out with any of the girls?” I said, making sure no one else could hear.

Rocky Balboa looked at me like this was literally the most ridiculous thing I could have ever pulled out out my ass.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she muttered and then quite literally ran away.

The next afternoon, Wednesday, I stopped by Scott’s office on my way out.

“It’s Wine Night. Feel free to come if you want,” I said. Sometimes I invite Scott out because he’s super lonely these days.

“Great! I’ll let you know. Oh, I wanted to talk to you about something,” Scott said.

I should’ve known where this was going. “Mmhm?”

“Rocky mentioned you’d made a comment about her hanging out with men in the office? Maybe trying to insinuate something?”

I let Scott know that Rocky was being a baby and he called me an HR nightmare. Which is completely fine.

Rocky continued fucking shit up and being rude to the girls and then I found out from my friend in HR, Keri, that Rocky had asked for a raise. I laughed.

“Well, Scott approved it so I guess it’s happening,” Keri said.

I was honestly shocked. The amount she asked for was much more than the rest of the assistants were making. Like a third more.

I texted Scott, “Just because you gave Raquel a huge raise doesn’t mean she’s going to sleep with you.”

He said, “Don’t be jealous, Reese. You’ll get a raise when it’s the right time.”

Anyway, I’m so proud of myself.

This whole time Brady has been gone, I haven’t even thought about another guy.

Well, actually that isn’t entirely true. I was texting one of Emma’s emotional musician friends, Joe. What a psychopath.

We all hung out one night after a show and Joe was getting my humor and we were just really vibing. Think G-Eazy before bleached his hair. He was a little more druggie than I’m into these days, but I was bored and he was interesting.

And very into Xanax.

He would text me during the day super depressed, hating life and I’d have to talk him off a cliff. Like I was genuinely concerned for the guy. I told Emma about it and she confronted him, of course. He blew up and went crazy on me and that was the end of that. You’re not my boyfriend so you don’t get to yell at me. Later on, he took his meds and tried to apologize but I was over it.

Lastly, I had a run in with Hunter. Like I said before, I’ve been staying at Brady’s until I found a new apartment (I still haven’t) and Hunter came to visit one weekend. He knew Brady was in Peru, but apparently Brady didn’t tell him I was staying at his place.

So I was sitting on the couch with Tucker one Friday night, deciding if I was going to meet Luke out or if I was going to stay home. I kind of thought I heard the front door open, but that was impossible because Brady wasn’t due back until August. But then Tucker ran to the front door and started barking his head off.

“Who the fuck is here?” I shouted, getting up.

I heard Hunter’s voice say, “Hey buddy,” in between Tucker’s yaps.

“Oh, it’s just you,” I said.

“Good to see you too, Reese,” Hunter said, appearing with a duffle bag thrown over his shoulder.

We hugged and then he explained that he needed to get away for the weekend and didn’t know I was staying at Brady’s. We chatted for a little while before Hunter went out. I ended up staying in and watching YouTube makeup videos.

I fell asleep on the couch and kept on waking up thinking I heard Hunter come back. And then, I really hope this was a dream, Hunter came home and I said, “You’re finally home, baby.”

And Hunter came in the living room and stood over me on the couch so his crotch was basically in my face.

“Goodnight, Reese,” he said and I turned over and went back to sleep.

It’s unclear if that actually happened or I dreamed it or why I would even think to call Hunter “baby” at all, dream or not. I’d never call a man “baby.” Ew. I think I’m just horny and lonely.

That’s all I have to share. I’m thinking of of doing something super nice for Brady when he gets home, but I’m not sure what. I feel a bit guilty for unintentionally ignoring him the past few weeks (but not for deliberately ignoring him before) and honestly, I really fucking missed him. I can’t wait to see him.

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some updates.

Hi guys. I really haven’t meant to be away this long, but work has been insane among other things. Here are a few quick updates.

1. I totally underestimated the extra workload. I thought, I’m doing this job anyway, it shouldn’t be much harder, but shit keeps happening. Every time I’m almost catching up, like I’m finally able to breathe again, another pile of work lands on my desk. And I have to deal with things I never thought I’d have to deal with. One day, one of my designers called me after I’d left the office for the day. I was sitting at the bar next to Ava and I picked up, thinking I was going to give some guidance over the phone and then invite this particular designer to join us for happy hour.

“Reese!” she exclaimed into the phone. “Michael’s [another one of my designers who is outwardly gay] client is claiming he exposed himself to her son while he was in their home doing a consultation. What should I do? They are threatening to sue!”

What the fuck? Like how do you even handle something like that?

But that’s what I’ve been dealing with. Scott has been a huge help. Now that he’s single, he spends 14 hours in the office every single day, probably trying to take his mind off everything. He adopted an adorable mutt from a shelter and brings the thing to the office everyday. And now that our office is pet friendly, I bring Tucker to work every so often. He gets freaked out by all the people and pees everywhere so I don’t do it very much.

2. Brady is in Peru. I hate him. The weekend before he left, we had people over for a little Cinco de Drinko send off. He got really drunk and told everyone he wasn’t actually going to Peru and was actually going to Brazil to “penetrate the entire country.” He claimed to be kidding, but I made him show me proof of his flight and arrangements anyway. Like don’t be an asshole in front of everyone. And then on his third day there, he called me and said that they’d asked him to stay longer. Already? I was furious. And he hasn’t bothered to call me since. I get a couple of emails or WhatsApp messages letting me know that he’s alive, but that’s it. I even called Alex one night after polishing off a bottle of wine with Luke to ask if he’s heard from Brady.

“Reese, relax. He’s fine. He’s in a third world country. He’s worried about surviving, not checking in with you. I’m sorry,” he told me. That didn’t make me feel better.

3. Carly had a baby! She had little Sloane at the end of March. She didn’t even tell me she was in labor or anything, her mom just sent me a picture of a crusty baby with a head full of black hair one day. I immediately called Carly, who didn’t pick up, and left a message. I actually didn’t hear from Carly until a week later. I was getting updates from Kendra, because she and Carly were speaking hourly, which was offensive.

“Reese, I’ve been there. She just wants advice. Don’t take it personally,” Kendra told me.

Obviously I took it personally and confronted Carly about it when she finally returned my call. She promised to keep me informed and sent pictures of darling Sloane daily. Sloane was so cute that I booked a ticket to go see them for Memorial Day. Without my boyfriend, there wasn’t much I wanted to do in the city and I was not about to blackout in Miami with my college friends. So I suggested to Carly that I come.

“Oh my God, please!” she exclaimed. “Chris went back to work so it would nice to have some adult company.”

So I spent that the weekend holding the baby and drinking a lot with Chris. Remember Chris? He’s like the sweetest guy. On Friday evening, he rushed home from work because he missed Carly and Sloane and didn’t leave their side all weekend. That’s what I need (not someone who will leave me to go to Peru for 2+ months. Sorry, still bitter).

4. I have a new British friend named Emma and she has gotten me addicted to SoulCycle. I always thought it was overrated and silly, but she talked me into joining her for a class one day and after the burn of that first class, I was hooked. I try to go four times a week now. I totally understand the hype. Usually after we cycle, we will go to a pub (in our sweaty compressions and sports bras) and eat like complete pigs. It’s fine though because SoulCycle is whipping my ass into the best shape of my life.

5. My parents just bought a 5,000 square foot Texas McMansion in the town I grew up in. They are so ridiculous. I hadn’t talked to my mom in a while and then one day she texted me asking me to help her decorate the new house.

I’m like, “What new house?”

She said, “The one your dad and I just closed on. Didn’t he tell you?”

Like, are you kidding me? Why do they even need that much space? And why would they make such a large purchase when they barely even get along? Literally the next week she called me crying because he was being mean to her.

Anyway, I think that’s all I have for now. I am exhausted because I moved out of my apartment this weekend and into Brady’s. I didn’t want to sign a new lease and I figured since I’m staying there with Tucker anyway, I may as well save some money and find an apartment I really love. What have I missed in y’alls world?

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daddy issues.

Everyone was rushing around on Wednesday preparing for Scott’s arrival. It’d been over a week since he’d been in the office so everyone wanted to make sure everything was in the right place when he got back. I was sitting in my office color coding the apps on my phone. After the successful week I had, I dared him to come at me.

I could literally smell Scott the moment he walked in the office. Tom Ford Oud Wood. I used to love that fragrance, but now it’s just fine. I heard him making his rounds and deliberately didn’t move a muscle.

“Hey! How was your weekend?” I heard him ask someone right outside my office.

“She’s good. Finally starting to sprout some hair. It’s bright red!” He was loud.

Suddenly Scott poked his head in my open door.

“Good morning,” he greeted me, eyeing my booties propped on the desk.

“Hey,” I said back.

“We’ll touch base later, okay? I’m just going to catch up on a few things and then I’d like to meet with you.”

“Sure.”

He gave me a strange smile before leaving. Julie stopped by my office soon after wanting to go on a Starbucks run. Julie is that girl who knows everything about everyone and wants everyone to know how informed she is. It’s annoying, but she laughs at everything I say so she’s fine.

“Ugh,” she groaned as we got in the elevator down. “Caitlin is so annoying. She’s mad that she pushed off a project she didn’t want to do on me and I did it well and Scott loved it.”

Caitlin is a 22-year-old design associate with a bad attitude. She’s great at what she does, but her mood swings almost make it not worth it. And she’s always bragging about how other companies are trying to poach her for better/higher paying positions, but for some reason she never takes those offers.

“First of all, why are you letting her push extra work on you? You have enough going on as it is,” I said.

“I know,” Julie said. “She’s like, ‘That project was easy anyway. If I would’ve done it, it wouldn’t have taken me two weeks.’”

Totally something Caitlin would say. She is such a twat. And technically, Julie is in a higher position than Caitlin so homegirl needs to relax.

“She only does that shit because you let her. Shut it down once and for all and she’ll stop,” I said.

Caitlin tried it with me once before I got promoted. She said something like, “I would have never put that loveseat in that client’s home,” after I’d stepped in to help with some interiors.

Bitch, did I ask you? It’s not even a part of my job description, I was just helping out where I was needed. She’s been on her best behavior around me since.

Scott called me in his office around 1:00pm. I was excited to brag about everything I’d been working on for the past week. I had been super productive.

“It sounds like you had a terrific week,” Scott said after my presentation.

“Thanks.”

“And it seems like you are starting to care more.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, sometimes it’s hard to tell with you.” Scott looked like he wished he hadn’t said that. “I guess I know you care, but sometimes I think you like to pretend you don’t.”

“That’s not true. I’m completely authentic,” I replied, appalled.

“I’m not saying you’re unauthentic. That’s not what I meant.”

“But that’s what you implied.”

So my beautiful presentation went downhill fast. A few minutes after I left, Scott texted me.

“I didn’t mean to offend you or doubt your work ethic so I’m sorry.”

I left him on read and then he texted me again.

“Would you like to grab a drink after work?”

And I figured, why not? Scott and I are in a good place right now and Brady would be working. We met in the lobby and walked to a little Irish dive bar near the office. The bar was full so we grabbed a high top table.

“So you had a good week last week?” Scott said.

“It was decent. Productive,” I said.

Scott told me about his trip, what he’d learned and what he wanted to implement in our office. He kept comparing people in our office to people he met which annoyed me. Where’s your loyalty, dude?

After a couple strong drinks, Scott said, “So, I want to tell you something that I’d like to keep between just the two of us.”

Now I was intrigued.

“Okay, sure. What’s going on?” I said in my most innocent, ‘I can keep a secret’ voice.

“There’s a strong possibility that my wife will be leaving. Soon,” he said.

“Leaving? What do you mean?” I asked.

“Moving out of the house.”

Whoa. Not what I was expecting.

“And where is she going to go? Is she taking the baby?” I wanted to know.

“She will move in with her parents. We haven’t figured out the logistics of it all, but it’s almost 100% happening.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

Scott gave me a look. “You know this is a long time coming. It was going to happen eventually. I can’t say I’m not slightly disappointed, but it is what it is.”

I nodded, trying to decide how I’d feel if I was either one of them. Yeah, they’re not happy in the relationship but I couldn’t imagine 1. Having a newborn and taking care of it alone/being alone or 2. Having a newborn and not being able to see it all the time. What an awful situation to be in.

“Why now? Did something happen?” I asked.

“Nothing that hasn’t been happening before. I guess things just came to a head.”

And I genuinely felt bad for the guy. I know he has always bitched about his wife, but who wants to be alone? Especially when you’re older and have a baby involved.

When I got home, Scott texted me, “Thank you for always listening to me. I’m not proud of what I’m going through, but I am happy I can talk to you.”

The next day, I found myself printing a ton of things at the same time Caitlin was. She immediately started complaining to me about how much work she had to do and schedules and how people aren’t helpful and how annoyed she was at her clients. I really wasn’t the person she should be complaining to, but people are still getting used to my promotion.

“Is that why you shared some of your workload with Julie?” I asked.

Caitlin didn’t say anything so I kept talking.

“She told me you kind of pushed a project on her and she didn’t appreciate how you handled the whole thing. Saying how you would have done better job and stuff like that.”

“Are you kidding me?” Caitlin exclaimed. “She didn’t have to do the project if she didn’t want to, it’s not like I forced her to do anything. I can’t believe she would tell you that and make it a big deal!”

I had to look behind me to make sure she was talking to me.

“Okay, you need to relax. She didn’t mean it like that and it’s not a big deal. Calm down.”

Later on, I got a text from Julie.

“Reese, omg. I can’t believe you told Caitlin what I said. Now she’s pissed at me and thinks I tattled on her to you.”

And I’ve had my share of petty drama with girls at work and I’m not interested in that again so I replied, “Caitlin who?” Julie got the hint and didn’t bring it up again.

On Friday, Brady made reservations for us at this romantic little Italian restaurant. Something felt weird about it, like he had a reason he wanted to go. We go on dinner dates all the time, of course, but normally he doesn’t just plan things for us and text me to let me know where to be and when.

I dressed nicely in a black off the shoulder top, high waist black pants and Free People booties. We grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited for our table to be ready and Brady was telling me about his week and being all nice like everything was fine and normal.

When we sat down though, Brady started talking.

“Do you remember when I went to Boston for work a few weeks ago?” he asked.

I nodded.

“I was actually interviewing to work at a hospital in Peru for two months,” he went on.

I just looked at him.

“I applied last year and had completely forgotten about it until now. But they offered it to me and I decided to go. It’s a good opportunity and it could lead to other things and-”

“So when do you go?” I interrupted him.

Brady hesitated for about ten seconds before saying, “The second week in May.”

I just started crying. I felt so betrayed. Brady looked down at the table, but did nothing to console to me.

“I can’t believe you didn’t talk about this with me before deciding to go,” I said.

“I’m sorry. I would have loved to talk to you about it before, but I didn’t have time to deliberate.”

I stopped crying just as abruptly as I started. I guess I was a little bit embarrassed about crying in the middle of the romantic restaurant.

“I’m happy for you. I’m just sad,” I explained.

“I’m sad too. I wish you could come with me,” Brady said.

Obviously I had no interest in going to Peru with him, but I guess I appreciated the thought. Of course I thought it was great for his career and stuff, but I’m selfish and I didn’t want him to go. I wanted him to stay in Chicago with me.

After that, I let him explain everything to me like what he’d be doing, where he’d be living, what would happen to his job here, etc. It was all very Brady and very not me.

“So I guess I have custody of Tucker for those two months,” I said.

“I figured you’d want it. You can stay at my place while I’m gone too. That way I don’t have to hire a house sitter,” Brady grinned. I was in no mood to smile.

I was super depressed after that. We met up with my friend, Ava and her boyfriend after dinner, but I was in no mood to socialize. So instead I just drank myself into oblivion and woke up with a violent hangover.

Brady woke up chipper and happy and suggested brunch before he went into work for a few hours. At brunch I ordered a plate of potatoes and a Bloody Mary. Just what I needed.

I started talking to the couple seated next to us. They were a little bit older and looked like Mobsters. Loved them so much. They told me they were going out for a smoke and I told them I’d tag along. As I was standing up, Brady grabbed my arm hard like a crazy person.

“Reese, I really need to get to work,” he said.

Oh, fine. I told my friends I’d have to take a rain check on the cig and stayed with Brady.

“You don’t need to be smoking cigarettes anyway,” Brady said as he signed the bill. He sounded exactly like my dad. And this is weird, but it kind of turned me on. Talk about daddy issues.

On Saturday night, we had dinner with Kendra, John and Mia. Mia is so fucking cute and wasn’t even being that rowdy at the restaurant. She was just looking around with her huge eyes, taking in the scene, the people, the sounds, the smells. And talking a lot and asking for everyone’s food. She started off eating Kendra’s noodles, but then she saw Brady’s broccoli and wanted that and then she wanted my salad. She was so polite about it though, it was so cute.

Then I started to think, maybe Brady and I should have a baby. Like why not? It’s not like we are teenagers or living with our parents or anything. We are responsible. Plus, if we had a baby Brady wouldn’t be able to leave me for months at a time. Selfish? Maybe. But I’m not sorry.

“So should we have a baby?” I asked Brady in the car home.

“Right now?” he said back.

“Yes.”

And he actually seemed to entertain the idea for a minute.

“I don’t think now is a good time to do that,” Brady said.

But the following week, I obsessed over having a baby. I was reading articles about what I should be eating/avoiding if I wanted to get pregnant, staring at pregnant women/women with babies out in public thinking, “That might be me soon,” taking note of what strollers they were using and what they were wearing. I asked this woman at work who has a two year old everything: did she breastfeed? Was she trying when she got pregnant? How many weeks was she when she found out? Who made the best baby clothes? How often does she have to buy them? I grilled Scott. How does he manage to go out and drink when he has a newborn at home? I studied the calendar to see when I might possibly give birth. Would I hatch an Aquarius or a Pisces?

On Friday though, I realized what a psycho I was being. Why on earth would I think now is a good time to have a baby? And wouldn’t it be a little bit cruel to ruin his plans by having a baby after he already told me it wasn’t a good time? Plus, he’d chosen to go to Peru – he’d rather be there than be with me. That was his choice.

That night, I went to Brady’s and we made dinner. He told me more about Peru and showed me pictures of the places he wanted to hike. All very vanilla. He seemed really, really excited about it though which I loved to see (Brady being excited is adorable), but I was still thinking about myself and wondering why he wasn’t more sad about leaving me for two whole months. I’m a selfish brat and I can’t help that.

I did my own independent research while Brady worked that evening and suddenly had a vision of Brady falling in love with some hot Peruvian woman with a small waist and huge ass, getting her pregnant and never coming back to me. So I spent the following week being depressed about that. In my head, I’d decided that was the most likely scenario and I probably needed to enjoy my time with Brady before he left because he wouldn’t be coming back.

On Thursday, he texted me, “I’m getting drinks with people from work. Do you want to come?”

And I did want to come after not seeing Brady all week. I changed into black distressed jeans, a pink faux silk top and a leather jacket. I took an Uber to the bar and immediately found Brady and his group taking up the back. Brady was standing up and Sydney was sitting in a chair right next to him. Alex was no where in sight. After exchanging niceties, I sat down across from Brady and Sydney.

“So how are you feeling about Brady going to Peru?” Sydney asked me.

I don’t think I’ve ever had an actual conversation with the girl so I was surprised she would ask me that.

“I hate it,” I said back. “But I’m happy for him.”

She scrunched her nose up. “I know, we are gonna miss him. But it’s such a good opportunity. And I can’t even say I’m surprised.”

I guess I wasn’t surprised either except for the fact that Brady didn’t talk to me about it at all until it was a done deal. Especially because later in the evening, Sydney said something like, “Wait, Brady, what did that woman say at your interview in Boston?” Obviously he’d talked to her all about it, she probably knew that he’d been interviewing and everything. And it hurt that he shared that with her and not with me.

Anyway, I’m still depressed and sad, but coming to terms with things. I figure I can take this time to pick up some new hobbies, work out and prepare my body for pregnancy. What’s new with y’all?

Standard

my other love.

Late Friday night Brady texted me, “Hey! What are you up to?”

I replied, “Nothing.” I’d been mindlessly scrolling Instagram for an hour.

“You should come over.”

That’s what I’d been waiting for honestly, but it sounded like a booty call. It’s not like he had been talking to me all week and keeping up with me that much, but suddenly at midnight he wanted me to come over. But I still said, “Okay. I just need to get dressed.”

“Great. I can’t wait to see you.” I figured he meant “I can’t wait to see your ass and titties,” but whatever.

I got up and put on chic athleisure then took an Uber to Brady’s. I let myself in, but was not greeted at the door by Tucker as usual. I continued walking into the house and it was creepily quiet. So then I started panicking that it was all a set up – Brady invited me over so he could finally off me once and for all. I didn’t even blame him. I continued through the hallway and then almost jumped out of my pants when Brady, holding Tucker, jumped out from behind the wall.

“What the fuck!” I screamed at him.

“Did I scare you?” he grinned.

“Yes! I thought you set me up to have me killed, you crazy psycho,” I said, feeling my heart slow down.

Brady let out a little laugh and then leaned in to give me a peck on the lips. He was wearing his typical going out outfit which consisted of jeans and a white button up.

“Where have you been?” I asked, gesturing to his outfit.

He started walking into the kitchen and I followed. “I had some drinks with coworkers.” There were two rocks glasses sitting on the counter filled with clear liquid and ice. He handed one to me. “For you, princess.”

I wanted to ask about drinks with coworkers – was Sydney there? – but decided not to go there. Not yet anyway.

“How’s your week been?” I asked instead.

“Fine. Exhausting. We should think about taking a vacation soon,” Brady answered.

So now he was back to planning things for us again. Cool.

“I completely agree. You pick the time and place and I’m there,” I said.

We stood in the kitchen drinking our drinks and talking before deciding to put on a movie and order something unhealthy on UberEATS. Brady wasn’t on his phone at all the whole night. The past few months Brady’s phone usually blows up in the evening and I didn’t even see it once. It actually felt really nice to just hang out with him and relax and be ourselves – not worrying about who he was texting or thinking about.

The next morning, I woke up and reached for Brady so we could hook up. We hadn’t the night before because we were busy talking and pigging out. He wasn’t in the bed when I reached for him and I quickly looked around the room and didn’t see him anywhere. I assumed he was out getting us breakfast so I pulled Tucker under the blanket with me and scrolled Instagram. Brady finally walked back in the room, shirtless and wearing his glasses.

“I thought you were bringing breakfast,” I greeted him.

“My mom just called. Um, my grandpa passed away,” Brady said.

My dumb ass was thinking, “Didn’t your grandpa already die and that’s why you got that tattoo?” and then I realized he meant his other grandpa, the one on his mom’s side.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. That must be devastating. How’s your family?” I said. Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. If one of my grandparents died, I don’t know what I’d want someone to say to me. I don’t even know how I would feel because I’ve never experienced it before.

“They’re okay. He died in his sleep so this is very unexpected.”

Suddenly I got really sad picturing the sweet man sleeping and not waking up and then his wife waking up next him and trying to wake him. She must have been crushed. I felt my eyes filling up with tears.

“My mom is going to get back to me with more details about the services and everything.” Brady climbed into bed with me. “Are you okay?”

I felt like such a brat for crying about Brady’s grandfather who I had never even met. It was his time to cry and be sad, not mine.

I nodded. “I’m just sad. For you and your family. This must be really hard for everyone.”

“It is. But these things happen. It’s okay.” Brady nuzzled my neck and fell back asleep. But I stayed up a little longer, texting both of my parents and my one grandma who can text and let them know that I loved them. My grandma responded, “Who is this?” so that’s nice.

When we got out of bed later, we were starving so we made lunch. Brady made a very large cheese steak sandwich for himself while I had an avocado and kale salad with lemon. That was really the only thing Brady had that was in line with my no meat and no dairy diet which he felt bad about. I told him he needs to go grocery shopping soon.

That evening, we made plans to meet up with Alex and some other friends at the bar. I put an off the shoulder sweater, a suede skirt and white booties. I finished getting ready before Brady did so I went to kitchen and whipped up some pregame drinks. I was taste testing the jalapeño cilantro Moscow Mules when Brady walked in buttoning his shirt.

“I just spoke to my mom. They’re doing everything next weekend. Do you think you’ll be available?”

I was thinking, “Available for what? To babysit Tucker?”

Brady must have seen the puzzled look on my face and said, “I’d really like you there with me. Unless you don’t want to come.”

And then I felt bad for what I was thinking. The fact that he wanted me there with him was kind of flattering. I thought it was a bit too personal for him. “Of course I’ll go with you. Just give me the deets.”

“Thank you,” Brady said, pecking me on the lips. “I’ll be ready in five minutes.”

Alex was already at the bar when we got there. He was with two of his doctor friends and his female friend Emily with her best friend, Erin.

“So good to see you, Reese!” Alex greeted me with a hug. “What are you drinking? Let me guess, patron with lime!”

“You got it,” I said back.

I introduced myself to Alex and Brady’s two guy friends, who wouldn’t stop nerding out about work. I thought about how Brady used to be a lot like that and mentally racked my brain trying to think of which female friend I could match them with so they could enjoy life outside of work.

Alex slipped a drink in my hand and I winked at him before scanning the bar. It was quite packed, but I noticed that everyone was dressed super down, like they’d gone out earlier in the day but went home and napped before coming out again without changing out of napping clothes. Even Emily and Erin had on leggings and sweatshirts and Converse.

I noticed a familiar tall head near the door, walking to the other bar on the other side of the room. The head turned to talk to someone behind them and confirmed my suspicions. It was Nick. What the fuck was he doing on this side of town? He’s a strictly River North kinda guy – I never thought I’d see him in Lincoln Park. I stepped up on my tip toes so I could see who he was with and at the exact moment, Brady came up behind me and slipped his arms around my waist.

“Who are you looking for?” he asked into my hair.

“I thought I saw someone I know,” I said back.

I turned around and continued talking to the group, wondering if it would be a good idea to say hello to Nick. I genuinely just wanted to just say hi and see how he’s doing. Like I literally haven’t spoken to him since he dumped me and that’s kind of weird because I thought we were so close.

A little while later, I was happy and tipsy and making the group laugh like hyenas. Brady kept looking at me proudly like, “See what a great time you are when you’re not being psychotic?”

Alex glanced over my shoulder and his face lit up. “Hey! About time you made it!”

I spun around and saw Sydney approaching the group. She was dressed in workout clothes (we get it, you have a nice body, but enough with the compression pants) and had a friend trailing her wearing a similar outfit.

“Hey, you guys!” Sydney greeted us.

She went up and hugged Alex first and he kissed her on the cheek. She hugged everyone else, but no one else kissed her. I thought, “Wait, has she been into Alex and not Brady this whole time?” I turned to Brady with a manic smile, excited about my possible realization.

“Alex invited her, I didn’t,” he whispered to me.

I kissed him.

Sydney introduced us to her friend, Erica, who just moved to Chicago from LA.

“Oh, why’d you come here?” I had to know. I actually really hate LA, but I thought I was the only one.

“I hate LA,” she said and I reached out and grabbed her hand. My girl.

We all continued talking and drinking. I didn’t even say anything when I noticed Brady and Sydney standing next to each other and whispering. I figured she was asking him how to take Alex home that night and he was being a good wingman.

With Brady occupied and six drinks in me, I decided it was a good time to go see if I could find Nick. I guess I just wanted to stir up a little bit of trouble. I knew the bathroom was on the other side where I’d seen Nick going earlier so I announced to the group that I was going to the ladies room.

“I’ll come with you,” Erica said. I guess with Sydney occupied, she had no one to talk to.

“Let’s go.”

I led the way to the other bar, trying to scope out Nick on the way to the bathroom. I spotted him standing at the end of the bar with who I assumed was his girlfriend and another girl who was third wheeling. The bathroom was on the opposite end of the bar so my game plan was to go to the bathroom then on our way back out to our friends, I’d pretend I suddenly spotted Nick and then I’d go over and say hi.

“So what is there to do here in Chicago?” Erica asked as we washed our hands.

I looked at her in the mirror like, “Uh, you’re doing it.”

But I wanted to seem more cultured than that so I said, “Brady and I are big foodies so we go out to eat a lot.”

“Oh, I’m vegan so I eat at home usually,” Erica said.

I had to refrain from rolling my eyes at her.

“Just wait for the summer. There will be so much to do that you won’t even have time to sleep,” I told her and we walked out.

I crossed the bar and glanced at Nick when we got closer to him. Just my luck, he looked over at me at the exact same time and we made eye contact. His eyebrows shot up and he waved. I did my best surprised/happy face and waved at him with two hands. I should’ve been an actress.

“Heyyyy!” I said as I approached their little group. “Long time no see!”

“I know!” he said back, matching my enthusiasm.

I feel like he didn’t plan on hugging me, but it felt awkward not to after the big scene I’d caused on my way over. So I hugged him and he stiffly hugged me back.

“This is Liz, my girlfriend,” he said, gesturing to the petite brunette next to him.

“I’m Reese,” I introduced myself. She was very cute with her long brown hair and middle part, big eye lashes and eyebrows and long sleeved Nike workout top. Very cute.

At the sound of my name her eyes cut to Nick briefly, but she stuck out her hand and shook mine. Oh, so they had discussed me! I was dying to know what Nick said to her about me.

“So how have you been?” I asked, my attention back on Nick.

“I’ve been good. I really can’t complain. Liz and I just booked a trip to Costa Rica,” he said back.

And because I couldn’t think of anything to say to that, I said, “Cool! Don’t get Zika!”

Nick smirked. “Neither of us is pregnant so I don’t think we need to worry about that.”

Liz giggled and it got really awkward. I needed to get out of there.

“Well, it was nice running into you. So good to meet you, Liz,” I said and then practically ran away.

“Who was that? He’s really cute,” Erica said, running after me.

“I used to date him for like a day. But as you can see, he’s taken,” I replied.

Back in our group, Sydney and Brady were still talking to just each other.

“Hey!” I said, rudely interrupting them. “Should we go to the next bar?”

Sydney scrunched her nose up like she didn’t like that idea.

“We can do whatever you’d like to do,” Brady said. I turned to the bar to close out.

Our group ended up getting split up – Brady, Alex, and me headed to another bar while everyone else stayed back where their workout clothes were acceptable.

On Sunday morning, I woke up in Brady’s bed alone again. I checked my phone and saw that it was almost 10am and hoped he really was out getting breakfast this time. I felt like shit. I can’t drink like I used to anymore. I opened my messages and was horrified to see that the most recent thread was with Nick.

I’d written, “Very cute, Nick,” at 2:00am. And he hadn’t responded. With no explanation, he had to have been totally confused about what I was talking about and most likely assumed I was hitting on him or calling him cute or something. I was just vocalizing what I thought about his girlfriend. Frantically, I went in and blocked his number – so I don’t have to see a response if there ever is one and so I don’t make that mistake again.

Brady came back a little while later wearing his workout clothes with two green smoothies. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that Brady is a total gym rat these days. And that’s why I stalked Sydney outside of her workout class because she’s a gym rat (but mostly just a rat) too. He used to just run a lot, but now he’s full on lifting. He doesn’t overdo it though and looks great, honestly. Just very toned.

“I brought you a smoothie from the gym,” he said. I couldn’t help looking around behind him to see if the smoothie was a joke and he actually had pancakes and an omelet hiding. But he didn’t.

The following week, Scott was traveling so I felt like I could actually breathe and do my job. I was excited to finally get to run meetings on my own. and not have to worry about what Scott would think. Even Julie came up to me after our first meeting of the week and said, “You’re so good at your job. I don’t understand why Scott is always nagging you.” And she is right.

Brady was busy with work during the week and had no time to hang out with me. That was fine though because it gave me time to hang out with my other love and I didn’t have to choose between the two of them.

A few months ago, Kendra and John started looking to adopt a dog. Now that Mia is older and can walk and stuff they thought it was a good time. They went to like fifteen different shelters and looked at hundreds of dogs. Kendra would always call me on the drive home like, “Why is it so hard to find the perfect dog? I thought we’d have trouble choosing just one and I don’t like any of them.” I thought she and John were just being picky.

But finally, they found who they were looking for: an eight year old Lab mix named Ryder. Kendra posted this ridiculously sappy status on Facebook with a picture of Ryder and Mia. I rolled my eyes thinking, “Oh, how dramatic.”

But when I met Ryder, I could totally see why they fell in love. He is the sweetest dog I’ve ever met and that’s including Tucker. When I first came over to meet him, he greeted me at the door and was so excited to meet me, he jumped up on me to say hi.

“Ryder, get down!” Kendra said.

And the pup immediately got down and sulked over to Kendra with his tail between his legs.

“Don’t yell at him!” I exclaimed, feeling bad.

Later on, I sat on the couch playing with Mia in my lap and Ryder came over carrying Mia’s doll in his mouth. And then he dropped it in Mia’s lap and it was literally the cutest thing I have ever seen. He’s so gentle and good with the baby and always tries to snuggle with her while she’s on the floor playing. But when Mia’s not around, he’s obsessed with me and is constantly walking between my legs and sitting as close to me as physically possible. I’ve never even heard him bark. I love him so much and I totally feel like I’m cheating on Tucker when I’m with him.

The funeral and memorial service for Brady’s grandfather were in New York so we planned on flying in on Saturday morning and coming back to Chicago on Sunday evening. Brady texted me letting me know he’d handled all of our arrangements and I felt so bad about the whole thing that I went over on Friday night to make him dinner. When I walked in, Tucker sniffed my boots thoroughly, letting me know that he smelled Ryder on me.

I whipped up a kale and chickpea salad and a steak for Brady. We polished off a bottle of wine with dinner and then decided to sleep after that so we’d be ready to go in the morning.

When we arrived in New York, the first thing we did was get breakfast. We didn’t even bother dropping off our luggage. Afterwards, we trekked to the Lower East Side where we were staying. We put all of our stuff down and unpacked and hung our funeral clothes so they didn’t get wrinkled. Brady was sitting on the bed as I continued unpacking my toiletries, but then he grabbed my hand and pulled me on his lap.

“We have plenty of time to do all that. Relax with me,” he said. Brady started kissing my neck and unbuttoning my jeans.

After two much, much needed sessions of relaxation (it had been so long), we set an alarm and napped then got up to get ready for dinner with Brady’s parents. I put on a black off the shoulder dress, tights, booties and a cape with red lipstick. We got in a cab to meet his parents at the restaurant not far from our hotel. They were already there waiting for us in a little booth.

Their whole vibe was obviously pretty somber, but Brady’s mom actually smiled really big when she saw him and they hugged for a long time. I felt out of place being there. When they pulled away, Brady’s mom hugged me and then held on to my arm for an extra few seconds. “So good to see you, dear. Thank you for coming.”

And then I realized that this poor woman does have feelings, she just lost her father and needed love and support. And that thought made me start tearing up. I reached into my bag and pulled out the silly little card I’d gotten for her just to have something to do. We all sat down and they busied themselves talking about the grandfather and what legacy he’d leave behind. I was sitting there nodding – moved by the stories about this man I’d never met. He was a cancer doctor and spent his life working diligently to keep cancer patients alive to have more time with their families.

And then abruptly, Brady’s mom started talking about money. To me it felt so inappropriate and awkward.

“Katherine wants more money for her boys. She thinks you and Hunter don’t need anything because you’re older now. But we all know Papa loves all of his grandchildren,” his mom was saying.

I just looked on with wide eyes like, “Don’t you maybe want to save this conversation for another time, lady?”

Brady’s dad must have been thinking what I was thinking because he changed the subject. After dinner, Brady’s parents needed to go home and get some rest (“It has been a hectic past week as you can probably imagine”) and Brady and I stayed at the restaurant’s bar for a few drinks.

“I’m really sorry about your grandpa,” I said, realizing I probably hadn’t said it since we first found out.

“Me too,” Brady agreed and then he ordered us two tequila shots with salt and lime.

“Is Hunter coming?” I asked.

“No. He didn’t want to fly all the way here for just one day,” Brady answered and that seemed really weird to me. I get that it’s all the way across the country, but it’s your grandfather.

We got back to our room, slightly drunk from bar hopping, changed into pajamas and then got in bed.

“Mmm, I love you,” I said happily, snuggling up to Brady.

“I love you,” he said back. “I miss us.”

“Hm?” I looked up at him, not quite understanding what he meant.

“I miss how we were before. The past few months have not been fun for either of us, has it?” Before I could even agree, he kept going. “I liked when you lived with me and we came home excited to see each other and we spent so much amazing time together.”

So much amazing time together. Those words stuck with me. Maybe my memory is just a little clouded because I remember Brady hating me living with him. He even told Chris how annoying I was to live with.

“And now we don’t see each other as much and when we do we are mad at each other,” I said.

“Yeah,” Brady agreed.

“I hate being mad at you,” I said and he nodded like he agreed.

We were quiet for a few minutes and I said, “So what do you want?”

Brady’s brow furrowed. “You?”

“You made it clear that you don’t even want to talk about marriage and now you spend all of your time at work. And then there’s all these other girls…”

“There are no other girls. There is work and work will always be there. For both of us.”

I couldn’t argue with that.

“It’d be easier if you were there every night. And if you were there when I woke up,” Brady said. It was weird because he was kind of making it seem like it was my fault that we don’t see each other as much. And then I thought about the circumstances around me moving out at the end of 2016, how Brady seemed upset when I first suggested the idea. Maybe he didn’t actually want me to move out, but was too stubborn to say it.

We woke up early for breakfast with the fam before the funeral. Everyone was super chipper and happy and laughing and just happy to be together. I hope people are like that at my funeral. I was mostly excited about 1. The amazing food. So many croissants and danishes and little egg muffins and green tea. I was super disappointed when I got full and my clutch was too small to smuggle any leftovers out. And 2. Hearing all the haughty UES first world drama. I find it so amusing how they all talk about each other and the ridiculous things they complain about. It’s almost like watching an episode of Vanderpump Rules.

I was a little bit nervous that the funeral was going to have a coffin and a dead body out in the open, but I was relieved when we filed into the church and I saw nothing but flowers everywhere and a huge framed picture of the adorable grandpa in his younger days. Thank God, they must have cremated him. I actually can’t remember any other time I’ve been to a funeral and I didn’t know if I could handle it.

I was quite surprised at how unemotional everyone was during the whole thing. Even I was moved to tears after all of the emotional speeches and reading through the obituary. Brady’s mom even went up and spoke about her memories with her father, but was so cold and stoic about it. I felt silly for crying and Brady grabbed my hand to let me know it was fine. Why was I the only one crying? I’d never even met him.

After the ceremony, I got to meet Brady’s grandmother. She was not at all what I was expecting. She was wearing a white pantsuit with neon pink heels and neon pink lipstick. She had layers and layers of gold Chanel necklaces and big gold Chanel logo studs in her ears. She looked more like she should be my grandmother more than Brady’s. She was definitely more like Aunt Kat than Brady’s mom.

“You’re Reese!” she said pointing at me, but looking at Brady and his mom like she needed confirmation. “I’ve been dying to meet you.”

I thought it was a little soon for that punny little phrase, but just smiled and said, “Me too!” She had a slight southern accent that made me love her. And I also wanted to raid her closet. We are probably around the same size.

Outside the church everyone was happy and hugging and leaving in their chauffeured black cars. It all seemed so abrupt and weird. I thought they’d want to linger and spend a little more time together, but it seemed like they said their final goodbyes to Grandpa and were ready to move on with their lives.

Brady’s mom came over to hug us and I was surprised when she held onto me after we’d pulled away.

“I really want to thank you for being here for my family. I know Brady appreciates having you.”

I was really taken aback that she thought my presence meant anything. I was just tagging along to show my support, I didn’t think it actually mattered to anyone.

“Of course. I’m happy to be here,” I said.

She gave me a grateful looking smile and the parents left in a black SUV. Brady and I walked a few blocks to have drinks. The proper way to end a funeral.

Scott’s not due back until Wednesday so I have about sixteen hours left of freedom. Let’s drink to that!

Standard

call me when you’re ready.

Scott is mean. He’s being unnecessarily harsh and hard on me, kind of like how my old boss, Andrew, used to be. And I guess since it’s Scott I’m taking it personally. I can take criticism, in fact I like it, but I feel like he’s just picking on me. And I don’t know why he would do that.

The other day I sent out a sales email to everyone that was super uplifting and motivational which I’ve never done before and it was totally out of my comfort zone. Scott replied all and said, “Reese, why did you forget to highlight these two performers? They should be recognized.”

And to me, his tone sounded harsh and it felt like he was trying to embarrass me by calling me out like that. But when I complained about it to Julie, she said, “Ohh. I don’t think he meant to be rude.”

So I figured I was overreacting. Another day, I sent him an email asking a question about one of the reporting systems we use. Scott always tells me that I need to ask him more questions and he’s a wiz at all of our computer systems so I figured he was the perfect person to ask for help. He replied, adding IT into the thread.

“I believe this message is intended for IT, not me as I don’t have time for these things. Will someone please help Reese?”

And again, I felt that was a little unnecessary. Scott always helps me with everything I need and actually gets offended when I don’t go to him. So I was confused.

On Monday, I decided to go see him in his office and confront him in person.

“Heyyy,” I sang, knocking on the door.

Scott glanced up at me and then back to his phone. “Hi, Reese.”

“What’s up? How was your weekend?” I asked.

He shrugged, but didn’t say anything.

“Nothing? I’m surprised you didn’t stay out until 4am!” I said. I leaned against the side of his desk.

He still didn’t say anything so I continued talking.

“I went over to Kendra’s to hang out with the baby. She loves me. We played dolls for like four hours straight. Would you be mad if I quit so I can be her full time nanny? She’s so cute.”

“Reese, I’m sorry, do you mind? I don’t have time for this mindless chatter with you today,” Scott said.

I was definitely taken aback by what he said, but surprisingly more hurt than mad. I got up and walked out without saying anything. Later in the day he texted me, “Did you respond to the email about the marketing photography?”

I told him that I did and he said, “The Reply All feature is there for a reason. Use it so I don’t have to chase you.”

Obviously Scott is not impressed with me in my new position thus far so I told myself that I just needed to try a little harder.

That night, my dad flew in town for a quick meeting Tuesday morning so we met for dinner. I totally expected him to ask about Brady and wonder where he was, but he didn’t. He wanted to know all about my new job.

“If you’re in over your head, you tell him, baby doll. He’s there to support you and make your transition easier, not embarrass you,” my dad said. I’d touched a little bit on how Scott has been talking to me lately.

“I’m not in over my head. I can handle it. I just think he’s mean,” I said.

“I don’t want anyone being mean to you. If I need to go talk some sense into him, you let me know,” my dad said.

I laughed. “There’s no need for that. You know I can handle myself. How’s Mom?”

So my parents are even more screwed up than me and Brady. My mom needed some financial help and my dad helped her out, but has been kind of holding it over her head for a while. But he would never directly ask her to pay him back and just complained to both sets of grandparents about it. It’s not like he even needs it that bad, he just likes to have something to hold over her I think. They still always have dinner together at either one of their houses or they’ll go out on the town for date night. And my dad will always pay plus he randomly buys her expensive jewelry and gifts. He even helped her get a new car. But then complains about Mom owing him money. It’s so dumb.

“Oh, she’s fine. More than fine. Now that she has a new toy to cruise around the city in,” my dad said. “She’s thinking she needs to head back to work. And that’s probably not a bad idea.”

“Really? Does she even know how to work anymore?” I asked.

My dad laughed. “She’d better figure it out. She still owes-”

I cut him off. “But she’s your wife so…”

He took a sip of his wine and then we changed the subject. We finished up dinner and I decided I’d walk my dad back to his hotel. And of course I cried when we had to say goodbye. I guess I’m just lonely because I haven’t seen my dad since last year and I don’t have much of a boyfriend anymore.

When I checked my phone, I had literally ten emails from Scott and two text messages.

“Can you respond to my emails?”

“Are you available? This is time sensitive.”

I replied, “Sorry, I just had dinner with my dad. He’s in town.”

“Not sure what that has to do with your work. You know it’s an important week for us and I do need your help. Thanks,” Scott said.

See how mean? On Tuesday, we had a bunch of meet and greets. Six of us went and Scott kept coming up to me to ask my opinion on things and just to talk to me and it’s like, don’t try to be my friend now after being mean to me. The six of us ended up going to dinner together and Scott made sure to sit right next to me.

“How do you think today went?” he asked.

And “today” was just like any other day and any other meetings. He just wanted to talk to me.

“Okay,” I replied.

“Are you feeling okay about everything? Your position and how things are going?” he continued.

Of course Scott would ask me a question like that when I wasn’t in a place I could be honest.

“Not entirely, but I’ll figure it out. Don’t worry,” I responded.

“Good. We can talk about it more at another time if you’d like. I do appreciate having you. I know I don’t tell you nearly enough.”

I just looked at him like, “Dude, are you serious?”

And he continued talking.

“Is your dad in town long?”

“No. Just one day,” I said.

“You’re quite lucky you got to have dinner with him then. I haven’t seen my parents in six years.”

I just looked at him. Six years is a long time not to see your family.

“But at least you have your wife,” I said.

Scott gave me a look. “You know how I feel about that.”

Later on, I checked my phone and saw that Brady had texted me. He sent me a picture of a work binder I’d left over that I use for some of my clients.

“Do you want me to do anything with this?” he asked.

It’s like he was kicking me out. I replied, “Can’t you just give it to me?”

He said, “Of course. I didn’t know if it was really important or you needed it now.”

To me, it kind of felt like he was putting the ball in my court to invite myself over. And I was willing to do that. So I said, “I’ll come get it tonight.”

After that I was ready for dinner to wrap up. But everyone kept talking and telling stories that didn’t need to be told. When it was finally time to go, Scott said, “Do you want to just share an Uber home?”

We live close enough to each other that Ubering together could make sense.

“I’m actually going to Brady’s house,” I told him.

His eyebrows shot up. “Oh really?”

I nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

When I got to Brady’s, he was so excited to see me. During our little time apart, it’s not like we were mean to each other or mad at each other. We still texted and talked regularly, just made no attempt to see each other and like I said, it felt deliberate. So it seemed weird that he was so excited to see me as if he couldn’t see me if he just asked.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever. It’s been like, what, two weeks?” he said.

“Two and a half weeks,” I corrected him. “Where have you been?”

“Where have you been?” he shot back at me.

“I’ve been around. You’re the one who hasn’t asked to hang out with me.”

Brady looked at me like he was so surprised at this conversation. “You haven’t asked to hang out with me either, Reese.” He almost like laughed. “You said you were swamped at work and needed to focus more. I thought that meant you’d let me know when you were available to see me.”

And it’s true – I did tell that to Brady, but what I meant was that I was swamped at work and needed to focus more – and nothing else.

“Why did you assume that meant anything other than what I said?” I couldn’t help asking.

“I don’t know.” He seemed at a loss for a words for a minute. And then, “I don’t understand why I’m getting blamed for doing the same thing you did.”

“I want you to like me as much as I like you. I just told you that,” I said. “You not trying to see me at all in two weeks tells me that you don’t want to see me. And that hurts.”

“Reese, I do want to see you. I can’t believe you’re even saying this.” Brady reached out to grab my waist, but I didn’t want to give in that easily.

“You’re terrible at showing it. It seems like you want to see Sydney more than me.”

He had the nerve to roll his eyes at me so I took that opportunity to walk away to the dining room to get my binder. I turned to leave and Brady was following me.

“Seriously?” he wanted to know. “Why are you doing this?”

“Admit it, you’re mad about the charity thing,” I said.

“I mean, yeah I was disappointed, but it’s fine. It isn’t a big deal.”

“And that’s why you avoided me,” I went on.

When Brady didn’t say anything for half a second, I said, “I thought so. Just call me when you’re ready.”

And I guess it’s a bit of a cop out, but I wanted to put the ball back in his court. I want him to flat out say, “I want to see you,” especially after what I told him.

But so far he hasn’t. Well, he did text me a picture of Tucker looking adorable on the couch with the caption, “Tucker misses mama.” But that’s not enough.

Anyway, I have to get going. Love y’all!

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