i suddenly liked him more.

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

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

“Nope,” she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh boy. This was going to be fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We live in New Jersey.”

“Oh.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Excuse me?” I said back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What does?” he said back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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did i break his heart?

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

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

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

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

Wait. No. I backtracked.

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

“Okay,” Brendan said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was startled, and withdrew my hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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i had to break up with him.

My mother decided to visit for Memorial Day. Normally I would have been excited to spend the weekend drinking, but since that wasn’t an option I guess seeing my mom was good too.

Between Mike and Connie, I was ready to retire from my job. Mike didn’t talk to me for days after the samples mishap. He normally doesn’t talk to me anyway, but this was painful. And Connie continued sending passive aggressive emails telling me to update spreadsheets and that my numbers were wrong while refusing to make eye contact with me in the halls of the office.

Brendan stopped by the office to pick me up for our “working lunch” and we ran into Mike on our way out.

“Brendan,” he said, shaking his hand. “Thank you for setting up the reservation. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.”

“What was that about?” I asked Brendan in the elevator.

“Mike and I will both be up north this weekend. We are going to meet up for dinner,” he explained.

I didn’t say anything. I had absolutely not right to, but I felt left out. Why would those two be hanging out? I thought Brendan was on my team. And I was frustrated that Mike was going out of his way not to acknowledge me – in front of Brendan!

We spent all of lunch talking shop and about his parents dog. On the way back, Brendan said, “Can we do this again tomorrow?”

How did he have time for another hour and a half working lunch the following day? I don’t know and didn’t ask. We did the exact same thing the following day – only I chose the restaurant. I dragged him all the way to the other side of Central Park because I wanted crepes.

After the weekend with my mom, Brady and I were in a really good place. She’s a therapist and seemed to talk some sense into both of us (at least Brady because I like to think I was never the problem). We all had dinner on the first night she arrived and my mom said, “Brady, I’m dying to know how you’re feeling about everything.”

And instead of saying “I don’t think we are ready” or anything like that, he said, “I’m nervous, but I am extremely excited.”

My mom, the therapist, asked, “What are you nervous about?”

“I mean, everything,” he laughed. “When I imagined becoming a parent, I pictured things a little different.”

“Like?”

“I didn’t think I’d be renting an apartment in a city I don’t want to be in, I thought we’d be married, and that we’d have more money saved up. Among a lot of other things…” Brady glanced at me timidly.

My mom nodded. “Of course. Those things would be nice, wouldn’t they? But you both have wonderful jobs here, don’t you think it’s great that you are here, for now? If you did have more money saved up, what would you do with it? If you needed anything at all, you know you have family who will do anything and everything to help. And lastly Brady – I know you know this – there is still time to get married.”

“Mom!” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I just know that y’all are completely capable. Don’t forget – your father and I were young and not as successful when we had you. I hadn’t even finished all of my schooling!” she went on.

“I know.”

On her last night in town, we went out to dinner – just the two of us.

“So I talked to Brady,” she said over ravioli, meatballs, mussels, and lots of bread. “It must drive you nuts to not know what he’s thinking.”

“It does!” I exclaimed. “But I’m used to it by now. What did he say?”

“He doesn’t know when he is going to tell his parents you are pregnant. I asked him what he was waiting for and he said, ‘a plan.’ I can’t imagine if you didn’t feel like you could reach out to us for support.”

“Yeah, well. They’re probably going to disown him so I can understand why he’s putting it off,” I explained.

“But why? He’s a grown man.”

I agreed.

She told me about the other things they talked about like the fact that Brady was thinking of taking on an assignment that would take him out of the country for a month, but my pregnancy stopped it. Wish he would talk to me about things like that!

“Y’all need to talk more. I know he isn’t very open, but it sounds like you aren’t either. I told him the same thing.”

And like I said, ever since my mom left, things have been exponentially better. So much so that I think Brady is actually getting excited. He checks on me fourteen times a day and sends articles and reminds me to eat (as if I need a reminder) and drink water. He even took off work to come to the doctor with me again. And now that the weather’s getting nicer, he comes home before it gets dark so we can go on a walk with Tucker.

The following weekend, Lola wanted to get brunch and I agreed. I’d have to think of an excuse for why I wasn’t drinking. We went to a reformer class and then walked to a cute French place to eat.

“We will share the chocolate chip pancakes and two of the bottomless mimosas please,” Lola told the server.

“Oh no, that’s okay. I’m not drinking,” I said quickly.

“Why?” she scoffed.

“I’m not in the mood for that.”

“Do you want a Bloody then?”

I shook my head and Lola gave me a weird look. Once her carafe arrived she said, “I want to know why you’re not drinking.”

“I just don’t want to,” I said back.

She slid her flute toward me. “Just have a sip. It’ll get you in the mood.”

“I’m okay.”

“Why won’t you just take a sip? Like what’s wrong with you?” she demanded, in a teasing voice.

“Because I’m pregnant,” I said. If she wanted the truth, I’d give it to her.

“I knew it!” she exclaimed. “Why couldn’t you just tell me that? I’m not an idiot.”

“I was going to do a grand announcement, but you ruined it.”

Lola took it better than I thought. I think she felt bad for forcing me to tell her, but made it clear she was not happy about losing a drinking partner. We spent the rest of brunch talking about sustainable baby clothing.

With all of our “working lunch” dates and the fact that Brady and I were doing so well, I felt like I needed to break up with Brendan. We were spending way too much time together – we’d have lunch (his treat) almost daily, where we’d talk about business, but also our weekend plans, and what we were going to make for dinner, and how we wanted to go to Spain and Palm Springs and French Polynesia, and how I needed a new wardrobe (every time I showed Brendan things I’d put in my Revolve.com cart, he’d say, “That would look great on you! I really like it.” Little did he know, I couldn’t buy any of it because it was not baby bump appropriate), and if this were another life, what would we be doing? (Living in Paris as an artist, obviously).

He brought me pastries from his favorite bakery sometimes because he knew I’d like them and got way too excited watching me have a mouth orgasm every time I bit into one. Brendan also let me borrow books and an immersion blender. It’s like he loved me “needing” him. Kristina was loving our blossoming relationship.

I’d made up my mind that I was going to break things off (the guilt was getting to me) and Brendan stopped by the office one afternoon. Oh, perfect, I thought, I’ll just do it now before he tries to invite me to lunch the next day.

“Hey! I wanted to say hi before heading home. How are you?” he said, popping his head in my office.

“Good, thanks! I’m actually headed out too. Wanna walk down together?” I said back.

I gathered my things and we took the elevator down to the lobby together while making small talk. He told me he was grilling out for dinner and I think I moaned out loud.

“You know, you’re welcome over if you want,” Brendan laughed.

Ugh.

“Can we talk for a sec?” I asked. We were outside of the building now and with the millions of pedestrians on the sidewalk, it was the worst place to talk.

“Yeah, of course,” he said back.

“We should probably stop hanging out so much,” I said as we walked. “I enjoy going to lunch with you and all of our conversations, but it doesn’t feel platonic anymore. I want to be friends with you, of course, but we can’t go on lunch dates and you can’t invite me on trips with you anymore. I love my boyfriend…and I’m pregnant.”

I glanced at the side of Brendan’s face to gauge his reaction and he briefly looked like he had been punched in the gut. He recovered quickly.

“It is platonic,” he said, glancing back at me quickly. “I’m married, Reese. We are nothing more than friends. I’m sorry if I gave you a different idea or made you uncomfortable, but…..yeah. I’m not interested in being anything other than friends.”

“Okay,” I said, coolly, not sure how to react. I couldn’t remember a time when he said “I’m married” so explicitly, but all right. “Glad we’re on the same page.”

“Yeah, of course.” Brendan stopped walking and gestured the opposite way, “I’m headed back this way though. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Sure, see you tomorrow,” I said.

He took off the other way, not even congratulating me on being pregnant.

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we will figure it out.

Getting out of bed is so hard. It’s always been hard, but particularly now. Especially with Mike and all of his temper tantrums lately.

Brady worked Saturday and I got up early to hang out with Lola. I’d decided that I would do Barry’s, but I would have to pass on brunch after. Trying to come up with another excuse for why I wasn’t drinking would be too hard.

After sweating our tits off, we walked out and Lola said, “I need a mimosa spiked with coke right now. Where should we go?”

“Oh, I can’t. Brady and I have a thing,” I said.

“What kind of thing? Skip it. We haven’t gotten fucked up before noon in ages,” she said.

I was tempted to just blurt the news out, but for some reason I just didn’t want to share it with Lola yet. I guess I’m not ready for her scrutiny since she thinks all men are evil.

Brady texted me during the day asking if I wanted to go to dinner. Of course I did. I made a reservation for pizza at 7:30 so Brady wouldn’t be able to stay at work late. I put on high waist jeans, a lowcut bodysuit, a cabbie hat and a black trench coat.

“You look pretty,” Brady said, pretending my boobs weren’t on full display.

I threw on a scarf on the way out. We ordered two whole pizzas because I couldn’t choose and Brady ordered a pitcher of beer.

“I’m sorry, who’s gonna drink that?” I asked once the server walked away.

“Huh?” he said, pretending he didn’t hear me. “I am. What? Should I not?”

I realized that I expected Brady not to drink since I couldn’t. Maybe I was jealous.

We talked a bit about work, but then I was ready to talk baby. It’s hard to get Brady to talk about literally anything, but we had to discuss this. I reminded him about my first real doctors appointment that I wanted him to come with me to.

“Ah, what time is it again?” he asked.

“10:30am on Tuesday.”

“I have an important meeting at 11 so I wouldn’t be able to make it-”

“You have to make it. Are you joking? I mean, if you don’t care, cool. I see where your priorities are and that’s disappointing,” I said.

“I do care. Uh, I’ll try to rearrange things so I can go with you,” Brady said.

“Your lack of enthusiasm is depressing.”

We’d talked about the baby a little bit and Brady seemed to be coming around slightly. He even came home one day telling me about some research he’d done on maternity and paternity leave and health insurance for both of us. This lead him down a rabbit hole of different birthing options and he asked, “Have you thought about this?”

To which I replied, “I haven’t even had my first doctor’s appointment so no.”

On Mother’s Day, Brady hopped out of bed at some ungodly hour and even though I was excited to call my parents, I could not peel myself out of bed. Eventually Brady came and told me he had a surprise and that got me up.

He had a little breakfast spread set up on the bar area with pancakes, avocado toast, fresh fruit, and little sausages. It was very cute and looked like it belonged in a chic hotel or restaurant, which might be exactly where he got it.

There was also a pretty pink card with a mama elephant and a baby elephant on it. Not sure what he was trying to insinuate there, but noted. I only ate 75% of the food I wanted to since he was comparing me to an elephant. Inside Brady wrote a ton of very sweet things, but just had to include, “I know we aren’t ready and still have a lot to figure out, but I can’t wait to see what an amazing mother you’ll be.” That annoyed me and kind of negated everything else. I feel like now when I think of my first Mother’s Day, the only thing I’ll remember is Brady writing “We aren’t ready,” in a card.

The breakfast was delicious though.

“So, my grandmother is here in New York City and my mother has invited us over for dinner. I know it’s last minute, but would you want to go?” Brady asked.

I didn’t take a moment to think. “No. I can’t.”

We hadn’t heard much from Brady’s parents since around the holidays when the mom confronted me about living with Brady. So needless to say, I was not really in a hurry to see them now that I was pregnant.

“Are you sure?” Brady asked, as if he expected me to say yes.

“I’m sure. You should go though and have a great time.”

Later in the day, I FaceTimed my parents. I wanted to be alone for it so I shut myself in the bedroom and told Brady I’d let them know how they took it. He was getting ready to meet up with his parents anyway.

My mom cried of course and after asking a few initial questions like when I’m due and if I’ve been taking care of myself she said, “So is Brady planning on asking you marry him now?”

“I do think now would be an appropriate time for him to ask that,” my dad agreed.

“I know things are different now and less traditional, but babe, since you’re going to be raising a child together, being married will make things much, much easier. You don’t just want to just have a baby daddy, right?”

I nodded. “I know, Mom. We will figure it out.”

“Has he told his parents yet?” my mom asked.

“Not yet.”

She smirked, not even able to hide her amusement. “Please let me what his mother says.”

I knew Brady wouldn’t tell his parents about my pregnancy at the dinner, but I was still dying to know how it went.

“Fine. My grandmother was looking forward to seeing you,” he told me.

“Really?” I was looking forward to seeing her and whatever vintage Chanel ensemble she was wearing also.

That night my mom called to talk without my dad.

“I wanted to let you know that I am so happy. I have been waiting for this. I’m booking a flight to come see you later this month so let me know your schedule. Also, Dad is going to be talking to Brady because the two of you really need to be married before the baby comes,” she said in her thick Houston accent.

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “Please don’t have Dad try to talk Brady into proposing! We will figure it out!”

“It’ll be so much harder if you aren’t married, I assure you,” she sniffed.

And then for the first time since my pregnancy revelation, me and Brady had sex. On a barstool. He was sure to pull out though.

It was hard to get out of bed again on Monday, but we had a big meeting that I needed to prep for. All of our vendors and partners would be there and a lot of the data was coming from me.

In the middle of my set up, I realized that I’d forgotten to order samples that we needed for our presentations. I should’ve ordered it weeks prior, but with everything going on, I completely forgot. It’s so not me to forget something like that and I couldn’t even concentrate on the rest of the stuff I was supposed to do because I was so worried about how I was going to cover up the fact the I forgot the samples. I couldn’t decide if I should warn Mike that we didn’t have them or just let him be surprised in front of all of our guests. I decided on the latter. That way he couldn’t yell at me.

“And Reese has some samples she will pass around. You’ll see what we have in mind in terms of flooring. We have tons of options depending on the route we want to take,” Mike said.

“The samples actually didn’t come in time, but I have enlarged pictures printed off so you can see the detail and texture,” I said.

Mike gave me a look that was not pleasant and I passed my images around. I didn’t say much the rest of the time even though I normally have so much to say. Afterwards, as we were all packing our things to leave, Mike asked to speak with me.

“Sure, what’s up?” I said sweetly.

He waited until the last person left the room so we were alone.

“Help me understand why the samples aren’t here,” Mike said, calmly.

I had to lie. “I’m not sure. They were ordered, but they’ve been with UPS for like two weeks.”

“Why didn’t you express them? Why didn’t you do everything in your power to get them here?” His voice was rising. “And these goddamn print outs? Are you fucking kidding me?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Don’t embarrass me or yourself again, Reese. I’m fucking serious.”

I nodded and grabbed my things and left. I can’t think of a time Mike has been so upset with me so I wasn’t surprised when I felt myself tearing up as I walked out. I picked up the pace so I could cry in the privacy of my office.

I saw Brendan, who was in the meeting, loitering around the lobby like he was waiting for someone.

“Hey!” he said before I could hide. When he saw that I was crying, he reached out and grabbed my arm. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, but then shook my head when I realized I wasn’t.

“Do you want to take a walk?” he asked.

I nodded.

Brendan touched the small of my back and led me out to the elevators. We didn’t say anything on our way down and as we hit the pavement. I shoved the printouts in the first trashcan I saw. I’d stopped crying.

“I hate Mondays,” Brendan finally said.

“I hate working here,” I said back.

“Really?”

I remembered what Kristina said about Brendan wanting us to come work for him and I needed to backtrack before I got myself into something I couldn’t get out of. “No, it’s fine.”

“Is Mike being a dick?” Brendan asked.

“How’d you know?” I hoped he hadn’t overheard my lashing.

He shrugged. “Just a guess.”

We didn’t say anything for a moment and then he said, “I thought about you over the weekend. I went wine tasting with my parents and their new puppy. It was so relaxing and beautiful…and I know you love wine and puppies.”

I laughed. “I do. Thanks for the invite.”

I realized the moment the words left my mouth that I shouldn’t have said it. I needed to stop flirting with him. Brendan looked over at me with a serious expression, reading my face like he was wondering if I was being serious.

“If I would have thought you’d come, I would have invited you.”

“Thanks. It’s totally okay, but I’m expecting photos of the puppy,” I said back.

“You got it.”

And then, he scheduled a “working lunch” for us later in the week.

Later that day, fucking Connie was back with errors in my report. She sent screenshots and again, copied Mike.

“This report needs to be updated urgently so I can efficiently process my accounts,” she said.

Urgently? Fuck off. I didn’t reply.

Brady picked me up on Tuesday morning so we could travel to my doctor’s appointment. He dropped me off in front and then had to go find parking, which took him thirty minutes. I was already sitting in the exam room talking the doctor’s ear off when he joined us. I absolutely love my new doctor. We can call her Dr. Sabrina. I knew we’d get along when I saw that she was wearing bright blue tassel earrings and pink lipstick.

“He’s a neatfreak and works really hard and really late. Obviously things are gonna have to change a little bit,” I was saying as the receptionist let Brady in. “There he is!”

After he and Dr. Sabrina introduced themselves, we all sat around and talked a bit. She wanted to know about us and our families and if we had any concerns. At one point, something Brady said made her say, “Oh, so this wasn’t planned.” And I guess I didn’t explicitly say that at the beginning. Meaning, I hadn’t told her about the birth control mishap or all the drinking so I had to go back and tell her all that.

And then she was ready to get started. It wasn’t until then that I realized I’d be disrobing and having them prod things up my vagina in front of Brady. I know, I shouldn’t be having a baby with someone if I’m uncomfortable doing that in front of them, but still.

Luckily though, I was just in my head and literally no one cared at all. Although Brady’s neck turned red and he gave me a weird look when the doctor said we might not be able to hear the heartbeat.

“We can try though. Do you want to try?” Dr. Sabrina said.

I shrugged.

“Let’s try,” she said.

She moved the the tube thing around my tummy a bit, stopping in random places. After a couple minutes of this, she declared that it was too early.

“That doesn’t mean anything is wrong though. Everything is progressing just fine. You’ll hear the heartbeat at your next visit,” she assured me.

Finally, we went back to her chic all white office so we could schedule additional visits and talk about me some more.

“Are you having any symptoms? Morning sickness?” she asked.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, leaning into her desk. Thank goodness she’d asked. “Some days I will be sick literally all day and all night. I was going to ask if you could prescribe something for that.”

“Possibly-” she began, but Brady – Brady, of all people, cut her off.

“No. I don’t think you should be taking prescription medications,” he said to me.

“Excuse me, what?” I couldn’t believe him. “You aren’t the one who is vomiting all day.”

Dr. Sabrina laughed like I was joking. “There are plenty of natural remedies that can help curb your symptoms. Your diet could also play a role. I recommend ginger tea, whole foods only and a good prenatal vitamin. I’ll have the nurse type all of this up for you.”

When we were walking to the car, I let Brady know I didn’t like him speaking for me.

“You don’t have to deal with puking your brains up 24/7. I don’t think that was your decision to make,” I said.

“I know, but…it’s my baby too. According to what I researched, morning sickness should subside after the first trimester. I think we – you – should stick it out rather than risk taking a drug you’ve never taken before.”

I mean, I guess I was happy he was actually showing that he actually cares, but still. He patted me on the shoulder like I’m fucking five years old.

But, to Brady’s credit, I haven’t been sick all week and I’m not even out of the first trimester yet.

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i deserved that.

Brady logged out of his iPad because he found out I was reading all of his shit. He found out because I confronted him about the conversation he and Hunter had been having about me. After he initially told Hunter and they talked about it respectfully for a little bit (aside from Brady saying, “I think she’s lying”), Hunter said, “Good job locking that down forever, bro. She can’t leave you now, haha.”

To which Brady said, “She will still leave if she wants.”

And Hunter said, “And bankrupt you along the way.”

Excuse me? Fucking bankrupt him? What kind of gold digger do they think I am? And I’m not a “that” you can lock down. I continued reading.

“Exactly. I can’t believe I am in this situation. I’m pretty sure she planned this. She isn’t even upset,” Brady said.

Hunter sent a .gif of a baby crying. “I know it’s hard, but you have to learn the art of pulling out, bro.”

Brady didn’t reply to that.

A few days later, Hunter texted Brady saying, “Have you told [Brady’s mom’s name] yet?” Either I never noticed or they just started calling their parents by their first names.

“Not yet. I’m not in a hurry to tell her. This isn’t going to elevate her opinion of Reese, that’s for sure.”

When Brady got home from work, I immediately laid into him. I couldn’t help myself.

“I can’t believe you think I got pregnant on purpose and I’m going to bankrupt you. I mean, really? Do you think I need any-fucking-thing from you? I’ll gladly take my baby and never speak to you again,” I said.

Brady looked at me like he was confused before realizing that I’d been reading through his messages. “Reese, I respect your privacy and I’d appreciate if it was reciprocated.”

“And please tell me more about your mom’s opinion of me. I love how her opinion of me will change, not her own fucking son who got me pregnant!”

“She will be disappointed in both of us, Reese. I don’t care what she thinks though so it is fine.”

“Obviously you do otherwise you wouldn’t have brought it up!” I screamed.

Brady had the nerve to roll his eyes. “Stop shouting at me. Going through my private messages and speaking to me like this is disrespectful.”

Okay, true. But still. And the next morning when I checked, Brady had logged out of his iPad so I lost access to everything. Which I guess I deserve.

Other than that, Brady and I have not really spoken about my pregnancy at all. And he hasn’t even touched me. He’s been working super late, usually until 9 or 10pm. I thought he’d at least try to come early to his pregnant girlfriend. It’s okay though because I’ve been busy at work too.

There’s a girl I hate. Okay, I guess I don’t hate her, but she really annoys me. Everything at work is super manual – all of our reports are done in Excel and Google Sheets which I’m not used to and I’m trying to make more automated.

A woman who owns one of the reports, Connie, emailed me to let me know that I’d left some of the required fields blank on the report and I needed to fix it. She also copied Mike. I went back in and put in some estimated numbers and she replied all, “My calculations are coming up different. Will you check your numbers and re-enter them?”

Wait, why did she have time to check my work? We went back and forth for several emails, all with Mike attached. He messaged me to stop by his office and when I did, he fucking shouted at me, “Would you figure out this report with Connie? The back and forth is ridiculous and I’m sick of seeing it!”

I messaged Connie so we could talk about it offline, but she didn’t reply and she wasn’t at her little cubicle when I stopped by. But then when I re-sent the report she said, “This still isn’t correct. Will you double check?” I was ready to kill her and now she’s on my shit list for creating all the drama.

I forgot Brady and I invited people over for Cinco de Mayo until Lola texted me on Saturday asking if she needed to bring anything. So I spent all of Saturday grabbing stuff to make frozen margaritas and Mexican inspired appetizers. I was mostly excited to see Lola since it’d been a while since we hung out last.

It didn’t occur to me that people would want to know why I wasn’t drinking.

“Where’s your margarita?” Lola asked, gesturing to my glass of lemon water.

“Oh, I’m way too hungover from last night to drink,” I quickly said. I was not ready to break the news to Lola yet.

“Really? What’d you do?” It’s like she knew I was lying.

“I drank all day and then we went out. Just to the bar around the corner. So what’s going on with Kellen?”

That got her off my back. She told me about how Kellen is focusing on his music and they haven’t hung out much.

“It’s totally fine though because work is busy and I’m talking to someone else,” she explained.

“That’s fast! Who is it?”

“You can meet him soon. Let’s do Barry’s Bootcamp and day drink next weekend,” Lola suggested.

I nodded yes even though I wouldn’t be able to participate in the day drinking part.

Sydney showed up. She had her hair up in a high pony and wore tight workout clothes and no makeup. She followed Brady around the apartment all day, which I noticed because I was watching Brady the whole time. He didn’t hang out with me until he was good and drunk.

“Thanks for making all the food. Everyone keeps talking about how good it is,” Brady said, scooping up some of my not very authentic Mexican spinach dip.

My normal m.o. would be to say something snarky back, but I couldn’t even think of anything. “Of course.”

“Are you having a good time even though you can’t…drink?” He looked over his shoulder, knowing that we weren’t telling people about my being pregnant yet.

“I mean, I guess it’s fine. Luckily I like most people here.”

Sydney came and found me as I was putting out more chips.

“How have you been, Reese? Your hair is so long and shiny. What do you use in it? It looks amazing!” she said.

You know how people will give you a ton of compliments just to make conversation? That’s clearly what Sydney was doing. Especially since she has long and shiny hair as well. But hey, a compliment is a compliment.

“Thanks! I like to use hair masks. I use all different ones, but my favorite one is by Ouai. Do you want me to send you the link?” I said back.

She nodded excitedly.

A few hours later, it had started to get dark and our crowd dwindled to just Connor and Owen (Brady’s doctor friends) and of course, Sydney. I cleaned up all of the food and mess and then joined the group to see when they’d be leaving.

“She is not going to be president,” Brady said, shaking his head.

“I know she won’t be next year because she isn’t old enough, but she is our best chance for a female president since Hillary Clinton,” Sydney said.

“She’s a minority female socialist who is a former bartender. I’m sorry, but that is not who this country elects to be it’s president,” Brady explained.

“You sound like such a privileged and sexist white man. I didn’t realize you were like that,” she said.

So she was falling out of love with my boyfriend – a good sign that she will stop coming around.

“I’m not saying I agree with it at all. I’m just stating the facts,” Brady said.

Sydney huffed and crossed her arms.

“Does anyone want any food to go?” I cut in.

On Monday, Mike sent me out to check on a project. He was in a pissy mood and shouted, “Make sure those idiots know they are behind!”

….k.

I got to the site and the first person I saw was Brendan, wearing a tool belt and Workman boots. They were so far behind on the project that even Brendan was jumping in to help. Normally he just works on the business side. He looked so good in the tool belt.

“Hey, here to help?” he greeted me with a smile. He walked over to me so I wouldn’t have to walk around the construction area in my heels.

“Mmhm,” I smiled, surprisingly happy to see him since it had been a few weeks.

“How are you? How was Paris and stuff?” Brendan was standing way too close to me. I could smell his Le Labo Santal 33.

“Paris was absolutely amazing. I’ll have to show you pictures.”

“I would love that.”

We were flirting and I needed to get out of there. Especially because I didn’t know when I’d start spontaneously puking again.

“Mike sent me here to check the progress here. How’s everything going?” I asked.

Brendan looked around at the scene of construction/destruction behind him. “It’s coming along. There were some hiccups two weeks ago so we’re behind, but things are moving steadily now.”

“When do you think you’ll be finished?” I said and he looked back at me. “Mike wants to know.”

“We are probably still a few weeks away.”

“How about end of next week? Can it be done by then?”

Brendan rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at his boots. “I’m not sure. I can’t call anymore of my guys over because they are working on another project. Can I give you an update toward the end of the week?”

I felt bad coming in demanding stuff from him when clearly he was trying hard for us.

“Of course. And thank you for digging in and getting your hands dirty. It’s rare to see a CEO do that.” I touched Brendan’s forearm for emphasis and he smiled at me. “Is the bathroom under construction also?”

I was happy that all of the sawing and construction noises drowned out the sounds of me throwing up. And now I’ve begun carrying oral care in my bag so when I do puke during the day I can clean myself up after.

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!

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five years.

Y’all, it’s been five years since my first post. I honestly cannot believe it’s been that long.

I have really enjoyed writing and posting. Posting here grounds me and holds me accountable and definitely feels like therapy. I appreciate everyone who reads, comments and especially those of you who have been here from the beginning! Reading back to posts from years ago is so cringey – what was I doing?!

Thank you for all for the advice, comments, emails, tweets and especially for all of the call outs! I still have so much I want to work on, but any growth I’ve experienced is a direct reflection of keeping this blog. Y’all have literally helped shape who I am which is wild.

Cheers! I love you guys!

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please don’t call me dude.

Brady went to work the next morning without making a sound. I overslept slightly and woke up with Tucker snuggled at my feet. What an asshole. I got up and got dressed, determined to prove to Mike that I was ready to work.

When I got to the office, I went face first into my overdue work, only coming up for air twice to go puke. Kristina talked me into going to Chopt with her for lunch and even though I wanted Taco Bell, I agreed. The fresh air would be nice and it’s not like my stomach could disagree with a salad.

“Sooo, Thomas told me something…” Kristina said as we walked down 42nd Street.

“What did he tell you?” I had to know.

“That he and Brendan want me and you to go run their sales department,” she answered, sounding delighted.

“Oh really? That’s a fun idea.” A fun idea to just throw around – it would obviously never happen.

“Super fun! I’d love to work with them. People we actually get along with!” she enthused.

“I couldn’t do that to Mike,” I revealed. I don’t know why I feel like I have loyalty to Mike, but he handpicked me (even if I was a second choice) to come work for him and I’m not going to jump ship after a few months.

“He also said he catches Brendan stalking your Instagram several times a week,” Kristina sang as we walked into the restaurant.

I gave her a disapproving look before following her in. We ordered our salads and took them back to the office. I didn’t want to be gone too long since I had so much work to do.

“Expect a job offer in your email soon. Or in your DMs, I guess,” Kristina giggled as we walked back into the building.

I got back to my office and was surprised to see that I had a new text from Hunter waiting. Literally the last person I expected to hear from – especially since I hadn’t heard anything from Brady.

“Hey Reese,” he said, adding a star eyed emoji.

“Hi Hunter,” I said back, with no emoji.

“Are you really pregnant? Brady’s freaking out and doesn’t believe you,” he said.

Are you fucking kidding me? Instead of talking to me like an adult, Brady went and told his loser brother on me? I stared at my phone for five whole minutes.

“Not sure why he doesn’t believe me when I showed him my doctor’s note. He knows it’s true and I have absolutely nothing to gain by lying about this,” I finally said back.

“And it’s his?” Hunter said back.

And before I could send the scathing message I was drafting (I was gonna let him have it), another message from him came through. “Just fucking with you. I’m stoked dude. Can’t wait to be an uncle.”

I replied, “Please don’t call me dude.”

Needless to say, that was the end of our conversation. I could not wait to get home to confront Brady about his latest stunt.

Mike was leaving at the same time I was. It was 5:30PM and late for him. He’d ditched his suit jacket and didn’t have his backpack or any work stuff with him. He didn’t say anything to me as we waited for the elevator together.

“Do you have any plans this evening?” I asked because the silence was deafening.

Mike looked down at me out of the corner of his eye, like I had no right to ask that. “No.”

Okay. Go have fun with your hookers then.

I got home and made a fabulous solo dinner (pasta with kale pesto from Pinterest) and waited for Brady to get home. To my complete shock, he walked through the door at 6:45PM. I hadn’t even made him any dinner because I thought he wouldn’t be home for several more hours (and also, I was mad at him). He even had a bag of takeout. I blinked at him expectantly.

“Hi,” he said slowly as he dropped his stuff on the bar area.

“Hello,” I said back, super super sweetly.

“I brought you a burrito and a salad, if you want it.”

I’d already eaten, but I wasn’t going to admit that. “Ohh, what kind of burrito?”

I got up to dig through the bag while Brady went to get changed. By the time he came back, I was balls deep in my chorizo burrito. He sat next to me at the bar.

“So we should talk,” Brady said.

“We should,” I nodded. I put my burrito down because I have manners.

“I guess I’m just wondering how this happened.”

“Do you want a deeper explanation than that you came inside me and your sperm fertilized my egg?”

Brady grimaced. Too much? “I mean, you assured me you were on birth control. I understand that it’s not 100%, but it’s just hard to believe you’re that unlucky.”

“Brady, are you fucking kidding me? Unlucky? Why don’t you understand how this works? I didn’t do this on purpose and I for fucking sure didn’t do it on my own!” I exploded.

“I just think it’s unfair,” he said.

“What’s unfair?”

“I don’t want a child right now!” Brady screamed, standing up. “Neither of us is ready and I can’t think of a worse time for this to happen!”

“Okay, I’ll tell the baby to come back in a few years when you’re ready.”

“And when you’re ready, too! You’re not even close to being ready either, Reese. For God’s sake!”

I burst into tears. I wasn’t expecting Brady to still be upset and definitely didn’t like him in my face and screaming at me. He muttered something and stormed off to the bedroom and I finished my burrito.

Brady was an asshole the next day as well. At 8PM he texted me saying, “Eat without me. I still have a few more hours here.”

Of course he did. And when he got home, he didn’t bother waking me up and he slept on the couch. I would have felt super alone, but I ordered Chinese food and that kept me company.

The following day though, Brady came home early with his tie off and a bouquet of flowers. I watched him over the top of my cheeseburger. We made eye contact and he looked down at the ground.

“I wanted to apologize,” he said.

“Oh,” I said back.

“I’m sorry. Um, can we talk? We should talk.”

“The last time we talked you screamed at me and blamed this whole situation on me,” I pointed out.

“I know. That’s what I want to talk about.” Brady motioned for me to join him at the bar area and I grabbed my cheeseburger and sat next to him.

“There’s no excuse for my behavior. I apologize for being a jerk. I shouldn’t have blamed you or yelled at you.”

“True,” I chimed in.

“I was, I mean, I am really surprised that you’re…pregnant.” Brady closed his eyes like this conversation was too hard to bear. And the word ‘pregnant’ was obviously hard for him to say. “I didn’t even think it was a possibility. I take full responsibility for my part in this.”

“…okay. Thanks, I guess. I didn’t think it was a possibility either, for the record,” I said, putting my burger down since we were finally talking.

“I’m scared,” he revealed.

“I am too,” I said, accusatorially. “Why do you assume you’re the only one feeling this way? It’s like you think this was my idea all along and I’m happy it’s all playing out.”

“No, I know this isn’t your idea. I’m sorry. I’m just…afraid of having a child and not knowing how to love it.”

“What?”

“I don’t know. If I – we – at this point already don’t want a baby…in addition to me having a hard time showing [he used a weird word here. I meant to Google it, but I gathered that it meant like, affection or love]….”

“Brady, you are capable of loving a baby. We will both work on it. I’m not the best at showing my feelings either, but we will figure it out.”

There was a pause and then Brady said, “So you’re six weeks along? What should we do? Should we get married?” He was dead serious.

“I don’t want you to marry me just because I’m pregnant. And definitely not if that’s the way you ask,” I said back.

He nodded and there was silence. I took this time to finish my burger. After I was finished, Brady grabbed my greasy little hand in his.

“I love you. I’m sorry that I don’t say it or know how to show it. You are the best part of my life.”

When Brady said this, I realized that he’s probably worse at showing affection because I don’t know how to accept it. After the “best part of my life” comment, I was thinking, “Hmm, not true.” And then I didn’t acknowledge it at all.

We talked a little bit about what I knew so far, which was basically nothing and went through some things on the What To Expect app. After that, Brady wanted to go for a walk, alone, and I realized when he came back that it was so he could smoke.

Once I’d talked to Brady about it, I thought I’d share my pregnancy news with my mom/parents. But then I thought I should wait until Mother’s Day. Won’t that be an amazing time to let my mom know she’s going to be a grandma? She’s going to die. As far as Brady’s parents – that’s for him to figure out.

As you can see, I’m less numb now. I might even be a tiny bit excited.

The following day, Saturday, Brady had to work, but I expected him to come home early with chili cheese fries like I’d been craving, but he worked late again. That was fine though because I couldn’t keep anything down all day. I had a ginger ale and lettuce for dinner.

When Brady finally got home, we sat together while he ate. After he finished and cleaned up, he said, “Um, I wanted to tell you something.”

Oh, God.

“Okay…”

“Do you remember Hailey?”

“Of course I do.”

Hailey was a college student Brady used to work with who had a massive crush on him and would send him flirty messages all the time. She was a non-threat, or so I thought.

“Well, this one time some of us from work went out and she kissed me. Well, she tried to kiss me. Obviously I-”

“What?” I demanded.

“No, I didn’t kiss her back. I let her know that it was, you know, inappropriate,” Brady explained.

“She, like, kissed you though? On the lips? How long did it last?” I needed to know.

“A second. A few seconds…or less.”

“When did this happen? Didn’t you work with her like three years ago?”

He nodded.

“Why are you even telling me this now? Are you looking for ways to piss me off?” I was shouting now.

“No, no, no! Of course not. I just want to make sure everything is out in the open now that…” He gestured, not wanting to say ‘pregnant.’

“So you had to tell me that some little girl tried to kiss you three years ago?”

Brady nodded.

“Is there anything else?”

“No. No, that was it,” he said.

I wanted to fucking punch him. What a waste of an argument. I went and got in bed and Brady came and joined me even though it was only 9:30PM.

Also, I don’t know if I believe him that that was it.

Standard

brady’s new girlfriend.

Paris was fabulous. I want to move there. We did all of the typical tourist sites the first two days (including the Notre Dame the day before the fire. I’m so glad Brady made sure we went inside). I ate my weight in pastries, macarons and fucking cheese, but we did so much walking that it doesn’t count.

My favorite things were everything; like I would literally move there in a heartbeat. It’s like urban but beautiful and everyone is well dressed and snooty and smokes cigarettes all day. I imagine pursuing a career as an artist there – painting all day at my gallery and drinking and socializing in the evenings. I’d wear midi length dresses with red lipstick, leather jackets or wool trench coats and Gucci sneakers. We took a day trip to Versailles which is where I’ll be living after my move to Paris.

We were only there for five days which is not nearly enough time. We didn’t even go clubbing. I can’t wait to go back, but also I need to travel more in general. There’s so much more of the world to see!

When we got back to New York, I was exhausted and felt icky. I’d felt the same way in Paris, but I figured it was from walking around so much and eating literally everything I laid my eyes on. Brady went back to work immediately, but I worked from home since clearly I had a stomach bug with my tiredness, constipation and puking. Getting the whole sick would be irresponsible!

After being sick all weekend, Brady was over me being a baby (first of all, I never get sick so I get a pass and secondly, Brady becomes the hugest baby when he is sick), so I went to urgent care to get some medicine.

This is kind of fucked up, but the nurse who helped me looked exactly like someone who Brady should be with. Small frame, dark brown hair pulled up into a ponytail, angular face, boring. She looked like she runs marathons on the weekends, but also lifts one day a week so she isn’t too skinny. Like Brady would look great with her and I’m sure his mom would love her. I could picture them all being a big, happy family.

“Are you sure aren’t pregnant?” she asked, after reviewing my symptoms and doing like, one test.

“I’m sure. I’ve been on birth control for years.” It didn’t even cross my mind because I was having all day sickness, not just morning sickness. I’ve also been on birth control for so long that I didn’t even think I was fertile anymore. I haven’t had a regular period in literal years.

“Okay,” Mallory, PA, said, smiling at me condescendingly. “Why don’t we take a quick test to make sure? I want to rule out all possibilities before sending you out of here with no answers.”

At first I was going to refuse because Mallory was being annoying, but then I decided to humor her. It would be nice to prove her wrong. She had me pee into a little cup and then left for twenty minutes.

Finally, Mallory came back empty handed and sat her ass down on the stool. “You are indeed pregnant, my friend.”

I just stared at her.

“I recommend seeing an OB as soon as possible. For your morning sickness, I’ve heard of women eating ginger candy or Preggie Pops…”

Brady’s new girlfriend was really trying to tell me I was pregnant.

“That’s impossible,” I let her know.

“Your OB will give you another test to confirm,” she said, smiling.

After I left, I made an appointment with some random gyno I found on ZocDoc because I hadn’t even been to the doctor since I moved to New York. Brady didn’t come home until 10 PM, thank goodness. I sat on the couch drinking wine and Googling pregnancy symptoms all evening even though I still had a ton of work to catch up on. I was also texting Brendan who was filling me in on a meeting that I’d missed where Mike had a temper tantrum. So sad I missed that.

The next morning, the gyno confirmed what Mallory said. I argued with this woman also letting her know that I was on birth control and telling her about my lack of periods. And this woman pulled out a chart and a calendar so we could talk about how it was possible for me to get pregnant.

“By not taking your birth control correctly, you created the opportunity to get pregnant. Birth control pills are only effective if you use them right.”

And then she had to do an ultrasound to see how far along I was since I couldn’t remember the last time I had a period. A fucking ultrasound. I was numb. She stuck the tube up and blocked the little tv screen with her body so I couldn’t see anything.

“It looks like you’re about six weeks,” she told me.

“You’re fucking kidding,” I said out loud. Six weeks. Do you know what I’ve been doing for the past six weeks? Not treating my body like there was a baby growing in it, that’s for sure. I thought about the many, many happy hours I’d attended with Kristina and Brendan and all the wine I’d consumed in Paris.

I sat there dumbfounded while she explained next steps, how to take care of myself, talked about a due date. It was odd, but I felt nothing. Not excited, not upset, just like….nothing. Numb.

When I left, I called the only person who I felt could relate. Carly.

“Hi, boo!” she answered the phone.

“I just left the doctor. I’m pregnant, I guess,” I said back.

“You’re what? Pregnant?” she squealed.

“Allegedly.” I hopped in a cab.

“That’s amazing – I’m so excited! Does Brady know? How far along are you? When did you find out?”

“Literally just now. Carly, I don’t want a baby and I don’t know what to do.”

I could hear Baby Sloane babbling in the background. “I felt the same way, but it’s really such a blessing. I can’t imagine life without Sloane. Brady is going to be ecstatic. How are you going to tell him?”

Brady was not going to be happy. “I don’t know. I’m still not convinced it’s true. How did you tell Chris?”

“I made him a card. He was so happy he cried.”

I couldn’t imagine Brady being so happy he cried. I imagined he’d have the same non-reaction as me.

“Do you hope it’s a boy or a girl?” Carly continued.

“I have to go,” I said and hung up.

When I got home, I sent Brady a text that said, “You need to come home as soon as you can.”

He read my message and then took fifteen minutes to say, “Probably won’t be home until late. Eat without me.”

“This is serious, Brady.”

When Brady didn’t immediately respond, I decided to go to work. I had a ton to still catch up on and I definitely needed a distraction. I stopped by on my way in to say hello to Mike, who told me that he wanted to meet in an hour.

“Hiiiii, how was it?” Kristina said, referring to my vacation when she stopped by my office a little bit later.

“It was absolutely amazing. I didn’t want to come home,” I said back.

“We should catch up over happy hour later. I feel like I have so much to tell you,” she said.

“Mmm, maybe,” I said, knowing I couldn’t. “I’ll let you know.”

And since I knew I wouldn’t be attending a happy hour I tried to get as much information from her as I could over chat.

Mike was waiting in his office for me. From Kristina, I found out that things had been somewhat chaotic while I was away so I was ready for Mike’s wrath. It didn’t help that I was five minutes late to our meeting due to being sick.

“Reese, hi. I hope you enjoyed your time off,” he greeted me, not bothering to look up from his iPad.

“Mmhm.”

“I need you to wrap up the high rise project. It’s taking too long, we all know that and we will be in breach of contract if it continues going on,” he continued.

I nodded.

“I will be out of office next Wednesday through Friday so I’ll need you to step in during my absence. There are some things you’ll need to be up to speed on so expect an influx of forwarded emails from me.” Mike still hadn’t looked up at me. “Set up some time to work with Kristina this week. I’m losing my patience with her.”

“Okay.”

He finally looked up. “Do you have anything for me?”

And to my absolute horror, that is when I decided that it was all too much and I burst into tears. Actual tears in Mike’s office. I heard him sigh loudly.

“I’m sorry,” I blubbered.

He held up a hand. “I know it’s a lot. Take the rest of the day off and please don’t come back until you’re ready to work.”

I nodded and hustled out of there. The last thing I needed was Mike witnessing me having a breakdown. I packed my shit and hightailed it out of there.

On my way home I picked up a chicken burrito from Chipotle and then because I didn’t think that was enough, I also grabbed several chocolate sprinkled donuts. Obviously all of it disagreed with my stomach and I spent an hour being sick in the bathroom. I bathed and got in bed and waited for Brady to come home.

Kendra called. Obviously Carly had told her what was going on.

“Is it true?” she said into the phone excitedly. It sounded like she getting into a car or something.

“Ugh, Kendra,” I moaned. “I don’t know what to do.”

“This is so exciting, Reese. Are you excited? I knew you were going to get pregnant! How do you feel?” she continued.

“Congratulations Reese!” I heard John call from the background.

“You told John? My mom doesn’t even know yet!”

“He overheard. How do you feel, Reese? Are you okay?”

“No! This is literally the worst time for this to happen. I want a baby, just not now. I’m not prepared at all,” I whined.

“No one’s ever quite prepared for a baby. It’s scary now, but you’ll be surprised how quickly your maternal instincts kick in. This is great for you two, I think. It’ll force you to grow up and y’all can form a real bond outside of getting drunk every weekend.”

Excuse me? Kendra had some fucking nerve. She always acts like she and John are the most perfect adults and I really did not need that. Plus, I needed to tell Brady before he heard from someone else since Carly was telling everyone and everyone’s husbands were “overhearing.”

Brady walked through the door at 8:00pm. I was laying on the couch with a can of ginger ale and a bag of Doritos. He glanced at me quickly before making a beeline for the bedroom. “Are you feeling better?”

I followed him. “No. In fact, I got an update on my condition.”

Brady glanced over his shoulder at me. “Yeah, and?”

I was oddly excited to drop this bomb on him – especially after how cold and annoyed he was acting with me. “I’m pregnant.”

I could see him clench, but he continued getting undressed and didn’t bother facing me for a second.

“You are? Seriously?” Brady turned back to me, with his shirt open.

“Seriously. Two doctors confirmed,” I said, matter-of-factly.

“I thought you were on birth control.”

“I was. I am. It failed, obviously. Which can happen.”

“It only fails when you don’t take it.” Redness was creeping up Brady’s neck.

“Actually no, the doctor today explained to me how it works and it actually happens more often than you think. If you don’t take it take it at the exact same time everyday it can screw with your hormones,” I explained, calmly.

“Don’t you think it would have been important to understand all of this a long time ago? You should know how birth control works by now.”

“Don’t you think you should have known before blowing your load inside me?” I exclaimed. “This isn’t just my fault!”

Brady gave me a weird look, tilting his head. “I just don’t believe you. I don’t think you’re really pregnant.” He walked in the bathroom and turned on the shower.

Okay. If that’s how he wanted to be, that was fine. I put 27 blankets on the couch to make a comfortable sleeping area and turned on Drag Race reruns. This was after I’d slipped the doctor’s note under the bathroom door that said, “Patient is pregnant.”

I expected Brady to come out and talk to me like an adult – we had so much to discuss. I was already 6 fucking weeks in, after all! But he shut the door to the bedroom and went to sleep with Tucker. And I was up all night texting everyone and eating whatever I could find.

Standard

i want him to myself.

Brady and I are going to Paris later this month and I am thrilled. I have spent the few months leading up to it stocking up on berets and scarves and pinning restaurants I want to go to and places I want to see. Brendan sent me a list of his recommendations, but gave a disclaimer. “I haven’t been since 2009 so these places might not be cool anymore.”

If anyone has any recommendations at all, please share.

The other day, Mike called me into his office. He was sitting behind his desk shuffling papers.

“What do you think of Kristina?” he said as a greeting.

“Kristina?” I repeated. “I think she’s great. Super outgoing and business savvy. I really like her.”

“I think she’s an airhead,” he said, continuing to shuffle his papers.

“Mike!” I exclaimed.

He finally looked up at me. “She seems spacey and she doesn’t know any of her numbers. I know she’s your friend, but… you’re going to have to work with her if you want to keep her around.”

Ouch. I didn’t realize Mike was so unimpressed with Kristina, but I told him I’d work with her because I can’t have my girl getting fired.

I called a one-on-one meeting with Kristina the following morning and the only thing she wanted to talk about the whole time was Brendan.

“Can you believe he has been married for three years?” she asked.

“How do you know that?” I needed to know.

“Instagram,” she replied proudly. “His wife wore custom Oscar de la Renta. I wonder how much that wedding cost.”

I hadn’t scrolled that far back on his Instagram and I instructed Kristina show me. She pulled up the wife’s Instagram and showed me a photo of the happy couple sitting in front of a little waterfall or something in their designer duds. Brendan looked like a little boy in his white tux, black pants and bow tie. Neither of them was smiling though – they both wore supermodel pouts.

“What’s the deal with them? Brendan hangs out with us all the time and never brings her,” Kristina said.

“I don’t know. Probably because it’s always work things. I’m sure she has her own friends and stuff.” I found myself feeling strangely protective of him and like, annoyed that Kristina was so concerned with/invested in his life.

“She’s in Mexico right now without him.”

“Kristina. Let’s get back to work.”

I went over some things with her and helped her create an Excel spreadsheet to organize all of her numbers.

“What’s all this for? Do I have a quiz or something coming up?” Kristina smirked.

“No, but I want you to have all of these numbers on hand in case Mike asks you. Just trying to set you up for success.”

Do you see what a great manager, mentor and friend I am?

When I got home, I fed Tucker and walked him, threw a Pinterest casserole in the oven and then poured a glass of Cab. I was texting with Carly who might have a job lined up. She wants to plan a girls trip to Palm Springs or something.

“I need a vacation if I’m going to start work again,” she said.

Brady walked through the front door at 8:30pm.

“Hey hey,” he greeted Tucker and me.

“Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes. Do you want a glass of wine?” I said back.

“Please. I’m just going to get changed.” Brady took off his jacket and I saw that he was wearing normal nice slacks with a light colored button down, unbuttoned at the top and no tie.

“What are you wearing?” I demanded.

“What?”

“Why are you like half dressed?” Brady is normally dressed impeccably complete with a tie so I imagined that he’d taken it off at some point during the day.

“Half dressed? This is what I wore to work…” he explained.

“What?” I hadn’t seen Brady before he left for work since he leaves at the literal asscrack of dawn.

“No one really dresses up that much. I guess I wanted to conform.”

I eyed his revealing neckline again, actually offended. He looked so…exposed. I’m so used to seeing Brady so buttoned up that it was bizarre that he was so casual. Seeing the little sliver of his Adam’s apple and collarbone, I thought of all his little tattoos and how his coworkers probably have no idea he even has them. He keeps his professional life and personal life super separate which I love. I didn’t want his coworkers to even think he was cool outside of work – they aren’t worthy. I wanted that version to myself.

“I don’t like that,” I concluded.

He laughed and said okay.

And since then he has gone back to wearing ties to work. Is it bad if I don’t fully believe him? Like I still imagine he fucked some nurse in the janitor’s closet and never put his tie back on after. Or he went out after work and took his tie off to look less stuffy and had secret drinks with someone else.

A few nights later, Sydney stopped by to pick something up. Brady informed me five minutes prior to her arrival.

“Ew. What does she possibly need to pick up?” I asked.

He gave me a disapproving look and shook his head.

“Hi, you guys!” Sydney said when she walked in, waving.

Brady had a folder waiting for her and hugged it against her body gratefully. “What are you guys up to tonight?”

“Literally nothing,” I said. She was wearing a leather jacket with a big, plaid scarf and you guessed it: workout pants.

“I’ve been wanting to try that French restaurant on the corner. Have you been?”

“Ah, uh….no, we haven’t,” Brady said back.

Sydney’s beady eyes lit up. “We should go!”

So that’s how we got roped into having dinner with Sydney. She was so excited to be hanging out with us which made me feel slightly bad for being annoyed that she was there. I guess since she had shlepped all the way from Brooklyn, she needed to make the most of it.

Brady and Sydney talked about politics all night. Presidential candidates, various policies, healthcare. It was so boring. I prefer to keep my head in the sand and let adults make those decisions. I’m sure Brady hates that he can’t talk about that stuff with me.

And then Sydney had to come back to the apartment with us after dinner because she’d left the folder she came for in the first place. I was feeling kind so I offered her a glass of wine. But then she overstayed her welcome and didn’t leave until 11:30pm. You give them an inch and they take a mile.

Standard

do not disturb.

The other day Mike stopped by my office on his way out. Mike only works in the office about three days a week and strolls out at 3:30pm. On this day it seemed weird though because we had dinner plans with a potential new client.

“Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to dinner tonight,” he said unapologetically, not offering an explanation. “You still have Thomas and Nancy going so you won’t be alone.”

I’m nosy so I wanted to ask why he couldn’t make it to the dinner. Maybe he had a date with a prostitute. But probably not my place so I said, “Thanks for letting me know,” and left it at that.

Since Mike was no longer coming, I invited Kristina to tag along. May as well have someone to talk to since Mike wouldn’t be there. I let her know that it would just be us and Nancy and Thomas and that really, it was a good excuse to drink on the company’s dime.

But when we showed up, Brendan was sitting at the bar with Thomas. He was not invited. Kristina elbowed me as we walked in, knowing that he had come uninvited.

Usually Mike does a lot of the talking at these sort of things, but Kristina and I pretty much led the show. After the clients left, the four of us went back over to the bar to continue drinking.

“The two of you are like the dream team,” Thomas told us. “You could sell ice to an Eskimo.”

Clearly he was just flattering us and Kristina ate it right up.

“Yeah, Reese, we should ask Mike to do this all the time,” she said, batting her eyelashes.

As we were walking out and to our respective cars/rides home, Brendan fell into step next to me.

“Some friends and I are headed up to the mountains this weekend. My family’s got a cabin up there,” he said. “It’s usually pretty chill – we just play drinking games and stuff. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city…”

It reminded me of when Brady and I first started hanging out when he would tell me about events, restaurants and things before inviting me like he wanted me to invite myself.

“Do you have plans this weekend?” he asked.

“My boyfriend and I are going to San Francisco to see his brother,” I blurted out, happy to have real plans.

Brendan seemed to look a mixture of surprised and relieved. “Cool. Regan and I haven’t been to San Francisco in a long time. We need to go back.”

Regan is the wife.

Actually though, I was not looking forward to going to San Francisco. I wanted to stay home with Tucker, drink green smoothies all weekend and not deal with Hunter and Dom drama.

Brady did work on the five hour flight there while I slept on and off and read a book.

“Love you,” Brady said, halfway into the flight and leaned over and kissed me.

I pulled away slightly. “That’s what you have to say all the time when you don’t show it.”

He laughed and went back to work.

Brady received a text from Hunter when we landed letting him know that he couldn’t pick us up from the airport and to call an Uber instead.

“Wifey,” he explained.

Here we fucking go.

When we go to their house though, Hunter was home alone with no wife or kids in sight.

“What’s up?” he bellowed, greeting us at the door. It was eerily quiet and odd to me that he could get away with shouting at 10PM.

He and Brady hugged and I dodged him, dragging my suitcase through the hallway. I was exhausted, but heard the two of them talking about going out.

“Cool, I’ll make us drinks,” Hunter concluded and walked around me toward the kitchen. “Hey, Reese.”

“Where’s your wife and kids?” I asked innocently because my nosy ass just had to know.

Hunter didn’t reply and pretended to be busy getting a cocktail shaker and bottle of Don Julio out of the cabinet. I went to the guest bedroom and emerged wearing dark jeans, a white Free People top and heeled mules. Little did I know, we were going to the local sports bar and not anywhere nice so I could’ve just worn my dingy travel clothes.

“So how have y’all been?” Hunter asked as we sat around the sticky high top table. He emphasized the word y’all and looked at me when he said it.

There was a moment of silence before Brady started talking about work because that is all he ever talks about. I sucked down my vodka sodas faster than the server could bring them out and I began to get talkative.

When we got back to Hunter’s, I was completely drunk and in my own world. I sat in the kitchen playing on my phone and feeling disgusting because of all the vodka I’d had. I don’t like to drink as much anymore, if you can believe it. I’m old now.

I realized I hadn’t seen Brady and Hunter for a while and got up to find them. I poked my head into the living room and dining room and didn’t see them, but saw a light on at the end of the hallway. I padded down there considering shouting, “What the fuck are y’all doing?” but decided against it because Dom and the kids could’ve come home while I was gone.

Brady and Hunter were in what looked like a home office, standing with their backs to the door at a huge book shelf. I couldn’t see what they were holding, but they were quiet for a minute before Hunter said something like, “This is the good shit. $80 a pop.”

Again, they were quiet and I marched in.

“What’s up?”

They both jumped fifteen feet in the air and Brady turned to face me while Hunter tried to furiously hide whatever they were looking at.

“Hey,” Brady said lazily, giving me a half smile.

“What are we looking at?” I pretended to whisper.

Hunter walked out of the room, while giving me one of his knowing looks. Brady grabbed my hand and we followed.

The next morning, I was woken up by screaming children. I discovered that it was 7:00am. Brady was kind of sleeping and I nudged him to make sure he was awake too.

“Like you’re fucking kidding me, right?” I said.

He smiled and rolled over so he was on top of me and started kissing my neck.

“Listen,” I said, pushing him off. “I can’t get in the mood with these wailing children. I can’t even hear myself think.”

Brady looked disappointed, but got up to go shower in the attached bathroom. After we were both showered and dressed, we went downstairs to see what all the commotion was about.

Hunter, Dom and the two adorable children were hanging out in the kitchen/dining room. It looked like the kids had eaten donuts for breakfast and the remnants were all over the counter and floor and clearly all that sugar had made them bounce off the walls. Even I know not to feed small children something like that if I didn’t want them to turn into hyper lunatics. Hunter was freshly showered and clean, looking like a 90s heartthrob with his hair down and parted in the middle. Dom looked super cute in matching yoga pants and a tank, with a zippered hoodie over it. And for once, she didn’t scowl as we walked in.

“Good morning!” I greeted the group.

The kids stood there looking shy and timid – the complete opposite of the crazed monsters there were moments before.

“Morning,” Hunter finally said. “We got some donuts if you want one. I was gonna make an omelet for myself.”

Brady dug into the donut box and grabbed a fat chocolate iced donut with sprinkles, but my hungover tummy could not handle that. I told Hunter that I’d also like an omelet and Dom jerked her head toward me. Oh.

“Hi Dom,” I said, sweetly, trying to pretend we don’t hate each other.

“Hello,” she said back, pretending to be super into the zipper on her hoodie.

Brady and I played with the kids for a while (they are SO goddamn cute and smart. My ovaries were quaking) and then Hunter said we were going into the city. I quickly went and put on mascara and SPF and was ready, but then it took them 45 minutes to get the kids ready and packed into the family car – a big Mercedes GLS 450. Dom insisted on sitting in the back seat between the two kids and Brady sat up front with Hunter which left me in the third row alone. I played Angry Birds the whole way there.

We walked around the cold wharf area for a while looking at the water and marine life. Dom was really annoyed with being out with the kids, but was actually being kind of nice to me (she told me where to stand to get a good picture of the sea lions). We grabbed a quick (it’s never quick with kids) lunch where Brady, Hunter and I ordered cocktails/beer. This infuriated Dom.

“Seriously, Hunter. Can you go through one meal without having alcohol to drink? Your children are here and you are responsible for getting us home,” she said. She was obviously pissed, but kind of just sounded concerned too.

Hunter smiled. “Relax, baby. It’s one beer. I’m going to be fine.”

But then, he ordered another beer before we left the restaurant. Afterwards, when we got outside, Hunter and Dom walked ahead of a little bit and I could see that she was not going to let that slide.

“Dom doesn’t like Hunter to drink?” I asked Brady because I was trying to make sense of it.

He shrugged. “I never really know what’s going on with them.”

They came back over after a few minutes and Dom started wrangling the kids.

“She’s gonna take the kiddos home,” he explained as we all just watched.

“Should we walk her to the car or something?” I asked because it seemed weird to just send her off like that.

“Nah,” was all Hunter said.

Dom had a backpack on and the little boy in her arms and held on the little girl’s arm. “Okay, we’re gonna go.”

“Bye, honey,” Hunter said, pecking her on the lips.

We really should’ve helped her to the car because thinking back, she looked like a tiny single mother trekking back.

We took an Uber to a street of bars and went into a divey dark bar with a pool table and patio out back. Hunter and I secured a table while Brady went to get drinks for us.

“I feel like Dom never wants to hang out with us,” I said to Hunter.

“She doesn’t,” he confirmed and added nothing else.

Brady came back and Hunter began telling us about all the nerdy guys he works with and their lack of social skills with women. It was actually pretty funny, but then these two tipsy girls came over to play on the pool table and Hunter’s attention diverted that way. The girls were like kind of cute I guess, with their mousy brown hair, flowy Old Navy dresses and kitten heels (one of them had on flat white sneakers), but nothing special. But every so often Hunter would shout things to them like, “Ah, so close!” and “Lean into the shot.”

Eventually he got up and went over there to give his commentary face to face. I tried to stop him before he went.

“Hunter,” I called, obviously not loud enough for him hear. “Don’t be a predator.”

After Hunter left, Brady and I danced and made out and had a good time for a few hours on our own. When we realized it was after 5pm and we were hungry again, we decided to find him. The bar was filled with a completely different crowd than when we first got there and Hunter was no where to be found. I was so irritated.

“He needs to learn how to keep his dick in his pants,” I said to Brady as we stepped outside to call his Hunter. Brady gave me a weird look like I shouldn’t have mentioned his brother’s dick and I shut up after that.

We found Hunter at a bar across the street with one of the two girls from before. She was definitely cuter of the two with a clean fresh face, high cheekbones and had pulled her hair into a bun on top of her head. So Brady and I sat down at their table and ordered a bunch of bar food plus more drinks and just had dinner there.

We finally got home around midnight and successfully prevented Hunter from having sex with any random women. I think he would’ve tried it, but his girl from before left at 7:00pm and made it clear that Hunter was not allowed to come with.

Again, the house was silent when we got home and Hunter loudly made more drinks for us in the kitchen. We stayed up for another hour or so before retreating to bed. Brady and I were dying to hook up after being all over each other all day and we excitedly got undressed and in bed. I climbed on top of him and was riding him into the sunset (sunrise?) while he whispered dirty things to me (I love Drunk Brady), when we heard the faint sounds of people yelling. I was going to ignore it, but I’m nosy and stopped so I could hear better. It was definitely Dom and she was definitely mad.

“It’s fine, keep going,” Brady said. And then I heard stomping down the hall outside our door and one of the kids crying. I don’t know, it’s a bit hard to be turned on while hearing parents fighting and children crying.

The next morning, Brady and I stayed in bed until 9:45am then got ready before heading to the kitchen. Hunter was at the dining room table wearing big headphones and was working on his laptop and it was very quiet so I assumed Dom and the kids had left.

“Good morning!” Hunter bellowed, looking delighted. “Sleep well?”

Clearly he was being ironic because obviously we couldn’t sleep well with him and Dom sparring with each other all night.

We had Blood Marys for breakfast before heading to the airport for our 2pm flight. I feel like I need a break from Hunter and Dom until they get their shit together. The weekend exhausted me and not just because we drank for twelve hours straight on Saturday.

When I got to work on Monday, Mike called me to his office.

“I’m behind on some financial data that need to be reconciled by end of day tomorrow. I wanted to see if you have the bandwidth to be able to assist,” he said, not wasting anytime.

And even though I was already swamped, I want Mike to know/think he can count on me for everything. So I spent the next nine hours at the office working on this new assignment and then several hours into the evening at home.

“Work busy?” Brady asked, after even he’d finished his work and I was still working on my laptop.

“Yeah. Mike has me doing this financial reconciliation project that is taking forever. We really need to hire someone to do specifically this,” I said.

“You should tell him if it’s too much for you,” Brady said and it kind of annoyed me. Like you’re not the only one who can be busy and have a large workload.

That Thursday, a few of us from the office went out for happy hour. Kristina and Sam were both in attendance along with two other girls, who are a bit older. We went to a little bar and restaurant not far from the office and gossiped over margaritas and Moscow Mules. We sat for like two hours until I pulled out my phone and saw that Brendan had texted me.

“Thomas and I are at White Horse if you want to join,” he said.

I nudged Kristina and showed her. She got a devilish look in her eyes. “Let’s go.”

I let Brendan know that Kristina and I were going to finish up our drinks and then head over (even though it was on the opposite side of the island). Then we proceeded to order two more drinks and then stayed for an additional hour before hopping in a cab downtown.

By the time we got there, the place was packed with finance bros. Kristina and I elbowed our way in until we found Brendan and Thomas and their entire team crowded around a table.

“Heyyyy,” Thomas greeted us with drunk affection.

He called the server and ordered us beers. Thomas and Kristina immediately fell into conversation while Brendan introduced me to the rest of his team. They were all rugged looking with facial hair and big, rough looking hands and likely at least a few years older than Brendan. It looked kind of weird that he was hanging out with them and that he is their boss. He definitely fit in with the finance boys a little more with his peacoat and designer dress shirt. I can understand him struggling to be taken seriously.

“How’s your week been?” Brendan asked

I sighed dramatically. “Busy. I can’t believe it’s only Thursday.”

“Yeah, I totally feel the same. I’m actually staying in the city this weekend so it’ll be nice to relax,” he said.

“I’m excited for a weekend to do absolutely nothing,” I said and Brendan laughed.

A little later, some of the scruffs had gone home and just a few of us remained. Brendan ordered Jameson shots for us. We were all obviously drunk, but not in a rowdy way. We were actually very well behaved. I was mostly talking to Brendan and his employee, Aaron, as I was sitting between them.

The night was winding down and as Brendan was settling the check, Kristina leaned across to me. “What are we doing after this?”

“Literally going home,” I laughed back. “It’s 11PM.”

She pouted. “Okay, fine.”

As we were filing out of the booth, Brendan grabbed my hand and helped me out. Perhaps I was more drunk than I thought. As we were putting on our coats and walking out, he said, “If you aren’t doing anything this weekend, I’ll be around….”

My heart jumped into my throat and Kristina came and hooked her arm around my elbow.

“Okay,” I said back coyly, strangely delighted that he’d asked me to hang out with him.

I didn’t hang out with him. I deliberately kept my phone on Do Not Disturb all weekend which didn’t matter because I checked the thing every five minutes and he thankfully didn’t message me. Way too much Jameson.

Standard