he was the perfect height to slap.

Mike asked me to come in on New Year’s Eve. The office was closed, but he wanted to catch up on some things that supposedly couldn’t wait until Wednesday. I was so annoyed. Brady had to work also so we got up and got ready together.

When I got to the office, Mike was already there sitting in his big office alone. He wasn’t sitting in his rolling office chair though, instead in one of the side chairs with his legs wide open like he was waiting for a lap dance. He glanced up at me from his iPad briefly before motioning to the other chair.

“Hi Reese. Thanks for coming in today. Samantha has the day off,” Mike said.

As we all should.

“No problem,” I said back.

He listed off some “end of year” things that needed to get done before the day was over. I tried not to roll my eyes. Would it have killed him to give me this list before the last day of the year when I was supposed to be home making plans and day drinking?

An hour later, as I was digging into my list, Mike stopped by my office door with his laptop bag.

“I’m heading out. If you need anything today, please text me,” he said.

I looked down at the clock on my computer. It was 9:30am.

“Wow, this early?” I said as sweetly as I could. I really should have kept my mouth shut, but I couldn’t.

“Yes,” he sighed. “I’ll be back most likely Friday. Do you think you can handle things until then?”

I mean, not really.

“Sure.”

And I was absolutely furious because it wasn’t like I could just duck out after he left since he gave me actual work to do. What an asshole.

I turned on Ariana Grande and cranked out the work I needed to do and stayed until 4pm.

“Headed home. Pop the champagne,” I texted Brady on my way home.

He replied, “Not heading home and probably not getting off anytime soon.”

We actually didn’t have any plans, but that didn’t mean I wanted him at work all night.

“What the fuck ever, dude,” I replied to him.

When I got home, I opened a bottle of the expensive wine from Brady’s collection, took it to the bath with me, and stayed there for an hour. By the time Brady came home at 8pm, I was a bottle and a half deep, in velvet pajamas and raging mad.

“You’re so fucking inconsiderate,” I bombarded him at the door.

“Excuse me?” he said back.

“Why would you stay at work this late on New Year’s Eve?” I demanded.

“Because I have work to do. You know that, Reese,” Brady said and he walked past me.

“Well, we’re going out so get ready fast!” I shouted.

He came and found me in the bedroom where I was digging through the closet trying to find something to wear. “Where are we going?”

“Out. We’re meeting up with Lola.”

Brady put his hands on my waist, trying to kiss my neck. I pushed him off.

“None of that. If you would’ve come home at a decent time, we would’ve had time to do stuff. But you didn’t so we don’t!” I said. It sounded just like that infamous episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians when Kim went off on Kourtney.

I changed into a skort and tights with a body suit, booties and a fur jacket and packed my flask with tequila. We were meeting Lola, Kellen, Zeke and some others in Brooklyn for a house party because we didn’t buy tickets to a club. I couldn’t be bothered with a club anyway.

The party was in a large high-rise apartment with big windows everywhere. All of the lights were off and the place was being illuminated by the windows and neon purple lights. There was a pile of shoes at the door where all of the guests had ditched them. It seemed a bit unsanitary, but I was drunk enough from pregaming not to care.

Soon after arriving, it became apparent that everyone was on drugs and they were passing around baggies of crushed up molly and cocaine, I’m sure.

“Ew, why is everyone on fucking molly?” I asked Lola.

She was fighting with Kellen and he was with Brady doing their own thing. She was wearing leather pants, a hoodie and red socks and looked like a gothic Barbie with her long eyelashes and red lipstick.

“Grow up, Reese. It’s a party,” she said, rolling her eyes.

No one was really drinking though (too fucked up on everything else), but I found a guy who would take shots of Grey Goose with me. I’m too fucking old to be taking shots, I wish someone would stop me. Lola was tagging along with me nursing a can of Red Bull. Her pupils were the size of saucers all night.

At midnight, I was racing around trying to find Brady to make out with him, but I couldn’t find him until like 1:15am. Lola tsk-tsked the whole time because men cannot be trusted and she suggested he was up to no good. He walked back into the apartment from the hallway with Zeke and some other guys.

“Just where the hell have you been?” I demanded when I saw him.

“Getting some fresh air, Reese,” he smiled, using a tone like it was so obvious what he was doing.

Brady broke away from his friends and I was a bit quieter as I continued my tirade and followed him.

“Getting some fresh air?” I repeated. “You missed the countdown! I may as well have just come out alone!”

He turned and grabbed my shoulders like I am two years old. “Relax.”

“You fucking relax!” I exploded. “Don’t touch me.”

I stormed off and ignored Brady for the rest of the evening. Lola and I made our rounds and then settled into one of the couches with Zeke. They are both pro-anal and trying to talk me into it, but I just can’t. In fact, I won’t. I would never.

When it was time to go, Brady and I said our goodbyes and got in our Uber together then I cracked my knuckles to begin on him.

“It’s totally fine if you want to be irresponsible and pop pills and snort coke with your friends, but at least be considerate and don’t ditch me.”

He nodded. “Okay.”

“Asshole,” I mumbled.

The next morning, I woke up in bed alone. I felt like complete shit. Lola had texted me, “Kellen wants to know how Brady’s reaming went last night?”

I suddenly remembered leaving the party at the same time as Lola and Kellen and continuing to fight with him and telling them how I planned to kill him. Oops.

Brady was sleeping on the couch in all of his clothes with Tucker. Another New Years Eve spent fighting.

His mom texted me later in the morning. I was sitting on the living room floor with a homemade smoothie bowl (I wanted a bacon cheeseburger to cure my hangover, but new year, new me, bitch) and my phone vibrated.

“Hi Reese. Happy New Year to you. How are you?” she said.

It was like she knew I was sitting, unbathed, on the floor.

“Hi, I’m great. Thanks for asking. How are you doing?” I said back.

“Are you available for lunch on Thursday?”

She didn’t beat around the bush. I told her sure and she replied with a gushing message about having a great new year and something about the Bible.

That evening at dinner, I told Brady that he better deal with his mom.

“She’s going to try to get me to move out which is insane because I found this place!” I said.

“I’ll deal with it,” Brady assured me and I automatically didn’t believe him.

I was back at work on Wednesday. Most of what I’ve been doing was organizational stuff and tying up loose ends which was easy and satisfying. It’s funny – I am a total hot mess and disaster at home and my shit is so unorganized and it drives Brady crazy m. But at work, I am completely type A and everything has to have a place and be done correctly. I’m kind of psycho about it.

Samantha stopped by my office in the morning.

“Hi Samantha,” I greeted her.

“Hey, do you need anything from me today?” she asked.

“Uh, no?” I said.

“Okay. I’m supporting both you and Mike now so if you need anything, please let me know,” she smiled. “And call me Sam.”

I have a few theories. 1. Technically in my role, I’m supposed to have my own assistant, but Mike is being cheap and using Sam for both of us to save money. 2. Mike doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea about only him having an assistant so decided to extend her services to me. Plus he’s never in the office so might as well. 3. Sam just wanted to spend more time with me. I think it’s 3, obviously.

I was looking forward to lunch with Brady’s mom on Thursday. She let me know that she’d made reservations at The Smith for 11:30am. I took a yellow cab over and was shocked to discover that I beat her there. I never beat her anywhere! It was only by about two minutes, but still. She’s lucky she walked in when she did though because I was about to order two Bloody Mary’s and surprise her.

She hugged me and we sat and she asked me about work. I was happy to have something to talk about and rattled on about work for literally half an hour until the soup we ordered arrived. I kept thinking of things to add, telling her about our office, the companies we work with, what I find most interesting about work and even Mike. Because I am a talker. I talk way too much. Brady’s mom just nodded and occasionally smiled and asked questions. Bless her heart.

Eventually, she said, “Brady’s asked me to be patient with your living situation.”

“Mmhm,” I murmured.

“I think I’ve been very clear about why this doesn’t work. I’m sympathetic if there are financial hindrances preventing you from living alone. I wanted to let you know that our apartment is always open. We have a guest bedroom that we would be more than happy-”

Wait. What?

“There are no ‘financials hindrances.’ I could afford to live on my own if I wanted to. But I don’t, so…” I told her.

The mom tilted her head slightly, but didn’t say anything.

“I don’t know if you’re aware, but Brady invited me here with him – to live with him.”

“It’s disgusting,” she said sternly. “And it’s disappointing that you are choosing this path of disrespect.”

For some reason, I actually felt really bad that she thought I was deliberately disrespecting her.

“I assure you I’m not trying to be disrespectful at all and I don’t want you to get that impression. I’m sorry if Brady gave you false expectations, but I don’t plan on moving out,” I said.

“You need to. You really need to.” Brady’s mom had this crazy, psycho look on her face with flared nostrils and everything.

In that moment, I wanted to kill him for putting me in that situation. Why was it so hard for him to be honest with his parents? As you can imagine, the rest of the meal was awkward and we were both dying to get out of there. She was a bit abrupt when we said goodbye and did not hug me or say anything nice.

My mom texted me later, while I was at home waiting for Brady to get home so I could kill him.

“I guess you’ve really pissed Brady’s mother off if she feels like she needs to call me,” she said.

I called her immediately.

“What did she say?” I demanded.

“Hi doll!” my mom shouted into the phone. “Give me just a second, I just walked into Arhaus. Hi! Happy New Year to you! How is everything?”

My mom was having a full on conversation with a sales associate while I screamed at her to come back to the line. I was so mad about Brady’s mom that I was shaking.

“Hi babe, I’m sorry. They have such good stuff here. What’s going on?” Mom said.

“What did Brady’s mom say?”

“Oh, nothing, just that she doesn’t like y’all living together,” my mom said, downplaying the whole thing.

“And what did you say?”

“Well, she didn’t let me talk very much because she was very upset. Maybe you should think about finding your own place since y’all aren’t married.”

“Mom!” I screamed.

“The only reason I say that is because there are no laws to protect you if you’re just living together. That’s why people get married,” she explained.

“Mom, protect me from what?”

“You never know what could happen, honey. Cynthia [one of my mom’s hot mess friends] was dating a man and he just up and left one day, never to be heard from again. He left her with a car that wasn’t paid off, the house and all the bills and she couldn’t do anything because they weren’t married.”

Ugh. Just because Cynthia was an idiot doesn’t mean I am.

Brady got home at 9:30pm. He had a little white box from a bakery with him.

“I’m so annoyed,” I informed him.

“Yeah? Why?” I could tell he knew where the conversation was going and was over it.

“You know exactly why. You told your mom to be patient while I found somewhere to live. Why can’t you just tell her that I’m not moving? I fucking live here!”

In true Brady fashion, he sulked off, mumbling something about me needing to calm down. I chased him.

“This isn’t fair, honestly. I don’t owe your mother anything, you realize that right?”

“Yes, I realize that! And you made that very clear today when you met with her,” he snapped back.

“Of course I did!”

Brady started undoing his tie and getting undressed slowly.

“Should I just move out then?” I asked, calmly.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course not,” he said as he rolled his eyes. “I have it under control.”

“Clearly you don’t because your mom called me disgusting today!”

Brady didn’t say anything and walked out of the bedroom in just his t-shirt and slacks. I sat there and cried. I feel like I want this way more than Brady does. I don’t know what to do. He literally doesn’t even try. Why did I even bother moving here with him when he doesn’t put in any effort?

Later on, after I worked in the bedroom for a few hours while Brady worked in the living area, he came and found me.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

I was sitting Indian style on the bed and he came and kneeled down in front of me. I could’ve slapped him right then because he was at the perfect height.

“I could’ve stayed in Chicago. I was perfectly happy there. My job was going fine and all my friends are there,” I said.

“Really?” he actually seemed surprised.

“Yes. You clearly don’t give a shit about our relationship.”

“That isn’t true.”

I felt like it was still his turn to talk so I didn’t say anything.

“I’m sorry. It really doesn’t matter about my mom. You know I don’t care about her or what she thinks, we just have to deal with her because she is close-by.”

“Oh, I don’t have to deal with anyone. She’s not my relative,” I scoffed.

Brady nodded. “I know.”

And then he had the goddamn nerve to gently push me back on the bed so he could kiss all over my thighs really sweetly before going down on me. Which I was obviously going to let him. It’s like he never stops wanting to fool around and eat me out. That doesn’t make up for his lack of communication and lack of common fucking sense. I feel like the only thing he cares about now is my vagina.

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lying comes easy to me.

Mike didn’t show up at the office until Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we corresponded through email a bit, but I mostly caught up with people in the office. It quickly became apparent that no one was prepared for my arrival and had any idea that I was coming.

One of the girls, an account manager named Kristina, said, “Mike hired you? Really? For what?”

I laughed. Haters gonna hate.

“No, I’m not trying to be rude!” she quickly recovered. “He was hiring for a project manager. Is that you?”

“That’s me,” I said back.

Kristina looked embarrassed. “Amazing. That’s really cool. Where did you work before?” She had a deep voice, especially for her small body.

We chatted for a bit and decided to grab coffee (juice). I sensed I could get some good info from her and she seemed to like to talk.

“So you worked with Mike before?” she asked while we waited in line at Joe & The Juice.

I nodded. “For a bit. He left to take this job and no one had heard from him since.”

“Cool. We actually don’t see him often, but he’s brilliant when he speaks. He always has really intelligent things to say,” she said.

I searched her face for any trace of sarcasm, but she was serious.

“Yeah. He’s a bit intense and unnecessarily unkind, but he’s okay,” I said back.

We headed back and chatted on Google the remainder of the day. My first friend!

When Mike finally showed up on Thursday, I was perfecting some busy work he had assigned me while adding to my growing to-do list I was making for myself. I was also texting inappropriate things to Brady because I feel that it’s my duty to entertain/bother him while he’s working.

“Hi Reese,” I heard Mike’s voice from the door, sounding like a serial killer. I jumped five feet in the air.

“Oh, hi!” Mike was standing in my doorway wearing a suit and dress shirt with no tie and Samantha was peeking in from his side. Mike is kind of cute I guess, with his linebacker build, shaved head and pointy ears. “It’s good to see you.”

“Let’s touch base in fifteen minutes. Samantha will add it to your calendar,” he said, not sounding amused with me at all.

The thing about Mike is that he can’t be won over by batting eyelashes and compliments. I’d kind of forgotten that.

“Sure, that sounds great!”

For the next fifteen minutes, I wrote down a list of the observations I’d made and questions I had for him. I wanted to have something prepared just in case.

Mike wanted to meet in the conference room and before I even sat down, he explained that he had a to-do list for me. He didn’t bother looking up from his iPad.

“There’s a project we are right in the middle of and it’s a disaster. The contractors have pulled out of the agreement and the project has been put on hold, but we still have deadlines to meet. That is your first priority,” he said.

I scrambled to pull out my notebook to write this down.

“Second priority, we are juggling another project in Miami and it needs some tending to. I don’t have time to go to Miami. Head down there and see what’s going on. Take someone with you,” he continued.

“Okay.”

“Third priority, now that you’re here, we need to push for more accounts. We need more business. We will fail if they don’t open more accounts.”

Mike finally looked up from his iPad.

“Sounds great. I think I can handle this,” I said back. Mike is super intimidating, has Big Dick Energy and I hate how childish I sound around him.

“I’d hope so,” he said, looking at me like I was two years old.

I really forgot how lovely Mike is.

“Anything else?” I asked.

Mike didn’t answer me and started rattling off something to Samantha, who was sitting next to him. I got up and left.

That evening, Brady worked late which was perfect because I needed to buy gifts for him. Brady is hard to shop for because he’s basic, borderline minimalistic and doesn’t like things. I love things. Plus he’s busy so it’s hard to plan stuff for us to do together because I don’t know his schedule.

I decided on unnecessary electronics and books. I don’t fucking know. I got a set of classic books from Barnes and Noble to fill our bookcase. Aesthetic.

By the weekend, the gifts (from me) under the tree had filled up and we’d finalized our plans for Christmas. My parents would be getting into town (Boston) on Sunday afternoon and we’d meet them for dinner and drinks. We were all staying at a 5-star chain hotel per Brady’s mom’s recommendation, but the festivities weren’t starting until Monday.

On Saturday night, we got dinner with Lola and Kellen in Brooklyn. Afterwards, Brady thought it was a cute idea to invite them and others over. Which was fine because I bought half of Pier 1’s Christmas decoration inventory and it would be nice for people to see it.

Lola and Kellen came back with us and we made vodka tonics and whiskey gingers and turned on Lola’s Dub/Trap Christmas playlist.

“So he said to take someone to Miami with me and he didn’t say who. Are you in?” I was saying to Lola.

“Totally. I’d love to lay on the beach topless for a few days,” she said.

I was completely shocked when Anna of all people walked though the door a few minutes later. A few others had already arrived, but I hadn’t been expecting to see Anna. I thought she was living in Asia somewhere. She was bundled up in a weird witchy hat, scarf and peacoat and carried a bottle of wine.

“Hi there! Long time no see,” I greeted her.

Anna looked relieved that I was talking to her. “Hey! I know, it has been a while, hasn’t it? Um, I brought wine,” she said.

She was being kind of awkward so I took the wine and let her go do her own thing. Anna has always been a little bit weird in general, but especially with me.

Later on, most of us migrated outside to the terrace because they wanted to smoke. I was mingling with the other guests (Zeke and those guys), talking to them about the fast food industry, meat, and Hawaii. Eventually the others walked away, leaving me and Zeke alone to talk about sex.

I noticed Brady and Anna standing in the corner of the deck, turned away from us. Brady glanced back a moment, a pensive and upset look on his face. Ooo, I was dying to know that they were talking about.

“Heyyy, you two,” I greeted them, putting my arms around each of their shoulders. “What are you talking about?”

Neither of them said anything and Anna just looked at me with her creepy eyes and pale skin.

“Okay, I didn’t care anyway. Have fun!” I said and walked away.

After everyone was gone, Brady pinned me down on the couch and was saying super sweet and cute things to me.

“Mmhm, so you like me more than Anna?” I said.

“Of course. I love you more than anyone,” he said back.

It’s so sweet when Brady says things like that, but I literally could vom. I pushed him off and climbed on top of him so he would stop talking.

We drove to Boston on Sunday with Tucker and all of our gifts. We checked into our room and Brady immediately pushed me onto the bed and wiggled my jeans down. Could I at least freshen up after that long ride before he wanted to be all up in my vagina? He doesn’t care.

I needed to get fully dressed after that and put on jeans, a denim shirt, a fabulous leopard coat and pointy toe booties. My parents came to our room to meet us and I heard my loud ass mother before even opening the door.

“Well, hello! I don’t think the neighbors heard you so maybe speak louder!” I greeted them at the door.

“Hi, babe!” my mom squealed back, hugging me.

We all said our hellos and took an Uber to dinner. My mom was dressed in trendy Vans, boyfriend jeans and hoop earrings. I can’t deal with her.

After dinner, we went to a lounge for a few drinks which turned into us ending up at a gay bar/club. I don’t think any of us realized it was a gay bar, but it was close by the lounge and we heard music coming from the place we went in. The guy at the door had on a lot of leather and long dangly earrings, but that was fine. As long as they had alcohol and music.

It was 80s night. My parents danced for two hours straight while Brady stood at the bar awkwardly and I talked to a Bear who called me adorable. We hugged and exchanged numbers at the end of the night. I kept shouting over the music and telling everyone that it was Brady’s birthday and they kept buying him shots. After several, Brady asked me to stop and didn’t want to drink anymore so I ended up having to take the shots for him. Because you can’t just waste them.

On Monday, Christmas Eve and Brady’s birthday, a few of us got up to have breakfast. Brady’s parents were hosting Christmas Eve dinner at 5:00pm in the city and we didn’t have plans before then. Brady had already opened my lame gifts so I just wanted to make sure he had a good day.

We met my parents at the hotel’s restaurant after a joint shower and Hunter was standing, waiting with them.

“Well, hey hey hey! I heard you had a good night,” he said.

“So good,” I deadpanned.

We all sat and my mom started in on Hunter, wanting to know every last detail of his life. My mom is like me and can have a conversation with anyone about anything, but sometimes she can pry and ask questions that are inappropriate. She asked him how much his house in San Francisco cost and how much he has to make in order to afford his house, wife and two kids. Mom, you can’t just ask people that. Hunter didn’t care though and opened himself up like a book.

Afterwards, the parents, Brady and I walked along the wharf taking pictures before we got too cold. Later on, we got dressed for the dinner. We hadn’t seen any of Brady’s family besides Hunter which was odd since we were all staying in the same hotel. My mom texted me saying that she’d met a snooty woman at the spa though and could she possibly be related to Brady?

I replied, “Probably.”

I put on a plaid dress, faux fur coat, tights and booties and shivered outside as we waited for the car to take us to dinner. Just as our car was pulling up, Hunter and Dom and all of their children came downstairs. Hunter and Brady had on basically the same white button down gray pants and black coat and I thought that was so cute. Dom wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.

“Ohh, the kids are so cute,” I couldn’t help saying because they were. The little boy was all dressed up in shiny shoes and had wild curly hair everywhere that he obviously doesn’t like to get brushed. The little girl who Dom was carrying and was about Dom’s size, had huge blue eyes and deep caramel skin. She had a big black bow in her hair – Dom’s attempt at Christmas spirit.

“They are gorgeous!” my mom cried.

“I do make cute kids, I’ll say that,” Hunter smiled at me.

Dom rolled her eyes and turned so the adorable little girl was out of our view. What a bitch. Brady, my parents and I waved and took off in our car. Dinner was at a beautiful restaurant in a suburb. Brady’s mom had done a good job picking it out. She booked a private room with a fireplace and huge floor to ceiling windows and a wooden table long enough to accommodate everyone.

I immediately saw Brady’s Aunt Kat with her tits out and her two gremlin children. She was talking to Brady’s grandmother who was wearing a fabulous red blazer and big statement clip on earrings. She’s gaudy just like both of my grandmothers and I think that’s so relatable. I think one of Brady’s aunts on his dad’s side was there also, one of those pretentious ladies from New York. Probably who my mom saw at the spa. You know people who walk around looking at everyone like you are supposed to perform a circus act for them? I try to avoid eye contact.

There were some introductions – Brady’s mom loved being a host. I noticed she didn’t bother acknowledging us as she was too busy elsewhere. So I ordered a cocktail.

By the time we all sat down for dinner, I’d talked to Brady, my mom and Aunt Kat about New York City, my dad and Hunter had hit it off (what the fuck did they have to talk about?) and Brady’s grandma had ordered several of the $200 bottles of wine for the table. I love her. I sat next to Brady on one side and my mom on their other, right across from Dom. Oh, what fun.

“I am thrilled that all of you are here,” Brady’s mom called from the end of the table. “Today is a special day and I thank each and every one of you for being here. Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” everyone mumbled back.

Brady’s mom began to sit down, but she forgot the most important part of the day.

“It’s also Brady’s birthday,” I blurted out. And when I saw Brady glance over at me in horror, I pointed to him enthusiastically.

“Oh yes. And it is Brady’s birthday,” his mom said, continuing to sit down.

“Happy birthday!” people murmured to him and his neck started to go red. He looked like he wanted to kill me. I wanted to suggest we all sing happy birthday to him, but didn’t want to push it.

Some things happened at dinner.

1. My mom told anyone who would listen about her past career as a therapist. Can you imagine my mother being your therapist? She told scandalous stories about her past clients (who she ended up being friends with, of course), and I kept pinching her under the table because who knew what these women hid behind closed doors? They probably had the same scandals as my mom’s former clients.

2. Dom kept trying to talk to Hunter and he wasn’t paying any attention to her. It was kind of sad to see. Eventually I could tell she was getting irritated and was tugging at his shirt like a nagging gnat. His shirt was literally hanging off his shoulder from where she was pulling at it.

3. Hunter and my dad kept smirking at each other and giggling like they shared some secret. Why did my dad and Hunter have inside jokes?

4. I was talking with my hands as I do and knocked over my half full glass of red wine all over the white table cloth and some on Brady’s shirt. Hunter and my dad pointed at each other and smirked when this happened. You can imagine the face I made at them.

5. Brady’s grandmother called Brady’s mother melodramatic and a martyr because she wouldn’t stop talking about how she much she put into planning Christmas. Then Grandma cackled loudly just like my grandmother.

6. I noticed that Brady’s parents are a lot older than my parents. By at least 10-15 years. I noticed because my mom was talking to Kat and even she looked/acted older than my mom (my mom thinks she’s 25, but still) and I remembered Kat saying Brady’s mom is a lot older than her.

After we all ate, we had a little mingling session and continued sipping wine. During a brief moment when Brady was using the restroom and my parents were deep in conversation with Brady’s dad, I was standing alone and Brady’s mom made a beeline for me.

“Hiiiii!” I greeted her enthusiastically. I’ve seen her so much lately that it seems like we are friends.

“Hi, Reese,” she scowled. “I wanted to ask you, have you had any luck finding your own place in the city yet?”

“Excuse me?” What was this broad talking about now?

“Because the two of you are not married, it is completely inappropriate for you and Brady to be living together. I understand your living situation is temporary and I am happy to help if you need any guidance finding an apartment. New York City can be tough-”

I literally laughed at her. The bitch is crazy.

“We can connect in the next few weeks to discuss some options for you. I do have friends in my network who can assist. I’m not trying to rush you as I know it is hard, but living like this is not allowed,” she continued.

Before I could say anything back, Brady’s other aunt came over to talk to her. I couldn’t wait to talk to Brady about it. I watched him walk back into the room, softly closing the door behind him because he’s so sweet, he didn’t want to interrupt anyone’s conversation. He strode toward me and his face lit up when he saw me watching him. Ugh, Brady is so fucking cute. Ever since he started working out, his face looks more defined and like, older almost, but in the best way. Plus, he filled out his gray pants so nicely. The only imperfection on him was the small drop of wine on his shirt.

“Hey,” he greeted me.

I leaned over to whisper in his ear, deciding at the last minute to bite the lobe – so hard that he flinched.

“Your mom confronted me about why I haven’t found my own place yet. I didn’t even know I was looking for my own place,” I said.

Brady gave me his typical look of confusion and then alarm and then annoyance. “I told her it was temporary just to shut her up. It’s fine, don’t worry.”

“Brady, you are 31 years old. Are you fucking kidding me?” I said back, smiling despite myself.

“I know, I know.”

Suddenly, I was so over it. I am adult and it’s not like I owe her anything or she’s paying any fucking rent. No. I am not dealing with her. That’s something Brady will have to handle.

We headed back to the hotel later. We made plans to meet at the hotel bar with my parents and Hunter. I changed out of my dress and put on something more cozy, grabbed Tucker, then we headed out. Everything was fine – they were all talking about Trump, of course, until Dom waltzed in. Where was the little zoo of children?

“What are you doing?” she asked Hunter in a hushed voice, gritting her teeth.

We all sipped our drinks and watched the altercation go down. Because Hunter had been sitting right next to me, I had a front row view of the action.

Eventually, after some back and forth whispering, Hunter stood up.

“Good night, ladies and gentlemen,” he said.

I hope I’m not that much of a bitch when I’m a wife.

When we got back to our room it was late, but Brady deserved birthday sex. Afterwards, to ruin the mood, I brought up his mom again. Imagine discussing Brady’s dry ass mother while we were naked and covered in each other’s bodily fluids. It was so romantic.

The next morning, Brady wanted to give me my gift right away, but I made him wait until I showered and washed my hair first. I assumed it would be some sort of item I’d need to try on so I wanted to be clean for it. Especially if it was an engagement ring.

But it wasn’t. He handed me two envelopes and told me to open the larger one first. He booked a trip for us to Paris!

“Hopefully the riots are finished by then,” Brady said.

I literally cried because I’ve never been to Paris and I’ve always wanted to go. Brady laughed at me and told me to open the other envelope. He also booked a trip for me to go Arizona, but I was confused when I saw that it was booked for me and Kendra.

“John and I coordinated it so the two of you could take a weekend trip together. I know you miss her and she’s busy…” Brady explained.

Wait. That was so thoughtful. I felt guilty for getting him random bullshit. Brady gets the award for best gift giver.

We got dressed and headed downstairs to drive to Brady’s parents house for the rest of the Christmas festivities. We had breakfast that Brady’s mom catered and then we sat around talking over mimosas for most of the morning. There were a ton of gifts under the tree, but it was super unclear who they were for or if they were even real or if they were there for show.

A few hours later, drunk on mimosas, Brady came and found me sitting in a big armchair. I was engrossed in my phone and he sat on the arm of the chair next to me.

“Dom said something weird to me a few minutes ago,” he said, making sure to be quiet.

I dropped my phone.

“She said something sort of suggesting she doesn’t trust you with Hunter or Hunter with you. Do you have any idea why she would say that?” he said.

It’s so not like Brady to bring something like this up in such a public setting especially when the person in question was still around, but he seemed to be genuinely confused and weirded out by what she said.

“Why is she talking about me?” I wanted to know.

He shrugged. “I’m just as clueless as you are.”

I could’ve come clean and told him about the time Dom caught me and Lexi FaceTimeing Hunter. Like, I’m innocent. It was the easy and mature thing to do. But I panicked and I guess lying comes easy to me. I told him I had no idea what she was talking about.

I avoided Dom, Hunter and Brady’s mom and dad (just due to association) the rest of the evening.

I don’t think I have anything else to share. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, I love you all!

Standard

you have to trust your intuition.

On Friday night, Brady’s team at work had a holiday dinner/get together. He didn’t tell me until 2:00pm that he was going and that I was invited.

Andrea had planned it and Brady said he’d stop by at home quickly to change and then we’d go. Obviously I didn’t have much going on at work so I met him at home so I could change (black turtleneck, skirt, tights, booties and a wool cabby hat) also.

Brady got home and I danced around and bothered him while he got undressed to change.

“You look amazing,” he said, grabbing my ass under my skirt.

I let him grope me for a few minutes before I grabbed him hands to stop him.

“Enough of that. Let’s get going.”

Brady looked disappointed. “Are you sure?”

I nodded. “Later.”

He seemed satisfied with that answer and finished getting dressed. We took an Uber to a dimly lit dive bar and restaurant with wood paneling and shabby Christmas lights and wreaths everywhere. It reminded me of my friend from grade school’s basement at her house, the one we used to avoid going in because it was super creepy.

Andrea was already there, wearing reindeer ears, and her face lit up when she saw us (Brady).

“Hi, you guys!” she squealed and shoved her hand toward me. “You must be Reese! I’ve heard so much about you!”

I liked her teeth. They were straight, but kind of fanned out and weren’t all uniform in size.

“You too, Andrea. So nice to finally meet you,” I said politely.

We joined the rest of the team and their significant others – about a dozen people or so total.

I sat in a seat right next to Andrea and she said, “Brady says you are an interior decorator.”

I looked back and forth between them blankly. “Hmm, not at all. I work for an interior design firm, but hardly ever do any designing. I work on the business side. But close though.” I smiled at Brady.

“Yeah, I was telling her what an amazing job you’ve done with our apartment,” he clarified.

“Anyway,” I said, deflecting. “What’s your story, Andrea? Where are you from, where did you go to school, et cetera.”

She started telling me and I zoned out, but somehow asked relevant follow-up questions and asked her to elaborate. It’s so mean how I do that, but I literally can’t help it. She was sweet enough though and I guess I’m happy Brady has a friend at work. Somehow Andrea just isn’t as annoying as Sydney and I can’t exactly figure out why.

Brady wasn’t feeling well so we left after only two drinks and a small appetizer. I was actually pretty tired myself and while Brady’s coworkers were nice, they were incredibly boring. And we were the only group in the bar which is odd for a Friday night. It was time to go home.

Brady still didn’t feel well on Saturday. He becomes such a baby when he’s sick and he didn’t want to leave the house all day. I went to the grocery store in the morning, made us lunch and then we watched movies all day on the couch. By the time the evening rolled around, I had cabin fever and quite literally jumped in the shower when Lola texted me asking to hang out.

“Where are you going?” Brady asked, looking like a little boy wrapped up in blankets on the couch.

“Just out for a couple hours with Lola. I won’t be out long!” I said. I’d put on jeans, an oversized sweater and booties.

He looked disappointed, but said okay and went back to the Tom Cruise movie he was watching. We had probably watched three movies featuring Tom Cruise that day and that is beyond enough Tommy for one day.

I met Lola at a little tiki themed bar in a hotel. The place was packed and the guy at the door attempted to give me a hard time getting in. I rolled my eyes and said, “It’s fine. I’m gonna call my friend who is inside so we can go elsewhere.”

The guy smiled and said, “Listen, I’ll let you in even though I shouldn’t. Don’t get into any trouble.”

I can’t stand a place that has a pretentious bouncer and if the place hadn’t been completely packed with beautiful, well dressed people, I would have grabbed Lola and went somewhere else.

We ordered two viciously strong drinks in skull mugs and tucked ourselves into a corner to catch up. Within an hour, we had attracted two bros and despite our short answers and apathetic faces, they wouldn’t go away. Lola is even more of a bitch than me.

Eventually she said, “Okay well, we’re leaving.” And she marched over to the bar and ordered another drink.

I was telling her about Brady’s family and Christmas and what a mess it was all destined to be.

“Can you please Instagram live Christmas dinner?” she said.

“I know. Like I can’t imagine what we are all going to talk about,” I said back.

“I feel like Jimmy Kimmel needs to host dinner and be a buffer.”

And then I told her what my mom said about Brady proposing.

Her eyes got big. “Do you really think he is going to?”

“I mean no, but still. What if he does?”

Lola shuttered. “I don’t believe in marriage, but more power to you both.”

“You don’t?”

“No way. I would never! Can you imagine getting married to someone and giving him your whole life and then the asshole cheats on you or gets another woman pregnant? I’d have to kill him,” she said.

Lola has even more trust issues than I do and is convinced that all men cheat. But somehow she still has a boyfriend who she completely neglects. I thought about when Brady told me he doesn’t want to get married. Maybe he has the same mindset as Lola!

Anyway, by 3, we were at our third bar and completely trashed. Lola was shaking her ass on some guy to EDM music, occasionally dropping down low while hanging onto his jeans so she didn’t fall. There was a small crowd forming.

She leaned over to me. “Should we leave?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

We left abruptly, not saying goodbye to any of our friends/fans. I suggested we stop for pizza at a 24 hour place next door. There was a tall guy with big shoulders in front of us in the pizza line and naturally I began chatting to him. He was from Wisconsin or Minnesota or something so I vaguely remember talking to him about Chicago and football and religion. The line was long so we talked for what felt like forever. After we all got our pizza, I made a beeline for the door and my new friend followed.

“Hey, can I get your Instagram?” he asked.

And to my surprise, I recited it to him. A girl can’t say no to Instagram followers, can she? I went back and checked his profile the next morning and discovered that he was 1. really hot and 2. engaged. He kind of looked like Nick from Chicago and had 12,000 followers. I followed him back.

When I got back home, I woke Brady up. He was sleeping soundly in bed and I came clamoring in, taking off my jeans and I face planted. I quickly recovered and climbed in bed with Brady.

“Are you feeling better?” I asked in what I thought was a soft and soothing voice, but Brady shushed me.

“I’m feeling okay. A bit more rest and I’ll probably be back to 100%,” he said. “How was your night?”

I was already on top of him and grinding on his penis. We started to have sex and then I thought of something.

“Hey, if you’re planning on proposing please let me know so I can get my nails done.”

“What?” Brady looked at me like I was crazy.

“Proposing at Christmas…” I said.

“I-I’m not ready to propose…” he said back.

“Oh.”

We continued and I feel asleep. When I woke up on Sunday morning, Brady was up making breakfast and watching some sort of sports game on tv.

“I feel like shit,” I said, crawling on the couch with Tucker. I drank way too many of those fruity drinks at the tiki bar.

“I figured you would so I’m making you breakfast,” Brady said. Trying to make up for not wanting to propose to me, I guess.

And I know I’m somewhat vegetarian, but the bacon Brady was making was the only thing that could break my hangover.

Despite corresponding with Samantha throughout the week, I was still unclear what was happening for my first day on Monday. I got ready and headed to the office and discovered neither Mike or Samantha was there.

“I’ll show you where I think you’ll be working though,” the girl at the front said.

She took me to a small conference room that only had a long table and chairs. Excuse me?

I texted Samantha to ask what was going on and she said, “I forgot you were starting today. Mike isn’t coming into the office, but I’ll be there later on. We can meet then.”

Uh, okay?

I left my things in the conference room and walked around, taking in my surroundings. There were about ten private offices and a little shared space with cubicles. If anyone thought I was going to take a cubicle, they were sadly mistaken. There was a cute reception area with a teal circle bench, mirrored sideboards stacked with books and orchids. I saw what looked like awards and certificates in gold frames on the walls.

Since I didn’t know what else to do, I grabbed my things and went to a coffee shop to work. Since I didn’t have anything to work in yet, I walked around some stores. What? Was I supposed to just stay in that office doing nothing?

Samantha finally texted me just before lunch asking where I was. The whole thing was just weird. I spent the remainder of the day setting up my email and laptop and (private) office. Samantha tried to sit me in a corner desk in the room with the cubicles and I asked her if she was sure if it was where I was supposed to be sitting. She wasn’t and had to text Mike. And just as I suspected, I was supposed to have my own office. You have to listen to your intuition. The whole office is really small, less than fifty people total, which is different for me. Mike never showed up.

When I checked my phone at the end of the day, Brady had texted me saying that his parents invited out for dinner and drinks.

“Drinks?” I said back, laughing to myself. Brady’s parents are not people to go out for “dinner and drinks.”

“I don’t know. We are meeting them at 7:30pm.”

Which at least meant Brady wasn’t going to stay at work until midnight.

I got home and changed into heels, put on powder and lipstick and poured a glass of wine since we were “getting drinks” anyway. Brady came home and needed to shower and put on different clothes. He rushed into the shower, but came out and talked to me while he was getting dressed.

“How was your first day?” he asked.

“Unproductive. Mike wasn’t even there and he didn’t give anyone instructions for what I was supposed to be doing. I spent the day decorating my office,” I said.

“Okay. Did you at least get a sense of what the office and people are like?” Brady asked.

I shrugged. “Yeah. Everyone is fine. I’m sure I’ll have more to report later.”

When we got to the restaurant for dinner, Brady’s parents were obviously already there waiting for us. They chose a restaurant in a hotel with an expensive prix fixe menu. I wondered what the occasion was.

I feel like now I can tell what kind of interaction it’s going to be based on Brady’s mom’s initial greeting. This time, we met them in the lobby and Brady’s mom hugged him and asked how he is doing and made small talk before even acknowledging me. So that’s the kind of evening it was going to be.

We sat down and started dinner and I figured I’d just sit there not talking since Brady’s mom had gone out of her way to exclude me. Brady and his dad started talking about Donald Trump, the looming government shutdown, investigations, Twitter, etc. Brady’s mom was chiming in every so often, but mostly just nodding in agreement. I realized that they all disapproved him.

“It’s really just a shame. No one predicted that this is the way this presidency would play out,” Brady’s mom said.

Brady and his dad nodded in agreement.

“Actually,” I butted in, even though I knew I shouldn’t have. “We all knew it was going to be exactly like this. That’s why we didn’t vote for him.”

They all looked at me.

“From a policy standpoint, a lot of them aligned with my views as well,” Brady’s dad said.

“What policy?” I had to know.

“Immigration,” Brady’s dad said, matter-of-factly.

“You are kidding,” I mumbled, just as Brady’s mom started talking, something about Hillary Clinton

“Just because we oppose Donald Trump does not mean we are pro Hillary Clinton,” I said. I couldn’t believe we were even still having this conversation.

Brady’s mom just glared at me and continued talking like I wasn’t even there. They changed the subject soon after that and I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Later on, as we were leaving the restaurant, Brady’s dad fell into step by me.

“You know, we Americans are loyal to our political party. And with any presidency, there are highs and lows. Rights and wrongs. There have been mistakes, but we can only go up from here,” he said.

We? I actually didn’t want to talk about this with him anymore. When we got home though, I sounded off.

“I think it’s so fucking insane how Americans are against immigration as if they are indigenous in the first place,” I said.

Brady nodded.

What really fucked my night up though is when we were in bed fooling around. I was just in my thong and a ratty old VS Pink tee and Brady was in between my legs making his way down my body. And to my absolute horror, he grabbed a handful of my love handles on each side and grinned at me.

Excuse me? It is probably the rudest thing he’s ever done. Brady is too much of a gentleman to ever comment on my appearance unless it’s gushing praise so I was shocked and completely mortified that he was essentially calling me fat or saying that I have gained weight. I haven’t eaten since.

*Merry Christmas, friends! I’ll see you next week!*

Standard

i wish i hadn’t taken this job.

Something weird happened.

On my first day of work, I realized that I didn’t want to work with jewelry. I wanted to work in interior design. It’s what I love and what I’m passionate about. As I was going through my onboarding, it dawned on me that I was not excited about jewelry and even though the office was beautiful and everyone was really nice, I was not excited about the new job.

I was thinking, “Great. I made the wrong decision again.”

During my lunch break, I checked my phone and saw that Scott had called and texted me and Mike had texted me. Y’all remember Mike? I was dying to know what he wanted so I opened his message first.

“Hi. I hear you’re in NYC. Let’s meet for lunch,” he said, staying true to his cold and demanding self.

I said back, “Hi Mike. You heard correctly – I live here now! Here’s my schedule…”

Scott had texted me, “Hey! How are you? I know you’re in the market for a new job and I think Mike is looking for someone so I told him to reach out to you. I’m not sure what the opportunity is, but it’s worth looking into. We are missing you here in Chicago…” He continued on telling me about the office and his dog.

How funny that the moment I realized I wanted to be back in interiors, I potentially had an opportunity back in interiors.

My first day was fine though. Quite boring and everyone was dying to meet me. And that’s fine and all, but I didn’t remember a single person’s name.

When I got home, Brady was home. He was on a video conference call and I debated lifting my shirt and flashing his colleagues. But I didn’t.

When he was finally off his call, he immediately wanted to know how my first day went.

“It was fine, but Mike and Scott texted me. Mike found out I’m here and has a job I might be interested in,” I said.

Brady’s jaw clenched. “Scott texted you?”

“Just to tell me about Mike.”

“Okay.”

“So I’m having lunch with Mike on Wednesday. People at work have already put lunches on my calendar for this week. They’re so annoying,” I said.

“Okay,” Brady said again. He went in the kitchen and started pulling things out to make dinner.

“I hope it’s something good,” I went on. “Like I was so bored today when I was learning about what I’d be doing.”

“You probably want to figure things out. I don’t recommend hopping from job to job until you find something you like. Maybe you shouldn’t have left your job if you weren’t sure,” Brady said.

“I mean, of course I shouldn’t have left if I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t know and I definitely didn’t expect Mike to reach out to me,” I said back defensively.

“Just figure out what you want to do, Reese. You don’t want all these random holes in your resume.”

He sounded like my dad.

“Oh my God, Brady, where are the holes? I had my job for two and a half years and before that I was with my last company for over two years also. Why are you lecturing me like I don’t know this? You just got a new job, why can’t I?” I said.

“I’m sorry, I’m not trying to lecture you. I am trying to help.” His voice softened. “I just want you to have a career you are proud of.”

I rolled my eyes and stormed off. Scott was still texting me and we texted for a little bit. I’m still mad he didn’t give me a reference even though he said he would.

Brady came and found me a little while later.

“Do you want to go out and find something for dinner?” he asked.

“Fine,” I said back, realizing I was a bit hungry.

We got sushi for dinner and then Brady suggested we stop somewhere else for drinks. We went to a nearby sports bar to drink tequila and watch football. Afterwards, I could tell Brady had a lot to drink because he followed me into the bedroom while I was taking my coat off and grabbed my jeans.

“Can I at least take my jacket off before you start molesting me?” I pretended to be annoyed, but obviously I didn’t mind.

“I can’t help it,” he said, kissing the back of my neck.

I turned around and we kissed for a bit before I decided that Brady deserved a blowjob because he’s just so cute. His penis gets so erect when we are fooling around – like more than I’ve ever seen on another guy and I like that.

Suddenly, he yanked me off my knees by my arm and pushed me over the side of the bed. In one swift motion, he pulled down my jeans and pushed right into me. I had to grab onto the bed to catch myself. He immediately came.

On Tuesday, Heidi took me to lunch. Tons of people were adding things to my calendar and coming over to my desk to chat and I was overwhelmed by all of it. One of the girls who works on my team came up to me and started talking about Chicago and my previous job. I didn’t remember telling her any of it or talking to her at all previously. I even said, “So sorry, what was your name again?” at the end of the conversation. She didn’t seem to like that, but what was I supposed to do?

I stopped at the grocery store after work so I could make pho for dinner. By the time Brady got home, dinner and dessert were both ready and the house was clean and the laundry was done. It was 10pm.

“Dinner looks amazing,” he said as he was putting his laptop and coat away. And then he came over to me. “But you look even better.”

I peeled him off since he was literally stuck to me like a leech. “None of that yet. You have to try my pho.”

“Okay,” Brady said reluctantly.

We ate and I told Brady about work. Well, complained.

“There are literally no men in the office. Which is totally fine, except not fine at all. Everyone wants to be my friend and it’s like a big sorority house. I hate it,” I said.

He laughed. “Shouldn’t everyone wanting to be your friend be a good thing?”

“It’s not! I haven’t had a chance to even fucking think because everyone has been hounding me,” I told him.

After dinner, we headed to the couch to do naughty things. Blow job, sex, and then sex again. And then we watched Love, Actually.

I didn’t prepare for my lunch with Mike on Wednesday mostly because I was thinking about having sex with Brady and his perfect penis.

We met at a little French café a few blocks from my office. It was small and Mike and his assistant were sitting at a tiny table in the corner. I could tell before even hearing them that he was barking orders at her. Aw, I kinda missed him.

I approached the table and the assistant waved at me as a greeting. Mike didn’t even look up or stop talking and just nodded at the empty seat across from. Always so charming, that Mike. A server came over and I ordered a frisée salad even though neither of them were eating.

A few minutes later, after I’d drank an entire glass of lemon water, Mike finally seemed to notice I was there.

“Reese, hi,” he said, glancing up at me. “Good to see you. How is everything?” It seemed so forced, like it pained him to ask how I’m doing.

“Everything is going fine. I love being in New York. Thanks for asking,” I said back.

“Okay. Yeah, glad to hear. Where are you working?” he said, pulling out his phone to multitask while making small talk with me.

I briefly explained my new job and let him know my feelings about all of it. When I mentioned that the job was not in décor and interiors and I wanted it to be, his head shot up.

“If that isn’t what you want to do, then what do you want to do?” Mike asked me.

I took a moment to think before giving an answer. I thought about how happy I was at my previous job with Diana. I loved what I was doing back then.

Before I could articulate that, Mike said, “I’m not sure if you heard but I’m heading an award winning commercial architectural design and firm. We – well I -need someone to take over a mid-level role. My first thought was Scott, but of course, he is not relocatable.”

“Right,” I said.

“Then he suggested you. I had a feeling you’d end up here at some point. The job is everything you’ve done before, I’m sure it pays more than what you’re making now and it’ll be reporting directly to me.”

I almost laughed at him saying “you’ll report to me” as if that was some sort of added benefit.

“I don’t know if you’re interested, but I think you should be,” Mike continued. He asked his assistant to send a job description to me and she nodded without looking up.

“Yeah, I’d love more information to consider this,” I said.

“Essentially, you’re in charge of all of our corporate projects. We work with corporate offices, restaurants, hotels, luxury apartments, car dealerships, that kind of thing. Your role is to see each project through completion,” Mike said. He instructed the assistant to send me a portfolio.

“That sounds nice,” I said. I liked the sound of the job, but I didn’t want to make any sudden movements.

“We have to get going. Please email me if you have any questions,” Mike said abruptly.

I hadn’t even gotten my salad yet. Like thanks for inviting me to lunch and then not even treating me to said lunch. Mike and his assistant left and I texted Brady letting him know what happened.

“Is it something you want to do?” he asked.

“Of course!” I replied.

“And you’d work with that guy again?”

“Mike?”

“Scott.”

“No, I’d be working with Mike. It’s a totally different company.”

“Okay. Go for it if you want.”

I sensed Brady was unamused with my continued job search so I continued my lunch in silence.

Mike’s assistant called me that afternoon.

“Hi Reese, it’s Samantha. Mike wanted me to reach out to see if you have any questions,” she asked.

I hadn’t even had a chance to read through the job description she’d sent yet.

“Hi, not at this time. I might later though. I can email him if I need anything,” I said.

“Okay. He also wanted to know when you’d be able to start?” Samantha asked. “It’s no rush, but he said he wants someone by Christmas and he’s talking to a few other candidates….?”

“Probably soon, Sam. I’ll let him know, okay?” I said.

“Okay, Reese. Thanks!”

Mike’s always been super aggressive so I wasn’t surprised that he was having his assistant put pressure on me.

I went back through and reviewed my contract that I’d just signed on Monday and tried to figure out if there was even a way out of it. The bonus hadn’t hit my account yet, but as far as I could tell, if I quit, I’d have to pay it back. Gladly!

Since Brady didn’t seem to want to talk about careers with me anymore, I texted Scott.

“Working with Mike is very, very tough. But I think you’d learn a lot,” he said.

“I’ve worked with him before,” I pointed out.

“Not very closely. You worked closely with me and I worked closely with him,” Scott countered. I rolled my eyes.

“The office I work in is full of women and they ramble and gossip all day long. It’s like being at a Sunday brunch with 5,000 girls everyday,” I said.

“I don’t know what that’s like but I can imagine.”

“Today one of the girls in my office had a meltdown because she’s turning 26 and has to get her own health insurance. Everyone crowded around her and consoled her for like two hours. I told her that her hangovers would also become more debilitating and it would be much harder to lose weight and everyone looked at me like I’d committed a crime.”

“I can’t lie, I wish you were coming back to work here you me. Your absence is noticed, that’s for sure,” he said.

That seemed like a good place to end the conversation and I didn’t text back. Brady worked late again so I spent the evening writing a resignation letter to Heidi. What? You have to be prepared.

The next morning, I woke up to three messages from Mike.

One said, “Have you thought about the job, tease?”

And then he said, “I mean Reese.”

And then he sent me a picture of the dark-ish sky from a window. In the reflection of the window, I could see Mike and his big shoulders taking the photo. He looked kind of hot in the reflection.

“View from the office,” he captioned.

I didn’t get a chance to respond because Brady came out of the bathroom in just his towel looking like he wanted to get some.

After a super quick hookup and a shower, I texted Mike back, “How much are you paying?”

Blunt, but what was the point of beating around the bush?

When Mike didn’t respond, I was afraid I scared him off, but then Samantha emailed me.

“Mike wanted me to send this to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

Attached was a job offer with a starting date of 12/17/18 and a benefits packet.

I didn’t reply and focused on work all day. I was still just doing training, but shockingly I’d gone to two meetings in the morning and had a lot to say during them. I always have a lot to say, but still.

With all that was going on, I forgot about the big Christmas extravaganza until my mom sent me a screenshot of their flight confirmation.

“We can’t wait to see y’all!”

So then I was super worried everything that was obviously going to go wrong. Plus I needed a fabulous dress to wear.

Brady worked on Saturday again. That was fine, Lola and I needed to catch up anyway. We met up for a boot camp class at 10am and then headed to brunch. I told her all about my work situation.

“Mike sounds like an arrogant prick. I’m obsessed with him,” she said.

“I assure you, he sounds more intriguing than he really is. The job sounds so fun though! I wish I hadn’t taken this job,” I said.

“Just tell them you’re not coming back. Like yeah, maybe you wasted a little bit of their time, but who cares? People have done worse,” Lola advised.

“What about my contract and signing bonus?” I asked.

“Send it to me. I’m sure it’s really easy to get out of as long as you pay back the bonus. Plus, I’m sure they aren’t going to want you around for a whole year if you don’t want to be there. You’re doing them a favor.”

She was right.

After brunch, we ran some errands (shopped and tried on clothes) until Brady texted me letting me know he was coming home from work. So I rushed home because I’d been thinking about fucking him all day.

I showered and put on yoga pants and a white cropped sweater and waited for Brady to get home. He finally walked through the door and I jumped on him before he could put his things down.

“It’s good to see you too,” he laughed, pushing me off slightly.

“I’ve been waiting for you all day,” I pouted.

“Have you?” Brady stepped around me and sat his bag and jacket down on our entry table.

“Yes, I missed you,” I said, throwing my arms around his neck.

Brady peeled me off and gave me a quick kiss. “I told some friends we’d meet them for dinner and I need to shower.”

Ugh.

I let him go shower while I procrastinated getting ready. I still had plans of hooking up and I didn’t want to ruin my dinner outfit. When I heard the shower turn off, I barged into the bathroom. Brady was stepping out of the shower, obviously naked, reaching for his towel. I threw off my sweater and unhooked my bra while he started to ask what I was doing. But then he realized and didn’t have any questions after that. We had sex facing the foggy mirror and it was amazing. Brady and his magical penis. I needed another shower after that then I got dressed in black jeans, a satin button down and a Helmut Lang bomber.

We met up with Zeke and some of their other friends at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar served food, but it wasn’t exactly “dinner” as Brady described. The group started off with the three of us plus two other guys, but slowly started growing until there were about ten of us. I ordered tater tots and a salad because I was starving and then I got annoyed because Brady wanted to share my food. If you’re hungry get your own food, bro.

We ended up staying out until 4am and I wasn’t prepared for that and was yawning all night. Brady was chugging beers and even taking shots and I could not roll my eyes hard enough. I chatted with Zeke mostly and he told me a graphic story about doing anal with some girl.

When we got home, we sat on the couch before going to bed. Drunk Brady started talking.

“I think you’re amazing and I want to be with you forever, but I’m afraid I can’t give you what you need,” he said.

“What?” I said back, not expecting this conversation.

“You need someone who is around all the time and I like to work. Work is my hobby and I enjoy being there.”

“You enjoy being at work more than you enjoy being with me?” I clarified.

“No, but I have to. In order to be where I want to be, I have to put in a lot of work.” He kind of fell into me and I pushed his drunk ass off.

“I don’t want to talk about this right now, you’re drunk,” I said. I got up and changed into pajamas and when I came back out to the living room, Brady was passed out on the couch with Tucker.

The next morning, Brady was up and ready for the gym.

“Do you want to talk about what you said last night?” I asked, glaring at him. I started changing into my gym clothes without bothering to shower.

“Sure. What do you want to talk about?” he said back and it became apparent to me that he didn’t even fucking remember.

“Do you remember the very first time you broke up with me? You said, ‘I can’t be what you need.’ You said that to me last night,” I said.

Brady nodded.

“You obviously don’t realize how badly that hurt me. Is that what you’re doing again? You dragged me all the way to fucking New York City with you only to decide work is your number one priority. You could have left me in Chicago where I was perfectly happy.”

“That’s not-” he began, but I interrupted him.

“I’m so sick of your goddamn games, Brady. I’m sick of wondering what you’re doing and thinking because you’re a closed off little mute who won’t tell me anything. Oh, except that I need to figure out what job I want so I can be taken seriously by your family.”

“I’m sorry.”

Of course he was. I went and brushed my teeth and combed my hair. We didn’t say anything as we walked to the gym. I thought that maybe I was overreacting, but the whole thing was so frustrating. It felt like he was blaming me, like I had these crazy, unattainable needs. Just don’t work 20 hours out of the day – I think anyone would ask for that.

I was so mad that I actually worked out at the gym.

When we got home I showered and when I got out it sounded like Brady was cooking. I found him in the kitchen making breakfast – a little avocado and egg sandwich because I’m somewhat vegetarian at the moment.

“Hungry?” he asked, watching me poke around the kitchen.

We sat and had breakfast, talking about everything except what we should’ve been talking about. I’d all but accepted Mike’s job offer and I was excited about it and didn’t care if Brady didn’t approve. I didn’t approve of his work life either. So we talked about the new job and how exactly I was going to leave the new job I’d just started.

“I want you to be happy and if taking this new job will make you happy, I think you should do it,” Brady said.

“I am. You know what else would make me happy? If my boyfriend actually wanted to spend time with me instead of working,” I said.

He nodded and looked down.

I took a deep breath to calm myself because I felt like going off again. He is so fucking frustrating. We didn’t say anything for the remainder of our meal.

I put on a movie and we sat on the couch watching with Tucker. Halfway through Coco, Brady grabbed my hand.

“I’m sorry if I haven’t been clear about how I feel about you,” he said. “I want to spend every second with you and if I could, I would.”

I just stared at him.

“I’m not trying to be selfish. Are we okay? I can’t imagine being here without you.”

“If you aren’t trying to be selfish then why are you?” I challenged. “I’m obsessed with you, Brady, my life literally revolves around you. It’s a slap in the face when you work so much and even volunteer to work more after I dropped everything and moved here to be with you.”

I felt kind of bad that I was bringing up the fact that I moved to New York because he asked me to, knowing that I’ve wanted to move here forever.

“I know. I will make time for you, I promise.” He kissed my hand.

Okay. If that’s what Brady was claiming, I’d wait to see if he kept his word. He was home when I got home on Monday and came home at 7:30pm on Tuesday! And immediately jumped my bones as soon as he saw me both times. And he came home with McDonald’s on Tuesday so maybe he really does care.

Standard

should i kill him?

Brady worked late last week. Not even just late – like crazy late. He promised to come home early on Mondays, but he didn’t walk through the door until 10:30pm on Monday night.

I looked at him like he had five heads when he walked into the living room where Tucker and I were watching a movie.

“Wow, so much for working from home on Monday nights,” I said.

“I’m sorry, I had a lot to catch up on from the weekend. I’m going to try to get off early tomorrow though,” he said. He put his stuff down and made a beeline for the bedroom and didn’t kiss me or anything which I think is rude.

So I followed him.

“Was work okay though?” I asked, sweetly.

“A bit of a bitch, to be honest. Anytime we work with benzodiazepines, it can be unpredictable,” he said.

“Benzos?” I clarified. Back over the summer when I was secretly texting that Xanax-addict musician, I learned the term.

“Yeah. But the team I work with is very good.”

“Oh, like who?” I asked.

“Like Andrea. She helps me out with a lot of paperwork and note taking,” Brady said and then he walked out of the kitchen.

“Let me see Andrea!” I said, innocently. I continued following him.

“Why?” I could tell he was getting increasingly more annoyed, but it’s like, I need to see who you are working late with every night.

“I just want to see her. Please.”

Brady sighed. “I don’t have a picture, Reese.”

“You have Facebook,” I pointed out. “I’ll grab the iPad. Please, please can I see her?”

I was begging to see a picture of Brady’s coworker because he loved her and I had no shame about it.

I pulled up Facebook on the iPad and instructed Brady to log in. A few minutes later, Brady handed the iPad back to me, looking unamused.

“Cute!” I exclaimed, meaning it. Andrea’s photo was a professional black and white headshot and she had what looked like dirty blonde shoulder length hair, with trendy beach waves in it. She was wearing some sort of dark lipstick that was apparent even in her black and white picture.

Brady walked into the kitchen and I continued scrolling through her page. I quickly discovered that she has a hipster looking boyfriend with a big, disgusting beard and they had a ton of pictures traveling together. And girls don’t cheat on their boyfriends so I decided she is a nonissue.

I was more interested in the unopened message he had. With Brady occupied, I clicked the message and saw that it was from Brittany. Houston Brittany! This bitch. Before I could open it, Brady came back around with his bowl of cereal.

“How was work for you?” he asked.

I sat there with him while he ate his dinner, telling him about all of my opportunities I had going on. I’d told him about everything while we were on our way to Houston, but I wanted to talk about it more to see if he had more insight. Plus, my interview for the social media position was unexpectedly cancelled.

“I think you should move on from there. Even if they do decide to move you into that new role, it sounds like it’ll just be putting a bandaid over things for now. We don’t know if you’ll like the new office more and it’s a risk. I want you to be happy though,” Brady said.

Later, Brady fell asleep on the couch and I took the time to get back into his Facebook messages. There was a brief moment where I felt bad about what I was doing. How I needed to trust him especially after realizing that I had jumped to conclusions about both Kim and Andrea. But luckily that feeling passed and I proceeded to snoop anyway.

The most recent message from Brittany said, “Lol, let me know when y’all make it back home!”

I scrolled up and saw that the original message was from Sunday morning at 3:00am. Around the time when we were all leaving the club.

“You know Christian is the ex, right?” she said. The last time they spoke before that was a long time ago.

At 10:00am, Brady said back, “Really?”

“Yeah. I’m not sure how long it lasted though, Reese never talked to me about it,” Brittany said.

Like, what a bitch. Christian could hardly even be considered a fling. I barely even hooked up with him.

Then Brittany said, “I know they slept together, but I’m not sure the exact details. Just wanted to make sure you knew.”

“Haha, well obviously he’s far from the only other guy she’s slept with. Thanks for the info though,” Brady said back.

I was furious! What was Brady trying to say? And fucking Brittany! What was her issue? I immediately texted her, “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull by telling Brady about Christian, but nice try. He already knew.”

Brittany called me and I sent her to voicemail.

“Reese, call me before you freak out,” she sent me.

I ignored her and since I was already in Brady’s messages, I decided to continue snooping. Obviously Brady isn’t really into social media so there wasn’t a whole lot to see. But I did find a message from 2009 where he asked a girl to come over. Asshole.

I was seething. I blocked Brittany and then I went through and deleted as many random friends and photos as I could. Too far? I don’t give a shit. No one uses Facebook anymore anyway.

When Brady finally woke up to get in bed, I launched into him.

“Did you and Brittany have fun talking shit about me?” I demanded.

“What are you even talking about?” he said back.

Christian obviously isn’t the only other guy she’s slept with!” I repeated.

“Oh my God, why are you yelling at me? She’s your friend! I was defending you. What did you want me to say?”

“Literally I don’t want you to say anything at all, especially not to me. Fuck you,” I said. I got in bed and didn’t talk to Brady before falling asleep.

You know that exhausted feeling you wake up with after a night of debauchery? I woke up feeling like I’d just robbed a bank and performed at a strip club in front of everyone I know the night before. Thinking about my little Facebook rampage, I felt kind of guilty.

Brady appeared at my side, kneeling by the the bed.

“I love you,” he said, putting a hand on the side of my face in my hair. “I’m going to try to be home early tonight, okay?”

I nodded. He kissed me and left. If only what he said was true.

When I got to work, I saw that one of my marketing leads who I was going to meet with later in the day cancelled our meeting in Google. That was weird. All day I waited for the updated calendar invite, but it never came. Ooookay, so I guess I was no longer in the running for that job. Whatever then.

I stayed at work a little later than normal (5:45pm) and then headed home expecting Brady to either be there or be on his way. After feeding Tucker, taking him out and even running around the park a bit, Brady still wasn’t home.

“ETA?” I texted him at 7:30pm.

“Not sure. Still lots to do, but I’ll let you know, baby,” he said.

Ugh. Don’t fucking call me baby. Especially when you’re being an asshole.

The fucker didn’t come home until 10:30pm. Again. I didn’t even say anything to him when he walked through the door. I did my nighttime routine and then got in bed. When Brady joined me, he wrapped his arms around my waist and tried to pull my close to him.

“Did you you have a good day?” he whispered in my ear.

I ignored him, pretending to be asleep. And then, because I was still mad when I woke up, I waited as long as possible to get out of bed so I wouldn’t have to talk to him.

Later that morning, I got a message from the girl in marketing who I was supposed to interview with.

“Hey, sorry about canceling the interview. I had a time conflict. Are you available to meet tomorrow?” she asked.

Was this a joke? I literally had 2 days left and had obviously mentally checked out. But whatever. I told her we could still meet. I’d entertain her a bit.

Gabby and I walked to Chopt for lunch and I told her what was going on with the position and interviews.

“Obviously you aren’t going to take the job if they offer it to you though, right?” she asked.

“I mean, the timing is super off. My last day is Friday and they want to meet with me on Thursday. Unless they conjure up an amazing offer in two days which I highly doubt, I am leaving,” I said.

“If you don’t end up getting that job, I wonder who they will choose,” Gabby pondered.

“They’ll probably go external,” I said.

Gabby’s face seemed disappointed. Wait. Did she want to be considered for the role? The poor thing is sick of being a receptionist and wants to put her degree to use. Maybe after I get comfortable in my new job I can find her something at my company.

On Wednesday night, Brady came home at 10:45pm. It was finally time to confront him.

“What’s going on at work that keeps you so late?” I asked as politely as I could.

“I’m working on divvying up some responsibilities so I don’t have to work as much. There’s a lot to do and at this moment, I am the only one able to do it. But eventually I’d like to pass some responsibilities onto other people. That takes time and training,” he explained.

It honestly sounded really stupid.

“Okay, so tell me about your timeline of when all of this is going to happen and you can come home at a decent time,” I said

“Well, as soon as possible obviously.”

“That’s not that answer I am looking for,” I said.

“It’s the only answer I can give you right now,” Brady said, getting defensive. I wanted to slap him.

But do you know who was home at 6:00pm on Thursday? I came home needing a drink. I had my interview with the marketing woman and to put it politely, it was a complete waste of my time. It seemed like she’d never conducted an interview before and I basically dominated the whole thing. At the end, I even said, “If you have someone else you think would be a good fit for this role, by all means, hire them. I already have another job lined up so..”

She looked surprised, but said okay.

I was measuring the fourth tequila shot for my drink when Brady walked in. Aggressive? Yes, but it was Thirsty Thursday.

“Oh my gosh, hi! You’re home so early,” I greeted him.

“Yeah. I still have some work to do this evening,” he said.

I felt guilty that he was home for dinner and I had no plans for what we would eat. Usually I eat silly things for dinner like chik’n nuggets with mustard or a plate of homemade nachos.

So I ordered a pizza for us and annoyed Brady for the majority of the evening. He came home at a decent time on Friday too. We went out for drinks to celebrate my new job and stuff and proceeded to stay out until 4:00am getting fucked up and dancing. Brady revealed that he was working on Saturday despite not being “scheduled.”

“Why would you volunteer to work when you don’t have to? It’s bad enough you work weekends sometimes anyway,” I said.

“I just have some work I want to catch up on. It’ll only be a few hours, don’t worry,” he said.

And honestly, it was nice to be able to sleep in and not have Brady waking me up for the damn gym. Tucker and I finally rolled out of bed at noon. I was bit hungover and starving and texted Brady to see what his ETA was so I could decide if I should wait for him to eat.

He didn’t reply right away so I took Tucker on a walk around the neighb. Brady finally responded saying, “Not sure.”

What the fuck ever. I decided to grab lunch on my own. Something weird happened while I was out. Brady’s mom texted me.

“Hello. I understand Brady is working so I am reaching out to you. We’d like to invite the two of you over for dinner this evening, if you are available,” she said.

How sweet.

“Of course. What time is dinner?” I said back.

“Whenever is convenient. I know Brady likes to work late.”

“Should we bring anything?”

“Just yourselves. We are looking forward to seeing you.”

I immediately texted Brady, “Your parents invited us over for dinner. So you probably need to get off work soon.”

He didn’t reply right away, but I felt like I needed to mentally prepare myself for the evening ahead. I cleaned the whole apartment, found a cookie recipe on Pinterest, texted Brady, ran to the store to get the ingredients for my white chocolate cranberry cookies, baked burned the cookies, threw them out, showered, texted Brady, picked out four outfits and curled my hair.

Brady finally waltzed in after 8:00pm. I was sitting on the couch in my underwear with my hair and face done.

“Where have you been? Why haven’t you texted me back?” I screamed.

“Relax. I just talked to my mom. I just need to change and then we’ll head over,” he said, rolling his eyes at me.

I followed him. “Just so you know, it’s super inconsiderate of you to volunteer to work today even though you’ve already worked a ton this week. And then you decide not to come home until almost 8:30. It’s like you are purposely trying not to spend time with me and Tucker.”

Brady sighed. “You know I wish I was home with you guys more. I don’t even know why you’re doing this right now, Reese.”

I quickly got dressed in jeans, Alexander Wang booties and a modest sweater. Brady and I took an Uber to the Upper East Side to his parents’ apartment, packing a bottle of red wine we had at the house so didn’t turn up empty handed.

Brady’s parents have an apartment in New York City because they are here for work so often. They have a corner unit off Park Ave with a bomb ass view. I’m not surprised. Also not surprised with how little they did with the interior. If it were me, I’d do a midcentury mod vibe with rich colored wallpaper, funky shaped lighting, intricate framed mirrors and tons of plants. But it’s not me and it’s them, so everything was white and grey and obviously expensive, but boring.

Dinner went on as normal, the parents talking to Brady about work, about housing (What do you have planned for your condo in Chicago?), about what he’s (we’ve) been doing on for fun in the city.

Suddenly, Brady’s mom said, “Reese, I emailed your mother. We are having a Christmas celebration in Massachusetts and we thought it would be a nice gesture to extend the invitation to both your mother and your father. If they are still working on their relationship, of course.”

“Wait, what?” I said, out loud.

Brady’s mom looked at Brady and he looked like he’d been caught red handed.

“I’m sorry, I forgot to mention that to you,” he said to me.

“Oh my God,” I said.

“Your mother hasn’t gotten back to me, but I hope they can make it,” Brady’s mom continued.

Y’all know what I planned on doing for Christmas? Waking up with Tucker and Brady, making a huge and disgusting breakfast (pancakes, bacon, biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, crepes, mimosas, etc) and opening all of our gifts in the living room alone. Then we’d have sex a few times before getting up and showering and then maybe we’d consider some sort of contact with the outside world. I did not plan on socializing with anyone’s family, including my own.

“I figured Brady would want to spend the holidays with you, and I thought to myself that you must want to see your own family as well. Hunter, Dominique and the kids have already made travel arrangements to join us, along with my sister Katherine and my mother…” Brady’s mom went on.

I was so furious I couldn’t even make eye contact with Brady. I was afraid if I did, I would start laying into him and that would not be a good look in front of his parents.

“That sounds really nice,” I said, with angry tears in my eyes. I was mad that Brady knew about this and didn’t tell me and also that it was all happening so fast and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to prepare myself/my crazy parents.

Brady could sense how mad I was and tried really hard to make small talk in the Uber home.

“I really want to strangle you,” I blurted out. “Like, you’re so annoying. Why didn’t you think it was important to tell me about your mom’s huge plan for Christmas?”

“I’m sorry, I honestly forgot. I only found out recently, also. I wasn’t deliberately trying to keep it from you,” he said.

“Maybe if you didn’t smoke so much fucking weed, you’d remember to tell me things,” I said.

Brady didn’t have anything else to say after that.

So yeah. My mom confirmed that she got the email and was discussing details with my dad because they’d love to see me and Brady again for the holidays, according to her.

“I don’t know why she thought to invite us, though. Is Brady proposing or something?” my mom asked.

I literally laughed. “He wouldn’t dare.”

Standard

blackout wednesday.

I was excited for my presentation. Sometimes I like to show off. And I was really proud of my design. For the occasion, I wore black high waist ankle pants, a cropped navy blouse and my go to work mules.

Since I already knew I was quitting no matter what, I decided to schedule my interview for Wednesday morning. Normally I take work more seriously.

The receptionist set me in a late glass enclosed conference room when I arrived. I was thinking, “Just how many people are going to see my presentation?”

Turns out, four. Frank, Angie, an older VP named Bill and a younger guy from the marketing team.

“Before you start showing us what you can do, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?” Bill said.

Oh. Again. I tried not to sound bored as I have my typical spiel, including a ton of details and answers to upcoming questions they might ask. Everyone stared at me with blank expressions. Bill asked a few interview questions, kind of basic, like what systems I was proficient in, the biggest team I’ve led. Then I got up and did my presentation. It was pretty long as again, I’d tried to cover all the questions they might have.

At the end, Bill said, “Here’s what I like about it. I like the overall look. The colors, I think, are great and work well with the overall concept. I think it is appealing for a multitude of people. What do you guys think?”

They all had nice things to say and I stood up there beaming. Then Bill says, “Here’s what I don’t like.”

Oh.

“I don’t like that every element of the design has thought behind it. I think the design itself is simple enough, bu all the back story and meaning weighs it down. Does that make sense?”

Everyone nodded even though it didn’t make sense. What the fuck? Your little brain couldn’t handle my thought process? Annoying.

After the interview, Angie wanted to meet with me again. We headed down to the lobby to have coffee. We took our coffee (tea) to a little two seater and sat. She asked me my salary expectations and I told her, adding $10,000 to my current salary. You can’t be too greedy.

And then she asked me what my current office is like.

“Its similar to your office. It’s an open concept like it is here which is nice for collaborating with other teams. It’s pretty laidback. I like that everyone is willing to help each other with everything. Everyone has great ideas,” I told her.

She nodded and then leaned in close. “This is a predominately male office. It can be intimidating and I want to make sure that’ll be okay with you.”

I couldn’t picture myself in an all male office. Who would I grab coffee with and complain to? Who would I alert that Sephora had new product launch? What if all the men had a crush on me and I fell into temptation?

“I don’t think that would be an issue,” I let her know.

After the interview, I sent Frank and Angie an email thanking them for the opportunity and stuff. The proper after interview protocol. Surprisingly, Angie emailed me back immediately thanking me and sending a winking face. She was probably just pumped that there was a possibility that another woman would be joining the office.

On Thursday, I met up with Lola after work. I needed some career advice. We braved the snow to go to a packed hotel bar. I told her about the jobs and had to basically scream because the place was lit.

“Honestly, they both sound really cool. I’m really into the second one though. I feel like you would really have freedom to do whatever you wanted and that’s important,” she said.

“Should I accept the first job offer? What if I don’t get a job offer from the other one?” I asked.

“Yeah, accept it. If you do end up getting the other offer and you want it, rescind. Fuck them. Don’t sign anything yet,” Lola said, taking a gulp of her whiskey ginger.

So I accepted the offer. Heidi was thrilled. I still wasn’t quite sure which job I wanted and whether or not I’d even get an offer from the other place. But I told her that I’d start December 3rd.

That weekend, one of Brady’s friends was in town and Brady said he could stay with us. It’s bad enough that Brady is never home to spend time with me, and now I had to share him with Raul.

When Raul got in, we dropped his stuff off at the apartment and headed to dinner. Raul and Brady spoke in Spanish the whole time. I was sitting there bored and even my food wasn’t entertaining me.

Finally, I interjected and said, “What are y’all talking about?”

Brady just stared at me and Raul said in his cute little accent, “We are simply discussing my job prospects here.”

“Oh, me too! What jobs are you in the running for?” I said, excitedly.

“He’s a pharmacist, Reese. He’s looking for pharmacist jobs,” Brady said, sounding exasperated.

“Sorry for wanting to be included,” I said back, offended that he’d been so rude to me.

They continued talking and I sat there glaring and being bitter. After dinner as we were walking to the next place, Brady tried to grab my hand and I snatched it away.

“Did it make you feel better to exclude me from the conversation at dinner and then yell at me when I tried to talk?” I asked.

Brady had the nerve to roll his eyes at me. “I haven’t seen Raul in years and I really don’t need you taking over the conversation and trying to make everything about yourself.”

“I’m not!” I exclaimed, shocked and appalled that he’d even said that.

We walked to a bar where I sat on my phone the whole time. Fine. If Brady didn’t want me talking, then I wouldn’t. I texted Kendra, Carly, Preston, Luke, Lexi, Ava, Nick and Lola. Lexi was the only one who texted back right away, letting me know that she was out on a date and she really thought things might go somewhere with this guy. After she told me his name, I spent the next thirty minutes stalking him on the internet so I could find a reason it wouldn’t work out.

I felt Brady slide a hand into my lap. I looked up at him.

“Hey hey. I love you,” he said, barely even looking at me.

“Why don’t you tell me that again when you actually mean it,” I said.

Brady laughed but then went right back to talking to Raul. Cool.

The next morning, Brady wanted to show Raul the gym and woke up mega early to go.

“Can’t you wait like an hour? It seems unnecessary to go this early,” I groaned.

“Reese, it’s 9:00,” Brady said.

I got up and put on my workout gear then the three of us walked to Equinox. They wanted to lift and I wanted to do cardio so I told them I’d meet back up with them after.

After 30 mins on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the stairs, I was actually ready to go. To kill time, I went and got a fresh juice. There was a gentleman there also getting a juice who insisted on talking to me. My RBF failed me.

Just as the guy was going into an tangent about his work on Wall Street, Brady and Raul rounded the corner. Thank God. I hate finance guys.

“Finished already?” Brady asked me.

I nodded and handed him my half finished juice. “I got you something.” He accepted my gift.

We took Raul to some touristy things during the day which was awful. The only thing that got me through it is that we stopped at bars after each attraction so I consumed a lot of drinks. I was happy.

For dinner, we went to an Italian place and shared four dishes. I was mostly excited about the extensive wine list and consumed a bottle on my own. By the time we got back to the apartment, I was sleepy and drunk and wanted nothing more than to get in bed with Tucker and ice cream.

Brady put on some music and he and Raul started getting ready to go out. They showered and ironed shirts and took shots of tequila.

“Reese, how long do you think it’s going to take you to get ready?” Brady asked me as I sat on the couch with my ice cream.

“I don’t think I’m going,” I said.

“Really? Okay,” he said, immediately accepting my answer and walking off.

Uh, okay. I thought he’d try a little harder to get me to go with them, but obviously not. Whatever. All I could think about was my new silk pillowcase anyway.

Brady and Raul woke me up out of my sleep at around 4:30am. They were being loud and laughing and I rolled over, waiting for Drunk Brady to join me.

A few minutes later, I heard him stumbling into the bedroom. He kicked off his shoes and got undressed and then got into bed. I could hear his phone vibrating with messages from one of his pockets.

“I wish you came out tonight. I love you,” he said.

“I was actually sleeping really soundly before you came home. Please don’t annoy me,” I said.

Brady ignored me (or wanted payback for all the times I annoy him) and started telling me stories about things that happened at the bar.

“And then this guy, I think he was gay, came up to us and blah, blah, blah.”

I actually fell asleep during his story and Brady woke me up so he could finish telling me. Like dude.

The next morning, I woke Brady up by wrapping my legs around him. It’s my way of telling him I want sex. He rolled over and declared that he felt like shit.

Not my problem.

I climbed on top of him and started grinding slowly on his crotch area until I felt him get hard. Brady didn’t last very long and didn’t indicate that he was going to finish, I literally just felt it.

I got up and showered and when I came back to the bedroom, Brady seemed to want to redeem himself. Before I could get dressed, he pulled my towel off of me and started sucking on my boobs. I grabbed his hair and moaned – it felt so good. He got up and bent me over the side of the bed and we proceeded to have sex again, loud enough for poor Raul to hear.

While Brady was in the shower, I decided to go through his messages so I could see who had been messaging him the night before.

The most recent one was with Sydney.

“Did you make it home?” she’d asked.

“I’m home 🙂” Brady replied.

“Good! Tell Reese I said hello and that we missed her tonight!” Sydney said.

Wait. I couldn’t tell if she was being condescending or if she actually meant that. It’s hard to tell in text message form, right? If she was being real, then that was very nice.

The next thread was with an unsaved 310 number.

“Where are you tonight?” the number asked.

Literally four hours later, Brady responded, “I’m at Nitecap 🙂 Leaving soon.”

What was with all the smileys? Brady is obviously not an emoji person. It’s like someone else was texting people from his phone.

The number said, “Meet me in Turtle Bay. Bring Zeke.”

Later, the person said, “Have a good night, Brady!”

Super unclear if Brady had met up with whoever this person was, but I needed to get to the bottom of it. I saved the number to my phone and synced my contacts to my Snapchat. I quickly found out that the culprit was a person named “Kim” with a blonde bitmoji. My heart raced excitedly. I don’t know if I was excited for potential drama or if I thought I’d finally caught him cheating once and for all.

We spent the day out again, showing Raul our favorite places. They were a little hungover and moving slow, but I wanted to day drink.

“Three Bloody Mary’s and three shots of vodka with a splash of lemon on the side, please,” I told the server at the second place we went to.

“Reese, please,” Brady groaned.

“What?” I said back innocently.

And the two of them drank their drinks and took their shots so I don’t see why Brady pretended they didn’t want them. After Raul left for the airport, Brady decided he had work to do. And I did not feel like sitting around waiting for him to be finished so I invited Gabby out for drinks nearby. She bounded in with her red hair in a high pony wearing black heeled booties, a plaid dress and a leather jacket.

“I’m meeting Kevin after this,” she greeted as if explaining her outfit.

“Oh yeah, I forgot about Kevin. How’s he doing?” I said.

“Good.” She began blushing. “He’s really busy with work though. Like, he works 16 hours a day. It’s crazy.”

“Welcome to my life. Brady works a lot too. It’s actually awful.”

“But he always tries to find time for us. Even if it’s last minute like tonight.”

Girl. I wanted to tell her that it was last minute because he thought of her as an afterthought, a backup plan for when his original plan fell through. But what did I know? No need to push my pessimism onto her. Or does that make me a bad friend? I just try not to give unsolicited advice.

I put my two week notice in on Monday.

“Aw, man. Seriously? You just got here,” Brett groaned.

When he asked where I was going, I told him that I had a couple of different opportunities which is true.

Sarah and Michelle didn’t take it quite as well. Before I’d even had a chance to tell either of them myself, Sarah chatted me.

“If you didn’t want to work here, why didn’t you just tell me? I can’t believe you have been looking for a new job.”

Oh. So she was taking it personally. I decided not to respond – if she wanted to talk about it, she could be an adult and talk to me in person.

Michelle wanted to talk about it in person like a grownup. She came and found me at my desk on Tuesday morning.

“Reese, hi. Do you have a moment to meet with me?” she asked.

“Um, sure. One moment,” I said back. I actually had all the time in the world. All I was working on was Brett’s project, which needed a complete overhaul because the way he was reporting it was terrible.

Michelle pulled me into an office and we sat down.

“So I was surprised to hear that you are leaving,” she began.

“I understand. Honestly, I’ve been job hunting for a while. I am grateful that I was able to transfer here, but the sales manager job is just not the direction I want to go in my career…”

“If you’d just told me that, we could have found a place for you here, Reese. There are plenty of opportunities outside of sales,” she said gently.

Ah, exactly like Brady had said.

“Really?” was all I said back.

Michelle nodded and asked me about my careers plans and what I wanted to do. I told her, putting an emphasis on product development, but also marketing.

“We don’t have anything open in product development right now as you know, but we are about to open up a new position in social media marketing. We are looking to ramp up our paid ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and also collaborate with influencers,” she explained. “So we need someone to take over that side of the business and I think it would align well with what you want to do. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?”

“Well, yeah. It does.”

Michelle pulled out her iPad and said, “Let’s get an interview scheduled with the marketing team.”

So I have an interviewed scheduled this week. It happened so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to think about if I actually wanted the job she mentioned and if it was enough to get me to stay.

With all that was going on with work, I almost forgot that Brady and I were going to Houston to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I snuck out of work early on Wednesday because I still needed to pack. Brady had only packed half of his stuff so I also finished packing for him. Do you see that? A wife.

I slept the whole way there while Brady did work on his laptop and when I felt we were landing, I woke up excited for Blackout Wednesday.

“Let’s drop this shit off at my parents, get ready and then hit the streets,” I said.

I didn’t have specific plans for us, but I love showing Brady around where I came from. It’s quite different than his WASP-y upbringing and obviously more fun.

My mom was waiting for us just outside the terminal. She looked cute in hip ripped jeans, a black cape thing and a pair of black strappy heels that I’m pretty sure were once mine. She had a side swept bang going on and was wearing glasses.

“Since when do you wear glasses, Mom?” I greeted her.

“I need them for reading and driving. These are Dior,” she said, proudly. They were pretty cute, I’ll admit. “Brady, so good to see you! You look fantastic. Have you been working out?” She pulled him into a hug.

I smirked.

We hopped in the car and my mom drove us home.

“What are y’all doing tonight? We should go to dinner, that might be fun,” my mom said as she let us into the house.

“I’m taking Brady downtown. It’s Blackout Wednesday,” I let her know.

My dad wasn’t home yet. He was wrapping up a ton of work before the holiday.

“I can relate! Brady works as late as possible every single day. I even had to pack for him,” I said, smiling affectionately at him. He didn’t look amused.

My mom ordered pasta for us to have for dinner and left to go pick it up. I offered to give Brady a tour and took him around my parent’s place. My mom has great style and opted for lots of random prints, neutrals and pops of jewel tones. Like Moroccan inspired, but way more glam. It’s super cute. She turned the spare bedrooms into three guest rooms each with a different theme. One was millennial pink and gray -very on trend, one was tan and white and looked like a rustic farmhouse and another was navy and turquoise with deer antlers on the wall. I opted for that one because it has a 70 inch television in it.

Brady and I showered and got ready then headed to a cocktail lounge downtown. A couple drinks in, Brady started getting cute and grabbing my waist and kissing me and telling me how beautiful I am. I thought it was the perfect time to bring up Kim. After more research, I’d discovered that she lived in New York, but was from California somewhere. Her Instagram was wide open and each of her pictures had over 1,000 likes despite only having 900 followers. Something’s fishy there. She’s cute. Kind of skinny with a big head. Her LinkedIn tells me she works in a clothing store so I’m not sure how Brady would know her.

“Did you hang out with Kim the other night?” I asked.

Brady looked confused. “Kim who?”

“Blonde Kim.”

“Ohh,” he nodded like he got me. “I didn’t hang out with her. Why?”

“Who is she?” I demanded. I was happy that he said he didn’t hang out with her, but he could easily be lying.

“A friend. Well, not even a friend. She is romantically interested in Zeke and I know her because of him.”

Y’all remember Zeke? The nympho with tattoos all over his body? I have a secret crush on him kinda. But Kim can have him if she wants him.

“What are you then, the fucking matchmaker?” I said. “Why would she be texting you?”

Brady laughed and I made a note to keep tracking this further.

The next morning, I woke up in the navy and turquoise room. Brady had his arms wrapped around my body like he was afraid I was going to escape.

“Morning. Are you feeling okay?” Brady said, sensing that I was awake.

I just nodded, knowing that my breath probably smelled like I’d given a homeless person a blowjob.

“I love you,” he said, nuzzling my neck.

I didn’t know why he was being so sweet again, but it was weird and I hopped up to shower and brush my nasty teeth. I vaguely remembered throwing up in the bathroom at the bar the night before.

I came back in the room in my fluffy white bathrobe my mom had gotten me and Brady was sitting on the side of the bed. Now that I was clean, I felt like I could actually speak.

“Sorry if I was a hot mess last night,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it. Um…” Whenever Brady pauses like that he needs to say something, but is nervous about it. I braced myself, wondering what I’d done wrong this time. “I was thinking about you said last night. About how you feel like our relationship has plateaued.”

Oh, did I say that? I didn’t even realize I felt that way until he brought it up. But yeah.

“I don’t want you to feel like that, but I think I understand why you do. I realize some of our friends are in completely different places, but in my opinion, we have a lot of other things to figure out before thinking about possible next steps.”

“Possible next steps”? What was this, a job interview? Only Brady.

“Okay. So what are you saying?” I asked.

“We just moved together and I don’t think we have settled from that. And I believe that is a big commitment. I hope that is enough…for right now.”

I wish I could have had a recording of my face. Because what the fuck?

“It’s not just about commitment. I don’t even want to be engaged. What I’m saying is we’ve already gotten into this routine of you working late everyday and then working when you get home. I’m lonely! We hardly ever talk or do anything together. If I would’ve known it was going to be like this, I would’ve stayed in Chicago where people made time for me.”

Brady’s face fell and I kind of regretted saying that. But y’all know me, I don’t back down.

“I’m really trying to make more time. I guess it is harder than I anticipated,” he said quietly.

We spent the day out with my parents and then instead of trying to slave away for dinner, my dad just made a reservation at a really nice steakhouse. My maternal grandparents joined us.

At dinner, my dad said, “So Brady, tell us about your new job.”

And when Brady started telling us, talking about what he does on a day to day basis, the team of medical professionals he works with, the patients who sometimes receive experimental treatment, but are so grateful for anything, made me realize that I’m so concerned about him not ever being home that I don’t even know anything about his work. I am such a bitch.

“You don’t test that crap on animals? What if it kills somebody?” my grandpa said. He rarely ever speaks and this is what he decided to say.

Brady laughed. “I assure you, nothing we administer would ever hurt anyone.”

They all started having a conversation about the FDA. My mom and I just kept looking at each other and then she asked if I’d tried any of Kim Kardashian’s perfumes.

After dinner, we headed home and drank. My parents are getting along really well these days and my mom seems to really want to be a good wife. She always texts me asking what she should say and do in certain situations. Like, “Your dad’s company is having a dinner with the execs. What should I wear that is sexy for him, but not too sexy because all of his colleagues are there?” and “I gave your father all of my money this month. I didn’t go shopping at all. I hope that makes him happy,” and “Your father and I haven’t slept together in three weeks, do you think something is wrong?” Mother, please.

On Friday, we went to a show at the theater with my parents after doing a bit of shopping. I told some of my friends I’d meet up with them on Saturday. I wasn’t super pressed to hang out with them, but when Brittany found out I was in town, she called me and let me know that they had a table at a club and we should stop by. Lucky for her, I’d brought a clubbing outfit (black dress, chunky heels and no jewelry).

Brady and I got dinner and pregamed at a bar before heading to the club.

“Try not to flirt with Brittany too much tonight,” I instructed on our way in.

Brady grabbed my hips and pulled me close into him. “You don’t have to worry about that.”

Inside, I found Brittany and Co at their little table in VIP. She was standing up dancing wearing a sequin tank top and a pair of American Apparel adjacent disco pants. Okay girl. She saw us and waved, but didn’t bother getting down to greet us. Brady and I made drinks and danced around the table for a little bit. Brady was way more drunk than I was and kept putting his arms around my whole body and swaying.

Eventually Brittany sauntered over with a drink in her hand.

“Hi, beautiful!” she greeted me with big hug. She reached over and hugged Brady next. “I’m so glad to see y’all!”

“Same! How are things? How have you been?” I said back. I haven’t spoken to or seen Brittany in forever. She started her own real estate company and posts about the luxury high rises she has available on Instagram all the time. She replies to my stories all the time, but we don’t ever really talk.

“Things are so good. I miss you, girl.” She leaned it close to me. “Christian is here.”

“Oh, ew!” I said loudly. Do y’all remember Christian, the music producer who thought I was a prostitute? Obviously she didn’t hear how that whole thing went down.

“Tell me about your real estate thing,” I said, to change the subject.

Over the music, she told me about her work, how she’d done it so she could have financial freedom and a flexible schedule. It sounded like one of those multilevel marketing presentations. My eyes began glazing over.

On cue, Christian and his entourage made their way over to the table. There were like fourteen of them, but Christian led the pack. I obviously wasn’t going to say hello and he did a double take when he saw me.

“Christian!” Brittany called, gesturing for him to join us. She is so petty.

He walked over slowly, taking a sip from his plastic cup.

“Hey, how have you been?” he said to me, hugging me with his free arm.

“This is my boyfriend,” I said when we pulled away. Christian put out his fist for Brady to pound it.

“I miss our group!” Brittany whined.

Group? What group? I literally laughed.

“You been doing okay though?” Christian said to me.

“I’ve obviously been completely fabulous,” I said, flipping my hair over my shoulder.

He smirked and put his drink out to cheers me. As he walked away, Brittany leaned in close to us and exclaimed, “He’s soo cute.”

Like, he’s okay. Definitely dropped down a few points for thinking I sell my ass for money.

When we got back to my parents’, we were happy and giggly after finding tacos on the way home. Back in our turquoise room, Brady immediately pushed me back on the bed and began kissing me. He pushed my dress up and crouched down in front of me. Brady loves to eat pussy and that is one of his most redeeming qualities.

Is it rude to hook up at your parents’ house?

Standard

i’m my own person.

After sending my project in at 6:45 on Friday morning, I didn’t hear anything back immediately. I was proud of what I’d come up with and expected Frank to reply instantaneously singing my praises.

Brady and I planned to leave for Philadelphia after work that evening and I busted my ass finishing up all the work I needed to in order to leave by 5:00pm. We still needed to pack and drop Tucker off. When I got home, I checked my phone to see that Brady had texted me.

“I got called into a meeting this evening and I still have some auditing to do. Not sure what time I’ll be home, but it’s going to be late,” he said.

Ugh. I’d worked hard to ensure I left work at a good time in order to stick to our plans and I was annoyed that he wasn’t doing to the same.

“Okay? What does this mean then?” I said back.

“What if we leave tomorrow morning instead? That way we aren’t rushing. We wouldn’t get there until way late tonight anyway.”

Of course. I didn’t respond and instead texted Lola to see what she was up to.

“Drinking with Kellen’s cousin. Come through,” she replied, including an address in Park Slope. I changed into jeans and booties and called an Uber.

When I arrived at the row house, Lola answered the door.

“Hey! You made it,” she greeted me. “Give me one second to grab my things and then we’ll go.”

I followed her inside through a tiny, but charming apartment with exposed brick walls and minimalistic black and white furniture. There was a tall guy standing at the kitchen island, one who I could tell was covered in hair all over his body. He was cute though and looked really Italian.

“Michael, Reese. Reese, Michael. I’ll probably see you next week at the birthday party. Have a good night,” Lola said as she picked up her Stella McCartney Falabella crossbody and maroon suede trench from one of the barstools.

Lola was acting so weird. And where was Kellen? I thought we were all supposed to be drinking together.

Michael took a sip of the glass in front of him and gave Lola a little wave. Outside on the sidewalk, she pulled out a pack of cigs from her bag and offered one to me.

“Ugh. I should’ve known that was a bad idea when Michael invited me over without Kellen. But I thought he just wanted to drink. I didn’t think he would get the wrong idea,” she said.

“What happened?” I wanted to know.

“He just kept making inappropriate comments. Acting like something was supposed to happen between us because I was there alone. When I told him you were coming, he said ‘three’s company’ all suggestively.”

“Did you really think it was a good idea to go over there by yourself?”

“I didn’t think anything of it. He’s my boyfriend’s cousin! I was counting on him to do the right thing.” She took a drag. “I hate that a guy and a girl can’t hang out without the expectation of something happening. Like why would it? You’re my boyfriend’s cousin! Men are so gross.”

I realized that she was absolutely right. Why would she think hanging out with the cousin would be anything more than hanging out? Why would she even think or know that the guy was going to be inappropriate?

We stopped at a quaint wine bar and ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir and some almonds to snack on. I told her about how frustrated I was with Brady and his latest antics.

“Working late?” Lola repeated. “The classic excuse. Are you buying that?”

“He’s always worked a lot of crazy hours. In fact, the first night I met him, he was working and it was a Friday night,” I said, feeling kind of defensive of Brady.

“Mmhm, I bet,” she repeated, popping an almond in her mouth. “And let me guess, he’s screwing the blonde bimbo assistant too?”

I told her about Sydney – how she weaseled her way into everything including moving to New York at the same time as us. I told her how I felt the first time I heard Brady talking to her, how affectionate and delighted he sounded.

“Honestly, I don’t know. I have a guy friend at work who I talk to and text all the time. He has a girlfriend and I have a boyfriend and there’s nothing there. I mean, nothing. It’s nice to have someone to complain to, you know? I’d never move across the country with him,” she said.

“I get that. It’s just the way he talks to her. And she’s always invited to everything. She’s just annoying,” I said.

“But if Brady wants to spend time with her, it’s more of an issue with him than her, right? Like, why does he want to hang out with her so much? Knowing you hate her. He’s willing to risk his relationship with you to hang out with her. That’s the issue.”

After we polished off the bottle of wine, Lola suggested a jazz bar a few blocks away. We had a couple of drinks then decided to head home.

When I got home, Brady was sitting on the couch with a beer in silence.

“Oh, you’re home,” I said, looking at the time. 11:30pm.

“I am. Where have you been?” he said.

“Out with Lola. We found a cute wine bar in Brooklyn.” I stepped into the kitchen to find food and saw that there was a white takeout bag in the fridge.

On cue, Brady followed me into the kitchen and said that he’d brought home dinner. Then I felt bad. Obviously, he’d come expecting me to be there so we could have dinner together. I felt like such a bitch for assuming he wasn’t trying and he was.

The next morning, Brady crawled out of bed at 7:30am. He wanted to hit the gym before leaving for Philadelphia.

“Do you want to come with me?” Brady asked, standing at the end of the bed, fully dressed.

“Not really,” I said, but knew I needed to. “But I’ll come. Give me five minutes.”

We walked a few blocks to Equinox and went our separate ways when we got inside. Brady prefers to lift, but I really just need cardio. I want legs that look like Kendall Jenner’s.

We finally hit the road at 11am and arrived at around 1:00pm. Carly answered the door of their cute, new townhouse with Baby Sloane in her arms. Sloane was super cute with her wispy hair and polka dot pajamas and pink glittery binky. I literally screamed when I saw them.

“Oh my gosh, hi!” Carly exclaimed, pulling me into a hug with the baby. They smelled like laundry. “We are so glad you’re here. Hi Brady!”

We all filed inside where Chris was making lunch for us. We sat around the dining table with its Pottery Barn-esque table setting. I demanded to hold Sloane and help her eat.

“Gladly,” Carly said, passing the baby over to me.

Carly and Chris told us all about what’s new with them – Chris recently got a promotion hence why Carly is able to stay home with Sloane. She’s joined a Mommy Meet-Up group to meet people and does yoga-lates every morning at 5:30am before Chris goes to work.

“You should try it, Reese,” she said. “It has helped with my energy level and mood.”

Whatever. I’m not about to wake up at 5:30am to do anything. After lunch, we bundled the baby up and put her in a stroller and then took a walk around their cute new development neighborhood where a bunch of other new couples were also walking around. We ended up at a little restaurant for drinks. Sloane sat on the table kicking her little boots out.

Carly saw how much fun I was having with Sloane and said, “Do you want one?”

“Of course. Not like, right now though. I can take Sloane on the weekends if you want,” I replied.

Carly grinned. “I’d love that actually. As much as I love being with her 24/7, it would be nice to have a break.”

“Do you think you’ll go back to work?” I asked.

She wrinkled her nose. “Eventually, I’m sure. I am happy with the way things are going now. Chris just started his new position and I want to wait until he’s settled into that before doing anything. We are still figuring out our routine.”

There was a pause and then I asked something I was genuinely wondering. “Are you happy?”

If y’all remember, Carly was second guessing things hard before she got married. She even got on Tinder.

“You know, I am. I feel like I settled down and into things really fast, but I’m not mad about it. It’s really fun actually.”

“How?” I had to know. Staying home and talking to a baby all day did not seem fun to me. And she even said it herself; Chris can be really boring.

“Well, it’s nice to know I have a partner for life. I definitely don’t miss wondering if I’m ever going to meet my person and being super insecure.” She looked at me apologetically like she hoped she wasn’t offending me.

“Do you think Chris is your person?” I asked, curious.

“Obviously I do. I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t.” Carly paused. “Do you think this one is your person?”

I followed her head nod to Brady, who was sitting across the table taking a swig of beer.

“I don’t think I have a person,” I told her.

She looked surprised. “Really?”

“Yeah. Like, I’m my own person. I don’t feel like I need someone else to complete me.” I was actually surprising myself with what I was saying. Maybe it was my defense for what Carly had said previously. But I love myself.

“So you don’t want to get married?” Carly asked.

“I mean, I do of course. I want that. But I’m not like, insecure or anything. I love being with him, but I’m also okay with being alone. I don’t need another person to make me feel whole. I’m enough by myself. Is that bad?” I said.

“Kind of.”

We were silent and I wondered if I was being a hypocrite. But honestly, I haven’t thought about marriage in forever and I obviously haven’t brought it up to Brady either. I think I felt pressure before – everyone was getting married and I finally found someone who likes me as much as I like them – but now I think I just want to be happy.

That evening, Carly called the babysitter (Chris’s cousin) over to watch Sloane so we could have a night out. Carly and I got ready in her private powder room downstairs, the one Chris let her splurge to customize. It has a crystal chandelier, pastel floral wallpaper and apothecary jars everywhere. Very cute and very Carly.

I put on an olive green jumpsuit, a Sherpa coat and clear mules. Carly and I made festive drinks consisting of vodka, ginger ale and cranberry juice and had finished several of those before leaving for the bar.

When we got into the dark bar, Carly grabbed my hand. “This sounds bad, but it feels nice to get out of the house and I don’t have to worry about my crying baby.”

You know how some moms go out and check their phones constantly because they are worried about their child? Carly is not that mom. Mama was thirsty for a night out. Carly drank like a fish for an hour straight and I struggled to keep up. We’d lost the boys somewhere near the entrance and were loitering near a window. I was shooing guys away, but Carly seemed desperate for male attention. It was just like old times.

“I’m gonna come visit you in the city soon,” she promised. “This is soo fun.”

We talked about Kendra and Preston. Preston was engaged, set a wedding date, pushed the wedding back and is now seeing someone new I believe. I can’t keep up with him. Kendra never replies to my messages, but sends daily pictures of Mia which I love and appreciate.

The next morning, Carly and I woke up in the shabby chic guest bedroom together.

“I hate myself,” she declared.

We peeled ourselves out of bed and took turns showering before brunch. Brady had slept on the couch since Carly and I took over the guest bedroom.

“Why didn’t you just sleep in the bed with Chris?” I asked and they both gave me a look like that was not an option.

Brady still had work to do prior to work Monday so we left to come home right after brunch. I slept in the car the whole way home.

Frank emailed me first thing Monday morning.

“Hi Reese. We’d love to have you stop by the office and present what you came up with to our team. Are you available anytime on Wednesday?”

So I thought about my presentation all morning – what I’d say I was inspired by, how I would bring every element of my design back to the company’s core values. I created a note in my phone of all the bullet points I wanted to cover.

That afternoon, Heidi emailed me.

“Reese, we are thrilled to offer you the manager of product development position you applied for. Please review the attached job offer and let me know what questions you have. I can’t wait to hear from you!”

I felt a one thousand pound weight being lifted off me. Finally. A way out of this hell hole. I opened the attachment and saw the salary (which I was satisfied with) and sign on bonus (which wasn’t much, but was well, a bonus).

I replied letting her know that I was honored and I’d get back to her as soon as I could with a decision. I knew I wanted to probably take it, but I also still had the other interview and I was still very much interested in that job too. I wondered how long I could take “deciding.”

When I got home, Brady was not home as promised. I was so excited to tell him about my offer and the new potential job and I felt like he was the only person I wanted to talk about it with. Maybe he is my person.

When he got home an hour later, I bombarded him with all my news before he could even put his stuff down. He settled on the couch next to me with his laptop bag.

“If you had both job offers in front of you, do you know which one you would take?” he asked me.

“Well, no. I think I’d feel the same way. Both of the jobs excite me, but I feel like I don’t know enough about the second job or company. I definitely have more of a connection with the first company, but the second job is way more intriguing.”

Brady thought on it for a second. “Why don’t you ask them to give you until Friday to make your decision? That way you will have already gone through with the second interview and will have a better idea if you’re even going to like the other company and if they like you.”

Friday seemed like a long time to keep the job offer waiting. I told Brady this.

“If they don’t want to allow you that long to think, then if I were you, I’d accept.”

I waited for him to elaborate, but that was it. He got up and asked what I wanted for dinner.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m super excited for my interview tomorrow, but if I got both offers, I really have no idea what I’d do. The thing that is swaying me most is that I have a good connection with Heidi and working with people you get along with is so important.

Standard

enjoy masturbating to my selfie.

I’d applied for another job that I was so excited about, but I hadn’t heard back in so long that I figured they weren’t interested. But then I got an email the other day inviting me to complete an online assessment. I think online assessments are complete bullshit, but I still did it. Literally five minutes later, they called me to schedule an interview.

Without giving away too much, it’s for a company that is not known for apparel launching an apparel and accessories line. The job is lead that launch in terms of creative direction, licensing, design, marketing, etc. It sounded like a really big job and I was honestly shooting for the moon by even submitting my resume. I was genuinely surprised when they even wanted to bring me in for an interview.

After speaking with the recruiter, we scheduled my interview for Monday after work.

Valerie emailed me on Monday morning.

“Hi Reese,

We’ve spoken to all of your references except Scott. We can’t seem to get ahold of him. Is there another reference you can provide?

Thanks!”

I’d already spoken to Scott and asked for permission to use him as a reference. He’d happily agreed and said that the job sounded like a perfect fit for me. But apparently he didn’t actually want to help me after all. So I gave them another reference while thanking Scott for literally nothing at all.

The office I interviewed at was at a big brick building in Chelsea. I had to be buzzed in by the receptionist and I waited in the lobby for the recruiter to come fetch me. The lobby was small and cute with fresh flowers everywhere and a small desk area that housed the receptionist. Over to the side was a fully stocked coffee shop/bar.

“Please help yourself to coffee or tea,” the receptionist told me.

I thought about it, but it looked like the bar offered ceramic mugs rather than an accident-free paper cups. I decided not to risk it.

The recruiter came downstairs and got me – a cute brunette with a leather jacket draped over her shoulders. She led me upstairs to a glass enclosed office. I noticed that the office appeared to have that open concept like my current office has with everyone’s desks lined up in rows. There were huge picture windows lining a side wall, letting in a ton of natural light. All of the walls were brick and I noticed several mobile white boards filled with ideas scattered everywhere.

“Can I get you anything to drink? Coffee, tea, water? Kombucha?” the recruiter asked.

Okay, fine. “I’ll have a water.”

She came back with a glass of water and let me know my interviewer would be with me shortly.

“Shortly” ended up being 20 minutes. Eventually a cute middle aged woman sauntered in. She had a black lob, chunky heeled mules, and again, a leather jacket draped over her shoulders.

“Hi Reese. Thank you so much for coming in to meet us today,” she said. “I’m Angie, the director of marketing here. Why don’t you start by telling me a little bit about yourself?”

There’s no such thing as a “little bit” about me and I launched into a full rundown of my education and work background. I always have a lot to say. Angie smiled and took notes in her Moleskin and didn’t interrupt my spiel.

“And what are your career aspirations?” she asked next.

Ah, the one thing I didn’t cover. I didn’t give her a specific role, but told her what I liked doing and what I want to be doing eventually.

Angie closed her notebook. “And what questions do you have for me?”

Uhh, all the questions! Since it seemed like there was a huge chunk of the interview missing (where was the introduction?) I spent the next hour and a half asking her questions (Can you tell me more about the role? Who would I be reporting to? What were their goals for this project? What team was bringing this to life?) I’ve never had an interview like that.

Once I’d asked every question I could think of, Angie asked, “Do you have time to meet with one more person today?”

Knowing that the walker had taken Tucker out just a few hours prior, I said I could. She left and a couple minutes later, a tall bald man joined me in the little conference room.

“I’m Frank! How are you?” he greeted me with a strong handshake. Before I could answer his apparent rhetorical question, he said, “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?”

Again? I went back into my spiel, but a condensed version because Frank didn’t seem like he wanted to hear my fluff. And he was taking notes and watching me with a steely gaze the whole time.

Once I was finished, he said, “We’d really like the person in this role to be creative and innovative which it seems like you are. We are asking candidates to do a take home project. We want you to create a top, bottom and and an accessory that is all a part of a cohesive line. We ask that you to come up with a logo and a tag line that would be used throughout the marketing in conjunction with the ‘launch.’ Do you think you can handle that by Friday?”

Ooo, a project. I let him know that Friday was plenty of time and I was excited about the challenge.

“Good,” Frank said, getting up to leave. He slid a card across the table to me. “Email me when you are proud of what you come up with. And I’m available if you have any questions.”

I left the interview really excited for a chance to prove what I could do. I don’t have any experience designing apparel, but the project was really about what design/logo was on the clothing, not so much the actual silhouette. And I could fumble my way around InDesign and Illustrator enough to create something amazing.

Brady was already home when I got home. He was sitting at the dining room table on a video conference call on his laptop. A warning would have been nice because you could clearly see me walking in in the background of his screen. But maybe it’s a good thing. Let the gals know he’s off limits.

Brady came and found me folding laundry after his call.

“Hey. I might be able to work from home on Monday evenings,” he said.

“Okay,” I replied, not exactly sure where he was going with this.

“So we can spend more time together.”

Wait. That was cute.

“But if you’re working, we won’t be spending time together,” I pointed out.

“I’ll be able to get more work done with less distractions and it’ll eliminate my commute time. I’m hoping by the time you get home, I’ll be wrapping things up and we will have the whole evening to look forward to.”

I smiled like a maniac, touched that he’d put so much thought into it.

We got changed and went to an Italian restaurant nearby for dinner.

“Would you want to go Philadelphia this weekend?” Brady asked.

“Hmmm, I dunno. Why? Do you want to go?” I replied.

I haven’t spoken to Carly in a few weeks because she’s just so busy. She posts pictures and videos of the baby on Instagram everyday talking about how happy and lucky she is to have such a perfect daughter. She’s one of those “I can’t believe my little princess is 5 months old. She loves applesauce, morning snuggles and being the sweetest angel in the world,” kinda people. But then she’ll randomly message me and Kendra in our group chat complaining about how tired and overwhelmed and miserable she is. She isn’t even back at work.

“Chris mentioned it and I thought it might be a fun trip. It’s up to you though. If you’d rather stay in the city, we can,” Brady said.

“No, I think we should go.” I figured it’d be nice to see a friend and especially a friend like Carly because I really do miss her. I feel like we’ve grown apart the past few years and it’s sad, but since we are less than two hours away from each other now, maybe we can rekindle our friendship.

On Tuesday, Brady texted me letting me know that he was going to watch the election results at a bar and did I want to come? Nerdy, but I said I’d go. We had dinner at the bar with Brady’s friends and they literally just wanted to watch the voting coverage. I got bored and started bothering people in my phone. I actually didn’t even realize that I sent Nick a picture of my purse, vegan buffalo wings and beer until he responded.

“Looks like you’re having a good night! Can I see your face?”

I happily sent back a serious-face selfie with my red lipstick.

“Taking selfies again?” Brady asked me.

“It’s for my mom,” I fibbed.

Nick took a screenshot of the picture I sent him and then he didn’t even respond. Whatever, dude. Enjoy masturbating to my selfie.

Standard

no one has to work that late on a friday night.

Heidi called me on Monday afternoon. I’d actually given up hope on the job and was focusing my search elsewhere.

“Hi Reese,” she said on the phone. “My apologies, I thought someone had reached out to you last week. We’d like to invite you back in to meet a few more people from the team. Do you have any availability this week?”

I didn’t, but I could make time. I told her I’d come in the following afternoon. I’d just have to cancel a few meetings.

When I walked into work on Tuesday, Brett was waiting by my desk.

“There you are!” he shouted.

I was walking in forty five minutes later than I normally do because I’d been talking to Gabby at reception. We’d decided that we were going to dress up for Halloween and hit the town after work. “Dressing up” would consist of all black with Ariana Grande style bunny ears because we are adults here.

“Sorry, I got caught up. What’s up?” I said, putting my stuff down.

“I wanted to talk to you and see if you’d be interested in a project,” Brett said.

“Okay. Tell me more.” I was sitting now, booting up my laptop. I was half listening, half overwhelmed by the amount of email I knew I had waiting since everyone relies on me for everything.

“We had a ton of installations recently and we need to analyze them for quality. Make sure they are up to standard, on brand, that kind of thing. We also need to document the best ones and get them photographed for the website and social media,” he explained. “I guess the role is kind of like a project manager. I thought of you when we talked about it because of your attention to detail.”

I’d pointed out a typo on the website and now I was known for my “attention to detail.” But I was bored and looking for something to do.

“Okay. That sounds good. When do you want me to start that?”

Brett seemed relieved that I’d said yes and brought his laptop over to show me the docs I’d be using to keep track of all of my work. I wouldn’t get a chance to start on my new project that as I had a list of things I wanted to get done. Plus I’d scheduled my interview for 2:00pm and I didn’t know what time I’d be back.

Just as I was heading out to the interview, Michelle walked past.

“Hi there. You are coming to the meeting at 2:15, aren’t you?” she asked.

There was an optional company update meeting where the execs were going to let us know what was going on and what we had in store. And since it was optional, I figured it was one I could skip in order to go to my interview.

“I have a prior engagement,” I told her.

“What is it? Is it something more important than hearing whatever your exec team has to say?” Michelle asked.

My priority was in a different place so for me, it was. I couldn’t tell her that though.

“If I could reschedule my meeting, I would. It’s with [the software company we use to track sales]. One of their agents is in town and since we are having so many glitches recently, I thought I’d better meet with them,” I lied.

“Well, thank you for doing that. Do let me know if anything important comes from the meeting,” she said.

“Of course. And I’ll have Brett fill me in on the company updates,” I said.

I was glad I’d gotten myself out of that, but felt slightly bad that Michelle thought I was doing something nice/helpful. I walked to the interview and met with Heidi and who I gathered is the second in command, Valerie. Valerie wanted to talk numbers and business, how I’d driven sales and examples of how I’d showed innovation. Heidi looked on like a proud show mom as I answered the questions with ease.

At the end, Valerie said, “If we wanted a professional reference, who would we call?”

I told her I’d email her the contact information once I got back to my office. Why do people even bother calling references anymore? Like, of course your references are going to say amazing things about you otherwise you wouldn’t be using them as a reference.

Anyway, by the time the interview was over, it was 4:30 and I figured I’d head back to the office to do some work for a few hours. It was the least I could do before jumping ship.

I decided to tell Brady about the interview since it seemed like I was in the final stages and I didn’t want to suddenly drop a bomb on him.

“I mean, it sounds like something you’d enjoy doing. I‘d say make sure it’s what you want though so you aren’t job hopping a lot,” Brady said after I told him (at 9:30pm because that’s what time he came home).

Obviously dude. As if I want to be job hopping.

“It’s more in line with what I want to do in the long run. I don’t want to be doing just sales. I think I’m better than that,” I said.

“Is there any opportunity at your current office? Maybe you could work toward a promotion rather than leaving the company all together,” he suggested.

I hadn’t thought about that, but I feel like I’ve given up on my job so much that it’s out of the question. I can’t imagine working hard for a promotion when I’m so not motivated.

No one at the office dressed up for Halloween which is so annoying. Obviously I wasn’t going to dress up for work, but at least a couple people in my old office would come in costume. These people are just so boring. Gabby and I left at 4:30 so we could each run home and put on our black attire and then meet at a bar in FiDi.

When I got home I was surprised to find Brady home. On any given day he doesn’t come home until 8:30-9:30pm. He was still in work clothes and pouring a glass of water in the kitchen.

“Heyyyyyy, what are you doing home?” I asked, half confused, half excited to see him.

“I got off a little earlier,” Brady said and took a drink from his water.

“But why? Is everything okay?” I couldn’t help asking.

“Everything is fine. I came home early,” he said, his voice softening. “I thought we could maybe do something tonight. Grab dinner or drinks. Or cook here and drink wine and wait for trick or treaters.”

My little heart was so excited that he’d come home to hang out with me. “Aw. That is so sweet! I have plans though. I’m meeting up with Gabby in like twenty minutes.”

“Oh.” Brady didn’t even try to hide his disappointment. “Okay.”

I apologized and kissed him and I walked past to go get changed. I came back out after changing and Brady was still in the kitchen, leaning against the counter.

“Hopefully I get home at a decent time and we can still see the trick or treaters,” I said.

Brady looked at me and my outfit (black bodysuit, black skirt and fishnets) and said, “Are you not even going to invite me?”

For a moment, I felt terrible that he felt left out. But then I got defensive.

“Well I didn’t know you’d be home, Brady, so I planned a girl’s night,” I said.

He didn’t say anything and pulled out his phone. His face told me that he couldn’t believe I wasn’t cancelling my plans to hang out with him.

“I’m so sorry that I made plans thinking you wouldn’t be home since you always stay at work until 9pm. I’m so sorry I didn’t drop everything because you decided to come home early,” I said sarcastically.

“I’m not asking you to drop everything. I’m asking to be invited,” he said.

“I’m sorry, but no. I need to make friends without you so I will have someone to hang out with when you’re working for 70 hours out of the week. And if you come I’ll be worried about you the whole time and I don’t want to do that,” I explained.

“Okay, then.” Brady walked out of the kitchen and I heard him asking Tucker if he wanted to go for a walk.

Whatever. I walked out and set out to the bar. Gabby was already there when I arrived and had attracted a guy to the table she was sitting at. She waved me over.

“Hey. Need a refill?” I greeted her, noting that her glass was half empty.

“Why not? This is Kevin, by the way,” she said, gesturing to her friend – a typical fuckboy in his button down and Patagonia. She gave me a discrete look that told me she was excited about him.

I headed to the bar and got two vodka sodas and rejoined them at the table. They were talking about Colorado (they both have ties to Colorado) and I watched with a critical eye to make sure Gabby was presenting herself correctly. I chimed in here and there, but I didn’t have a lot to say as this was not my conversation.

“I’m gonna go grab another beer and I’ll be back. Stay put,” he told Gabby, touching her hand lightly.

“Thoughts?” Gabby said excitedly as soon as he walked away.

“I’m into it. And y’all seem to have a lot to talk about so that’s great,” I said.

Kevin came back and he had a friend with him.

“This is David. Gabby and, what was your name again?” Kevin said.

Ugh, I was being so boring that he thought I needed company. I didn’t, but whatever. I couldn’t sit there watching Gabby and making them uncomfortable, so fine. I’d entertain this loser for a few hours to help a friend out.

An hour later, I was on my fourth vodka and had my phone out showing David pictures of Tucker. He’d told me that his family back home had a dog thirty minutes ago and I’d been telling him about Tucker since.

“I just found a recipe to make him a vegan Thanksgiving pâté. I can send it to you if you’d like,” I said.

David kind of looked like he wanted to take his own life.

“Reese, we are going down the street to a comedy show. Are you coming?” Gabby asked.

“Yeah, I guess. Sure,” I said. I was aware that I should think about getting home to Brady, but the night was still young.

We walked a few blocks to a dark, basement comedy club. Since there was a show going on, we couldn’t talk which I’m sure David was thankful for. After the show, we all headed outside. It was 11:00pm at this point.

“Did you want to grab another drink somewhere?” Kevin asked Gabby.

Gabby was thinking about saying yes, but I cut in.

“She does, but we have a busy day at work tomorrow. Another time perhaps?” I said.

Kevin looked like he was wondering why I was speaking for her and what our busy day possibly consisted of.

“Yeah, maybe another time,” Kevin said. He pulled out his phone to get Gabby’s number.

“Would you like to grab a drink another time?” David asked me.

“No, thank you,” I said, not looking up. I was calling an Uber.

Once the guys walked away, I explained my reasoning to Gabby.

“I know you were having a great time with him, but you have to leave the evening on a high. If you continue drinking you’re going to have sex with him and then everything will be ruined,” I said.

“No, I wouldn’t have,” Gabby said, not even convincing herself.

When I got home, Brady was sitting on the couch with his laptop and Tucker, drinking a beer.

“Hi, trick or treat!” I greeted him.

He raised his eyebrows, but didn’t say anything.

“Don’t you have a treat for me?” I asked, joining them on the couch.

“Sure. You can have the whole bowl of candy there since we didn’t get any trick or treaters,” he said and it sounded sarcastic.

“Aww! The kids could probably sense that you were grumpy and didn’t want to bother you,” I said.

“Yeah, probably.” Brady went back to work on his laptop.

I got up to change and came back out wearing my velour pajama set. I turned on the TV and Brady tried to ignore the fact that I was sitting next to him. A few minutes later, he shut his laptop and got up. Tucker got up with him and they walked out. Rude.

After I heard Brady brush his teeth and get settled, I decided to go confront him.

“I’m so sorry, was I bothering you?” I demanded in the dark. Brady and Tucker were in bed.

“Reese, please. Don’t start this right now,” Brady said.

“What? You obviously have an issue with me because I wanted to do something without you. Sorry I want to create my own life here. Unlike you, I don’t have friends who already live here!”

“I don’t care what you do. If you want to go out with your coworkers or whoever, please do so. But I’ve always included you in all of my plans and tried my best to make sure you don’t feel alone here.”

“I want my own friends! I don’t want to hang out with your friends all the time!” I exclaimed, shocked he didn’t get what I was saying.

“Okay. I’m really tired and I’m going to sleep now,” Brady said.

I climbed into bed and we fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up at the literal asscrack of dawn, happily not hungover. Brady was still sleeping next to me and I wrapped my legs around him. It took him a moment to wake up and realize what was going on and respond. He rubbed my leg for a minute before turning around to face me. He pulled me on top of him and tried to take my top off without unbuttoning it.

“Allow me,” I said since obviously he was having trouble with it.

We proceeded to have sex twice back to back and then Brady suddenly jumped out of bed because it was way past the time for him to start getting ready.

I was still in bed when he came back fully dressed.

“I don’t know what time I’ll be home tonight. And I don’t know if I told you, but I have to go to Connecticut on Saturday.” His cold demeanor was back.

“You know you didn’t tell me, but fine,” I said back.

Once I found out that Brady was working on Saturday, I reached out to Lola and we decided to hang out that day.

On Friday night, I’d made plans in my head for Brady and I to go out and have dinner and a few drinks – nothing crazy since he had to work the next day.

When Brady wasn’t home by 9:30, I poured a glass of wine. I was already dressed thinking he’d be home soon.

At 10:00pm, I was on my third glass of wine and FaceTiming Preston.

At 10:30pm, I was so anxious that Brady was still not home this late on a Friday night, that I needed something stronger and poured a tequila with Red Bull.

Brady finally waltzed in at 10:45pm. I was raging.

“Are you absolutely shitting me right now?” I screamed.

“Whoa. What are you talking about?” he said, confused and not coming close to me.

“Where have you been?” I demanded.

“I’ve been at work. What do you mean? Where else would have I been?”

“You expect me to believe you’ve been at work until almost 11 on a Friday night? Do I really look that stupid?”

Brady still hadn’t moved from the doorway. “You know I work late-”

“Not this late!” I was fuming.

“We can talk about it when you’ve calmed down,” he said, walking past me.

I was so upset that I didn’t even want to go out and do anything anymore. I glared at Brady as he came back from putting his things down and walked into the kitchen.

“Did you already have dinner?” he asked.

“Of course I have. It’s 11:00pm!”

Brady shook his head like I was ridiculous as he started pulling out stuff to make dinner. I felt a little bad and wanted to make food for him, but he could not think what he’d done was okay. There’s just no way your job needs you that late on a Friday night. The story in my head was that he’d gotten off early and hung out with someone else before coming home. And it didn’t help that he opened his laptop at the little bar area while he ate.

“How do you still have work to do if you’ve been at work for literally 16 hours today?” I asked, sipping my drink.

“Prep work for tomorrow,” he said, not looking up.

Whatever, dude. I took my drink and a bag of pretzel chips to the living room with me. A little while later, Brady came and joined me on the couch. I was going to sit there and ignore him as I was still mad at him.

“I’ll for sure be getting off earlier tomorrow,” he told me. “Maybe we could do something in the evening.”

“Yeah, maybe. I’m hanging out with Lola and I don’t know how late that’ll go. Please know that I’m not going to alter my plans to hang out with you when you can’t even call to let me know when you’re going to be home extra late,” I said.

“I know,” Brady said back.

We sat there in silence for a few minutes until Brady grabbed my hand and brought it to his lips. Oh, he wanted to get some. That was fine because I did too.

Lola and I had plans to go to yoga then brunch and then wherever else the day took us. We met outside the yoga studio in our cute Lulelemon and Outdoor Voices gear. I’d gotten a fun printed yoga mat for the occasion.

“Ugh. I’m so hungover. I hope this helps me recover,” she greeted me.

“What’d you do last night?” I asked.

“Me and the boy went to a show. We were out until like an hour ago,” she said.

After yoga, we walked a few blocks to a cute little French restaurant to eat. We ordered avo toast, sausage, fruit and bottomless mimosas.

“Did you quit your stupid job yet?” Lola asked.

“Not yet. Hopefully soon though. I’ve been interviewing with this company and I’m hoping they extend an offer soon,” I told her.

Lola works as a copywriter at an advertising agency. She loves it because she gets to be creative and she says her bosses always love all of her crazy ideas.

After our bottomless time limit was up, we Googled a place nearby for more drinks. While we were there making plans for later, I got a Insta-Snap from Nick. It was a selfie with his tongue out, wearing a Michigan football jersey and a U of M flag behind him. Lola and I were at a sports bar that was playing the game and I saw that Michigan was winning.

I took a video of the bar and said, “Seems like we have all Penn State fans here.”

He sent back another selfie and I showed it to Lola. “Thoughts?”

“He looks like a douchey bro,” she said back.

“He is. I liked him though.”

Nick and I continued talking the rest of the day. About nothing mostly and it was completely innocent. Then he said, “Wanna FaceTime really quick?” And I forgot to reply back to that.

That evening, Brady, Lola and her boyfriend, Kellen, made plans to go out to dinner then hang out at one of Brady’s friend’s apartments in Brooklyn. We had tacos and margaritas for dinner and then headed to the house party. The apartment was right on Water Street with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge (only from outside though because it was a garden unit). It was so fucking nice and I demanded to know why Brady hadn’t found something like it for us.

Lola and I were two of three girls at the apartment which was strange. The guys were sitting around smoking weed out of weird contraptions.

“Let’s see what Marie is up to,” Lola suggested.

She pulled out her phone and texted, “Plans this evening?”

Marie let us know that she had worked late at the brewery and was headed home for the night. And then a few minutes later, she said, “Let’s see a pic of you :-)”

“Okay, we need to get a picture of Brady right now,” Lola instructed.

“I don’t see how that’s going to happen. Brady doesn’t like pictures,” I said.

She rolled her eyes and marched over to him on the couch. “Take a pic with Reese for Instagram.”

Brady smiled at me and gestured for me to join him. I climbed on his lap and Lola snapped a picture of us. It actually turned out well and I did post it on Instagram (sorry, Nick). But we also sent it to Marie.

“You look especially cute,” she said back.

The girl couldn’t even take a hint.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Update me.

Standard

i wore pajamas to a wedding.

Brady invited me to Boston for the weekend. He said it would be nice to get out of the city and that we might find plans, but nothing major.

“Maybe pack something nice for Sunday in case we do anything,” he’d instructed nonchalantly.

I waited until Saturday morning to pack even though we had plans of leaving at 8:30am. I threw a bunch of random shit into my weekender, including a black lacy number that I thought I could throw on as a costume for Saturday night if needed.

We dropped Tucker off with the sitter and then drove 4+ hours to get to our cute, industrial Airbnb near Boston Common. I didn’t know our plan until we got there and Brady informed me that we had a little bit of time to kill then we had a wedding to attend that evening.

“Wait, wedding? Who’s getting married?” I asked.

“My friend, Josh. I told you,” Brady said.

I know that I’m getting old and my memory is fading, but I know for sure that Brady did not tell me about a wedding.

“No you didn’t! I didn’t plan to come for a wedding! I don’t have anything to wear!” I exclaimed.

“It’s okay, it’s not black tie or anything. Just something casual,” Brady assured me.

Not only had I not packed anything suitable to wear to a wedding, I hadn’t washed my hair in five days and I didn’t bring any face makeup with me. I was in no shape to be going to a wedding.

“Aside from the fact that you decided not to tell me that and that is fucking rude, I do not want to go to a wedding today. I don’t have anything to wear, I look disgusting and I’m in not in the mood to socialize,” I said as calmly as I could.

Brady looked at me like I’d better lose the attitude. “I told you that it isn’t a formal wedding. Wear whatever you want. I’d like it if you’d come with me, but if this is how you are going to be then you don’t have to come.”

Do you ever get so frustrated that you want to scream? Brady just didn’t understand. A girl needs warning about this kind of thing. Obviously Brady thought I was being high maintenance and annoying, but he just didn’t get it.

And instead of allowing me to take the spare five hours we had to wash my hair and shop for something to wear, Brady insisted on going to see historical landmarks as if he hadn’t seen them a million times since he’s from the area. Then he wanted to go to this taco place that he loves. I spent the day with anxiety about what the fuck I was going to put on for the wedding.

When we finally got back to the apartment, it was 4:30.

“Let’s try to leave by 5:30. I don’t know how long it’ll take to get there,” Brady said.

“That won’t be enough time to wash my hair! I have to wash it, it smells like spoiled milk!” I said.

He looked at me like I was crazy. I guess it was my own fault for letting myself go a bit, but still. I stormed off. I ended up wearing a leather skirt and black tights. The top I’d packed to go with the skirt was a plunging leopard print bodysuit which didn’t seem appropriate for the wedding. So I decided to wear the top to a set of silk pajamas I’d brought. It was hot pink, but it was kind of cute I guess. It was that or wear a graphic tee since I am super casual these days. I doused my hair in dry shampoo leaving my roots a cute eggshell shade. I slicked it up into a bun.

Brady was right in that the wedding wasn’t your traditional formal situation. The bride was wearing a fascinator and strapless dress with tattoos covering her shoulders and arms. But still, I felt and looked unprepared.

At the after party, a random girl came up to me. Brady was talking to friends and I was hitting up the vegan snack bar.

“Who are you here with?” she asked.

She had dyed white blonde hair, pale skin, huge dark black eyes and hand tattoos a la Rihanna.

“My boyfriend. Why?” I said, immediately defensive.

“Just asking. I’ve never met you,” she said, unfazed. “I’m Lola.”

“Reese,” I said back.

“Who is your boyfriend?” she wanted to know.

“His name is Brady. Do you know him?” I was curious to see if she had any dirt on him.

“Oh, yeah yeah. I was just talking to him since he lives in New York now,” she said.

“With me,” I added, in case she missed that memo.

“Mmmhm. I do too.”

Lola and I continued talking for a bit. She asked about how I’m liking the city and because I hadn’t talked to anyone about it in a few days, I told her how much I’m hating work.

“Quit,” Lola said. “You don’t need that shit. New York has too many opportunities for you to be miserable.”

And I loved her carefree attitude. After chatting for a while, I really needed to go find Brady. Lola said she’d go with me. When we found him, he was with a group of people. Do y’all remember when Brady’s friend named Jenny confronted me and made me cry? I was in a really vulnerable state at the time. She was there and standing in the group. I was pleasantly surprised to see her.

“Hey, I met Lola who I love,” I greeted Brady. “Introduce me to your friends?”

He introduced me to the group, a couple guys and then Jenny. Once he finished, I circled back to Jenny.

“We’ve met, correct?” I said.

If y’all remember last time we saw Jenny, she was wearing a maxi dress and booties. She was wearing the exact same outfit at the wedding. This was like three years ago.

“Yeah, we have,” was all Jenny said back.

I pretended to rack my brain. “Didn’t you verbally assault me at a dinner table once?”

Before Jenny could even think about saying anything back, Brady yanked my shoulder back, catching me off guard.

“Are you fucking crazy?” I demanded.

Do not start,” he said sternly, through clinched teeth.

Sensing he wasn’t joking around, I walked off and Lola followed. Brady came and found me a few minutes later and didn’t mention what had just happened. We danced and drank a little bit, but I think everyone was just weirded out that it was a cash bar, not an open bar. A cash bar feels like it’s discouraging drinking and no one wanted to be the only one trashed.

Luckily, an hour later, someone decided we should go to a bar nearby. Brady chugged down his drink and I turned to Lola, making sure she was coming.

“I hate going out in Boston, but I guess I’ll come,” she said.

“You share my sentiments,” I told her.

A few hours later, Lola and I were tearing up the small dance floor. I was absolutely hammered, but trying to hide it because Lola and I’d had about the same amount to drink and she was two inches shorter and one hundred pounds lighter. She is tiny. It was embarrassing.

We’d talked at the previous bar and she told me about her on/off boyfriend.

“I love him, but I really don’t trust him. I don’t trust anything with a penis honestly. They can’t control them. That’s not a stereotype, that’s science,” she said.

“No, I completely agree with you! You’re absolutely right. I don’t even trust my male dog!” I said. Lola laughed.

At the end of the night when it was time to go home, Brady found me outside smoking a cig with Lola. We’d already exchanged numbers and followed each other on every social network and we hugged goodbye.

“I literally love Loz [pronounced Lowz]. I’m so glad I have another friend in New York now,” I told Brady as we walked back to the apartment.

“Yeah, me too. She’s cool,” he said back.

I grabbed his hand and leaned up to kiss him, but he rudely pulled away from me and said, “You smell like an ashtray.”

The next day, after a big breakfast to cure my hangover, Brady and I went to a brewery for a tasting and a tour. The girl serving us started talking to us and telling us about her life (including moving to Boston with her boyfriend for his job) and she reminded me a lot of myself actually. We use a lot of the same phrases and have some of the same mannerisms and it was kind of weird. When she walked away for a moment, I asked Brady if he noticed and he looked at me like I was crazy. I loved her at the time though. Her name was Marie.

We hung out there for about two hours and learned about all kinds of man issues Marie was having like how her boyfriend’s mother hates her and always sends her messages on Facebook telling her to take pictures and posts down. Can’t relate. Once it was time to go, Brady paid for our experience and left a hefty tip for her on his card.

“Here, I’m going to give you my business card. I’m a manager here and you guys are welcome back anytime. I’ll write down my cell too. Feel free to call me or you can even text me,” she said and handed the card to Brady.

At the time, it didn’t seem that weird because we’d had such a good time with her. But when we got back home and I saw the card on Brady’s nightstand while he was showering, I got absolutely furious.

I snapped a picture of the card and sent it to Lola, who I’d been texting all day, and told her what happened.

“I’ll handle it. Get rid of the card,” she said back. I didn’t know what that meant, but I was happy to know that I had a supporter on my team. I did as I was instructed and ripped the card into teeny, tiny pieces.

An hour later, Lola sent me a string of screenshots from a conversation she’d had with Marie. Lola had texted her pretending to be Brady and Marie eagerly texted back, “Hey! I was hoping I’d hear from you. :-)”

They had a long conversation in which Brady (Lola) hinted at meeting up and hanging out and Marie suggested places in both Boston and New York City for them to meet. I was never mentioned by either of them.

“Can’t trust bitches either,” Lola said.

“You’re so good at this,” I commented, realizing how much she sounded like a cheating man in the texts.

“Experience,” she said.

As of this evening, Brady (Lola) and Marie are still texting.

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