we will figure it out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“10:30am on Tuesday.”

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

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

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

“Your lack of enthusiasm is depressing.”

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

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

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

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

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

The breakfast was delicious though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Not yet.”

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

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

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

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

That night my mom called to talk without my dad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sure, what’s up?” I said sweetly.

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

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

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

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

I didn’t say anything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I nodded.

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

“I hate Mondays,” Brendan finally said.

“I hate working here,” I said back.

“Really?”

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

“Is Mike being a dick?” Brendan asked.

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

He shrugged. “Just a guess.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You got it.”

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

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

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

Urgently? Fuck off. I didn’t reply.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I shrugged.

“Let’s try,” she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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i deserved that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brady didn’t reply to that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That’s fast! Who is it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She nodded excitedly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sydney huffed and crossed her arms.

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

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

….k.

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

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

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

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

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

“I would love that.”

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

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

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

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

“We are probably still a few weeks away.”

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!

Standard

five years.

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

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

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

Cheers! I love you guys!

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please don’t call me dude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And it’s his?” Hunter said back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay. Go have fun with your hookers then.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So we should talk,” Brady said.

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

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

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

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

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

“I just think it’s unfair,” he said.

“What’s unfair?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I wanted to apologize,” he said.

“Oh,” I said back.

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

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

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

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

“True,” I chimed in.

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

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

“I’m scared,” he revealed.

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

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

“What?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, God.

“Okay…”

“Do you remember Hailey?”

“Of course I do.”

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

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

“What?” I demanded.

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

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

“A second. A few seconds…or less.”

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

He nodded.

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

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

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

Brady nodded.

“Is there anything else?”

“No. No, that was it,” he said.

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

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

Standard

brady’s new girlfriend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just stared at her.

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

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

“That’s impossible,” I let her know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hi, boo!” she answered the phone.

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

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

“Allegedly.” I hopped in a cab.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I have to go,” I said and hung up.

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

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

“This is serious, Brady.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Mmhm.”

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

I nodded.

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

“Okay.”

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

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

“I’m sorry,” I blubbered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I thought you were on birth control.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Standard

i want him to myself.

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

If anyone has any recommendations at all, please share.

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

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

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

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

“Mike!” I exclaimed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Kristina. Let’s get back to work.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey hey,” he greeted Tucker and me.

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

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

“What are you wearing?” I demanded.

“What?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t like that,” I concluded.

He laughed and said okay.

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

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

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

He gave me a disapproving look and shook his head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Standard

do not disturb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regan is the wife.

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

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

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

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

He laughed and went back to work.

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

“Wifey,” he explained.

Here we fucking go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, they were quiet and I marched in.

“What’s up?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Good morning!” I greeted the group.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nah,” was all Hunter said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Heyyyy,” Thomas greeted us with drunk affection.

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

“How’s your week been?” Brendan asked

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

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

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

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

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

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

She pouted. “Okay, fine.”

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

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

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

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

Standard

i don’t need to know her favorite sex position.

I tried to turn my Miami work trip into a weekend getaway with Brady, but he wasn’t having it.

“I have way too much work to do, I can’t leave for the whole weekend,” he told me.

“Oh please. It’s not like the hospital will burn down if you aren’t there,” I said. It was condescending, but come on.

I got to Miami on Thursday with Kristina, who manages our account there. We had back to back meetings, but I was just happy to be in the sun. After meetings, we changed and I got dressed in a white jumpsuit for drinks. I really had no business doing that because I had a ton of work piling up, but when in Miami.

After three drinks, Kristina said, “But anyway. Where’s your boyfriend?”

“He claims he’s too busy at work to come. I’m gonna chop his head off,” I answered.

“No, I mean your work boyfriend. Brendan.” She gave me a delighted smile.

Brendan loves me. Not in a romantic way at all, but he thinks I’m brilliant (Mike’s words) and hilarious and comes to me for literally everything. He also happened to be in Miami at the same time as us.

“Oh, I don’t know where he is. Probably somewhere texting his wife,” I said back.

Brendan and I have gotten so close that he followed me on Instagram and his Instagram is filled with pictures of his sappy wife. Like him, she looks about 21 years old (but he’s actually six months older than me). She looks exactly how I pictured with big, far apart eyes with an equally huge smile. She kind of looks like Woah Vicky from Instagram (she actually looks exactly like her, but I don’t want to be rude).

“Tell him to meet us out,” she enthused.

“No.” I know when to draw the line. Nothing good would happen if Brendan came out drinking with us – I could imagine my lips loosening and blabbering about Mike and his prostitutes. Brendan and I may be friends, but I don’t know where his loyalty lies.

“You hang out with him all the time. Why keep him to yourself?” she pouted.

It’s true. Like I said, Brendan comes to me for everything and stops by the office like twice a week to check in on things which I get the impression he didn’t do before I started. But again, it’s not romantic at all. I think he’s genuinely like a nice person. He always talks to me about his family (he’s super close with his younger sister) and WASPy hobbies and super involved weekends. Usually our conversation goes like this:

Brendan: “This weekend my dad and I went to Maine with my uncle who is a pilot and owns a small plane. My family has a cabin there and we like to go ice fishing. We went snowboarding on Sunday and went to the sauna in my family’s house after. What did you do?”

Me: “I fell asleep on the couch on Friday night at 9, day drank with Lola all day on Saturday and passed out on the couch before dinner. I spent all of Sunday recovering.”

He doesn’t talk about his wife literally ever, but posts pictures with her with really sweet captions on Instagram. And because he doesn’t talk about his wife, I don’t talk about Brady.

Once we were tipsy and exhausted, Kristina and I finally called it a night. When I got back to my hotel, I checked my phone to see that Nick had replied to my Instagram story.

“Ever coming back?” he asked.

And really, I shouldn’t have responded cuz like, who is Nick? But still, I said, “Next weekend actually!”

“Can’t wait,” he said back. I don’t know why Nick thought my trip to Chicago had anything to do with him or that I would even see him while in Chicago. But I just didn’t respond.

Kristina and I stayed until Saturday evening just to have an extra day to explore. We day drank and shopped (I had to buy an extra bag to get all my shit home).

Brady had friends over when I got home. Excuse me? He didn’t have time to come to Miami with me, but he had time to mingle with friends? Not to mention, Sydney’s huge eyeballs were the first ones I saw.

“Hey, babe. I’m glad you’re home,” Brady greeted me brightly with a kiss as he took my bag from me.

“Hey. It would have been nice not to come home to a house full of people, but whatever,” I said low enough so that no one else heard me.

Brady continued standing there smiling and I walked around him and greeted everyone. Besides Sydney, Zeke was there with some of his friends and Brady’s doctor friends Owen and Connor. Sydney was the only girl.

“Heyyyy, Reese!” she squawked.

“Come drink with us,” Zeke said.

As if I had a choice.

I went to the bedroom to change and Brady followed.

“How was your trip?” he asked.

I shrugged as I changed into workout pants. “You should’ve come.”

I pulled my shirt off and with my giant boobs out on display, he took a big step toward me and pulled me into him.

“Mmm, I missed you so much,” he murmured into my ear.

And I pushed him off thinking, if you didn’t have 50 people over we could fool around and hook up, but now we have to entertain them. I’m getting old.

The evening consisted of playing drinking games and Sydney being very vocal about her sexual experiences/preferences. I really could have lived my life without knowing that Sydney’s favorite position is doggy style.

The following weekend, Brady and I went to Chicago for Kendra and Mia’s birthdays. I was so excited to get back and see everyone and had plans to catch up with Preston and Lexi and some others after dinner with Kendra and John.

I put on a black and white printed blouse, girlfriend jeans, and white booties and we met them at Tao. Kendra and I screamed and cried when we saw each other.

“Oh my God,” she said, wiping her tears. “You look fantastic, Reese! Your hair is so long and shiny. And you’re glowy!”

“Um, excuse me? You look so fucking thin and perfect. I miss us!” We hugged again.

We all sat down and ordered a whole lot of food. They are trying for another baby.

“Isn’t Mia enough for now?” I exclaimed.

Kendra smiled. “We miss when Mia was teeny tiny and we want all of our kids to be close in age… You’ll see once you start having kids.”

They all just looked at me, including Brady.

“Okay,” I said.

Kendra leaned over with her chin in her hands. “So is living in New York City everything you thought it’d be?”

“Yeah, I think so. I like it, but I miss Chicago way more than I thought I would. I’m a little bit like, homesick, I guess,” I replied.

She gave me a sympathetic look. “Of course you are. Chicago was your home for like six years. Do you think y’all will ever love back?”

“Maybe. He doesn’t want to be in New York long term, but we are both fine for now.”

We caught up and talked about work. Kendra is about to get a promotion so she’s been working a lot (but still not as much as Brady because she gasped when I told her his schedule). I pointed out that it didn’t seem like a good time to be trying to expand her family and she rolled her eyes.

After dinner, the four of us headed up Old Town to a bar to meet up with Preston and Lexi and Alex later on.

Preston brought his new boyfriend, Ethan. I hate Ethan. He was super condescending and had the nerve to dominate the conversation to talk about himself. Who do you think you are, Ethan?

At one point he went to the bathroom and Preston leaned close. “What do you think? I know you aren’t going to believe me, but I’ve never felt this kind of connection with someone before.”

Oh, for fucks sake. “Really, Preston?”

I’ll bet $500 they don’t make it to summer.

We stayed out until the wee hours of the morning, until Kendra and John realized they told their sitter they’d be home at 2:00 and it was several hours later than that. We climbed into an Uber with me squished in the backseat between Kendra and Brady.

I pulled out my phone and saw that I had some messages from Nick. I forgot about him, again.

One was a tongue out selfie. “Waiting for you at Bottled Blonde.”

Then he said, “You in town?”

I had my phone pulled up close to my face because I was drunk and blind.

Brady said, “Who’s Nick?”

I pulled my phone away. “Oh yeah, he’s this guy I know.”

And to my complete shock, Brady reached for my phone so he could read the messages himself. Luckily though, Nick and I don’t have a recent text history so there was nothing to see.

“Are you going to text him back?” he said, handing my phone back to me.

“No.”

The next morning, we woke our hungover asses up to get ready for Mia’s party. They rented out a restaurant and John’s and family came for the occasion. I thought everything was going well until Kendra grabbed my elbow and pulled me to a corner.

“What’s up? Why are you acting crazy?” I asked.

“John is getting on my nerves,” she whispered.

“Duh. He’s been on my nerves since the moment I met him. What’s he doing?” I said.

“He and his mom are criticizing everything I did. She asked why we had the party at this restaurant and not one we talked about previously because it is bigger and has better food and John stood there agreeing with her like, ‘Yeah, why, honey?’”

Oh, I’d kill him.

“Me and John talked about this on more than one occasion. He’s just being an ass trying to impress his mom.”

I was actually surprised to hear this. Kendra is really close with John’s family and she’s known them for years. She doesn’t normally complain about stuff like that. But welcome to my life, girl.

Speaking of which, Brady’s mom texted me the other day. I hadn’t heard from her in a while and Brady hasn’t mentioned her at all.

She sent a link to an article from CNN that talked about sleeping habits. Uh, okay? It’s like she was trying to find an excuse to text me.

So I said back, “Thank you, I’ll read this when I have a chance. How are you?”

And then she didn’t even respond so whatever.

Let’s see, what else?

Work has been very busy. So busy that I don’t have time to text Brady and annoy him all day which I feel like is making me miss him. I get so excited to get home to tell him all about my day and work and hear about his day. It’s a good feeling. He’s still working a lot also, but makes a point to come home before 8:00 each night so we can have dinner together. He works until 11pm or midnight at home though, but I guess that’s fine.

Brady and I are going to visit Hunter in San Francisco next weekend and I’m sure I’ll have come stories from that. Ciao!

Standard

i actually have work to do.

Carly came to visit as promised. She ditched Chris and Sloan and hopped on a train on Saturday morning. It was perfect timing because Brady decided to work that day. Brady has been working like his life depends on it. More about that later.

I invited Lola over also so we could all sit in my warm apartment (we have a fireplace) and gossip.

“Oh my God, I love your place!” Carly exclaimed several times. “Do you think Brady will mind if I move in?”

“He’s never home anyway,” Lola said.

Even though she was right I glared at her. Brady usually leaves the house in the morning at around 5:30 – this is after he’s gotten ready and taken Tucker for a walk. Then we can expect him home between 8 and 9:30pm. And he’s worked the past several weekends. So yeah, he’s never home, but I didn’t need Lola to point that out.

I made us a fabulous vegan brunch consisting of fresh fruit, a sweet potato and kale hash, chia pudding and ginger shots.

“I’m going crazy,” Carly announced. “I’m bored and I have cabin fever and I catch myself baby talking to other adults.”

“Why don’t you get a job?” I asked.

“I’m looking. Chris doesn’t want to put Sloan in daycare right now though.”

“Tell him to stay home with the baby while you get a job,” Lola chimed in.

Sixteen mimosas later, we were talking about Brady again after Carly and Lola complained about their respective men. Carly is annoyed that her life is so boring and Chris doesn’t seem to care because he wants her home with Sloan. Lola and I told her that she should get a part time nanny and then either get a part time job or a hobby. That’s what I would do. Carly is also mad because she told her job that she’d be back like 6 months ago and she hasn’t so they replaced her. She’d have to find an entirely new job.

Lola is always annoyed with Kellen, but on this particular day, she was mad at him because he told her he needed space, that he didn’t want to feel like he was dating his mom. So harsh.

“I’m just trying to help him better his life. He still lives like he’s in college, eating corn dogs and shit for dinner,” she explained.

Carly made a face. “I refuse to have anything like that in my house.”

I really had nothing to say because I’m usually eating a pound of chips and bacon ranch dip for dinner or nothing at all. And I am way too old for that.

“Brady has always been like that, Reesie,” Carly said after I’d complained to them about his schedule.

“I know, but he keeps promising that he will try harder and he doesn’t,” I said.

“You know…” Carly swirled her mimosa. “If Brady didn’t get this job, you guys wouldn’t even be here. So really, you should be grateful that he has it.”

“I’d much rather be back in Chicago than this!” I blew up at her. “Are you kidding me? Why should I be grateful that he dragged me across the country and has no regard for me or my feelings?”

Carly threw her hands up and Lola said, “Just do your own thing. If he can’t find a way to spend time with you then he doesn’t want to. He’s not the president of the United States.”

“Thankfully,” I muttered.

“Yeah, just try to find things to do on your own, babe,” Carly said, touching my hand. “I really think you should join a book club or a fitness class or something.”

A fucking book club. I didn’t want to talk about it anymore because they didn’t get my point.

That evening, Carly and I got dressed to go out for drinks and Brady walked in. I hadn’t heard from him all day because he’s so busy at work that he can’t text. I used to blow up his phone and make him at least acknowledge me, but I don’t even try anymore.

He greeted both of us with hugs and I let him know that we were going out.

“Yeah, do you want to come?” Carly said.

Brady looked at me before answering and he must have been gauging my reaction because he said, “No, that’s okay. I’m pretty tired-”

“Cool. Good,” I said. Stay your ass at home then.

Later on in the night, Carly said, “I sort of felt like you when Chris and I first moved.”

“Really?” I said back.

“Yeah,” she nodded. “Chris was working a lot and I didn’t like my job and I was homesick.”

“What did you do to get over it?”

“Well, I stopped thinking Philadelphia was going to be anything like Chicago and tried to be more open minded. I found a new job and started going to any fitness class I could find.”

“Mmhm,” I murmured back, taking a sip of my drink.

“And a word of advice. You have to think about your future – if you are going to start a family with Brady and expect him to be the breadwinner, he’s gonna have to work a little bit harder to get where he wants to be. It sucks now, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.”

I rolled my eyes at her. I don’t need anyone to be the breadwinner. I make plenty of money on my own. And when we do begin having children, if he thinks he’s going to be able to work 100 hours a week and not help me with the baby, he is in for a rude awakening. And the nerve of Carly to even try to give me that advice. She hates being a stay at home Mom and having to rely on Chris so why would she think I wanted to do it?

Anyway, on Sunday after Carly left, Brady and I went for a walk. We just wanted to get out of the house. And when he started telling me about work, about how stressed he is about his workload and how there isn’t enough time to do it all, I started feeling bad. I’ve pretty much gotten used to him not coming home until late or working at home on Monday nights and not even looking up when Tucker and I run screaming through the apartment chasing each other. I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t bother texting him to check in, keeping his dinner warm for him or even caring about it. I really should be more empathetic, but so should he. He’s the one who took this job.

But anyway, to actually have work to do feels nice. I’ve been super busy trying to catch up because there’s a lot and Mike is impatient. He’s a deadlines kinda guy and gives me a deadline for everything.

“Please print and read this SOP by end of day.”

“I need these expenses consolidated by end of week.”

“I’d like you to schedule lunches with these partners and please have this done within the next hour.”

And he loves changing deadlines so I have to reprioritize several times a day. It’s such a joy working for him.

Despite this, I am really liking my job. I love having a smaller office because first of all, less personalities but also it’s a lot easier to get ideas approved and implemented. And I have a lot of ideas. Whenever I think something can be done better or more efficiently, I tell Mike and he rolls his eyes and tells me that we can do it as long as I agree to take ownership of it.

I also love that we work with so many different vendors and partners. I get to talk to new people everyday and it makes up for not having a ton of people to talk to in the office.

I love this woman we work with named Nancy. She is basically what I’m going to be in twenty years. At our first meeting, she arrived wearing Manoko Blahnik flats and a furry cape.

“Hi, great outfit. Should we get to work?” she greeted me.

I appreciate people who don’t bullshit around. She’s also super business savvy and transparent which is great.

“Listen, if we installed all IKEA furniture, this client wouldn’t bat an eyelash. We are fine,” she told me once.

And she has the most chic dyed blonde bob that I can totally imagine myself sporting when I’m over fifty.

Another time, she said, “I am so glad Mike finally found someone else to do this job. I love Mike – we all love Mike – but he’s not the best at nurturing relationships, is he?”

I mean no, but he did find me after a year to ask me to come work for him so there’s that.

We had a budget meeting the other week that was supposed to be just me, Thomas and some others, but one of Mike’s meetings got rescheduled so he insisted on coming with me. Brendan was also there, uninvited.

So instead of the meeting going how I’d planned, Mike kept interjecting and asking questions that I’d planned to cover later on. Just let me do my job, dude.

At first when he would ask questions, I would coyly smile and say, “I was getting to that next.”

Brendan gave me a look like, “I can’t believe you just said that to your CEO,” but Mike can handle it. Eventually though, I just started answering his questions.

Afterwards, we all walked back to the office together and Brendan said to me, “He seems tough.”

“He is, but I am too,” I confirmed.

Everyone at the office is always really surprised that I say (mostly) what I want to Mike. I actually feel like I walk on eggshells around him, but I’m at least honest. Everyone else just shuts their mouths and nods.

Brendan laughed because apparently he thinks I’m so funny. He started telling me about his team and the growing pains he was going through with his company and how he and his dad had completely opposite views on running a business.

“My dad is a workhorse and expects everyone else to be. He ran a really strict and tight ship and I’m not really that way. I’m not a control freak and I think that makes people think I’m either lazy or don’t know what I’m doing,” he explained.

“Yeah, I think Mike is more like your dad. I can understand where you’re coming from though, I am a firm believer in only hiring people you can trust to do their job without having to babysit them,” I replied.

A little while later, Brendan nudged me through his coat pocket and said, “You never know, maybe one day you’ll take his job.”

We all got back to the office and grabbed coffee/tea in the kitchen. This turned into me, Brendan, Thomas, Sam and Kristina standing around for twenty minutes laughing and talking. After they left, Kristina cornered me in my office.

“Oh my gosh, Brendan is hot, isn’t he?” she exclaimed.

“Yeah, but he’s married so calm down,” I said to her.

“Ugh.” She pretended to pout and crossed her arms defiantly.

I’m supposed to be working primarily with Thomas and whenever he emails me, he always copies Brendan and Mike. And Brendan usually responds and ends up taking care of whatever it is that Thomas was trying to get done. So much for not being a control freak, right?

Since Brady has decided to live at work, I’ve been going through his messages. I mainly just want to see who he has time to text since he has no time to text me.

Apparently, no one. Not even his mother. She sends him messages once every few days with either links to articles or asking him questions and he never responds to her. But she is persistent and continues messaging him. The latest article she sent him was something like “things you should know before marriage.” Not sure what she thinks is going on, but obviously Brady and I are not getting married anytime soon.

Anyway, I should go. I/we have lots of travel coming up, but I’ll be sure to update y’all. Bye!

Standard

of course he hires prostitutes.

Brady’s mom sent him a long text message after our Thursday meeting. She basically said the same things she told me, but it was obvious that they’d spoken on the phone beforehand because she said things like, “You don’t seem to care how she spoke to me today and that’s disappointing.”

You know what else is disappointing? You are, you bitch. She also said things along the lines of, “I didn’t raise you to be this way,” and “I thought you’d be a little more considerate after how Hunter handled things with his wife.”

She’s such a victim. I rolled my eyes at her long message and was at least happy that Brady didn’t bother responding.

On Friday, Mike was back in the office. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Sam, who had been busy, but chill the past several days, was clearly stressed about him being around. Like, relax.

Mike and I were meeting with the head of a construction company we partner with for a lot of our projects for lunch.

“How was your uh, New Years?” Mike asked on our walk over.

Sam wasn’t with us and I really needed her as a buffer. Mike has zero social skills.

“It was okay. My boyfriend and I went to a house party with some friends and spent all of New Year’s Day recovering,” I said. Why did I say that? Why? “Uh, how was yours?”

“It was all right. We need to turn here,” he replied.

We didn’t say anything else the rest of the walk. We were meeting with Thomas, the head of sales and Brendan, the CEO. Brendan was cute, I noticed, with his dirty blonde fuckboy haircut (faded on the sides and styled on top with a damn part cut into it), manly dimpled chin and super soft, gentle green eyes. Do you ever look at someone and feel like you can tell their entire story just by the way they look? With his long sleeved henley and swimmer shoulders and pea coat draped over the back of his chair, I could tell that he came from old money, was clearly filthy rich and liked to sail as a hobby. He was obviously the president of his fraternity in college (an Ivy League), was a self proclaimed beer snob and worked out like it was a religion. I was surprised that he wasn’t working on Wall Street. He looked younger than me in my opinion, but had a wedding band on. I could even picture what his wife was like.

Mike and the guys spoke mostly, but then Brendan said, “Do you have anything to add to that?” to me. And he said it kind of shyly, like he wasn’t sure if it was his place to ask me to talk.

“Yes, I have loads to add,” I said back. I always have things to add. I didn’t shut up the rest of the lunch and kept talking so much that Mike actually raised an eyebrow at me.

Eventually we stopped talking business and Brendan started telling us about the ski trip he was taking to Yellowstone. To my surprise, Mike actually showed a bit of interest and they carried on talking about the resort and stuff I could not relate to. Typical rich New Yorkers.

“Do you like to ski, Reese?” Brendan asked, realizing I hadn’t said anything for a while.

“I’ve only been a handful of times and as you can imagine, I’m not very good,” I replied.

Brendan tossed his head back and actually laughed a real, genuine laugh, revealing the most adorable smile with the cutest teeth even though he had noticeable fangs. His mouth was kind of wide too with dimples punctuating it. The rest of the conversation I spent staring at his mouth.

After lunch, we all got up and Mike told Thomas that I was the main point of contact and that we’d probably be working together a lot.

Thomas, a ginger (I love gingers), smiled big like this was the best news ever. “Looking forward to working with you more, Reese.”

Mmkay.

As we were walking out, Brendan fell into step next to me and the other two were a few feet ahead of us.

“Where are you from?” he asked me.

“Most recently Chicago. I went to school in Arizona and grew up just outside Houston, Texas,” I answered politely.

He laughed again. “What company did you work for? I see you’re new.”

Oh. So he didn’t want my whole life story?

I told him and he just said, “Ah, I see.”

“What about you? Where are you from?” I asked.

“Born here and went to school in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I was working on my own business for a while out of school until I sold it and took over this job.”

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem really young to have such a big job,” I said.

Brendan laughed, once again. “You’re not the first person to say that, don’t worry. It’s a family business. I was the only one fit to take over for my dad. Yeah, it might be a bit premature, but it is what it is.”

Typical. Taking over the business from Daddy. There seemed to be more to that story, but I didn’t think it was my business. We chatted a bit more about the city and when I told him the neighborhood I live in, he gave me some recommendations for places to eat and things to do. I added them to my mental NYC Bucket List.

Later on in the day, Mike forwarded me an email that was originally addressed to him asking for some reports to be summarized.

“Please complete this by end of day. Thx,” he said.

Not only did I have other shit to work on, but it was already 3pm. The day was practically over. Mike went offline immediately after sending that to me.

Kristina stopped by my office a little while later.

“Hey chica,” she greeted me. She’s 26 and high energy – she’s always running around, sending emails and talking on the phone and in a hurry. Love her, but her job is not as important as she tries to make it. I think she’s super cool though and she’s single so we talk about men and dating a lot. Unlike Gabby, she doesn’t feel like she needs a boyfriend, but just likes to have fun. “What time are you leaving? We should get a drink. Or several.”

“Ugh, I’m not sure. Mike just give me a ton of extra work to do and then just left. So…” I said back.

Kristina made a face and pranced out of my office, shouting to let her know when I was finished. I ended up finishing things up at 6 and Kristina was waiting for me at the office door. We walked to a nearby restaurant for their happy hour.

We immediately began gossiping about work. Kristina was filling me in on everyone’s stories: who is a suck up and who is lazy, etc. We seemed to have the exact same opinion of people and I loved that about her. I’m a good reader of people and it was nice to know that she is too. Kristina has a trendy blonde bob and always wear lipsticks and dresses like an Instagram fashion blogger with her layers and colors and prints. She’s super cute.

We moved onto Mike and she said, “It’s weird that he left so early today. He probably has a date with one of his ladies.”

“What ladies?” I needed to know.

“His escorts.”

What?” I gasped. “What are you talking about?”

“Oh, you didn’t hear. He hires hookers all the time. Sam found out when she saw a hotel room in the city for him on his statement. He told her that it was for personal use, but he needed to book it with his corporate card. After digging a little bit, Sam realized that he was meeting prostitutes. There are hotel charges on his card like twice a month.”

“Oh my God!” I screamed. Finally! Something juicy. For some reason, I just wasn’t surprised. Like, of course Mike would. He’s hot, but he has no social skills so he probably can’t pick up women on his own. I bet Scott hires them for himself too.

Brady came home late on Friday night even after I texted him saying we should go out for dinner. See how he makes me a priority? He doesn’t. I made myself a protein smoothie for dinner and made him fend for himself. I was still upset about the whole thing with his mom and I was annoyed that he hadn’t brought it up again.

Brady worked again on Saturday and I used that as an excuse not to leave the house. By the time he got home from work, I’d done nothing except go through every single one of his messages. I was disappointed to not find anything incriminating, not even in his messages with Sydney. In fact, he said some really sweet stuff about me to her before Christmas. Clearly he’s onto me and knows I’m reading his messages.

“I’m super tired. Let’s stay in and watch a movie tonight,” he said when he got home.

“Gladly,” I said back, thinking we’d be able to talk.

That is, until he said, “I think I’m gonna go in again tomorrow. I have a lot to do and I want to get it completed as soon as I can.”

Seriously? After we ate dinner, I locked myself in the bedroom and texted him, “This relationship won’t work if I’m the only one trying. You’re choosing to work instead of spending time with me and that’s not okay. You promised you wouldn’t work as much anymore and you’re not even making an effort. And don’t even get me started on your mother.” I was hiding in the bedroom so he wouldn’t try to kiss me or kiss my hand or distract me.

Brady opened my message and spent five whole minutes trying to formulate a response.

“I don’t want you to think I’m choosing work over you because I’m not. I’d like to finish my work this weekend because it will make it easier for me in the long run. I have a very large workload which I warned you about [he did, back when we were in Chicago]. I’m seriously trying my best and I’m sorry I’m not doing a better job.”

I felt like he was blowing smoke just like he did with his mother. And, to my horror, I caught myself thinking, “Brendan would never choose work over me and I bet his mom wouldn’t try to bully me into moving out.” Of course she would, bitch, because he’s married!

I stayed in the bedroom until morning and Brady had to bang on the door so he could get in the closet. I felt a teensy bit bad that I’d unintentionally forced him to sleep on the couch, but not really. We haven’t spoken much since, but he’s been trying to be really nice and sent me all these ideas for what to do next weekend.

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