i feel like you’re judging me.

On Saturday morning when I woke up, I had an iMessage from Brady. It said, “Up for a run this morning?” 

It was from thirty minutes prior and while I did not particularly want to go for a run, I did want to see Brady. I replied, “Yes.”

“Should I come and get you? We can run by the lake.”

“Give me thirty minutes,” I told him. 

I jumped out of bed, showered and threw on lululemon shorts and a t-shirt from college. I hoped Brady didn’t want to run far because I was fucking tired and didn’t want to sweat my face off. 

Brady called exactly thirty minutes later and let me know that he was waiting outside my apartment. I grabbed my wallet in case he wanted to get breakfast afterward and met him downstairs.

“Morning,” he said when I got in the car. He drove us to the beach a little bit south of both of our apartments, away from the Lollapalooza and tourist craziness. 

We stretched and he told me we could do a short run (“only” two miles). I silently prayed before we began that I could pull this off like I did the 5K. I’m still recovering from that by the way. 

Prayer works. I managed to finish the run – alive and not completely drenched in sweat. I even managed to talk to Brady about the weeks we’d had at work. Afterwards, we walked a short “cool down” lap and Brady mentioned that there was a pizza place he wanted to try. At first he just kept talking about how he heard it was really good and they had a large beer selection and yada, yada, yada then finally he asked if I wanted to go with him later that evening.

I, of course, said yes and he said that he would reserve us a table and pick me up later.

I spent the majority of the day out shopping with Preston. We had paid off our credit cards so we were celebrating by maxing them out again. And also I needed something to wear for my pizza and beer date so he helped me. 

Brady texted me at 6:30 letting me know our table would be ready at 7:30. Luckily I had already showered and blow dried my hair because an hour is just not enough time to get ready. I’ll have to let him know for next time.

The place was packed, but Brady valeted his car so he didn’t have to find parking. Our table was right by the large open window that faced the street and we ordered a pizza with a ton of random toppings on it (I mean, sundried tomatoes? So unnecessary) and a pitcher of some craft beer the waitress recommended.

Brady asked what I did with my day and I told him about celebrating paying my credit card off.

“That seems a little counterproductive,” he said.

“I feel like you’re judging me.”

“No way. I’m offended that you think I would judge you.”

“I’m offended that you would call my day counterproductive.”

“My apologies. I’m sure you have a logical reason for your actions today.”

Was this our first fight?

“Thank you. I get cash rewards for spending a certain amount. How could I not participate in that?”

“You make a compelling argument, Reese. Cash rewards are certainly a lucrative incentive.”

I just wanted to shake him. Did he ever snap out of it? The night went on with us playfully bantering back and forth like that. Even though he talks like a college professor sometimes, we have the same sarcastic sense of humor. And, he knows how to have fun. After we finished our pizza and beer he ordered us tequila shots. It’s like he knows the way to my heart. After we left the pizza place he invited me back to his place. Chris was home (sans Carly who was nannying) and the three of us drank beer out on the patio. I felt like one of the guys. 

Eventually Chris went inside to bed, but Brady and I stayed outside. At around midnight or one am we were tired and slap happy and laughing at anything and everything.

“I’m tired,” Brady said, yawning. “Do you want to just stay here and I can take you home in the morning?” 

Oh my God. Immediately I thought of Kendra. She would definitely tell me not to do it – we had been drinking and things could happen. I wasn’t supposed to have sex with him. But he didn’t feel like taking me home. What was I supposed to do, walk? 

“Okay,” I said. 

We went inside to his room and he started pulling out extra blankets and sheets and a t-shirt for me to sleep in. I changed, got in his bed and started getting comfy.

“Well it appears that you’ve already claimed the bed. I’ll go sleep in the basement,” Brady said.

He tucked a blanket under his arm and reached for one of the pillows on the bed. I grabbed his arm. 

“You can stay here with me,” I told him as if it was actually my bed. 

He didn’t object. Instead, he changed into just shorts with no shirt, flipped off the light then climbed into bed with me. I noticed another small tattoo on his chest and made note to ask about it later. 

“I’m physically unable to sleep with a shirt on,” he explained. 

What about laying horizontally makes you lose inhibitions? That’s pillow talk, I guess.

“Brady, have you ever had a girlfriend?” I asked.

“Where did that come from?” 

“I’m just wondering.”

“Yeah, I’ve had one serious girlfriend.”

“What happened with her?” I wanted to know. The reason they broke up would give me a lot of insight into how Brady operates as a boyfriend.

He looked off past me for a moment and I almost felt bad for asking him. Was that too personal? I didn’t want to pry or anything, I was just curious.

“She accepted a job in New York City. We tried the long distance thing for a little while, but it wasn’t coducive to a satisfying relationship.”

“So if she was still here, do you think y’all would still be together?”

“Hard to say.” Brady paused. “We are two completely different people now. That was almost two years ago so our lives and circumstances have considerably changed.”

I immediately wondered what the girl is like. She is probably a doctor or rocket scientist or something I will never be smart enough to do. She probably owns a condo, has $100,000 in retirement already and has her finances on lock because she doesn’t spend money on designer shoes, handbags and clothing. She’s probably super low maintanence. The thought of Brady with another girl actually hurt.

“I imagine you’ve had a ton of boyfriends,” he said.

“Hey!” I said, poking his bare chest. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That you could have any guy you want. You’re probably constantly fighting them off.” 

I considered this. I’ve never had trouble getting guys or anything, but I do have trouble with relationships. I think I expect too much. And I’m also very needy emotionally. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

“I’ve dated around,” I said. “But only one serious relationship, like you.”

“Yeah? What’s the story there?”

I didn’t even want to get into it. “It just didn’t work out. We wanted different things.”

Different things = I tried to turn a player into a relationship guy.

Somehow we started making out. I can’t remember who initiated it – I think it was mutual. Unlike last time, I was (mostly) sober and it felt right to be kissing him at that moment. It was almost innocent for some reason – I knew things weren’t going to go further and I was okay with that. Plus we were both really tired.

We pulled apart and laid there for a moment then I turned so that my back was to him and I was the little spoon.

“Your hair smells really good,” Brady said. And then he brushed it aside and planted a light kiss on my neck. Y’all know how I feel about my neck – it sent a sexy chill down my spine. Brady draped an arm around my waist and we immediately fell asleep. 

When I woke up, Brady was still sleeping but facing away from me. Something about waking up next to a guy makes me so turned on. I wanted to flip him over and do naughty things to him.

Instead, I found my phone and texted Kendra. “I slept with Brady last night.”

She responded, “Of course. I’m not even surprised. Are you capable of not immediately having sex with a guy?”

I knew she would react like this and I couldn’t help grinning at her predictableness.

“For your information, we slept in the same bed but we didn’t do anything sexual. We just kissed.”

“I don’t believe you have that kind of willpower.”

“It’s true. I want to have sex with him eventually of course, but I think waiting until it feels right is best. I don’t want to rush in to anything.”

“Is this Reese I’m talking to?”

“Yes it’s me!”

“You sound so mature. I’m actually proud of you.”

“Thank you. I just realized that I actually like this guy. I don’t want to ruin it like I always do.”

I couldn’t even believe what I was typing. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not into romance or sappiness. I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I’m really guarded with my emotions. I don’t usually share how I really feel which has been detrimental to my past relationships.

I laid there for a little while longer, pinning food on Pinterest. I was pinning something about quinoa when I felt Brady beginning to stir and wake up. He turned on his back and stretched.

“Morning,” he said.

Just as I was about to respond, the door flew open and Chris shouted, “Hey jackass, do you want to-”

He saw me laying in the bed and his eyes widened. “Shit, sorry. I didn’t even know you were still here, Reese.” He backed out and closed the door.

“I guess he didn’t want anything,” Brady said.

I smiled and shrugged.

“Did you sleep okay?” he asked. 

“Yeah. Your bed is so comfy. I could stay here all day,” I said.

“You’re certainly welcome to. I like to stay in bed as long as humanly possible on Sundays.”

“Me too,” I said. 

We laid there for a while, just talking. Then we got hungry and decided to go to the kitchen to find food. I had worn a dress over and didn’t want to change so I just wore his oversized t-shirt down to the kitchen. We poured bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios and sat at the dining room table eating. We lounged around for the rest of the day, watching tv and generally just being lazy. Chris told us he was going to meet up with Carly and I quickly texted her that Brady and I didn’t have sex because I knew Chris would tell her that I spent the night.

Brady finally took me home at 6:30. I didn’t want to go because I was enjoying being lazy with him, but I was excited to shower and put on my own clothes. Before I got out of the car, Brady said, “Do you want to get dinner this week?”

“Sure,” I said.

“Okay. Monday or Tuesday will likely work best for me,” he said.

“I’m glad you’re squeezing me into your packed schedule.”

“I’m going to be cutting it close, but I’m certain it will be worth it.”

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what an amateur mistake.

Brady and I texted all day on Friday. Well as much as we could with him being busy with work. We decided that we would do the beach Saturday afternoon so after work I got a wax and a new suit (obviously).

We met at Brady and Chris’s place at 1:00 PM. We were supposed to just meet them there then immediately go the beach near their house, but Chris and Carly disappeared to his room. Those two have turned into horny teenagers lately, hooking up whenever they get an opportunity (and making opportunities when necessary). 

While we waited for them to be ready, Brady asked if I was hungry. I was actually starving because I had fasted all morning and the evening before (who wants to look like a beached whale in front of their future husband?). I told him I was fine so we sat at the dining room table talking. It was really sweet because he asked about things I told him on Friday. He actually listened and cares and I’m not used to that. Then I started to feel bad that we were just talking about me so I asked him to tell me more about his job since I’m not even sure exactly what he does.

Finally, Chris and Carly emerged so we walked down to the beach. It was obviously packed, but we managed to find a spot to set up camp. Carly and I immediately took our caftans off and oiled up. The sun wasn’t really out, but it was hot so we took advantage.

“Seriously? That’s what you guys came here to do?” Chris asked. 

“What?” Carly said. “What else are we supposed to do?”

Chris picked Carly up and threw her over his shoulder. “This!”

Carly and Chris played in the water while Brady and I sat back on the towels. He kept his shirt on which I found really annoying and childish. 

“Aren’t you going to get in the water?” Brady asked me.

“Yeah, maybe later,” I said even though I knew it wasn’t true. I love going to the beach and pool, but I actually hate getting wet. I can’t be the only one, right? 

We sat there and people watched and talked until Chris and Carly got back. The four of us hung out and lounged and it was really laidback. I did notice that I never caught Brady checking out my body or chest which I found weird because my boobs looked really good. I even caught Chris looking at my chest. 

Eventually we got hot and tired of the tourists so we decided to get food. We walked to a bar and grill not far from their place. We started with a round of shots then ordered food. Everyone ordered cheeseburgers and fries and heavy stuff, but since I was still in my bathing suit (with a coverup over it but still) so I got two avocado and prosciutto crostinis. Oh and a Long Island. Brady asked if I was sure that’s all I was going to eat and his concern was really cute.

We had another round of shots and I noticed that I was getting more talkative and touchy. I kept grabbing Brady’s hand and rubbing his thigh. He didn’t seem to mind and started grabbing my hand back and putting his arm around my shoulders. 

Carly needed to go to the restroom and obviously I went with her. As soon as I stood up, I realized I was drunk. I hadn’t eaten in almost twenty hours so of course. What an amateur mistake.

When we got to the bathroom, I explained to Carly the situation. 

“You’ll be fine. Just keep eating and you should be able to drink whatever you want,” she assured me.

I got back out there and ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries, but I was drunk and grossed out by the thought of eating anything. Chris kept ordering us shots and the day started to get fuzzy.

I recall walking to the duplex from the bar (and venting to Brady about something work related), causing a scene in their kitchen with Carly, and making out with Brady on his bed (!!!???). I passed out at some point after that.

I woke up freezing under a mound of white blankets. At first, I had no idea where I was. Then I realized that I was in Brady’s bed and started remembering the day, being intoxicated and making out with Brady. God. So much for keeping Drunk Reese underwraps. Brady probably thinks I’m psychotic.

I laid there for a moment, checking my phone. It was 10:30 PM and I only had one new text message from my mom who said she was going to a party and wanted my opinion on what to wear. 

“LBD and lace up pumps,” I told her without even asking what kind of party, who would be there, etc. 

I sent a text to Kendra next. “Got drunk and made out with Brady. What do I do?”

I pushed back the thick comforter and saw that I had ditched my coverup and was laying there in just my bikini. Ugh. I found it abandoned on the side of the bed, threw it on and headed out the door. Brady was walking into his room as I was walking out. He had changed into a pair of lightweight sweatpants, a t-shirt and sleek black glasses. I had no idea he even wore glasses, but he looked so, so sexy.

“Hi,” I said, shyly.

“Hey! You’re up,” he said smiling. “Are you feeling okay?”

“I’m fine. Just fucking starving. Is Carly still here?” 

Brady laughed. “Yeah. We’re all hanging out downstairs. There’s pizza.”

“How did you know that’s exactly what I wanted?” 

“Telepathy, I suppose.”

I just smiled back.

“So we’ve got pepperoni and peppers and plain cheese. I’m sensing you’re a cheese girl.”

“Are you calling me boring?”

“Not at all. I think you’re too sophisticated for pepperoni.”

“Thanks. There are few things I’m too sophisticated for though,” I said.

Brady crossed his arms and leaned against the door frame. “I find that hard to believe.”

“It’s true. Just petty drama at work, bottom shelf vodka, and polyester. I really am quite simple and easy to please.”

He smiled at me, amused. “Good to know.”

We talked for a while longer then headed to the basement. I wolfed down two slices of pizza (one of each topping) then I was ready to leave. Carly planned on spending the night so Brady offered to take me home. On the way to my apartment he mentioned that he had fun and wanted to hang out again, but we made no plans. When we got to my place, he hugged me and we kissed briefly. 

So there’s that.

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