what a fail.

On Tuesday I decided that I was going to make dinner for Brady. I don’t ever cook, but I thought it would be a nice gesture. I found a recipe for homemade ravioli on Pinterest that didn’t seem too complicated and made a grocery list for after work.

$170 later, I headed home with all the ingredients I needed (including a pastry wheel, a rolling pin, and a bottle of wine). I started with the pasta dough which seemed fairly easy – pour the flour on a flat surface, make a “well” for the egg yolks, oil and milk, mix.

Well, it didn’t work out like that. I didn’t want to touch the raw eggs with my bare hands so I tried to use a spoon. That obviously didn’t work. My dough came out super runny. I added more flour but it ended up crumbling into pieces. I tried again and decided that I would follow the recipe exactly by using my hands. I sucked it up and mixed the dough with my hands, but again it came out runny (later found out that I read the recipe wrong and should’ve added more flour, of course).

At this point, I was annoyed and decided I would start on the filling then come back to the dough. I was making a spinach and mozzarella filling and the first step was to wilt the spinach down with olive oil and garlic. Easy enough. I added the garlic and olive oil and then dumped the entire bag of spinach in the pan. My mom called and I excitedly told her about the meal I was making. I knew she would be proud.

She started telling me about how one of my favorite teachers from high school is under investigation for having sex with one of his students. I was shocked and realized that could have so easily been me. I flirted with him endlessly my junior and senior years because he was hot plus math was really hard. He never really budged or showed any interest (except buying a ton of cookie dough from me during our fundraiser for new uniforms). Maybe I just wasn’t hot enough for him to hook up with.

I was so engrossed in the conversation with my mom that I forgot all about the spinach on the stove until I smelled burning garlic. The pan was smoking so I told my mom I had to call her back. The majority of the spinach was black and burned with the garlic. How does that even happen?

By then, Brady was due in thirty minutes and my ravioli was nowhere near being done. What a fail. I knew that I had to cook something so I decided to stick with what a know how to make: grilled cheese. Plus that was all I really had time for. I had fresh mozzarella left from my ravioli disaster so I used it to make two sandwiches. I plated them with vintage Hermès plates with a basil leaf garnish. Chicest grilled cheese ever.

I buzzed Brady in and the first thing he said was, “Did you burn something?”

Ugh. Definitely should’ve opened a window.

“Are you ready to eat?” I asked, ignoring his question.

“Mmm, yes. What did you make?” Brady said.

I led him to my tiny table and chairs. “Gourmet grilled cheese!” I squealed.

“Looks great.” Brady went to sit down, but I yelled for him to stop.

“I need to take a picture for Instagram,” I explained.

He waited patiently while I uploaded the photo of our food and wine (and my fabulously decorated table) with the caption “Made dinner for bae.” I immediately got several likes.

After we ate, we were still hungry so we made pizza rolls. I poured us more wine and we took it along with our pizza rolls and Oreos to the couch. We started watching some baseball game and stayed up talking until 1:00 AM. 

On Wednesday, I hung out with Preston and Dillon. We went to this natural tea place Preston has been dying to try and all their drinks are named stuff like “Happiness” and “Purity.” I got “Tranquility” because obviously that’s what I need in my life.

We sat outside and I told them about my latest bout of craziness with Brady. Preston obviously laughed for several minutes then gave Dillon a brief overview of my relationship with Brady.

“Poor guy. He has no idea what he’s gotten himself into,” Preston said, wiping his laughter tears away.

“I’ve decided that I’m going to let myself be vulnerable though. I think I’ve been so crazy with him because I have a guard up,” I said.

“Good for you,” Preston said and his face turned serious. “I don’t think he has any intention to hurt you, love bug. And if he does, just know that you have amazing friends who will help you slash his tires and hack into his Facebook.”

I laughed because that was true. You don’t even want to know what kind of trouble my friends and I got into in college.

Dillon spent the rest of the evening telling me his life story which would have been really annoying if it wasn’t completely entertaining. He said he’s 19 and moved here from San Diego. His house burned down two years ago and apparently his family’s insurance didn’t cover all the losses so they had to dip into his college fund and now he has no money to go to school. So tragic. He’s hoping to break into acting and dance and has been an extra in those awful Step Up movies. He moved to Chicago because of the theater opportunities and was homeless for his first few months here. Luckily he met a kind person who not only helped him pay for school, but also gave him a place to live. What a wonderful story.

I texted Brady while I was out and asked if he wanted to come over. He said he was working late so I invited Preston and Dillon over. I couldn’t help checking Jessica’s Facebook to see if she checked in anywhere or tagged Brady in anything. She didn’t. Is it unhealthy that I do that? I’ve been checking her page obsessively the last few days and all I see are pictures of her and her friends. I thought about deleting her, but then I won’t catch it if she does tag Brady in something.

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no more jessicas.

On Monday morning I woke up much earlier than usual, went for a run, got ready for work, and stopped and got donuts for the whole office. I ended up getting four dozen and couldn’t carry them all so I made one of the workers carry it to the office for me (before you call me a lazy brat, just know that I gave him a generous tip).

I immediately started working away until around 1:30 then decided to take a break and grab something to eat. I found my phone at the bottom of my bag where I’d left it that morning and was surprised to see a new text message from Brady. It said, “Do you want to talk?”

I let out a happy sigh. Finally. Of course I wanted to talk. I sat there drafting about a thousand different responses before ultimately deciding on, “Okay.”

I waited to see what Brady would say back for ten minutes then threw my phone in my bag and headed out to lunch. 

I continued working all afternoon and didn’t hear from Brady again until around 4:00. He said, “Do you want to meet for dinner?”

I said, “Okay,” again.

He responded back with the name of a place near my apartment and suggested we meet at 7:30. I typed, “Okay,” one last time. He gave no indication about what he wanted to talk about – whether he wanted to work our issues out or end things in person – which concerned me. In an ideal world, we would meet up, he would apologize profusely about not telling me about Jessica, he would beg for my forgiveness and then present me with a $12,000 designer bag.

I stayed at the office until 6:30 then went home and changed into a dress and booties. I didn’t plan well and ended up showing up to the place at 7:45. I pulled out my phone to text Brady that I had finally arrived, but I saw him sitting in a booth near the door. He stood up as I approached with an unreadable look on his face and kissed me lightly on the cheek. We both sat down.

“I already ordered. Do you want a beer or anything?” he asked, really properly.

I shook my head. Brady was acting like we didn’t even know each other which made me get defensive. He had no right to be mad. All I broke was his phone. He broke my heart.

“Okay,” he said.

We sat there for a minute not saying anything. Finally Brady said, “Reese, I’m sorry.”

I raised my eyebrows and nodded like “Go on.”

“I wasn’t completely open with you about Jessica. I should have been upfront and told you exactly what happened. That’s all I can say. I won’t make any excuses.”

I nodded in agreement.

“You have every right to be angry that I didn’t tell you and that you had to find out on your own. Seeing you that upset because of me was hard to watch. I apologize for that.”

“What’s the story with you and her?” I demanded.

Brady looked kind of surprised at my question. “Just everything I told you. We began working together a few months ago and she was quite persistent from the beginning. I’m very busy at work so I couldn’t pay attention to her and I think she took that as a challenge…”

“And she just randomly offered you a blow job and you accepted.”

He started to blush furiously. “I mean, yeah.”

“But y’all didn’t have sex?”

“No. I ended things before they could go that far.”

I glared at him for a few minutes.

“Um,” for the first time ever I saw Brady struggling with what to say. “I don’t want to throw everything away because of this. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you.”

I uncrossed my arms as I started to soften.

“Yeah…” I began, unsure of what to say. Have I mentioned how much I hate talking about my feelings? “I don’t either.”

“You don’t what?”

“Want to throw everything away.”

He looked relieved. “I’m glad we are on the same page.”

I smiled and nodded.

“Those two days I gave you to cool off made me realize how much I really do like you.”

I waited a full minute before saying, “Me too,” really quietly.

“So I would like to make this work. If you want to.”

“What is ‘this?'” I asked.

“Us. Our relationship.” Brady looked confused.

“We never defined our relationship. Except the night when Jessica confronted you about it which doesn’t even really count,” I said in an accusatory voice.

Brady was unfazed by what I said. “I mean, I introduced you to my parents. I told them you were my girlfriend…”

My heart jumped. “Oh.”

“Is that not what you want?”

“It is,” I said. I decided that I was going to have to stop playing coy and hiding my feelings. If I wanted this to work with Brady I had to be open too.

“Okay…”

“I’m not good with relationships,” I blurted out.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m just not. I’m stubborn and needy and possessive and I suck at expressing my feelings.”

“You’re expressing your feelings now,” Brady said.

I let out a deep breath. He was right – I was expressing myself and I had yet to spontaneously combust so maybe it was fine. I kept going.

“I may have some mild trust issues from my previous relationships and you can see how this doesn’t help.”

“That’s completely understandable. I’ve done nothing to give you any reason to trust me.”

Brady owning up to what he did seemed to make everything okay. Whenever my ex did something he wasn’t supposed to, he would reverse it and make it seem like it was somehow my fault.

“My ex-boyfriend kind of ruined me. Not that I was perfect from the beginning. But he did some really awful things,” I went on.

“I’m sorry,” Brady said, although I’m not sure what he was apologizing for. He looked at me kind of cautiously before asking, “What did he do?”

I didn’t expect Brady to ask for details so I had to take a moment to gather my thoughts. Normally, I would have blown his question off, but we were being honest and open. Plus I appreciated that he had the balls to ask.

“What didn’t he do?” I answered. “He had sex with other girls, made out with them in front of me at parties, told everyone on campus that I was a psycho.”

Just talking about it was making me grind my teeth. Why did I ever even put up with that shit? I was such a pathetic, needy little girl. 

“Yikes,” Brady said. “Worse than I thought.”

I nodded. We were silent for a moment then Brady said, “I guess I’m not really the best with relationships either.”

“How come?” I wanted to know.

“I realized that my parents aren’t like normal parents. They’re very…cold and disconnected. I mean, you met them. They aren’t affectionate at all so I never got that growing up.”

I nodded. “I can see that…” So I’m the only one who thinks his mother is a cold, unwelcoming little woman.

“Yeah. They don’t talk to us about anything personal. We never got a sex talk or anything like that. They only wanted to know what colleges we got into and our GPAs and things of that nature. Even now, they rarely say ‘I love you.’ So I think that has affected the way I am in relationships.”

Wow. His parents rarely tell him they love him? I can’t imagine. My parents send me random text messages throughout the day telling me how much they love me. I felt for him.

After our food came, things went back to normal for the most part. He told me about his weekend and he confirmed that he and John went on some sort of golf date on Saturday. He said that his phone was a complete goner so he ended up having to pay to get a new one. It almost made me feel bad, but not really because it taught him a valuable life lesson.

After Brady paid for dinner, we walked outside. Since the place was so close to my apartment, I’d walked, but Brady asked me to walk to his car with him. It didn’t seem weird at the time, but now that I’m thinking about it, it was kind of an odd request.

We got to his car and he opened the passenger door like he wanted me to get in, but the seat was filled with dozens of red, pink, white and yellow roses. There had to be a hundred there.

“I didn’t want to bring them in the restaurant, but I got you these,” Brady explained.

“Aww,” I cooed looking at him. “That’s so sweet.” It wasn’t the designer bag I was hoping for, but I was grateful for the gesture.

He shrugged sheepishly and I couldn’t help reaching over and hugging his adorable ass. Brady offered to carry the huge bouquet to my apartment and my doorman, Frank, said, “Someone must have been in the doghouse.”

I giggled at him calling Brady out. When we got up to my apartment, Brady put the flowers down and we stood there looking at each other. I invited him to sit down.

“So are we okay?” Brady asked me.

“I think so,” I said, nodding then I narrowed my eyes at him. “But don’t fucking hang out with her anymore.”

“I won’t. I didn’t plan on it.”

“Don’t even talk to her. Don’t go to lunch with her. Delete her number.”

“Of course,” Brady said.

I realized that I hadn’t apologized or fully owned up to my part of the fight yet and I needed to to make things right.

“I’m sorry I broke your phone,” I said and surprisingly saying the word “sorry” didn’t kill me.

“Don’t worry about it,” Brady said.

I swallowed, preparing myself to drop the Derrick bomb. “By the way, you remember my friend, Derrick, right? From my birthday?”

Brady nodded.

“Well, in college we like, kind of hooked up, but it wasn’t really a big deal. It only happened once, but he confessed that he still likes me on my birthday,” I babbled. 

Brady’s eyebrows shot up like he was surprised then he nodded slowly as if he was putting some puzzle pieces together and it was all making sense now.

“I guess I could have told you that a while ago,” I said.

“That would’ve been good to know.”

“Just like it would’ve been good to know about Jessie,” I said sweetly.

“Point taken.”

We sat in silence for a minute then Brady said, “So no more Derricks.”

And I said, “And no more Jessicas.”

We stayed up until almost 2:00 AM just talking and not having sex which I think we needed. 

So everything is settled, I think. 

Give me your thoughts.

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innocent sex kitten.

Honestly, I did not expect to hear from Eric so soon but on Thursday as I was leaving the office for the day his name popped up on my screen. 

“Reese,” he said warmly when I answered. Gawd, the way he said my name made my vaginal region pulsate. 

“Hi!” I said, genuinely surprised. “How are you?” 

He ignored my question. “I want to see you. Are you free tomorrow night?” 

What’s that rule about not being available the first time a guy asks you out? I don’t know and don’t care. 

“I am.”

“Good. Let’s get dinner. I’ll pick you up at 7:30.” 

I love a man who takes charge.

This called for an emergency styling session so I texted Kendra and Preston to meet me at my apartment as soon as possible. Of course they were already waiting in my lobby when I got home and Kendra didn’t even try to hide her irritation. 

“So glad you decided to make an appearance,” she said, rolling her eyes. She had also just gotten off work and was wearing a stuffy navy suit and nude kitten heels. Kendra just got a job as an assistant at one of the biggest law firm in the city – which is why she was dressed like Hillary Clinton. Her outfit was disgusting but she still looked completely gorgeous as usual. Kendra is one of those Rashida Jones type biracial girls – tan skin, light eyes and freckles. She’s stunning. And she’s about 5’9″ with legs that go on forever so she looks good in anything she puts on. Bitch.

We headed up to my apartment where Kendra grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator and took a seat on the couch. Preston was already in my walk-in pulling out options.

“I want to say ‘I may look like a wholesome sweet girl, but I’m a freak in the sheets,'” I explained.

“I know the perfect outfit,” Preston called from the closet. 

“Please tell me you’re not going to sleep with him tomorrow,” Kendra said, taking a sip of water. 

I feigned surprise. “Of course not. When have I ever slept with a guy on the first date?” 

“That guy you met in Miami.” 

“That doesn’t count.” 

Which it doesn’t. Kendra and I went on vacation to Miami last year and I ended up meeting this super hot Miami native. He and I hit it off immediately, so much so that I was convinced he was my soul mate. On our last night in Miami I had sex with him, obviously, because he was my future husband and baby daddy and I didn’t even know the next time I would see him. And it’s not even like we went on a proper date or anything so technically I didn’t “sleep with him on the first date.” I haven’t heard from him since we left though. 

“I have the perfect ensemble for you, darling. Come look,” Preston called from the closet. 

The kid is honestly a genius. He picked out a printed Anna Sui romper and my black Louboutin So Kates. With a chic topknot it was exactly the “innocent sex kitten” look I was going for. 

Work on Friday was filled with back to back meetings so I didn’t have time to dwell on my impending date that evening, thank goodness. I did get a text from Eric at around 3 asking for my address. As soon as I finished my last meeting, I taxi’d home to save time and began the long process of getting ready. 

After I showered, deep conditioned, waxed, moisterized, and bronzed, I spent another half hour trying to assemble my hair into the perfect casual topknot that didn’t look too messy. Life is so hard sometimes. 

At exactly 7:30 on the dot, Eric called to let me know that he was down in the lobby, getting acquainted with Frank, my doorman. I blotted my Nars ‘Dolce Vita’ lipstick one last time and headed down to meet him. 

Even in my five inch heels, I felt tiny in Eric’s large frame as he hugged me. The guy is basically a giant. If I were to estimate, I’d say he is six three and 240 pounds of rock solid muscle. 

I can’t lie, I was a teensy bit impressed when he let us into a brand new black Bentley GT. I don’t know much about cars (except how to wreck them), but I know a sexy one when I see it. We went to this cute French restaurant, sat down and ordered wine, seared whitefish, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, haricots verts, and lemon crepes. 

“How was your day, Reese?” he asked as we waited for our food.

“Busy,” I told him. “We had meetings back to back all day. We have a big warehouse sale in a few weeks and a ton of collaborations coming up.” 

“So your job seems pretty important. How did you get to where you are and you’re only 24?” 
 
“Hard work,” I said, honestly. “I worked my ass off doing social media, public relations and marketing for nine months.” 

When I graduated from college I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do so my mom’s friend hooked me up with a social media assistant job at the home decor company she was the VP of. Then I realized I wanted to do more – and I wanted to be in charge. So I put in 50+ hours a week trying to prove to Diana, mom’s friend, that I could do it. I increased our Twitter followers by close to 6,000 and secured a contract with Nordstrom and the promotion was all mine. 

“It’s certainly admirable,” Eric said, revealing a toe-curling dimple in his cheek. I beamed.

“So what exactly do you do?” I asked, even though I knew. 

“Well I play baseball,” he responded modestly. “But I’m recovering from a hamstring injury so I’m taking some time off. I also dabble in some stocks.”

We talked some more, ate our food, and finished a bottle of wine. Once the night was winding down he asked if I wanted to come over to give him some pointers on his condo. Now normally, I would’ve declined all demurely, but I genuinely wanted to see his place and give my opinion.

His condo is amazing – two balconies with sweeping views of the city, ten foot ceilings, mahogany wood floors, and a double sided fireplace – but it is definitely in need of some love. We discussed the possible furniture positioning of his huge (especially for Chicago) almost empty living room, a color scheme, and wallpaper/paint options. Then we made our way to the kitchen and while I was babbling about backsplash ideas, he put a strong on the small of my back and pulled my close. And then he kissed me. Hard. His lips were on mine and his tongue found it’s way into my mouth greedily. It was hot. 

Then he pulled away, but kept his face an inch from mine. “I’m sorry. I’ve wanted to do that all night.” 

Without a word, I kissed him again and he picked me up and planted my ass on the stone counter top so that I was straddling his waist. He kept one hand on my waist and used the other to pull my long hair out of perfectly constructed bun. He weaved his fingers through my hair and pulled me closer and closer like he didn’t want me to get away. I have never felt that irresistible to a guy and it turned me on. 

But to my surprise, he was the one who eventually pulled away. He pulled me off the counter, adjusted himself and didn’t try anything for the rest of the evening. And honestly, I was kind of disappointed. I mean, not that I was going to have sex with him but I wanted to be the one to call the shots.

Overall though, I had fun and after he dropped me off at home Eric sent me a text that said, “I had a great time with you tonight, Reese.” So I’m glad the feelings are mutual.

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