i want to be a trophy wife.

Oh Friday afternoon, we had our staff meeting and I participated as usual – presenting my ideas and shutting down Whitney’s. After the meeting, I caught Diana on her way into her office.

“Hey,” I said, following her in. “Can we talk?”

She looked at me and said, “Oh shit,” like she knew exactly what I wanted to talk about. “Yes. Shut the door and sit down.”

I shut the door and sat with my hands in my lap. I still had no idea what I wanted to do or say, but I was leaning toward taking the new job. I just needed to talk to Diana.

“What’s going on, Reese?” she asked after she was settled in her desk chair. She was giving me her full attention, not distracted by her phone or computer like she normally is.

“I got offered another job,” I said, not wasting any time.

Diana nodded.

“They offered me more money and better benefits, but I don’t know if I want to take it.”

“Your mom warned me this may happen. What’s the position?” she asked.

I rolled my eyes. My mom can’t hold fucking water. Remind me never to tell her anything ever. I gave Diana a not-so-brief rundown of the position, my trip to New York and my reasons for being apprehensive about taking the job.

“I don’t want to just jump ship, but I feel like this is a good opportunity,” I said.

“It sounds like it,” Diana admitted. “And it sounds like you would really excel at it.”

“Do you want me to leave?”

“Of course not,” Diana smiled. “But I would never want to hold you back. When I graduated college I landed my first job in New York City. I was doing public relations for a magazine and I really, really enjoyed it. But then I randomly got an opportunity to work for a pretty well known interior designer. It seemed risky because I was going from a large corporate establishment to a small design firm, but after talking to all my friends and family and praying about it, I decided to go for it. Not only did I love my new position, it molded me into what I am today. I without a doubt would not be here if I hadn’t taken that job. And not two months after they hired someone to replace me at my old job, they eliminated the position entirely. So I know I made the right decision.”

“Are you guys eliminating my position?” I asked.

Diana kind of laughed. “No, Reese. What I’m saying is, you need to do what you think is right. Don’t worry about I have to say or what anyone else has to say. Only you know what’s best for you.”

I nodded.

“I don’t want you to leave, Reese. In fact, if you do, I’ll be quite upset. But that’s me being selfish.”

I felt tears stinging my eyes.

“It sounds like the opportunity for growth is there. Take it. You just got this wonderful promotion in May, but what can you do next? Take my job?” Diana smirked.

I started crying as I realized she was right and that meant I was leaving.

Diana called my name in a voice that told me I was being ridiculous so I tried to pull myself together.

“You sound to me like you want to take this job. So take it. Take it or I’ll fire you.”

I couldn’t help laughing.

Diana told me to go accept the position and then booted up her computer dismissing me.

I stood up to leave. “I have a question.”

“Mmhm?” she said, not looking up from her computer.

“Is Whitney going to be my replacement?”

Diana stopped typing and looked at me for a moment. “I mean, that would be the obvious choice. I will need to talk to Tracey about our options. Do you have someone else in mind?”

I shook my head and turned to leave. I wanted to tell Diana all the reasons Whitney does not deserve my position, but decided not to. Diana will make a good choice without me having to bash anyone.

Back in my office, I emailed Kate back letting her know that I accepted the sales director position and we discussed a start date for me. We decided that even though they need me as soon as possible, I wouldn’t start until after the holidays so I can wrap up everything with my old job. Kate agreed that that was fair.

Then I sent out a mass text message letting everyone know that I had just quit my job. Brady responded that we should go out and celebrate so I let everyone know the plans. 

The rest of the day was weird. Diana wanted to officially announce my departure at the next staff meeting so I had to keep mum about it. Not that I had anyone to tell. 

After work, I went shopping and got a dress and new pair of shoes. Then I grabbed dinner and headed to Brady’s. To my fucking dismay, when Brady let me in, John was in the living room holding a freaking beer. I hadn’t seen that asshole since the news broke that he cheated and needless to say, I was not happy.

“Hey Reese,” John said, smiling nervously.

I glared at him as I slowly dropped my stuff. I made a face at his stupid little sweater and loafers and his grotesque hairline. I can’t believe Kendra wasted six years with him. And I can’t believe that at least two women have had sex with him.

I didn’t stop glaring at John as he turned to Brady and said, “I guess I’d better go.”

I nodded, agreeing. John gave me a little smile as he walked past and I had to refrain from jabbing him with my keys. Brady walked John out then returned to the living room.

“What the fuck was he doing here?” I demanded.

“We were just having a beer…” Brady said slowly.

“You’re still hanging out with that clown after what he did?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were still mad.” Brady bit his lip.

“Why wouldn’t I still be mad?” I seethed. “He cheated! Is that not a big deal?”

“It is. I apologize. I won’t hang out with him again.”

I grabbed the food and went to set up our feast without another word. After we ate, we made drinks and talked. I asked about Hunter and Dom since I haven’t really heard about them since the party. Brady admitted that he hasn’t talked to Hunter since the party, despite calling and texting him several times. I wasn’t going to say it to Brady, but that seems fishy. Why would Hunter just fall off the face of the Earth? I guess I can understand him wanting to distance himself from his awful parents, but Brady? They’re pretty close. I hope Dom hasn’t done anything crazy.

We got ready to go to the bar with Chris and Kendra. Preston was wallowing after being played and Carly was working. We got to the bar and immediately started with shots and stood there hanging out. It was a little bit weird being out without Carly, but Kendra and I hung out and talked while Brady and Chris stood next to us.

I thought about telling Kendra that I saw John, but even in my tipsy state I realized that it probably wasn’t the time or place. Maybe I shouldn’t tell her at all ever? We’ve done a really good job avoiding him completely the past few weeks.

While we were talking, two semi attractive guys approached us.

“My friend and I are having a bet,” one of them said. “Are you two sisters?”

I rolled my eyes as Kendra giggled. “Do we look like it?”

“Yeah. Are you the older one?” the guy said.

Kendra and I look nothing alike (we aren’t even the same race) so clearly these two were just using a generic line. But Kendra seemed to be enjoying them and she hasn’t shown any interest in any guy since John so I stood there smiling like a good wing woman. Kendra was hitting it off more with the taller of the two, which was fitting, so I was stuck talking to the shorter one.

I was half listening to him talk about being in business school when I felt a hand slide across my back. It was Brady. I kind of squealed and threw my arms around him. There’s just nothing like seeing bae when a lame guy is talking your face off.

“How’s it going?” Brady asked, turning toward my new friend. He kept his hand on my back protectively, kind of like he wanted the guy to know I’m off limits. 

The guy answered and the three of us talked for a moment before the guy said he was going to get another drink. Kendra was still talking to the friend so we motioned to her that we were going to go sit at the table with Chris.

After we sat down, I asked Brady what he seriously wants to do for his birthday. It’s good to ask people important questions when they’re drunk because then you get real answers out of them. Brady said he wants to spend his birthday with me which was exactly the answer I was looking for. We brainstormed ideas and I threw out my idea for him to come to Houston with me and he said okay!

I was like, “Really? You don’t want to go home to see your parents?”

Brady shrugged. “We usually don’t do much for Christmas. I would rather be with you.”

I smiled and kissed him because that’s just so cute. Naturally, we started talking about getting married and our future. We decided we will get engaged next summer then get married in the winter. Then we will live in Chicago for a few more years while we’re still young before settling down in Massachusetts. Brady asked if I would still be able to work my job in Mass.

“I’ll quit. I want to be a trophy wife anyway,” I told him.

Brady laughed, but I was actually serious. I let him know that he definitely needs to get permission from my parents before proposing, I hate sappy shit but I want a romantic proposal (I wouldn’t mind getting in engaged in Paris), and I want a vintage inspired halo ring with a diamond that’s at least two carats. Brady said okay.

“Are you writing this down?! Do you even want to know my ring size??” I demanded.

Brady picked up my left hand and studied it. He didn’t drop my hand as he said, “I’ve got it under control.”

After a couple more glasses of beer, we met back up with Kendra and decided to call it a night. She told me she exchanged numbers with that guy and wanted to see him again. Good for her.

When we got back to Brady and Chris’s, we all hung out in the kitchen eating tortilla chips. Brady and I were clearly super drunk and Chris just watched us, amused. Once the chips were gone, Brady and I retreated to his room to look at plane tickets. We didn’t book anything, but just wanted to get some ideas about what days we would need off from work. 

We for some reason got a random craving for ice cream, but of course, Brady didn’t have any in the freezer. I really need to teach him how to go grocery shopping before we can get married.

“Maybe Chris will take us to get ice cream. He isn’t drunk,” I suggested.

“Okay. Go ask him,” Brady said.

“No, you ask him. He’s your roommate,” I replied. Although I’m around Chris frequently, I feel like I really don’t know him very well. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with him alone.

“But it was your idea. Plus, he can’t say no to you.” Brady grabbed my shoulders and guided me toward Chris’s room down the hallway.

Fine. I walked down to Chris’s room and knocked lightly. He opened the door and as sweetly as I could, I said, “Brady and I were wondering if you could take us to get ice cream? We will buy you whatever you want.”

“Umm.” Chris looked like he was ready for bed and I kind of felt bad, but not really.

“Please?” I gave him my doe eyed look that has helped me get everything I want.

“Okay. Let me get dressed,” Chris finally said. 
 
Chris took us to one of those Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin’ hybrid shops and we all got cones. And then I figured since we were already there, I would get a dozen donuts for the morning. I hate Dunkin’ donuts so I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea.

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. Kendra hung out with the guy from the bar, whose name happens to be Eric, on Saturday night. She texted me throughout the date, telling me that she didn’t know how to behave on a first date with someone because she was in a relationship for so long. My first piece of advice was to stop texting while on a date.

On Monday morning, I got an email from Andrew that said, “Reese, I am happy to hear from Kate that you accepted my job offer. I’m excited for you to come on board. Did the two of you discuss a start date?”

I immediately replied, “I am very excited as well! Kate and I determined that I will start the first week in January after the holidays. I look forward to working with you.”

A few minutes later, I got a call from Andrew on my cell phone. I wasn’t sure what he would want, but knew it had to be important so I answered.

“Good morning, Reese. How are you?” he greeted me.

“I’m doing great. I’m just at work right now,” I said, hoping he would get the hint and cut to the chase.

“So you and Kate decided you will start in January?” Andrew asked.

“Yes.”

“I thought you understood that this position needed to be filled right away. I was under the impression that you would be starting immediately. The new store in your region is opening in January and no one has been hired for it yet.”

“Okay.”

“You probably want to be the one who determines who works in your store because it’s a reflection of you.”

“Okay.”

“I mean, I need you screening applicants and doing interviews. Can you start doing that immediately? We need to have a team in place by Christmas.”

I didn’t say anything, but I was really annoyed. I never told anyone that I would be starting immediately. That was never a part of the plan.

“Okay,” I finally said, trying to hide my frustration.

“Great!” Andrew exclaimed. “I’ll send you the login and password for your new work email and forward you all the resumes I’ve received thus far. Try to set up some interviews for later this week and next week.”

I said okay and we hung up. Since I wasn’t really working on anything, I set up my new work email and was bombarded with emails from Andrew right away. They were all resumes and cover letters for people applying to different positions. I opened a few resumes and saw people with experience in fashion design, cashiering, food service, etc. It was kind of overwhelming.

I replied to Andrew on one of them and said, “I don’t really know what I’m looking for.” How was I supposed to know if someone who had five plus years working in a pet store would be good in my store?

Andrew quickly emailed me back, “You don’t know what kind of person you want working in your store, Reese? Do you know how to read a resume?”

I didn’t appreciate his sarcastic response. Kate assured me that I would have a thorough training and I wouldn’t be thrown into anything, but I definitely felt like I was being thrown into it. And besides that, wasn’t there other preliminary things I needed before I started working? What about my tax forms? Do they not do background checks? Don’t I need to sign a contract? I wasn’t about to ask Andrew all this, but planned on asking Kate later.

Ten minutes later, Andrew emailed me again and said, “Please have at least eight interviews set up by Wednesday morning.”

Seriously? Does he think I have all this free time? I responded, “K.” And he said, “Thanks Reese!”

I didn’t hear from Andrew again on Monday and didn’t have time to look at resumes for the rest of the workday. After work I went home and started looking at the resumes on my laptop. I created three folders for screening them: yes, maybe and no.

Brady called when he got off and I told him to come over. When he got to my apartment, I told him what happened with Andrew and that I didn’t know what I was doing. Instead of agreeing with me that Andrew was being ridiculous and unfair, Brady said Andrew was right in that I should want to hire my own people if I would be held accoutable for them and that looking through the resumes shouldn’t be too hard or take much time.

“What?” I exclaimed, turning my laptop toward him. “Look at all these resumes he sent me!” I opened one of the email attachments. “This woman has no relevant experience. She teaches opera singers. How will I know if she would be good at selling stuff?”

Brady leaned forward and scanned the resume. “It says here that she majored in communications and interned with Michael Kors. Isn’t that a fashion brand? To me, this says she probably has no problem speaking to people and she is also on top of current fashion. I think she could be a good candidate for an entry level position in the store.”

Oh yeah. That made sense and I should’ve thought of that. That’s probably what Andrew meant by “Do you know how to read a resume?” Brady helped me filter through the rest of the resumes and decide who was worth interviewing or not. The new store is apparently opening in Tennessee so I wasn’t sure how Andrew expected me to interview them. Obviously questions are off limits with him so I wasn’t exactly sure what to do since he wants eight interviews set up by Wednesday morning. I’m not traveling anywhere this week or next.

After Brady helped me with my work, I made us drinks and we watched tv on my couch for a little while. I must have made the drinks really strong because I was borderline tipsy when I finished my first one. But I also think I drank it too fast because I told Brady I was going to my room to change then I fell asleep. Oops.

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Standard

i fucking love donuts.

Since it was freezing cold on Friday night, I decided to stay in and have Kendra and Preston over. I didn’t really want to be out and about with the huge gash on my face anyway. Brady was going to the bar with Chris and some of their friends and you’re not going to believe this, but I was totally okay with him going out without me. 

Kendra and Preston arrived at around 7:30 with wine and we ordered Chinese food for dinner. Preston told us that he’s seeing Dillon and Mr. Murphy, but still separately.

“I love what I have with both of them separately and I don’t want to ruin that by trying this three way relationship thing. So I’m not going to – for now,” Preston explained.

Kendra got a little offended saying that Preston was basically cheating on both of them. Preston denied it and said that he and Dillon aren’t “technically” together so it doesn’t really count. Kendra didn’t buy it.

After a text message at 10:45 PM, I didn’t hear from Brady for the rest of the night. I found it odd because we were right in the middle of a conversation. An hour later I texted him and said, “Do you want to come over after you’re done partying without me?” 

No response.

I started to get worried/suspicious, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions and text Chris. I figured he was probably having fun and didn’t want to be that guy who was on the phone with his girlfriend all night. I didn’t want to be that girlfriend either.

I didn’t tell Kendra and Preston what was going on because I didn’t want to hear all their theories. They would probably tell me he was cheating on me and having sex with another girl as we were speaking. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. So I continued drinking and laughing with them until we passed out in my living room.

On Saturday morning when I woke up, Brady still hadn’t texted or called me and not hearing anything at all was concerning. I called him and his phone went straight to voicemail. Weird. So I texted Carly to see if she’d been over to their place at all or heard anything and she said that she hadn’t – she worked Friday night and went home afterwards.

Finally, I decided to text Chris. I asked him to have Brady call me if he talked to him. Chris responded, “Will do!” which made me believe that at least Brady wasn’t dead.

Kendra and Preston were hungry so we decided to meet Carly and Dillon at a BYOB brunch place. We stopped and got champagne and vodka then headed over there. While we were waiting for our table, Brady finally called me.

“Hey,” I answered nonchalantly like it hadn’t been over thirteen hours since I’d heard from him.

“Hey. I’m sorry. I lost my phone at the bar,” Brady said.

“What?” I scoffed, already not into his story.

“I just got it back. Fortunately for me, someone was honest and gave it to a bartender,” Brady explained.

“Were you really that drunk?” I asked, surprised and a little annoyed. Brady never does stupid, irresponsible shit like that so I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. 

“I must have been.”

He apologized and asked if I wanted to come over. I told him I was about to get breakfast and invited him to come.

We got our table and I ordered lemon french toast and bacon. By the time Brady and Chris arrived, I was pretty tipsy from the champs. Not quite drunk, but way too drunk for 1:00 PM on a Saturday afternoon. 

“Oh, look who’s alive,” I said sarcastically when Brady walked in. I made the entire table shift seats so he could sit next to me.

“Hey, I’m sorry about that. I feel like an idiot,” Brady said when he sat down.

I rolled my eyes. “I think it’s really weird that you ‘lost your phone’ and didn’t bother to call me and let me know. I was worried.”

“Well, I couldn’t call you if I didn’t have my phone,” Brady said, kind of laughing.

“Chris has a phone. I’m sure all of your other friends have phones. It’s not like you don’t know my number – you called me from work that time you left your phone at my apartment,” I said.

Everyone at the table was kind of silently eating/listening to our conversation.

“Reese, can we talk about this later?” Brady asked in a hushed tone.

I glared at him. “Why, so you can have some time to think up a good story?”

“No. There isn’t a story to think up. I lost my phone and didn’t get it back until this morning. I couldn’t call you because I don’t have your number memorized. I have my contacts saved to iCloud which is how I was able to call you from work.”

I didn’t say anything.

“I couldn’t exactly do that while I was at the bar.”

“Convenient,” I said. “I just really don’t believe you.”

Brady looked down at his menu with his jaw tight. He didn’t say anything so I continued eating and drinking and gossiping with Preston and Dillon. Brady and I didn’t talk for the rest of the meal.

After we ate, I made plans to get manicures with Kendra, Preston and Dillon and when we got outside to the cold day, I felt Brady’s eyes on me. I turned and he was staring at me expectantly.

I stopped walking and said, “What?”

“Let me guess, you think you did nothing wrong?” he said.

“What? What did I do?” I asked impatiently.

“Seriously?” Brady asked. 

I glared at him. “Seriously.”

“You berated me in front of everyone. That was uncalled for.”

“So you think you did nothing wrong?”

“I left my phone at the bar!” Brady yelled. He yelled. “I apologized. What else can I do? You’re being so unreasonable!”

“Don’t fucking yell at me,” I said.

“Reese, are you coming, doll face?” I heard Preston call from the distance.

“Give me a minute!” I shouted back.

I turned back to Brady and he was still staring down at me intensely. “Go with your friends. It doesn’t matter. We aren’t going to resolve anything anyway.”

“What do you want me to do?” I asked with a frustrated sigh.

“I don’t know, perhaps show me a little respect?”

“I do respect you,” I said, crossing my arms. I did feel a little bit bad that he felt that way, but I wasn’t about to back down.

“Yeah?” Brady said. I sensed he wanted to say more – a lot more – but he just said, “Okay.”

“It’s cold so I’m going to leave,” I said abruptly.

He waited a beat then said, “Okay. Me too.”

We both said goodbye very briefly then I ran to catch up with my friends. Once we got settled into our manicure chairs, Kendra asked me what Brady said. I told her the story and she said, “I do think it was a little inappropriate to confront him like that in front of everyone. It was like you wanted to put on a show.”

Which was a little bit offensive. I denied it and she told me that I needed to apologize and make it up to him because I had embarrassed him. I told her that he embarrassed himself.

I didn’t hear from Brady the rest of the day on Saturday. I ended up staying home and watching both Sex and the City movies and falling asleep at 10:30. I probably deserved that.

I slept in on Sunday, woke up and watched tv for a few hours then took the longest shower ever. I wrapped myself in a towel and blow dried my hair until it was just barely damp. As soon as I turned off my blow dryer I heard my phone ping and a light knock on the door. I froze. I don’t really talk to anyone in my building and I wasn’t expecting anyone so I was a little bit freaked out.

I tiptoed to the kitchen where my phone was laying on the counter. I had two missed calls from Brady and a text message.

“Are you home? I’m at your apartment.”

I let out a sigh of relief as I realized it was probably him who was knocking. Sure enough, when I opened the door, Brady was standing there looking sheepish with a familiar pink box in his hand.

“Hey,” I said casually, opening the door to let him in.

“Hey,” he replied. He walked passed me and sat at one of my stools in front of the counter.

“How did you get up here?” I couldn’t help asking.

“Your doorman let me up. I think we are friends now,” Brady said, taking off his coat and stuff. 

I followed him to the counter and peeked in the box even though I knew what was there. Donuts. I fucking love donuts. I threw my arms around my sweet boyfriend and he hugged me back. He was still a little bit cold from being outside and since I was still in just a towel, I felt a shiver race through my body.

“Love you,” I heard myself say. I didn’t even mean to, I don’t think. We hadn’t said that to each other in weeks. Maybe that’s how you know it’s real.

“Love you,” Brady whispered, kissing me.

We both seemed to completely forget about the stupid fight we had on Saturday and spent the rest of the day feeding each other donuts.

I already know, the fight was all my fault. I absolutely should’ve waited until we were alone to confront him about it. Hindsight is 20/20 and etc. But I had every right to be annoyed though, didn’t I? Even if he lost his phone, he should have found a way to let me know. Or is that being “unreasonable?”

Standard

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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drunk bar bathroom lecture.

I didn’t hear from Brady all weekend. I don’t know if it was because I destroyed his phone or because we were really done. I was an emotional rollercoaster – one minute I was mad as fuck, then sad, then irritated, then horny, then mad again. I hate to admit that I actually wanted him to reach out to me and grovel and beg for my forgiveness. I am obviously upset about what happened with Jessica, but that doesn’t mean I want to be completely done with him. I like him, you know? Plus I left some valuable things at his house like a pair of sold out Louboutins and my Shiseido night cream. I kinda need those things back. 

On Saturday Preston wanted to go to brunch. I couldn’t wait to tell him what I found in Brady’s phone. I picked him up and we went to a place in Logan and got french toast and Bloody’s. I told him everything that happened, making sure to pause at the dramatic parts and letting it all sink in. Once I was finished with my story, Preston broke into laughter.

“Seriously, Reese? You flipped out on him over that?”

“Is that not reason enough?” I exclaimed.

“Baby love. All that happened before he even met you. Why do you think you have any right to get mad at him?”

“Because!” I paused. “He is still hanging out with her. He introduced me to her as ‘one of the nurses from the hospital’ not ‘the girl who sucked my dick while someone was in the next room dying.'”

Preston gave me a narrowed eyed look. “Didn’t you tell me that you hooked up with Derrick back in college? Did you tell Brady that when you introduced them?

“We didn’t really hook up. We dry humped and he ate me out for like five minutes.” 

BITCH,” Preston said loudly and the people next to us looked over. “You didn’t tell me that he ate your kitty cat.”

“We were drunk. That doesn’t even count.”

“Oh yes it does. You have no right to get mad at Brady when you basically did the same thing, you little whore.”

It’s totally different though, right? 

That evening, we got dressed up and went bar hopping with Kendra. Preston ordered us Bud Lights while I filled her in on the latest.

“So now I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Brady since,” I concluded. Preston came back to our hightop table and I immediately sucked down half my beer.

“Here we go again,” Kendra rolled her eyes.

“But he probably just can’t call me because his phone is in pieces,” I pointed out.

“He and John actually went to the golf course today. So I’m guessing his phone must be working for them to be able to meet up.”

“Who went to the golf course?” I asked, confused.

“John and Brady,” Kendra said, like that was the most normal thing in the world.

Preston started cackling and clapping his hands together. “This is even juicier than I thought.”

I polished off my beer while letting it sink in. So Brady is deliberately not talking to me. Cool. Maybe we really are done. 

I sent Carly a quick text to get some insider information.

“Are you at Chris’s? Is Brady there?”

She replied, “Hiya babe! Yes I’m at Chris’s and yes Brady is here! You should come over!”

“What’s he doing?” I wanted to know.

“Umm, I don’t know. He’s upstairs. Is everything okay with you two?”

So Brady hadn’t told Carly or Chris what happened. I decided I was going to save that conversation for another time and I put my phone away. 

Since apparently I’m single, I decided I was going to have some fun. I dragged Preston and Kendra to the bar and ordered us shots. 

I started talking to this guy named Drew and his friend. Drew was a cute law student who seemed to be the perfect rebound. The five of us hung out by the bar for a while and I was actually really enjoying hanging out with Drew. He reminded me a lot of Derrick with his teasing sense of humor and desire to be touching me at all times.

He followed me around the bar and made sure that I always had a drink in my hand. It was fun for a few hours until I realized that I really just missed Brady. I wasn’t drunk enough to drunk dial him, but I was drunk enough to be upset and need to go to the bathroom to cry. I brought Kendra with me.

“God, Reese. Get your shit together,” she rolled her eyes.

“Kendra, you have no idea what it’s like,” I cried. “Not everyone can have a successful six year relationship like you.”

“You’re right, they can’t. And you will never have a relationship at all if you bottle up your emotions and then blow up like that.”

I sniffled. 

“You can’t just expect Brady to know what you’re thinking. You have to open up about your feelings.”

“Do you think this is my fault?” I asked.

“Nothing is ever your fault, Reese,” she said sarcastically. “Both of you need to communicate better. And I think you have trust issues. Why did you feel the need to go through his phone anyway?”

I shrugged. I didn’t go through his phone expecting to find out answers about Jessica. I just went through it because it was there.

“Do you think that maybe [ex-boyfriend whose name I refuse to say] kind of scarred you? Maybe he made it hard for you to trust men…”

I considered this. Kendra might be right. I was head over heels in love with my ex (for no reason really) and he did some awful things to me. Maybe I’m just expecting Brady to hurt me because that’s what’s happened in the past. I don’t know. 

I never thought a drunk bar bathroom lecture could be so insightful. She told me that if I wanted to make it work with Brady then we needed to have a serious talk, but I couldn’t expect him to do all the work. She said that I should call him (not at midnight while drunk though) and I told her I would think about it. 

We went home soon after that and I woke up really early on Sunday and went for a run. I know. Like who am I? I’m not sure how far I ran, but I ran for like forty five minutes straight. And it felt really good actually.

I spent most of the day cleaning, doing squats, thinking about donuts, and watching the Wolf of Wall Street (Leo is literally so perfect). I debated calling Brady a few times, but decided that if he wanted to talk he would’ve called me. And besides me breaking his phone, the whole fight is his fault. So it’s his job to contact me.

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