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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