party animal.

I was only able to set up five interviews by Wednesday morning, but I lied and told Andrew that I had eight. I was still waiting to hear back from some people so I figured he wouldn’t find out. He said, “Great Reese! I can’t wait to hear how they go!”

He didn’t bother giving me an interview guide or any direction really so I guess I have to figure it out on my own. I haven’t talked to Kate because I don’t want to seem like a whiney baby and so far, what Andrew has asked me to do hasn’t interfered with my current job. And like y’all said, it’s good to hire my own people and I’m lucky that Andrew is giving me that opportunity. So I’ll take it.

At the end of our Friday staff meeting, Diana announced that I would be leaving. Everyone seemed surprised and after the meeting Whitney stopped by my office.

“I can’t believe you quit,” she said.

I smiled and nodded.

“What is your new job?”

I knew she just wanted to know so she could judge/talk shit so I was as vague as possible. “It’s with a fashion retailer. It’s a huge salary increase.”

“That’s cool. Does Diana have anyone in mind to replace you?”

I smiled, knowing she was hoping her name was in the running.

“Not yet. She strongly believes in promoting from within but she said there’s no one here she thinks would be cut out to do it,” I said. 

“Oh.”

I guess that was kind of mean, but whatever. I bet Diana will promote her anyway so I don’t feel bad about leading her astray a bit.

After work, I planned on eating something disgustingly good for dinner then spending the evening in bed watching tv, but I got a text from Carly as I was leaving that said, “Are you doing anything tonight?”

And I was like, “Nope, no plans.” Then a few minutes later I added, “Why? Are you?”

She said, “Yeah, we are going to the bar later. Wanna come?”

And I was like, “Okay.”

So that’s how Carly persuaded me into going out on Friday night. I went home and got my things then headed to Brady’s. We ordered pizza, drank wine, then got ready to go out.

We were meeting some of Brady and Chris’s friends at the bar, but I made sure Paul or John wouldn’t be there. Am I hard to get along with? I shouldn’t have to be worried about a confrontation with his friends. But I can’t help that those guys are assholes!

When we got there everyone got beers so I decided against my tequila and Sprite since apparently it wasn’t that kind of night. But then after my beer, I needed some actual liquor. Jacob called me a party animal.

Nothing too crazy really happened at the first bar except when this girl one of Chris’s classmates was talking to just randomly dropped it like it’s hot in front of Brady. Then she turned and gave him what was supposed to be a sexy wink and Brady just looked around with the most hilarious expression on his face. It was like panicked/confused/mortified.

And the girl looked so desp that I couldn’t even be mad at her. I actually laughed out loud. I don’t think she knew Brady and I were together so maybe I wasn’t being all over him like I normally am. Or maybe I was and she just didn’t care? You know how girls can be these days.

A few minutes later, I went to the bathroom with Carly and when we came back out, the dancing girl was making out with Chris’s friend. So good for her.

By the time we made it to the next bar, Carly and I were tipsy and up to our usual shenanigans (running to the bathroom hand in hand, dancing, ordering shots, making new friends). We started talking to these two guys in the Air Force and one of them told us they were stationed in France. Carly actually studied abroad in France and the name of the base didn’t sound familiar to her so she called an emergency bathroom meeting. Then she Googled the base they told her about and found out that they were lying. We avoided them the rest of the night.

The real action happened when the bar closed and everyone was spilling out. Carly and I skipped out ready to take on the after hours bar (hey, we like to party) and the guys followed. I heard some belligerent voice say something like, “This is the douchebag I’ve been looking for.”

I turned and this random man I’ve never seen before in my life lunged at my boyfriend and grabbed him by his Northface! Chris and friends immediately stepped in to help push the maniac off and a big scuffle ensued. The bar bouncers and a cop patrolling the street had to pry the man off Brady and then handcuff him for being a psychopath. It happened so fast. It was all very dramatic.

“What just happened?” I asked.

“Mistaken identity, it seems,” Chris answered.

“Yeah, I’ve never seen that guy, but he said I tried to fight him in the bar,” Brady laughed. “So he tried to kick my ass out here.”

I turned and glared at the man, who was now sitting in the backseat of the police car. How dare he lay his filthy hands on my boyf? The cop wanted to speak with Brady and I was so stressed and shaken up by the drama that I made Carly find us cigs then we walked around the block to smoke them.

“I can’t believe that just happened. Brady would like, never get in a fight,” I said, taking a drag.

“I know!” Carly agreed. “He’s like, the nicest person ever!”

Just then, Brady and Chris rounded the corner and found us.

“That’s fucking disgusting,” Brady kind of yelled, snatching the cigarette out of my mouth and throwing it. Carly threw hers down and smiled innocently.

Oopsies.

We stopped at the late night bar (only because their kitchen was still open and I needed cheese sticks) then headed home.

On Saturday, Brady and I finalized our birthday/Christmas plans. He had trouble getting days off, but was able to snag a few so we are flying to Houston on Tuesday (the 23rd) after he leaves work and coming back on Friday morning (the 26th) so he can still go in for a few hours. Workaholic. After we bought our plane tickets, I was inspired to keep traveling and I told Brady we should go to New York City or Vegas for New Years. He laughed.

“I wish. Even this time off is a bit of a stretch. Unfortunately, my job doesn’t stop for holidays.”

I pouted, but this made sense. And at least he gets those few days and he wants to spend it with me! I have to plan something really amazing for his birthday. Speaking of which, I have absolutely no idea what gift I should get him for his birthday and Christmas. Literally, I’m at a loss. Help? Any ideas?? I always got my ex things like watches, shoes, designer sunglasses, etc, but he was super flashy. Somehow, I don’t think Brady would care for any of that. I would reach out to Hunter and ask, but apparently he’s shunning us or dead (knock on wood). You guys always have amazing ideas though!

I predict this week will be pretty busy. I set up a ton of phone interviews and squeezed them into my lunch breaks, commutes to and from work, and random times throughout the day. I haven’t heard from Andrew since last week, but he’s supposed to call me this morning. And I’m kind of dreading it.

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don’t drink and shop.

Kendra and I needed to go shopping for Thanksgiving so we did that during the day on Wednesday. Brady had to work, but insisted I take his credit card to pay for everything. I’m not exactly sure what we got, but we spent almost $400.

Kendra kept saying, “Are you sure he won’t mind?”

And I assured her that he insisted on paying. I mean, he did, right? And it’s not like he gave me a limit or anything. I still got rid of the receipt immediately just in case even though he probably won’t even notice. 

Kendra was making the major foods at her house and put Carly and me in charge of a few of the sides, dessert and setting the table. I threw some things in the oven then started setting the table. Then Carly showed up and she brought alcohol so the two of us started taking shots. Since Brady and Chris were downstairs, Carly and I took over Brady’s room and started getting ready and gossiping about Preston. He legitimately has two boyfriends now.

“Get this!” Carly said, doing the hideous open mouthed mascara face in the mirror. “Mr. Murphy and Preston are going to dinner tonight, like an expensive seven course thing. But he also has plans to make dinner with Dillon so he doesn’t know what to do.”

“He probably just shouldn’t participate in Thanksgiving this year,” I said.

“And then!” she exclaimed. “You know how Mr. Murphy gives him a weekly allowance? Well, he spends a ton of it on Dillon. He takes Dillon shopping and everything!”

We predicted that this situation is going to end badly.

I got dressed in a pair of One Teaspoon shorts, a sequin tank and a cardigan that I got a couple sizes too big so I could channel my inner Olsen Twin. 

Brady knocked on the door and when I opened it, he said, “Um, did you have something in the oven?”

I totally forgot that I was cooking. I scurried to the kitchen, but the pie and dinner rolls were almost black. Oops. Naturally, I blamed it on Carly.

“Carly, why didn’t you take the pie and dinner rolls out?” I shouted. She didn’t respond.

Luckily, Kendra showed up soon after that and we helped her bring everything in then I asked her to help me whip together some sides together. “Help” meaning she cooks while I finish my makeup.

Brady’s friends started showing up soon after that. First Jacob, Stacey, Dan, and a doughy cheeked guy I’ve never met named Paul showed up. Then that girl Brady works with that I met at his party came. She seems nice enough, but I don’t know why she was invited. Her name is Maddie and she came with her friend, Abby. I was really annoyed by their names.

Everyone started drinking and hanging out while we waited for the food to be ready. The doorbell rang and I announced that I would get it. I wasn’t sure who else we were expecting, but I wanted to be the first to see. 

I opened the door and Carly’s older brother, Kyle, was standing there. I think I’ve mentioned Kyle before, but we’ve had this ongoing flirtationship for years. We’ve never hooked up because Carly would kill me, but we flirt and tease each other endlessly. 

“Reese,” Kyle said, grinning. He’s so hot. He’s just like, a man, you know? He’s tall and fit and even though he had on a backward cap I could see that his blonde hair has grown out and was peeking out down by his neck.

“Hey Kyle,” I smiled back.

Kyle snaked an arm under my cardigan and around my waist and I could feel his cold fingers on my skin. I hugged him back lightly and he kissed me on my cheek as he pulled away. “Long time no see. How have you been?”

“Fabulous,” I sang. “Carly didn’t tell me you were coming.”

“I wasn’t going to turn down Thanksgiving dinner in the city. What did you cook?”

“Everything,” I lied walking away.

I had no idea that Chris and Kyle had never met, but I watched Carly introduce them. Then she stood there biting her nails hoping they would hit it off. It was so cute.

Finally, all the food was ready and we set up a buffet so everyone could load their own plates. I packed my plate with turkey, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes then made a glass of wine and tequila (sangrila). I sat next to Brady and Kendra sat on the other side of me and Kyle was sitting directly across. He kept making eye contact with me and smirking and winking. I hadn’t formally introduced Brady as my boyfriend to him, but I’m sure he got the memo.

Someone suggested we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. Ugh. I hate shit like that. Everyone was saying that they are thankful for their families and their friends and Kendra said she was thankful for the opportunity to be a lawyer. It was so cheesy.

When it was my turn, I told everyone that I thought the little activity was stupid, but I was thankful for tequila. Then I made us do a toast.

After I finished my drink, I turned to Brady and said, “Can you make me another drink? I don’t feel like getting up. Three parts tequila, one part wine.”

“Sure,” he said and stood up.

That Paul guy must have been watching and he said, “Dude, you’re so pussy whipped,” to Brady.

I smiled. Brady is “pussy whipped” just because he was willing to make me a drink? That’s a little ridiculous I think. Brady didn’t deny it and just shrugged and went to make my drink.

Eventually we all made our way downstairs to continue drinking/watch football. Carly, Kyle and I were kind of huddled together catching up since we hadn’t seen Kyle in a while. He’s moving to the city from the suburbs for a job so we were mostly talking about that. The condo he’s looking at isn’t far from my apartment and I told him.

“Oh yeah?” Kyle said, slinging his arm around my neck. “You’ll have to show me around the neighborhood.”

I giggled and pushed him off playfully while Carly shot me a dirty look. Brady appeared next to me at that exact moment. He looked from me to Kyle and smiled politely.

“Hi,” I said guiltily. This would probably be considered flirting.

“Hey. I’ll be over there,” Brady said and gestured to somewhere across the room. 

I decided to leave the Kyle situation alone and go find my boyf. I saw Mabby on the way there and asked if they were having fun.

“Not as much fun as you,” Maddie said smiling and I sensed some shade.

“Well, not a lot of people can be as fun as me,” I said, walking off. I was going to stay and passive aggressively tell her that she needed to lighten up and trim her split ends, but decided against it. Maturity – 1, Drunk Reese – 0.

I found Brady sitting in a chair talking to his friends and I plopped down on his lap/the arm of the chair.

“Hey lover,” I said affectionately. “I missed you.”

“Me too,” he said, kissing me on the cheek.

And then I heard that Paul guy, the same one who called Brady pussy whipped, say, “Goddamn, can you take your girlfriend’s titty out of your mouth for five minutes?”

He said it in a low voice and didn’t mean for me to hear, but I heard.

“You’re fucking rude!” I blurted out.

Paul gave me a shit eating grin and said something like, “You really picked a good one, Brady.”

“Where’s your girlfriend, ugly?” I demanded.

Paul laughed which only made me more mad.

“And as much as you clearly love Wendy’s, that doesn’t count.”

“Reese, stop,” Brady said gently.

I spun around to face him. “Me? Why are you taking his side? He started it!”

Brady gave me a look that said, “Just shut up and we’ll talk about it later.”

I got up and stormed off. I met up with Kendra and told her what happened. She rolled her eyes and said something about me always making a scene. Whatever. I wasn’t just going to let him say whatever he wanted. People were starting to trickle out including that asshole Paul. I hope I scared him away. 

Brady found me and mentioned that he and Chris wanted to go to Best Buy so as the last few guests were leaving, I changed into something warmer so I could tag along. I’m usually not into Black Friday shopping, but I was drunk and kind of just wanted to see the shit show.

When we got to Best Buy, it was surprisingly not that crowded. I was expecting/hoping for lines, fights, riots, tasers, etc. Brady and Chris were looking for DVDs or something lame and I followed along for a little while. Then I got bored and wandered off. A guy who worked there saw me walking around aimlessly and asked what I was shopping for.

“Oh, nothing really,” I said.

He insisted on showing me some of the deals they were having so I followed him around the store. He showed me a laptop that I definitely don’t need, but it was on such a good deal that I had to get it. He also showed me an iPad that I decided I could get and give to someone as a gift. Then we looked at the Beats headphones which were over half off. I need a nice pair of headphones for when I run and work out so I told the guy that I wanted those too. I also picked up an e-reader to reads books on, a case for it, a phone case, a keyboard for the iPad, and a green Kitchenaid stand mixer. 

We ran into Brady on the way to the cash register. He looked at my full cart and gave me a confused look. “What is all this?”

“Just some stuff I need,” I said. I was feeling judged so I told him I would meet him at the registers.

In total, including the geek squad protection for my laptop, I spent over two grand. I felt like I got good deals (except later I found out that the laptop was only $50 off so I was swindled).

After Brady and Chris paid for their things, I made Brady load my things in the car while I watched.

“Jesus, Reese,” Brady said as he put my new mixer in the backseat. “What did you do?!”

“What?” I replied defensively. “Those are all gifts and they were good deals.”

But now I’m kind of regretting buying all that stuff.

I met with my potential new boss on Friday morning. I woke up hungover so I took two Advil, drank a glass of water and put on about six layers of concealer under my eyes. We met for coffee and I knew what he looked like because I’d stalked his LinkedIn profile. I immediately found him sitting in the back of the coffee shop with a laptop.

I walked to the side of his table and he looked up from his laptop at me curiously, flicking his eyes over my body and face.  

“I’m Reese,” I told him.

“Reese!” he exclaimed, surprised, and stood up to shake my hand.

His name is Andrew and he is tall with dark hair and warm dark eyes. Andrew kind of reminds me of Freddie Prinze, Jr. He’s good looking for sure, but I could tell that he’s past his peak. He probably used to be the fucking man in high school and college, but the partying caught up with him. He’s probably only a couple years older than me.

We sat down and small talked for a while and then even though Kate told me it would be a casual meeting, Andrew pulled out an interview guide and started asking me questions. I wasn’t really prepared for this, but I surprised myself with how well I was talking about profit and loss, target markets, employee coaching and overall business acumen. 

An hour later, Andrew said, “Reese, I think you would be a really good fit for this position. However I’m going to be bluntly honest with you.”

I really had no idea what he was going to say. He looked down at his notes and kind of sighed then said, “As a sales director, you would be in charge of sales managers and assistants who have years and years of experience. A lot of them will probably be older than you. I’m a little concerned about you being taken seriously.”

I swallowed and blinked a few times. That was not what I was expecting at all. Taken seriously? What the fuck was that supposed to mean? 

“I mean, I’ve not had a problem being taken seriously thus far…” I said slowly.

“Maybe ‘taken seriously’ isn’t the correct term,” Andrew said. “But you’re a young, great looking woman. I don’t think that is what anyone will be expecting from a sales director. This is a high caliber job, you know.”

I’m not a feminist by any stretch, but a woman can’t be taken seriously in a “high caliber job?” That’s rude. 

What he said left a bad taste in my mouth, but something about Andrew made me really like him. The way he shook my hand was so personal and warm, I suddenly had visions of innocently flirting with him and tricking him into giving me extra vacation days.

Kendra and I got dinner and drinks on Friday night and I told her what happened with Andrew. 

“Reese, that isn’t legal,” she told me. “He can’t say that to you. It’s offensive and illegal.”

Even though Kendra’s probably right, I’m not going to like, press charges on him. If he doesn’t think I can handle the job, then that’s his loss. Plenty of people think I can be taken seriously.

On Saturday night, the gang (me, Brady, Carly, Chris, Preston and Dillon) planned on going out. We hit up a night club first and drank and danced and had a really fun time. I didn’t get us a VIP table, but one of the bartenders gave us all free shots and took them with us.

After a while, Brady and Chris said that they were going to a bar close by. Since the rest of us were still having fun, I told them we would meet them there later. After they left, Carly confronted me in the bathroom about her brother.

“Ya know, Brady asked me about you and Kyle,” she said.

“What did he say?” I asked with wide eyes.

“He wanted to know if you guys have history or if Kyle likes you. I obviously said no.” Carly cut her eyes to me in the mirror, looking stern. 

That made me feel really awful. If only Brady knew how little of a threat Kyle is. If I wanted Kyle, I would have had him.

After we left the bathroom, I texted Brady to see where they were. He didn’t respond right away, but we still closed out our tabs preparing to leave. When we got outside, Brady still hadn’t responded so I suggested we go to a bar around the corner. I figured we could waste time until I heard back. I started talking to this hot black lawyer and decided he would be perfect for Kendra. I introduced them and then lied about having to go to the bathroom so they could have some alone time.

I ended up going to the bathroom and calling Brady, but he didn’t answer. I texted him, “You need to answer your phone so we can find you!!!!”

I went back out there and found Kendra, but the lawyer was gone.

“Did you get his number?” I asked excitedly.

Kendra made a face. “Uh no. He’s weird. And the law school he went to isn’t even Top 25 or anything.”

“Kendra!” I exclaimed. “Who cares what law school he went to. Don’t you want to get laid?!”

She gave me a dirty look and ended the conversation. We hung out at the bar until it closed and since Brady never called me back, I took an Uber home with Kendra and Carly.

I didn’t hear from Brady again until he called me on Sunday morning.

“Hey. I ended up coming home and passing out last night. I didn’t even make it to the bar,” he said.

I didn’t want to argue with him or question him and start a fight so I just said, “Oh.”

“I’m really sorry. I didn’t even drink that much so I must have been extremely tired,” Brady went on.

“Yeah,” was all I could think to say. I wasn’t about to pretend to be okay with this, but I also didn’t want to argue.

Brady asked if I wanted to come over, but I told him I had plans with Kendra. Kendra did ask me to go to church with her and I declined, but after talking to Brady, I changed my mind.

Brady and I didn’t talk for the rest of the day.

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bloody boobs.

Kendra and I met for dinner on Tuesday night. I didn’t talk to her at all over the weekend so we definitely had some catching up to do.

She seemed to be in good spirits when we sat down at the restaurant. We ordered panzanella and wine and I asked her to tell me about her weekend.

“It was okay. I went into the office on Saturday since I had nothing better to do and I hung out with a girl from work that night. We went to this lounge that I think you would love,” Kendra said.

“That’s good…” I said. I wanted to ask if she’d heard from John, but I didn’t know if he was still off limits.

“Yeah. How was your weekend?” Kendra changed the subject.

I proceeded to tell her all about Dom, Brady’s parents and Anna and she said, “Ugh. Sounds like a oppressed bitch.”

“She is,” I agreed. “Hopefully I don’t have to ever see her again. What do you think about the Anna thing?”

“I can’t tell if it’s sketchy as hell or if Brady is just a pussy. I hope they’re not like, still hooking up or anything.”

“I didn’t get that vibe,” I admitted. “They hadn’t seen each other in a long time, I don’t think.”

“Well hopefully they didn’t exchange numbers and he doesn’t plan on flying out to see her anything.”

I blinked.

“Or fly her here. Honestly Reese, he’s probably already cheated on you.”

“Kendra!” I exclaimed.

“I’m sorry,” she said and then burst into tears. “I didn’t mean that. I just…”

She just sat there bawling and couldn’t get her sentence out. I didn’t know what to do. Our waiter came back with our food and looked startled and uncomfortable at Kendra crying so I motioned for him to set the plates down.

“Kendra,” I said softly. 

“I’m fine,” she blubbered. “Seriously. I just need a moment.”

Kendra scrambled out of her chair and headed toward the bathroom. I waited two minutes before following her. She was standing in front of the mirror wiping her face when I got in there.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“I’m fine,” she said evenly.

I caught her eye in the mirror and gave her a look.

“This is just hard,” she finally sniffed. “I miss him so much.”

“Do you think maybe you should talk to him?” I asked.

“No. I don’t want to talk to him.”

I knew that she did want to talk to him, but felt like she shouldn’t.

“Even just for closure? I feel like there’s so many unanswered questions.”

Kendra shook her head. “I can’t. It’s fine. I promise. I’m fine. Let’s go eat, I’m starving.”

I followed her back to our table and we didn’t mention John again for the rest of the evening. So I really don’t know what to do. I feel like Kendra needs to talk to him because she’s just going to be miserable if she doesn’t. But I can understand why she won’t. What he did was awful. And I don’t think there’s anything I can do that will make her feel better. 

On Wednesday, I met with Kate after work. I felt kind of guilty for meeting with her, but I was curious to hear what she had to say. We met at Starbucks right outside her hotel and both arrived at the same time.

“Hi Reese! So glad to see you again!” she exclaimed, hugging me.

We got lattes and sat at a little table in the corner. We talked about Brady’s dad’s party and why she was there. She’s friends with a guy who works with Brady’s mom for some charity (she’s philanthropic? Who knew?) and he invited her to be his date to the party. I told her about my weekend (without getting too in depth) and she laughed.

Finally, Kate said, “I wanted to meet with you so we could talk about this position. It just came open and after talking with you, I thought you would be perfect.”

“Okay… What is it?”

“So it’s the sales director for the Midwest region. We have six shops in the Midwest and we’re gearing up to open our seventh. So basically you would be in charge of the operations, the people, the budget, and of course the sales of all the shops in your region.”

I nodded.

“In addition to that, we have products in hundreds of retailers across the country so you would oversee those relationships within your region and be a liaison between those stores and our New York office.”

I nodded again.

“When I talked to you, you seemed driven, aggressive, and passionate which is exactly what we need. The person who held this role previously couldn’t be counted on to really dig in and make things happen.”

I didn’t exactly know what she meant by “make things happen” or why she thought I could do it.

“You would spend a lot of time traveling to your stores and making sure they are functioning to capacity, but you would also have operational responsibilities that could be done remotely.”

“Okay…” I said.

“And with this new shop opening, you would be responsible for staffing it completely from the shop manager to the shop assistants. Meaning you would have to recruit to find the people you think would best fit the store.”

I took a moment to let all of this sink in.

“I mean, my background is in marketing and advertising. I don’t know anything about hiring people or anything like that,” I said honestly. And even though I guess the ad team is technically my team, they’re pretty independent so it’s not like I have to help develop them or anything.

“Well, you would have an intense month long training where you would shadow one of our top sales directors. We wouldn’t just throw you in and expect you to know what to do.”

I nodded and then Kate’s face lit up.

“And what intrigued me so much about you is the creative ways you’ve helped increase your company’s sales and client base. As the sales director, you would be in charge of getting creative like that if any of the sales in your region are lagging.”

“It just seems like a complete change of pace from what I’m used to,” I said. “And to be honest, I feel like I haven’t completed my current job. I have so much more I want and need to do.”

Kate said she understood, but continued to sell the position to me. She even brought her laptop out to show me the layout of one of the shops and pictures from a successful in-store event they had in the store that they hosted to boost sales. Then we looked through the holiday catalog which had a ton of things I wanted to buy. Kate was wearing these amazing printed monogram bracelets that she bought from the company and encouraged me to order some for myself online. I just ordered an “R” and a “B.” Oops.

Two hours later, we were wrapping up and I can’t lie, I was interested. She explained that the company as a whole is young and most of the employees, even the executive team, are young – like under 40. And she gave me a brief overview of their bonus structure, which if all my stores did well, would be extremely lucrative. 

Kate set up an official interview with someone from HR over the phone for Monday. I feel completely guilty, but I don’t see any harm in at least interviewing.

After I left #Sbux, I was excited about the new opportunity and getting to see Brady. We hadn’t really gotten to spend any significant time together since getting back from Boston and we had things to discuss.

Unfortunately, when I got there he was working on his computer so I waited around. It did give me a chance to figure out how I was going to inquire about his parents and Anna. I decided to ask about his mom first then hopefully that would segue into the conversation about Anna smoothly.

I was waiting on Brady’s bed when he finished his work. He started taking off his tie and I said, “Does your mom like me?”

Very subtle.

“Yeah, of course. Why?” he answered, nonchalantly.

“It just didn’t seem like it last weekend.”

“Did she say something?” Brady asked.

I waited a moment before answering. “No, but that’s the thing. She didn’t say much to me at all.”

“I think she just had a lot going on. She likes you, don’t worry.”

“How do you know?” I pressed on.

Brady put his shirt in his closet then came back out and said, “Because I know.”

“Did you ever introduce her to your ex?” I asked, proud of the way I’d shifted the conversation.

Brady looked at me like he was trying to read me before saying, “Yes.”

“Oh. She liked her too?”

“I guess so.”

He went in the bathroom, I think in an attempt to avoid the conversation, but I was waiting patiently when he came out.

“So what did your mom say when y’all broke up?” I asked.

“I didn’t tell her until several months post breakup,” Brady replied sitting next to me on the bed.

“Why?”

“I guess I just didn’t want to explain.”

I wanted to ask what there was to explain besides that she moved away, but decided against it. I had more important things to figure out.

“So y’all were pretty serious?”

He shrugged. “I guess so.”

“What do you mean you ‘guess so?’ Were you guys in love?” I asked.

Brady kind of smirked. “Why are you asking me all this?”

“I just want to know. You never talk about her,” I smiled innocently.

“I don’t have any reason to,” Brady said. 

“Did you love her?” I asked again before he could try to change the subject.

“I did.”

As soon as he said this my heart began to race and I don’t know why.

“Really? Did you think you would marry her?” 

I always thought I would marry my college ex. What a naive little idiot I was.

“I don’t know. Not really. I was young,” Brady said.

“Did you guys talk about it?”

“Yeah.”

Wow. So they must have really been serious. There were so many more questions I wanted to ask, but I decided to go for the zinger.

“When’s the last time you saw her?”

Y’all probably won’t believe this, but I hate catching people in lies. It’s just so sad and awkward when they squirm. So I desperately hoped Brady would tell the truth and have an amazing explanation.

“It’s been a while,” Brady said and my heart fell. So much for that.

I couldn’t confront him without admitting that I’d stalked his Facebook until I found a two and a half year old picture of him and Anna so I kind of had to drop it.

We started making out and undressing each other until we were having sex with Brady on top. Brady has one of those headboards with shelves on it where he keeps a few random knick knacks that I’ve never paid any attention to. Apparently he must have been thrusting hard and rocking the bed because I was just laying there enjoying myself when something hard and heavy fell on my face. I’m pretty sure I made the same noise and movements a squirrel makes when it gets hit by a car.

“Oh shit,” I heard Brady say, getting off me.

I sat up and realized that whatever the fuck it was hit me right between the eyes and I was in agonizing pain. I started crying before I could even stop myself. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve cried because of physical pain.

“I’m so sorry,” Brady said even though it really wasn’t his fault.

I opened my eyes and saw him looking at me apologetically. “Am I bleeding?”

“Um, yeah.”

I jumped up and ran to the bathroom to see the damage. I had blood running down the bridge of my nose and it was dripping everywhere. I started crying again.

“Here’s a towel,” Brady said, rushing into the bathroom. Unlike me, he’d put on sweatpants so he wasn’t completely naked. “I’m so sorry, Reese. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

He made me sit down on the toilet so he could help clean my wound and after a few minutes said, “I hope you don’t need stitches.”

“Stitches?!” I cried. My main concern was looking like Frankenstein, walking around with stitches in my face.

“Maybe. It looks deep,” Brady said.

I wasn’t about to get stitches so I held the towel on my face until it stopped bleeding. Brady said since it is in a weird spot right on the edge of my eyebrow where I have a lot of facial movement it will probably keep opening and not heal. And it’s not like a bandaid would exactly fit there either so yeah. Walking around looking like a victim of war now.

Please tell me y’all have almost been on “Sex Sent Me to the ER” too? Share your stories. There has to be something more disgusting and embarrassing than bloody boobs.

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dick sucking culprit.

I planned on staying in for the entire weekend so on Friday night I had Kendra over for movies and wine. A chill night was definitely needed and we just reminisced about the debauchery that was college. 

On Saturday, I went shopping with Preston and Dillon in the afternoon. I didn’t really need anything, but I told them I would tag along for moral support. I ended up getting a multipurpose bag and a skirt.

That night Carly wanted to go out. I dragged my feet until 10:00 and then decided that fine, I would go out, but only for two hours.

We ended up at a bar not far from my apartment. The whole gang was there – Kendra, Carly, Preston, and me and Carly bought us a round of tequila shots. It was actually kind of nice to be out without the boys like old times. I feel like lately, Brady, Chris and John are omnipresent.

Carly and I ended up getting drunk before we even left the first bar because some things never change. We left the bar and went outside to find the next place to go. Directly across the street was a club/lounge and next door was another bar. I remember Jessica posting something on Facebook about going to the club/lounge for her friend’s birthday and since I was drunk, I thought it would be a good idea to go there. We weren’t really dressed to go to a club, but I had  never talked to Jessica without Brady around and I wanted to. What were the chances of us being in the same vicinity at the same time? Like I said, I don’t believe in coincidences. It was meant to be. 

I suggested we go across the street without telling any of them why and Kendra scrunched her nose. “No. Let’s just go to the bar.” 

I grabbed Carly’s hand and ran into the street (in front of a cab who honked at us) and Kendra and Preston had no choice but follow. The place was huge and kind of empty and there were two floors, three separate bars and couches everywhere. The last time I was there, one of my friends had to be carried out by security because she blacked out. Good times.

We ran to one of the bars and ordered drinks. It was a whiskey bar which was annoying, but I got a whiskey sour. We took our drinks to the dance floor and danced to old ass 90’s music. I was on the lookout for Jessie and couldn’t wait to confront her. The place was really dark so I couldn’t really see anything so I decided to just drink and have fun instead.

Carly and I went to another bar and got some kind of delicious cucumber lime cocktail. We took our drinks to a couch and sat down to check our phones. Brady was keeping me in the loop about everything he was doing and I appreciated that. I made one of the guys sitting on the couch across from us take a picture of me and Carly to send to Brady. After that, we started talking to four kind of cute finance guys for a while. I made sure to talk about my boyfriend a lot since Carly thinks I’m a flirt.

We met back up with Kendra and Preston and decided to make our way to the next place since this place was dead. I had kind of forgotten about Jessica as we made our way outside. I almost squealed with delight when I saw her standing with the two door men and one of her bland friends. She was wearing a really tight dress and all I could think about was the fact that I have naked pictures of her saved in my phone.

“Oh my gosh, hi Jessica!” I said loudly because she hadn’t seen me yet. I also wanted to subtly let my friends know that this was the dick sucking culprit who had a thing for my boyfriend. None of them had met her or knew what she looked like except Kendra because I obviously showed Jessica’s nudes to her.

Jessica looked really taken aback to see me and took a look at my plaid shirt, jeans, and riding boots (told you we weren’t dressed for a club) before breaking into a huge smile.

“Hey Reese! How are you?” She pulled me into a really fake hug which I found offensive. I patted her back lightly in lieu of a hug. “You’re not in San Francisco with Brady?”

How did that bitch know where my boyfriend was?

“Uh, no, I don’t give a fuck about a baseball game. These are my friends, Carly, Kendra and Preston.”

Carly and Kendra shook Jessica’s hand and then Preston said, “How do you two know each other?”

“She works with Brady,” I informed him even though he obviously already knew.

“Oh. Ohhh. Nice to meet you, Jessica,” Preston said, shaking her hand.

“Wow so I can’t believe you didn’t want to go to the World Series,” Jessica said, smiling like a psychopath.

I guess I technically wasn’t invited and maybe she knew that and was throwing shade in my direction. I ignored her comment. I wanted to stay and interrogate her, but I also wanted her to know that I didn’t have time to waste talking to her so I said, “Well, we’re going to go inside to have fun somewhere. Bye!”

“Okay. See you around,” Jessica said in an almost sneaky kind of way.

“She’s definitely not as cute as you. She probably just gives really great head,” Preston said as we crossed the street.

I whacked his arm. “Preston!”

I know it wasn’t really the time since everyone was around, but I think Jessica should apologize to me. She knows that I don’t want her talking to Brady yet she continues being thirsty and throwing herself all over him.

After we hit up two or three more places, we headed back to Kendra’s to crash. As I was getting ready to fall asleep, I got a text from Brady that said, “We are going to another bar. I love you.”

I fell asleep before I could respond, but I was so excited when I read the message on Sunday morning. I’m sure he only said it because he was drunk, but I love that I have him saying he loves me in writing. 

Spoiler alert: I didn’t see Brady last night so I didn’t make him dinner or anything, but maybe tonight or tomorrow night. Besides dinner, what other cute, not super sappy things can I do? I’ve cooked for him already and I’m not the Pioneer Woman anyway so I want to do something else.

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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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i can’t afford to lose my mind.

By the time Saturday rolled around, I was so fed up with work that I was actually considering finding a new job. Whitney had completely let her promotion go to her head and was marching around the office giving orders to everyone except me because she knows I don’t play that shit. I finally talked to Diana on Friday morning and she said, “From what I understand Dave gave her the go ahead to work on her projects and we really need everyone’s help to execute them.”

Ugh. Fine. I decided that I would start finding vendors for the winter warehouse sale and even got some responses from two potentials. I emailed Whitney a list of what I came up with and a few minutes later she stopped by my office.

“Actually Reese, I think we have enough vendors, but if you want you can start doing a physical inventory of everything in the warehouse,” she said.

Lol yeah right.

So naturally I was ready to let loose on Saturday. Carly was going over to Brady and Chris’s early to help prepare for the party and I decided that I should probably help too so I didn’t look like some useless girlfriend. I ended up spending forty five minutes on my effortlessly chic topknot so I guess I wasn’t very helpful after all.

In the middle of getting ready, I went out to the kitchen to pour another glass of wine. I was starting things off slow so I wasn’t a complete trainwreck by the time Brady’s friends arrived. I poured a healthy glass of vino then saw a Tupperware container full of cookies sitting on top of the refrigerator. I knew I shouldn’t, but I told myself that I could have just one – only because they were chocolate chip and that’s my favorite. The cookie turned out not to be that great which pissed me off because I wasted calories on it.

I finished getting ready and heard guests starting to arrive. I grabbed my glass of wine and went out to greet people in the living room with Carly. Brady and Chris were in the kitchen pouring drinks and shots while we entertained their friends. Once I finished my second glass of wine, all of my limbs started to get tingly. I thought the wine must be laced with something.

“Carly,” I said, turning toward her. “What’s in this wine? I feel really fucking weird.”

Carly was chatting with two guys, but gave me her full attention. “What?”

I just stared at her head which she cocked to the side and I couldn’t help thinking she looked just like my grandparents’ Shih Tzu. I burst into laughter.

“Reese!” Carly whispered loudly. “You didn’t eat any of those cookies in the kitchen, did you?”

I stood there laughing for what felt like half an hour.

“Reese,” Carly said very calmly. “Those are weed cookies.”

“No wonder they tasted like shit,” I said.

Carly started laughing and I laughed with her. She grabbed my arm and dragged me to the kitchen to find our boyfriends. They were huddled by the sink, drinking.

“Reese had a cookie,” Carly announced.

I gave my best Miss USA smile since they were all staring at me.

“You had a whole cookie?!” Chris exclaimed.

“Hey, don’t judge. I’ll work the calories off later,” I said.

“All I can say is have fun,” Chris said. 

“I should’ve warned you not to eat those,” Brady said to me.

“I am fine,” I assured him.

“They are very potent. You aren’t a smoker and you’re a tiny girl. An entire cookie is going to make you lose your mind,” he explained.

I blinked at him for several minutes and started to get nervous. I can’t afford to lose my mind. If I got any stupider I would probably be fired and have to start peddling on Michigan Ave. Oh my God, what if someone who knows me saw?

“Reese,” Brady said, pulling me out of my nightmare.

“Brady,” I said back.

“Do you want to lay down?” 

“Are you fucking kidding? No! Let’s party!”

So I partied. Since I was already high, Carly ate half a cookie to even the score then we went back to the living room to continue greeting people. Kendra and John showed up, but they immediately went to the dining room where all the sophisticated grown ups were apparently hanging out. I let Kendra know that I think she’s becoming a grandma though.

Eventually I met back up with Brady and demanded he introduce me to his friends because most of the guests I’ve never seen before.

I met a really pretty girl who said she works with Brady at the hospital.

“Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed. “So you must know Jessica? Did you know that she sucked-”

Brady literally put his hand over my mouth to shut me up.

“Reese, don’t,” he said gently.

Whatever.

I also met a guy named Mark who turned out to be the realtor who sold Brady his duplex. Mark was cute and once I found out that he works in real estate, I gushed about how much I wanted to buy a house. We laughed about something for fifteen minutes and exchanged business cards so he can help me find a home. Love him for that. 

Brady had walked away at some point during my conversation with Mark and while I was trying to find him, I ran into Preston and a smoldering dark haired kid who looked like he had just landed from NYC or something. He was so chic.

“Preston!” I screamed and pulled him into a hug that felt like it lasted for twenty minutes. I started laughing.

“Reese, are you high?” Preston asked.

I laughed harder, but managed to ask who his friend was in between my fit of giggles.

“This is Dillon,” Preston answered and gave me a look that told me Dillon is the new guy he’s trying to start the three way relationship with. 

“Dillon, you’re so fucking fabulous. Can I be you?” I asked, but heard the doorbell ring before he could answer.

It turned out to be the pizza delivery man because apparently I ordered nine large pizzas on my company credit card. I don’t even remember doing that, but I proceeded to eat five slices while discussing if all males are colorblind (I think they are) with one of Chris’s coworkers.

I met back up with Brady in the living room and we collapsed on the couch.

“Do you remember when we fucked on this couch on my birthday?” I asked.

“Mmhm,” he replied and looked at someone passed out in the exact spot we had sex. We laughed for thirty minutes.

We started making out right there then Brady said, “I want to fuck you.”

And I said, “I do too.”

He stood up, but I felt like I was glued to the couch.

“I can’t get up,” I whined and toppled over.

Brady grabbed me and dragged me to his room and we immediately started getting undressed. We barely made it to the bed before I slid on his dick and started riding him. We completely forgot about the rager going on outside his door.

Best sex of my life. It felt like two hours of pure bliss. We were both moaning and telling each other how good it felt. I could feel my orgasm building in my body and started riding harder.

“Uhhhh, I love you!” Brady shouted.

“I love you too!” I cried and we both came hard as fuck and fell onto the bed.

We just laid there talking about the different ideas we had for our wedding. I told him that I want a very classic black and white theme and he loved it. We decided that the actual ceremony would be very traditional to please our parents, but do our own thing for the reception. I suggested we cater weed cookies.

When I woke up on Sunday, my mouth felt dry like I was eating baby powder all night. Brady was out cold and I watched tv for a few hours until he woke up. We showered and got dressed and went to brunch with Carly, Chris, Kendra and John. Brady never mentioned the fact that we exchanged the L word (gawd, I can’t even bring myself to say it) and neither did I because obviously it was only because we were under the influence. 

Honestly, the whole night was a blur. I think it was fun though. I kind of feel like I’m still recovering.

And I still don’t know how I’m going to explain nine pizzas on this month’s expense report.

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shady brady.

Since Kendra cancelled happy hour on Wednesday I made her get drinks with me on Thursday night. I hadn’t had a chance to tell her about my birthday or meeting Brady’s parents. She showed up late to the bar and I immediately demanded she take a shot. Then I rambled on and on about my birthday dinner and the rooftop afterwards. How I had fought with Derrick once again, how Jessica had showed up and rubbed Brady’s thigh, how Brady said he was falling for me.

“Why are you always fighting with Derrick? He’s like the most harmless person on the planet,” she said as if that was highlight of the story.

“Because he’s annoying,” I said, dismissively. “Anyways, what about Jessica? I went to see Brady at work yesterday and they were going to lunch together.”

“So? It’s lunch, not some scandalous rendezvous.”

“How do we know that?”

“Did you ask Brady about it?”

I looked at her like she suggested a threesome between the three of us. “I’m not asking him anything. I would sound like some jealous, mega-attached psycho.”

“He said he’s falling for you, Reese. He isn’t hooking up with Jessica. I’m sure she just has a huge crush on him and he probably likes the attention.”

What she said made sense, but then I realized that I give Brady enough attention so he shouldn’t have to seek any from Jessica. I took a sip of my martini then told Kendra about Brady’s parents. Her only conclusion was that I should’ve never mentioned Obama and that it was obvious (even just from hearing my story) that they were Republicans. She’s right. I definitely should’ve seen the clues.

Finally, I asked her to tell me about her vacation with John.

“It was a ton of fun. We love any chance we can get away from the city,” she said.

“Let me see your ring.”

Kendra rolled her eyes. “He didn’t propose, Reese.” 

Thankfully. As much as I like to tease Kendra about getting engaged, the day it happens I’m going to be devastated. Because once she becomes a married woman, she won’t want to go out for drinks and happy hour and get belligerent on weekends. She will become this serious housewife and only want to spend time with her husband. And then she will start having children and we will no longer have anything in common. I would basically be losing my best friend.

After drinks, I texted Brady to see if he was off work yet and he said that he was exhausted and working late. This struck me as weird and all of my insecurities about Jessica came rushing back to the surface. First of all, he was always exhausted – we both were – so why was that an excuse not to hang out? We hang out every single night no matter what time he got off. I didn’t text him back and instead took a relaxing two hour shower and got ready for bed. 

I checked my phone and Brady had texted me again saying that he was off work and could come over if I was still up. Oh sure, now that he was done fucking Jessica he wanted to hang out with me.

I put my phone down with no intention of responding and got in bed. I started thinking about how hurt Brady looked when I admitted I didn’t open his gift. How he had bought me a plane ticket to Houston because he sensed that I missed my family. I never expressed to him how much I really did, but he picked up on those clues. Finally, I thought about how he said he was falling for me. As much as I hate to admit it, I think I’m falling for him too. 

I quickly picked up my phone and told him that I was sorry, but already in bed. I couldn’t possibly pretend to be mad at him even if I have some suspicions about Jessica.

On Friday, we had our weekly staff meeting and I was going to present some mockups for the watercolor artist collaboration to see if anyone thought it would be worth it. 

After I presented, Whitney insisted she share some ideas she’s working on. It really annoyed me because she is supposed to be assisting me with my ideas, not coming up with her own. We are a team, not in competition. She started with the “discount furniture bazaar” idea and talked about how we could be exposed to a ton of clients who had never heard of us. Duh. Because people who can afford our stuff don’t shop at flea markets.

I raised my hands and expressed my concerns about the message it would send if we were being associated “discount.”

Before Whitney could respond, Dave said, “You know, it might actually be good for us. We don’t want to come off as a snobby company. If we make our products available to people who are price conscious, it will show humility.”

I didn’t say anything. Did I mention that I’m a control freak? I am in charge of all marketing and promotion and I know what’s best for the company. I can’t let this flea market shit go down.

Brady called around 7:30 and invited me over. I stuffed some clothes and toiletries in my bag and headed over there.

“Welcome,” Brady said, letting me in. He was still in his clothes from work and I realized that I missed him on the one day we didn’t get to hang out.

“Hello,” I chirped, hugging him. He nuzzled his face in my neck and I felt a tingle rush down between my legs. I pulled away and kissed him. “How was your day?”

“It’s Friday so I can’t complain. Do you want a beer?”

I followed him into the kitchen and he grabbed two beers while I poured a glass of wine. We took our libations to his room and sat there talking about our days. I steered clear of complaining about Whitney because clearly he would take her side. Eventually he said he was going to take a quick shower and I changed into sleeping clothes and got in bed.

I noticed his phone sitting on the night table next to me and I casually picked it up. His background picture was of a German Shepherd dog which I couldn’t decide if I thought was cute or weird. It honestly should have been a picture of me. I was surprised that when I slid to unlock his phone that he didn’t have a passcode so I had full access to everything. I honestly didn’t expect to find anything though. 

I looked through the apps he had downloaded, all normal things like his bank, Google Maps, GroupMe, etc. I opened his messages: Me, Mom, Chris… Then I saw the thread with Jessica. I couldn’t even stop myself from opening it.

All the messages were very innocent – at first. Things like “Have a good weekend.” and “The fourth floor is crazy right now.” Mostly Jessica sending messages and Brady responding. Very one sided. I scrolled up more and saw conversations about sports that I didn’t even bother reading because they were so long and I don’t even care about sports. I kept scrolling up until I saw a picture. Jessica sent it – it was of her in a tight black dress taken in a full length mirror.

“Going out tonight. Do you like my outfit?” she’d captioned.

Brady responded, “Looks great.”

I kept scrolling up and then I came upon another picture from Jessica. In this one she was in the same mirror, but she was completely naked. I could see everything – her huge tits (I thought my boobs were pretty big, but hers take the cake), faint bikini tan line, landing strip, and tiny hip tattoo. There was no caption and Brady responded, “Very nice.” I checked the date – May 24. Before Brady and I even met.

I continued refreshing older messages and finding more nude pictures. All from Jessica. She would change her pose up – one where she was touching her vagina, another showed a close up of her boobs and face with her finger in her mouth. Brady always responded with something like “Nice” or “Looks good.” I felt like I was suffocating. I know it all happened before we had even met, but obviously he and Jessica have sexual history and he didn’t bother telling me.

I heard the shower turn off and I quickly sent two of the naked pictures to myself then hopped out of bed. I was embarrassed and hurt, but mostly really fucking pissed off.

I was waiting outside the door when Brady emerged from the shower. He was just wearing a towel around his waist and had water dripping down his chest. I held up his phone with a shaky hand.

“What the fuck?” I said slowly because I couldn’t even think of anything else to say.

Brady looked confused. “What?”

I opened one of the naked pictures and showed it to him. He looked at it blankly.

“I can’t fucking believe this.”

He walked passed me and sat on the bed.

“How could you introduce me to Jessica and fail to mention that you guys have had some sort of sexual relationship in the past?”

Brady didn’t say anything.

“No wonder she’s been giving me condescending looks. Y’all are probably still hooking up,” I said.

“No,” Brady said calmly.

“Did you fucking have sex with her?” I demanded.

“No!” he exclaimed as if that was the most ridiculous conclusion I could’ve come to after seeing the pictures.

“Then what happened?”

When he didn’t answer, I said, “And don’t say ‘nothing’ because that’s a fucking lie.”

“Once,” he said, quietly. “We went in an empty patient room. And she…” He trailed off.

“She what?”

He started making gestures with his hands that told me he didn’t know what to say.

“She sucked your dick?” 

Brady sighed. “Yeah.”

“You’re fucking gross,” I glared at him.

I suddenly remembered back to the night of the charity event when I tried to have sex with him in the bathroom and he told me no. He couldn’t hook up with me at a work event, but he could hook up with Jessica at work? I don’t know if I overestimated him or underestimated him. I thought he was too mature and conservative to do such a thing in a public place, but clearly he was very capable of it.

“I owe you a huge apology. I withheld that information because I am not proud of it. I understand why you’re upset and you deserved to know.”

I crossed my arms across my chest.

“I’m terribly sorry. I’m really embarrassed,” Brady said.

“You’re embarrassed?” I seethed. “Imagine how I feel. You’re flaunting Jessica in my face knowing what happened between y’all. Do you understand how stupid it makes me look? Now the b-day comment and the thigh touching all makes perfect sense.”

Brady’s brow furrowed.

“Is there anything I can do to remedy this situation?” he asked very calmly.

“No!” I screeched. And then I became aware of the delicate iPhone in my hand. No protector case or passcode? Silly Brady. “Have a nice life!”

I threw the phone with all of my strength on the tile bathroom floor and heard a painful sounding crack. I grabbed my bag and stormed out of there while Brady watched me, but didn’t try to stop me.  

I got in my car and took a few deep breaths. It wasn’t until I started driving that I realized that yes, I was mad as fuck, but I was actually way more hurt. I like Brady. Way more than I ever planned to.

Even though my eyes felt hot with tears and I had a dry lump in my throat, I wasn’t going to let myself cry. Fuck that. 

I already know what y’all are going to say. Bring it on.

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what an impression.

I spent the night with Brady on Sunday night and brought over my things I needed to get ready to meet his parents. I decided to go for a Blair Waldorf inspired look so I wore a structured black baby doll dress, Michael Kors Mary Jane pumps and a delicate gold watch.

We were supposed to meet his parents at 2:30 north of the city and I started getting really nervous while I waited for Brady to get ready. I went to the kitchen and broke into the wine cellar to help ease my nerves. I really hoped they didn’t want to talk too much.

I was three glasses in when Brady was finally ready to go. I grabbed a bottle of water and we were off.

“So what are your parents like?” I finally asked on the car ride there.

“Well, they are both very much invested in what they do. They are really into politics and current global events. It’s funny, they make time to watch the news together everyday, usually as soon as it comes on at 5:00 AM.”

Okay, I obviously know nothing about any global events so I hoped that wouldn’t come up.

We pulled up to a small restaurant right off the lake and I hoped that the bottle of water and almost hour drive had made most of the wine wear off. I wanted to take the edge off, but not be a hot mess. I felt fine when we got out of the car and gave myself a pep talk as we crossed the parking lot. This wasn’t a job interview. This was Brady’s parents who were probably just as cool and chill as he is.

We were almost to the door when a couple walked out of the restaurant. I recognized them from Google as Brady’s lovely parents.

His dad looked like he was straight out of a St. John’s Bay ad with an olive green polo, plaid shorts and boat shoes. He had a head full of salt and pepper hair, the same baby blue eyes as Brady and a pair of sunglasses hanging from a string around his neck. Brady’s mom was significantly shorter and had a powerful looking strawberry blonde bob. She wore a pair of knee length khaki shorts, a wrappy blouse and leather flip flops. Overall they looked pretty modest, but I know they have to have money. 

“Hi son!” his mom exclaimed and I watched their affectionate reunion awkwardly.

When they were finished they all turned to me.

“This is Reese,” Brady said.

His mom smiled and stuck her hand out for me to shake. Suddenly I got really intimidated and I rarely get intimidated. Could she tell that I was sitting on her son’s face just hours before? “Nice to meet you, Reese!”

“Nice to meet you as well,” I said, shaking her hand back. 

“How are ya?” his father asked shaking my hand. We made eye contact and he winked at me and suddenly I really liked him. He wasn’t intimidating at all.

“Our table should be ready now. Shall we go sit?” Brady’s mom asked.

We got inside and sat down and Brady’s dad ordered a bottle of expensive white wine. His parents ordered lobster tail (clearly not modest) and Brady and I got grilled tiger prawns and vegetables.

“So Reese, where are you from?” Brady’s dad asked while we waited for our food to arrive.

I had already taken a big gulp of my wine so I hurried to swallow. “I’m originally from suburban Texas.”

“Where did you go to college?” his mom asked.

“I graduated from ASU.”

“Is that…Arizona State?” she clarified, looking confused.

I nodded. So what if it isn’t Yale or Harvard? She didn’t have to judge.

“Brady tells us you work in marketing,” dad said.

“Yes. I’m the director of branding for a home decor company here in the city. I oversee all of the advertising efforts and any brand collaborations,” I explained.

“Is it a company we would know?” mom asked.

“We are found in a lot of retailers around the nation, but we only have our one showroom. We’re in select Nordstrom stores, if you shop there.”

“So are you a startup?” she asked, looking confused.

I shook my head. “No. We’ve been around for several years.”

“Hmmm,” she murmured as if she still wasn’t quite sure what I meant.

“So, being from Texas and living in Arizona for a number of years, how do you feel about what’s going on at the border?” dad asked me.

So it was starting. What border? The US/Mexico border? I took a drink of wine so I could stall and come up with a politically correct answer.

“I just really hope the conflict at the border ends soon and everyone is happy,” I said.

“Well, who did you vote for in the last presidential election?” he asked.

Maybe we weren’t friends after all. I didn’t even fucking vote because I thought both candidates sucked. I wished I would’ve paid attention when Googling his parents to whether his dad was a Democrat or Republican. I thought because they’re obviously rich and seemed conservative that they might be Republicans, but I remembered learning in my political science class in college that most or all of New England are Democratic states. But I failed that class and had to retake it so I don’t know. I looked at Brady for a clue, but he was looking back at me expectantly like he was wondering too.

“I voted for Obama,” I said finally.

Brady’s mom scrunched her face up, bewildered. “Why?”

Wrong answer.

“I really appreciated the passion he had for this country and wanted to give him the opportunity to tie up any loose ends during his second term,” I said, impressing even myself with the bullshit.

“Do you think he did a good job his first term?” Brady’s dad asked.

“I don’t think he did any worse than either of the Bushes,” I said and downed the rest of my wine.

Brady’s parents looked at each other.

“What do your parents do?” Brady’s mom asked.

“My father works in finance for an energy company and my mother owns a business,” I answered proudly.

“Your mother owns a business and you voted for Obama?” the mom gasped. The look on her face was almost comical.

I looked at Brady and gave him an SOS signal with my eyes. It took him a moment to figure out what it meant, but when he did figure it out, he acted quickly.

“Mom, would you like another glass of wine?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied, sounding relieved. 

Our food came so luckily that conversation ended. They asked how we met and Brady and told them the story. Brady spent the rest of the meal talking about his job and the hospital and I was glad the attention was off me.

After Brady’s dad paid for everything, we walked outside to go to the party. His parents were walking a few feet ahead of us and Brady and I fell into step together.

“Hey, you okay?” he asked.

“Besides being grilled by your parents, I’m fine,” I said.

“Yeah, they’re pretty big Republicans. I probably should’ve metioned that.”

“That would have helped.”

“It’s okay though. Even if you don’t share the same view as them, they like that you have your own opinion and that you actually voted.”

I laughed and realized I was tipsy. “I actually didn’t really vote.”

Brady laughed too. “Dammit Reese.”

We boarded the yacht and immediately got complementary glasses of champagne. Since I was already feeling tipsy, I decided that I would have one glass and no more. I don’t know who was hosting the party, but there were a lot of older people on the yacht, dancing and talking and mingling. We grabbed a spot to sit on a striped couch.

“So, I hear you just had a birthday. What did you guys end up doing to celebrate?” Brady’s mom asked.

I suddenly remembered all the nasty hickeys I left on Brady’s neck and body and noticed that he’d worn a shirt buttoned all the way up to the collar to hide it. I smirked. 

“We had dinner with Reese’s friends,” he answered.

They continued asking random questions as the yacht took off into the lake. I was enjoying being on the water and even took a few pictures for Instagram (no drunk selfies though). About thirty minutes into the ride I started to feel weird. I figured it was from all the wine and champagne so I pushed my glass away and took a few deep breaths.

That didn’t help. I could feel every move the boat made and it was making me nauseas and dizzy. I tugged at Brady’s sleeve.

“I don’t feel well,” I whispered.

He was busy talking to his dad and ignored me. My entire body felt hot and my mouth was salivating like I was going to vomit. I swallowed a few times but the feeling didn’t go away.

“Brady,” I said, whacking his arm. He quickly spun around toward me. “I need to go to the bathroom, I’m sick.”

I stood up as Brady asked if I was okay. I held my hand up to signal that I was fine then scurried down to the cabin of the boat. Luckily, I found a bathroom just in time and slammed the door just before puking in the toilet. I started sweating as I kneeled in front of the porcelain throne. I started dry heaving and I heard a knock on the door.

“Reese?” Brady’s mom called. “Are you okay?”

Jeez, couldn’t I barf my brains out in private? I began throwing up again so I couldn’t answer.

“Reese?” she called again.

“I’m fine!” I gasped finally, hoping she would go away.

I vomited twice more and hugged the toilet for a few more minutes. I started to feel better so I heaved myself up and checked the mirror. I still felt a little bit icky, but it seemed like I was done throwing up. I quickly fixed my hair and dabbed my makeup in the mirror. Even though Brady’s mom had intruded on my barf sesh, I didn’t need everyone to know that I was seasick.

I opened the door to the bathroom and Brady’s mom was standing there waiting with a concerned look on her face. I was caught off guard that she was still waiting.

“I’m fine, thanks,” I said quickly.

“Reese, you aren’t…pregnant, are you?” she asked, sounding disgusted at the word.

I smiled. Pregnant? Yeah right. Brady and I have only been having sex for two weeks. “Of course not. I think I just have motion sickness.”

She looked at me skeptically. “Are you positive?”

“Yes. I probably had too much wine. There is no way I could be pregnant.”

“Okay.”

Suddenly, I was really irritated with her. Like it was my fault that the yacht was doing whatever the fuck it wanted to and made me sick.

“How long until this thing turns around and goes back to dry land?” I asked, walking past her.

“Probably another hour or so. I’m sure we can find someone with Dramamine, although if you’re hungover then that won’t help matters.”

Shade. 

“I’m not hungover.”

I walked back up the stairs in front of her and found Brady and his dad on the couch where we left them. Brady stood up.

“Reese, are you okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” I said, waving him away. I sat back down and started digging through my bag to find gum.

“Brady, go find her something to calm her stomach,” mom said.

“I don’t need anything,” I insisted but Brady was already on his way. So I was alone with the crazy Republicans.

“No one else has motion sickness,” Brady’s mom said, looking around the boat. “And the lake is fairly calm. So I think it is odd that you got sick.”

“You’re feeling better now, Reese?” Brady’s dad asked and he actually sounded genuinely concerned.

Brady appeared just as I said yes.

“Hey. I found a generic dimenhydrinate. Low dosage since you seem to be feeling better,” he explained and handed me a pill. 

“What did you say this was? I don’t want to be taking random drugs.”

Brady and I made eye contact and he smirked at me, like we were sharing an inside joke. I took the pill dry and we all sat back down and everything settled down.

“Why did you move to Illinois, Reese?” Brady’s dad asked.

“I love Chicago,” I said as if that was explanation enough.

“Texas is such a great place to live. The government is great, the taxes and cost of living are well below average… Illinois is just so corrupt,” dad said.

Brady’s mom nodded in agreement. “And it isn’t getting any better. That’s why we want Brady to come on home. Massachusetts is a wonderful state.”

I looked at Brady for a reaction. I remember he mentioned that he was considering moving home, but only once and he never spoke about it again. He kind of shrugged and took a drink from his bottle of water.

By the time the yacht finally got back to the dock, I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I hadn’t said anything for the last forty five minutes which has to be some sort of record.

“Well, it was very nice meeting you,” Brady’s mom said as we were preparing to say our goodbyes in the parking lot. And then to my surprise, she actually hugged me. It felt very strained and cold, but I at least appreciated her attempt to be more welcoming to me. I mean, since I’m going to be the mother of her grandchild apparently.

On the ride back, Brady apologized about his parents interrogating me but despite how they may have came off, he believes they like me.

I already know, I should have never mentioned Obama.

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typical thursday night.

No one was available for happy hour on Wednesday so I sat at home texting Brady and drinking wine. I realized that my birthday is in two weeks so everyone needs to be fucking available to party with me.

On Thursday we had a little office party to say goodbye to the summer interns. Diana ordered in cupcakes from Sprinkles and called everyone to the break room. She gave some speech about how helpful they were and blah blah blah and announced that we would be hiring one of them full time when he graduates in December. 

I grabbed a cupcake and went to the privacy of my office to scarf it down. I checked my phone and saw that I had a new text message from BJ. I almost vommed.

The message said, “Hey, it’s my last weekend in Chicago before I go back to Georgia. Do you want to grab a drink or something?”

I couldn’t believe the nerve of this kid. I started drafting a scathing message back, telling him what an immature prick I think he is. But then I thought of Brady. If Brady knew the situation he would tell me to be mature and take the high road. I’m almost twenty five and I’m a director. What would bitching out BJ help? He was leaving anyway. I decided not to respond at all. 

After work, I went to Nordstrom to settle the dress situation and ended up getting a dress, earrings, and two pairs of boots for fall/winter. I texted Brady saying that if he got off at a decent time, did he want to come over? I started watching tv and had almost fallen asleep when he responded, “I can be there in 45 mins.”

I jumped up happily, showered and put on something comfortable. I get way more excited to hang out with Brady than I have with any other guy in a long time. I think it’s because he makes me actually use my brain and doesn’t try to immediately get in my pants (although I kind of wish he would).

Brady and I had wine and talked about our days. He mentioned the charity event on Saturday just briefly which I think is weird because we haven’t talked about it since he asked me. Are we even still going together?

We decided to go out to grab a few drinks at a place not too far from my apartment. Well, a few drinks turned into a few more and some shots. Typical Thursday night. I knew that Brady was getting drunk when he started kissing my neck right in the middle of the bar. It was funny, but it only made me want to screw him that much more. We decided to get out of there and Brady left a really generous $80 tip for the bartender. 

“Are you sure you’re okay to drive?” I asked on our way to the parking lot.

Brady shrugged. “I don’t know. Do you want to drive?”

I didn’t say anything and he tossed me the keys. He obviously doesn’t know my driving history, but he was way drunker than I was. I found his car in the parking garage and said a silent prayer before pulling off. The last thing I need is to wreck Brady’s beautiful car. He would never want me if I did that and couldn’t afford to buy him a new one.

We made it back to my apartment in one piece and after driving Brady’s Audi I decided that I’m ready for a new car. I will start looking for something modest soon. 

We got inside and ended up making out on my bed in the complete darkness. All of our clothes were still on and I started to think maybe Brady wasn’t going to try anything with me since I had turned him down twice. He moved down to my neck and said, “I want you,” flat out. 

But he made no moves to show it. I was completely open to having sex and let Brady know it. I ran my hands under his shirt and tugged at his belt. There were only so many clues I could give him without physically ripping his clothes off and doing him.

Eventually, we grew tired and fell asleep. We were woken up by Brady’s alarm at some insane hour and it was still dark outside. Surprisingly Brady was able to get out of bed and become alert immediately and get ready to leave.

“I would like you to come over later. You can stay the night and we can run tomorrow morning,” he said, leaning down to me in bed. 

I couldn’t help smiling. I don’t want to run, but it’s cute that Brady is trying to plan things.

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i think i’m in love.

I added Brady on Facebook on Sunday night and he accepted my request on Monday afternoon. I was so happy that I didn’t (really) have any work to do because I needed to snoop through his page and find his ex-girlfriend. I knew it was kind of a long shot since they broke up two years ago but there had to be some trace of her.

I quickly discovered that Brady doesn’t often use Facebook so I wasn’t missing much. I looked through his tagged photos and couldn’t help smiling as I saw him go through life backwards. It was like Benjamin Button. I looked through pictures of him with Chris, him with some of their other friends, him in Guatemala, etc. Then there was a photo of Brady and a girl with the caption “the happy couple!” So this was her. The photo was from April 2012 so the time frame was exactly right. I was so excited for my find.

They were at a baseball game and Brady looked adorable and young in the photo with his glasses on. The girl was named Anna and she had a long European last name. I’ll admit, she was really pretty. Her long brown bob worked perfect with her heart shaped face and she had the most endearingly deep dimples. She looked like a combination of Emmy Rossum and that fashion blogger Olivia Palermo – not a bombshell, but undeniably gorgeous nonetheless. 

I clicked on her page to find out more. Of course, her page was completely private and I couldn’t click on anything. It did say that she currently lives in New York City, she’s from Boston, Massachusetts and she studied biomedical engineering at Harvard. Of fucking course. I totally felt like Elle in a Legally Blonde. What did Brady want with me? This girl has so much more than I ever will. I do think I’m a great catch, but not for someone like Brady.

I asked Kendra to come to my apartment after work so I could show her Anna.

“She’s cute,” Kendra said.

“I know. And she went to Harvard. Why is Brady even talking to me? I studied marketing at ASU.”

“I’m sure that’s not all he cares about. She may have went to Harvard, but she was probably boring and sucked in bed. That’s probably why they broke up.”

“They broke up because she moved away.”

“And now he wants to move on with you. Reese, he’s talking to you for a reason. If he cared that you’re not a doctor and didn’t go to an Ivy League school, he wouldn’t be continuing to hang out with you.”

In some ways I do think Kendra is right, but at some point I’m not going to be able to fake it any longer. How am we ever going to sustain a relationship if I need a dictionary every time we talk?

Brady texted me on Tuesday morning saying that he would be getting off work early at around six and did I want to get dinner? I said yes and he said he would get me at 6:30.

I spent the majority of the day in my office, but went to the bathroom right after lunch. To my dismay, Amanda was already in there. She and Whitney have been avoiding me for the most part which has been nice. I would rather not deal with them at all.

“Hey,” I said. Amanda was standing at the sink washing her hands and just stared at me in the mirror.

“Cool! Great talk!” I said sarcastically and slammed the stall door shut. What a bitch.

Brady and I went to a Mediterranean place and got really fancy and complex salads. We talked about the usual things: work, friends, family. I found out that he has an older brother who lives on the west coast and makes a great living as an astrophysicist or something really intense. What the fuck do their parents have in their DNA? I just don’t understand. 

I told him about Whitney and Amanda, without going into the BJ situation too much because I didn’t want him judging me. I would judge me.

“The bitches are just crazy,” I said at the conclusion of my story.

Brady took a swig of his beer. “I wouldn’t say they are crazy.”

“They fucking lied to Tracey from HR right in front of my face!” I exclaimed, leaning close to him. I couldn’t believe he was taking their side. 

“But they only did so to protect their asses and make you look bad. They both have some resentment toward you over matters they are obviously quite passionate about. It is completely normal that they’re behaving irrationally.”

I didn’t agree with what he was saying, but I couldn’t help smiling.

“It’s human nature, especially within the female populace. I wouldn’t dwell on it. They are going to get over it on their own time. Meanwhile, distance yourself significantly and don’t get invested. You will only make yourself look bad to the higher ups.”

Wait. Brady was totally right. I am one of the higher ups so why was I worried about the two of them? A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep. Whitney certainly looks like a sheep.

After dinner, Brady invited me over for a glass of wine. He has an extensive wine collection in it’s own little wine cellar. It’s so bad ass. Brady said he doesn’t use it often and I told him that it must be a great way to get girls to come home with him. I mean, I was impressed. There had to have been forty bottles of wine there and I didn’t even know where to start. I wanted a glass of each.

Brady laughed and said, “Yeah. If only.”

I didn’t know if that meant he had trouble getting girls to come home with him or if he just didn’t partake in one night stands and hookups. Both of them seemed like they could be true.

I chose a glass of vintage red and a glass of sparkling white because I couldn’t choose. We went to the back patio to drink. After I finished my two glasses I had to have one more. Then once that one was gone, Brady grabbed my hand and led me inside.

“Do you want to stay?” he asked. “I can take you home really early. I have to be at work at 7:00.”

I nodded.

We went to his room and started getting ready for bed. All the wine made me tipsy so I changed into a t-shirt without going in the bathroom or trying to be discreet. Oh well. Might as well let him enjoy the view since we wouldn’t be doing anything. 

He got in bed after me and I immediately started kissing him. We made out for a while, but then I knew I had to show some self control so I pulled away reluctantly. I caught a glimpse of his tattoo and pulled the blanket back to see it. It was on his pec, just below where his eagle ended, and it said, “starve the ego, feed the soul.”

“Why did you get this?” I asked, running a finger along the tattoo.

“When I was younger, I felt very entitled. I had everything I wanted at my fingertips, a seemingly infinite trust fund. I thought I deserved the world just because I could afford it. I was becoming materialistic and greedy. I didn’t like who I was becoming and I knew deep down that’s not who I was.”

Entitled? Deserved the world because I could afford it? Materialistic? This all sounded like me.

“So I made some drastic life changes. Sort of found myself, if you will. Realized that none of that shit mattered if I hated who I was.”

“Was it a hard transition?” I asked. 

“Absolutely. I lost a ton of friends. I was in a state of depression for months. For a while I thought I wanted to sell everything and move off the grid.” 

I just looked at him and he laughed.

“Luckily I came to my senses and finished pharmacy school. What I do now is gratifying. I think I’ve finally found a balance.”

His story made me start thinking about my life. I’m everything he was before, right? A materialistic, entitled little see you next Tuesday? But at least I’m happy. I think.

We fell asleep and Brady woke me up at some ungodly hour because he needed to leave for work.

“I don’t want to get up,” I whined “Just leave me here and I’ll call and tell them I’m sick.”

Brady laughed. “Don’t do that. You’re fine. Reserve your sick days for when you’re actually sick.”

I opened one eye and peeked at him. He was standing over me looking clean and hot in his dress clothes and glasses.

“Do you only wear those for work?” I asked. 

He adjusted his glasses. “Not necessarily. Just when I’m having a day when I don’t want to put my contacts in. It’s one of those days.”

I smiled and got up and dressed so I didn’t make Brady late for work. He dropped me off at my apartment and as I was getting out of the car, he grabbed my hand.

“Focus on your work today, not those girls. Okay?”

“Okay,” I said back.

He kissed me quickly and said, “You’re amazing, Reese.”

I didn’t know if that was a pep talk for today or a general observation, but either way I melted. 

You guys, I think I’m in love.

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