Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Mike and I were sitting on his couch watching a movie. I was curled up next to him with my head on his shoulder, his arm was wrapped around me. I sighed deeply, enjoying the moment. Things were like the fight at Christmas never happened. But then the guilt crashed over me, ruining the happiness of the moment. I was lying to him. It must have showed on my face because Mike raised his eyebrows at me.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

To Tell or Not to Tell

“I need to tell you something, but I want you to promise you’ll let me finish before you start yelling.” I said.

I was sitting at the table, staring at my hands, not sure if I really wanted to come clean about the Brad situation.

I’m a coward and didn’t want to tell Mike until I’d run it by the girls first. We were having brunch.

“Okay.” Zoey said skeptically. Anna and Molly nodded.

“I had sex with Brad while Mike and I were on a break. Now Brad has quit and it’s because of me and I feel SO guilty about everything. I haven’t told Mike and I don’t know if I should or not.”

I took a deep breath and braced myself. The girls looked at each other in silence.

“Oh, Faith.” Anna said. The disappointment in her voice was clear.

“Why?” Zoey asked exasperatedly.

“I was sad and I was sure Mike and I were done, I hadn’t heard from him in a week…I…I don’t even really remember how it all happened but it did and I am being eaten up on the inside with guilt.”

“Do you even know if that’s why Brad left?” Molly asked.

 I opened my mouth to answer but then realized I didn’t know.

“I’m pretty sure.”

“But you don’t actually know if that’s the reason?”


“Maybe you should call him and see if that’s actually the case. He could’ve just left for a better job.” Molly said.

I realized Molly was right. Knowing if Brad really DID leave because of what happened would assuage my guilt a little bit but not all of it.

“Even if he didn’t leave, what should I do about Mike? Should I tell him?”

“Would you want to know if he slept with someone during your break?” Anna asked.

“Yes and no.” I replied.

“Why?” Zoey asked.

“Well…because I’d want to know but at the same time it would break my heart. I don’t know that I would want to break up for good, though…”

“It looks like you have your answer.” Anna pointed out.

“Yeah, but wouldn’t it just be better to not tell him and put him through the pain of it all?”

“Better? Or easier?” Zoey asked.

She had a point. Not telling Mike was certainly the easier route but it’s also the more dishonest one, too. I still haven’t made a decision about whether or not to tell him but I am definitely going to get in touch with Brad and try to get some kind of closure for what happened. I also need to apologize to him for being so inconsiderate to his feelings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Disappearing Act

Because I have been working on the holiday show with the theatre, I haven’t been working nights at the bar with exceptions for New Year’s and other extremely high volume-expected times. As such, I’ve been working days, which means I haven’t seen Brad since New Year’s Eve; I’ve also been ignoring all of his texts and phone calls since then, too. So, now that the holiday show is over, I’m back on nights and was expecting a whole lot of awkwardness coming from Brad’s direction when I walked in to work last night.

But he wasn’t there.                                        

I clocked in and got settled with Cara. She was pouring drinks tonight, instead of being a bar back like usual.

“Are you filling in for Brad?” I asked her.

“Didn’t Bruno tell you?” She asked.

“Did Bruno tell me what?”

“I’ve been promoted to bartender.”

“Oh, that’s awesome, Cara!”

“Bruno said he wants to see you after you get settled.” She said serving a beer to a regular.

I went to the back room where Bruno always hung out with his favorite customers.

“Bruno, you wanted to see me?”

“Yeah, Faith, let’s go to the office.”

I followed him back through the kitchen to a rickety staircase. Once we got to the landing, I followed him down a damp-smelling hallway until we reached his office. He offered me a seat in front of an old antique desk covered with papers.

“The situation going on with Brad is just unacceptable. I want to know what you think about it.”

I broke out in a cold sweat. Did Brad tell Bruno that we had sex in the stockroom? Was Bruno about to fire me? Is that why Brad wasn’t there? Had he been fired? I started panicking internally but decided to play dumb.

“What situation? Does it have to do with why he’s not here right now?”

Bruno gave me a confused look.

“You don’t know…? Faith, Brad quit five days ago. He didn’t even give me two weeks’ notice.”

I sat there shocked. My stomach dropped. I was both relieved about not being fired but also felt responsible for Brad leaving.

“I made Cara a bartender but I need you to take Brad’s place as the head bartender.”

“What!? Bruno, I’m in no way trained for that.”

“I’ll pay to get you trained at a school or something, okay, but I can’t run this place without a head bartender, you know that. And you’re the best person I’ve got for the job. I’ll pay you more.”

 I sighed.

“It’s not about the money. What about my other job? You know I need the flexibility of working days and nights when I work on shows. The head bartender works the busiest shifts, which are always at night. I can’t do that AND stage manage shows that are opened.”

Bruno sat back in his chair, deep in thought. His chair made loud creaky sounds as he rocked back and forth.

“What if it’s just temporary?” He asked.

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll make you the head bartender for 3 weeks…a month tops, just until I can find someone else. I’ll pay you double time.”

I thought about it. A month wouldn’t be too bad. Most rehearsal periods last that long so if Ed picked me up for the next show, there shouldn’t be a conflict since I can work nights during the rehearsal period, but not when the show is open and having performances at night.

“Okay.” I said.

We shook hands and I left the office. When I got back to the bar, we had a lot of customers so I started pouring drinks as fast as possible. Eventually, Cara and I got caught up and had some down time.

“So, what did Bruno want?” She asked.

“He wanted to promote me to head bartender.”

“That’s awesome, Faith!”

“I didn’t take it.” I said.

Cara’s face fell.

“It’s just going to be temporary until he can find someone else.”

“Oh.” She said.

“It just wouldn’t work with my stage managing.” I said.

Cara nodded in agreement.

“So…what happened with Brad?” I asked her.

“I have no idea.” She said, “He just…left. He said he didn’t need the bar anymore or anyone here. It was…it came out of nowhere. He seemed happier than usual for the past few weeks but a few days before he quit he seemed really angry and upset all the time. He must have had some personal stuff going on.”

“Yeah, I guess. Do you know what he’s doing now?”

“I think he’s working as a manager at some record store his friend owns. He’s talked about it before as a back-up plan if the bar ever went under.”

“Wow.” I said. I was pretty sure Brad’s departure had EVERYTHING to do with what happened between us but I didn’t want Cara to find out about that.

“So how are you and Mike?” Cara changed the subject and I was thankful.

“We’re fully back together and things are going well. I’m meeting him tomorrow to see a movie. You and Liam can come, if you want.”

“Oh, I’d love to, but Liam’s parents are in town and we’re going out to dinner tomorrow.”

When I got home after my shift, I felt insurmountably guilty. I felt guilty because I’m the reason Brad left and I feel guilty because I still don’t know if I should tell Mike about what happened. The longer I wait to tell him, the worse it will be, I think, but if I never tell him I’ll feel like I’ll be lying to him. I hate this.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Movers and Shakers

Zoey was able to find an apartment in record time and Molly, Anna, and I were helping her move before Wesley came back from Australia, he had extended his stay so they wouldn't have to share the same living space while Zoey moved out.  She bribed us with the promise of pizza and beer once we got done.

“This looks like it’s going to be a pretty clean break.” Anna said carrying a box up the stairs to Zoey’s new place.

“It’s for the best.” Zoey said.

It took us a few hours to get everything upstairs and organized. Zoey had a lot more stuff than I realized. Some of it was stuff she’d been keeping in storage after moving in with Wesley. We decided to go out and eat in a pizza place instead of Zoey’s apartment and then go to the store and help her get some groceries to stock her fridge.

We were dirty and sweaty but the pizza and beers were just what the doctor ordered. I had told the girls that Mike and I were back together but I hadn’t told them about the Brad incident. Honestly, I’m too ashamed and embarrassed to tell them and I still don’t know if I should tell Mike or not. Brad has sent me a few text messages but I haven’t responded to them. I’m worried about what it’s going to be like to see Brad for the first time since the stockroom incident.

“You know, I’m kind of glad things with Wesley and I are over. I’ve missed being single and having my own space. I can’t wait to just be in my own apartment and have my own space.”

“I’m happy you’re happy.” I said clinking my pint to hers.

“I think it’s awesome that you’re embracing the single life.” Molly said taking a bite of her pepperoni pizza.

“Me, too. Marriage is hard, you have to make sure that if you’re going to go down that road, it’s with the right person. Wesley just wasn’t that guy for you.” Anna added.

“You know, Mike and I have talked about marriage.” I said.

“Really? Already?” Anna asked.

“Well, not very seriously but he has mentioned that he’d marry me tomorrow if the thought wasn’t so terrifying to both of us. So, I guess, take that how you will.” I joked.

“And what do you think about that?” Zoey asked sipping her beer.

“I love him and I think our relationship is the healthiest one I’ve ever been in so maybe marriage is in our future…if I can manage not to screw it up.”

“What do you mean?” Molly asked suspiciously.

“Nothing…I just…well sometimes I seem to sabotage my relationships or make stupid decisions that doom them.”

“Anything in particular you’d like to mention?” Zoey smirked.

“Nope.” I took a bite of pizza.

We finished our pizzas and beers and then headed to the grocery store to help Zoey buy the essentials. Once she was all stocked up, we stayed and helped her set up her bed and unpack a few things. Molly and I were putting away dishes in the kitchen while Anna and Zoey were making her bed. It really is a nice apartment.

I’ve been thinking about what Zoey said about wanting her own space and I felt the smallest pang of sadness over losing my old apartment, especially in the way I lost it. But I really do like living with Molly. It makes me wonder if Wesley wasn’t the guy we all thought he was but surely Zoey would’ve have said something or asked for help if the situation was really bad, right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Meeting

Mike was waiting for me when I walked into the coffee shop we’d decided to meet at. He had two cups of coffee sitting on the table. I sat down and prepared myself for a very unhappy conversation.

“Can we just get this over with?” I blurted out.

“What do you mean?” Mike asked.

“I know you’re breaking up with me. You can just say it, I won’t make a scene.”
Mike gave me a half smile.

“Do you want to break up?” He asked.

“Is this a trick question?” I asked suspiciously.

“Faith, I just wanted to talk about what happened and see where we wanted to go from there.”

“Oh.” I felt relieved but also embarrassed.

Mike scooted a coffee cup in my direction and I took it.

“I owe you an apology,” He started, “I should have defended you. Maggie crossed a line and I talked to her about it. She wanted me to give you this.”

He handed me a sealed envelope. I looked at him with confusion.

“I haven’t read it. But Maggie wrote it to you and she said it’s an apology for how she treated you. She and Jamie and the kids left a few days after Christmas so she couldn’t give it to you in person.”

I took the envelope and looked at the neat cursive on the front that spelled out my name.

“I should have told you about the tension between Maggie and I.” I said.

“Faith, I knew it was there, I just didn’t want to deal with it. And I’m really sorry for that. I should have stepped in long before the argument in the kitchen took place. I should have been more present…I should have been there for you like you were for me.”

Mike looked sad and tired. He’d gone through so much in the last month. I took his hand.

“I just want you to understand that I don’t expect you to put me before your family. So I get it, Mike, but I also appreciate your apology. You’ve been dealing with so much and I want to apologize for just adding to that with this whole situation.”

Mike and I looked at each other and smiled sadly.

“I’m really lucky to have you in my life, Faith. Most girlfriends probably would have bailed but you dove right in and offered support to me AND to my family. I talked to Sarah and Claire and explained to them that Maggie was wrong about the kind of person you are and that they shouldn’t let what happened ruin the way they felt about you before. I care about you and I want you to feel comfortable around my family.”

“Thank you.” I said. I was touched.

“So,” Mike took in a shaky breath, “what do you want to do about us? Do you want to end things or should we stay together?”

I smiled.

“I don’t want to break up.”

When I walked into the coffee shop earlier, I never thought Mike and I would come out as a couple. Things had gone better than I had ever thought but as we walked around in a nearby park I felt pangs of guilt over what had transpired the night before with Brad. Now that Mike and I are no longer on our break I don’t know what to do; I feel so conflicted and I regret everything that happened even more than I did last night.
Should I tell Mike what happened while we were on our break or will that just cause unnecessary tension between us while we’re trying to recover from almost breaking up? I don’t know what to do.

As for Maggie's letter, I haven't even opened it yet. I just couldn't bring myself to do it with everything she said still bouncing around in my head mixed in with the guilt I feel about the Brad situation. I'll read it...eventually, but I just want to kind of forget about Maggie for the moment.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's

I woke up yesterday with a bad feeling but I couldn’t just cover my head with my blanket and stay in bed because I’m an adult and I have a hungry cat to feed and bills to pay. New Year’s Eve is our biggest night at Bruno’s and I really needed the money I’d be making by working (double time + tips) but I just couldn’t shake the bad feeling I had. I dressed with tips in mind and wore a sexy gray tank with no bra and a tight pencil skirt that went to mid-thigh with some black oxford booties.

Mike still hadn’t called me and I sighed as I checked my phone before clocking in for the night: No missed calls.

“Faith? What’s going on?” Cara said.

“Mike and I aren’t together anymore.” I said.

“Oh, really? I’m so sorry, Faith. I thought you guys made a nice couple.” She gave me a hug.

“Thanks, it happened on Christmas Eve and it’s just been…really hard.”

Cara and I talked for a few more minutes before heading into the bar and getting ready for the New Year’s crowds. Brad was stocking the bar and gave me a weird look but didn’t say anything.

A few hours later, we were so busy that Bruno had to come from the back and help us pour drinks. During some down time, I took my break and checked my phone. I had a text from Mike:

               “We need to talk. Can you come by my place when you get off work?”

I sent him a text saying that I could but it would probably be really late since I had to close. I immediately felt my heart sink; I knew what was coming and just wanted to craw in a hole. Any other plans for New Year’s would have been better than making an appointment to be dumped by my boyfriend after the busiest shift of the year. My break was almost over and the bar was crazy so I couldn’t wallow in self-pity for too long.
Cara was supposed to help us close but she slipped and fell in the stockroom and Bruno took her to the ER (she’s okay, it’s just an ankle sprain) which meant Brad and I were on our own for closing. Once last call was announced, people started filtering out and I started wiping down tables while Brad collected glasses.
It took us forever to clean the bar, let alone put everything away in the stockroom. I thought we’d never get done. We were both in the stockroom, finishing up inventory, when I got done I went to leave but Brad stopped me.

“Faith? I heard you and Cara talking about what happened with you and Mike. I’m sorry. I know you know Angel and I broke up awhile ago…”

“Thanks, I’m sorry, too.” I said sadly. I started crying, it was all too much.

Brad pulled me in for a hug and we just stood in the stockroom and held each other. But then Brad was kissing me. I pulled away, angry, and slapped him.

“What the HELL, Brad!?”

“What!? This is prefect, Faith. We’re both single now. We can get back together.”

He put his hands on my hips and pulled me to him. I didn’t know what to say. I suddenly realized that Brad had been waiting for me…and I felt terrible about it.

“Brad, we were never together. Not in the way you wanted to be. We went out on one date and it ended very badly.”

“Yeah, because of me. But I forgive you for that. I don’t care about what happened before.”

I pulled away from him again.

“But I do…Mike and I haven’t even officially broken up yet. I’m supposed to go meet him now.”

“Come on, Faith, you guys are over! He doesn’t deserve you!”

“How dare you! You know nothing about my relationship! Maybe he wants to get back together!”

“Oh, please! Like he’s going to take you back? He doesn’t think you’re special.”

I was hurt but what’s even worse is that Brad was echoing all of the doubts I’d been having since Christmas Eve. He put his hand on my face but I turned away from him.

“So, you thought that, what? I’d realize my mistake by dating him and go out with YOU?” I said angrily.

“There was a time when you did want to go out with me! I’m the one that called that off!”

“Yeah, I dodged a bullet there!” I yelled.

Brad and I stared at each other, we were both angry. And then somehow we were kissing. He pushed me up against the metal stock room door and pulled my shirt down so he could suck on and play with my nipples. He roughly tugged my skirt up around my waist and put his hand under my thong between my legs. I started moving my hips and pushed his leather jacket off before undoing his belt. I slipped my hand down into his boxers and started stroking him. He was rock hard in just a few seconds. Then things took a much rougher turn.

I undid his pants and he spun me around and pushed me up against the door again. He, literally, ripped off my thong and put it in his pocket before entering me from behind. He was thrusting very hard, my breasts were being rammed into the cold, metal door and he was pulling my hair. I’ve never had sex that was so violent before, but I liked it. His hands moved down and gripped my thighs, his fingers digging into my skin to hold me while he thrust his hips forward. After a few minutes he finished and slowly let go of me. He slipped out of me and put his hands on either side of me against the door. I slowly turned around and looked at him. We were out of breath. He moved one of his hands to my face and kissed me again. When he pulled away we both started laughing.

He pulled his pants up and I moved my skirt down and readjusted my shirt.

“Don’t forget your jacket.” I said awkwardly.

I left quickly after that and walked toward the bus. I sent Mike a text:

“Can we meet later tomorrow, I’m really tired from work.”

He was okay with it but I felt bad about lying. I could have gone over to Mike’s apartment and listened to him while he dumped me just to get it over with but I didn’t want to do that with the smell of Brad and sweaty bar sex coming off of me. I got home and immediately took a shower. I had a really hard time sleeping. The guilt from sleeping with Brad was overwhelming. Not only was it stupid of me to have slept with him while Mike and I weren’t officially broken up (but we ARE on a break so is it really cheating? I don’t know) but I’ve basically lead him on to believe that us being a couple is a possibility…again.

It’s amazing how I keep getting myself into these situations over and over again. Mike and I are meeting at a coffee shop in an hour and I am not looking forward to being dumped in public.