Over the next few days Manda was feeling outstanding guilt for kissing Chandler. Especially since Brayden seemed to have calmed down some and had been acting better towards her. “Should I tell him what actually happened?” Manda thought, “Or should I just keep this to myself?”. Confused and with no other friends to turn to for advice, Manda decides to hold on to her secret a little longer.
While Brayden was at work Chandler came over to talk things over with Manda since he hadnʻt heard from her in a few days.
Manda: “Chandler, what are you doing here?”
Chandler: “Hey Manda, can I come inside?”
Manda hesitantly lets him in the house. Chandler mustʻve felt some attraction towards Manda after their kiss because once she let him inside and theyʻre away from passerbyʻs Chandler holds Mandaʻs hands to tell her he has been thinking about her over the last few days. Manda suggests that they sit down and talk. She hasnʻt thought fully on what she would say if or when she saw Chandler again, sheʻs decided to just go with what her gut tells her on this one.
Manda: “Iʻm just going to come right out and say this, I think what happened the other day – the kiss – was a complete accident. I was feeling sorry for myself and you were there and I let the wine take control over me and the whole thing was just a mistake. Iʻm sorry.”
Chandler: “You donʻt have to apologize. We were both under the influence and feeling things we probably shouldʻve kept to ourselves. Itʻs okay. I understand that youʻre a married woman. I do think that you deserve someone who doesn’t make you feel so upset all the time.”
Manda: “You mean someone like you? Are you seriously going to pull that card?”
Chandler: “No. Thatʻs not what I meant. I mean I do like you Manda but obviously youʻre searching for something more for yourself and I just want you to be happy.”
Manda: “But I am happy.”
Chandler: “Are you? Because after a bottle of wine youʻll tell me that youʻre not.”
Manda: “Thatʻs not fair. I made a mistake.”
Chandler: “Manda just be honest with yourself, you hate what your husband is doing to you and you want to leave him.”
Manda: “…I canʻt say it. I still love him.”
Chandler: “How much longer are you going to keep fooling yourself before Brayden truly breaks your heart?”
Chandler: “Iʻm not here to upset you Manda, but when Brayden does break your heart Iʻll be here.”
To cool the conversation down Manda segues to the topic of her job and that she has a big project to do the graphic design for the creators of the game Sims Forever which could lead to her career advancing significantly. Chandler asks if he can take a look at her drafts so Manda powers on her computer to show Chandler her work. “Wow this looks great, Manda” Chandler says. “What looks great?” Chandler looks up upon hearing the unfamiliar voice in the room only to find a confused-looking Brayden hovering over him. “I left my wallet and came back to get it. Manda, who is this? And what looks great?”. Manda is a nervous wreck as Brayden has a tendency to get jealous and his temper is very short. “This is our neighbor Chandler, he was just looking at some of my graphic design work for my Sims Forever job”. The two exchange handshakes and Chandler makes up the excuse that he has somewhere else that he needs to be and makes his exit.
Brayden: “Manda what the hell was going on here?”
Manda: “Nothing. Chandler was just looking at my work.”
Brayden: “Your work? Men donʻt just come by to look at your work randomly, if heʻs going to be coming over then I need to be here too.”
Manda: “Honestly it was–“
Brayden: “I NEED TO BE HERE. Understood, Manda?”
Manda lets her head sink and gives Brayden a quiet nod. Brayden goes back to work.
A few days later Brayden has the night off and takes Manda out for dinner:
Brayden: “Howʻs your project for Sims Forever going?”
Manda: “Not great. Iʻve sent in around five revisions and my drafts still arenʻt what theyʻre looking for. They keep sending me back to the literal drawing board.”
Brayden: “You should just quit then. You obviously donʻt have what theyʻre looking for.”
Manda: “Are you saying that Iʻm not good enough?”
Brayden: “Iʻm not saying youʻre not good enough Iʻm just saying that your style lacks the expression theyʻre looking for. You havenʻt had that creative breakthrough that makes you stand out yet.”
Manda: “I stood out enough for them to notice my portfolio. I can give them what they want.”
Brayden: “I just think you should do something else instead of stressing yourself out.”
Manda: “Can we change the subject? Howʻs work with you?”
Brayden: “You know I canʻt talk about business in public.”
Manda: “I just think you should do something else instead of stressing yourself out.”
Brayden: “What was that?”
Manda: “Nothing. I donʻt know what Iʻm saying.”
Brayden: “Yeah nothing has been whatʻs coming out of your mouth ever since your friend Chandler showed up.”
Manda: “I told you. Nothing happened.”
Brayden: “Look I donʻt want to fight with you at dinner. Letʻs just eat.”
That night the two slept apart from each other. Brayden sleeping in their bed and Manda falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV. She had had enough of Brayden for the night and wanted to be alone.
About a week later Manda went to the gym for a workout. She didnʻt notice it at first but Chandler happened to be at the gym that day too.
After her workout Manda heard someone call her name. She turned around to see that it was her estranged only friend:
Manda: “Oh, Hey Chandler!”
Chandler: “Hey Manda! I havenʻt seen or heard from you in a while. I thought you might be upset with me since you werenʻt answering my calls.”
Manda: “No…itʻs not exactly that. I just havenʻt figured out how to say it to you since the day that you met Brayden. Look…Chandler…Brayden doesnʻt feel itʻs appropriate that you and I be together alone. If weʻre going to hang out then he wants to be present.”
Chandler: “Thatʻs a little possessive, donʻt you think?”
Manda: “Well Brayden can get pretty jealous and he has a temper. I just donʻt want to upset him after you know, what I did…”
Chandler: “Have you told him that we kissed?”
Manda: “No, not yet.
Chandler: “Manda, has he hurt you?”
Manda: “No, not physically.”
Chandler: “Are you telling the truth?”
Manda: “Yes. Heʻs never touched me Chandler.”
Chandler: “Okay good. Well what about your Sims Forever job? Howʻs that going?”
Manda: “They decided to go with someone else since we couldnʻt agree on a concept.”
Chandler: “But your work is amazing! Itʻs so expressive.”
Manda: “You think so?”
Chandler: “Absolutely. What were they looking for?”
Manda: “Not me apparently.”
Chandler: “Well thatʻs their loss. Youʻre going to break the glass ceiling one day. Are you sure we canʻt go for a coffee? Or just hang out at the park?”
Manda: “Iʻm sorry Chandler, weʻd be alone together and Iʻd feel terrible. I should probably get going actually. See you around.”
Chandler: “I understand. Bye, Manda.”
Meanwhile, while Manda is at the gym with Chandler Brayden is at the house of his girlfriend Aylin. Manda is completely oblivious that Brayden has been seeing another woman, not to mention be in a committed relationship with her.
Surely the fling canʻt be that serious…
In actuality itʻs a very physical relationship. One where if Manda were to find out she would be devastated.
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