Cockney:A Stepbrother Romance(2)

By: Aubrey Irons

The bad boy; the hot, dangerous, and gritty British hooligan covered with tattoos and the mouthwatering accent that drew me in like a moth to flame.

And there he is, on the front page of some British news article.


I jerk my eyes back up to my mom, and suddenly my thoughts jump tracks entirely, back to the bomb she’s just dropped on me. I squeeze my eyes shut and shake my head before I open them back up and stare at her; “Wait, you’re not serious are you?”

“Chloe,” She rolls her eyes; “Of course I’m serious.”

“Mom, you’re getting married? How the hell have I never known about this?!”

“Oh, lower your voice, Chloe!”

Mom shakes her head as she walks over to the refrigerator and pulls out a bottle of sauvignon blanc.

“Jesus, mom,” I make a face, glancing at the clock on the wall. It’s noon.

“Oh, relax, we’re celebrating.”

My brain is still shocked by the news, but my eyes also keep darting down to the picture on the webpage. The article headline is something about a new restaurant. That’s right, he cooked or something. I glance back at my mom sharply; “Mom, how am I just hearing about this?”

My mother takes a big gulp of her wine before she glares at me; “Well it’s not my fault that you managed to get kicked out of law school after two weeks.”

I roll my eyes; “Mom, I dropped out; there’s a slight difference.”

“And does that distinction put you any closer to being a lawyer?”

I groan, pinching the arch of my nose between my fingers; “No, mother. Which is exactly the reason I left.”

Seriously, we’ve been through his three hundred times.

“Well maybe if you’d spent as much time in undergraduate thinking about your career as you did working in those restaurants, you’d have been more prepared.”

I groan loudly and my mom shrugs and takes another sip of her wine.

“But hey, what do I know?”

“Mom!” I snap; “Can we back it up here? Who is this guy?”

“I’m not sure I like being interrogated like this, honey,” she says frostily, taking another quick sip from her glass. “And you’re ‘just hearing about it now’ because I just got off the phone with him ten minutes ago when he asked me.”

I scrunch up my brow. “He asked you over the phone? Who the hell is this guy?”

She sips her wine, and then drops her eyes to the tablet sitting in front of us.

“Well, you remember that nice boy Oliver Beckett don’t you? The one we had stay at the house for that exchange program during your senior year?”

Yes, mom, the boy who nearly took my virginity in the back seat of your mid-sized sedan.

“Yes,” I snap.

My mom tsks and shakes her head; “You two don’t talk, do you? Oh he was such a nice boy, Chloe.”

No, he wasn’t.

“No, mom, we haven’t talked since back then.”

“Oh, that’s a shame.”

Mom’s being cagey. After ten years alone together, even having been away most of the last four I can tell she’s avoiding the subject at hand, “Mom?”

“You know, his father is quite nice, too.”

I frown.

“Quite nice, actually. And maybe you two haven’t kept up, but Barney and I have stayed in touch since Oliver left.”

“Um, OK?”

“A lot, honey,” She says quietly.

I can start to feel a horrible sensation creeping up inside of me. Oh c’mon, there’s no way-

“Mom where is this goi-”

“You might say we’ve been doing the long distance thing,” Mom bites her lip and looks at me, “You know, dating.”

The horrible sensation starts to turn into a roar inside of me, and suddenly, my eyes are darting back to the table, and the cocky, smirking, arrogant, panty-melting grin of Oliver fucking Beckett.


“It’s Barney, honey!” My mom squeals excitedly; “He’s asked me to marry him, and he wants me - he wants us to move to London!”

The bottom drops out then. And I’m just in free-fall as I stare at the boy from those nights five years ago. The boy whose kisses I can still remember, the boy whose hands I can still feel. And I’m putting the horrible little pieces together as the floor starts to sway beneath my feet.

The boy who nearly took my v-card, and then told everyone at school that he did.

The boy who’s about to be my new stepbrother.

Oh. My. God.

It’s grey, it’s fuckin’ raining, and it’s miserable outside as I scowl and trail my dad through the arrivals terminal at Heathrow. Fuckin, of course it’s raining; it’s England, land of eternal non-sunshine.

Dad looks at his watch and frowns before glaring up at the arrivals screens, as if it’s obviously someone’s fault that their plane is all of ten minutes late.

Not that I’m much better; that’s ten more minutes of me being here as a participant in this whole fucking train wreck instead of elsewhere. Elsewhere like the restaurant.