Jealous:Spring Break with the Stepbrother

By: Brooke Berg


I wanted to go to the beach so bad for spring break. It was also my birthday, but that in itself didn’t really mean much. I just wanted to get away, and recently my curiosity about a certain someone had been growing to the point where it was driving me crazy.

My college is about two hours from the beach. Like most college students, I was kind of poor and didn’t work so the most time I ever got to spend there was like a day.

A whole day, if I was lucky. Most of my friends were in the same boat. My BFF Alison was in the same situation. Some of our other friends had saved up to go all the way to Florida. But we didn’t. Oh well.

So when spring break got closer I came up with a plan. It wasn’t Florida, and our friends wouldn’t be there, but at least we’d get to go somewhere.

My stepbrother has a beach house. His name is Adam and he has nothing to do with his dad anymore. He didn’t even go to the wedding when our parents got married. Adam was always nice to me, even though he hated my mom when those two were going out. He seemed to hate almost everyone, actually, not just my mom and his dad.

The only people he did seem to like were the girls he would sneak into our house late at night. He never had one ongoing, consistent relationship. He jumped from girl to girl. It wasn’t like it was every night, but it was at least every month or two.

He was a year older than me. He never once tried anything with me. Never even hinted at it. For a long time, I thought there was a good chance he hated me like he hated everyone else.

But there were a few times he proved me wrong. One of them was when a couple of guys his age were giving me a hard time at a school football game and Adam beat the shit out of both of them. He came out of nowhere and it was all over quickly, maybe even less than twenty seconds.

I jokingly called him a “hero” later that night when we were both at home. He just shook his head and went upstairs.

Adam was moody, gruff, and standoffish. Always. He was a hard guy to get to know. I didn’t try much. In fact, most of our interactions were more like arguments, and it always had to do with him being an asshole to whatever guy I might be dating at the time.

If I’m being honest here—and there’s no reason I shouldn’t be—I was content to admire him from afar. He was, as every girl in the school would have told you, the hottest guy they’d ever seen.

Tall. Trim. His body had that inverted V-shape from his shoulders down to his waist. His arms were thick and smooth and rippled with muscle, and by the time he was a senior in high school, his right arm was tatted up with gorgeous, expensive designs.

How did he afford them? Simple. His dad was loaded. (I think that’s why my mom was first attracted to his father, but that’s a whole different story for another time.) His dad gave Adam all kinds of money whenever he wanted it.

It caused more than one argument in our house. My mom said it would do him well to get a job and earn some of his own money. His father objected, saying that his father had given him money and he managed to turn it into even more, and that Adam was sure to do the same.

When Adam left home at 18, he left for good. None of us heard from him for a couple of years. I decided to do something about it, without telling our parents.

Three years later, I found him on Facebook. I friended him and he accepted it. I was kind of surprised. Since then we have sent messages back and forth. When I told him I couldn’t stand being around my mom and his dad, he totally opened up to me and we hit it off. It was just that easy.

I wasn’t lying just to get on his good side. I love my mom but I hate having to be around them. She’s also really strict about not giving me much money, which pisses me off because the money isn’t even hers to begin with.

Anyway, Adam and I talked on the phone a few times every month. Mostly he wanted to know what was going on with the family. I would tell him everything. He was more talkative than he’d ever been. He even asked me about my dating life, and I told him as much as I felt comfortable telling him. When I asked him about his, he told me he had a girlfriend, and that her name was Monica.

I couldn’t explain it then and I can’t explain it now, but I felt a pang of jealousy. It felt…weird. It came out of nowhere and slammed into me like a train. It bothered me for a couple of days but then I just let it go.