"Hello, boys, I’m Oliver."
They didn’t like him.
The way he smiled without really looking at her, the way his eyes lit up when the board talked about the future of the business and how important it was that someone in the family held the keys to the kingdom—after all, their entire fortune had been built from the ground up in the aircraft manufacturing industry.
They didn’t like the way he seemed to get impatient when she signed too fast and he couldn’t catch up. They didn’t like that he didn’t make the effort to know more than the few paltry words and stock sentences.
"Yes, Ethan, I know."
"I really don’t like him."
"I really do not like him either.”
They didn’t like how he was always fussing about his suit, smoothing out every imperceptible crease and brushing away every invisible speck of lint moments before he had to meet some bigwig.
They didn’t like how he never did that when it was time for him to see or talk to her.
"Why…is she marrying him?!”
"You know, Audee…"
"I don’t like him!"
"Neither do I."
They didn’t like the way his eyes would flick so easily towards some rich daughter with a plunging neckline and a form-fitting evening gown. They didn’t like how the one he was supposed to be looking at could be at her most beautiful, having spent hours and hours trying to look nice for him, and he seemed to only tolerate her presence when Mom and Dad were around.
They didn’t like how that was his fourth cocktail and the party was barely an hour and a half in.
"If he looks at Mrs. Marshall’s daughter one more time…”
"…I have an idea."
They didn’t like it that their sister was left to fend by herself among the harpies—those elite daughters who really spoke too fast and didn’t let her get a chance to read their lips so she couldn’t participate.
They didn’t like that their sister wasn’t being taken care of by this date—this fiance—who they just didn’t like at all.
But they did like the way his voice turned into a high pitched sound, a cross between a squeal and a yelp when they “accidentally” upset an entire bucket of ice over his collar and into that thousand-dollar suit, down his back, over his lap, and pretty much everywhere else.
They liked that he had the good sense to flee the party. They liked that he was too stupid to realize that some accidents in the Brightman household happened for a reason.
They liked that Audrey knew better. “Boys,” she said softly, admonishing them. “What did you do that to poor Oliver for?”
"We don’t like him," they chorused.