Everything You Want

Everything You Want by Barbara Shoup

Book: Everything You Want by Barbara Shoup Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Shoup
ever go see it again.”
    Jules grins wickedly and breaks into that hideous “Go, Go, Go Joseph” song from it, which she knows I particularly hate because of the way you absolutely cannot get it out of your mind.
    “See?” I say to Will. “I’m warning you now. That’s the kind of thing she’ll do to you.”
    Just then, Mom appears in the doorway and smiles at the sight of all three of us laughing. I watch her taking Will in, deciding, by whatever it is she sees in him—the way he looks at Jules, maybe, and catches her hand, as if just touching her will bring him courage—that she’s going to like him.
    “Will,” she says, and opens the door wider.

    We caravan to Michigan later that afternoon—Mom and Dad together, Jules and Will in my Jeep. I ride in the Winnebago, with Gramps. I’ve forgiven him for the mortifying Bloomington visit, and, now that I’m not paralyzed with anxiety about what he’s going to say next, I get a kick out of how he acts like a kid with a new toy. I let him crank up my Lenny Kravitz CD to prove how great the stereo is; then, at his insistence, view The Great Escape on his mobile theater unit while he drives.
    It starts snowing when we cross the state line into Michigan—big fat flakes that swirl onto the windshield and make it seem as if we’re looking at the highway through a white kaleidoscope. Up north, it’s cold and crisp. We turn onto the narrow road lined with pine trees that leads into the ski area, and when we turn again and drive down the hill toward our house, there are six deer in the meadow. The sky is black, punctured with stars.
    We’re up early, on the slopes. When we get back, around two, Dad and Gramps brush the snow off the picnic table in the yard and spread tools and engine parts all over it. They’re never without some kind of project, and this Christmas vacation it’s restoring an old beat-up snowmobile Gramps bought at an auction in the fall. If you go out on the deck, you can hear them bickering.
    “Goddamn it, Dutch,” Dad says. “Will you quit beating on it? You’re not going to fix it by beating on it.” Then there’s a crash—Gramps dropping something—and Dad starts laughing. “Jesus Christ,” he says. And Gramps goes at the engine again with the wrong side of a wrench, the sound of metal on metal ringing in the cold, dry air. Before too long, Will’s out there with them, all three of them drinking beer, swearing, and goofing around.
    Mom looks up from sketching and rolls her eyes. “It’s a guy thing,” she says.
    Jules watches through the kitchen window with a moony expression. An expression that’s been fixed on her face since Christmas Eve. Will, Will, Will. He’s all she can talk about. Doesn’t Will ski amazingly well for a person who’s only been skiing three times in his whole life before? Doesn’t he look fabulous in that orange parka? Isn’t he the most truly funny person in America?
    Well, yeah, I think. So far, I like Will just fine. He gets our jokes; he likes our goofy ski house with its strange books and posters and flea market treasures. He doesn’t mind when I beat him, racing. But it’s always been just us in Michigan, and it seems strange with Will here. Not that Jules is ignoring me or anything. In fact, since Will arrived she’s been paying more attention to me than she has in a long, long time.
    Over the next few days, Jules goes out of her way to make sure the two of us have the chance to get to know each other. Every night after dinner, the three of us head over to the bar at the lodge. Between band sets, Jules and I entertain him with family stories.
    “Tell Will about when Mom got pregnant and they went to the doctor,” Jules says one night. “You tell it funnier than I do.”
    “Okay,” I say, and tell the story.
    Mom and Dad are pretty sure Mom’s pregnant—and mind you, they’re not married—and they decide she needs to go to the doctor, but Mom’s too embarrassed to come right

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