Butternut Summer

Butternut Summer by Mary McNear Read Free Book Online

Book: Butternut Summer by Mary McNear Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary McNear
he saw her inside of school, she was either playing volleyball or engaged in some similarly wholesome activity. She was studying in the library between classes, a tiny frown of concentration on her pretty forehead. Or selling tickets to a school dance. Or volunteering at a bake sale—croissants only—to raise money for the French club.
    He wanted to see more of her—he really did—but since he wasn’t about to join the French club, and Daisy, apparently, wasn’t about to get detention, he figured their paths would never cross. And, except for those volleyball games, they never did.
    Then volleyball season ended, and Will thought about Daisy less. When he graduated that spring and started working full-time at the garage, he thought about her even less. Until today. Today, when she walked into the service bay, and walked back into his life, bringing with her all the memories of those autumn afternoons five years ago.
    And here was the amazing thing. It was still there . That irresistible pull he’d felt toward her then. Only this time it was stronger, because now she was real. He thought now about the way she’d been that morning. Flustered, impatient, funny, though the funny part, of course, was largely unintentional. Still, she’d been adorable in an innocent, tomboyish way, and as sexy as hell . . .
    â€œDamn, Will, what do I have to do to get your attention?”
    Will jumped a little. Jason was standing right next to him.
    â€œWhat?” Will asked, a little embarrassed. He’d been completely lost in thought.
    â€œI said, ‘Can you service Mrs. Elliot’s Camry tomorrow?’”
    â€œYeah, okay,” Will said, going back to work.
    But Jason didn’t move. “You’re thinking about that girl, aren’t you? Daisy?”
    â€œNo, I’m not,” Will said, irritated that Jason, for the first time in his life, was being perceptive.
    â€œYes, you are,” Jason said, grinning. “Too bad you’re not going to see her again anytime soon. Because if you’re as good a mechanic as you say you are, that fan belt could hold out for a long time.”
    â€œOh, I’ll see her again,” Will said nonchalantly. “She’ll be back. If not today, then tomorrow.”
    Jason raised an amused eyebrow. “You’re pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?”
    Will shrugged.
    â€œWhat, you think she’s not going to be able to resist those big brown eyes of yours?”
    â€œNo, I think she’s going to want her cell phone back,” Will said, gesturing at the shiny silver rectangular object Daisy had left lying on a nearby worktable, right next to a pile of greasy rags.
    W hen Jack drove out to the lake that afternoon, he missed the turnoff to Wayland’s cabin. But about fifty yards down the road from it, he was struck by a sudden sense of familiarity, and he braked, threw the truck in reverse, and backed up to an overgrown dirt track that looked as if nature was trying, hard, to reclaim it. It was Wayland’s driveway, though, he decided, squinting down it. He’d driven down it a hundred times before. He turned into it and started to drive down it again now, but he stopped when he saw a mailbox, smashed in on one side and lying on the ground. Were kids still doing that? he wondered, getting out of the truck. Still leaning out of the windows of speeding cars and knocking over mailboxes with baseball bats? He’d done this himself before, during a rural adolescence spent on the edge of juvenile delinquency.
    Still, he thought, grabbing the mailbox, it seemed wrong to have done it to Wayland, especially when you considered all the bad luck he’d run into at the end of his life. Jack stood the mailbox up and tried to plant the post back into the ground. But when he let go of it, it tipped right over. The whole thing was rotted right through. He picked it up and tossed it into the woods. He

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