Gaby Title.jpg
Part 13
Easter Break

Two whole weeks off school! It was all planned to the nth detail, bike rides, bowling, cinema, the Easter weekend away racing, a visit to Nan and lots of chilling with the gang!

The only black cloud on the horizon was the potential problem of cashing my prize cheque from last night. After a short training ride, I got dressed in jeans and t shirt ready for today's main attraction - bowling.

We were all going, that is Bernie, Ally, Rhod, Clive, Paul, Maddy, Jules and her mates Charlie and Anna and me. We had an alley booked for two so we were meeting at the bus stop at twelve thirty.

That left me with some time to kill so I thought I would bug my sister for a bit.


"You know about the cheque right?"


"How am I gonna cash it? I mean it's made out to an imaginary person"

"You could go and see if the school secretary can get it changed"

"But that would mean letting people know it was me!"

"I see your point"

"Could you like pretend to be Gaby and get it cashed, you can have a share"

"Everyone at the bank knows me so I don't think that would work, what about one the girls, they could do it"

"I'll ask later. Changing the subject, I forgot to take the studs out before mum picked us up"

"Do you think she noticed?"

"I'm not sure, she kept giving me funny looks on the way home though"

"She hasn't said anything this morning though?"


"Well quit worrying, what's done is done, you can't undo it now although the exact circumstances will take a bit of explaining"

"No kidding!"

"Lets get a sandwich then we can walk over to meet Charlie and go for the bus"


"Come on, cheer up. Two whole weeks off, no uniforms and not much homework for a change"

"I guess"

We made sandwiches for dad and ourselves, mum was out shopping. After polishing the food off, we donned our coats and set off to collect Charlie and make our way to the bus stop. Charlie was waiting for us and soon she and Jules were deep into a post party discussion while I trailed along behind.

Everyone bar Clive was already at the stop and soon there was a lively nine-way conversation in the bus shelter. Obviously the previous night was the main topic of conversation, both Rhod and I had to feign interest as though we were absent from the festivities, there were three people who didn't know about Gaby and Pippa and we wanted to keep it that way. Paul, bless him, actually helped by telling Jules' friends 'all' about Maddy's cousin and friend, backed up by Clive when he arrived a couple of minutes before the bus.

The bus was pretty full but we managed to commandeer enough seats upstairs and our little party were soon attracting the attention of the tutting brigade, they must have been kids once, mustn't they?

We split into two teams, Paul, myself, Maddy, Charlie and Ally against Bernie, Jules, Clive, Anna and Rhod. We were fairly evenly matched and the final score was even - no winners, no losers. We hit Maccy D's afterwards for the usual teenagers fill of burger and chips.  The restaurant was packed so we took our food outside and found some seats in the precinct.

On the way back to the bus station I managed to get Maddy alone.

"Mad, you weren't serious last night about the cheque were you?"

"Don't be daft, I talked to Ally and she said she'll do the business for you"

"Phew, thank heavens, you really had me going there"

"Look a deals a deal Drew. You and Rhod were really fantastic, I mean most guys would have run a mile. We all thought that you would chicken out and we wouldn't have held it against you guys. We owe you one so sorting the money is our job"

"You mean we could have ducked out?"

"Of course"


"Quick, there's the bus!"

Well that effectively ended that conversation and I felt happier on the bus back home. We split up back in Church Warsop, each to their own homes; we would be seeing plenty of each other the rest of the hol's anyway.

Along with mum, I had another of the airfield races on Sunday so you can guess how the day panned out. Mum did well again, finishing in the front group, the only lady to manage that. I was concentrating more this week and it showed. I made all the moves and although I was only eighth overall, I won my age category, which bolstered my prize fund by ten pounds.

Mum had the same holidays as us; so on Monday she herded the junior Bond's into the car to go visit Grandma at Nantwich. I always looked forward to visiting grandma and the two-hour drive across the Peak District was remarkably pleasant. We were coming this week as the traffic Easter week would be heavy with lots of grockles clogging the lanes, if you visit the Peak District avoid Easter!

Grandma had lunch waiting when we arrived, a bit early really, but we were going to visit Joddrell Bank in the afternoon. It was really interesting and those dishes are really huge! I recognised the roads we used as the same as the ones we raced on at Christmas, how I missed seeing the observation centre I don't know. Well I guess I do, I was too busy worrying about wearing a dress!

Memories of Christmas flooded back. I tried to recall how it had all come about, oh yes that was it. Mum had seen the Xena and Gaby costumes at a Fantasy convention she went to with dad and on impulse had bought them both. The original idea was that my sister would ride the event with mum and I would ride on my own. However fate stepped in.

Two days before the closing date, Jules got injured playing hockey and the doctor advised several weeks of rest for her badly bruised leg. That's when Mum had the brainstorm, she rang the organiser and swapped my entry to the tandem event and withdrew my sis. Then she told me I would be in costume, not the one I planned on, Michael Schumacher, and I even had a red boiler suit. No I was going to go in Jules costume, as Gaby.

I kicked up a right fuss, threatening to refuse to go, to give up riding; well I got quite vociferous. In the end with the assistance of a bit of bribery, I was convinced to do the deed. I didn't really want to relive that episode so I didn't mention it; I didn't need to as grandma did!

"I wondered whether I would have two granddaughters today"        


"Grandma, you know it was only really for the race"

"Well I know that's how it started, but you seemed to enjoy it when we went to the restaurant"

"Well I had to eat and I didn't get too much choice did I? If I never have to wear a dress again it will be too soon", I said with some vehemence.

"Now, now young man, calm down. I was only kidding you. Now then when did you have your ears pierced?"

If it wasn't one thing it was another!

"I haven't!"

"Come on Drew, I know what pierced ears look like and yours are definitely pierced."

So I had to come clean, well sort of, to Grandma.

"I didn't mean to get them done" well that was no lie anyway. "Me and the guys were joshing a bit and Maddy bet that I wouldn't do it. Well I said that I would if she'd wear her hair in pigtails for a week, she hates braids! But I lost the bet so I let her do my ears, I mean they would heal up afterwards wouldn't they?"

"But they didn't or you didn't want them to?"

"I did want them to but" here I reverted to the truth, "Maddy managed to leave keepers in when she took the studs out. I just thought my ears were sore. When I found out it was too late, they were healed, but not closed. Please Gran, mum doesn't know, she'd kill me, she won't even let Jules have hers done yet!"

"Don't worry I won't tell her"

"Thanks Gran"

"But if she asks I'll have to tell her. I'm sure even your mother isn't that blind!"

"You mean she just hasn't said anything?"

"Knowing your mum she's waiting for you to tell her"

"I guess, I suppose I'd better tell her then"

"Well come on, lets you and me get tea ready so you can get home before it's too late"

I decided not to say anything to mum just yet, if she was really upset I'd soon know about it so why rush the wrath?

Tuesday the guys and me were going biking. I've got three bikes; one for training, one for racing and what mum calls my street bike. My street bike is actually a fairly nice mountain bike, 24 gears, front suspension and a really gross lime and pink colour scheme. Well a friend of my mum who races professionally gave it to me. Caroline didn't use it anymore, it was her old training bike and it fit me great.

I got to be leader of our little group for bike rides, as I was the 'expert', well you know what I mean. We were going to the Sherwood Forest visitor centre at Edwinstowe today, not a long way but the girls didn't ride much and Clive never rode if he could help it. There were six of us today as Paul couldn't come and Jules and her friends were doing more 'adult' things.

We met at Ally's place and after a session of tyre pumping and brake checking, we set off for the day. A short ride along the road soon had us at the bridleway; we were not going to use the roads much if we could help it. In these situations it's always a temptation to show off a bit to those less adept and Rhod and even Clive didn't help, insisting on impromptu races. However after one such episode had dumped the three of us on the track, the appeal passed and we rode along at a more sedate pace.

I was dying to ask Ally if she'd got the cheque paid in but she pre-emptied my question.

"Drew, I couldn't get to the bank yesterday, mum insisted on going to Nottingham. I'll go tomorrow before we meet up ok"

"Sure" I couldn't help but let a slight edge of disappointment into my voice.

We eventually arrived at the visitor centre and whilst we had all been before we did the tourist bit before finding a table to eat our sandwiches at. However the tempting smells of hot dogs and burgers issuing from the café soon changed our plans. Assorted junk food later, we set off to look at the famous Major Oak, supposedly one time home to Robin Hood. After having marvelled at the old tree and the props holding up some of the branches, we set off for home.

It would be too boring to go back the same way so I picked another trail for us to follow. Disaster struck after a few minutes when Maddy's front tyre exploded depositing her in a heap on the trail. Luckily personal damage was confined to pride but the tyre was ruined, even my puncture repairing skills would not mend the ripped tyre.

"We're not far from the centre, we could ring someone to fetch you"

"But that could take ages"

"Yeah but it's sensible"

"How about we just all walk"

"It's miles" Bernie complained

"How about this then. Two of us ride back and raise the alarm while the rest keep walking. I reckon by the time they got to the village the rest will be at the Meden road."

"Who's gonna go, you can't go Drew, we don't know the way"

"How about me and Rhod?" Clive asked

"Yeah we can go back the way we came, it's shorter too, we just go back to the centre and follow the signs"

"Ok then, we'll see you later"

The guys set off back up the trail and me and the girls started pushing our bikes in the other direction. I swapped bikes with Mad and we chatted as we went. The subject of Friday obviously came up and I had to tell them about my chat with grandma the previous day. On a couple of descents the girls rode down leaving me to catch up as best I could. We must have been walking for an hour and a half before we heard some traffic on the road ahead. Before we got there however we were greeted by Rhod and my sister.

"Hi guys"

"What are you doing here?"

"I saw Rhod and Clive and they told me what happened"

"Where's Clive?"

"He was too knackered to ride back out here so he went home"

"Is someone coming to pick me up?" asked Maddy

"No, I thought we'd sort it ourselves. I've brought a spare tyre and tube so we can fix your bike then we can all ride back"


"We can eat our sandwiches, anyone got a drink?"

"Come on Rhod, you can help"

That's one thing, in a house full of bikes, there's always spare bits around. It didn't really take long to fit the new tyre and tube, my parents made sure long ago that I could do the basics of get you home bike maintenance. Jules had some hand wipes, which were much needed after the tyre change, and after Rhod and I had a sandwich we all headed back toward home.

"See you guys tomorrow"


"I'll go to the bank in the morning Drew"

"Thanks Ally, see you tomorrow then"

Things were looking good, the money would soon be banked and I could forget the whole Gaby thing. As usual fate would play its hand and once again the press influenced things. I didn't even see the report on the dance in that evening's Chad (our local paper). If I had, I would have known that it was all going to go pear shaped again.


Maddy Bell 16.02.03
Copyright 2003

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The images used above have been selected from various sources. If you hold the copyright to any image and wish it removed contact me. Thanks to everyone involved in Cosplay, particularly Anime Turnpike.