“So why weren't you at school yesterday?” Helen enquired as she locked up her bike Tuesday morning.
“I um had a bit of an accident at the race on Sunday and they kept me in hospital overnight.”
“What? In Worksop?”
“Northampton, the race was near Milton Keynes.”
“So are you okay then?”
“Few scrapes, nothing much for Super Bond.” I joked.
“Well they must've thought it was serious to keep you in.” Helen noted.
“I suppose, anyway they let me out yesterday morning but by the time we got back home it was nearly lunchtime so Mum rang in for us.”
“Better luck next time.”
“Yeah, if'n I had more lead he wouldn't've caught my wheel.”
“The kid I beat in the sprint, he had a blow out and crashed into me, that's why I crashed.”
“Course I did!”
“Keep your hair on!”
“Sorry Hel, I thought I said.”
“So you still coming tomorrow night?”
“I said I would didn't I?”
By this time we were nearly at my form room.
“See you later.”
“Yeah.” I agreed as we went to our separate desks.
Mum suggested I give the ten a miss this week but rather than waste the evening I rode out to watch instead.
“I was hoping I'd see you out here” John mentioned as I rolled up beside him at the finish.
“There's a box in the car for you.”
“New helmet and race kit, by the way good ride Sunday.”
“Er thanks and thanks for the kit.”
“I was over in Manchester today so it made sense to bring it back with me, you want me to drop it off after this?”
“Might be easiest.”
“…So Cookie says ‘I never wear knickers for work.' Well you could' a heard a pin drop.” John finished telling mum the tale as I arrived back from the shower.
Mum was almost in hysterics and Dad was having a good chortle, I might've joined in but when you only get the punch line.
“There you are Drew.” Mum stated the obvious.
“So are you looking forward to Germany Drew?” John asked.
“I guess so.”
“The racings different over there, no time trials every week.”
“They don't do testing?”
“Not like over here kiddo.” Mum confirmed.
It had never really crossed my mind, I just sort of assumed that I'd pick up over there where I stop here.
“You got all the forms sorted Dave?” John enquired.
“I think so, I'll take them up to the registrar in Bonn as soon as we're over so it should be sorted for the Düsseldorf event.”
“Baptism by fire eh Drew?”
“Well I'd better be off, she'll wonder where I've got to.”
“Thanks for bringing the kit over John.” Mum mentioned.
“Yeah thanks.” I agreed.
“I'll see you out John.” Dad got up to do the host bit.
"You are coming tonight aren't you Drew?"
"Friends Night! Drew you said you would!" Helen was already heading towards tears.
"Oh that, of course I am, there's food isn't there?"
"Drew Bond, you are so, so ooh!"
It was so easy to get a rise out of Helen. Not like Maddy, no Mad was a work of art!
"So what time is this thing then?"
"We'll pick you up at twenty past six."
"What should I wear?" I'd never asked that.
"Well a nice dress would be good."
"What?" I replied by reflex then I saw the glint in her eye.
"Just kidding but I had you going didn't I?"
"Just wear something normal, I'll be in my uniform."
The bell rang for registration.
"See ya laters."
"Er yeah." good job she didn't broadcast too loudly, if the lads get to hear about this I'll be mince!
“You sure this is okay Hel?”
I nervously looked around the hall used by the 5 th Meden Vale Girl Guides – well actually the Church Warsop church hall. The place was full of girls – well duh I know it's the Guides but this is Friends Night right? And Helen said boys were welcome tonight but to me it looks like I'm in a minority of one!
“Welcome to Friends Night, we'll get things rolling in a few minutes but if all the Guides can form up for the promise please.”
Whilst Helen and her mates were pledging allegiance to the Queen and God I cast a look around at the other visitors and the other Guides. It was hardly surprising that I recognised a lot of faces from school although Helen was the only one that I really knew. But that meant that they'd recognise me too.
“…To God and the Queen.”
Looks like things'll get going in a minute.
“Thanks for your patience everyone, the girls have got all sorts of stuff organised for you so if you want to make yourselves comfortable Dove patrol will start things going.”
I reluctantly followed the ‘crowd' to the pews in front of the little stage and slipped into a seat in the back row.
“You're with Helen right?”
“Chelle.” The girl stated, she looked about twelve.
“All my friends call me Chelle, mum wants me to join this lot coz she was a Guide back whenever but I've only come as Lizzy invited me.”
She barely paused to draw breath.
“So like are you gonna join?”
“Well duh this is a recruitment thing, Lizzy told me, but its not like this every week.”
Was Helen trying to recruit me to the Guides? Don't be daft Drew; she knows you're a boy.
“Liz says they usually do crafts and stuff for their badges.”
“Right.” Does this girl ever shut up?
As if on cue, what I presume was Dove patrol broke into song, they were hardly the Corrs but they managed to keep reasonably in tune for their little medley during which Chelle kept quite except for a hushed ‘ that's Liz' during the first song.
We sat through an hour of ‘entertainment' Girl Guide style before Helen found me.
“You okay Drew?”
“Sure.” Well I couldn't really say I was bored could I? “Where've you been? I haven't seen you do anything.”
“I've been in the kitchen helping get the food ready.”
“um there's not any other boys here Hel.”
“I sorta noticed that, do you mind?”
“I'm still here, what're we eating?” my stomach growled as if to emphasise the enquiry.
“we've got all sorts, you know all sorts of finger food.”
“oh.” My disappointment was obvious.
“there's burgers an stuff too, that's what I've been making.”
“making? I thought you just went to Sainsbury's and bought a pack.”
“them things are awful.”
“well I like them, ‘specially them with onion in.”
“you need to get out more, just wait till you try mine.”
“well I hope its not gonna be much longer.”
The woman in charge clapped her hands for attention.
“supper is ready girls, then we'll start the disco.”
“come on Drew.” Helen didn't need to say it twice.
“hey Helen, your burgers are really good.” Chelle grinned.
“oh hi Chelle, thanks.”
“what do you think Drew?” the chatterbox barely drew breath.
“hm, ‘licous.” In fact I'd have to say they were fantastic! These bore no close relationship to Cap'n Birdseye's offering. For a start they were huge, not some shrivelled lump, and they tasted like real meat too, they even had onion in them. Wonder if I can get Hel to make me some for home?
“ah there you are Helen, well done with the food.”
“thanks Captain, this is Drew my friend from school.”
“that's a pretty name, is it after the actress?”
“its my Dad's middle name.”
The Captain woman frowned a bit, “well its nice to see you here Drew, hope to see you again soon, I best go get the music going.”
“what was that about?”
“Chelle said that this is a recruitment thingy.”
“well Captain did mention that we usually get some new recruits each time we have one of these, we always had too many members back home.”
Before I could pursue it any further the music started.
“you wanna dance?” Helen enquired.
“theres one good thing Drew.”
“I get to dance with the only boy here!”
well I can't say as I had a problem with that. And I was me too – I can't remember the last time Drew got to go to a dance or anything, its always Gaby that gets to go.I pulled Hen into an impromptu hug, “thanks Hel.”
Maddy Bell revised 22.01.08 © 2008
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