The Name's Bond
BRRRRNNNGGG! BRRRRNNNGGG! BRRRRNNNGGG! BRRRRNNNGGG!
“Wha?” Drew woke with a start; the alarm didn't get a chance to start a second round as his hand slapped it off.
‘Geez, morning already.' A quick look at the clock confirmed it was seven thirty; in fact he'd be at the bakery if he'd been at home! There it was again, home, home in Germany that is. Despite everything Apollinaris had offered his Mum a new contract for 2004, which she had signed just after New Year. So Dernau was going to be home for at least another year maybe longer.
“Drew love, you getting up?”
“Well don't be too long, Maddy'll be off to school just after eight.”
Huh? Since when did Mad leave home more than ten minutes before first bell?
“So what're you doing today Drew?” Mad enquired between mouthfuls of toast.
“Dunno, hang here till you get home I guess.”
“Boring! Hey why don't you come into school?”
“Yeah like I wanna do that!”
“Well I didn't mean go to classes dumbo, you could walk round with me then meet me later.”
“Sounds like a good idea Drew.” Aunt C put in.
“Why not.” I agreed, its not like I have a full appointment book. And I'd get to see the rest of the gang.
“This weather's shite!” Mad noted pulling her collar up.
I could only agree, it was a typical February morning, cold, grey and a biting wind.
“Since when can you wear trousers to school?”
“Beginning of the year, something to do with equality.”
“So girls get a choice but boys don't, doesn't sound very equal to me.”
“Hey don't take it out on me. I'm sure boys could wear skirts if they wanted to.”
“Yeah” I replied in a sarcastic tone.
“You've changed Drew, you're a right misery now.”
She rolled her eyes, “my Drewbie would be pratting about but you're all ‘girls get a choice but boys don't', you're like a stranger.
“Soz, I don't mean to be.”
By now we were nearly at the gates.
“Hi Al, look who I've brought.”
Ally soon crossed the road and grabbed me in a tight hug.
“Hel'll be made up.” She noted.
“She still riding that old bike to school?”
“Yeah,” Mad replied, “here's Miss Marple now.”
Ding ding ding!
“Bloody hell Helen, get those brakes sorted.” Ally suggested.
“Look who…” Mad started.
She let go of the bike, which landed with a clang and gripped Drew in the second hug of the morning.
“Mad said you were coming but I didn't expect to see you, when do you go home?”
“Trying to get rid of me already?”
“My flight's Wednesday tea time.”
“Brill, how about everyone come for tea tomorrow?”
“Good for me.” Ally enthused.
“I'll check with Mum later.” Mad advised.
I couldn't tell if there really could be some other plans or whether there was still some lingering hostility between the pair.
“She didn't tell you?” Ally queried.
“Tell me what?”
“You don't know?”
“Know what? Come on guys, spill.”
“She, you tell him Mad.” Helen suggested.
“She's been excluded Drew.”
“Tell you later, or I guess you could go see her, she'll be at home most likely.” Mad proposed.
Drew was stumped for words. What on earth could Bernie have done to get chucked out of school? The others didn't seem entirely behind their friend either so it must be something pretty bad.
“We'd best get going.” Ally noted, “don't wanna be late!”
“Yeah, see ya later Drew.” Helen added.
“Ring if you're not coming this afternoon.” Mad instructed before giving him a peck on the cheek.
He stood in the swirl of teens starting another day at Warsop College. Warsop, Silverberg – its all the same really.
“Drew Bond! Here boy!”
“Huh?” Drew looked for the source of the gruff command. “Mr Pilling.”
“Ah so you haven't forgotten me.”
“No sir, neither time nor distance.”
“Back for a visit?”
“A training camp really but my flight back's not till Wednesday.”
“Ah, still racing those bikes then?”
“There's someone who'll kill me if I let you get away without saying hi.”
“Come on, she'll be in the staff room.”
Mr Pilling led his former pupil into the school and towards the office area. It hadn't really changed that much – other than most of the girls wearing trousers. It looked scruffy to Drew; his mates in Germany rarely wore trousers even out of school! He got a few strange looks; his own jeans and ski jacket were hardly uniform either.
“Here we go, take a pew and I'll find her.”
They weren't in the actual staff room but in the reception room used for visitors. Drew nervously perched on one of the rather institutional chairs; at least it was warm in here.
“Gaby Bond! Let me see you!”
“Miss Cowlishaw.” He stood with a start.
“I told you before, its Fran. Its good to see you young lady, we really miss you on the squad. Sit down; I've got a free period first so we can have a chat. You want a coffee?”
Miss C, Fran, wanted to know everything that had happened since his departure and he tried to give a truthful if abridged account of events.
“I thought when Mr Wood said he met Gaby in Cologne you had decided to become her.”
“…An accident! How did I guess.”
“Well I got glühwein spilt all down me so I had to borrow stuff from Anna.”
“You don't have to explain to me.”
“Well ok erm Fran.”
“You know about Bernie?”
“Sorta I'm gonna go see her in a bit.”
“Silly girl and at the start of her GCSE's too. Well tell her hi from me.”
“Bugger, is that the time, look it's been great seeing you, don't be such a stranger in future, you've got my email?”
“Here,” she scribbled the address onto a slip of paper and handed it to me, “you know you can talk to me about things.”
“Thanks Miss er Fran.”
“Take care Drew.”
With that she gave him a peck on the top of his head and with a cheery wave left him in the lounge. He slipped his jacket back on and headed out, the bell for the end of first period sounded as he made his escape from his former school.
He walked the short distance into the town centre; at least some things don't really change. The paper shop supplied a Mars bar and a box of Dairy Milk then he started out for the Rose house. A watery sun cheered the day a little but Drew's mood remained grey, what had Bernie done? On one hand he needed to know, on the other he didn't and the third was miffed she hadn't told him before.
It wasn't far, well nowhere in Warsop is really, and he soon found himself stood on the step of Chez Rose. The bell sounded shrilly and it was a few moments before there was any indication of life beyond the door.
‘I'll get it then.' The door opened slightly. “Hello?”
“Hi Mrs Rose.”
“Drew? Drew Bond?”
“That's me, is Bern in?”
“Oh sorry, yes, yes she is, come on in.”
“Bernie, visitor for you!”
“Who is it mum?” Bernie came out into the hall. “DREW!”
For the third time this morning Drew found himself enveloped in female flesh.
“I'll leave you two to it, you want some tea Drew?”
Bernie led him into the front room where the telly was playing to itself.
“No one said you were coming back to Warsop?”
There was that tone of distance that Mad and the others had shown earlier.
“Well it wasn't really planned, I couldn't get a return flight until Wednesday, I was at a training thing at Manchester.
“Oh” she sounded genuinely sad.
“Oh yeah, these are for you.” I passed the chocs over.
“Here we go Drew, white no sugar.”
Mrs Rose put the mug of tea on a side table.
“Look, Drew got me some chocs!” Bern enthused.
Her mother gave a weak smile, “I'll just be in the kitchen.”
“So like what's been happening?” Drew started.
“Look I'm sorry Drew, I wanted to tell you but… look I've let everyone down.” She started to get a bit teary.
“Oh while I remember Fran sends her best.”
“Fran? Oh Miss C. thanks.”
“So erm how come you're excluded?”
“I thought you knew, I was sure Mad would've told you even after I said I would.”
“Come on spill.”
“I'm pregnant.” She sniffed a bit more and Drew shuffled along the sofa and put an arm around his friend.
“How? No I know how, there‘s more isn't there, you don't get expelled for being daft.”
“I, I tried to burn the school down, oh Drew everything's going wrong, I might go to prison, I don't know what I'll do!”
That was it, the floodgates opened and for fully ten minutes Bernie sobbed into Drew's by now soggy shoulder. There were questions Drew wanted answering but he didn't know how. Why would she do such a thing? Who did she do it with? Was she keeping the baby? He could see why the others would be a bit offish but now was the time Bernie really needed them. He'd have it out with Mad later, just you see!
Maddy Bell 20.11.08 © 2008
Back to Chapter 6.01 On to Chapter 6.03 Back to The Library