Chapter *6.23*


Language barrier? What language barrier? I've become quite used to using both German and English although generally I now use German. I hadn't thought about it this morning but the girls were using their best English around Bernie, which had let me off the hook somewhat. It's a pity that things'll be more complicated when we get to school.

Dad had suggested we go to Limburg for the day, he had the team bus still and we could just about all squeeze in.

“Right girls, back here at three.” Dad instructed.

“Daad!” I moaned.

“Sorry kiddo, so three okay?”

“We'll be here.” I agreed.

Mum, Dad and Cheryl headed off into the town leaving us teens to our own devices.

“So where to?” Pia enquired.

“The shops I guess.”

“I thought Mad could shop, this lot are like locusts!” Bernie confided as we waited for the others outside of Deichmann's.

“Tell me about it.” I sighed in agreement.

“So what's with the Gaby stuff?”

“I told you last year, the Wine Queen stuff.”

“That doesn't explain that Max lad last night.”


“What are you two talking about?” Connie butted in.

“Drew here was just explaining why everyone is calling him Gaby like Max last night.”

“That's easy, Jules told us it was a Spitznamen von England.”

“A what?”

“Nick name” I translated.

“Oh right, yeah but only amongst the gang,” Bern pointed out “not like everyone at school.”

“But it's a pretty name for a girl.” Con suggested.

“But like Drew is a boy.” Bern pointed out.

“I think at school they think she is a girl.”

“You have to be kidding! Drew?”


“Geez Drew, they do don't they? Don't tell me you wear skirts and stuff too?”

“Course not!” I snorted, “its hardly my fault they think I'm a girl!”

“She wore a skirt last week one day.” Con put in.


“Well you did.”

I couldn't argue the fact but it wasn't my fault was it?

“Hey guys, I got some great boots!” Anna enthused as the others joined us.

Bern was giving me some odd looks, I'll have to have a chat with her later, you know explain things a bit.

We had a good day, we got Pia's travel pass renewed and sorted one out for Bernie, just a one month one for now as we don't know how long she's staying. Limburg isn't that big so we fitted in the castle and watermill too on our travels before meeting the olds back at the multi storey.

“You guys fancy Chinese?” Mum addressed the assembled horde as we started the journey home.

“All of us?” Steff enquired.

“No I was only asking Drew, of course all of you.”

“You can count me in, you up for Chinese Bern?” I translated.


Everyone else seemed keen on the idea too, there's no danger of anorexia with this lot, they eat as much as me!

Back home, that's England home, we used to have Chinese fairly often, there're three takeaways and a sit in in Warsop alone! Here in Germany its more of a treat in that you have to really go out to find a restaurant, there's not the same culture of takeaways.

I had a pretty good idea where we were headed and I wasn't disappointed. Die Blüte Lotus is, according to Dad, like Chinese restaurants were in England twenty years ago, quite a limited menu and decorated with every cliché you can think of! I quite like it, its kinda cute really.

By the time Dad pointed out the walled village of Dausenau and we'd had a quick sightsee at Bad Ems it was actually after five when we parked up on the riverfront at Andernach.

“Do you know what Bern?”

“Erm a clue would be good?”

“What I miss, you know from Warsop?”

“Spotty McGinty?”

“Ew! No what I really miss is the chippy.”

“The chippy?”

“Yeah, we don't have chip shops the same here.”

“Oh no it's the end of the world! Drewbie is missing his chips!”

“What are you two plotting?” Cheryl enquired.



“Honest Mum, Drew was just saying there's no chippies here.”

“So that's why everyone is so trim, no chips.”

Bern rolled her eyes at her mothers attempt at humour.

I realised we were a few bodies down.

“Where're the others?”

“Inside already, its you two lagging behind.” Mrs R pointed out.

We had a set meal, I always think Chinese is better that way; you can try a bit of everything without being over faced with anything. They must've thought it was their lucky day; the eleven of us were the only patrons except for a couple of take-outs. There's one family tradition when we have Chinese and from experience the Lotus Blossom do a great fried banana – hmmm! Of course it has to have ice cream and choccy sauce with it – the perfect way to end the meal.

“Bleh! I couldn't eat another mouthful!”

So okay I was the only one to have a pudding, everyone else plumped for coffee. It was nearly eight when we headed back to the minibus.

“So Bernie, you are looking forward to school Monday?” Anna enquired.

“Sort of.”

“Tuesday.” I mentioned.

“Tuesday?” Steff queried.

“Yeah, I've got another hospital appointment Monday.”

“You never said Drew.” Pia noted.

“I er forgot.”

I wish I could! How weird is it that I've got extra bits in the first place? And like I said before its not something you can casually drop into a conversation is it? Further conversation on the matter was averted by our arrival at our transport.

“Night Anna!”

“Night everyone!”

Anna was the last stop before home and whether it was all the food or what I was nearly asleep by the time we finally reached Schloss Bond.

“So,” Bernie started, “I wanna know why you went to school in a skirt and why you never said anything about going to hospital.”

From experience there was no way I could turf her out of my eerie before she got satisfactory answers. I took a deep breath.

“…And you forgot you were in a skirt?”

“I was in a rush!”

“You really do get worse, didn't your Dad say anything?”

“Nah, I guess like he see's me dressed up for the Wine Queen stuff and that a fair bit.”

“If it was anyone else I'd think it was weird, with you – well there are precedents!”

“And I like you too.”

“So what's this hospital business?”

I'd hoped she'd forget.

“Nothing really.”

“Drew Bond, I can see by your face it's not ‘nothing'.”

Do I tell her everything? Or just make something up?

“Well they're just following up some tests they did last week.”


I've never really spoken to any of my friends about this stuff, perhaps now's the time to start.

“You know, to find out why I've got boobs an' stuff.”

“I thought it was that Gym thingy?”

“Gymnocastea *** - well they think there might be more to it than that by how much I've grown.”

“You're bigger than Ally up top for sure!”

“Thanks for reminding me.”

“Soz, but it's the truth.”

“Yeah well anyway, that's why I've got to go back on Monday.”

“They chopping them off?”


“Keep yer hair on!”

“Yeah well, I'm sorta quite attached to them.”

“At least you don't need those rubber things now.”

“I wish I did.”

Bern sat a bit closer and gave me a hug.

“We're a right pair aren't we? There's you, a boy with boobs and me, a jailbird who's up the duff.”

When she put it like that I couldn't help but let a quick chortle loose.

Soon after that we retired for the night and I couldn't help wondering what its gonna be like with Bern staying here. Things are certainly gonna be a bit different but in what way only time will tell. Maybe she can help me re-impose my maleness after all she wasn't the one trying to get me in frocks back in Warsop, that was mostly Mad.

Hmm, I wonder what Mad ‘n Ally ‘n Hel are up to? Was it a good idea to have Bern come over now just after I got them all back together? Talking of together, I wonder how the Morgan's are getting on; I shoulda gone to see Sylv the other week really. Maybe I should write? I could send Easter cards! Yeah that'd be an idea.

I woke up a little after two; despite the heating my nest was cold, like see your breath cold! After emptying my bladder I clambered back under my duvet and struggled to regain a state of slumber.

‘…And Gaby Bond wins her first Tour de France, the first time that a non male has won this great event.' In my dream I punched the air before straightening my skirt out for the cameras. Hmm, there's something not right here, BOMP! I awoke with a start and found myself lying upside down on the floor with my legs tied up in my bedclothes. Geez its cold this morning!


Maddy Bell 17.01.09 © 2009

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