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Part 24
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It was a miracle that I was ready on time! The event I was riding was up in Yorkshire near Goole, only just over an hour away but dad liked to allow plenty of time and who was I to argue. Jules was out with Anna and Charlie so it was just me and dad making the trip.

"You're quiet Drew"

"Er sorry dad, just thinking"

"Penny for 'em"

What I was thinking I could hardly share with dad. The last few days had not really been that bad, I sort of enjoyed the deception and I certainly appreciated the money it had generated! It was sort of weird to be sat in the car without boobs, even if they were falsies, I mean I had gotten used to the weight and movement even if I didn't really want them in the first place. I didn't need to be 'Gaby' anymore; I had an ATM card to get to my little nest egg, so there really would be no need.

"Drew, are you with us?"

I snapped back to the present.

"Just a bit annoyed at missing mum's call"

"She asked how your job went"

"Er, ok I guess, Mr Wood seemed happy anyway"


"How's mum getting on?"

"Oh she's fine, her first race is tomorrow, the Ardennes Speziale in Belgium. She's got all her kit and as Mercedes are a co sponsor they are lending her a car."

"Wow a Mercedes, what sort?"

"I think she said one of those A something's."

"Clive's parents have got one of those, I guess it's still pretty cool"

"Well look we're here, where are we to park?"

"The sheet says at the village hall"

"That must be it over there"

It seemed a bit strange being at a race without mum but I suppose I would get used to it. Dad sorted out my bike and I was warmed up and on the line before my mind could wander again.

The course today was flatter than I'm used to so my expectations were high as I listened to the timekeeper counting down to my start.


I concentrated on following all the advice mum had given me previously as I headed out to the turn. I turned in thirteen minutes; pretty good as it was over half way round the ten-mile course. I realised why as I started the second leg, there was actually a stiff breeze blowing across the course and I was now riding into it.

The finish hove into sight and I pushed just that little bit harder and barely had the energy to call my number as I crossed the line. By the time I got back to the HQ dad was waiting for me.

"Well done Drew, 25.47 that's a personal best isn't it!"

"Yes" I panted

"Come on, let's get you changed" he pushed me along back to the car where I dismounted and collapsed into the seat.

"Give me your number and I'll get you a drink, what do you want?"

I unpinned my number and replied

"Tea please dad" mum always said it was better than squash, I tended to agree.

"Back in a minute, finish changing"

I did the usual TT challenge, or how to change in the back of a car with people walking past all the time! I had just got out to stow my kit bag when dad got back.

"Look's like you're third, that big lad from Hull has done a long '22 though"

"He is nearly sixteen and he did a '21 last year"

"Well anyway, you've done really well, you might get best improvement too"

"It's only a few seconds"

"Yes but it looks like you being small is an advantage with this wind on the course, everyone else is slower"

I finished my tea while dad put my bike away, then we walked to the result board. There it was ' third under sixteen, A Bond' then lower down 'best improvement A Bond 7 sec's', being a time trial the prizes were hardly phenomenal but even so I was pretty chuffed.

We stopped at a Little Chuff on the way home, a treat for me, as I love their cherry pancakes. Once home I showered then joined a now returned Jules in front of the idiot box for the Saturday film.

Sunday morning was overcast and I hoped the weather was better where mum was. I went out for my usual Sunday ride and got home as Paul and Clive turned up.

"Hi Drew"

"Hi guys"

"You okay now?"

I had to think about that.

"Er yeah"

"I had a dose of flu last year and it was dire"

Flu, right, that was my cover for not being at school this last week.

"Well it wasn't too bad, it was more of a precaution really"

"You never guess Drew?"

"Guess what Clive?"

"Clive's been drooling over Gaby while you've been off"

"Have not!"

"Have, you remember Gaby Drew? Maddy's cousin?"

"Oh right" I tried to act dumb.

"Well she's been at our school this week as a model"

"You mean in art or something?" I dumbed.

"No, they've been taking pictures for some school book or something" Clive chimed.


"Yeah and Clive has had his tongue hanging out all the time, he fancies her something rotten!"

"I do not!"

"Who ended up in a rubbish bin coz he was watching her?"

"I was distracted" Clive tried to bluster.

"Drew, this individual here was heard with witnesses to declare unending love for Gaby Thomas!"

Clive was colouring up now. I was having a hard time not making a run for it but was saved by dad.

"Morning lads"

"Good morning Mr Bond"

"Hi Mr Bond"

"What are you three up to today?"

"Thought we'd play with the RC's" Paul replied

"Get yourself showered and changed first Drew"

"Yes dad"

"Well see you later"

Dad went back inside leaving me with my mates, one of which had declared his love for my alter ego! Sheesh!

I showered, changed then got out my RC Mini, spare battery packs and stuff and we went round to Paul's bungalow where we spent the rest of the day tearing the lawn up.

"Here you are Drew" Maddy handed me a bag, "your uniforms in there and the other bits you left at our house"

I looked stupidly at her.

"You know" she mimed grabbing her breasts

"Oh right, thanks Mad"

"How'd the race go?"

"I came third and best improvement"

"Great, you coming to mine tonight?"

"Isn't it Ally's turn?

"Yeah but her mum's out tonight so we swapped"


"See ya later Drew"

I thought I'd best give Mrs Johnston the uniform and stuff as soon as possible so I wasn't walking around with a bag of girls clothing. So I went to the staff room before registration and managed to find her.

"I've brought the uniform and stuff, Mrs Johnston, it's all washed and Sally's stuff is in there too"

"Oh Drew, didn't Mr Wood tell you on Friday, they are all yours, we're sure you will need them again some time!"

"I don't think so Mrs Johnston"

"Well you never know Drew. Anyway, leave them here for now and pick them up later"

"Er ok then, thanks"

Was this some sort of conspiracy to get me into girl's clothes? First it's my friends and now it's my teachers! I mean what the hell use is a girls school uniform to me? It's not like I'm going to attend school as a girl (again!) any time soon or ever. Well I guess I could always 'forget' to pick them up from the staff room.

I got through the rest of the day without incident, which surprised me a bit, I was sure someone would make the connection but I guess no one looked at me too closely. After all people usually only see what they expect.

I met Rhod after school and we walked round to the Peters house together.

"I wasn't sure who I'd see this morning, you or Gaby"

"Not you as well! Everyone seems to want to see me in skirts and stuff lately"

"Well you do it pretty well you know, I mean I got away with the dance but no way could I have pulled last week off."

"Jeez, I do not want to dress as a girl!"

"Okay, okay!"

We dropped the subject and we talked about mum's new car until we arrived at Maddy's.

"Hi guys"

"Hi Mad"

"Hello Rhod, hello Drew"

"Hi Mrs Peters"

We went through to our usual haunt, the dining room where Ally and Bernie were already sat.



"Tea in five minutes" Mrs Peters advised, "get the table laid"

"Hmm that smells good"

"Steak and kidney pudding for us and veggie burger for Rhod"

I could see Rhod look longingly at our meal, he was not vegetarian by choice, the doctor had put him on a meat free diet last year as he had developed a bad reaction to meat.

We ate with minimal interruption; it seems that everyone liked the suet pudding as much as Mrs Peters pasta! We cleared up afterwards and then regrouped.

Maddy was just bursting to tell us all something.

"I've something to tell you"

"What Mad?"

"Spit it out" Ally added.

"Well you know dad was in the States last week?"

"Yeah" I replied for everyone.

"Well while he was there one of his clients said that his daughters school was running an exchange programme and did he know of anyone who might be interested at home!"

"Cool" Bernie exclaimed

"Neat" Rhod concluded

"Anyway, dad said he thought we might be interested, so he's brought all the details back, it has to be done through school so mum's going to see Mr Wood tomorrow"

"What happens then?"

"Well dad said that if Mr Wood agrees, the American kids come over at the end of August and stay for six weeks, then we go to them next spring."

"Where is it?" Rhod asked

"Well Mr Dobson, dads client, lives just outside of the Shenandoah National Park"

"Where?" I'd never heard of it, Yellowstone yes but this Shenoah?

"It's in Virginia sort of between New England and Florida"

"Is that the East Coast then?" Bernie asked, she wasn't much good at geography.

"Yes" the rest of us chorused.

"I hope Mr Wood says it's okay"

"Yeah it would be a bummer if he said no" I intoned.

Well as you can guess we spent the evening talking about America and the exchange scheme. There was usually an exchange visit for the fourth year language students, a bus load of German kid's came before Christmas and some French kids were coming in May, Jules friend Anna was having one stay with her.

We all went home abuzz with excitement.

I got home just after nine and I was barely in the door when the phone went. Dad answered the phone and announced,

"It's your mum, you can talk to her in a minute"

Great! I guess I hadn't missed her quite as much as I thought I would but it would be good to talk to her. I got a drink while dad talked to her then he passed me the phone.

"Hi mum"

"Hi Drew, you alright?"

"Great, how did it go on Sunday?"

"Ok I suppose, we won the team prize but I was only thirty third"

She didn't seem too keen to talk about it so I changed the subject.

"When do you get your car?"

"It's not mine really but I get to use it to get to races and stuff, I pick it up on Thursday. What's happening with you?"

Where to start?

"I did a PB on Saturday, 25.47 and I got best improvement"

"Your dad said you'd had a good ride"

I spent a couple of minutes talking about the race.

"What else have you been doing?"

"Maddy's dad was in America and he thinks we can do an exchange thing, she's just told us tonight!"

"That sounds exciting Drew"

So I spent another five minutes telling mum all I knew.

"Well Drew, your mother needs her beauty sleep so put your dad back on "


"Bye Drew, talk to you soon"

"Bye mum"

I passed the phone back to dad and went to wash my cup. By the time I got back dad had finished the call.

"Your mother is sorting out some accommodation so we can go visit at Whitsun while you're off school"

"Wow, that's brill"

"Now what's this about an exchange student?"

So I had to tell dad everything too!

"Well your mother reckons it would be good for you, so it's a provisional yes, but I want to know more before I agree"

"Thanks dad"

"Time for bed now"

"Ok, g'night"

"Night Drew"

I went up to my room and hadn't got the door shut when Jules came in.

"You left this at school"

She was brandishing a bag that looked all too familiar.

"Mrs Johnston caught me as I was leaving, she said you'd left it with her for safekeeping"

"Well sort of"

"Gaby, you can't just leave your uniform laying around!"

"Shush, dad'll hear and cut it out with the Gaby stuff!"

"Ok but you'd best hang it at the back of your wardrobe."

"Why can't you keep it in your room?"

"My wardrobes full and anyway with mum away who's gonna look in you cupboards"

Lets face it all mums are nosy and poke around your stuff!

"No one I guess, but I really don't want it, I mean I have no intention of dressing up again, ever"

"Hmm! Well it won't be a hardship to store this stuff then will it"

I'm sure there was some sort of twisted logic to Jules argument but I couldn't see it or beat it.

"Okay then but not a word to anyone. Now get out, I'm going to bed"

"Goodnight then"

"Yeah night Jules"

She left my room leaving me with far too much to think about. America, going to see mum and a girls school uniform and stuff in my closet! Life was certainly getting interesting. Instead of all this I ended up dreaming about my brilliant career as a pro cyclist, well it was a dream!

Maddy Bell 14.04.03  
Copyright (c) 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.