“You feeling better squib?”
“I guess so.”
To my surprise I did have a pretty good nights sleep. Having slept on things I was now being a bit more rational than I was yesterday. That's not to say my guilty feelings have gone but in the cold light of a new day I can see that even if my snowball was a contributory factor it was an accident. With that seed sown I can at least start to get my head in some kind of order.
“You coming to fetch Bernie with me?” Dad enquired.
I know what I should do but my mouth said something else.
“I need to go out for a ride, I missed training yesterday.”
“You could go later?” Dad suggested.
“I wanna get out while its dry.”
It even sounded cold to me and I'm sure Dad flinched a bit.
“Okay then, but I'm sure Bernie would like to see you.”
“I'll see her later.”
I finished my breakfast and did an express change into my bike kit. Dry it might be but it was still cold and there was still a good coating of white stuff on the fields and vineyards. I managed to avoid Dad on the way to the garage and I slipped away from the house without a backwards glance.
Dave watched as Drew pedalled away from the house with mixed feelings. The lad's reaction to yesterday's episode was perhaps a bit extreme but this morning's apparently cold front was almost polar in his change. It was worrying but what should, what could he do about it?
It was cold sat on the wall; he'd watched Dad's Saab drive into the car park nearly forty-five minutes ago that meant he'd been perched here for over an hour. He'd only got as far as Lech before turning round and heading back down the cycle track to Ahrweiler and then to the hospital. Why he was sat here he couldn't say, it certainly wasn't comfortable – or warm but he had felt drawn here nevertheless.
Was that Dad? It looked a bit like Dad but having missed him going in Drew wasn't sure what Dad was wearing jacket wise. Once again he contemplated his feet which considering he could now barely feel them seemed a little weird. A car door slamming brought his attention back to the hospital entrance, yes it was Dad earlier - unless someone had nicked their car and come to the hospital in it!
He watched as Dad went inside the lobby then returned with Bernie to the car, he wasn't sure but he thought his Dad had looked over to where he was trying to merge into the wall. Moments later the Saab set off and was quickly lost from view.
“Good ride?” Bern asked as he slipped into the kitchen.
“S'okay I guess.”
“You look frozen.”
“Its not the warmest day of the year.”
Bern busied herself with the kettle.
Bern was on him in a moment.
“It wasn't your fault, I shoulda been more careful and anyway you pulled me out so we'd be quits anyhow.”
“But nothing, quits!”
The two teens hugged, Drew in relief that Bern was okay and Bern out of joy that Drew was in her life, Drew who never judged, never questioned and had more than enough of his own issues to cope with.
“When you two have finished swapping spit, I wouldn't mind that cuppa.” Dad interrupted.
“Eww! Dad!” I didn't let go of Bern though.
“Sorry Herr Bond, it's just mashing.”
“I'll be down in the workshop sorting someone's bike out.”
“Okay, I'll bring it down.” I offered.
“Get a shower, I'm sure Bern doesn't want to smell your sweaty body all day.”
Talk about embarrassing parents!
“I was just saying.” and with that he disappeared downstairs.
‘Well that's an improvement.' Dave mused as he put Drew's winter bike into the work stand. ‘Drew's reaction to the incident has been a worry; hopefully Bernie herself will break his fug. We'll still have to keep an eye on him, maybe this weekends racing will snap him out of it.'
“So are you going to work this afternoon?” Bern enquired.
“I did sort of say I would, I'll cancel if you want?”
“Don't be daft, I got wet and cold, I'm dry and warm thanks to you, I intend to come with you.”
“I suppose I'd best get ready then.”
“I'll ring Connie.”
“So when's the competition?” Nena asked.
“Four weeks I think.” Pia offered.
The girls turned as one to find Bernie and Drew entering Thesing's.
The poor girl was mobbed by her German classmates and quickly installed her at ‘their' table.
“I'll just go get changed.” Drew sighed.
The slight figure slipped unseen up to the flat above.
“What's the competition, you were talking about it when me an' Gabs got here.” Bern enquired after a grilling from the girls.
“Pia and Ingrid have a dance competition in a few weeks.” Steff advised.
“What kinda dancing?”
“We're in the Ahr All Star Guard, you know Gardtanz.” Pia beamed proudly.
Bern's look conveyed her lack of knowledge.
“Its kind of like cheering and line dancing mixed together.” Brid offered by way of explanation.
“Not exactly.” Pia pouted.
“Hey Gab's!” Bern called to her friend as he reappeared dressed in his work togs.
“You ought to join Pia's Guard dance group.”
“Well you enjoyed being in the Foresters.”
“Well it's the same sort of thing.”
Drew rolled his eyes. He'd seen the All Stars in action a couple of times and he really didn't get it. Okay it was a bit like cheerleading but what's with the quasi military uniforms and arm linking stuff? He just didn't get it.
“Anyone want anything?” he enquired.
“There any Pflaumkuchen left?” Bern enquired.
“Think so, anyone else?”
“Coffee please Gab.” Steff requested.
“Me too.” Nena added.
“Me three.” Anna went on.
Geez this lot could be so predictable.
“We're back!” Drew called out as they entered the kitchen of Schloss Bond.
“Lounge.” Dave replied.
The teens lost their shoes and coats then headed through into the inner sanctum.
“Wasn't expecting you back yet.”
“Herr Thesing dropped us off.” Drew mentioned.
“That explains how you're dressed.” Dave gave his offspring a look of appraisal.
“Yeah.” Drew sighed.
“I think she looks really professional.” Bern put in.
“The Polizei were here earlier.”
“Oh?” Bond junior replied uncertainly.
“Seems you pair left some stuff in Ahrweiler after your swim.”
“We did?” Drew was still pretty clueless.
“My bag?” Bern enquired hopefully.
Dad theatrically produced not just Bern's rucky but the bag with her shopping too.
“Kewl! Thanks Mr Bond.” She delved in to locate her purchases.
“Don't thank me, it was the Polizei found them.”
“They find mine?” Drew enquired.
“In your room squib.”
“You coming to Frankfurt Friday Bernie or do you want to stay with Jules?”
“Dunno, it's the dance Thursday night.”
“I have to race.” I pointed out.
Talk about a busy schedule, the Ostertanz on Thursday, then it's the Frankfurt GP on Friday, Mum'll be riding with the girls in the ladies version. Saturday's free but on Sunday it's the Brohltal festival, a double whammy for me as I have to go as Weinkönigin in the parade and I get to ride the crits afterwards! Monday is a track meet at Köln, I'm entered in a couple of events and Mum'll be riding there too. Phew!
“Alright then.” Bern allowed.
“We'll take the team bus then, Roni's coming down with her mum on the train.”
To be continued....
Maddy Bell 29.05.09 © 2009