I awoke Friday morning stiff and still a bit tired from the night before.
“Dancing Queen, only fifteen.” Jules ad libbed as I shuffled into the kitchen.
“It's the kid from Fame.”
“If you say so.”
I hadn't got the foggiest what she was on about.
“So you got the history assignment finished Drew?”
Shitza, I knew there was something I needed to do last night when I got back.
“If you shake a leg you can do that at the bakery.”
“I guess so.” I agreed, slipping my feet into a pair of shoes.
“Don't forget lunchtime.” Steff mentioned as we stabled our mounts in the crowded bike park.
“As if I could.” I winced as I reached for my bag.
“Pulled something?” Connie asked noticing my discomfort.
“How about everything.” I sighed, “I er used a few dormant muscles last night.”
“Those between her ears!” Bern chuckled.
“You did very well.” Pia put in.
“Whatever, I still ache.”
“… So its all systems go.” Frau Dürst concluded.
“Yay!” Steffi allowed.
“Have you got the list we talked about Drew?”
“Er somewhere here.” I allowed fishing about in my bag. “Ah here we go.”
“And there are male and female characters to costume?”
“Right, there's Bleach, Pretty Face, Chibi Vampire, Tokyo Mew, Under Arrest, Yubisaki, Full Metal and Peach Girl, eight right?”
“So how do we work this?” Frau Dürst queried.
“Well we can do a draw to see which room gets which.” Steff suggested.
“We could do some character sheets to give ideas.” I mentioned.
“Both good ideas, what about decorations for the hall?”
“How about a Japanese festival, they crop up in nearly every manga, we could have some proper stalls with games and others for refreshments.”
“Yeah we could do that raw fish stuff.” Steff suggested.
“No miss, Sushi”
“That might be a bit ambitious Steffi.”
“We could do rice balls, noodles and snack foods.” I suggested.
Frau Dürst made some notes, “okay so we need to get a catering team organised.”
“I'm sure Connie would run that.”
“Yes miss.” I agreed.
“Okay, we need to get things rolling, can you two do the, what was it oh yes, character sheets for Monday?”
“Probably.” I cautiously supplied.
“Fine I'll organise the draw for Monday morning, if you come in early we can print your stuff off and get it laminated ready to hand out.”
“We'll be here.” Steff enthused.
Joy, that's any spare time this weekend gone.
“We're back!” I yelled to no one in particular.
“Hi kids,“ Mom called back, “Bernie, your Mum called earlier.”
“She has some news for you, she'll call again in about er thirty minutes.”
Bern's mood dropped immediately, news could only really refer to one thing, the court case, and with it her return to England.
“So?” I enquired when Bernie slumped onto my bed.
“We've got the date, for court.”
“Yeah? I guessed as much, when?”
“May 29 th. ”
“Bum! The dance is on the 25 th , when do you go home?”
“I hope you can still come to the dance.”
“Me too.” She sighed.
“I'm sure it'll be okay.” I suggested joining her on the bed.
“I hope so, I'm frightened Drew, what if they send me to prison? What'll happen to junior?”
We sat there, me holding Bern for what seemed like hours, every now and then she'd give a snuffle its head and the tears would start anew. I didn't know what to say, I didn't have any answers all I could do was offer some comfort. Eventually though the sobbing abated and at some point sleep took us both.
I awoke alone, at some point in the night Bern had mumbled something about toilets and disappeared; I guess she headed off to her own bed afterwards. Checking the alarm clock I noted it was barely six thirty, a few minutes before I need to get up, I only need a short spin this morning, I'm supposed to be riding a crit this afternoon.
My mind made its way back to last night and Bernie's impending hour of reckoning. I couldn't even start to imagine how she must feel, they might lock her up in prison in just a few weeks time and chances are that Junior could be born there. Nah surely they don't lock up pregnant teenagers, do they? The charges she's up on are quite serious, arson especially is taken very seriously I know. Poor Bern.
Whoa! Who parked that there? I just swerved around the back corner of the pick up which was taking up half the width of the lane. There's never anything parked up here, you hardly even see a car up here so the van's presence is quite unusual. The name on the door didn't offer any clue either, Holzwerke Simmern GmbH , whatever. I continued the climb with a mental shrug and by the top my mind was back on the events of last night.
I did practically the whole of my ride on autopilot; I made the turns, did the climbs, dodged the potholes and arrived back home with no clear recollection of any of the 30 odd kilometres.
“Well I'm off, I'll call this evening.”
“Okay love, have a good ride.” Dad mentioned as my parents exchanged a hug.
“Bye Drew, Bernie.”
“Bye Mum, good luck.”
“Bye Mrs B.”
“Dave can you try to talk some sense into Jules about Uni?”
“I'll try love.”
“See you all Thursday then, bye.”
Mum gave us a wave then just about skipped out to where Maria and Tina were waiting in the Mercedes. They're off to some race in Holland tomorrow and another in Denmark on Tuesday. Then there's some presentation thing in Hamburg on Wednesday before they come back to the Ahrtal.
“Right you two, are you ready?”
“I just need my bag.” Bern stated.
“My stuff is in the car.”
Bern wasn't quite back to her old self but she was certainly more chipper this morning.
We are headed for Aachen which in case you don't know is hard on the German / Belgian border an hour or so west of Köln.
“We meeting Roni there?” Bern enquired as we headed onto the motorway spur onto the E31.
“Yep, they can get a train from Mettmann straight through.” Dad advised.
“Its probably quicker than us driving.” I suggested.
“There's probably not much in it kiddo. You sure you've got everything?”
Geez, I'm not that bad.
I settled into my seat to watch the world go by, Bern was already humming away to something on her Ipod ® and Dad was tapping the wheel in time to some cheesy old 80's stuff on the radio.
The field was a bit different to the usual fish and chipper. Being so close to both Belgium and Holland it has attracted more than a few riders from those countries. Its not often we get to race against foreign competition, yeah I know I'm English and in Germany but you know what I mean.
“Hey Bernie, Drew!”
“How was the train Roni?” Bern enquired as my teammate joined us.
“Late and tedious.”
“Go and sign in you two, I'll get you're bikes checked.” Dad instructed.
Frau Grönberg as usual was in charge of food and drink and already had the table up next to the Saab.
“I'm gonna miss this when I go back.” Bern mused as the three of us joined the queue at the Kontrolle.
“You are going somewhere?” Ron enquired.
“Back home Ron, wish I didn't have to.”
“You could stay? Couldn't she Drew?”
“I wish! There's stuff I have to do back home though.” Bern supplied.
“Yeah.” I agreed.
“When do you go?”
“End of May.”
We shuffled forward.
“You should come visit before you go.”
“That'd be cool eh Drew?”
“Sure.” I agreed.
“Come Mädchen, Lizenze bitte?”
“Gab.” Bern poked me in the ribs.
I handed the official my racing permit.
She looked down her list, her face contorting in confusion as she read my licence and looked up at me.
“That's me.” I agreed.
She shook her head before continuing, “unterschrift hier bitte.”
I signed the sheet where she pointed before moving so Roni could sign on.
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 11.09.09 © 2009