“Well done ladies.” Hannah enthused when the music finally stopped.
Unlike last week when I was really just learning the routine this week I was an integral part of the Ahr Alles Stern Garde.
“Right, Sunday. The coach will pick up at Ahrweiler Brücktor at six thirty, Dernau Bahnhof at six forty five, Mayschoß at ten to and up the car park at seven. Leave your uniforms here but remember to bring your bodies, hose and boots.”
“Valerie!” most of the others chanted.
“It wasn't my fault, it was my brothers girlfriend.”
“Enough! Any questions?”
“What time do we get back Hannah?”
“We should be dropping off by about eight Sid. Right then, get yourselves changed and I'll see you all on Sunday.”
“Where're you going Gabs?” Pia asked as I headed out of the hall.
“My stuff is in the office, won't be a mo.”
I slipped into the office and made short work of stripping down to the leotard and tights, quickly pulling my sweats on over the top.
“I've put the uniform on the rail Hannah, I'll wash the other stuff and give it to Pia.”
“Why give it to P, you'll need it Sunday.”
“I will?” I'm sure I've missed something in this conversation.
“Oh I forgot to say, remember to bring some lunch, I'm not sure what the catering will be like – and thanks again for filling in for us, Margot was mortified when she thought we'd have to scratch. The railway station at quarter to seven.”
“There you are Gab, come on Dads waiting.”
“Er yeah, um bye Hannah.”
Pia dragged me outside pausing only to exchange goodbyes with the other girls still inside.
“You were ace, you've got great dance skills.”
“Er thanks, “I allowed climbing into the back of Herr Sebenschuh's car, “this thing on Sunday.”
“I think we stand a real chance you know.” Pia bubbled.
“Erm Hannah seems to be under the impression I'm going.” I mentioned.
“Of course, without you we couldn't compete, thanks for doing this.”
“I er yeah, sure.”
I couldn't remember agreeing to do the competition just to help with the training sessions. Now it seems the Ahr Alles Stern Garde were to a girl relying on him taking part on Sunday to replace the hapless Margot. Sunday, I'm sure I'm supposed to be racing somewhere, Dad's gonna go ballistic if I have to scratch.
“Um where is this competition thingy?”
“Trier, you know on the Mosel.”
Thirty minutes later after a quick shower and change I plonked myself on the sofa in our sitting room.
“Am I racing this weekend?”
“You know you are, another crit, Roni and her mum are staying over Saturday night so we can leave in good time Sunday morning, why are you asking?”
“So scratching is out of the question then?”
“What's the matter?” Mum enquired, “you feeling off?”
“No I'm fine its just that the um All Stars are kind of expecting me to go to this like big competition with them Sunday.”
“And just what might have given them that idea?” Dad enquired with a seriously p'ed look on his face.
“I only said I'd help with the training for it, make the numbers up, honest.” My eyes started to fill up, it wasn't my fault, it really wasn't.
“Hmm, you must have said something.”
“I can ring Pia and say I can't go.”
“Sounds to me that they are relying on you.” Mum noted.
“And just where might this competition be may I ask?” Dad requested.
“Well that's a coincidence Dave, that's where the kids are racing.”
Dad looked thoughtful, “I'm not best pleased Drew, your schedule has been planned for months, who's in charge of this dancing set up, have you got their number?”
“Its Hannah, I'm sure Pia has her number, I'll just text her.”
I quickly fetched my Handy and sent off a message.
“Here you go.” I passed him my phone.
“Hmm.” He took it with him and disappeared off to the office.
“Sometimes Drew.” Mum sighed.
“Honest Mum, I never agreed to do it.”
“They just assumed eh?”
“I guess. Where's Bern?”
“Gone to the cinema with your sister, oh bum, I need to go and pick them up.”
Mum made a quick exit leaving me half watching some current affairs programme.
“…Yeah that'll be okay, nice talking to you Frau Müller, we'll see you on Sunday, wiedersehn.”
I just caught the end of Dad's call.
“Right,” he announced returning to the lounge, “looks like you'll be having a busy time on Sunday.”
“What've we missed?” Jules enquired thirty minutes later.
“Your sister's double life has caught up with her.” Dad supplied.
“Did you get things sorted Dave?” Mum asked.
“I had quite a conversation with Frau Müller,” he started, “they go on stage at ten then if they progress again sometime after three so twinkle toes here is ours in between. The race is at one and it's only a couple of kilometres away so we should manage to shuffle our starlet between venues in good time.”
“Daa-aad.” I complained.
“You really know how to live dangerously Gab's.” Bern noted.
How come my life is so complicated?
We all took the ‘Express down to Remagen and then journeyed down to Koblenz next morning. We'd all agreed to go looking for costume stuff for the dance today, not that I was expecting to find anything to suit Anju. Lets face it Lolli Goth is hardly the stuff you find in H&M is it?
The others were having a lot more success and by the time we headed back to the Ahrtal I was the only one without anything to show for the trip. I had a plan though, so I wasn't too concerned. When we got home the Grönberg's car was on the drive, sugar, I'm not exactly looking very Drew!
Dad was in the garage so I slipped inside and made for the bathroom.
“Heya Drew!” Roni's voice greeted me.
What I hadn't seen was Roni stood with Dad as he made some adjustments to her bike.
“Er hi Ron.”
“Er thanks, back in a mo.” I just about ran upstairs, why did I wear a flippin' camisole to go shopping? I know it was to fit in with the others, anyone would take me as just another girl but although Ron knows about the dressing and has even supplied clothes I'd prefer it if she didn't see me willingly wearing girls stuff.
Ten minutes later I returned in cargo shorts and a more macho t-shirt emblazoned with the town crest.
“That's better.” I allowed returning to the workshop.
“You're bike okay Drew?” Dad enquired.”
“The gears are a little bit out.”
“So how's the leg?” Roni asked.
“A bit sore still but I'll live.”
“I wondered where you two were,” Bern stated joining us as we watched Dad working his magic on my gears. “Hi Roni.”
“Oh hi Bernie, you coming tomorrow?”
“Wouldn't miss it for anything.” She grinned.
“Bern.” I moaned.
“What? I never said a thing.”
“Now I know there's something going on, ooh I like your nails Bern.”
Bern presented her hands for inspection.
“We all got them done in Koblenz this morning, show her yours Gabs.”
Okay I wasn't really thinking and the others were so enthusiastic.
I pulled my hands out of my pockets; she'd see them sooner or later anyhow.
“Ooh nice,” Roni cooed, “mine are terrible.” She noted inspecting her chewed remains.
“We can do something about that.” Bern enthused.
“I've tried growing them but I always start chewing them again.”
“Come on Ron, we can't have this one showing you up on the start line tomorrow.”
The two girls headed up into the house.
“You've started something now.” Dad mentioned as he ran through the gears again.
I probably have, I looked at my nails resplendent in cherry red varnish each with a sprig of cherry blossom painted on. If that was all it wouldn't be so bad, I coulda cleaned that off, but no, my usually short nails now extend beyond my fingertips and end in a very girly rounded tip. I wondered why it cost so much, €15! Apparently acrylics last for weeks, I can't go round with these talons that long, I've already nearly had my eye out.
“I would've thought you'd have learnt your lesson by now.” Dad sighed.
“I thought it was just nail varnish.”
“Well its you that has to live with them.”
‘Was this a sign that Drew was starting to accept the findings from the hospital tests? Could he ever return to being a full time male, he's stated that's what he wants but he's also said he doesn't want surgery. He'll have to make some decisions very soon one way or the other.' Dave mused watching his youngest spinning the cranks idly.
“Come on, I fancy a cuppa, Angela brought a rather nice looking gateaux with her.”
Dave pressed the button to close the shutter then herded Drew upstairs.
There was no sign of the others; Roni's mum was reading a magazine in the lounge. Oh I forgot to tell you, Mum's off racing in Baden Baden tomorrow so the team have gone down today.
“Let me make it.” She requested.
“Where're Roni and Bern?” I asked.
“Upstairs I think, you want to see if they want Kuchen? Its Schwarzwaldkirschetorte.”
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 18.09.09 © 2009