“You never did show me what you got yesterday in Bonn.” Bern hinted as I poured the tea.
“Didn't I?” I hedged.
“No you didn't Gaby Bond.”
I sighed, she's like a flippin' Rottweiler sometimes.
We got back about thirty minutes ago after an epic drive home, we had to divert around Bochum due to a pile up on the E34 that cost us nearly an hour. As a result we missed out on both refreshments and Tatort at Mettmann.
“Give me a chance.”
“You are bang out of chances.” She growled.
“Oh my god Drew, you are so wicked!” Bern crowed a few minutes later.
“I still have to get him to wear it all.” I pointed out.
“I'm sure he will if you ask nicely.”
“If you say so.”
“You know he's soft on you.”
“Eww! That is just so wrong.”
“So what about your costume?”
“Mostly sorted, you?”
“Steff's lending me a slinky frock and Anna has a wig I'm gonna use.”
“Seems like most people are making a bit of effort.”
Bern picked up the tray loaded with beverages and biscuits.
“In the office, new shoes Gab?”
That's my sister, miss observant.
“Er yeah” I admitted, to be honest I'd forgotten I was wearing them.
“Nice, I might have to borrow them.
“Sugar! Dad's present!”
I took off up stairs, my heels clattering loudly on the treads, before skidding to a halt in my eyrie. I picked the board up and got as far as the top step before realising the danger of descending the stairs, especially wearing heels! I backtracked and after flipping the sandals off restarted the descent barefoot. Down was much slower than up, there is just no way I was risking dropping it!
At the bottom I stood it on a step and lifted the cover to check it was ok, yep, everything was still in place. Once more safely in my arms I nudged the door open.
“What have I told you about those stairs?” Dad enquired as I came through the door.
“Don't run and especially not in heels, you'll break your neck.”
“Sorry.” I sheepishly noted.
“Dad!” Jules motioned at him.
“So what was so important you had to crash around the house in such a hurry for?”
“Clear us a space Bern.”
She moved some stuff off the coffee table and I placed my precious cargo down.
“Happy birthday Dad!” and with a flourish I whipped off the cover to reveal my masterpiece.
There was a moment of silence before anyone even let out a breath.
“The pictures don't do it justice.” Dad allowed.
“Bern helped me with the stones.” I mentioned.
“Wow Drew, that's well cool.” Which is more praise than I generally get from my sister.
“I like the people Gabs.” Bern put in.
“Come here kiddo.” Dad instructed pulling me into a hug, “thank you and you Bern.”
For a second night we both ended up shedding a tear or two.
“ Max, Max !” I hissed under my breath as he passed with the Strech's.
“Eh? Oh right, see you guys in a few, business to sort.”
“Nice business!” Ralf grinned before Freddy yanked him away.
“You got the stuff?”
“Pretty much everything, we need to do a fitting though.”
“Okay, when and where?”
That's a good question; I'm working after school all week, which makes things more difficult.
“How about your place tomorrow night, I can ride up after work so I'll be there at like, seven thirty?”
“Fine, yeah I've got a copy you can borrow.” He waggled his eyebrows to the right.
I caught on when I heard Martin and Bern chatting.
“Right thanks, tomorrow then.”
He took off before our classmates arrived.
“You're never thinking of going out with him Gab?” Martin enquired.
“As if! Nah he's got a book I wanna borrow for my social studies project.”
“So how come we get to see your legs today?”
“She's got very nice legs.” Bern defended.
“Never said otherwise liebchen, just its rare to see them out of trousers.”
Its hardly news is it?
“I'm working after school, it's just easier if I don't have to change when I get there. That all right with you?”
“Hey keep your knickers on! I was only saying.”
“You coming for lunch or what?” Bern queried.
“Bleh!” I was all I could manage as I slumped onto the sofa.
“Gab.” Bern indicated my skirt, which I hurriedly rearranged to protect my modesty.
“What have I let myself in for?”
“Busy I take it.”
“Could say that, we didn't stop all evening, where's Dad?”
“In the office. So you set up with Max?”
“We are not doing anything other than trying his costume out, which reminds me, any parcels come?”
“There's one in the hall I think.”
I returned to an upright position and padded out for my package, yes it's the one I'm waiting for. I'll tell you this; its infinitely dodgier rushing up our stairs in tights than it ever is in heels! I barked my shin quite painfully when I slipped on the top step.
“You all right up there?” Bern called up.
“Yeah, fine.” I replied rubbing my leg.
“You want a drink?”
I took a bit more time making the final ascent to my room.
The package was wrapped in more tape than I thought was possible from a single roll! After a five-minute battle I resorted to a pair of scissors only to reveal a second bag, grrr! At least that was easier to break into, I pulled out the neatly folded garment and standing shook it out. I have to wear this? I checked in the package and found the other items each in their own bag.
I stripped down to my underwear and started pulling the new garments on, bloomers, ruffled petticoat and finally the dress.
“Whoa!” Bern exclaimed.
“Tell me about it.”
“I mean like that is just sooo cute.”
“There's some accessories to add too.” I sighed, “Why couldn't she dress normal?”
“Anju, my character. I went through all the books and this is quite mild compared to some of the stuff she wears.”
“You got shoes?”
“In the bottom of the closet.”
Bern fetched the black patent ‘dolly' shoes and slipped them on my feet.
“There's a picture on the desk.”
She found the printout and studied it for a moment.
“Looks quite straightforward, just a big bow and that doily thing.”
“There was one with the dress I think.” I searched through the wrappings and found both the doily and a lacy choker.
“Did you buy the ribbon?”
“Ta da!” I waved the material.
“Lets give it a try then, park your arse.”
Of course the skirts managed to get in the way however I tried to sit so I just let them poof out. Bern took out my ponytail and started brushing my hair out; hmm I could sit here all night.
“Its not quite right, where's that piccy?”
“Here.” I passed it up.
Bern um-ed and ah-ed a bit more.
“How do you feel about fringes?
“No strong feelings, why?”
“That's what's missing, Anju has a fringe.”
“What do you reckon, I can give you one?”
“Much better.” She grinned.
I had to admit that although my hair is shorter, it does look very much like Anju. I turned my head to take in the whole effect.
“Some pale makeup and you'll be her twin.”
“Anyone in?” Mum's voice reached up from below.
I picked my way down from my room followed by Bernie.
“Mum!” I hugged her tightly.
“Whoa, ease up kiddo!”
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 13.10.09 © 2009