Chapter *7.38*


The girls had got a lift from a neighbour to the race; we were taking them home so we were now heading back to the car.

“For someone who doesn't want to be taken for a girl, you sure like pushing the envelope.” Roni mentioned.



“What about it?” I felt behind my head, “what the?”

“You didn't know?”

“Barbie did it just before the presentation, how could I?”

“Well it looks cute, pink suits you.”


“Come on you two, how're you doing Roni?”

“A lot better thanks Herr Bond.”

“Remember what I said, no race is worth your health.”

At least the rain has stopped, bit late but what can you do?

It was only fifteen minutes drive to chez Grönberg; we were there just after four. Angela insisted on washing my kit, theory being she had to wash Roni's anyway so it was more economical to do a bigger load. Makes sense to me and at least I'm fully dressed in my stuff for a change.

I did take out Barbie's handiwork, the sharp thing I discovered to be one of several hair grips and the ridiculously high pony tail was held together with a furry pink scrunchy, not to mention my new fringe. I'll never be able to show my face in Wuppertal again, I must have looked a right airhead, and these nails have got to go!

“Can't wait to see the pictures.” Bern cackled.

“I can.”

“Ooh, Gaby's got a mog on! So is Roni okay then.” She changed the subject before I could react.

“Think so, Angela said she gets heavy periods sometimes.”

“That's one thing I haven't missed with junior on the way.

“I never thought of that.” I admitted.

“Just be glad you don't have them.”

“Yeah.” I agreed. The question at the minute is whether that's always gonna be the case.


The last week of school before the Pfingsten holiday had one over riding theme – the Cosplay dance! So okay I'm biased being one of the organising committee but it seems that everywhere you look people are working on stuff for it.

“Everyone got their costumes sorted out?” Frau Dürst enquired at morning registration.

The lack of response prompted another question.

“Anyone not got their costume?”

That elicited about the same response so I guess everyone is fixed up.

“Well in that case I'm looking for volunteers to help decorate the hall on Friday.”

Steff and I were already press-ganged; in total there'd be six from our group including Bern, Martin and Max.

Max. Two problems there, the first being that a rumour was doing the rounds that we were an item. I mean, really! The other problem was a more logistical thing, getting my acolyte ready and to the dance. There is just no way that he'll manage on his own and after all my efforts I do not want a halfhearted attempt. Now normally it would be straight forward, I'd get him to come to ours but rewind to problem one!

Then there's getting me to school in all my frills, that really is gonna be a pain. Bern is getting picked up by Martin Preiser's Dad which means I can either hitch a ride with the love birds or organise something else, well I'm sure we'll sort it out, there's like several whole days to go yet.

The other thing on my mind is Bern's departure. To be honest I'm worried about her, she's not really saying anything but like I told Ron yesterday, its clearly on her mind, it'd be on mine that's for sure. I feel a bit helpless to be honest, she doesn't want to talk about it and really moral support is all I can offer.



“Hmm, there's no lube left anywhere on these bikes after yesterday.”

“Yeah.” I agreed. He'd been working all afternoon on me an' Ron's steeds to get them back into tiptop condition.

“Wha' d'you want?”

“Well you know this weekend?”

“Don't I just, your mother's in Berlin, Bernie's mum is coming and you pair are racing on Monday.”

“Well I was just wondering.”

“Wondering what, I don't suppose I'm gonna like whatever it is.”

“Its nothing bad.”

“Not another dancing competition?”

“The next ones not till the summer.”

He rolled his eyes, “go on.”

“Well I was just wondering if Roni could come down for the weekend.”

“What's brought this on?”

“Well like she and Bernie get on like a house on fire and I know she was hoping to see Bern before she leaves.”

“We've got a house full already.”

“She could use Jules room, she's away with the school remember.”

“Have you spoken to her about coming?”

“Not yet, I thought I'd best ask first.”

“Finally, a child who asks before doing!”


“I guess so, but check that your sister is okay with it.”

“Kewl! I'll go ring Roni now.”


“Gabs!” Max hissed from the door.

“Won't be a minute guys, have to powder my um whatever.”

“Tell lover boy we don't bite.” Pia chuckled.

That didn't warrant any kind of reply.

I went into the school building and found von Strechau lurking by the janitor's cupboard.


“Look sorry, Gab's but like I need help with my costume.”

“I told you what to do last week.”

“I tried on Sunday, dry run sort of thing, it was terrible.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

“Well I thought that you could come and help me on Friday.”

“And just how do I do that? I've got my own costume to sort out too you know.” I snapped.

“You could change at mine, Dad can bring us both down.”

Well it would kill two birds with one stone so to speak.

“And just what's in it for me?”

“Twenty euros? Thirty?”

Money eh? Nah I'm not that mercenary.

“Okay I'll do it, but keep your money, lets just say you owe me one.”


Well that's another thing sorted at least, Roni is coming down on the train Saturday, Mrs Rose is flying into Bonn in the morning and I said I'd work at the bakery all day Saturday – don't ask!


The fact that the end of Bernie's stay is imminent was really brought home to both of us at the antenatal class Wednesday evening. Gloria had to go through a load of paperwork with Bernie after the class. Essentially its stuff for Bern to pass onto the antenatal people back in Warsop, you know, that she'd attended the classes, what stage she was at, that sort of stuff. More poignantly Gloria gave Bern a little teddy bear for the baby.

“I'm going to miss having you two here.” Gloria mentioned as she gave Bern a farewell hug.

“I didn't think I would Gloria, but I've enjoyed coming. I know some of the others think I'm a bit er easy of virtue, but really, everyone has been great.”

I wanted to cry myself.

“Well take care of yourself, I want to see pictures at least.”

“I'll make sure you get some.”

“Get off then, I hope everything goes well for you.”

“Bye Gloria.”


Talk about running a countdown. Today was pretty much the last day of classes, as tomorrow will be largely dedicated to the Silverberg Con.

“So you sorted out for tomorrow night?” Bern asked.

“Yup, I'm getting ready at Max's so I can give him a hand.”


“Bern I'm serious, please don't tell anyone, I'll never live it down.”

“Half the school think you're an item already.” She pointed out.

“Let them think, I just don't need any more fuel adding to the rumours.”

“I won't tell, what do you think I'm like?”

“Well, I still don't know where the rumour started.”

“Well it wasn't me I can assure you. So you gotta take everything to school then?”

“I guess so, then I can take the train straight up there.”

“Don't you think that some of the others might notice?”

“If they do, they do.” I shrugged.

“I'll give you a hand packing, can't have you forgetting anything can we?”



Friday. Oh my god! Talk about organised chaos. I spent most of the day trying to make sure stuff was where it should be. Simple stuff like the food stands, organising a photo booth – Frau Boxberg's idea this morning, why didn't she say before! Anyhow we were finished by four so I made good my escape and headed for the train.

I decided on some subterfuge, so I road the train to the stop beyond the Schloss and rode back down. It took an extra fifteen minutes but I reckon it was worth it. At least this time I knew where to go so I headed directly to the white door and rang the bell.

After a short wait Max came to the door.

“I thought you'd changed your mind.”

“You said that last week too.”

“Yeah well.”

“Am I coming in or what, we haven't got that long you know.”

“I know, I know. Come on, we'll use the guest room again.”

He led me to a different staircase, a narrower spiral affair that opened out at the other end of the corridor to the grand central stairs. How does anyone manage to remember where all these stairs and corridors go and where the rooms are?


I looked at the halfhearted attempt and sent him to do the job properly, shitza, two hours and counting!

to be continued....

Maddy Bell 14.09.09 © 2009

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