It was nearly six by the time we dragged Dad away from the Romans and having a detour to drop Roni off wouldn't make us any earlier getting home. All in all it hasn't been a bad day - unless you count the windburn and whilst we didn't get the win I did podium and Ron - well she was incredible today.
I woke with a start as the bus decelerated.
"Be at Roni's in ten minutes," Dad offered from the front, "best wake her up."
"Already 'wake." Ron mentioned as she stretched knotted muscles.
It didn't take long to make our way to the Grönberg house and everyone was grateful for the light buffet she had prepared for us - we haven't had a proper meal today, just a snack in the APX. Eventually though it was time for us to head on home.
"Take care of yourself Bern," Ron hugged Bern, "and stay in touch eh?"
"I will, and you take care too, you'll be giving wonder Bond a run for his money if today's anything to go by."
"Well take care."
They hugged again before Bern climbed up into the bus.
"I'll ring you tomorrow." I told Ron before she slid the door shut.
Both girls had damp eyes as we pulled out onto the road; I scooted over to Bern and pulled her into another hug.
"I didn't think it would be this hard." she sniffled.
Not knowing what to say I just held her a bit tighter.
Tuesday was officially a school day but Fr. Boxberg had okayed Drew being absent to see Bernie off - not that junior Bond had ever had any intensions of going to school today!
"You got everything?"
"The essentials." Bern replied.
"Dad said the other stuff should be in Warsop by Friday."
"I might not be."
"Don't be daft, 'course you will." Drew was trying to remain up beat for Bern's sake but at the back of his mind tomorrows court appearance was causing him nearly as much anxiety as the Rose's. His only experience of the court system was what he'd seen on the box, the good guys always win in those encounters; real life was likely to be much less cut and dried.
"You two done up there?" Mrs R enquired.
"Just coming mum."
We had a last private hug fest then made our way downstairs.
"There you are, ready?" Dad asked.
"As I'll ever be."
"Well the bags are in the car so we just need some passengers."
The drive to Düsseldorf airport seemed to take forever, why Düsseldorf you may ask? Well you can fly direct to Manchester from there rather than all the hassle with Stansted if you use Bonn. Dad dropped me and the 'girls' off and went to park the car.
Seeing as I'm not exactly He-Man, Bern is preggers and Mrs R is - well I went to find a trolley, even if you haven't got a lot of luggage you don't really want to be lumping it too far. Either Dad was supper quick or I was slow but we converged on the Rose's simultaneously.
"A child of mine with a brain."
"Hey I resemble that remark." I riposted with a grin.
"You failed part two Drew." Bern observed.
"The bit where you actually put the bags on the trolley?" she mentioned as she dragged her bag onto said wheeled device.
"Give him a break Bern," Mrs R came to my defence, "he is only a boy." well bang goes that theory!
"We want check in desk twenty one." Dad mentioned having not been idle as we bickered.
"That's miles away." I noted - well if not actual miles certainly a good walk.
"Well we better get a move on then." Mrs R mentioned.
I had already got the trolley in motion even if; as usual I found the one with a dodgy wheel just to make things interesting. It didn't actually take very long and we were soon in line for the ladies to check in.
"Well that was easy enough." Cheryl opined.
"Lets get a coffee before you go through." Dad suggested.
And so we did. Of course the banter was a bit forced, it might have only been a few months but having Bern about, baggage and all, has, for me at least become normal. What will tomorrow mean for Bern? Its always hard saying goodbye but this time it's even worse than usual.
"Time to go folks." Dad told us.
We walked along to security where me and Bern hugged for like the longest time. I can't remember us separating but next I knew Dad was tugging me back along the concourse.
"Come on kiddo, let's go up to the viewing area and you can wave them off."
"I don't think I want to."
"No? Well it's not a requirement so if you don't want to you don't have to."
"I think I've cried enough for one day, lets get home so I can go for a ride, get it out of my system."
"Now that's more like the Drew I know."
"Thanks Dad." I gave him a hug."
"What's that for?"
"Nothing in particular."
"Well come on then, we can miss the traffic around Bonn if we're sharp."
Click, click, click. This is something you just can't buy, the rush you get when the weathers good, the road is clear and it's going downhill! According to my computer I've done just shy of 60km and I'm feeling a lot better for it. The last bit back home from Altenahr nearly always gives me a bit of a buzz, through the tunnel, drop down the gorge then keep the revs going all the way to the turn into the village. Tops.
When a figure started leaping about at the side of the road and shouting "Gaby!" I was in two minds whether I should keep going or stop. As I was travelling at about 50kph the brakes took a few meters to slow me down, enough that I had to turn around and ride about fifty meters back to where my assailant, Max was stood with a grin on his face.
"Heya Gabs, training?"
Another brain cell and he'd be dangerous.
"Just finishing or I wouldn't have stopped, so what's up and what's with the shovel?"
"Why does anything have to be up?"
"Well lets see, you were at mine on Sunday, I'll see you at school in the morning and you have my handy number - and you still haven't told me about the shovel."
"Shovel? Oh this shovel."
I rolled my eyes.
"There's a blocked drain up in high vineyard, guess who has to clean it out?"
"You didn't stop me to tell me that."
"Um no, did Bernie get off okay?"
"I hope it goes well for her."
"I'll tell her when I ring later, now come on, the real reason?"
"Gott Gaby, you're worse than my Gran."
"So?" I prompted again.
"Look this is a bit embarrassing."
"You've taken a shine to wearing girls Cosplay outfits?"
"Neh, neh, neh, nothing like that but it is kind of connected."
"Well you met my Gran right?"
"You know I did, you were there."
"Well my cousin she is getting married in two weeks."
"And the two are connected how?"
"Well my Gran was talking to my tante." he hesitated again.
"How does this involve me?" I'm sure there were some clues there but I am blonde.
"It's like this, Gran told her that you were my girlfriend and my aunt insisted that you should come to the weddinganiunderstandifyoudon'twanttobutdadinsistedthatiaskyouatleast."
"Whoa, wait up, let me get this straight, your Gran, who I've met once, thinks I'm your girlfriend and on the strength of that your aunt has invited me to your cousin, who I've never met, 's wedding as, and I'm guessing here, your date. Am I right?"
"It's alright if you don't want to, honest.”
Obviously I should have just said no.
“So what's in it for me?”
“You are mercenary Gaby Bond.”
“Does that mean yes?”
“Nope, that means negotiations are open.”
“Yes!” Max pumped the air.
“Details tomorrow, I have a full diary you know.”
“School tomorrow, thanks Gab.”
“Tomorrow von Strechau.”
I clipped back in and returned to the road for the last few kilometres home.
Of course the big question now was ‘why on earth did I half agree to go to a wedding?' What the hell was I thinking? Just wait until I tell Bern, she'll love this one. But of course she wouldn't be at home when I get there would she?
“Better?” Dad enquired as I rolled into the garage.
“A bit, I went up to the telescope.”
“You're sister's doing a spag bol so get yourself showered.”
“Yes Dad.” I sighed as I hung my steed up.
My head was all over the place, Bernie and von Strechau at the forefront of my thoughts. I mean what the hell was Max thinking, and why the hell did I lead him on? Lets face it; there is just no way that I'm going to a wedding and especially as some ones girlfriend, that is just sooo wrong!
“Penny for them?” Jules suggested.
“You've been twisting that same fork full of spaghetti for five minutes.”
“I saw Max when I was out?”
“That lad who was here Sunday?”
“I'm sensing there's more to it than just seeing him.”
“You could say that.”
“Well spill then.” She encouraged.
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 21.04.11 © 2011