“You're kidding me?”
“Cross my heart and wear a bra.”
Jules shook her head.
“You have so got to go.” She declared.
“Are you kidding? You do remember that I'm your brother ? Why on earth would I want to go on anything resembling a date with another boy ?”
“Of course you're my baby brother and what's wrong with going with this Max kid? It's a wedding not a trip to the local flea pit, posh frocks not groping in the dark.”
“I'm not gay.”
“Never said you were.”
“Look at it from his point of view, he and his family – heck, half the Eifel think that you're a girl. What with the Weinkönigin, the dance troupe and lets face it you have been seen in a bikini, what would you expect, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it very likely is a duck.”
“But I don't want to be a duck.” I whined.
“I don't want my monthly but I'm stuck with it.”
“So I should go because they think I'm a girl?”
“No, you should go because you want to.”
“But I don't want to.”
The phone chose that moment to interrupt us.
“Bond…yeah he's here, moment.” Jules covered the mouthpiece, “its Bern.”
I took the handset from her, “heya Bern.”
“Hi Drew, just thought I'd let you know we just got in.”
“I guess, its weird hearing everyone talking English, I feel like a foreigner.”
“Yeah been there.” I agreed.
“I keep on talking to mum in German, weird huh?”
“So you okay?”
“Not really, I'm peeing myself.”
“I'm sure it'll be alright.”
“Yeah maybe… okay mum , have to go Drew.”
“Fingers crossed for tomorrow.”
“Thanks, night; I'll try to ring tomorrow.”
“Night Bern, take care.”
The call disconnected and it was just me and Jules again.
“They got home okay.”
“I can't imagine what she's going through.”
“No.” I agreed.
I slept fitfully, waking sometime before the alarm sounded. The problem with that was that it gave me time to think. By the time I did crawl out of my nest I was a bag of nervousness and indecision and I was no closer to knowing what I was going to do.
“You look awful.” Connie observed when I walked into Thesings.
“Thanks a bunch, you got any pecan twists?”
“You are in a bad way.”
I headed over to our usual table and took the seat I used every school morning.
“Someone didn't sleep well.” Anna opined a couple of minutes later.
“Pecan.” Connie told her depositing said pastry and a tray of coffee on the table.
“So what's up Gabs?” Con pressed.
“Bernie and some other stuff.”
“Ooh this sounds good, what ‘other stuff' might that be?” Anna enquired.
“Erm,” I'd probably said too much already, “just something I need to make a decision about.”
“And there's us here hoping for some goss.” Anna pouted.
“When do you hear how Bernie gets on?” Connie asked.
“This afternoon I guess.”
“What's this afternoon?” Pia joined the conversation having just arrived with the others.
“News from Bernie.” Anna advised.
“I'm sure it will be fine.” Brid offered.
“'course it will.” Nena agreed.
I'm not so sure but we can only wait now. My other problem I could do something about and after all I have made a decision on that issue.
“I've got you the details.” He pressed an envelope into my hand.
“Thanks, about that…”
“Look gotta go, Freddy and Ralf are waiting for me, see ya later.” And with that he was off.
“What was that about?” Steff asked emerging from the ladies.
“Something for his gran I said I'd look at.” I fibbed – well it was sort of true.
“You and the Baron seem to be getting along well these days.” She noted.
“Not mutual attraction then?”
“Eww! No way.”
I stowed the envelope and we headed off to class.
I was probably a bit distracted all day, it was difficult to keep my mind off of Bernie – especially as her desk was sat there unoccupied, my gaze kept heading that way and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who missed her presence.
I went directly home instead of stopping off at Cons and had barely got indoors before the phone was ringing.
“Mrs Rose,” I knew immediately that things had gone awry, “what's happened, where's Bernie?”
“I said I'd ring you, let you know.” She was clearly distraught and my own heart was starting to race.
“Let me know?”
“They've taken my baby away.” She burst into tears and I wasn't far off myself.
Another voice came down the line.
“ Sit down love , Drew?” it was Bern's dad.
“Uh huh, what?”
“I'll not sugar coat it, the Judge was only doing his job, it was the arson charge, it had to be custodial for that, even for a first offence.”
“How long?” I sniffed.
“Six months in a young offenders place, three months with good behaviour.” He was struggling with emotion too.
“But the baby…”
“It would have been longer without her being pregnant, look Drew, get your Dad to give us a call a bit later okay.”
“Er sure, sorry Mr Rose.”
“What are you sorry for, you've been the best friend my daughter could have so don't go blaming yourself, your Dad?”
“sure.” I agreed.
I put the phone down and went into the lounge in a state of shock, collapsing onto the sofa.
“Drew? Spud? What's up? You okay?” Dad's voice broke through my torpor.
“Bernie.” I sniffed.
“Not good news I guess.” Dad sat down next to me and pulled me into a hug.
“Sh, she's gone to prison Dad, why, why would they do that?”
“I dunno kiddo.”
“It's not fair.” I accused.
“Life's not always fair Drew, Bern did some bad things and sometimes you have to pay for your mistakes.”
“But she didn't mean to.”
“She still did them.” Dad pointed out.
“Her dad said for you to ring.”
“After dinner, you gonna be okay?”
“I, I guess so.”
“Well go and get yourself cleaned up and I'll rustle up some food.”
Dad propelled me out of the lounge and I slunk upstairs to my lair.
I showered and not feeling like doing much just pulled my nightshirt over my head. I picked up my school bag and for the first time since this morning, spotted the envelope that Max gave me. Damn, I really ought to ring him to tell him no. still I could see what it was all about, I slipped my nail under the flap and carefully opened the envelope to find a hand written note inside.
Here's the details for the wedding.
Wednesday afternoon drive to Munich
Thursday wedding in afternoon at the Dom, reception in evening
Friday drive home.
We'll be staying at my aunts; she's got loads of space.
If you could come it'd be great but I know its short notice and a bit of an imposition so I understand if you don't want to.
Let me know asap
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 24.04.11 © 2011