Chapter *8.15*

Third Degree

Well there was no way that Mum was going to cook, Dad doesn't, which leaves me.

"So where are we going to eat?" I hinted.

"We're eating at the Pingers." Dad announced.

"Kewl, I've not seen Kat or Maria for ages."

it really has been quite a while, whilst we live just a few stops down the line apart she has her friends, I have mine plus she is older so we just don't cross socially or even at school as she is at college in Remagen.

"I think Henryck is doing a barbecue." Mum suggested.

"I'll get changed then."

"Tidy please," Dad urged.

"Aren't I always?"

From the look I got I think the answer was no.

I decided on a t shirt and cargo shorts, I was going to wear my trekking sandals but I couldn't find them so I dug out a pair of thong sandals. We must have all been thinking the same as both my rents appeared wearing similar combinations.

"Ready?" Dad enquired.


"Let's go then."

We piled into the Saab and headed down the valley.

"George was talking about a Vito for the junior team." Dad mentioned.

"Instead of the old bus?"

"Well instead of using this as well seems that Mercedes Ò want to promote on the back of the junior squad so there's gonna be more money."


"Promotion?" Mum enquired.

"A few PA's at events they sponsor, that kind of thing, nothings sorted out yet."

"Be careful Dave, the big corps can screw you into a corner if you're not careful."

The drive is only about ten minutes so we were soon drawing up in front of the Pingers place.

"Hi Henryck, hope you've got plenty on that grill, I'm ready for a blow out!" Mum grinned.

"I don't know where you put it Jen." Maria put in.

"You're one to talk Mrs two steaks."

"They were only little."

"That's your story."

"Where's Kat?" I asked, not seeing her about.

"Late session at college, she'll be here about seven." Mr P advised.

"So was the twin thing intentional Jen?" Maria asked.

"Eh?" Mum's as bad as me sometimes.

"Shorts, T, sandals?" Maria explained.

Mum took a second to catch on, "you know I never noticed."

I guess my attempt to look more Drew has failed if I've ended up looking like my mother.



Talk about a pair of air heads – well not really I don't think, leastways Kat isn't but I do wonder about me sometimes.

“I'm glad you're here now.” I went on.


“Yeah, we can eat now, I'm starving.”

“Why you little minx!”

This of course escalated into me being chased around the garden for a couple of minutes before I lost a sandal and in stopping to retrieve it was overtaking and bear hugged by Kat.


“Are you two coming to eat?” Maria enquired from the patio.

“Coming.” Kat sang in reply.

“So, a little bird tells me you were being fitted for a ball gown.” Kat mentioned after we'd taken our fill of fried chicken, frikadel, potato salad etc and retired to the garden swing seat.


“Don't um me girl, my sources are impeccable and you were seen carrying ‘ Eloise Couture' bags when you got picked up.

“Who's the snitch?” I demanded.

“Keep your knickers on, it was Lori.”

I sighed in relief.

“It's a secret, please don't tell anyone else.”

“What's it worth?”

“Please Kat; I'll never live it down.”

“You've never been nominated for the Miss Eifel competition?”

“No – well not as far as I know, Shitza no one could do that without me knowing could they?”

“Well you ended up as the Weinkönigin.” She pointed out.


“So come on then, what's the frock for?”

“You won't tell anyone?”

“Like who?”


“Come on, spill Gaby Bond.”

“Alright then, I've been invited to a wedding this week.”

“It wasn't a bridesmaid dress was it?”

“No, do you want to hear this or what?”

She made a lip buttoning motion so I carried on.

“You know the von Strechau's up at Rech?”

“Not personally but we've been to the restaurant.”

“Well Max, that is Maximillian von Strechau is in my class at school and he kinda invited me to his cousins wedding.”

“So why the dress?”

“I'm coming to that. Do you read Stern© at all?”

“Have been known to,” She hedged, “why?”

“I wish I had, I wouldn't be in this mess otherwise.”

“What mess?”

“There's a big wedding in Munich.”

“The Habsburg Saxe Coburg one,” the penny clearly dropped, “oh my god you're going to Munich!”

“By the time I found out it wasn't the Munich Rathaus I'd already agreed to go.”

“There are people who would kill to go to that.”

“Well I'm not amongst them.” I lamented.

“So why the meringue?”

“I get to sit in the Dom and go to the evening ball.”

“Well at least you can dance.”

“I hardly think gardtanz would be suitable and besides I have to wear a corset to get into the dress.”

“Lori said you looked a bit stiff.”

“I wore the corset home, now please Kat, don't tell anyone else.”

“What about Lori?”

“Make something up, please?”

“I guess I could – but you have to promise to tell me all the society gossip when you get back.”

“I doubt that any of the toffs will even speak to me.”

“If you say so.” Kat didn't sound convinced. “Oo, come on I've got a new top that I've got to show you, saw it in H&M® and couldn't resist.”

And so I spent the rest of the evening up in Kats boudoir trying on half her wardrobe – not that I wanted to but the wedding was hanging over my head like Madam Guillotine.

We got home about ten thirty.

“Stick the kettle on Dave love.”

“Tea? Coffee?”

“Tea please, Maria just can't mash it properly.”


“Not for me, I'm going to bed.”

“Oh no young lady, you're not escaping that easily, you and me are going to have a little chat.” Mum instructed.

“Coffee please Dad.” I sighed.

“Sit,” Mum instructed and waited until I was seated before going on, “when you're Dad told me about the wedding I have to admit I was quite surprised that you agreed to go.”

“I thought it'd be a good skive off school.” I admitted.

“School's that bad you don't want to go?”

“Not really, its just, well school and when Max said it'd mean three days off, official like, well it sounded like a bit of a laugh.”

“Here you go, one tea, one coffee and I'll be in the office.” Dad advised depositing our beverages.

“Thanks Dave.”

She waited until he'd gone before going on again.

“So what about when you found out it was more than just a ‘bit of a laugh'? You could have cancelled.”

“But Max's Gran would have been upset and it would of like been pretty selfish after I'd said I'd go, to stand Max up.”

They never prepare you for stuff like this; I never thought I'd be having this conversation with my son. Jenny mused to herself.

“So you like this Max lad?”

“He's a sort of mate.”

“You don't normally invite ‘mates' to society weddings.”

“You don't think he fancies me do you?”

“Does he? What do you think?”

“I'm not interested in stuff like that, that is just so gay!”

“Look Drew, I know we joke about a bit in the family and if anything we've encouraged you to be Gaby it doesn't mean that we don't want Drew. If you really didn't want to be my second daughter you could and I'm sure would have kicked up a bit more fuss.”


“Let me finish kiddo. We know you have some serious medical issues, the medication you are on is only stabilising things, some time soon things will have to be sorted out. Now to most of the outside world, and here in Dernau that's practically everyone, you are a talented, maybe even precocious bike rider and good egg but a girl. Like the old saying goes, if it looks like a duck,”

I joined in, “quakes like a duck, it probably is a duck.”

“And you I'm afraid certainly tick the first two boxes even if the third isn't necessarily the right conclusion.”

“I guess.” I admitted.

“And Max, well he's a young lad, you look like a very pretty young girl and I think in his shoes I'd fancy you rotten.”

“Mu-um that's gross.”

“No its not, its laying cards on the table. The fact you've agreed to go to this is very important to him and his family, function as his ‘girlfriend' will give him so many brownie points in his and their eyes…”

“I'm in doo doo aren't I?”

“I've had this sort of conversation with your sister and I'll say the same to you, if you really feel something for the lad that's okay, be careful and we, that's me and your Dad will support you. Otherwise don't lead the poor sod on, you wouldn't like it and it's not nice. Can you do that?”

to be continued....

Maddy Bell 18.05.11 © 2011

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