"I guess if no news is good news, it's good news."
"So she's still in a coma?"
"Uh huh, I feel so useless."
"Dad suggested doing some sort of tape, you know talk to her like."
"That's a brilliant idea." Mad's mood perked up some.
"Can you burn a disk if I send you over a file?"
"Yeah of course , Drew, I'll get the others to record something here too."
"'Kay, I'll try to get it over tonight then. You heard anything from Rhod?"
"Not for a while."
"I'm sure he said he'd be back at WC before the summer hols."
"Maybe I can drop in and ask Sylv."
"Yeah, I hope he hasn't run off again."
"What happened, Drew? What happened to the 'gang'?"
"Dunno, Mad, we haven't changed have we? I mean Bern is still Bern, you an' me, we're just the same."
"No, Drew, maybe you haven't changed but the rest of us have to varying degrees, look how we treated Bernie, we were right bitches, it took you to open our eyes. Rhod doesn't know what he wants to be, I mean, who will come back to school? Ali hasn't been the same since Grottoes, I mean she was always a bit of a wall flower but lately it's an effort to get her to even go shopping!"
"People change I guess."
How did the gang end up like this? Back when we started at Warsop College we were like pretty much inseparable, so okay I sometimes did stuff with Paul and Clive, the others had other friends too. However if there was mischief to be got up to it was always the three girls, Rhod and me. We did so much together it hardly seems possible we've come to this.
I suppose I've not noticed so the changes so much what with the move to points foreign and my new circle of friends both at school and within Apollinaris. Maybe I have changed and I've just not realised.
“You still there , Drew?”
“You went very quiet.” Mad noted.
“You, me, the guys.”
“Don't do too much thinking or you'll faint!”
“You cheeky moo!” I riposted.
“Damn, I've got homework to do.”
“Tell me about it.” I agreed.
“There's an essay for history and two pages of algebra.”
“I didn't actually want to know the details , Mad.” I moaned.
“So why did you, oh sugar.”
“Gott, anyone would think you were blonde.”
“I am and so are you, Drew Bond.” She pointed out.
“Any news?” Dad asked as I slumped onto the sofa.
“I'm sure she'll be alright.”
I wasn't sure if Dad meant Helen or Mad.
“Your mother's home tomorrow, you coming to the Schloss for dinner?” he went on.
He didn't push it and nor did he complain when I flicked the telly onto a Tatort repeat on RTE.
“Any news?” Connie enquired.
“She's still in the coma.”
“Mum said they do that to make it easier to carry out procedures.” Anna supplied.
“You are still going to Köln next week?” Steff asked, “ It's okay if you don't want to.”
“The RPG con?” Anna offered.
“Right, yeah I guess so.” I replied without enthusiasm.
“You decided on a costume?” Con asked.
“Not really, maybe recycle something in my closet?”
“Since when have you just reused anything , Gaby Bond?” Pia mentioned.
Well I had got something in mind before this thing with Helen.
“Well I was going to do something from Kamikaze Girls , dunno if I've got time now.”
“I'm going as Harumi.” Steff told us.
“But which outfit ? The school uniform is soo over used.” Anna put in.
“You should do the bunny girl.” Brid suggested.
“I am not walking around in a leotard all day.”
“How about the baseball kit?”
“Good idea , Gab's.”
“You'll be getting blondes a bad name if you keep on like that , Gab.” Connie grinned.
I blew a raspberry by way of reply.
“Who's coming up to mine tonight?” Pia asked.
“Count me in.” Nena beamed.
“Me too.” Brid added.
“How about you , Gabs?”
“Mum's home today so we're going to the Strechau's for dinner.”
“Ooh, posh frock alert!” Steff giggled.
“Have to impress the in-laws , Gab.” Brid opined.
“Will you give over, I told you I'm not interested.”
“Not exactly mutual from what I've seen.” Pia stated.
“And what's that supposed to mean?”
“Gott Bond, you blind or what, he's like well smitten.” Nena replied.
The peanut gallery all confirmed the diagnosis.
“Look I am so not interested in Max.”
“If you say so, your highness.” Anna grinned.
“I do, and can we stop with the princess stuff?”
“Spoil sport.” Con moaned.
Thursday night's training was an hour on the turbo doing a Co2max test, I was well knackered by the time I staggered back into the house.
“Your Aunt Carol rang, they're bringing Helen out of the coma tomorrow.”
“But I haven't done the tape yet.”
“I'm sure she'll appreciate it even more if she's awake to listen to it.” Dad noted.
“Shower, you need to shake a leg if you're coming – and no jeans.”
“You've got a wardrobe of other stuff and if I'm paying Strechau's prices you can at least make some effort.”
I suppose he has a point.
“Yes Dad.” I allowed.
He might have a point but I have a wardrobe of dresses and not ‘smart casual' male attire. I pulled some trousers out but they were all girls cut and wouldn't work for Drew – bum, bum, bum. I really must buy some guy stuff now I'm free of the Weinkönigin stuff. After far too long I made a decision, I just hope it meets the ‘rents dress code for the evening.
Mum wolf whistled and Dad's eyes were out on stalks.
“ It's not too much?”
“You look lovely, Gabs.” Mum grinned holding me at arms length to look at my attire.
“When you two ladies are done?” Dad hinted.
“Sorry luv, you got a coat or something , Gab?”
I waved my cardigan.
“ Let's go then.”
I regretted wearing the heels as soon as I got out of the car, the cobbles at the schloss are not exactly stiletto compatible and I nearly twisted an ankle twice before we got into the restaurant.
“Dave!” von Strechau senior was effusive in his greeting. “And two lovely ladies tonight, Jenny,” he air kissed Mum, “and the Ahrtal's resident beauty.” I got the air-kissing bit too.
“Evening Wilhelm, sorry we're a bit late.” Dad apologised.
“No problem.” Our host led us to a table off to one side and helped seat Mum and I. “I'll send Max over for your drinks order.”
Max. What was it Nena said, ‘he's well smitten'. What does that mean, is that like Clive at that disco back in Warsop? No that was drunk, I'm sure Max is just being friendly, the girls always read more into stuff than is really there.
Max's voice jolted me from my thoughts.
“Er sorry Herr Bond, Frau Bond,” he apologised to my parents, ” it's just that it's always a surprise to see Gabs all gussied up.”
“Max!” I hissed.
“So um — would you like aperitifs?”
Geez, he's such a doofus.
“A carafe of house white please Max.” Dad stated.
“Coming right up.”
“Wine?” I enquired.
“Well it is your Mum's birthday!”
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 22.09.11 © 2011