I managed to repeat my earlier travelling snooze on the ride back to Warsop waking as we pulled into Mad's road.
“Geez, Drew, you fall asleep every time you get in a car,” Mad complained.
“I don't,” I huffed.
“Girls,” Mrs. J interrupted the brewing argument.
She pulled up outside the Peters' where everyone had to get out just so me and Mad could – note to self, never get a two door car .
“Thanks for taking us Mrs.Joyce.”
“That's alright Drew; it's nice to see you again.”
“You going to c heer practice tomorrow, Mad?” Ally enquired.
“Yeah I guess.”
“See you there then,” She added as she climbed back in the car.
“Nite Hel, Mrs. J, nite Al, ” I called out as our chauffeuse set off.
“Good day , kids?” Aunt Carol enquired.
“Okay I guess,” Mad allowed, “you owe me five pounds sixty.”
“I love you too. You okay, Drew?”
Other than being duped into a dress twice in two days.
“Buy anything nice?” she asked seeing the bag I was gripping.
I can hardly show her the dress can I?
“We got a party frock for Jules' birthday,” Mad put in.
“Nothing too risqué I hope, Madeline?”
“No Mum,” My cousin sighed, “Gabs is gonna do Cuckney tomorrow.”
“Is that wise, Drew?”
“It's only a ten; it'll save me going out in the morning.”
“I'd best check with your dad; I hadn't noticed how much you've grown.”
Mad was trying hard not to giggle.
“Up top?” Aunt C pressed.
Up top, up top? My eyes dropped to my chest, oh sugar; I still have the padded monstrosity on .
“It's just a bra Aunty; I'm nowhere near this big really.”
“I won't ask how they got you into it.”
Mad was frantically motioning for me to not enlarge on that bit of the day.
“You know us girls?” I offered.
As we'd already eaten, once I'd divested myself of the chest enhancement, I got permission to use the Peters ' computer to catch up on my emails and so on. Of course it was the usual stuff, messages from the Angels, one from Mum a bit of spam, hang on what's this, firstname.lastname@example.org? Looks a bit dodgy but the title looked intriguing - 'home Thursday'.
I clicked to open it;
Guess what, I get out on Thursday!
I bet you're surprised to get an email from me, as you can see by the address it's through the centre and of course someone checks the content before it's sent. They've only started doing it today.
Are you in the UK yet?
See you soon
Wow, I'll have to ring her mum and dig out her present. Better reply now, I guess she'll be able to pick it up before Thursday.
That's brilliant news; I'm in Warsop now so hopefully I'll see you Thursday or before I go to Manchester at the weekend anyhow.
That should do, I hit send with a smile. Bernie home, the baby must be almost due as well, guess I won't be around for that though.
I went through the other messages, now I'd got some real news to report. I dropped Mart a line too with the email address - I'm sure he'll want to write. That done I shut the machine down and went to give the news to Aunt C.
"That's great news Drew," Aunt Carol agreed.
"So I should be able to see her before I go to Manchester."
"You two got quite close when she stayed in Dernau, didn't you?"
"I guess, but she made loads of friends at school too, she was as much an Angel as anyone."
Oops . Now I'll have to explain that.
"It's just like a nickname some of the kids use at school for me and the girls."
"Makes you sound like a gang."
"Well I suppose we are in a way, we usually do stuff together after all."
"As long as you don't go around terrorising people."
“Well, look what happened with Bernie.”
“Yeah but…” I ran out of steam as I realised the truth behind her statement, “I guess we might terrorise some of the shop assistants.”
“Mum, Drew, guess what?” Mad enthused as she bounded into the room.
“The moon really is made of green cheese?”
“What?” Mad had to think for a moment, “No, Bernie is getting out of prison.”
“Youth detention,” I corrected.
“We know Mad, she emailed Drew, too.”
The wind sucked from her sails, Mad's rampant enthusiasm subsided.
My internal clock had me awake at six again the following morning but as I wasn't out on the bike I managed to stay attached to my mattress until after Uncle John had left. Aunt C was in the kitchen however when I slunk downstairs.
“Your washing's on the side, take it up when you go.”
“Sure, it seems a bit odd.”
“Clean clothes without me doing it all.” I supplied whilst helping myself to a cup of tea from the never empty pot.
“You do all the washing?”
“Usually, with Mum away and Jules hardly ever at home it's that or no clean knickers.”
“What about your Dad? I'm sure he could do some.”
“Not likely,” I retorted, “Last time he ruined three of my best bras.”
That raised a chuckle from Aunt C, “Sounds like my John.”
The clatter of feet on the stairs announced my cousin's arrival at a surprisingly early hour.
“Morning yourself, you're up early,” I noted .
“Cheer practice at ten.”
To be honest I'm surprised that she still does it, I mean; she got enthusiastic about racing for about two months before she lost interest . My reasons for stopping weren't so much about doing it but other stuff, maybe when I get home and the Alles Stern team gets going I'll get all enthusiastic again. I missed what Mad was saying.
“I said that you should come too ,” Mad repeated.
“Geez Gab, cheer practice.”
“Dunno about that.”
“It'd give you something to do Drew,” Aunt C opined.
“I'm sure Miss C would be pleased to see you.”
“I saw her at New Year.”
“Doesn't mean you can't see her again, you know, it's July now after all.”
To be truthful I hadn't really thought what I would do today. I could go for a bike ride but if I'm gonna do Cuckney this evening. Cuckney!
“Did you talk to Dad last night? About Cuckney?”
“I did, sorry I forgot to tell you, he said it's okay but remember to breathe, whatever that means.”
“Cool.” I do know what he means; I have a tendency to forget to breathe properly when I'm trying hard.
“So you coming this morning?” Mad pressed.
“Whilst I think about it , Drew, I'll get the stuff for your schnitzel later, what do you have with it?”
“Pretty much anything, I like rotkohl and mash but I guess erbsen and karotten would be okay.”
“You'll have to translate for us monolinguists.”
“Eh? Oh right, red cabbage, that's rotkohl but otherwise maybe peas and carrots.”
I had hoped she'd forget about that.
It was sunny but not overly warm, a stiff northerly wind doing its best to keep temperatures down but nevertheless I opted for shorts although I wimped by pulling a fleece on over my T. Mad had gone for the whole dance look that some of the Garde wear, loose bottoms over a ‘tard and several layers on top. We walked down past the former Bond acres; the Joyce's weren't in evidence although the car was on the drive.
It's not far along to the river – or along to the sports centre next to the college which is where the Foresters would be practicing over the summer. Arriving at about ten to I spotted a couple of half familiar faces amongst the animated throng but you know what it's like, the awkwardness of being outside of the group – I had it in spades .
“Come on , girls, times a-wasting,” the familiar tones of Fran Cowlishaw rang out over the car park.
“Oh hi Mad , ” A tall brunette turned and replied.
“You haven't met my cousin have you; she was on the squad when we first started.”
It was like she only then noticed me.
“The one from Germany?”
Not all blondes are blonde .
“Not from but she lives there now,” Mad explained, “Gab, this is Chrissie our captain, Chrissie , this is my cousin, Gaby Bond.”
“Hi Gaby, do you cheer, I hope we can be friends . ”
Oh boy, what a complete airhead .
“Hi,” Was all I managed before something else caught her attention.
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 16.05.12