Gaby Title.jpg
Part 37
End of Term

Well the barby was great; Mr Lacey actually managed to produce eatable food without choking us all in the process! Baked potatoes, sausages, not just your standard ones either we had a selection including tomato, Lincoln and turkey with ginger, home made burgers, well it was a veritable feast! We all made pigs of ourselves, forcing down strawberry Viennetta(r) ice cream to finish off.

Between eating a game of Twister was in progress and we were having a whale of a time in the evening sunshine. The evening just disappeared and the light was starting to fade when Mrs Lacey called.

"Kids, its half past nine, time to go home"

"Aw mum!" Ally exclaimed

"Come on, its school tomorrow. Pack that away and your dad will drop everyone off."

We reluctantly did as we were bid and barely five minutes later we were saying our farewells while Mr Lacey got his car out of the garage.

"See you tomorrow Al"

"Bye Mad"

"Bye Al"

"Night Drew"

"Ciao" Bernie added

"Bye Bern, oh Drew, hang on a minute"

"Why?" I asked but she was already back in the house. The girls were headed to the car and I hovered unsure of what to do. Ally was soon back though.

"Here, you don't want to leave these, and I would have a job explaining them too!"

She handed me a bag; a quick peek confirmed the contents as my boxers.

"Er thanks"

"I rinsed them out and dried them for you"

"I'll get yours washed tomorrow, I'll bring them over tomorrow"

"Oh don't bother bringing them back Drew, you can keep them"

I was flummoxed.

"I er, thanks I think"

"Come on Drew, get a move on" Maddy shouted from the car.

"Coming, night Ally"

"See you tomorrow Drew"

I joined the others in the car and we were soon all dropped home.

Well it was back to boring old school again; the only light spot for a Monday morning was that the warm weather had encouraged some of the girls into their summer uniforms. I was however not looking forward to assembly.

Mr Wood was in full flow

" seems that nearly all of our sportsmen decided to not bother to compete this weekend."

A round of sniggers hissed around the hall.

"Our cricket teams all lost and the swimming team did no better at Sheffield. However", he cast a look around the room, "one young man did make an effort. Not only did he compete against boys much older than him, he actually beat them. Stand up please Mr Bond"

Don't you just hate that; I was to be today's lesson! I dragged myself to my feet, my classmates and the rest of the hall whispering all the while. As I turned beet red I could hear my friends cheering with "go Drew", "neat one", it did little to calm me!

Drew in school uniform

Wood continued his sermon.

"This ladies and gentleman is an example to you all, Mr Bond here had to use not just brute strength but his head too to take victory."

How on earth did he know all this?

"In fact he showed the finest attributes of a sportsman, dedication, application and thoughtfulness. Most of you know that Drew's mother is a professional cyclist, but his success is his due to his own determination."

If it was possible I blushed even deeper. Mr Wood motioned me to sit and finished his little speech.

"I hope you all will join me in congratulating Drew and take on board what I have said, especially you cricketers"

More laughter echoed round before the Head started a round of applause much to my further embarrassment. I tried to sink into the floor, but to no avail, I hate this!

Well, after assembly I was the butt of a few nasty comments from the school Neanderthal's but the recipient of congratulations too, mostly from girls. I just hoped that this wouldn't happen every time I had some success.

The rest of the day was thankfully pretty normal. One thing wasn't though, Rhod was off sick, which for someone who never got a cold was pretty unusual. I met the girls after school finished to walk to Bernie's for tea.

"Any one know what's up with Rhod?" I asked

"Mum spoke to Mrs Morgan yesterday but she didn't mention him being ill or anything" Maddy stated

"But Rhod's never sick" Ally mentioned

"I hope it's not too serious" Bernie added, "we should ring to find out"

"Or we could go round" Mad suggested

"We should ring first, Mad. I mean what if it's something catching?" I put in

"I guess" she agreed

"We can ring when we get to my place" Bernie stated.

"That was a great barby Al" I changed the subject

"Yeah those burgers were just ace" Mad added

"My dad just burns stuff," Bernie said

"Mum won't let dad near the barbecue" Maddy told us.

"Mine neither" I added

"Yeah but dad insists on cooking every time the sun comes out" Ally moaned.

"Kewl" Maddy suggested.

"Not! You can get fed up of barbecue you know" Ally told us.

"I guess if it's all the time" Mad allowed.

We arrived at the Rose household and we moshed into the living room.

"Lets ring Rhod" Bernie suggested picking up the handset.

She dialled the number and we waited to hear the conversation.

"Hello Mrs Morgan, Its Bernie.... Er the guys and me were wondering if Rhod is OK as he was off school...that's all right.... uh huh...uh huh...right...ok...give him our love... yeah we'll ring tomorrow... bye"

"Well?" Ally queried

"She said it's nothing too serious but Rhod's not well enough for school. She said he was asleep and that we should call again tomorrow."

"Looks like the hols have started early for Rhod then" Ally suggested

"Didn't she say what it was?" I asked Bernie.

"No, but it sounded like a virus of some sort"

"You lot eating with us?" Mrs Rose asked

"Yes mum" Bernie replied

"Wash your hands first"

Mrs Rose is not the Chef that Maddy's mum is but our chicken and pasta was still pretty good! The highlight however was some Ben & Jerry's Phishfood(r), a rare treat.

We spent the rest of the evening listening to music and stuff and all too soon it was time for home.

"Just in time Drew, mums on" Jules greeted me as I got indoors.

"Dad, Drew's here!"

I hurried through to the front room and dad passed me the phone.

"Hi mum"

"Hi Drew, you ready for the weekend?"

"I think so"

"You all packed?"

"Well, er not quite"

"Just like your dad, don't leave it till the last minute."

"No mum"

"Bring your cycling kit, we can go for a ride or two"


"Your dad said you won again"

"Yeah well"

"Your dad says you really used your head"

"Well I remembered that you did something similar and thought it was worth a try"

"I'm really proud of you, the other girls can't believe you ride so well, they're dying to meet you!"


"Oh come on Drew"

"What did you do at the weekend" I asked her

"Another top ten placing and our team looks set to be included in the Tour Feminin"

"Wow, that is just so cool"

"Well there's no guarantee I'll make the team"

"They'd be daft to miss you out mum"

"Well we'll see"

Dad waved at me.

"Dad want's you again mum, bye for now"

"See you Saturday Drew"

I gave dad the phone and went to get ready for bed.

Jules cornered me outside my room

"Drew Bond, what have you been up to?"

"What now?"

"Anything you'd care to tell me?"

"Such as?" I really didn't know where she was going.

"Well for starters why there was a pair of girls knickers in your clothes hamper"

"Oh that"

"Oh that. What do you mean oh that?"

"Well we went swimming up the river yesterday and I forgot my cozzie."


"Well anyway I wore my boxers and afterwards the girls said I should put some thing dry on, and Ally had a spare pair of pants..."

" you borrowed her knickers" she finished for me.


She gave me an appraising look.

"Well if you're gonna wear panties, don't leave them where dad's gonna see them."

"I'm not making a habit of it Jules" I protested

"Yeah" she didn't sound very convinced.

Well in truth, when I thought about it, they were comfy! Thankfully she left it there and I went to bed with mums conversation and panties going through my head!

Tuesday at school was uneventful, well at least I wasn't the school show and tell in assembly! After school I went straight home to get ready for the ten, a quick round of beans on toast and I was ready. The weather was cooler today and a stiff little breeze was blowing in my face as I made my way out to the event.

Word of Saturdays event had gotten round and it was odd listening to peoples comments about 'me' whilst inadvertently (on my part!) they thought I was my sister. Having already given up trying to explain several times before I just nodded and smiled as seemed appropriate.

Even with the downhill start it was hard work on the outward leg but I felt good and I kept my cadence nice and steady rather than flog myself. My patience held out and I reaped the benefit on the return leg as I found myself spinning my top gear round quite comfortably with the wind assist.

I was more than a little surprised when I got to the last bend to see two thirds of my cheer squad waiting to cheer me on. Well I had to make it look good didn't I? I settled into my best 'style' and assumed a look of concentration or so I thought as I passed my now shouting mates.

"Come on Drew!"

"Nearly there Drew!"

I could see the timekeeper now and I really did dig that bit deeper, just managing to gasp out my number. By the time I'd turned round and got back to the 'HQ', Maddy and Bernie were waiting for me.

"What (gulp) are you two doing here?" I managed before taking a long draught from my bottle.

"We thought we'd support the school hero" Bernie advised

"Thanks, but this is only like a training event"

"Yeah we know but we were curios and some of these guys look mighty serious to me" Maddy replied

"Well I guess so, their club uses these for their competitions"

We were interrupted then by the timekeeper.

"Ah there you are Dee, not a best this week I'm afraid, 26.30."

Then addressing Bernie and Mad he continued,

"Quite the little star your friend here girls, look forward to seeing you out again"

"Oh I'm sure we will be" Bernie replied

"Er thanks, see you in a couple of weeks, I'm off to see mum next week"

"Ok then and give your mum our best"

"I will"

He left us to talk to someone else and Maddy couldn't contain herself.

"They think you're a girl here?" she whispered

"Not here Mad, come on I'll tell you on the way back"

I finished getting dressed and we departed. Once we were out of earshot Bernie spoke up.


"It's complicated alright. It all started..."

So I explained how come the misunderstanding regarding my name and gender had occurred at the evening races and how they all thought I was my sister.

"So you see it's not my fault, it's just easier to play along for now"

"Wow Drew, you really know how to get in a fix don't you. I mean you have more aliases than you can shake a stick at." Bernie stated

"How will we know who we are talking to?" Maddy joshed

"Give over girls! I don't like this one bit; I just want to be Drew Bond! Not Gaby Thomas, not Dee Bond, just good ole Drew. Remember him?" I was a bit fed up to say the least.

"Hey calm down Drew" Maddy tried placating me, "you have to admit it can get a bit complicated"

"Look I'm me Drew Bond fullstop. If I need to for the bank or something I'll be Gaby Thomas and Dee really is a misunderstanding"

"Ok Drew" Bernie finished

"Look sorry guys, I didn't mean to go off like that. Fancy some chips? My treat"

"Well if you insist" Bernie agreed

"Why not. Race you there" Maddy pushed off leaving Bernie and I in her wake.

At least I can tell you that Wednesday was really uneventful. No fuss, no race, no mistaken identity and still no Rhod. Thursday was more eventful in as much as Mr Wood called another meeting for the exchange students.

"Ok people, let's keep it quick tonight." He started

We settled down and he resumed speaking.

"Just to keep you all advised, I've agreed a programme with our American friends."

He passed us each a photocopied sheet then continued,

"As you will see we've taken on board your suggestions, the Americans wanted to add some specifics and I added a couple of more 'mutually' beneficial trips. Dates are not set yet but to help with planning can you all let me know when we start next term which you'd each like to go on. Any questions?"

Ally put her hand up.

"Yes Allison?"

"You said before that we could only go on one or two trips a week, how do we know what week anything will be on?"

"Don't worry about that, we can be quite flexible, if you can just decide which you'd like to go on we'll worry about how it works out later. Anyone else?"

There was not a rush to raise hands!

"Ok then, I'll see you for another meeting two weeks today. Now go home!"

We didn't need any second urging. As Jules and I needed to pack tonight we dived straight off after the shortest exchange of farewells.

Friday inevitably dragged. I was just about counting the hours till our departure tomorrow morning. Eventually the final bell went and school was out for a whole week. I walked with the girls most of the way home then after promising to send cards to everyone I ran the last bit home.

Maddy Bell 28.06.03
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