It really isn't that far back to the Peters place from Bern's and given the attack on Helen not so long ago it probably wouldn't be the wisest thing to walk, by myself, at silly o'clock in the morning. Besides my current garb is not exactly warm and there was a distinct cold draught when Julie left a few minutes ago.
“Come on young er lady.” Mr Rose encouraged me out to his car.
I'd already made my farewells to the rest of his newly enlarged household so I willingly trotted along behind him. The central locking of his mini Jag beeped to let us aboard, I was quite happy to get inside out of the ‘fresh' air even if the car wasn't itself much warmer. I buckled up and after turning round we headed towards Church Warsop.
“Thanks for being with Bern tonight.”
“It was pure luck.” I noted.
“Luck or not lass, its appreciated by all three, make that four of us.”
I'm gonna have to get the blush switch fixed; I'm just glad the inside of the Jag was dark. Literally moments later we were pulling up at my temporary abode.
“Thanks for the lift Mr Rose.”
“You're welcome er Gaby, your welcome.”
“Well thanks anyway, tell Bern I'll be ‘round tomorrow.”
“It already is tomorrow, I'll tell her, not too early mind now get on with you.”
Mr R turned his car around then waited until the front door opened to admit me before departing.
“I wasn't sure what time you'd be back, if at all,” Aunt C advised, “I take it the baby's arrived.”
“Er yeah, sorry I didn't ring, I left my handy here.”
“Handy? Oh your mobile. You're alright Cheryl rang.”
I stifled a yawn.
“Girl, Andrea Mary, seven pounds five ounces, mother and baby doing well.” I supplied.
“So what did you think of childbirth?”
“Easy – providing its someone else doing the screaming.”
Aunt C chuckled, “come on you, up to bed, I'm sure tomorrow is going to be a busy one."
I didn't need a second invitation, no sooner did my head hit the pillow than I was asleep.
Next morning, even though I was late, well seven thirty, in getting up, as it was dry I thought I'd best get in a quick ride. It was never going to be more than an hour so I headed out through the Vale towards Fanny's Grove, the flat ride allowing me to warm up before hitting the Worksop road. Up, down, up a bit more then a fastish thrash down to the bypass.
I snuck a left just before the roundabout that took me over the ‘new' road and into Worksop town centre. I had to negotiate the rush hour traffic but it's not exactly super busy so I was soon heading back out on the Mansfield road. Over the bypass, I tagged a bus to get over the roundabout, and then along through Gateford to reach the stupidabout where the Sheffield road goes off, it is of course the ten turn too.
Using the ski ramp descent to up my speed I gave the ride back towards Cuckney all I'd got, only easing up when I reached the bottom crossroads. Hmm, twenty to nine, best not take the long way. I dropped down a couple of gears and used the climb along past the ten start as a cool down before dropping back into Church Warsop. It was only ten minutes from Cuckney that I ran my steed up the Peters drive.
“You still up for making your German thing for tea?” Aunt C asked when I hit the kitchen after my shower. “I've got everything you said you'd need.”
Bum, I thought she'd forgotten about that.
“I was thinking of inviting the Rose's, what do you think?”
“That'd be cool, Bern likes schnitzel.”
“Okay I'll ring Cheryl in a mo.”
“Where's Mad? I thought she'd want to know all about last night.”
“Maddy? Babies? I don't think they have ever been closely related.” She chortled, “she said she had to see Helen.”
So okay I wanted to brag a bit, my flate was un'd and I wasn't quite sure what to do with this latest bit of news.
“How come you're wearing that?” ‘That' being the playsuit I borrowed last night.
“I haven't got anything else really that's clean and not bike kit.”
“What happened to your jeans?”
“They ended up with ectoplasm all down them, Bern's mum was gonna wash them.”
“You know like um baby birth gunk?”
Carol didn't want to know how that came about. Like a good many mothers she'd received her bundle of joy after it had been somewhat sanitised and the midwife had taken care of the messy stuff.
“Get yourself some tea, I'm sure that daughter of mine wont be long, and I'll ring Cheryl.”
The tea was a bit stewed but it was wet, it seems a bit odd not to be offered coffee at every turn like back home but I do like a cuppa.
Mad turned up fifteen minutes later with Helen in tow.
“Morning Hel, Mad.”
“I rang the others, we're gonna meet in town and go and see the new arrival.” Mad told me.
“So what was it like?” Hel enthused.
How can you answer that?
“Lets just say I don't want a repeat any time soon.”
“To think, you helped to bring a new little person into the world, that's so cool.”
“I held Bern's hand Hel.”
“Well I'm never having kids.” Mad stated.
“Never say never,” Helen sighed, “I'd like one of each I think, what about you Gab?”
“I'm with Maddy on this one.”
“But what about if you find Mr Right wouldn't you want kids then?”
“Hello? Drew here, I am so not looking for Mr Right or Mr anything for that matter.”
“What about Max?”
“What about him?”
“Geez girl, you've got like a proper hunk and you're not doing anything about it.” Hel opined.
“He's a friend.”
“A friend that takes you to society weddings.” Mad teased.
“You lot going out?” Aunt C encouraged.
“Can I borrow some jeans Mad?”
“If you like, that pattern suits you you know.”
We eventually left to meet Ally and Em just after ten, the sun was having a valiant attempt to push its way through the clouds and rather than jeans I ended up in a pair of cargo shorts. The others were waiting outside of the newsagents, Em once again looking girlier than the girls amongst us.
“We should get a present for the baby.” Em enthused.
“The girls in Germany sent a bear.” I volunteered.
“We can see what they have in the baby shop.” Ally suggested.
Warsop might not be the biggest town on the planet but it does manage to support ‘Baby Plus', a one-stop baby shop next to the kebab shop just past the zebra crossing on Mansfield road. The five of us trooped along to the maternity store and after a quick perusal of the window headed inside.
“Morning girls.” A woman at the back of the counter greeted.
“Looking for anything in particular?”
Perhaps I should mention that whilst back in Dernau Bernie, an unmarried teen mother stood out as a rare sight, here in Robin Hood land, teen mums are almost the norm. No work, no prospects, having a baby is often seen as a way of getting ahead with housing and handouts freely supplied with no expectations in return. So a bunch of teens in the baby shop would hardly be a rarity.
“A present.” Mad offered.
“Our friends just had a baby.” Ally almost needlessly added, I mean why else would we have picked a baby shop?
“Boy or girl?” the woman enquired.
“A girl.” I supplied.
“So what are you looking for; toys, clothes, I do gift vouchers too.” She offered.
“Some sort of toy?” Helen suggested.
“You have to be careful with newborns, how about a teddy?”
“Already done.” Ally stated.
“Hmm, cuts the options a bit, a mobile?”
“Mobile what?” Em asked.
“E-em! One of those twirly things.” Maddy explained.
“Sounds a good idea.” I opined.
We left fifteen minutes later having put to for a musical mobile and a twenty-pound voucher. The walk along to Bern's place didn't take long and this time when I knocked on the door it was answered in short order.
“Hi Gaby, girls, come on in.” Mrs R instructed.
“We er just thought we'd come to see Bern and the baby?” Helen told her.
“Well I didn't think you had come to see me, they're in the lounge, anyone want a drink?”
“Yes please.” Em replied for us.
I pushed open the door, “hi Bern…”
“Shush! She's only just dropped off.” Bernie whispered.
“We just came to see how you and Andrea were getting on.”
“Ooo isn't she cute?” Em stated.
“She's so tiny.” Helen noted.
I sat next to Bern out of the way and was surprised to find the tiny bundle thrust into my arms.
“There you go Drea, aunty Gabs is here now, mummy needs a rest and a pee.”
“She likes you Gab.” Mad grinned.
I couldn't take my eyes off of the little mite, what is it about babies that makes otherwise sane individuals go completely daft? Bern slipped out, I presume to attend to her own needs leaving me in charge of the baby. Oh my god, what do I do?
For her part Andrea just snuggled into me, chewing her lips, occasionally giving me a little chuckle.
“Phew, that's better, the little tarts been sucking my tit for like an hour.” Bern advised us.
We didn't actually stay that long beyond presenting our gifts and drinking our tea. Bern is so far removed from the rest of us by experience it's difficult to find common topics of conversation. I'm not sure where that leaves our friendship, will she want more ‘adult' company than us with our petty squabbles and playing. I feel that I at least have a special relationship but where it leaves the others I've no idea.
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 11.06.12