book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 49

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself on Friday. I mean, I got grounded and it wasn't even my idea. Well I suppose I could have, well should have stood my ground over going to Anna's party. In the end I suppose it was my fault, I shouldn't have given in to everyone's haranguing. Now instead of ending the whole dressing thing I was in the middle of an incident! What was even worse was that I don't remember half the night as I was in an alcoholic stupor.

"Hey Drew!" it was Anna calling me, I pretended not to hear her

"Drew, don't be like that, I want to apologise"

"Why? You got what you wanted and made an idiot out of me!" I fumed back

"Look Jules told me about your Dad grounding you and that, I really am sorry" and to be fair she did sound it.

"It wouldn't be so bad if I could remember half of it" I told her

"Oh boy! You really were out of it weren't you?" she replied

"Look I accept your apology, but I'm still grounded and just for peace of mind I'd like to know what I did or didn't do!"

"Ok, look I've got to get to class now but meet me by the science block at lunchtime and I'll tell you"

"Thanks Anna"

How can you stay angry with someone with hair that colour? I can still barely keep a straight face when I see her.

I tried to concentrate on my work for the rest of the morning but my need to find out about Wednesday was weighing heavily on my mind. Eventually the lunch bell sounded and I joined the mass exodus to eat. I found Anna waiting for me.

"How come you didn't ask Juliette?" Anna started

"She's not talking to me, she blames me for getting her grounded!"

"That's not on Drew" Anna agreed

"So what did I do?" I asked as we found a quiet corner to talk and eat.

"Well what do you remember?" she queried

"Obviously going to the 'Miners' and the chip shop. But not much after that until I woke up."

"Boy! You really did go! Okay do you remember putting on Mum's minidress?"

My blank look must have been enough reply.

"Well we pulled straws for forfeits, you got off lightly really."

"Why? what did everyone else have to do?"

I could see her contemplating whether to tell me.

"I guess I can tell you. Well Kazza had to shave her pubes, we pierced Kirsty's nose, Jules had to run down to the main road naked." I giggled, "Sonia had to drink three shorts in a minute, you got to dress like my mum when she goes clubbing, Charlie lost her eyebrows to my razor and I had to wear a nappy all night!" she finished.

"Who thought all those up?" I asked

"Well we each came up with one, Jules put in an extra one for you"

"I guess it could have been a lot worse than a dress" I allowed, "what happened after that?"

"Well we sat drinking cider and playing Cd's until about two then we went to bed"

"I didn't do anything embarrassing then?" I asked

"Well some of your dancing was seriously bad, but apart from that no. You want that tomato?"

"Here," I passed her the fruit, "at least I'll be able to look everyone in the eye"

"Yeah well apart from Kirsty, it was 'your' suggestion that got her nose pierced, her mum went ballistic too"

I felt sort of responsible.

"Tell her sorry, but at least she could take that out, I can't get this ring that Sylv put in out" I indicated the hoop in the top of my ear.

"You need special pliers, why don't you go and ask her to take it out?"

"I can't, I'm grounded remember?"

"Oh yeah. Well anyway I've got to go, see you later"

"I guess" I replied half heartedly to her departing back.

"Drew, get yourself down here!" Dad shouted me

With little enthusiasm I joined him in the living room.


Well you don't argue with Dave Bond when he's in this mood. I sat.

"Right young man, I've spoken to Anna's parents, they didn't know you had all been to the pub and I reckon just about now Anna will be getting a talking to. I spoke to your mother earlier and she is not amused either, she was all for flying home straight away but I convinced her that we could sort this out without her doing that. However she thinks I should punish you more"

I cringed in my seat

"Yes dad" no point in arguing

"I on the other hand think that you are being punished enough. I saw the look of fear on your face the other night and I know that it would have been very difficult for you to not go along, especially dressed as you were. Just so you know, Mum wanted to stop you racing as well."

"Thanks Dad. What about Jules?"

"Jules punishment stands but I doubt your Mum will let it lie. Now you had better go do that homework, we have to leave early tomorrow to get to your race"

"Yes Dad"

"Oh you'd better have this back too, but don't tell your sister"

I gratefully received my phone back

"Thanks Dad"

Being grounded for Juliette meant having to come down to Oxford with Dad and me, so she was in a right mood. Dad decided that we would stay down overnight so we were in the camper this morning, me in front with Dad and Jules in the back. The drive down was boring, motorway down to Northampton then across to Oxford, the race was actually at Didcot another dozen or so miles on.

This event was pretty unusual, the venue was the power station and the circuit uses the perimeter road. I was not in the best of humour, today but after coming all this way I had to give my best. We had plenty of time so I decided to polish my bike.


"What sis?"

"Look I'm sorry about Anna's right"

"Well I suppose it could have been worse, Anna told me about the other forfeits yesterday"

"You won't tell dad will you?" she had real fear in her voice

"I wasn't planning on it"

"Please don't, it was bad enough doing it, let alone half the town knowing" she pleaded

"Alright, I won't tell"


After clearing that up, jules became more animated and even helped with my bike.

"The race is thirty minutes plus five laps" the commissar told us, "lapped riders will be pulled out at the judges discretion. The bell will ring the lap before the sprints that will be on laps 6 and 12. The first lap is neutral then the race will start the first time you cross the line. Everyone ok with that?"

We all nodded. Much like I had been in Sheffield the other week I was in a race of 13 and 14 year olds, and some of these looked a bit handy. On the other hand I was the wild card for them too; none of them had met me in a race before so I could at least re-use tactics. We were waved off on the neutral lap and I started to assess my opposition. The circuit was flat all bar a trip over a railway bridge and basically had four corners with long straights in between. There was a chicane on the back straight and the bridge was on the second straight. Even on this first lap when there was supposed to be no racing, a pecking order was quickly appearing. I kept up near the front but it was clear that despite a good thirty rider field only about ten would be in contention, including me I hoped!

The flag dropped and straight away a couple of energetic types made a doomed attempt at escape. I maintained my position whilst avoiding showing any great talent, it was clear when we approached the chicane that the locals were going to try to give me a hard time. There was a bit of barging through the corners and I lost a couple of places, well two can play dirty! I regained my lost places during the next lap and this time I was ready for them, cutting inside when they were looking the other way for me.

I managed to keep out of trouble for the next couple of laps then the bell went for a 'prime' (sprint). I could see that a couple of lads were planning something, they were so obvious checking everyone out. When they went just after the chicane, what dozzey's, I clicked straight on the back. The two locals kept looking behind and as they eased before the last bend I took my chance around the outside, hugging the outside kerb along the straight. They wasted time crossing over to me and just got my wheel as I crossed the line. Drew 1 - Oxonians 0!

I sat up to recover and a quick glance confirmed that a core of about a dozen riders were just yards behind. Bide your time Drew. There was some muttering in the bunch and on lap seven they tried to take me out at the chicane again. I could tell something was afoot, I was well boxed but I was on the kerb side which gave me a potential escape route. I realised the plan just in time as they all braked harder than usual into the second corner of the chicane. I could brake hard in the corner and probably crash or do what I did. I heaved up and to the left and just managed to get my wheels on to the pavement, my back tyre skidding slightly on the kerb edge. My momentum barely slowed and I passed the now almost stopped posse who were still waiting for the crash. This means war!

I bunny hopped back onto the road and decided to get my revenge before the race was over. The next few laps whittled the field down, we lapped about ten back markers and I formulated a plan. By my computer clock the half-hour would be up about lap ten so that meant only three laps after the next sprint to the finish. I kept out of trouble making sure I had plenty of space on the corners, another attempt to unseat me was still on the cards.

Ding! Ding! Ding! I was right! Well here goes nothing, I sprinted hard out of turn 1 and over the bridge, I risked a glance behind and the Oxford Mafia were hard on my wheel. I kept the pace up, low over the bars, through two and there was the chicane! I could hear them behind me as we went into the first half, I kept my speed up then did an almost suicidal down change as I braked hard into the exit corner. My pursuers realised too late how much I had slowed and as I used my low gears to sprint away I heard the cacophony which marks a crash! I glanced back briefly to see the second little bunch passing the fallen and tangled Mafiosi, my plan was working! Drew 2 - Oxfordians 0

I could see a back marker in front and by the time I crossed the 'prime' (pronounced preem) line I was sure I would catch him on the bridge. Another glance behind revealed that I know had most of the finishing straight as a lead, this might just work! I caught the back marker just before the brow of the bridge and stayed on his wheel down the other side.

"Can you do bit and bit" I huffed to what I was surprised to find was a girl.

"Yeah" she replied

"Well I'll keep you unlapped, if you can help me a bit" I offered

"Ok. I'll try"

So we started doing bit and bit, I took longer turns but her short goes on front just let me rest enough. When we went through the chicane there were still a couple of lads trying to get their bikes going again, too late now! I kept my word, dropping a good ten metres back before we crossed the line then rejoining my helper before the bridge. For a girl she was riding really well, I don't mean that how it sounds, but she was taking it seriously unlike most girls I race against. By now we had nearly caught another two back markers, I checked behind for pursuers but they were now all riding for themselves and as a result not making much headway.

We caught the next pair through the chicane and put them between me and the bunch, very useful! I let my helper go ahead before the line then I got the bell, wow less than a lap. It was plain that she was tiring now and I took longer turns on the front.

"If I leave you after the chicane you won't have to do an extra lap"

"Ok and thanks for the help"

"No probs." I was feeling pretty cool

Through the chicane and I took off.

"See you at the finish" I heard her call

I had enough lead over the chasers that I didn't even sprint for the line. Yes! Drew 3 Oxformorons 0

I found Jules and Dad in the crowd and after my new found friend crossed the line I had time to watch the rest of the decimated field sprint in for the other places. I left my bike with Dad and headed for the showers. When I emerged Jules was waiting.

"Drew, the judges want to see you"

"What for?"

"I don't know, Dad's waiting with them.'

She led the way to where the commissar and the other judges were waiting with Dad.

"Drew, there's been a complaint from some of the others that you deliberately caused that crash." The commissar asked

"Why would I do that?" I am pretty good at innocent.

"Well can you tell us what happened, why did you brake when you did?"

"Okay. A couple of laps before I nearly crashed at the chicane so I thought I'd best keep out of trouble through there. When I got in the lead I was going flat out and realised at the last minute I wasn't going to make the exit corner so I braked hard. I heard the crash but that's all I know."

"Thanks Drew, can you wait with your Dad please"

"Yes sir" a bit of respect never goes amiss.

I stood with Dad fidgeting for over ten minutes. Would they strip me of the win? And if they did would I get a ban or something?

"There you are lad" the commissar greeted us, "the result stands, and some witnesses have confirmed your story, in fact they say you had to do some acrobatics there on one lap. Well done, we had to look into it, but we never thought it likely that someone with your parentage would do something like that"

Little did he know!

After the presentation, I got a trophy and a total of 50; I was surprised when a pretty girl came up to me.

"Hi Drew, thanks for helping me out there" she beamed at me

"Oh that's alright erm?" I answered

"Oh sorry, I'm Kristen, Kristen Oakey"

"Well I should thank you Kristen, I probably wouldn't have won without your help"

"Anytime" she stated, "you really showed that lot up, they're used to bullying everyone round here, they do it every race"

"Well my Mum is always telling me that if you always race against the same people you get in a sort of rut" I informed my new friend.

"I've just realised who your mum is, it's Jenny Bond isn't it?"

"Yeah" I replied proudly

Kristen came to talk Kristen came over to congratulate me.

"Wow she is just so cool! She's my hero, I keep a scrapbook and I got an autographed picture from the team too." Kristen was fawning over my Mum!

"Kristen, we're going now" a voice called

"Have to go Drew, see you around"

"Yeah, bye Kristen"

"Who was that Drew?" Jules asked coming up behind me

"Kristen Oakey, she helped me in the race"

"I think I ought to tell Maddy you've got a new girlfriend!"

"Have not!" I replied taking a swipe at her which she easily dodged

"Okay, okay" she retreated holding her hands up

"Any way she seemed more interested in Mum when she realised we were related"

"Poor Drew, come on we're going into Oxford to eat"

Maddy Bell 13.10.03 Secret
© 2003

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The images used above have been selected from various sources. If you hold the copyright to any image and wish it removed contact me. Thanks to everyone involved in Cosplay, particularly Anime Turnpike.