book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 51
Mess of the Blues

"I don't believe you Drew Bond!" Rhod exclaimed, "after last week as well!"

"Well come on then clever," I retorted, "what would you have done?"

"I guess I might have done it at Stratford, but you could have bought a t shirt there at least, then you wouldn't have had to look like a girl the rest of the day"

Well I guess that was an option I never thought of. I guess he was right, I have, ever since this whole Gaby thing started, made a fuss at the start but managed to miss my opportunities to end things early, repeatedly.

"Anyway it's not going to happen again that's for sure!" I told him

The bell rang and school was in session.

"...won the 400metres relay. Well done everyone." There was polite applause for the athletics squad when Mr Wood paused.

"And last but by no means least, Drew Bond convincingly won his race near Oxford on Saturday despite determined local opposition. Well done Drew" I was blushing heavily as I received the obligatory applause.

"Still on a sporting note, Sports Day is on Friday the 12th of July, that's just over two weeks time." Mr Wood informed us. "You will all be taking part unless you have a valid doctors note" there was a general groan in the hall. "If you haven't signed up by this Friday we shall allocate an event for you, so it's in your own interests to volunteer. Okay dismissed"

What a start to the week.

At lunchtime I joined Paul and Clive in throng to sign up for sports day. Now if you are unfamiliar with all this, sports day is a traditional event that happens every year throughout your school career here in the UK, right from infants. Some schools restrict events to athletics, running and stuff; others include 'fun' events like egg and spoon. Here at Warsop Vale there is a very liberal choice of events but despite this there is nearly always one House that dominates sports, that is Chichester currently. (Our four houses, Chichester, Scott, Cook and Rutherford are supposed to represent success over adversity)

"What are you doing?" I asked Clive

"Table tennis if there's space"

"I'm gonna do long jump" Paul volunteered, "what about you Drew?"

"Dunno really"

"Drew!" I turned to see Maddy waving, "hang on"

"Hi Mad, what's up?"

"You signed up yet?"

"No I've not decided yet"

"Will you do badminton with me?"

"I 'spose"

"It's doubles and I don't know anyone else who can play very well"

"Looks like you're hitting shuttlecocks then Drew" Paul smirked

"Okay then" I agreed

"Great, I'll put you down" Mad enthused, "see you later"

"Yeah see you" I replied

Jules was already at home when I got there; she was looking thoroughly fed up so I left her to it. The rest of the gang was coming round a bit later; I had to come straight home on Dad's instruction. As usual when it's my turn to be host, we were having pizza so I put the oven on to warm. The guys turned up just before Dad who had bought a couple of 12" deep pans to cook.

"Half an hour before tea" Dad informed us

"We'll be in the garage" I informed him

"I put you down for badminton Drew" Maddy stated

"Thanks Mad, what's everyone else doing?" I put a CD on while everyone found seats

"400 metres" Rhod volunteered

"I'm doing discus" Bernie advised us

"That's a bit technical isn't it?" Rhod asked

"Well at least I won't have to run around getting sweaty" she answered

"Never thought of that" I put in

"What are you doing Al?"

"Hundred metres"

"I hate sports day" Bernie stated

"Well its only once a year" Mad offered

"I guess"

"What we doing out here anyway Drew?" Rhod queried

"I thought we'd keep out of Jules way, she's in a right mood today"

"I would be if I was grounded for a month, does that mean she's gonna miss the end of year dance?" Ally asked

"I hadn't thought of that" I answered

"That'd be a real bummer" Bernie supplied

"Anna looked pretty pissed too"

"Maddy!" Ally exclaimed

"Well she did. I guess she's got grounded or something too" Mad finished

"It's all my fault" I started

"How do you work that?" Rhod asked

"Well if I hadn't agreed to go to the stupid party.."

"If Anna hadn't invited you, if Jules hadn't twisted your arm" Mad was building up a head of steam.

"And if we hadn't encouraged you" Rhod admitted

"I guess," I concluded

After tea we reconvened in the garage and spent the evening listening to music and sifting through a pile of old magazines.

Tuesday was uneventful and at least I had the ten to look forward to. I agreed to meet the girls and ride out with them, at least my grounding wasn't as severe as Jules'.

"Hi girls!" John greeted us

"Hi" I answered

I signed up while the girls, commandeered 'my' bench.

"That's number twelve Dee" John stated passing me the fluorescent number


"Starts in ten minutes" he advised


Mad assumed the rôle of masseuse again, I'm not complaining, I could have done with this on Saturday! Saturday. I thought about the race as Mad rubbed the oil onto my legs. And Kristen, she was quite cute!

"What are you smiling at?" Ally asked

"Oh just something that happened on Saturday"

"Well?" Bernie queried

"I'll tell you later" I hedged

Conditions were pretty good again this week but it wasn't going to give me a PB. The slight headwind to the turn did its damage; the return trip wasn't long enough to make up the loss. I passed my cheer squad at the last corner and made my last effort before the line, just remembering to gasp my number as I crossed the line.

I got back to the finish just before the girls.

"25.20 Dee!" John shouted across the road.

Well at least I was consistent.

I got myself dressed and noticed as I put my shoes back on that Bernie and Ally were paying a lot of attention to the later finishers, pointing and whispering.

"What's with that pair?" I whispered to Mad

"Sizing up your opposition" she giggled


"You don't think they came out just to cheer you on do you?"

"Well I..."

"Dur! They're checking out all these fit bods!"

It clicked then.

"Oh, what about you?"

"Looking's ok but I've got one to grope" she dived forward and started tickling my middle

"Get off! Stop! Maddy! Give over!"

By the time she stopped we had attracted an amused audience.

Embarrassed somewhat I collected my stuff.

"Come on let's go"

"Spoilsport!" Mad stated

The others, spotting our imminent departure hurried to collect their bikes and joined us in short order.

"What's up?" Bernie asked

"Nothing," Mad supplied, "Dee here wants to get home"

"We gonna get chips?" Ally asked

"I've got to go straight home" I told them

"Right like your Dad will know?" Bernie suggested

"Come on Drew, my treat" Mad entreated

"Okay then" I gave in.

What a mistake. We were just coming out of 'Hygenic Fisheries', (a spoof on 'Last of the Summer Wine'!) when who should pull up but Dad.

"Drew, girls" he greeted us

"Hi Mr Bond" Ally answered

"I can explain" I started

"At home" he stated sternly proceeding into the chip shop.

"That's torn it," I said to the others

"We'll explain to your Dad" Mad stated

"Yeah, it's not your fault Drew" Bernie continued

We finished our chips and I rode the others back to their houses before returning home to Dad's wrath.

"In here!" Dad bellowed when I got home

"But I need to shower"

"Your girlfriends didn't seem to mind so I'm sure I can put up with you for a couple of minutes.

"Yes Dad" I hung my head

"What were you told?"

"To come straight home after the race"

"So why were you at the chip shop?"

"Bernie said you'd never know and Maddy was buying, I was gonna come straight home honest"

Just then the phone rang, Dad picked it up

"Oh hi Carol...yes...he did?...hmm...yes okay...thanks for calling...goodnight Carol" I just got Dad's side of the conversation.

"That was Maddy's Mum, she said Maddy was upset that she had got you in more trouble and confirms your story"

"Yes Dad"

"You're off the hook this time, but in future if I say straight home I mean it do you understand?"

"Yes Dad" I hung my head

"Look Drew," he took a more conciliatory tone, "I know you don't intend to get in trouble, you are just easily led. You need to be more forceful with people, it's not always easy to say no but you need to start taking a firmer grip. Okay son?"

"Yes Dad"

"Go get that shower"

Wednesday was thankfully uneventful other than Mr Wood calling a meeting about the exchange programme for Friday. All of our teachers were going through final preparations for next weeks SATS tests so it was well boring. The rest of the week was destined to be more of the same except for games where we got the opportunity to practice for sportsday.

"Mr Bond, a moment please" Mr Pilling, the senior PE teacher called me into his office

"Yes sir?"

"I have a problem young man. You've signed up for sports day?"

"Well Maddy Peters did for me, badminton doubles"

He sighed

"Mrs Cole thought it was you"


"The badminton is not mixed Drew"

"I'll have to pick something else then, I was going to do long jump"

"It's not that simple. Mrs Cole has already organised the tournament and if you don't play that means Maddy can't, which means that Scott House isn't fairly represented and..."

"You mean I have to play still?"

"You don't have to, but as head of your House I'm asking you if you will."

"Well I don't see why not"

"Ah, there's just one thing Drew, Mrs Cole insists on the proper attire"

"I've got my tennis kit" I volunteered

"No Drew, it's a girls tournament, you'll have to wear a skirt. Think about it and let me know Monday"

Why me?

At least Mr Wood's meeting didn't spring any surprises; it was mostly confirming the timetable with us and telling us about the social events that were planned. There would be a sort of reception the day after they arrived in Warsop and a barbecue during the third week. Lastly the school was organising a sort of farewell party before they leave. That brought to mind the end of term dance, perhaps I can give it a miss considering how things have been going.

Being grounded was a definite downer! The others were going to Meadowhall today while I was stuck at home.

"Drew, get your sister please" Dad asked me

I fetched my sullen sibling

"Right you two. It's not very good being grounded is it?"

"No Dad" we both echoed

"It's not much fun for me either having to put up with you two moping around. Your Mum really wants you to learn a lesson from this and I do to. Do you think you're learning that lesson? Jules?"

"Yes Dad"


"Yes Dad"

"Right then. Your Mum's not here and I am. You are both un-grounded from today..."

"Yesss" Jules stated

"Cool" I suggested

"But" Dad continued, "but there are conditions."

"Yes Dad" Jules agreed

"Number one, we don't tell Mum agreed?"

"We won't tell if you don't" I answered for us both

"Number two, any more misbehaving and it's immediate grounding for both of you and no arguments."

"But..." I started

"No arguments, do you both agree?"

"Yes Dad" we both returned

"Okay then that's settled. As a last act of penance you can clean the house then tidy your rooms and Drew,"


"If the girls want to come in the morning they can OK?"

"Thanks Dad"



"Can I ask your advice?"

"I 'spose but I'm surprised you trust me after the last couple of weeks"

"Well I was partly to blame" I started

"Advice?" she interrupted

"Oh yeah. You know sportsday?"

"Sure. One day a year when we have to do games, a complete drag"

"That's the one" I agreed, "well I've got a bit of a fix..." I proceeded to tell her all about my meeting with Mr Pilling and his request.

"Drew! I thought you were stopping the dressing up?"

"I am, but like this would be the last time and "

"And you feel sort of obligated?"

"Well yeah"

"Look Drew, do it if you want to but everyone at school will know"

"I guess so"

She rolled her eyes

I went on "I suppose I could do it as Gaby, then no one would know it was me then"

"My brother, honour before common sense!"

Well that conversation didn't get anywhere did it?

I continued mulling over the problem as I changed my bed sheets and tidied my bedroom.

'Hmm perhaps I could do two events, one as Drew and one as Gaby? Then people would see both of me and not suspect anything. Might work, I'll have to talk with Mr Pilling see if we can do that. I'll have to borrow some girl's whites. Yeah that's a solution!'

I imagined myself finishing one event and then rushing to change for the second, which way would be better boy to girl or girl to boy? I suppose one last appearance as Gaby wouldn't be so bad would it and perhaps Scott might win the Sportsday Shield. Yeah and pigs might fly!

I rang Mad after tea to see if the crew wanted to come in the morning, Mad checked with the others who were at her place after their trip to Meadowhall.

I'll have to wear girls whites!
Hmm. Could I get away with this?

"I thought you were still grounded?" she queried

"Well Dad sort of put us on probation"


"You guys coming then?"

"Just me and Ally, Rhod's helping his mum and Bernie's going to her Gran's"

"We'll pick you up at six thirty?"

"I've got a better idea. What if we stay over at yours, we could get another ten minutes in bed"

"Good idea, I'll ask dad and ring you back" I enthused

Dad agreed to Mad's plan so Mrs Peters brought the two girls over about an hour later. Ally was going to stay with Mad anyway, so it was only a change of venue. Dad insisted we get an early night so discussions with Mad would have to wait until tomorrow.

Maddy Bell 19.10.03 Secret
© 2003

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