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Part 55

Testing Times

Mrs P was right; the SATS started straight after morning assembly, however that meant actually going to assembly first. Given his previous track record I was dreading Mr Wood's sermon of the day.

"...And I know those of you doing SATS this week will be doing their best." his tone said 'or else'.

He went through various notices, sports day, the dance on Saturday and so on.

"Finally our sportsmen and women have been busy this week. The under 16's cricket team had a 43 run win against Creswell, our athletics team came in second in the Dukeries championship. That means that they go to the county finals in Nottingham next weekend." He initiated a round of applause; most of the schools 'sport heads' are on the squad so this went on for a bit.

"We've also had Melanie Stevens of year ten win the junior cup in the Central region water-ski championships, Melanie?" he indicated she should stand, a ripple of applause went round plus a few wolf whistles, she is after all quite a babe.

"Lastly, Drew Bond has had another good weekend improving his ten mile best by recording 24.41." I took my turn at the embarrassing applause thing.

"I'd also like to mention a former teacher at our school today. Mrs Bond, Drew's mother, will have taught some of you. I'm sure you will all join me in congratulating her for her stage win in the women's Tour de France on Saturday."

I don't' know what's worse, having my exploits exposed or being the offspring of a 'famous' sportswoman!

At least I could gain some anonymity back in the classroom.

You've all done tests and exams so I don't want to stir up your nightmares by telling you too much about mine. Suffice to say that by lunch I was all mathed out and not looking forward to chemistry this afternoon.

"I'm glad that's over!" Rhod exclaimed

"Not many" I agreed

"Hey Drew you get number three?" Clive asked as he joined us


"Dur" Rhod and Clive stated together

"42 idiot" Clive went on

"You going on Saturday" I tried to change the subject

"Sure, you guys?"

"He's still hoping Madeline's cousin will be there" Paul told us as he sat down

"Well she is cute" Clive blushed

If only he knew, I just about managed to contain my own rise in colour, Rhod gave me a 'look'.

"Yeah we're going, lover boy here's going with Maddy" Rhod told the others

"Ooohwhoo" Clive stated

"Way to go Drewbie" Paul mentioned

This time I really did colour up.

"Give over, it's not like a proper date or anything"

"Not a date! Who're you kidding, it's the summer dance!" Clive exclaimed

"What about you? You got a date?" I asked trying to deflect the conversation

"Naw, we're just gonna check out the totty when we get there" Paul answered

"That is so weak" Rhod mentioned

"You got a date then?" Clive was a bit miffed by Rhod's insinuation.


"Who is it then?" Paul asked

"For me to know and you to find out on Saturday" he stated

"You must know Drew?" Clive pursued

To be fair I hadn't a clue.

"No idea guys, he's not told me" I told them

"I bet its Allison!" Paul accused

The bell went before the conversation could go any further and an afternoon of chemistry awaited us.

"You got everything for Friday Drew?" Maddy asked as we walked towards Peter's Acres.

"Yeah, Jules has a spare top and she's lending me her racquets too"

"Come on Drew, you got yourself into this one"

"I know, it doesn't mean I have to like it though"

"Wait up guys!" Bernie called from behind us

"Hi Bern" Mad greeted her

"Ally said she might be late, something about going to the Post Office" she told us

"Yeah she mentioned something earlier" Mad confirmed

"Guess what?" Bernie went on

"That hunk in the sixth form has asked you out" Mad guessed

"I wish, no Mum said I can get my hair cut on Saturday" she enthused

"What for?" I asked

"Come on Drew, it's been like this for ever and it is the dance on Saturday"


"What're you having done" Mad enthused

"I've seen a style I like, I'll show you tomorrow"

"Hi kid's" Mrs Peters greeted us

"Hello Mrs Peters" I offered

"Hi" Bernie stated

"Hi mum" Mad finished off

Rhod and Ally arrived just in time for tea and afterwards instead of our usual games and music session we ended up doing revision for Tuesdays round of torture.

"Drew?" Mad asked

"Yeah" I was concentrating on the French text we were reading.


"What about it?"

"We'll need to do a dry run" she stated

"I 'spose"

"How about you bring your stuff round on Wednesday after school and we can practice"

"What about your Mum and Dad"

"Dad's away and Mum knows, you know she's cool about it anyway"

"I guess"

"You two going as girlfriends Saturday?" Bernie suggested

That ended any semblance of study as I initiated a pillow fight.

The tour coverage was a bit mundane; today's stage was almost flat! At least Mum's race was a bit more exciting. Mum made tenth and gained a few seconds on the girl in yellow who finished twenty seconds down.

"Dad? Can the guys come with us tonight?" I asked the following morning

"I guess so, we can take the camper"

"Thanks Dad, see you later"

"Bye Drew" Dad said to my departing back.

Confused? I know its Tuesday but instead of the usual ten, Worksop Velo, who run the tens, have got a twenty-five starting near Blythe and going to Retford and back. Hence Dad was taking me.

Before then though we've got French and History SATS!

I think I did quite well and the rest of the guys are pretty confident too. Only Ally and Mad are going to the race, they convinced their parents that they would revise while I'm riding. Yeah that's likely!

"Come on Mad" I called to her as she jogged across to the camper.

"Ready back there?" Dad called out

"Yeah" I answered dogging the door

"I wish we had one of these" Ally stated

"Only until you spend your holiday in it" I stated

"I still think it's neat"

We were soon parked in the lane next to the start. As it's only a club event Dad had volunteered to marshal the turn when he spoke to John on Saturday. With the event on 'quiet' country roads, no records are on the cards tonight.

I started number seven and headed off. Compared to a lot of my time trialling this really is a sporting course, the roads are terrible and it goes through several villages with all the hazards that brings. I felt I was going okay however, number ten passed me as we went into Retford and I spotted the girls helping to marshal the turn island with Dad.

"Go on Drew!"

"Dig in son!"

I looked at the computer, thirty-one minutes - not bad. I concentrated on missing the BMXer's who darted in front of me, then I was back into the countryside. I pretended that I was Mum, on a lone breakaway with just a few miles to go for victory. I honked up the hills keeping the pace going and resumed my aero position as I sped down the other side. The final left turn and fantasy Mum was being chased hard. I checked the clock again, 56 minutes, cool! The last sweeping downhill then a long uphill left-hander to the finish.

I spotted the girls shouting across the road, passing traffic obliterated their cheers and there was John's car and the finish. One last effort and I was freewheeling to catch my breath. I got myself turned around and rode slowly back to where the others were waiting.

"Well done son" Dad mentioned

"What?" I managed to get out

"One hour, fifty seven seconds!" Maddy enthused

Well that was pretty cool, must have been Mum's influence.

On the way home Dad started the conversation.

"Can you three explain why John thinks you are my daughter Drew?"

That was a curve ball I wasn't expecting. Thankfully Mad was a bit more on the ball.

"It's a long story Mr Bond" she started

"In that case we'll stop at the services for a drink and you can tell me the whole thing"

The services were only a mile away so we were soon sat in the cafeteria watching the A1 traffic.

"Right then, lets here it" Dad suggested

"Well Mr Bond, it's really all me and the girls fault" Maddy started

Dad sipped at his cappuccino as between us we went over the detail. You remember the makeup and the training ride? I mean I never tried to deceive anyone did I? From time to time Dad shook his head with a smile. Eventually we got to the end and Dad just sat smirking.

"Dad, did you tell John that I'm a boy?" I had to ask

"Didn't get a chance, he was enthusing over my wife and daughter so much!"

"So he still thinks I'm Dee?"

"Yep" Dad replied

"Cool" Ally added

"No it's not" I snapped

"Come on Drew, there's no need to be like that" Dad admonished

"Sorry Al. But it's really embarrassing"

"Let's get you three home" Dad stated getting up

The drive back was subdued. We dropped Ally off first then Mad.

"Remember tomorrow night" Mad reminded me as we drove off.

"Tomorrow night Drew?" Dad asked

"You don't want to know" I told him

"You're probably right but tell me anyway"

So I had to explain the great sportsday scam.

"Why couldn't I have two daughters!" Dad muttered when I finished, then realising what he'd said went on, "sorry I didn't mean that, Jules is just as much trouble"

"Sorry Dad"

"Come on let's watch the Tour"

Well talk about spooky. The men's TdF resulted in another 180 up sprint but the ladies race was a case of déjà vu! There was Mum, ten kilometres from the finish and out on her own! Just like in my daydream during the twenty-five. We were on the edge of our seats as the cameras went to the chasing bunch where Tina and Maria were doing their best to slow things down. Back to Mum and she was obviously feeling the strain as the five banner was passed, chancing a glance backward. The English commentator was going potty as Mum looked like she might just make it.

The time gap was falling but not quick enough, still twenty seconds at the kilometre kite. We watched as a very tired Mum checked behind, straightened her jersey and did the classic victory salute as she crossed the line. The bunch came home ten seconds later and in the Bond house Dad and I were jumping around like three-year-olds

"...And Jenny how does it feel to take the yellow?" the commentator was asking

Mum looked bewildered, she glanced at George next to her who nodded with a huge grin on his face.

"Fantastic!" she enthused, "my team mates have been brilliant the last few days keeping me in contention."

"Any messages for the people at home?"

Mum faced the camera

"Dave, Drew, Jules thanks for letting me do this, see you soon"

We watched as they showed Mum receiving the traditional stuffed animal and the coveted Maillot Jaune. The view returned to the TdF studio.

"Well can Jenny Bond hold on to that yellow jersey with that five second lead until Sunday? We'll be following the ladies tour with great interest, to see if she can become the UK's first Tour Feminin winner"

Mum was in yellow!
Mum was grinning like a Cheshire cat
As you can guess we were made up and when my sister came in she was just as tearful.

Maddy Bell 02.11.03 Secret © 2003

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