book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 60

Snip! Snip!

We agreed to meet up in the morning, Bernie was getting her hair done at eleven so the plan was to meet at Maddy's (it's a good job Mrs P doesn't mind us being around!) then walk Bernie to Sylv's. Then we would play on Rhod's PS2 while Sylv worked her 'magic' then we're off to Mansfield for the afternoon.

Well that's the plan.

Six whole weeks without school! And Mum's gets home on Sunday too!

"Hey Drew!" Jules called from the kitchen


"You doing much today?"

"Me an' the guys are going to Mansfield this afternoon, why?"

"Dad wanted to see if we can get a print of that picture" she informed me. Dad is working today so that he can have a couple of days off next week with Mum.

"I suppose we could go to Chad"

"It would save me going, Charlie and Anna asked me to go swimming at Pond's Forge and I said I'd go"

"Okay, I'll go to the paper"

"Cheers, Dad said to order a 10" x 8" if they can do it"


I don't know if I mentioned it but it's the summer holidays!

Bernie and Ally were already at Mad's place when I arrived just after nine thirty.

"Drew what do you think?" Ally asked

"About what?" I countered

"Should Bernie have her hair cut short?" Mad went on

That's putting me on the spot! I mean, what do I say? Yes, I always thought you should cut it, no, I like it long?

Blue dress
Bernie had always worn her hair at least shoulder length

"Looks okay as it is to me"

Mad rolled her eyes.

"Well I think you should go for it" Ally told Bernie

"I'm not sure" Bernie was obviously having second thoughts.

"It'll soon grow, look how short mine was last year" Mad advised her friend

"I guess" Bernie agreed

I decided to change the subject

"I've got to go to the Chad office this afternoon" I informed them

"What for?" Ally enquired

"You know that picture? Dad want's to get a copy"

If you managed to miss it, I ended up in the paper at the beginning of the week with Mum and Jules, with me dressed as Gaby! The good news is that as far as I know no one made the connection so I'm not quite as paranoid now.

We left the Peters mansion about ten fifteen and made our way over to Sylv's Salon for Bernie's eleven o'clock appointment.

"Hi kid's" Sylv greeted us when we entered her shop

"Hi Sylv" the girls chorused back, I kept schtum.

"Take a seat Bernie, I wont be a minute." she advised, "Rhod's in the front room, go on through" she told the rest of us.

We settled down to play on the console until Sylv finished with Bern. Ally was thrashing us all again, I reckon she must practice in her sleep.

"Anyone want to come to the race tomorrow?" I asked

"Can't tomorrow" Ally advised

"Count me in" Maddy enthused, "where is it?"

"Over at Lincoln again, what about you Rhod?"

"I've got to go to my Dad's" he moaned. Rhod and his Dad don't get on but visiting rights is visiting rights I guess. Rhod was only a baby when his parents split and his Dad only reappeared last October.

"Can't you duck out for once" Ally suggested

"Mum won't let me, I've tried before" he informed us

"I win, I win!" Ally squealed gleefully

"You cheated" Maddy accused

"Did not" Ally retorted

"Hey guys, what do you think" Bernie stood in the doorway

"Wow!" Mad exclaimed

"Cool" Ally agreed

Bernie's shoulder length hair was now transformed into a casual ear length bob; it really transformed her appearance.

"You like?" Bernie enquired

"Suits you" Rhod stated tactfully

Bernie's new bob really changed how she looks!

I wasn't really sure myself

"Do you like it?" was my get out

"It's taking a bit of getting used to, I've always had it long"

"You coming to Drew's race tomorrow?" Mad asked Bern

"I'll have to check with Mum"

"We're not going till after ten" I told her

"Come on let's go to Mansfield, the bus is in ten minutes!" Rhod reminded us

I really couldn't get used to the 'new' Bernie, it didn't seem right somehow. We just made the bus, and we arrived in the buzzing metropolis that is Mansfield just before one.

"Let's go to the Chad office first, get it out of the way" I suggested as we headed into the shopping precinct.

The others agreed and we detoured to the paper's office.

"Look they've got the school sportsday pictures" Bernie pointed to the window

"Won't be long" I advised

"I'll come with you" Rhod volunteered

Well it turns out that the picture was an official release, they could get a copy for us but it'll take a couple of weeks. I decided I'd best order it anyway.

"Hey Drew, there's a picture of us winning the Badminton" Maddy informed me when we returned to the street, "I'll tell Mum, she'll probably want a copy"

"Ring her now while we're here" I suggested, "you can use my phone" I offered

"Cheers Drew" she accepted my mobile

"Just press 02, your number's on speed dial"

"Did anyone else get in?" Rhod queried

"You can just make me out on one picture" Bernie told us

"Sure Mum" Maddy finished her call

"Well?" Ally asked

"She said to order two copies, thanks Drew" she handed me back my phone

"We'll wait on the bench over there" Rhod advised

"Won't be long" Mad suggested following the others into the office.

"You look miffed Rhod"

"Yeah, I really hate going to my Dad's"

"I thought you said it wasn't too bad"

"I lied. It's sort of like this duty thing with him you know"

"At least you only have to go once a month"

"I guess. It still sucks though."

I could only guess what it was like for him. I know there are lots of divorces and stuff these days but Rhod is my only friend who doesn't live with both parents.

"I think he's taking me out somewhere tomorrow, Mum said something the other night"

"Come on you two!" Ally shouted across to us

"Coming" I returned

We joined the other Saturday shoppers, the girls insisting on visiting every shoe shop and dress shop in sight. Rhod and I followed along, the dutiful boyfriends! So cynical so young! After my recent experiences the last thing I was interested in was girl's clothes and stuff and Rhod was equally unenthusiastic.

We did manage to grab a few minutes in a record shop. I managed to get a copy of Aerosmith's 'Rock in a Hard Place' for 3.99 so I was pretty chuffed. I also got Mum a CD of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells', she really likes that sort of thing.

"Let's have a look in 'Shoe World'" Bernie suggested.

Shoe World is where in the past Sarah has thought I was a girl, why I don't know but I wasn't keen on another visit.

"Do we have to?" I groaned

"Oh come on Drew, we'll eat afterwards, we can go to Mama Leone's" Mad tempted

Once inside the store I joined Rhod to look at the trainers whilst the girls went to look at the rest!

"Hi Gaby" I nearly jumped out of my skin

"Oops sorry Gaby, I didn't mean to make you jump" Sarah apologised

"Er hi Sarah"

"Who's the totty then?" she quizzed pointing with her eyes towards Rhod

"Just my mate Rhod, we're just checking out trainers while the girls are looking"

"We've just got some cool new Adi trainers in" she led me to a display, "they only came out on Monday. Aren't they neat?"

Well in truth they were pretty cool.

"Go on try a pair on" Sarah urged, "still in a five?"

"Yeah" I replied

I was soon shod in this summers must have trainer.

"What do you think Gaby?" Sarah asked, she really was good at this selling lark!

"I wasn't planning on buying any shoes today"

"I can put them aside for you" she cajoled

I was breaking and she knew it!

"Can Sarah come to till 2" the announcement boomed

"Won't be a minute" she told me

"You getting them Drew?" Maddy startled me as much as Sarah had

"Don't do that" I admonished

"Well are you?"

"I was thinking about it"

"They do boys ones as well you know"

Shit. Not again, Sarah thinking I was a girl had me trying the girl's version on and I hadn't noticed.

"Naw" Rhod came over from where he'd been checking out the men's display, "the men's don't go small enough, they start at a six"

"Sorry about that Gaby, where were we?"

I really did fancy a pair of these and I did have the money in my pocket. And the girls ones look the same to me.

"I'll take them" I told her. She smiled a little wider; I had fallen to her selling charms yet again and for another pair of girl's shoes! I left fifty pounds lighter in the pocket and still Gaby in Sarah's mind. And I'm sure she thought I was 'with' Rhod as well. In the end we ate at Burja King, no one wanted to eat too much as we were invited to tea at Chez Peters!

We got back to Warsop and descended like a pack of hunting dogs on the spread that Mrs P had ready for us. Tonight we had various pasta options tortellini, ravioli, cannelloni, pesto, cheese and bolognese sauces - to finish we had some of the ice cream that we fetched from Sheffield on Monday. What a feast!

We cleared up and then camped around the computer to check on the emails and stuff. I had another one from Britney, so I sent a reply telling her about this week's news. It was pretty clear that the impending visit was the cause of much excitement on the other side of the pond, I guess we aren't quite as full of it at the minute, we've or at least I've had too much going on to really think about our visitors arrival.

"See you in the morning Mad"

"Ten o'clock right?" she replied

"Yeah, Dad wants to leave by quarter past"

"Pity that Bernie couldn't make it" Mad stated

"I could have done with the full squad" I joshed

"Come here" Mad requested

I stepped forward and she took me by surprise by grabbing my face and planting a kiss on my lips.

"What's that for?" I managed when she released me

"Just for being you"

"Oh. I better get home"

"Bye Drew, see you tomorrow"

I left to walk home still a little taken aback by Maddy's unexpected assault on my lips. Did this mean anything? It was certainly more than a friendly peck. 'Just for being me', ah well.

Maddy Bell 13.11.03 Secret © 2003

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