book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 72

Where's Drew?

Maddy, to be fair, didn't make a huge fuss. Well she'd won hadn't she?

"Hmm, I think you need to be thoroughly Gaby, Drew"

"I suppose so, and you just happen to still have everything?"

"In my wardrobe" she smiled apologetically.

"Alright then" I sighed

Over the next half an hour I was transformed once more into 'Gaby Peters'. I drew the line at sticking the breast forms on, I've been caught that way before but I was soon wearing the gaff, bra and a gauzy top above one of Mad's skirts.

"You can't go out like that" Mad stated, "your legs look terrible"

"Well sorree for living!"

"I didn't mean it like that Drew. It's your bruises"

"What about them?"

"Well everyone will see them if you wear that skirt. You could wear tights?" she suggested

"That would be worse than trousers!"

"What about my long denim skirt?"

"Yeah. Okay"

She retrieved the skirt I wore on that first Meadowhall trip and I gingerly stepped into it.

"It's no good Mad, it covers my legs but it's nearly as bad as my baggies"

"Bum, I've not got anything lighter that long." She thought for a moment.

"Wait here a mo!" she sprang into action and returned a minute later with another skirt.

"Ta da! It's Mum's but she wont mind" she told me shaking the garment out.

It was long, white and cotton with a button fly.

"Mum wears it to keep the sun off, it should be okay on your legs"

"Come on then" I suggested. Now there was another problem!

"I forgot that Mum's bigger than me"

"Even with a belt it's loose" I mentioned

"I know, if we can get it to sit on your hips, we can say it's the latest fashion" Mad noted brightly

I was not convinced, or happy but our options and time were running out.

Five minutes later the doorbell went.

"Hi Mrs Rose"

"Hi Maddy, where's Drew?

"He, er, rang earlier to say he wasn't coming"

"That's a pity, I suppose he's still a bit bruised and battered poor luv"

"Yes, that's it, his legs were hurting"

"Well come on then, the others are in the car"

"Erm, Mrs Rose, er, would it be okay if my cousin came?"

"I guess so, is she here?"

"Yes, I'll just call her down"

White Skirt
Gaby's back - if only for a day!

"I'll see the two of you at the car then" Mrs Rose stated turning away

"Drew!" Mad hissed up the stairs

"I heard"

"Well come on then"

"I am!"

We joined the others waiting in the SUV.

"Morning everyone, Drew didn't feel up to it so Gaby's coming instead" Mad informed the gathered masses

"Hi Gab" Ally ventured

"Nice outfit" Bernie mentioned

"Hi guy's" I replied

"You look a bit pale dear" Mrs R suggested

"She's had food poisoning" Maddy put in

"Well I hope you're alright now, we wouldn't want you sick in the car eh?"

"I'm fine now thanks Mrs Rose" I gave Mad a dirty look

"Get in then" Rhod instructed

The drive across to Sheffield doesn't take long and soon we were approaching Meadowhall.

"Which cinema are you going to?" Mrs R asked

"There's a better choice at the UCI " Bernie told her Mum

"That's easier to park at anyway" Mrs R replied

We were soon parked behind the cinema.

"I'm going to leave you here and catch the tram into Sheffield" Bernie's Mum informed us.

"I thought you were gonna see the film too?" Bernie mentioned

"I've got some stuff to pick up and I'm meeting a friend for coffee"

We walked around to the front of the cinema with her, I was trying hard not to wince too much, and even the light cotton skirt was aggravating my legs.

"What are we going to watch" Ally asked when we got inside

"The " Rhod joked

I surveyed what was on offer with the rest of them, eighteen screens does give a lot of choice!

"Final Fantasy looks favourite to me" I suggested

"What times that on?" Ally asked

"Eleven forty five" Rhod told us

"We could wait to see Space Morons " Bernie put in

"That's not on till one fifteen" Mad mentioned

"Make your minds up" Mrs R cajoled, "I want to get off"

We looked at each other and made a mutual agreement.

"Final Fantasy!" we all echoed

We waited while Mrs R bought our tickets.

"I should be back about three, Bernadette get everyone something to eat out of this after the film." She handed Bern a twenty pound note.

"Cool" Rhod whispered

"Okay, I'll see you all later"

"Bye Mrs R"

"Thanks Mum"

We had a bit of time to kill before the film so we found a corner to camp in.

"What's with the skirt and stuff?" Bernie asked me

"It's a long story" I replied

"We've got twenty minutes" Ally mentioned

So between Mad and myself we brought the others up to speed.

"Poor Drew" Ally replied to our explanation.

"Are you supposed to be showing everyone your pants?" Rhod asked

"It's the fashion!" Mad quickly interceded

"The skirts a bit big" I added

"Well I think you look nice" Bernie put in, "and by the look of it so do those boys over there"

"I need the ladies" I told them getting up

"Yeah it's a good idea before the film" Ally supplied

"Will you get some drinks Rhod?" Mad hinted

"Okay" he sighed back at our departing backs.

"I couldn't tell whether some of that was real or not" Rhod advised as we rode the escalators back to the ground floor.

"Some of those effects were totally awesome," I added

"I couldn't follow the story" Ally mentioned

"I'll lend you the comics" Mad advised

"What shall we do now guys? it's only one thirty" Bernie asked

"Food?" I suggested

"There's a Pizza Hut round by Toys'R'Us" Rhod suggested

"I don't think we've got enough for that" Bernie lamented

"I've got twenty, that should be enough" I offered

"You sure D?" Rhod asked

"I wouldn't offer would I?"

"Guess not" he conceded

"Pizza it is!" Ally declared as we started the short walk to the retail area.

Surprisingly for the school hols, we got a table straight away and we opted for the lunch buffet. In the end I only had to put five pounds to Mrs Rose's twenty. As we still had time to kill we ended up skimming Toys'R'Us for thirty minutes; I trailed around behind the girls with Rhod. To be truthful I hate the place but the girls seemed to find something interesting around every corner.

"There you are" Mrs R greeted us

"Hi Mum"

"Hi Mrs R"

"Have a good time kids?" she asked, "you look a bit better Gaby"

"Thanks Mrs Rose" I answered

"Ready for home?"

"Yeah" Bernie agreed

Barely forty-five minutes later we were back at the Peters.

"Bye" I waved to the departing car

"Come on Gab, you wanna stay for tea?" Mad suggested

"I ought to get home really" I told her

"Hi er girls" Mrs P greeted us

"Hi Mum"

"Hello Mrs Peters"

"I've told you before young lady haven't I?"

"Yes auntie" I sighed

"And is that my skirt you're barely wearing?"

"Sorry Mum we were in a rush this morning and Gab needed a long skirt"


"Can she stay for tea?"

"If 'she' wants to, Gaby?"

"I don't want to be too late, Mum's ringing from America later."

"They're hours behind us Drew" Mad advised

"I guess"

"So you're staying?" Mrs, I mean Auntie Carol queried

"Yes please"

I arrived home still a la Gaby a bit after seven thanks to a lift from Mrs P and just in time for Mum's call.

"Hiya kiddo, how are you doing? Everyone in the team has been asking after you"

"Okay Mum, I'm still sore and tell them thanks"

"Well that's to be expected, your Dad said you were having some soreness"

"Yeah my arms and 'specially my legs are really tender"

"It should get better in a few days, kiddo"

"I hope so, I've had to wear skirts because trousers hurt too much"

"Your Dad did mention that"

"I didn't want to really Mum, but is was either a skirt or sit indoors all day"

"Don't knock it if it works" she mentioned, "what did you get up to today?"

"Pictures, Mrs Rose took us"

"Bernadette's mum?"

"Yeah. How have you done this week?"

"The racing is a bit different to back home but we've done okay"


"Without trying to be smug, we've got the first three or four places every race"


"We have just finished the Tour, they hardly race more than forty miles most of the time, so we have had some advantage."

"But still" I put in

"They're mostly really friendly though, mind you I don't think they realise I'm English or that the others might understand it"

"How come?"

"Well we are the German Appolinaris team, I've heard some of the Americans talking about us, making comments and stuff."

"Didn't you say anything?"

"Well we've kept schtum, they talk a lot in the bunch, you know stuff like ' Mary, you attack on the back straight', they think we're brilliant because we are waiting for the move! After all, they genuinely can't understand German!"

I nearly fell off the sofa in hysterics.

"That is just so funny" I eventually told her, have you got any more races before you come back?"

"One later on today and another tomorrow in Washington, then we fly back to Germany on Sunday"

"Good luck then, oh I nearly forgot, Dad's taking me to get my new frame tomorrow"

"Oh that reminds me, I'll get George to send those wheels over for you, I did promise"

"Thanks Mum"

"Speak to you next week then Drew"

"Yeah bye Mum"

"Bye Drew"

This morning I awoke to find that most of the soreness that I've had for the last few days has abated. My legs and arms are still black and blue but I've got a pair of shorts on and yes, they're a little bit uncomfortable but nothing like yesterday.

"You ready Drew?" Dad called upstairs


We were soon heading down to Grantham where the shop with 'my' frame is situated.

"I've rounded up most of the bits Drew, you just need handlebars, pedals and shifters"

I guess I'll have to wait to get the rest

Dad went on however, "the guy in the shop is going to cut us a deal on anything we haven't got so you could ride it tomorrow if you feel up to it"

"Oh did you ring about not riding this afternoon?"

"Yes I did, the organiser said he'd transfer your entry across to the next Askern ten in September, he's got a reserve to fill your slot"

We arrived at the shop and I was introduced to my new steed. Ooh it's gorgeous! Suffice to say that apart from going round the corner for egg and chips, we stayed in the shop while Nigel, the mechanic, put it all together. When we left sometime after two I was beaming all over my face, Dad was a fair bit lighter in the wallet and I think Nigel was just glad we were gone!

When we got home, I got changed into cycling kit for the first time since the accident and with Dad keeping an eye on me I rode up and down our road for half an hour checking my new bike out.

"Well?" Dad asked

"It's brill! Thanks Dad"

"It's Nigel you should be thanking"

"I did, but you paid for the bits and stuff, thanks Dad"

I gave him a hug; I was pretty made up.

"Are we going to Lincoln tomorrow then?"

"I dunno"

"You're Mum thinks you should, even if you don't finish, just to get back into it"

As you may have noted if you've read much of this epic, I take great score by what my Mum says.

"Okay, can the girls come?"


That settled I got in some serious polishing and drooling!

Maddy Bell 13.12.03 Secret © 2003

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