book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 75

On Thin Ice

"Dad's gunning for you" Jules told me as I dumped my sweaty kit into the washer


"Dunno, he was muttering a lot though"

"There you are! In here, now!" Dad bellowed

Jules shrugged her shoulders and I followed Dad into the lounge with no idea what was up, other than trouble.

"You have some explaining to do young man. Just where is your mother's race bike?"

So that was it.

"The Peters" I told him

He relaxed a little but his tone didn't soften.

"And just what is it doing there?"

"Mad borrowed it to ride tonight" I mumbled, "I'm picking it up tomorrow, honest"

"And just why did Madeline think she could use it?"

"Because I said so. It's not her fault Dad. It was all my idea"


"I thought she'd enjoy riding a proper race bike instead of her clunker, really Dad it was me"

"Well did she?"

"Yes, well I think so, she did 29.31!"

"Drew, I got home tonight, your mother's bike was missing, the garage wasn't locked properly, I thought it had been stolen. I know you meant well but you could have at least left a note. If the Brown's (our next but one neighbours) hadn't seen you two outside earlier, I would have had the police here."

"Sorry Dad" I apologised

"Look son, you have to start taking a bit of responsibility for what you do." His tone had softened somewhat.

"Yes Dad" I mumbled

"I know you didn't mean to do anything wrong but you really should have asked before taking the bike, it's your Mum's not yours and it's only polite to ask"

"But you weren't here"

"No but you could have rung me at work, that would have saved me from panicking and you from getting bawled out"

"Yes Dad" I agreed

"Consider yourself told off. Now how did you get on if Madeline did a 29?"

With the wind gone from my sails I admitted my time,


"Well done. Now if Maddy wants to borrow the bike again, ask ok"

"Yes Dad"

"Off to bed with you, an early night won't do you any harm"

So I shuffled off up to my room.

I awoke to the incessant buzzing of my phone.

"Yeah" I managed


"Oh hi Mad"

"Sorry you got chewed out over the bike"

"How'd you know?"

"Jules rang last night"

"Yeah well, it was my fault. What's up?"

"Oh nothing really, just thought I'd remind you to borrow Jules boots"

"Oh yeah" I replied with less than any enthusiasm, "I'll bring them over later"

"Remember your skates too"


"See you later"

"Later" I put the phone down and checked the time, urgh eight o'clock!

Rhod's Mum is giving us a lift into Sheffield later, she's going to the wholesalers, we're going skating, ice skating that is. I decided to get up, I'll never get back to sleep now! An hour and a half later I arrived at the Peters mansion on Mad's bike.

"Hi Drew"

"Morning again"

"Did I wake you up?"

"Only partly, I borrowed the boots" I advised, handing my rucksack to her.

She looked inside to confirm the contents.

"Didn't you bring your skates?"

"Damn I knew I'd forgotten something" I sighed

"We've got time for you to go back for them"

"Nah, I'll hire a pair when we get there. Let me sort the bikes out so I don't have to do it later"

"Did you get in a lot of trouble?"

"Not really, I just got sent to bed in the end" I mentioned as I wheeled her bike into the garage.

It only took me a few minutes to swap the pedals about so that I could ride Mum's bike home later. I rejoined Mad inside where she had some toast waiting for me.

"Cheers Mad"

"No probs. Bikes done?" she asked around her own bread.

"Yeah. Where's your Mum?"

"Hoovering up stairs"

I realised I could hear the thrum of a cleaner somewhere in the house.

"We gonna go then? You can bring your toast" Mad suggested


"Bye Mum" she called up the stairs. The hoover stopped above us.

"You kids off then?" Mrs P asked from the landing.

"Yeah, we should be back about four"

"Okay, see you later"

"Bye Mrs P" I offered

"Bye Drew"

We walked across to Sylv's getting there a bit after ten thirty.

"There you are, we nearly went without you" Rhod greeted us

"No we didn't" Ally mentioned from behind him, "Bernie's not here yet"

"Yes she is" Bern stated coming in to the salon behind us.

"Hi kids" Sylv enthused as she appeared from the house. "Everyone here?"

"Yes Mum" Rhod told her.

"Well come on then, times a wasting!"

We all piled back out front to where Sylv's RAV waited. Sylv locked her shop up behind us and we all piled into the little 4x4 for the drive across to Sheffield. It's funny how you get used to things, like the route you take to get from A to B. I was a bit thrown when Sylv didn't go the way I expected, instead taking a more direct route to the main road via the lanes.

There was a constant banter from Sylv that included everyone in the car and before I realised we were negotiating the traffic of Sheffield. We followed the tram tracks down towards the city centre, not the line that we've ridden some times from Meadowhall but the southern line. Sylv pulled into the car park at the skating rink and we all piled out.

"Got everything?" she asked

"Think so" Rhod told his Mum

"Where are your skates Drew" Ally asked

"I forgot them"

"Okay then, I'll meet you round at Macdonald's at three"

"Yes Mum" Rhod agreed for us

"Bye kids"

"Bye Mrs Morgan" we chorused

Sylv left on her errands and we joined the short queue waiting for the first session. Once inside the girls headed off to change, Rhod went to find some seats and I went to hire some skates.

"Size 5 please" I asked when I got to the front of the queue

The girl went to get a pair of skates for me but returned empty handed.

"Sorry but all the fives are out"

"All of them?" I asked. This was a real bummer.

"Well all the boys ones, I've got some girls fives" she offered

What choice have I got? Either sit and watch the others or wear girls boots and have some fun.

"Er okay then"

Some girls waiting behind me sniggered as she handed me the pink skates.

"There you go," she said smiling

"Er thanks" I winced as I took the boots to more sniggering from the girls behind.

I found Rhod down at the rink side putting his skates on.

"What have you got there?" he asked

"This is all they had left in my size" I told him

"Well no ones gonna really see them under your jeans are they" he consoled me

"I guess not" I agreed sitting to put the skates on.

The girls joined us a few minutes later bedecked in their skating outfits and already wearing their skates. The girls always make an effort to look the part when we skating, short skirts and tights for them rather than the jeans that most of their peer's favour. They always look pretty cute and attract a lot of attention.

"Nice skates Drew" Ally stated

"It's all they had in my size" I started to explain.

"Come on you two" Bernie encouraged, "let's get on the ice"

We walked down to the gate and slipped the covers off of our blades and joined the other skaters on the rink. It took a few circuits to get used to the ice, I haven't skated for a while and I'm not exactly an expert! The girls and Rhod are all a bit more accomplished than me so I contented myself to just doing circuits while they started doing a few figures.

I was enjoying myself watching Mad trying a toe loop when I was knocked over.

"Oi watch it!" I exclaimed trying to pick myself up

"Or what poofta" my assailant challenged.

"Who you calling a poof?" my blood was up!

By now several other kids were gathered around.

"You" he shoved at me again.

"Give over Danny, you'll get us chucked out again" it was one of the sniggering girls

"It's not his fault, they were the only skates left" the other girl joined in

Danny came to a decision.

"Okay poofta, just keep outa my way"

"Come on Danny"

The little group broke up and I muttered unsavoury ideas under my breath before following them.

"What was all that about?" Mad joined me and linked her arm with mine

"These" I pointed to my skates

"Come on lets get a drink" she proposed


We skated round to the gate and left the ice joining the others who had already got us drinks.

"What was that about Drew" Rhod asked

"Moron wanted to make something of these" I told them indicating my footwear

"Like you say, moron" he agreed

"You all look really professional doing those figure things" I mentioned

"It's not that difficult Drew" Bernie stated

"Wow she's good" Ally drew our attention to the ice.

A girl wearing a mauve skating outfit was skating at a fair old rate around the rink then breaking into a complex combination which included several moves I've seen them do on the telly. We all watched as she continued her routine and joined several others in applauding her performance when she came to halt. She waved at us before heading off the ice herself.

"I wish I could do even half of that" Ally sighed

"Lots of practice I suppose" I mentioned

"Yeah, I bet she's here every day to get that good"

"I guess" Ally lamented

"Come on then, lets get back out" Bernie enthused

We returned to the ice and after a few laps, the others moved back into the middle to practice their moves again. I looked around to see if 'Danny' was on the ice but thankfully he wasn't. I tried a turn and nearly landed on my butt.

"You my girl, look like you could do with some help" a girls voice stated from behind me. She offered a hand and I was soon upright again. It was the girl doing the fancy stuff earlier.

"Thanks, you're pretty good and that outfit looks really good on you"

She blushed a bit

"Well not really, my coach says I should practice more, that's why I'm down here during the public session"

"Well you look good to me, I can't even do a simple turn"

"Thanks. Tell you what, I'll teach you how to do that turn, I'm Jessica by the way"


"Sure, every girl should be able to skate!"

"I I'm not..." she cut me off before I could go any further

"You don't have to be very good girl, just good enough so you don't end up on your bum" Jessica stated

"Okay. Lead on"

She led me into the quieter middle of the ice, the opposite end to the rest of the gang.

"Okay, just practice this for a minute" she showed me how to move backwards, then seeing me looking down the ice asked "friends?"

 The girls gave us a wave

The girls gave us a wave from down the ice

"Yeah, they're all a lot better than me"

"I won't be a minute, keep practising that"

She took off down to the others. I concentrated on the exercise I was doing, she was right it's not really that difficult. With a whoosh of ice Jessica was back.

"Okay Gaby, let's try the turn"

"Who said I was Gaby?" I asked

"I just told your friends that I was teaching their girlfriend and they said that Gaby would appreciate it, why?"

"Oh nothing, but you can call me Gab if you like" I'll get them back later!

"Okay Gab, watch this"

Well you don't need to have every single minute described but Jessica was a pretty good teacher. When she showed me a move it looked so easy, when I tried I more often than not ended up on my derrière! But as the afternoon went on I got more proficient, she even had me doing some simple figures and I could do the turn too. The hooter sounded for the end of the session.

"Thanks Jess"

"No prob's Gab, I really enjoyed it. I needed a break from serious training"

We skated over to the gate and left the ice.

"If you're coming over Gab, give the desk a ring and ask for me, I'm here nearly every day, we can do some more"

"That'd be cool" I agreed

"And wear a skirt next time, it's so much easier to skate in than jeans" she finished

"I'd best go, the others are waiting"

I wasn't sure of the protocol but Jess gave me a light hug and kissed my cheek, I returned the hug but not the kiss.

"Bye Gab

"Thanks again Jess"

"Huh, I can be jealous you know" Mad surprised me

"What you want a kiss?"

"Well it's not compulsory"

I gave her a quick buss then sat to remove those troublesome boots.

"Did you enjoy your lesson?" Ally asked joining us

"Yeah, I learnt lots"

"We saw" Bernie commented

"And who told her I was Gaby?" I demanded thoughts of revenge forgotten, for now.

"Sorry Drew that was me" Rhod admitted


"Well she came up to invite us to join you, but we thought you'd be better off one on one then she said something like 'what's her name? I forgot to ask", and I sort of said Gaby" he concluded

"She was talking as though you were a girl Drew" Maddy pointed out

"I'll just return these then we can get a burger" I suggested

We had half an hour before Sylv was due to pick us up so we walked around to Maccy D's to grab some burgers and drinks while we waited. The girls hadn't bothered to put their jeans back on so they attracted quite a bit of attention in their short skirts.

"Good day?" Sylv asked when we'd all clambered into the RAV.

"Brill!" everyone enthused

"Drew's got a new girlfriend" Bernie was stirring

"Have not, Jess is just a friend" I denied

"Jess is it? And on the first date" now Mad was mixing it

"Give over" I stated

"Hey Drew are you gonna stay over tomorrow night, we're leaving pretty early on Friday." Mad asked

"I guess I can, it would make sense I suppose"

"Are we doing anything tomorrow?" Ally asked

"Like what?" Bernie asked

"I dunno" Ally admitted

"I've got to cut the grass" I mentioned

"How about you all come round for tea in the afternoon" Sylv offered

"Sounds good to me" I agreed

"Well I'm there anyway" Ally confirmed

The others nodded their agreement.

"See you tomorrow then Drew" Mad stated

"It'll be about twelve I think, I'll bring my bag"

"Well you won't need much, you'll be in costume most of the time remember"

"Thanks for reminding me" I grumped getting onto Mum's bike

Mad grabbed me for a quick kiss before I left.

So endeth another 'exciting' day!

'Mad was right', I thought as I packed my bag. 'If I'm in costume all the weekend I only need night clothes and the stuff I'm travelling in.' On one level I'm really looking forward to this weekend, on another I already hate it!

When Mum rang I told her about Tuesday, she seemed okay with it, especially when I said how well Mad had done. The team is riding a three-day in Sweden this weekend, so they are travelling tomorrow so I won't miss a call by being at Mad's tomorrow night anyway.

I fell asleep doing double axel's and double loops in my mind, my mauve dress flying around me. What? It must be Jessica skating not me.

Maddy Bell 07.01.04 Secret © 2004

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