TG Universes & Series:
I’m not even going to waste your time describing how bad the next few days were, my teachers didn’t stint on the amount of work they sent up the valley – I couldn’t claim to have nothing to do. I was effectively grounded, ‘it’s for your own good’, so I couldn’t even go to supervise cheer on Monday night, Mand went up, Hannah took them through the stuff I’d done previously. The highlight was Tuesday night, the girls came round after school for a while, but it was over far too quickly.
I was actually going stir crazy by Thursday when Gloria rang to arrange our departure for the wedding.
“I’ll pick you up at eleven then, Gaby.”
“Eleven,” I confirmed.
I might not be particularly looking forward to it but after the last couple of weeks it offers some escape from Bondatraz.
“Did I hear you say eleven?” Mum queried after I finished the call.
“That’s early,” she opined.
“Apparently we have to go to the rehearsal tomorrow afternoon as well.”
“Never had that when me and your Dad got hitched.”
“You didn’t get married in a cathedral either,” I pointed out.
“True,” she allowed, “we’d best get you packed then.”
“I guess,” I agreed with somewhat less enthusiasm.
When I was Drew, there’s the rub, well anyway I could’ve packed in five minutes, best togs, change of underwear, best shoes and wash kit. Now, well I need stuff for the dinner, stuff for before the wedding, stuff to come home in oh and stuff to go in, shoes, bags, undies, makeup – well it won’t all fit in an overnight bag will it?
“So what are you wearing for the rehearsal?” Mum enquired.
“Dunno, I’m guessing jeans are out?”
“You are not showing me up young lady.”
She won’t even be there, it’s only the wedding party, maybe a few family taxi’s like Gloria I guess so who’s gonna be bothered?
“You can wear one of your suits.”
“Do I have to?”
Her look was enough to end any argument on the matter.
“Where’s your wash kit? You got perfume?”
“In with my bike kit.”
Mum grabbed my kit bag and extracted my slightly manky overnight stuff.
“Flippin’ ‘eck, Gaby, you can’t take this it’s disgusting.”
“I wouldn’t go that far.”
“I would, I think I’ve got a spare bag downstairs, smellies?”
I’m not allowed to carry stuff so it was Mum who bumped and slid my suitcase downstairs – a benefit to being an invalid! I couldn’t see anything wrong with it but Mum decided my pink suit, well it was originally Mum’s, that I wore in Munich was, a bit tired and crumpled. I did draw the line at wearing that silly hat thing and the stockings, I’m a tights girl given the choice and I had that at least.
“Geez, Gab, how long you going for?” Mand asked seeing my cases waiting in the hallway.
“Tell me about it, it’s a nightmare.”
“Don’t tell me you won’t enjoy it.”
“I won’t enjoy it.”
“Even spending time with Max?”
“Especially spending time with Max.”
We’d had dinner when my handy started playing a tune.
“Bond…oh hi Soph.”
“You are going to the matrimonies Saturday?”
“Bridesmaid remember, worst luck.”
“Someone sane to talk to.”
“If I survive tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” she enquired.
“Rehearsal at the Dom and this Polterabend thing in the evening.”
“You going out after? We’ll miss dinner but should be in time for the rest.”
“After? What rest?”
“Well duh, the batchelorette party, after the Polter the guys go some place, the girls separately, dancing, drinking, a last night of freedom, you must know this, girl.”
“I er hadn’t given it any thought, Gloria never said anything.”
“It’s only the junge who go on, bridesmaids are expected to go to keep the bride from going AWOL!”
“But we’re not old enough to drink,” I noted.
“You kidding, well okay maybe not strictly legally but we’ll be with the wedding party and even you pass for eighteen when you are dressed up, a short, cute eighteen but eighteen nonetheless.”
“I’d best bring a coat then.”
“Unless you want to freeze I guess,” Sophia giggled.
More for my case, talk about a nightmare.
“I should get off of this phone, it’s nearly curfew.”
“You still at school?”
“That’s why we’ll miss the Polterabend, I can’t get ought of this place until after classes tomorrow. Aren’t you at school tomorrow?”
“I’ve been off for a couple of weeks,” I offered, “I’ll fill you in tomorrow.”
“Take your diamond studs.”
“Yes, Mum,” and the rest of my possessions.
Of course she’d had me up at silly o’clock to make sure I was suitably de-haired, perfumed and painted. You’d think it was me getting hitched heaven forbid. Anyway it’s now ten to eleven and I think I’m finally ready, well Mum ready, I was good to go over an hour ago.
“Ring me later and don’t get carried away dancing.”
“I mean it, we are not having a repeat of last week, I don’t think me or your Dad could take it again.”
Lay the guilt on why don’t you.
“I’ll be careful.”
“That’ll be Gloria,” I opined heading for the door.
The shadow through the glass however was distinctly not Gloria.
“Max,” I allowed on opening the portal.
“Morning, Gab, you look nice.”
So of course the junior Baron is pretty much in ‘smart casual’, slacks, shirt and a jumper artfully draped across his shoulders – do I feel like a right prawn!
“Didn’t know you’d be coming.”
“How else would I get there? Dad’ll be late, some meeting in Neuweid I think.”
“Hi, Max,” Mum greeted joining us.
“Morning, Frau Bond.”
“So we going or what?”
“Er sure, you want me to take your bag?”
“She’s not to carry anything heavy or go silly dancing.”
“Leave it to me, Frau B, I’ll keep her in order.” Max stated.
“Purr leese,” I huffed.
“Both of these?” Max queried eyeing my bags.
“Yup,” I grinned.
Mum did the air kiss thing; just as well, she’d choke on this makeup.
“I’ll ring okay, geez we’re only going to Bonn. Laters! Come on, Max, times a wastin’!”
I trotted off on the longer route down to the road, much easier in heels and a tight skirt than the more direct steps.
“I see you have him trained,” Gloria chuckled when I got to the Cayenne.
“They have their uses,” I agreed turning to watch the object of the conversation struggling with my bags on the steps.
A moment later my borrowed vanity hit the deck and the suave youth proceeded to trip over my case.
His mother chortled again.
“You look very nice,” Gloria supplied when we set off towards the motorway.
“It’s not a bit overboard?”
“Maybe a little,” she allowed, “but we lead by example.”
What’s that supposed to mean?
It was just turned twelve by the time we were checked in at the hotel, the very swish Günnewig on Kaiserplatz. To make accommodation easier I was sharing with Gloria and Max with his Dad. The Baroness is commuting with Max’s Tante Catherine, the Countess Schillingsfürst who’s not so closely involved with the wedding and is staying at Rech.
The hotel is pretty posh, four star with all the bells and whistles, tonight’s dinner is just up the road but the do tomorrow will be here, it’s only a few minutes walk from the Dom which is pretty handy.
“Just put your cardigan on, Gaby, the jacket is perhaps a bit much.”
“Mum wouldn’t listen.” I moaned.
“She meant well I’m sure, come on, we have time for coffee before we go to the Dom.”
The coffee turned into more of a production when Gloria took a shine to the kuche in the hotel coffee shop. Not that I was complaining, I got a generous slice of marzipan bombe, all fresh cream and drizzled with choccy sauce and vermicelli, you know, chocolate sprinkles. Hmm, I could do this every day.
So of course by the time we’d crossed the Hof Gärten and found the right door into the dark edifice we were ten fashionable minutes late. We weren’t the only ones to be tardy; while we waited for the groom to arrive Gloria took it on herself to introduce me around. These were of course largely Max’s relations, I remember seeing one or two at his Gran’s bun fight the other week.
“Ah, Gaby, so glad to have you in the party!” Analise enthused.
“Er thanks for inviting me, I’m not sure why you would want me though.”
“You are nearly family so of course you should be here.”
“I thought bridesmaids were like your friends and close relatives.”
“When you marry Max we’ll be cousins, that’s close enough for me, ach, looks like the stragglers have arrived!”
Now people I barely know are marrying me off to Maximillian Maria von flippin’ Strechau.
“Come on, Gaby, time to earn your keep,” Max stated as he grabbed my hand and dragged me to the centre of operations.
Maddy Bell 14.01.16
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