Gaby Book 14 ~ The Girl ~ Chapter *38* Polterabend

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*Chapter 38*

Polterabend

 
 
All the other bridesmaids were older by at least a couple of years, six of us with our equivalent groomsmen. In addition there were of course the best man and maid of honour and one of Analise’ friends supplied two flower girls, both under five and cute as buttons – if you like sprogs that is. The priest explained the order of service then we had the actual practice complete with music.

For the main party we’d not be finished of course after the service, apparently we’re going to the Botanical Gardens for the wedding photos using, wait for it, horse drawn carriages. I hope it’s not too cold, there’s a lot of us girls exposed in those dresses!

As most of the almost thirty strong group were staying at the Günnewig we headed en masse for the hotel much to the bemusement of students and shoppers alike. It was after three, where did the time go? My part in the bun fight is as a costumed extra, you know, in a few shots but doesn’t get to say anything, which I’m rather glad of.

Back at the hotel coffee had been arranged and whilst that was appreciated my stomach was crying out for food more substantial than Lotus biscuits.

“When are we eating?” I whispered to Max.

“‘Bout seven I think, why, you hungry?”

“Starved.”

“We could slip out and get a burger or something,” he suggested.

Not sure I wanted a burger but the something sounded good.

“Sounds good to me,” I enthused.

“I’d best let Mum know.”

“I’ll fetch my coat, back here ten minutes?”

 
 
“Mum, me an Gab are gonna go for a walk,” Max told Gloria.

“Don’t be out too long, you both need to get ready for tonight.”

“We won’t, just gonna look in a few shops.”

It probably wasn’t politic to mention food, there’d be a lecture and possibly orders to desist, no, shopping was much less controversial.

 
 
I would’ve preferred to have changed but with time running on I refrained from more than changing out of heels to the trainers I’ve brought for going home in. Okay, they’ve got some pink on them, they are girl’s after all, they sort of don’t look too dorky with the skirt. The jacket is white and purple; its main feature is that it’s warm and when we stepped out of the Hotel I was glad I’d brought it.

“So where to?” Max asked.

“Well if we go round by the Dom, we can take a squint in Puppenkönig then there’s a Bäckstube down towards the station.”

“How do you know Bonn so well?”

“Duh, shopping!”

I sound like a girl.

“Oh right, you girls do a lot of that,” he noted as he shuffled along in my wake.
 
 

“Puppenkönig’s a toy shop?”

“The clue’s in the name,” I observed.

“Aren’t you a bit old for dolls?”

“Doll’s? Nah, come on, second floor.”

I grabbed his arm and dragged him inside where it was thankfully warmer than the streets of Bonn outside.
 
 

“You collect model cars?”

“So?”

“Not very girly is it?”

“And your point is?”

“Dunno,” he admitted.

“You don’t have to be male to like cars…or female to like dolls,” I added for clarification.

“I guess, so you buying any?”

Good question, I’ve not added to my collection for ages, not been to a model shop in forever. I perused my chosen products, Max wandered off after a bit – radio control helicopters having caught his attention. There were a couple of new models out; I can use my card, yeah why not.

 
 
“So whatcha get?” von Strechau asked as I tucked into my frikadel sandwich.

“Minute,” I managed as I chewed.

“I could fancy one of those helicopters,” my companion supplied.

“Looks fun,” I allowed having swallowed my food, “here.”

He took the small bag, the contents of which had just made a near fifty euro dent in my bank account.

“They’ve even got seats and stuff,” he noted as he inspected my haul.

“Of course,” I agreed before taking a second unladylike mouthful of German burger.

“Pretty cool,” he allowed as he re-bagged my treasures.

 
 
I ‘only’ had two hours to get ready for the evenings festivities when we got back to the Günnewig.

“Thought you’d got lost,” Gloria stated.

“Just forgot the time.”

“Well the bathroom’s all yours, Willy arrived while you were out so I’ll probably be downstairs when you finish, you need to be down for seven okay.”

“Er sure,” I agreed rubbing my slightly sore feet.

I got my evening attire organised then headed for the shower, hmm nothing like a nice power shower to de-stress with. After the washing bit I just stood under the water for a bit, the water needling my neck and shoulders, relieving the stress that I didn’t notice was there before. But I couldn’t stay there forever so the water was cut and it was time to make a silk purse from unpromising material.

 
 
My dress for this evening’s hostilities, I mean pre nup dinner? Look you don’t pay two hundred euros out on a dress to wear it once, well not in my world at any rate. So alright it’s not strictly speaking me that’s footed the bill, that’d be my unnamed benefactor at Eloise Couture (I suspect it’s the Baroness), but even so.

So yes the Biba has become my go to dress for posh do’s this season, different, shoes, hose, hair – it’s not like any of this lot will have seen me in it – unless they were at the Mart’s party back before Japan.

Gloria was indeed absent by the time I emerged from the bathroom, which meant I got a chance to do my dilation before getting ready – I’d likely forget later! I’ve been a girl for just three weeks but I’ve been a girl for a lot longer so it was of course with practised ease that I did my face and hair, donned my good lingerie and sealed myself into the dark blue crepe.

 
 
“I was just gonna come to find you,” Max advised when I slipped into the reception area.

“I’m not late am I?”

“No, but I was feeling a bit of a lemon on my own.”

“Where are your parents?”

“Gott knows, Tante Catherine and Gran are here somewhere,” he supplied.

Yeah, Analise and her hubby to be might not have titles but the wedding guests do, dukes, barons, a countess, duchess, baroness, world champion – and that’s only the people I know! So there might not be a king in waiting, president or princess but by my score this still rates as a Matrimony Noblese. There wasn’t any kind of announcement but everyone started drifting towards the dining room where we were directed to seats around a pretty impressive table.

So yeah it wasn’t old family silver on the table but the dressings were nonetheless impressive. Max and his plus one, that’s me, were seated towards one end, the happy couple sat opposite each other about mid table. Max has connections to both families apparently although it’s closer to Analise than the Heinemann’s.

There would be speeches tomorrow at the wedding breakfast so tonight’s cosier affair was thankfully spared all but the welcome and thank you niceties before the food started to arrive. I guess there were about fifty at the table and as most were family the atmosphere was pretty relaxed. Of course I still felt somewhat out of place, they aren’t my family and other than the Strechau’s I’ve not got much social history with any of them.

The meal ran to I think, eight courses – I lost count somewhere, it was big on fancy but thankfully the servings were small enough not to get everyone stuffed. Analise and Johannes did the rounds of the guests; I doubt they actually ate more than a few mouthfuls altogether.

“Taxis out front in fifteen minutes,” Sonia, one of the other bridesmaids advised in my ear as the sorbets were cleared.

“Er right,” I agreed.

Around the table people started to move, coffee was at a side table and whilst I quite fancied a cup I needed to fetch my coat and change bags.

“Max,” I tugged at his sleeve, “Max!”

“Wassup?” he asked breaking off his conversation with his other neighbour.

“I need to get my coat for the you know what.”

“Okay, might see you later.”

“Er right.”

My limited idea of hen and stag parties don’t include the two groups meeting at any stage, quite the contrary but what do I know?

 
 
“Gaby!” a voice squealed when I returned to the public area of the hotel.

“Soph, you made it.”

“We arrived while you were eating.”

“Apparently we’re going somewhere by taxi, we’re supposed to meet outside in,” I checked my watch, “er two minutes ago.”

“Best go then,” Fraulein Thun und Taxis suggested.

Outside the other members of the hen were waiting, we were the last.

“Gaby, Sophia, good let’s go,” Sonia, actually the Maid of Honour declared – I guess she’s in charge of this shindig.

We piled into the waiting cars, a dozen of us all told, bride, bridesmaids and a handful of other younger women not directly part of the wedding like Sophia.

“Where’re we going?” I asked as Matty squeezed in next to me.

“Godesberg, much nicer than the Zentrum for the Junggesellinnenabscheid!”

“Where?” Soph enquired.

“Bad Godesberg, it’s about ten minutes away.”
 
 

I must point out that I do not ordinarily frequent the streets late at night; if I did I would’ve been more aware of the order of the evening’s proceedings. Godesberg is somewhere I’ve ridden through, the northbound Rhein Express stops there but I’ve never actually visited the place as such. We poured out of the taxis in the town centre with high spirits and much giggling, Sonia immediately dragging Analise into the first bar on the street – of which I could see several.

“What’s going on?” I asked Sophia while we waited.

“Analise she will raise some money for charity, maybe selling cards or trinkets – the guys get off lightly!”

“So we aren’t on a pub crawl then?”

“Of course, where else will Ana find donors on a Friday night?” she pointed out.

There is that I suppose.

 
 
The bride to be returned dressed in a parody of a Dutch girl complete with foam clogs, pointy hat and wired wool braids. The assembled laydeez whooped with delight and the charity drive commenced.

Apparently Analise couldn’t have assistance from any of us so it was our job to act as advance guard in the hostelries, and by turns ‘protection’ for our girl. However this wasn’t the rowdy drinking party that I associate with hen do’s back in Blighty, this, whilst lively was more restrained but even I was having some fun as we invaded each hostelry. I was keen not to get drunk again; diet cola became my tipple although by how I was feeling by ten thirty some of them had something ‘extra’.

The charity drive, she was selling mini cheeses of course, was halted once they were all gone and Ana changed back to her party frock and we stopped at a previously arranged restaurant where we ate pizza and beer – okay I had a wheat beer, I was just joining in! It was not a lot before twelve when we returned to the Günnewig, jolly, not drunk, but ready for our beds.
 
 
Maddy Bell 15.01.16



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