Nena: Book 6
Remind Me Again
by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2015 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.
I sipped at my hot chocolate; the bus wasn’t due for another fifteen minutes.
“That’s better,” Anne Marie sighed as she slipped back into her seat opposite me.
“I should do the same.”
“It’s the second door,” she advised as I stood up.
I’ve got the whole toilet thing as Nena down to a fine art now, it used to take me ages sorting everything out afterwards but as they say, practice makes perfect. I quickly touched up my lips before being distracted again by what I saw in the mirror. Yeah, I’ll admit that I look like Nena without too much effort but now the reflection – what have I done?
Well okay it’s only a haircut, but it’s a haircut that enforces the persona of Nena more than the clothes or the makeup. No, there’s no doubt that I now have a hairstyle that no man would ever have, well I guess I do but you know what I mean. It’s not even all curls or something but it just screams ‘girl’ when you look at it, it’s not any one thing but the whole package from the severe fringe to the carefully layered and shaped rear.
It could’ve been worse, they wanted to colour it but the trip back to Livigno saved me from that. Why did I agree to it? Goodness only knows, in fact I can’t actually remember agreeing to anything more than a quick trim. Well it’s done now, looks like I’ll be getting a number one next week!
“Where are you?” Den enquired.
“On the bus back, should be in Livigno about twenty minutes, you?”
“Still at M’eating Point with Rudi and Johannes.”
“M’eating Point, it’s at the top of the Mottolini gondola, I guess we should head down.”
“Don’t rush for me.”
“Need to get back for dinner anyhow.”
“Mottolini, that’s the station by the coach park?”
“Yup,” Den agreed.
“I’ll meet you at the station, we can share a taxi.”
“Okay, see you in a bit.”
“Keeping tabs on your man?” Anne Marie suggested as I returned my mobile to my bag.
“Not really,” well not at all – and he’s not ‘my man’ either! “Just making sure he’s not got himself killed.”
“He’s likely to do that?”
“Not usually but I wouldn’t trust Rudi not to suggest something daft.”
“You German’s have strange humour,” she opined, “I’m not sure about these curls.”
Not half as much as me and my whole barnet.
“It looks great, Francois will love it.”
“François will not even notice,” she predicted.
“I’m going to wait for the guys to come down,” I told my companion as we disembarked from the bus.
“I should check that Francois hasn’t got himself arrested, you are coming to the Rusticana tonight?”
“Beats cooking,” I allowed, “see you later.”
Yeah, ciao. By the time I’d crossed the road the French woman had found a taxi and disappeared towards her hotel.
It was not far off dark when the gondola clanked and banged to a halt at the bottom station, exhuming a full load of skiers and sightseers.
“And that guy in yellow,” Rudi’s voice offered.
“Matched your bus,” Den returned before they came into view.
I was frozen, I might’ve been waiting inside the building but they aren’t exactly keen on heating the public areas. Not that wearing a dress helped any; I lost sensation in my hosed legs ten minutes after getting off the bus. At least my jacket was warm; I must look like Eskimo Nell with my hood pulled close around my face!
“Nena, good day?” Rudi asked.
“Not spent too much I hope?” Den queried.
“My card is still intact at least,” I allowed, “you guys share a taxi?”
“No, we need stuff from the bus, we’ll see you at the restaurant?”
“We’ll be there,” Den stated, “I intend to collect on that beer!”
I sank onto my bed, “I am never wearing heels again!”
“Except when you have to,” Den suggested, “bathroom?”
“After you, I need coffee.”
Men don’t know they’re born, Den was showered and out before I was half way down my drink, “all yours.”
“Cheers, oh that bag on the top is yours.”
I slipped into the wet room at least the heated floor was thawing my blue feet. It’s funny how you adapt to things, I slipped my bra off and absently rubbed my shoulders. They might not be exactly stylish but the freebie shower cap at least saved getting my new do wet and the time drying and sorting it out afterwards. Yeah, I can’t wait to return to being Chris, just a couple more days and that’s it, haircut, lose the falsies, back to standing for a wee.
“Like the hair, miss,” one of our charges offered as I waited in the lobby for my dinner date.
“Danke,” I allowed.
I don’t know about Francois, Den hasn’t said anything about my new look either.
“Ready?” said miscreant enquired arriving from the lift.
“I have been waiting ten minutes,” I pointed out.
“Right,” he paused to concentrate on his jacket’s zip, “er thanks for the belt.”
Yeah, I didn’t forget to get him something in Bormio, there was a leatherwear place on the via Roma and he was going on about needing a new one, belt that is, on the way down.
“I think you got the better end of the deal.”
“Eh?” he offered before looking up, “you done something different with your hair?”
“Bit of a trim.”
“Suits you, come on, Rudi owes me a pint.”
I won’t ask why.
I was dressed for comfort tonight, no stupid heels, dresses or overdone makeup – no, it’s snow boots, ski pants and my big jumper tonight. A few errant flakes of snow descended from the apparently clear sky above, how does that work? The party was in full swing when we reached the restaurant, Anne Marie, dolled up as usual cutting a rug with Francois whilst the rest of them cheered and jeered.
“Nena,” Rudi exclaimed, “no dress tonight?”
“Nope, it’s comfort tonight, it’s trying to snow out there.”
“Just a few flakes,” Den put in, “won’t come to anything.”
Well I’m not putting money on it either way.
It was a raucous evening, our last in resort although the others are here a day longer. No, BET don’t split the journey so we get to depart after the kids have eaten tomorrow night then drive through the night for a morning ferry. Yeah, living the dream – not!
I was a bit sad when we said our goodbyes, it might only be a few days since we all got together, a private club just for bus Fahrer, be that as it may, we’d all sort of clicked, a disparate group from around Europe all connected by our chosen profession. Sure, we might bump into each other again at some point but I won’t be Nena, which connection will have gone.
Whilst we aren’t leaving until about eight tonight, we still have to check out of our accommodation by ten, which is a bugger, I could’ve done with an afternoon snooze, stock up a few z’s before departure. Well I guess I’ll have to try the back seat, the crew bunk isn’t the most pleasant place and after the bus has been stood for a couple of days – cold. It’s no better for the passengers except of course they can sleep on the bus tonight, I might manage to grab a few minutes when Den takes over.
It’s not like we can do much during the day, our passengers are still skiing today, they’ll need to change afterwards so we can’t even load the luggage.
“Come on,” Den prompted, “let’s have a walk.”
“Not gonna get much chance until the ferry and that’s hardly exercise.”
“Guess not, I hate these overnights.”
“Who doesn’t, not as bad as the Spanish express’s mind.”
“There is that,” I agreed slipping my jacket on.
Last nights few flakes hadn’t come to anything but the forecast promised more this evening – joy. It did mean that our semi return to uniform wasn’t too uncomfortable, I say semi return, I am not wearing a short skirt in sub zero temperatures for anyone! I still had the blouse and I’d wear the jacket later but for now, jumper, trousers and ski jacket.
We hadn’t really looked around Livigno, food and my ski gear but not just stuff and it is supposed to be a duty free zone. That doesn’t mean everything is at knock down prices but the array of perfume and booze outlets gives a clue to some of the attraction. I got a big bottle of Chanel for Julia and a couple of bottles of spirits – well they were cheaper than the boat – Den had already secreted his purchases made whilst I was gallivanting with Anne Marie.
“We can put these on Betsy before we go back to the Federia,” I suggested as we waited for our coffee in one of the coffee and cake establishments.
“Sure,” Den agreed, “you’d best have this now.”
He slid a package across the table.
“You got me a present, returning the thought.”
“You didn’t need to,” I pointed out.
“Well I saw it, thought you might like it.”
It was a bracelet, bangle, not sure what the difference is, anyway it was very nice – for a woman.
“Thought it’d go with that dress you had on the other night,” he added.
“Er it’s lovely, thanks, you really shouldn’t’ve though.”
Mrs Fraser had her troops, I mean pupils, under control so when we returned to the Federia we were able to load up whilst they ate. Not that we’d gone hungry of course, after catching forty winks we had an early dinner, spag bol which would’ve gone down better with a beer but we had to make do with generic cola – just not the same. With full darkness came the white stuff, not heavy but enough to start coating the cleared roads and paths.
“Everyone handed in their keys Joanne Millin?” Mrs Fraser boomed down the bus.
Clearly not, to much jeering and cat calling the card key was found and passed to one of the chaperones to take to reception. I took my jacket off and got ready for departure as the snow swirled about outside. Last person back onboard, the door swung into place and with a plop sealed the nastiness outside. I released the handbrake and our journey was underway.
Den was soon catching the z’s; the passengers had quickly settled down once I lowered the lights, now, even with a full bus I’m pretty much alone. The radio hummed away as I peered into the darkness lost to my own thoughts. It never turned to blizzard but the snow tracked us northwards, just glad that we aren’t crossing passes tonight.
The bracelet slid along my wrist prompting a change of thought. I glanced at the snoring body across the bus, what is going on in that head? I’m not Nena, well I am but you know what I mean but ‘she’ has become a separate person to Chris in Den’s head.
Maybe others too, Bill addressed me as Nena when I rang the other day which is well weird as I wasn’t even using ‘her’ voice. Grrr, what am I doing, Nena isn’t real, I’m Chris. I caught my reflection in the mirror, the reflection of Nena, Nena with her spunky blonde hair, her perfect bosom. Damn! I slapped the steering wheel, this has got to stop.
© Maddy Bell 11.08.16
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