Gaby Book 15 ~ Friends ~ Chapter *20* Countdown to York

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*Chapter 20*

Countdown to York

“You’re late,” Dad noted when I let myself in.
“We walked back from town.”
“Er yeah,” sugar! “Stella had a flat.”
“I’ll have a look while you’re at cheer, talking of which you’d best shake a leg.”
“Um yeah,” I agreed.

“You have eyebrows!” Margot announced not quietly.
“Er yeah,” I agreed.
Is it really that long since I’ve been here? It must be, I think I had those ridiculous drawn on things last time after Brid’s ‘accident’, they aren’t back to full strength but I do have something resembling facial furniture.
“So you’re all fixed?” Hannah queried.
“Pretty much, might be a few weeks before I’m doing the splits though.”
“You ready then?”
“I guess,”
“Okay people, warm ups,“ Hannah ordered.

I was mindful of doing too much stuff that pulled at stuff down below but mostly I was just out of condition. Much like my bike riding it’s gonna take a while to get back to where I was before but the rest of our ‘squad’ were certainly improving.
“Did you get anywhere with your teacher friend?” Hannah queried when I returned to the hall after a ‘visit’ post session.
“Fran? Well she sent some web links but without seeing where we are it’s a bit difficult.”
“Yeah, I suppose so,” Han allowed.
“She did suggest sending a tape of one of our sessions.”
She brightened at that, “We’ve got a video camera, we could do that next week.”
“Okay,” I agreed.

“So come on, spill,” Mand demanded.
“What am I missing?” Pia queried.
We were waiting for our lift; Herr Sebenschuh was doing the honours tonight.
“This afternoon, what were you up to, Gaby Bond?”
“I told you, I did some shopping, caught a burger then I had to walk home because of a puncture.”
“Why didn’t you ring for a lift?”
“I er, it didn’t seem worth troubling Dad.”
“She was with Max,” Mand told Pia with authority, “I heard him when I rang.”
“I wasn’t with him.”
“Ah but he was there?”
“Might’ve been.”
“Aha!” she crowed.
“Look, we bumped into each other, he fixed the Gaggia,” I rushed out.
“Sounds like a liaison to me,” Pia put in.
“You know I was going to the cabin P.”
“Now we know why, Gaby Bond, you hussy!”
“It wasn’t like that!”
I was saved from further discussion on the matter by the arrival of the Sebenschuh’s asthmatic bus arriving.

“So like four gateaux’s and six Stollen?” Con confirmed.
“Uh huh,” I agreed, “Do you reckon we could do some gingerbread for the kinder too?”
“I’ll ask Papa.”
She departed to find her dad; we need to do some of the baking this afternoon.
“So come on, Gab, what happened?” Steff asked.
It was too much to ask for Pia not to spill about last night so the others were keen for a first hand account.
“It wasn’t a date,” I insisted.
“Well let’s hear about this ‘not a date’ then,” Nena prompted.
“There’s nothing to tell.”
“Con, you want to hear this, she claims nothing happened,” Brid suggested as Con returned to our table in the coffee shop.
I wasn’t going to get out of this easily, Mand you blabbermouth! With a sigh I prepared to give an edited account of events, they’ll keep on otherwise.

“…And he bought the burgers? Sounds like a date to me,” Steff opined.
“It was only a burger.”
“It’s never ‘only’ anything with you, Bond,” Nena stated.
I felt something in my pocket, the chain, “We found this in the machine.”
“I wondered where that had gone,” Brid told us,” must’ve caught it when we were decorating, thanks, Gab.”
“Thank Max, he found it,” I mentioned.
“So your bike is fixed?” Con queried.
“Uh yeah, just needed some air.”
Stella. I’m sure Dad saw through that fib, there certainly wasn’t a puncture, yeah maybe a little low on air but not enough to warrant the walk.

In the end I never admitted to anything beyond the Maccy D, hopefully Max can keep schtum. School was school then afterwards Steff volunteered to help with the baking, many hands and all that. I’m not sure it helped much but we did the oven bit, we just need to put the Schwarzwalder’s together for the weekend.
All in all a quiet week in the making.

“You sorted out for the weekend?” Mum enquired when I slumped on the couch.
“Sort of.”
“There’s no ‘sort of’, if you’re intending riding on Sunday your Dad needs your kit Thursday night, he’s off to pick up the girls first thing Friday.”
“I thought the ferry’s at like eight o’clock in the evening?”
“We have to get there,” Dad pointed out.
“Okay,” I sighed.
“What about the ‘do’, you sorted out what you’re wearing?”
Life was so much simpler when I was Drew, or maybe it wasn’t?
“No idea,” I admitted.
“What about you, Amanda?” Mum asked as she joined us.
“You got a dress sorted for Saturday?”
“The one I wore Sunday, it has at least got short sleeves.”
“Does it need washing?”
“Well go fetch it, we aren’t having any last minute rushes,” Mum stated.
“’Kay,” Mand agreed before getting up to fetch her frock.
“And you, young lady…”
“Alright, I’ll go find something,” I mumped.

When I got home on Thursday, late of course due to my remedial session, the Apollinaris minibus was reversed up to the garage door.
“There you are, leave that out there for now,” Dad suggested indicating my daily steed.
“Which bike are you riding Sunday?”
“Er one with wheels?”
“Sorry, Dad, the winter bike?”
“Thought you’d want to show off on the race bike.”
“I don’t want to get covered in cack, it’s England after all, the roads’ll be covered.”
“Never used to bother you,” he mentioned.
“Yeah well I don’t want to get my new kit covered in muck,” I supplied – and it’ll ruin my makeup.
“Fair enough, winter it is.”
Of course with Dad mechanicing my winter bike is hardly the bucket of bits, dirty hack that a lot of people associate with winter riding. So yeah it has heavier tyres and mudguards but Dad keeps all the bikes spotless and in tip top order, it looks as good as my race bike – well from a distance. Dads, no self-respecting girl should be without one!

“You aren’t on the market tonight are you, Gab?” Mum asked as I collected my school stuff together.
“Not working, we need to finish the gateaux’s then take them down.”
“What about Garde?”
“Nah, not this week, I still ache a bit from Monday,” I admitted.
“It’s nothing, Mum, I just haven’t done it for a few weeks, it’s bound to hurt.”
“Hmm,” she allowed, “just don’t be too late tonight, we’ve an early start in the morning.”
“No, Mum.”

“Sure you don’t want to swap?” Steff queried.
“It’s tempting but no,” I replied as we bowled down to Silverberg.
“You’re no fun, Gabs.”
“On the contrary, I do intend to have fun.”
“Well don’t forget us toiling away here on the market,” Nena called over her shoulder.
“How can I? I’ll be thinking of nothing else.”
“But there’s no Maxie,” Brid supplied.
“We’ll look after him for you,” Pia giggled.
Instead of saying anything my face turned an interesting shade of pink, look, it wasn’t a date and it wasn’t a kiss, all right?

Maddy Bell 14.02.16

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