“Who else would be on my phone?”
“Oh right, sorry it's so late, I tried ringing earlier,” Max agreed, “um I don't have email for Sophia but I got her phone number from Mum.”
“You got a pen?”
He gave me the number, not that I was going to call her at eleven at night!
“Good luck on Sunday kiddo.” Mum told me whilst giving me a hug.
“Thanks Mum, make sure you win in chocolate land!”
“I'll see what I can do. Now off to school.”
I gave her another hard hug before we parted.
My mood was not particularly great when I got to Thesing's.
“Wassup Gabs?” Anna enquired.
“Mum's leaving today.” I advised before collapsing in a teary lump.
“Not leaving leaving?” Pia asked.
Unable to speak around my sobs I shook my head.
“She'll be back soon.” Steff supplied moving to sit beside me and hugging me.
For the next twenty minutes my friends did their best to calm me down and break my mood. It kinda worked and whilst it's not impossible to cry and ride a bike, the act reduced the waterworks to occasional sniffles and red eyes.
“Drew? That you?” Dad called from the kitchen when I got home.
“Uh huh, what d'ya want?”
“Well if you're going to talk to me like that nothing.”
“Um sorry.” I joined him in the food room where he was making some salad.
“I've been looking to see whether we can still fit in a trip to the tour.”
My interest level increased ten fold.
“Well if we fly rather than drive we can fit in a couple of days, see the Tourmalet stage?”
“There's a catch isn't there?”
“Well we'd have to get a lunchtime flight on the Sunday so your con trip would be cut short.” He explained.
“When do you need to know?”
“Tonight really so I can book the plane, I've got a hold on a room but I need to confirm that too.”
My mood was certainly raised by this development.
“Ten minutes!” I excitedly announced before rushing up to my eyrie.
“And so if I go straight from the hotel you guys can still do the Sunday.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Anna agreed.
Mum's appraisal yesterday was quite true, I felt I had to okay the change in plan with her rather than any of the others who would go along with whatever was decided.
“Great, I'd best let Dad know, thanks Anna, see you in the morning.”
I think Dad was as keen as me on making the trip; he was certainly enthusiastic in finishing the organisational aspects, delaying our dinner until it was done.
Brrp, brrp…. brrp, brrp…. brrp, brrp.. Click
“Güten abend, Taxis.”
“Erm hello, can I speak to Sophia please?”
“Who should I say is calling?” the chap on the other end of the line enquired.
“Gaby, Gaby Bond, from the wedding last week?”
“One moment please.”
I sighed as I was put on hold.
“Oh hi Sophia, Max gave me your number.” I explained.
“It was a good wedding eh?”
“And now they are looking for the missing debutante!” she giggled.
“You haven't seen? Stern and Bild both have rewards out to find you, seems no one knows who the mystery blonde is.”
“I saw on the telly the other day, it's not like I'm difficult to find.” I pointed out.
“But if you are looking in the wrong places…”
“Don't worry, I won't tell. So, you didn't ring just to gossip.”
“Er no, um not that it's not nice, you know you loaned me that dress?”
“Well it seems to have been packed with my stuff, I need to get it back to you.”
“There's no rush, next time there's a do will be fine.”
Was she expecting there to be more social gatherings that we'd both attend?
“I'd rather send it to you.”
“Okay, you'd best send it to the house in Stuttgart then.”
“Stuttgart? I'm racing there on Sunday!” I interrupted.
“Racing, oh yes you ride bikes don't you, I'm in town this weekend, maybe we could meet up.”
“We're travelling down Saturday.”
“Ring me when you arrive, we can sort something out.” she seemed more enthusiastic than a dress delivery would really warrant.
“Oh no, this is the country pile near Rottweil, you'd best have my handy number.”
We exchanged mobile numbers and I bid goodnight to the still too enthusiastic Lady Sophia Taxis.
“You look happier today.” Frau Thesing observed.
“I just got a bit emotional yesterday.”
“Could you work tomorrow?”
“The morning, up to about twelve, we're leaving for Stuttgart at one.”
“That would be great if you could, start at seven?”
“Kay.” After last weekend I can do with topping up the coffers.
I joined the others for frühstuck.
“So where are you going?” Pia asked.
“Its near Lourdes, we fly to Toulouse then drive about 150km into the Pyrenees.”
“Just to watch a bike race?” Brid wrinkled her nose.
“Now you've done it!” Anna opined.
“Not just A bike race, it's THE bike race, the Grand Boucle, the ultimate test of man and machine…”
“Gab, we know!” Con interrupted my flow.
“So where is it this weekend?” Steff enquired.
“Stuttgart, the others are coming down tomorrow morning then we drive down in the afternoon.”
“Gaby Bond, jetsetter!” Nena joked.
“Doesn't it get boring?” Brid asked.
“Tiring sometimes, oh you never guess what?”
“Well give us a clue.” Con suggested.
“I told you about Sophia, the girl I shared with in Bayern?”
“The crown duchess or something?” Pia suggested.
“That's her mum, well anyway,” I enthused, “guess what?”
“She's really Godzilla in a dress?” Nena snorted.
“Do you want to hear?” I huffed.
“Go on Gab.” Steffi encouraged.
“Well you know I borrowed a dress off of her,” there were a couple of nods, “well she's gonna meet me in Stuttgart to pick it up.”
“Is that all?” Brid sighed.
“Is that all?” I started.
“Gab, calm down eh?” Anna suggested.
Well okay, maybe I am getting a bit over enthusiastic about meeting up with her.
“Nice to see you Gaby.” Hannah smiled when I turned up at the Garde training.
“Thought I could do with a bit of a workout.”
“Make sure you do your stretches, I don't want your Dad on my back again.”
I joined the other girls, who were all effusive in their welcome, has it really been a month since I last came to training?
It felt good to do some exercise that wasn't directly bike orientated, I was a little bit stiff but I still managed to do the splits and leg extensions even if I felt a bit sore afterwards.
“So Gaby, how is the racing going?” Hannah asked as I prepared to leave.
“Pretty good, and before you ask my diary is full through until September.”
“Now there's a coincidence.”
“I'm not gonna like this am I?”
“Why ever not? P tells me you used to do cheering.”
“Uh yeah, at school in England.”
“Well the committee are thinking of starting a cheer squad, some of the girls are quite keen and I wondered if you'd like to be involved given your experience.”
Cheering eh? My memory flashed Miss Cowlishaw in Warsop and the good times we had in the Foresters. Of course thoughts of that led on to the American experience and my explosive exit from the squad after our victory performance. I do still think about it, it was good fun.
“Can I think about it?”
“Of course, just thought I'd get my two cents in well in advance.”
I was on my Schauff tonight, and I spent the ride home going through some of the Foresters routines in my head. I nearly came a cropper when I found myself trying to clap and kick still on the bike! Yeah I think I might just do it, must practice before then though, don't want to look stupid in front of the girls of the squad.
“Are you packed?” Dad asked when I rolled indoors, “we're not having a repeat of Bremen.”
“Yes Dad, in the hall.”
“I've got to go down to the office in the morning, just make sure you're ready to leave.”
“I'm working at Thesing's until twelve.”
“Hmm, well don't be late getting back, we need to leave at one.”
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 29.05.11 © 2011