GABY: BOOK 2 Summer Girl*Part 73 Race Ready

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

"What are you three up to?"

"Nothing!" Bernie told me

"Hmm" I didn't believe them

"Are you finished polishing that thing yet?" Mad asked

"Er yeah" I guiltily stopped my rubbing

"Come on Drew, you need a warm up before the start" Dad advised

"Yes Dad" I rolled my eyes at the girls

Mad slapped my bum as I passed

"Get orf!"

"Well it's nice" she stated

"See you in a bit" Ally mentioned

"Yeah"

"Good luck" Mad added

"Thanks"

Although my bruises were still making themselves felt I actually felt pretty good all things considered. I guess the new bike helped psychologically too. I made my way to the stretch of tarmac that on race days became the warm up zone and joined the small number of like minded individuals already there.

"Nice bike Bond" I was surprised by the comment

"Er thanks" I replied looking to see who had made the comment. I was surprised to find my 'arch rival' here at Metheringham alongside.

"You know what they say though" he went on

"What?"

"It's not the bike but the rider" he stated

"I guess so"

"See you on the circuit Bond" his tone was a bit confrontational

If he intended to phase me, he failed. If anything his comments had the opposite effect, firing me up even more!

The race started easy enough and I eased myself into race mode. The only thing to upset me on the first lap was the realisation that the wind was blowing from the direction of a nearby pig farm and we would have to put up with a pretty nasty pong each time we got to the bottom of the circuit!

By the time things started hotting up on lap five I was in full race mode, although in I was being more cautious than usual. There was a little voice at the back of my head saying 'careful, you don't want to fall off again' and the only way to get rid of it was to ride.

I hadn't seen the girls yet, if they weren't cooking something up I'm not Drew Bond! Well maybe that's not saying much eh? Next time past the start / finish area I discovered what they were up to, right alongside the circuit was a banner with 'Go For it Drew' painted on. And the conspirators were right there too.

No one seemed particularly interested in making a race of it today and to be honest I wasn't feeling up to any heroics myself. However fate was to play a hand and with ten laps to go it started to rain, I shouldn't have been surprised, it was forecast. I thought I was cautious today, as soon as the road got damp half the field gave up and I found myself in a small group with the usual shakers and movers.

Each time I passed Dad and the girls they started shouting encouragement and in the now damp conditions, it really did keep me going. Still no one was interested in doing more than get to the finish, so despite some reservations I decided to sir it up a bit. A quick down change, look behind, and Wang! I was off! After about 500 metres I risked a glance under my arm, damn! They were all just about on my wheel. I sat up and tagged on the back as they came past, at least I'd tried.

The rain stopped with two laps to go and the smelly breeze started to dry the road quite rapidly. I assessed how I felt and realised that I didn't actually feel too bad, the slow pace for much of the race certainly helped me today. So if I'm ok that probably means the others are too, I looked at my companions, all bigger, older and no doubt smarting after the last couple of times we met! Well, finishing today was the aim and I'd do that, I'd just play the finish by ear.

The others all looked ready for a sprint finish and I just sat at the back to get there. Like the rest of the race, the finish was lack lustre, no one moving until the two hundred flag. I made my effort but in the end it came down to power and I did well to snatch 4th place about five lengths down.

"Well done Drew" Mad offered

"Good ride son" Dad added

"I'm glad that's over" I told them

"You okay" Ally asked

"Yeah, I guess. A bit sore"

"Get yourself a shower and get that wet kit off" Dad instructed

"You kids want to go into Lincoln?" Dad asked as he loaded my bike into the car

I shrugged; it was okay with me. The girls looked at each other and in a single chorus declared,

"Shopping!"

"I'll take that as a yes, Drew?"

"Yeah, 'sfine with me"

So we pootled the few miles into Lincoln and parked at the railway station. We all walked over to the shops together, then as I suspected Dad called us together.

"You lot okay on your own?"

"'Course we are Dad"

"Just checking. Let's see, it's one fifteen now, how about we meet back at the car at three?"

"Okay"

"Right see you later" and with that he set off towards the cathedral.

"What 'r we gonna do?" Ally asked

"Well I'm starving" I offered

"Looks like it's food first then" Mad observed

"Maccy D's?" Bernie asked

"I dunno, I prefer BK really" I told them

"Well they're both up here somewhere" Ally mentioned.

We set off through the shops and as luck would have it, it was BK that we found first. A round of burgers and drinks later and we returned to the street for a bit of shopping. I recalled the last time we did this; I ended up with that stupid 'Babe' t-shirt, that is not going to happen today!

Being Sunday not all the shops were open but most of the big chains were so we still had plenty to go at.

"I need to get some stuff for next weekend" Mad advised us

"What's next weekend?" Bern asked

"Obicon!" Mad enthused

"You still going Drew?" Ally asked

"Yeah"

"Sound a bit more enthusiastic about it" Maddy pouted

"Sorry, but you know how I feel about the costumes"

"Why, what's she got you wearing?" Ally enquired

"Some weird stuff" I told them

"Like what?" Bernie pursued

"Well he's got the costume from Easter," Maddy started

"Ah" Ally nodded sagely

"...a Harry Potter outfit," she went on

"That's okay" Bernie mentioned

"Yeah, it's not Harry or Ron though, tell them what it is" I urged

"Mad?" Bern queried

"Hermione" she winced as she told them

"I can see why you're not too enthusiastic" Ally supplied

"There's more, tell 'em Mad" I suggested

"Sailor Moon"

"Mad!" Ally exclaimed

"And the other one Mad" I encouraged

"Yeah okay Drew. The other ones a Final Fantasy thing" Mad concluded

"I get to wear skirts all weekend" I stated sarcastically

"Well you did agree" Mad mentioned with a hurt tone

"Come on you two, let's not have you falling out" Ally interrupted before we started to argue.

"Okay, truce?" I asked Mad

"Truce. But I still need to get some stuff" Mad agreed

"What do you need to get?" Bernie asked

"Just bit's and pieces really, tights and makeup really" Mad told us

"Well Boots are just up there" Ally pointed to where the chemists * shop was.

So we walked along to the store, me doing the bored boy shopping with girls.

"I'm just going to have a look at the cameras" I told them, spotting the distant display.

"Okay Drew, see you in a bit" Mad replied

The girls found me about fifteen minutes later.

"Get everything?" I enquired

"Yep, got your tights and some cool nail varnish" Mad answered

"Mad!" I hissed

"Oops, sorry Drew"

"Come on you two, let's have a look in Top Shop" Bernie suggested

"Yeah, I saw a real cool top the other week" Ally agreed

I tagged along behind, resigned to an afternoon of girl shopping.

I reckon girl's boutiques should have a waiting area for all the guys dragged in by their girl friends. I found a corner to lurk in while the girls raided the rails, there were at least four other guys doing similar 'I'm not really here' impersonations! I occupied myself by checking out the shop fittings and decorations.

"Stop looking at the cashier, what do you think?" Mad asked
red top
Mad stood in front of me waiting for an answer.

"Eh?"

"The top?" she huffed

The top was red in a sort of lycra material with net sleeves, the main feature however was a sort of slit above her boobs with a row of sparkly bits around it.

"Erm nice" I offered

"But?"

"Well it shows a lot of cleavage"

"Not really, it's just a peek really, I'd be showing more if it was a sun top" she stated

"If you put it like that, it does look nice on you"

"But a bit tarty?"

"Sort of" I allowed

"Excellent" she grinned heading back to the changing rooms. Women!

"Come on Drew" Ally called a few minutes later

"Oh, right"

"I got you that top Drew" Mad mentioned

"What top?" I can be so blonde!

"Dur, the red one you were ogling" she replied

"What do you mean you got it for me?" I started to bristle

"Well you seemed to like it when I showed you" she stated

"Oh give the boy a break Mad" Bernie interrupted

"Well it is for Drew - to look at" Mad giggled

"Your face Drew" Ally chortled

"Come on, lets have a look in TQ" Bernie suggested

We all trooped up the precinct to Teen Queen for another boutique session. There was nowhere to hide here so I tagged along; carrying the bags as my friends once more descended on racks of clothing. I don't think I'll ever get used to the way girls do this stuff, me I'm in, look round, select something, try it and buy it. Not this lot, no every item on every rail is inspected, compared, discussed; well I'm sure any fellas out there know what I'm saying.

"Excuse me miss, is this yours?"

I span around to find a shop assistant proffering a carrier bag. My mind must have been on auto!

"Sorry?"

"Is this bag yours?" she repeated

"Oh," I checked what I had in my hand, discovering I was short of said bag, "I think so"

She handed me the bag; I glanced inside to check the contents. Yep looked like Mad's stuff.

"Er thanks" I managed

"No problem miss"

A moment later Mad joined me.

"What was that about?"

"Oh she was just giving me this," I indicated the bag, "I'd dropped it without realising" I explained.

Mad replied with a smacker on the cheek.

"Not that I mind, but what was that for?"

"Just for being you Drew"

The shop assistant gave us a funny look on the way out; I've no idea why.

"Hey look they've got Harry Potter wands" Bernie pointed to the display in the next window.

"I knew I'd forgotten something for Hermione" Mad exclaimed

"Come on then" I shrugged leading the way into the discount bookstore.

We hunted about for a bit without finding the grail of a wand.

"You girls looking for something in particular?" a lad of about eighteen asked

"Oh yes, we're looking for a wand" Bernie advised him

"You want a magic shop" he laughed

"We saw a Harry Potter set in the window with one" Ally told him

"Oh yeah," he replied then called to his colleague, "Mary, we got any of those Potter sets left?"

"No, we sold out yesterday" Mary called back

"Sorry girls, we're sold out" he apologised

"Damn, that would've been perfect too" Mad stated

"What about the one in the window?" Ally suggested

"What about it?" the youth asked

"Well couldn't we have that one?" Ally went on

"I guess, I'll have to ask"

"Thanks" Ally smiled at him

"You little flirt" Bernie mentioned

"What was all that about Al" Mad asked

"Well you want the wand thing, I'm just getting it for you" Al replied

"If you can hang on a couple of minutes, Mary will get it for you"

"Thanks" Ally fluttered her eyelashes

"Pleasure girls"

We trooped up to the front desk to wait for Mary to rescue the damn wand. I was smarting a bit at being included in the 'girls' then it dawned on me that the girl in TQ's had called me miss too. If it's never happened to you let me tell you it sucks. I mean if I was wearing girly stuff that's one thing but I've got shorts and t-shirt on! I wish I could grow a beard!

"There you go girls, that's four ninety nine" Mary stated

Mad paid and we trooped out.

"It looks like Drew's getting into a strop" Bernie mentioned

"I'm not! It's just, just"

"What?" Mad enquired

"Well do I look like a girl?" I asked them

"No, well perhaps a bit" Ally suggested

"You and Mad look like sisters when you're together," Bernie added

"That's all I need, even my friends" I moaned

"Come on Drew, at least your pretty" Al smirked

Mad was stubbornly silent on the subject; I took that as agreement with the others.

We did another couple of shops without incident before it was time to meet Dad at the car.

"Enjoy yourselves?" Dad enquired

"Okay I guess" I answered

"Great thanks Mr B" Ally put in

"You okay Drew" Dad asked

"Yeah fine, just tired I s'pose"

"You girls eating with us tonight? Dad queried

"I've got to go home" Bernie advised

"Me too, my Gran's over" Ally mentioned

"What about you Maddy?"

"No thanks Mr B, I told Mum I'd be home for tea"

"Looks like just the two of us then Drew" Dad stated.

After agreeing to tomorrow's plans we dropped the girls off and returned home.

"You sure you're alright son?"

"Yes Dad"

"As it's just us two, how about we eat out?"

"Sure"

So it was that 'The Star of Kashmir' fed the two men of the Bond family. We took our time, Mum wasn't due to ring tonight and my sister was staying over at Charlie's. Somewhere between the popadoms and the tikka massala Dad struck up the conversation.

"What's up Drew?"

"Nothing"

"Don't come that one with me, what is it?"

"Really it's nothing"

"But?"

"Okay, but it's nothing really. It's just that it doesn't matter what I wear, people are always mistaking me for a girl."

Dad just nodded sagely.

"Well it just gets annoying, do you think I look like Mad? Bernie reckons we look like sisters when we're together"

"Of course you don't, but I can see what Bernadette means"

"Not you too Dad" I hmmphed

"From a distance you do look quite alike I suppose, mind you she is about a fourth cousin"

"You mean we're related?"

"On your mothers side, I think you share great great grandparents or something"

"So Aunt Carol really is my Aunt?"

"I suppose so"

I wasn't sure if this new information was good, bad or just plain weird. I mean logically I've got distant relatives but we're not really a close family, we visit Gran a few times a year, most of my aunts, uncles and cousins get together at New Year but that's about it.

"What about me and Mad?" I'd heard that you shouldn't date family members.

"Oh don't worry, you're what's called 'kissing cousins'," he explained, "it's okay honest. Do you think we would have let you two get so involved otherwise?"

"I guess not," I admitted taking a lump of my Peshwari Naan.

"Back to your problem?" he prompted

"Oh yeah, well the thing is, it happens all the time. And Mad doesn't help"

"Well you're not dressing up anymore are you?"

"No. Well sort of."

"What is sort of?"

"Next weekend? The Con? All my costumes are girl characters."

"You had a choice though?"

"Yeah I guess" I hedged not wanting to admit to Mad's railroading tactics.

"Look Drew they're only costumes, you won't be pretending to be a girl like you were as Gaby will you?"

"I s'pose not" I allowed

"So dress up, have fun, and don't think about it too much. Do you want dessert?"

"Sag Aloo please"

Dad's arguments made sense but I still wasn't 100% happy.

*: In this context a chemist is a general term for a pharmacy which in the UK generally sell a full range of personal hygiene and grooming products - nappies to perfume. Boots are the UK's largest chain and bigger stores do a range of household / kitchen goods, photographic stuff, toys and even strollers!