Nena: Book 6
Remind Me Again
by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2015 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.
Jeans, I should be so lucky! My girlfriend has of course done a number on me again, what I assumed was a pair of denims turned out to be a skirt, well done, Jules. A quick check of my case revealed that I’m well kippered - posh frock, the denim skirt, a selection of underwear and hosiery, a sparkly jumper, several tops and two pairs of what might be loosely described as leggings. I say loosely as they were thicker, more like tracksuit bottoms I guess.
There is no way I’m going out to freeze my bits off in a dress or skirt.
“Come on, Nena, I’m ready for a beer,” Den mentioned.
“Just a minute,” I offered.
To be honest, I’m not sure that the white ski pants were any better than the skirt but I didn’t feel quite so exposed. One thing though, wearing the snow boots didn’t seem so out of place and with the big jumper I was at least reasonably warm. I opened the bathroom door to join my colleague.
“Thought you’d have a dress.”
“This is warmer,” I stated.
“Come on then, I’m ready,” I chivvied as I pulled my new jacket on.
We crossed with Mrs Fraser in reception looking no happier than when we’d last seen her.
“Good day on the slopes?” I ventured.
“No broken bones at least.”
“That’s goo…ood,” I replied to her rapidly departing back
“Come on, I need that beer.”
“What is it with that woman?” I offered following Dennis out into the cool evening air.
Did I say cool, make that freezing!
The Ristorante Rusticana is hardly any distance from our lodgings but even so I was more than glad to step into the warm interior after the short walk.
“Nena, Den!” Rudi called out across the busy restaurant.
We made our way across to the table, already occupied by a bunch of unmistakably middle-aged bus drivers, except for the blonde woman chatting in French to a chap with a very French moustache.
“Find yourselves seats, what are you drinking?” Rudi queried.
“Beer.” Den stated.
We found seats, drinks arrived, introductions were made, food arrived and the ‘Bus Fahrer’ party was in full flow. The food, as you might expect was Italian, a pasta buffet in effect – lasagne, tortellini, ravioli with salad and garlic bread for variety. Yes there was drink but not to excess – you don’t last long in this business if you drink excessively.
With the food consumed several conversations ran counterpoint across our table, the traffic hold ups at Mont Blanc, something about Van Hool braking – you get the idea, talking shop. There might be several nationalities present but language was no barrier to the good natured banter and exchanges. To be honest I was quite happy just listening, Den was in his element.
“They talk some bull eh?”
“Eh?” my musing was broken by Anne Marie sliding into the seat next to me, “Er sure.”
“So how come you are working the bus?”
“I um got a job offer out of University.”
“From the English? You are German, non?”
“I went to University in Nottingham, how did…”
“I guess you are German? Your English is very good but you still have a German accent.”
“So, Dennis, he is your boyfriend?”
“No, no, just colleague. You and…?”
“For my sins, we are married, Francois and me, ten years.”
“You do the buses full time?”
“No, but a ski trip, well it’s a good opportunity for some fun eh? You ski?”
“Only at school once or twice,” I admitted – Xscape at Castleford isn’t exactly the Alps!
“You should come, you work tomorrow?”
She leant past me and tugged on Den’s sleeve, “Hey Dennis, I’m stealing Nena from you tomorrow.”
“Okay,” he replied before returning to discussing the difficulties of finding fuel in Antwerp.
“So, Nena, we girls will go on the piste tomorrow.”
“We’ll do the Carosello, I’ll pick you up at nine thirty, we can hire at the station.”
“Anne Marie, it’s late eh?” Francois suggested from across the table.
“Looks like I have a busy night,” my new friend noted with a wink, “nine thirty.”
“Um yes,” I agreed.
It was gone eleven when we headed back to the Federia.
“So what were you girls talking about?” Den queried.
“This and that, apparently we’re going skiing tomorrow.”
“Me? I’ve got two left feet.”
“No just me, she’s collecting me after breakfast.”
“I was gonna suggest we went up one of the cable cars for lunch.”
“You could still do that, do I have an accent?”
“A bit, it’s quite cute.”
“That’s all I need, a cute accent!”
“Cute accent for a cute girl, ”he mentioned before scampering off
Den was pushing his luck now!
“Why you…” I started giving chase.
To be honest, Den’s plan of a lazy day with a cable car up the mountain to get lunch sounded more appealing than joining Anne Marie on two planks but how do I cry off? I don’t have her phone so I’ll have to see her to even cancel at which point – looks like I’m skiing.
“So where are you snow bunnies off to?” Den asked as I sipped at my second cup of coffee.
“Caro something I think she said, why?”
“Just so I know where to start searching.”
Fifteen minutes later I was stood outside the hotel block feeling about as nervous as you get. For a second day the skies were clear and blue but the temperature was struggling to make plus.
A car horn sounded followed by, “Nena!”
It took me a moment to work out that Anne Marie was in the car, well taxi that had hooted.
“Morning yourself, come on get in, we can beat the schools if we’re lucky,” she suggested.
I climbed in beside her and our dour driver wordlessly set off. Livigno tends to the long and stringy and our destination lies pretty much at the other end of the town. It’s not a long way but far enough you wouldn’t want to walk, the taxi made short work of the distance and barely ten minutes later we were joining the early bird skiers outside of the Carosello cable car station.
“Come on, we can hire our kit at the top after a coffee.”
We joined the queue for tickets - €44! Sheesh I don’t want to buy the mountain! This trip is turning into an expensive do. By the time we’d paid and waited for our turn in a gondola it was after ten, we’re not going to get a lot of skiing in at this rate. The cabin only holds eight in a ‘friendly’ confinement; conversation was somewhat limited as we skimmed up the mountainside.
At the top Anne Marie took charge leading the way to the self service restaurant to get that coffee.
“There you go, it has a leetle extra eh,” my personal organiser declared plonking a tray on the table.
“Thanks, it’s busy up here, you been before?”
“Last year, there is more snow this time.”
Alps, February, 3000m – I’d expect snow. I sipped at the coffee, I’m not sure what the extra was but it certainly had a bit of a kick! We didn’t dawdle, a quick visit to the ladies and it was out to the pop up ski shop using a marquee type thing just below the gondola station. I let Anne Marie do the talking, she managed to negotiate what amounted to half the normal price for our ski and boot hire.
My companion is clearly quite accomplished on skis, I’m shall we say, not! A couple of sessions on an indoor dry slope don’t really prepare you for the real white stuff several years down the line so whilst Anne Marie whooshed down the slopes; I was more like Bambi on ice. Somehow I avoided falling over, that is until I took both of us out at the bottom of the run.
“You ladies alright?” a chap in an orange jacket enquired.
“I think so, my friend she is a bit rusty.”
“Completely corroded,” I muttered under my breath.
“Well be careful, enjoy your day.”
Our would be rescuer departed with more skill and less effort than I could imagine is possible.
“Grr, bit of a hunk eh?”
To be honest I never really took much notice, I might look like a woman at the moment but sexually I’m 100% heterosexual. I guess that means for now I have to pretend to like men, I’m not sure how Jules would take to being a lesbian.
“I was too busy getting untangled to notice.”
“Plenty more candy in the store,” she sang back.
Just my luck, I get abducted by a man-mad French woman.
We got in another two runs before I suggested that one o’clock, i.e. now, would be good to break for lunch. I was actually starting to get a bit more flow into my skiing now and just about managed to keep up as we punted towards the restaurants. We were just parking our skis when my phone started buzzing.
“Where are you?”
“At the top of the Carosello, we’re just gonna get some lunch.”
“So it was you I could see, I’ll join you down at the Stuvetta.”
I ended the call and stowed my phone.
“Yeah, he said he was catching a car up the mountain for lunch, I never thought it would be this one. He says to meet him at the Stuvetta?”
“Sure, why not.”
We headed inside the building where a sign pointed downstairs to the Stuvetta Spaghetteria and a la carte restaurants.
“What’s Francois doing today?” I enquired as we clomped downwards.
“What Francois does all the time he’s not working or having sex, sleeping.”
I was a little taken aback by her frankness but I was saved from further embarrassment by finding Dennis at the bottom of the stairs.
“You two look a bit flushed.”
“It’s a leetle cold outside, handsome.”
Now it was Den’s turn to blush!
Maddy Bell 17.05.17
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