Gaby Book 15 ~ Friends ~ Chapter *17* And The Winner Is

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*Chapter 17 *

And The Winner Is

Dad’s phone chirped somewhere behind me only to be sharply cut off, what is going on.
“And we go live now to Germany where Gertie Schmidt from our colleagues at RTL is with our winner, Gaby Bond, hello, Gertie.”
“Hello, Gary, welcome to a chilly evening here in Ahrweiler.” Gertie replied in accented but good English.
“I understand you have our winner with you.”
“I do, we’ve just dragged her away from working a charity stall here at the Christmas Market, I think it’s a bit of a surprise for her.”
Winner? What’re they on about?”
“Hello, Gaby, I know you can’t see me, it’s Gary Lineker in London.”
Gary Lineker? Oh shi uger!
“Er hi, Gary.”
“Gertie was saying that you are working on a charity stall there?”
“Um yes, we’re raising money for the local children’s home.”
“And that’s why you couldn’t come to London?”
“Er yes we, I mean I, thought this was more important.”
“I think we’d all agree with you, Gaby, well the people have chosen so I’ll ask George Müller, head of Gaby’s cycling team to present her with the trophy, George?”
George appeared wielding said trophy, “Hello, Gaby, it’s with great pleasure that I present this to you,” he must’ve been practising his English.
We did the hand over and creepily he did the old cheek kiss thing.
“So there we have it, our junior sports personality of the year, World Champion cyclist, Gabrielle Bond!” Gary enthused from the speaker.
There was lots of clapping and cheering at both ends of the transmission, Gertie came and gave me a hug and I hammed it a bit with the trophy.
“Aaand cut!”

The next couple of hours were anything but what I’d been expecting. Gertie wanted another interview, George wanted to take us for dinner, I wanted to finish my shift in the cabin. Things at least calmed down somewhat after the TV crew departed.
“Sorry for all this,” I told the others.”
“You were on telly,” Pia enthused.
“In England,” I pointed out.
“It’s still telly.”
I’ll give her that.
“George is taking us to dinner so we’ll have to leave you to it.”
“Me too?” Mand queried.
“Course,” I told her. Well if I’m going she is.
“Sure we’ll cope, we’ve got M & M to look after us,” Con advised.
“See you in the morning then?”
“Don’t be late,” Pia admonished.
“Ready girls?” Dad asked through the hatch.

“What I don’t get,” I started as Dad drove us home to change, you don’t think I’m going to a restaurant dressed like this do you? Well anyway, “Is if it was voted for this evening how did they know I’d win?”
“Search me,” Mand offered.
“Double jeopardy,” Dad supplied.
“Double jeopardy, they had a shrewd idea who’d be top three so they set things up just in case, if you’d been second they’d still want an interview.”
“What about the trophy?”
“Just a duplicate, no one’s looking too hard at that after all, the real thing will be in London.”
“What a swizz!” Mand opined.

We didn’t have much time; we had to be back at the Akropolis in Bad Neunahr for eight so it was a quick turnaround once we got to Schloss Bond. After wearing the Mittelalter gown for a good chunk of the last three days I felt positively naked in my LBD. I can do smart, I’ve just won a big award so I made the effort, ten den hose, strappy sandals, hair up and restrained but dramatic makeup, oh yeah.
“Whoa! Who are you trying to impress?” Mand exclaimed.
“No one.”
“I think you need an armed guard looking like that.”
“You two ready?” Dad called up.
“Coming,” I led the way downstairs.
“Maybe a bit much?” Dad suggested.
“I can’t win, if I don’t dress up I should if I do it’s too much!”
“Fine, fine,” Dad allowed, “coats, it’s started to snow again.”
Great, I grabbed my boots as well as my coat, I had a feeling I might need them.

The Akropolis, as the name might suggest, specialises in Greek food and as we approached looked to be somewhat busier than you might expect for a Sunday evening. When we went through the door, the reason was evident, pretty much all of Team Apollinaris, well those that live nearby at least were already ‘celebrating’.
“Here she is!” Maria announced.

We did get down to some food, I had a mixed grill kebab, you know, bits of meat on a skewer. You don’t get a lot of lamb on German menu’s, which I think is a pity, yep, I’m a fan! I’d almost finished my second skewer when a muted buzzing from my handbag attracted my attention.
“Hi, kiddo.”
“I hear congratulations are in order.”
“I guess, George has got everyone at the Akropolis, how’d you get on?”
“The footballer got it,” she supplied.
I giggled down the line.
“What’s so funny?”
“When I told Max about SPOTY yesterday he said the footballer would win.”
“I see, well it was an outside chance what with the Olympics and stuff anyway.”
“That’s what Dad said.”
“He there?”
“Hang on, Dad!”
He was on his phone, “Wassup?”
“It’s Mum.”
“In that case you’d best take this, it’s your Gran.”
We made the swap.
“Gaby! Congratulations love.”
“Thanks, Gran, I wasn’t expecting it.”
“I think everyone could see that.”
“I looked a right mess, I didn’t get a chance to do my hair or anything,” I complained.
“You looked lovely,” she paused, “your dad told me about last night, you okay?”
“I was petrified, Gran, he was waving a knife at us, I thought he was gonna stab me.”
“But you’re alright?”
“I couldn’t sleep last night, I just don’t want to think about it.”
“That’s alright love, your mum didn’t win.”
“I know, I was just talking to her.”
“You win some, you lose some.”
“Dad says you’re staying here for New Year.”
“Apparently I need a posh frock?”
“Yeah we’re going to stay at Sophia’s castle.”
“You’ll like her, her dad is a Duke,” I advised.
“A duke?”
“They usually live in Stuttgart but they have like this big party at the castle every New Year.”
“Sounds like I need to go to Debenhams before I come.”
“They’re not stuffy or anything.”
“I’m sure they’re not. Look I have to go, you can fill me in on everything when we come over.”
“Okay, thanks for calling, Gran.”
“Look after yourself, Gab.”
“I will, bye, Gran.”
“Bye, Gaby.”

I might have been the ‘guest of honour’ but it had quickly become an unofficial pre Christmas team party. In fact it was getting a bit raucous around George, Maria seemed to be the ringleader there.
“Hi, Kat, good party.”
“Mom’s getting a bit loud.”
“She’s not the only one,” I pointed out.
“So you all fixed now?”
“I suppose so, the doc reckons everything is working.”
“Your mum said you’d had your time.”
“Yeah, lovely.”
“You’ve escaped for too long, girl.”
When you look at it that way I guess I have, most girls have been ovulating for five, six years by my age so I suppose I’ve had a short reprieve. I guess.
“You coming to our Weihnacht’s party?”
“Dunno, when is it?”
“Twenty third I think.”
“Mum’ll know, we probably are.”
“Ot oh, best save Mum!”
Kat took off across the restaurant to where Maria was climbing onto a table – parents, who’d have ’em?”

Maddy Bell 12.02.16

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