Gaby Book 15 ~ Friends ~ Chapter *18* The Real Thing

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*Chapter 18*

The Real Thing

“And how are you, Bernie?” Dr Gove enquired, “You look like you’ve lost some weight?”
“Not getting a lot of sleep.”
“No, well not directly, she’s sleeping through. No it’s my Social worker, she’s round every day, twice last Thursday, Mum had a go at her but I’m sure they’ve got it in for me.”
“I’m sure it’s not that bad,” the Doctor opined.
“I can’t eat, can’t sleep, I’m on edge all the time and I’m frightened Mum might make things worse.”
“You’re still breast feeding, yes?”
“There’s not much I can give you to help then I’m afraid, there is a group you might want to try,” she scribbled something on a card and passed it over the desk, “they do yoga and the like, it helps some people relax.”
“Okay,” Bern allowed.
“In the meantime make an appointment with Janet to do a set of bloods, best check there’s nothing else, eh?”
“Uh huh.”
“In that case I’ll see you in a month.”

Jack Rose wasn’t any sort of computer whizz but he could manage to buy and book stuff on the interweb. Bern of course could have done it herself except her bankcard was restricted so she couldn’t make such a large purchase.
“So January the 5th you fly out and the 19th you come back,” he advised his daughter, “you sure about this, love?”
“Okay then,” he hit the ‘book this’ tab on the screen and the site flashed up the confirmation.
It was really happening, well the first part at least!
“Thanks, Dad!”
The printer clanked and hummed for a moment before spitting out the booking confirmations.
“Can I watch the rugby now?” Jack asked getting up from her computer.
“Of course, you want a cuppa?”

Hi Mart
Our tickets are booked; we are both looking forward to coming!
Any chance of getting picked up from the airport?
Speak soon
Kisses, B.

She pressed send, it had seemed a bit distant, even up to this morning but now, well it was barely three weeks away. Three weeks before seeing the Bonds and the girls again, three weeks until Mart met ‘his’ daughter – well that was the plan at least. She looked over at the oblivious babe in the crib; she really would do anything to keep the child, her baby.

“I’m a bit concerned about one of my patients on your list,” Dr Gove told Ann James, the lead social worker for Warsop at their monthly meeting.
“And who might that be, Doctor?”
“Bernadette Rose, fifteen with a six month old baby.”
“The arsonist,” the James woman mentioned.
“It’s not for me to judge and I’m sure that’s all behind her, I’m concerned that her health is being affected by your departments, um, attention. She’s not eating or sleeping well.”
“And she’s blaming us?”
“No, not as such.”
“So why mention it, close supervision is standard practice in these situations.”
“Even if it adversely affects the client.”
“That’s not our concern, the child’s welfare is however.”
‘You cold bitch,’ Sarah Gove thought to herself not for the first time.
“The mother’s only a child herself.”
“Life choices.”
‘And you wonder why people call you the SS.’
“Can you perhaps give her a bit more space? A few less visits perhaps, she’s here at the mother and baby group twice a week after all.”
“The baby is on the ‘at risk register’.”
“Put there by you, I’ve not seen anything to suggest Bernie is doing anything other than the best she can for young Andrea, I can’t see any reason for her to still be on the register.”
“That’s not your decision Doctor.”
‘No it’s not.’

“Hi, Bern!” Helen called over the road.
The Rose girls were on the way back from the mother and baby group, Bernie wasn’t the biggest fan of the sessions. The other, older mothers were a bit ‘off’ from day one, it’s not like they were all saints or even in relationships but Bernie seemed to rub them the wrong way.
“How’s our favourite munchkin today?”
“Sleeping a lot.”
“That’s good, right?” Helen asked as she reached mother and pram.
“It’s better than crying.”
Helen looked in at the still tiny form snuggled under the copious blankets.
“She’s still so tiny. You heard from Gaby lately?”
“I got an email the other week, she seems to be getting on okay.”
“Did you see that she and her mum were up for the Sports Personality awards?”
“She never said.”
“I think they were only announced this week,” Helen mentioned.
“Oh right, look Hel I need to get on, this one’ll be wanting her lunch soon.”
“Right, it is a bit cold, you should come round for tea one afternoon,” Helen suggested, “I’m sure Mum and Gran would love to see Andrea.”
“Yeah, that’d be nice,” Bern agreed.
“I’ll let you know when then, see ya!”
“Yeah, later.”
There had been other supposed invites since the summer, well intentioned but never confirmed and seemingly quickly forgotten by her one-time friends. This would be like the others, her isolation compounded at each forgotten rendezvous, maybe she’d give that relaxation group a try.

“Isn’t that young Bond?” Jack enquired.
“Oh look Drea, it’s Aunty Gab,” Bern told her daughter as they settled in front of the box.
“Didn’t I read somewhere that her mother was up for the adult award too?” Cheryl queried.
“Helen said something like that when I saw her the other day.”
“You didn’t tell me you’d seen her love.”
“Well the SS were here when I got home, forgot about seeing her.”
“She okay?”
“Think so.”

“… And hopefully I’ll get selected for the next Olympics,”
Gaby finished her answer.
The other nominee interviews were so carefully staged it was almost ironic, not Gaby though. Well for starters she wasn’t wearing sports gear, it looked like she was doing a play or something. Not just that but her enthusiasm just bubbled out – like her chest in that dress, not the ‘look enthusiastic’ of the others but real, genuine love of what she does.
“We voting?” Jack asked.
“Why wouldn’t we,” Cheryl returned.

“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,” the blonde smiled back with a bit of an accent.
“That’s the woman off the local news,” Bern advised her parents.
“I understand you have our winner with you.” Mr Lineker went on.
“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.”
The camera panned to the left onto a bemused Gaby Bond.
“Looks like it’s trying to snow there,” Jack mentioned.
“I’ll need to remember my gloves when we go,” Bern stated.
“Hello, Gaby, I know you can’t see me, it’s Gary Lineker in London.”
“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?”
A chap in a slightly crumpled suit came into shot with the trophy, “Hello Gaby, it’s with great pleasure that I present this to you.”
They did the exchange thing; Gab didn’t look impressed when ‘George’ kissed her mind.
“So there we have it, our junior sports personality of the year, World Champion cyclist, Gabrielle Bond!” Gary enthused.
There was lots of clapping and cheering in Germany and the London studio, the Gertie woman gave Gab a hug and the new junior SPOTY winner hammed it up a bit with the trophy.
“You’ll have to send her our congratulations,” Cheryl suggested to her daughter.

Heya Gab
Congrats on the award, I’ll collect on payment for our vote when I come over! Hope you didn’t get too cold in that dress. Have you got snow there? Will have to bring our big coats.
Don’t know if Marty has said, our tickets are booked, can’t wait to see you guys!
I’d like to see Gloria whilst I’m there, could you speak to Anna for me?
Tschussie, Bern

Maddy Bell 13.02.16

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