Gaby Book 16 ~ Sweet Sixteen ~ Chapter *12* No Joke

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*Chapter 12*
No Joke

“Gaby! Dinner!” Mand yelled up to my eyrie.
What a day, well it wasn’t too bad until this afternoon when Herr Boltt dropped news of yet another mock exam tomorrow. As if that wasn’t enough Herr Ansbacher set me extra homework for my tutorial next week, an essay on the decline of the Hanseatic League. Yeah I know, boring.

I clomped down to kitchen; we don’t use the dining table unless we have visitors or too many bodies for the kitchen.
“Plates please Gab,” Mum requested.
“Dad not back?”
“There was a hold up on the autobahn, should be here any time.”

I pulled out another plate, just four of us tonight then, Jules was staying in Bonn – again. Right on cue the sound of a car stopping outside announced Dads arrival; a minute later he came in the door.
“Hmm, smells good.”
“Spag bol – oh you didn’t?” Mum queried plonking the tureen of spaghetti on the table.
“Not had a chance to eat today and George wanted steak last night.”
“You okay eating now?”
“Let me just lose this stuff,” he indicated the bag and jacket he was holding, “and I’ll be right back.”
“I think this is ready,” Mand suggested from the stove where she was stirring the sauce.
“Okay,” Mum agreed, “Parmesan please Gab.”
Dad was back, unjacketed and beslippered with a bottle of wine in his hand.

“So,” Mum started once we were started, “we got bikes to ride?”
Dad finished his mouthful of stringy pasta before replying, “bikes and clothing.”
“Why’d you need to go to Italy to buy bikes?”
“Its not quite as simple as dropping into Schauff and asking for twenty bikes kiddo,” Mum supplied.
“I know that,” it isn’t?
“So?” Mum addressed Dad again; “we have to drag it out of you?”
“Um eang,” Dad managed around a mouthful of spaghetti.
I looked at Mand who rolled her eyes at me.
Dad finished his current mouthful and took a sip of wine, “you’ll be riding Pinarello’s.”
“I thought you were talking to Colnago and Bianchi,” Mum mentioned.
“We got a better offer from Pinarello,” Dad told us.
“I’ve never heard of them,” I put in.
“They might not be so well known but they are well respected, you’ll be getting their new carbon Dogma frames.”
“All of us?” Mand queried.
“Uh huh,” Dad agreed before guiding another forkful of food into his mouth.
Carbon, they cost a fortune! And we’ll be racing on them all the time, go Pinarello! It’s a step up for the seniors too, they’ve been riding top end aluminium, nice bikes but not carbon.
“Ultegra?” Mum queried.
“Ut uh.”
“Dura Ace,” Mum supplied with an accepting nod.
“Think again,” pater advised, “we went to Vicenza this morning.”
“That’s where Campag come from,” I gasped.
“Seniors get Record, juniors Chorus.”
The clang of cutlery dropping onto plates was the only reply made for a good minute, Dad just kept feeding his face.
“Like the ten speed?” I eventually queried.
“Uh huh.”
“Your kidding Dave,” Mum accused, “don’t tease the girls like that.”
Dad seemed to be the only one eating; when he finished the current forkful he went on, “straight up, full support, wheels, the lot. You girls not eating? The spags getting cold.”
I know they won’t actually be ours like in own but talk about the best present.

Anyone who’s even remotely into bikes will know the excitement that getting a new bike brings – even someone who already has several. After dinner we all decamped to the living room where Dad filled us in a bit more.
“So we get two bikes?” Mand queried, “what for?”
“They’re investing a lot of money Mand, they don’t want to see you guys riding another brand do they? Your Dogma’s will be the race bikes of course and they were suggesting you’d get one of the aluminium frames for training.”
“I don’t know how you managed it Dave but thanks,” Mum leant over and planted one on Dads lips.
“I need to ring Ron,” I mentioned.

Dad freed himself from the snog fest, “whoa, hold on a minute young lady. The others will find out soon enough, for now I want you both to keep it under your hats. The Italians are keen to do a big launch, George is talking about doing a full team presentation at the same time.”
“When?” I pushed.
“End of next month probably, we should have all the kit by then.”
“What happens to all the old bikes and kit?” Mand asked.
“You get to keep the clothing if you want it, George’ll sell the bikes and so on, bit extra into the team coffers,” Mum advised.

I might not be able to spill all the bike news but there was no reason not to ring Ron, we’ve not spoken for at least three days!
“New bikes?” Ron pretty much echoed Mand’s question.
“Uh huh, there’s gonna be a presentation in a few weeks.”
“So what are we getting then?”
“Can’t tell, Dad swore me to secrecy but think Italian and not aluminium.”
“Could be.”
“You’re kidding!”

“Another bike? You’ve already got a garage full,” Con, clearly unimpressed, noted.
“Its carbon fibre,” I pressed.
“Does it go faster?”
“Well not on its own,” I admitted.
“So what’s the point then?”
I love Con to bits but she really doesn’t get bikes.
“Help me out guys?” I appealed to the others riding ahead of us.
“How many gears?” Brid asked.
“Markus has twenty four on his mountain bike,” she told us.
“So does mine.”
“So what’s so good about a bike with only twenty gears?”
I give up.

“Gabs, wait up!”
Max. I stopped and turned to let him catch up.
“What? And don’t you dare try kissing me!”
“I wasn’t going to.”
His eyes betrayed him but I let it go – for now.
“Oh right, um you fancy going to the cinema tomorrow? I’ll pay.”
“Possibly,” I allowed, “what’s on?”
“Its an English film, they have sub titles, something about a guide to the galaxy.”
“Hitch Hikers,” I supplied.
“That’s it,” he agreed.
“I’ve got training and I’m working at Thesing’s after.”
“We can go in the evening, Dad’ll taxi.”
It was tempting – I’ve wanted to see it since it came out last year, we don’t exactly keep up with all the latest releases here though.
“Let me know what time.”
“Is that a yes?”
“Well duh.”
“I need to go, places to be and all that.”
“Er right, so um I’ll let you know the time.”

“So what did lover boy want?” Con asked as I joined her at the bikes, the others had gone ahead, my BFF as usual waited for me.
“You know, moving images, big screen.”
“I know what they are, so you going?”
“I said so, it’s a film I want to see.”
“Fat chance of that,” she chuckled.
“Cinema, boyfriend?”
“What about it, and he’s not…”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re just friends.”
“We are.”
“So what is this cinematic masterpiece?”
“The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.”
“That so has to be British,” she opined.
“Might be.”
“He’s trying to impress you Gab.”
“If he’s paying I’m not bothered.”

“Pictures, as in cinema?” Mand confirmed.
“The same.”
“I thought you weren’t interested?”
“I’m not.”
“I want to see the film.”
“I’m sure you do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh come on Gabs, no boy takes a girl to the pictures to actually watch the film.”
“And you know this how?”
“Everyone knows, ask Jules if you don’t believe me.”
“Ask Jules what?” the Dark One enquired joining us in the kitchen.
“She’s going to the cinema with Max tomorrow.”
“Wipe your lipstick off before it starts Sis, easier than cleaning up after.”
“Not you too?”

I only want to see the film, honest.

Maddy Bell 17.05.16

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