Half the World Away From Home

Half the World Away From Home

Lisa Krämer

USD 25,99

Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 344
ISBN: 978-3-99130-166-0
Release Date: 02.11.2022
Olivia Jones has lost her mother the centre of her world who has been murdered and she does not know why. She needs answers but her father won’t give them. Will she find the answer she so desperately needs or will she be betrayed by those she loves the most?
Chapter One

She loved reading. It allowed her to cry over someone else’s sadness when she could no longer identify her own.

Standing here feels so weird. I wouldn’t have ever thought of actually ending up here.

My own apartment in London only for myself, where I am all by myself and only for myself. If you had told me I’d end up here three years ago I would have asked you if you were freaking

I’m taking the rest of my stuff out of the taxi that drove me here from the airport. I’m taking my stuff and the key and I’m opening the door to my own place for the first time. Jesus Christ who am I and how in God’s name did they convince me to actually do this? My best friend in the whole world, Abby, made me do this. She knows me better than anyone else, even myself, so she knows what’s best for me, I guess.

I’m not a person who often steps out of her comfort zone or more likely never at all. This whole thing, moving somewhere all by myself, especially here in London, was always a huge dream. Whenever I think of this place or this country I kinda feel safe and at home. It’s a charming place to be sure but the feelings I get are just unbelievably hard to explain. All people say the same; London is like New York but just on another continent. People come here to finally put their dreams into reality, to live and to enjoy. I came here to find out who I am, I suppose.

I walk into the small hallway, taking off my shoes and smelling the fresh paint in my nose. I put the rest of my stuff on the floor and walk my way through the apartment. It’s like I have always dreamed about, it’s gentle and open. It is really inviting indeed. She surely would’ve liked that as well…

After having spent the whole rest of the day and the next as well, running around, trying to organize the things I’ve brought with me and decorating everything. I lie down on the floor and pick up my black guitar for the first time in a while. The instrument lay on top of my chest, as I repeated the same cords over and over again that have stuck in my mind for some time now. I silently hum a melody as I try to come to terms with where I am. This is so unreal. Why am I even doing this?

My phone starts to vibrate, so I force myself to get up and take the call.


“Oh my gosh you’re still alive!” a well-known voice shouts into my hear, causing me to take the phone away from my ear.

“Hah, you’re so funny Abby.” I respond, sarcastically.

“Well, it’s not my fault. You’ve been literally ignoring my texts and calls for the last 48 hours. I thought about you dying in at least fifteen different ways.”

“I am sorry, I didn’t mean to, I just needed to take some time and accept all this. I can’t believe that you made me move to a different country without you,” I reply more seriously now.

She sighs before I hear her soft voice again. “You’re doing this for you Liv and not anyone else. I might have pushed you a little but we both know you’ve been annoying me with this since you were like fifteen years old.”

“Convincing me to move somewhere completely alone, if I might add again, is not a little push. That’s like throwing someone out of a plane and you know exactly how much I hate planes and all that stuff, so thank you Abby for that. This is such a bad idea it can only get worse I’m telling you. I can’t even talk to someone except you and my family, and it will not take ten minutes when I step out of that pretty door until I embarrass the shit out of myself.” My voice starts to shake again. Please no, I’ve been over this, why can’t this little shit called anxiety just stay home and not come with me all the time? I’m twenty-two years old and I shouldn’t be dealing with such things the whole time.

“Olivia shut up right now you’re just talking nonsense. We both know how much you wanted that. You’re just afraid. Do not let this wash the biggest opportunity in your whole life away or I swear I will come there and throw boiling tea over your whole body until you stop talking like this!” She always had her special way of threatening me. Not that I ever took that too serious.

I told you, she knows me better than anyone else even though she sometimes can be a pain in someone’s ass. No names here.

“Listen, I know this is difficult for you, but it will eventually help you. I mean you can write your songs there, you will get new inspirations, you can take those lovely photos and you can skate wherever you want. It will take some time but one day you will be thankful I made you do this and for that you owe me something huge. Just letting you know.”

I know she is trying to give me confidence but that’s not really helping and one day I hope someone will tell her. I’m not going to be the one because I can gladly live without a fist in my face.

“Well today is not that day. I am just scared… that she wouldn’t want me to do any of this like the rest of my family ya know …”

“L, if I can tell you one thing you should be proud of yourself. Like hell. I know you and I know that this, won’t make you feel better so just write about it. Write a song and go out tonight. Go and have some fun, but not too much do you hear me?” she laughs as she starts to tease me again.

“Yeah, as if that’s gonna happen. But I think you’re right for once. I mean the exploring thing not anything else!” I tell her.

She laughs again before replying. “I love you to L. Now go and enjoy, find out who you are and do the things you want to, not because you should or because someone else wants you to, okay?”

“I’ll try, I love you too, I’ll text you soon. Bye Abby.”

“Bye, love you and wear protection!” she says. Before I could say anything she hangs up.

Yeah, she’s got a special sense of humour, but I adore it. Abby always does this, first she tries to make me comfortable and in the end she pulls that weird humour of hers out of somewhere to make me laugh. She’s a really good person, the best that I know if I’m being honest here. A little smile takes over my face. I’m missing her already.

I sit on the floor leaning against my grey and brand-new couch as I try to turn my thoughts into words along with the same melody from before. As always after I have written my feelings down I feel a huge relief in my chest. This is good, this is what I need to do.

The thing with writing or making music is that you can put into words, what you might not be able to explain or share with anyone. I’ve been writing serious music for about seven years now but over time, I’ve tried to become more professional. Writing music is something that I cannot go without otherwise I’ll bottle things up deep in me. I know many young people feel this way and I sometimes feel the urge to help these people; to tell them that they’re not alone. I mean, I wish I could …

Abby’s right. I landed here in my favorite city, more or less by myself, so I need to enjoy it. I need to go and walk through the city and take photos. I need to try not to be freaked out by the thought of being around people. Oh, good Lord help me…

I walk back into my bedroom that I decorated today, and I let myself sink onto the clean sheets on my bed. “What have I got myself into?” I murmur.

Calm down Olivia, you’ve got to do this. You love London, you love taking pictures and you especially love music. Go out and do it.

I get up and I approach the closet which goes into the wall. Everyone wants to live here so I guess they thought they had to make the place look smart. I open the cupboard doors and stare at all the different colours and materials, as I wonder what would fit best. After about ten minutes trying on and thinking about different outfits as well as all my insecurities, I had finally found something to wear. It’s not too much but it is still kind of stylish. The baggy jeans fit my waist perfectly and combined with my top and my denim jacket it looks as if I have a sense of fashion. Which I definitely don’t.

Funny, because that’s my everyday outfit, but at least I’m wearing something.

Nevertheless, I braise myself at the thought of going outside but for now I will think about the clothing thing, okay? I wonder what she would have said, would she have done the same?

I grab my camera, keys, purse and my phone. I lock my front door breathing in the air. This is beautiful, this is good, and I need this.

The sun starts to set which causes a beautiful pink and orange sky and I see so many people as they try to find their way in the chaotic traffic which I definitely do not want to be in. I really, really hate being near so many people. It just gives me a weird feeling in my stomach besides all the scared thoughts of course.

I put my earphones into my ears, and shuffle through the songs that I’ve written and recorded by myself, pulling the camera up I start to take the first pictures. I start to make my way to the subway station to head into the city. Taking pictures is also one of the things that calms me. If you watch a chaotic situation, it would probably make you feel uneasy as you cannot apprehend what is happening so fast. If you take a picture of it instead, it still has a sense of calmness through the chaotic mess. You just need to search for it.

I walk for about ten minutes before I finally reach the entrance to the subway. I take my purse out to buy a long-term ticket. If I really want to live here I will need one at some point, so why not now? Standing in the moving train I can see all the people and it makes me so nervous. When I’m in a crowd I always feel as if everyone’s watching me and it drives me absolutely crazy. The only good thing I can think about when it comes to crowds is that you see all those faces. Everyone goes through something different, they feel things differently but they still don’t realize that they’re not alone. It’s crazy, isn’t it?

I make my way out of the subway and onto the city streets. After some time walking around and taking pictures of different places with different perspectives I find myself wanting something to eat, because I literally only have bread and water at home. Maybe that’s a plan for tomorrow, to buy groceries. I look through the photos that I’ve taken, and they actually didn’t turn out too bad.

I was concentrating so hard not watching where I was going until I bumped into something. Because of the unexpected stop, my purse falls to the ground and my camera slips out of my hands. Luckily, it does not fall onto the ground thanks to the unknown person I’ve run into.

“Oh my gosh I’m so sorry I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

I look at the person in front of me. It’s a tall man with brown curly hair and brown eyes. If I had bumped into him on a different occasion, I would’ve admitted that he was handsome. Not this again Olivia just shut up before you talk.

He looks at me and the camera and smiles slightly. “Don’t worry I wasn’t watching where I was going either. Those pictures are very good, did you take them?”

I nod giving him an awkward smile when he hands me my camera. “Thanks… uhm… for catching it.” Why can’t I just talk like a normal person? Use your damn words! English language? Never heard of it.

“No problem, I’m glad I did. Sorry for bumping into you. Have a good evening.” He smiles and hands me my purse.

“Yeah, you too, bye.” I said walking away.

What the actual fuck? I take my phone and open a chat with Abby. See I told you I’ve already embarrassed myself. After I texted her I put my phone away again to watch where I was going this time.

I’m in for a fun evening.

Chapter Two

After walking for twenty more minutes, I finally finding a take-away place which wasn’t full of people.

This is actually a tempting take-away place, they have all kinds of delicious things that you could imagine. I stare through the glass, which I guess keeps the food safe from people like me. I am not saying that I would eat all of it but after what has happened I needed something to calm my nerves down.

“Are you all right?” I hear a deep voice to my right which that causes me to flinch and hold my chest. Please not again, is once not enough for one day?

“I am sorry. I didn’t want to scare you, but you’ve been staring at the food for quite long time, the stranger says laughing a bit. He is tall and has long black hair, which is in a bun. I suppose that’s in now, but it actually looks better than what I previously thought about men with buns.

“Yeah, no, I mean, I couldn’t really decide, and I got lost in a song,” I replied. Still out of breath I pointed to my earphones, before taking them off to continue the conversation. Please send help.

H smiles again. “Oh, I know that is too good, which song is it?”

“It’s… uh… actually my song, so, uhm… nothing too special,” I confess. This is awkward and it is the exact reason why I hate talking. Well, except to Abby.

He lifted his eyebrows and stared at me, as if he’s just seen a flying cat. Great. “I’m Jacob, what’s your name?”

“It’s Olivia,” I nod awkwardly.

“You can come and sit with my friends and me Olivia, I’m sure you would like to meet them,” he finally says.

Please don’t be a psychopath. I nod as he leads me through the small room to the end where there is a little sitting area. There are two women and another man seated. They all look absolutely stunning, is this a thing in England?

“Hey guys, look who I just met. This is Olivia. Olivia, these are Emma”, he points to a redhaired girl, “Mary”, a brunette, “And this is Ben.” Everyone gave a polite hello smiling. He indicates for me to sit down on an empty chair with my back to the rest of the place. The yellow lights give the brick wall a soft and welcoming colour.

“So, Olivia is a songwriter.” He tells everyone while I frown at his words.

“Well, it’s Liv actually. Olivia is the name my parents gave me so, uhm yeah, and also I’m not a songwriter.” I tell them honestly feeling my nerves explode. So much about quickly grabbing something to eat.

Mary looks at me and says, “So song writing isn’t your profession but your hobby, right? What’s your profession then?” She seems to be very kind and confidant.

I realize that everyone’s attention is on me again. I hate this so much. “Yeah, I’m on a mission to find out so I can’t give you any further information.”

They laugh at my words. “You’re funny but not one for many words, are you?” Jacob said taking the lead again.

My eyes move to the ground. “I am not one for crowds and I don’t have much to say, so no.”

“Well, that’s too bad, because you got yourself into something. Hey guys, we’re all hanging out tomorrow so why don’t you just drop by Liv? I’m sure Ethan wouldn’t mind either and maybe you can help us out?” Emma suggests.

Am I supposed to get what they’re talking about?

Jacob sees my confused facial impression. “What she was saying is that we’re actually all working with a more or less talented artist and that you could help us out with your music.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, I’m really not that good and I don’t want to interrupt anything.”

“You’re not, we invited you. And besides that, I’m sure your music is better than you like to admit, believe me. I’m good at reading people and you, dear Liv are lying.” Jacob says.

It’s the first time I hear Ben speaking. “Yes we’ll send you the address and we will just hang out tomorrow, nothing big.”

I sigh, is this really good? I like to stay in my own bubble because it’s silent and safe but if Abby were here, she would kick my ass and shout at me to do it. Would she think that this was a good idea?

Jacob holds his hand out to me raising an eyebrow. I hand him my phone and he types something handing it back a few moments later.

“It was really nice to meet all of you, but I should really get going now.” I say breaking the conversation.

Mary smiles at me and says, “It was a pleasure, and we’ll see you tomorrow then.”

I nod, saying goodbye. I make my way back to my apartment. On the way I get a tight feeling in my chest and my pulse starts to race again. I can’t do this again not here, not now.

This is a terrible idea, I cannot meet them. This is too much for me. Why have I even agreed to this whole thing anyway?

I arrive at my new home, and put my stuff away. I lay down on my bed and I try to calm down and forget about all this. Eventually my fatigue overcomes the panic in my body and I actually fall asleep. We’ll not talk about the quality of the sleep,

The next morning I get up and I motivate myself to actually go out to do some shopping. Well, I have nothing to eat so I kinda have to but that’s not important.

On the way back to my apartment, bags in my hands, I start to wonder again if I should actually go there. After Jacob had texted me the address and time I should be there, I got my nerves together to tell Abby. Oh, of course she shouted at me that I should go. She’s very motivational but has a hard time actually listening and understanding why I doubt my decisions. That’s the reason I write the song in the way I do and why I keep them to myself. In seven years of writing, I can only remember having shown my songs to people three times. The first one was for Abby, she started to sob and she hugged me tightly before buying me fast food. Yeah, I know. The second time was to someone in my family and the third time was a huge accident and I definitely regret it. I had stayed at my ex boyfriend’s house and he while he played it I was getting something. That was the first time I remember getting upset and angry. When it comes to my songs, which are about my personal emotions and about what I’ve lived through, I wouldn’t want anyone to know that. I’m good, I need to be.
5 Stars
The best rating - 21.12.2022
Rasheed Fawas

Soo good

5 Stars
The best rating - 21.12.2022
Rasheed Fawas

Soo good

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