Fourth extract of Foundation, the opening book of The Crossing Lives Trilogy. We started with Keira and Liam meeting in Celtic Ireland before joining Kathleen and her friends for a contemporary Desperate Housewives evening. In the third extract a bit more about Keira and Liam was revealed. Going forward again this week with a new protagonist…
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KÖNIGSTEIN – GERMANY
At 4:30 AM the shrieking alarm tore Lorenz Richter away from blissful, glorious sleep. He confusedly wondered if such an early wake up time could possibly match someone’s body clock. Stretching for several minutes he proceeded on opening his eyes fully, then concentrated on keeping them that way. His British Airways flight would take off from Frankfurt airport at 7:25, all going well landing in London Heathrow at 8:10. An IT business consultant working for one of the biggest software firms in the world, Lorenz had joined six months ago an implementation project for a company active in the fashion business with offices in both Manchester and London. That morning he first had to attend a scheduling meeting in London, then make his way to Manchester at the end of the day. Every Monday Lorenz would fly to either cities depending on the requirements of the project and then fly back home for the weekend on Friday afternoon. Before signing for that mandate he had been considering another interesting offer from a pharmaceutical business in Birmingham. In the end he had decided to say yes to whoever came back to him first; the fashion company had confirmed the terms of the contract ten minutes before the pharmaceutical firm had sent their reply. These few minutes seemed insignificant in the greater scheme of things but they would prove to have an incredible impact on Lorenz’s life.
Lorenz finally managed to will his body out of bed and marched in the general direction of the kitchen. There a much needed coffee would be made using his brand new Nespresso machine, drunk quickly and be followed straight away by a second one. He loved the simple ritual of coffee making: First checking the water level in the transparent receptacle at the back and adding some filtered liquid if necessary. Then picking one of the colourful pods out of the smart wooden box and positioning it in the machine. Placing one brown sugar cube in the cup and then watch the aroma-filled beverage cascading on top of it. Finally adding a dash of fresh milk et voilà, ready to sip and enjoy. Today he would be driving up to the airport and leave his car there. At the beginning of his contract his then girlfriend Berit had driven him to the station where he would catch a train to the airport. After almost five years together Berit and Lorenz had decided to go their separate ways. The split had happened three months ago.
One of the passions in Lorenz’s life was music in general and playing the guitar in particular. It had all started by his lack of interest in practising on the piano, to the despair of his parents, both talented players. The almost teenager had been fascinated by Jimi Hendrix, listening to his idol’s records over and over again. He had begged his parents to buy him an electric guitar but to no avail, so young Lorenz had decided to take the matter into his own hands. He had carefully packed his beloved old cars collection and had traded it for a cheap copy of Jimi’s iconic instrument. Of course he had got ripped off but the house did not erupt in shouts on his return. Both his Mum and his Dad, who had given him the miniature cars as a present, wisely surrendered and accepted their son’s choice. A Fender Stratocaster in Olympic white had been their gift on Lorenz’s fifteenth birthday. Lorenz went on to create a band with three schoolmates, which turned them into local stars. They had stubbornly kept at it, battling every step of the way to become famous on a much grander scale until they eventually won a national music contest five years later. The price was a contract with an up and coming German label. The boys had been over the moon before quickly becoming disillusioned: To have their first record produced they had been asked to abandon their beloved rock songs in favour of grunge-sounding ones. Nirvana was all the rage back then. Lorenz had point blank refused to compromise but his band co-members had agreed. He had left the band, gone to university and decided to forget all about the music industry. On hearing about his friends’ subsequent success he had felt happy for them but had not regretted his decision for one minute. One rainy autumn evening three years later he had out of the blue picked up his guitar again. Realising that the passion was still there, playing had become Lorenz’s favourite hobby instead of his career. The practice of this instrument was what had led to his romance with Berit.