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Another Way, Another Life

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1 Another Way, Another Life on 18th May 2012, 22:41

The life of a person is made of lot’s of turns and way it could go, because of the choices we make or in early ages are made for us our live goes a certain way. But what happens if somewhere on the way we would have taken a different turn? Our lives would be different.




Another Way, Another Life

Josephine had a long way behind her. Her father had announced that her mother was very sick, it was Josephine that suggested to go to a boarding school. Colin Williams agreed and let her choose the boarding school. Well she always liked Concord because one of her favourite books was Little Women, she picked the Concord Academy. After a long boat trip from Southampton all the way to London she was glad to be at her new home to be. And since she didn’t like flying by plane she would spend the Christmas holiday in America. She was very excited about living in a boarding school, but at the same time was she terrified. She was younger because she skipped two classes, she was two years younger than all the other students. She got up early and hated it, breakfast here was a little different well everything was different here. She grew up without any rules at least in a way, since everyone who was looking after her was suppose to not make her upset. But she wasn’t as spoilt as you might turn out to be, she well adjusted to all the rules. Her father had signed everything that she could be very free while she was like here. Not to mention that she was one of the privileged of worrying about her laundry or anything like this. As a boarding student she arrived a week before the school started and by then she had read the rules and hand book twice, knew the entire history of her school by heart, and knew her way around campus. Only one thing she had to get used to, she had a roommate. Becky, was nice and a freshman just like her. But she was an American freshman and not used to Jo’s posh Oxford attitude.

It was her first day of class and her first class in the morning was History of America. She was first in class and noticed that instead of rows the tables where arranged in a circle. She sat down and took out her book, a new edition of Little Women. She didn’t mean to be rude, but she was too scared to think about talking to all the big kids. They were so much older.

“So is everyone here?” The teacher asked and let Jo startle she hadn’t notice her fellow classmates arrived or the teacher. “This class is American History 1, so let’s begin with something simple. Who can tell me when the USA first called itself USA?”

Jo’s hand shot in the air.


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2 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 19th May 2012, 21:53

Liam was late. On his first day at the new school. That was a good start, but he didn’t care. His mother was already off to work and reminded him to leave the house on time, and he actually did, but as he walked to school, he seemed to take all the time he needed, especially when he passed the local diner where Cindy was working. Cindy was a 16-year old girl who went to the public high school of Concord and worked part-time as waitress in the diner of her parents. And boy, was she a sight for sore eyes! Everytime he passed the diner, he stopped in front of the window and hoped to see her. This morning he was lucky, because he spotted her standing at the counter, so he stopped and watched her for a while until it became too obvious and she noticed him, so he turned away, already a few minutes late for school. He had gotten into the Concord Academy with a scholarship, otherwise his mother would have never been able to afford a private school like that. She told him he had to make the best of it and appreciate the fact that he finally got the education he wanted, and there he was, already ten minutes late for class, on his first day at this very privileged school that only took him because of his well-deserved scholarship he earned due to his excellent grades. And what was the reason he was late? Of course, a girl. But he didn’t tell that the woman at the school’s reception when she asked him that question. She handed him his schedule and told him where he had to go to his first class, which was American History 1. He wasn’t particularly fond of American history, it was kind of a joke to him, but at least he didn’t need to pay attention in that class. He could actually use this class for drawing new ideas for gadgets he had in his mind.
Liam just opened the door of the classroom without knocking. The students sat in a circle, and all of them turned their head to him, there was just one girl who had her hand raised enthusiastically, but he didn’t pay attention to her, he looked at the teacher who raised his eyebrows.

“The class started ten minutes ago, young man”, Mr Forester said, scrutinizing him from head to toe. “Are you sure you’re in the right class? You look rather…young.”

“Yeah, I’m in the right class.”

“Excuse me?”

There we go again, one more American who didn’t understand his accent. Liam was used to it by now, but it was still kind of annoying.
“I said I’m in the right class.”

“Okay. Well, sit down please, and next time don’t be late.”

Liam turned around and walked to the only free chair, which was next to the girl who had her hand up earlier. When he sat down he looked closer at her and was surprised how young she looked. He was used being the smallest and youngest in class, but this girl didn’t seem older than him, perhaps even younger. His eyes met hers for a brief moment, and she stared at him weirdly, and then started to blush and looked away. Weird person…
Liam just opened his notebook instead of his history book and looked at the sketches he started yesterday, some of them were constructions of bombs. That was way more interesting than American history.


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3 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 19th May 2012, 23:25

“So you must be Mr O’Doherty I am glad that you can join us. And because you were late I would like you to prepare a presentation until tomorrow, about the European influence of the United States of America, Miss Williams would you be able to help Mr O’Doherty? I will write you two a note that says you may have one hour extra time tonight.” Jo nodded. “Very good let’s continue…”

After the class was over Jo turned to Liam and whispered. “I’m not allowed to study in the library as freshman. I’m a boarding student but we have a study hall in my house you can come there and we can do the presentation. I live in Haines House, it is not far from here.”

Jo stuffed her books into her bag, which was overfilled with at least three books per subject. “I have next an astronomy class, I’m not very good with astronomy but my father is a professor at Oxford University for Astro… erm I think physic s or something like this.”

Jo fell silent and blushed. “Sorry. I never talk that much.”


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4 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 20th May 2012, 14:26

Liam watched that strange girl as she kept talking. She was without a doubt from England, and not just from any part of England, definitely from a posh area, one of those towns like Oxford or Cambridge. But somehow it was a nice change for him to finally hear someone not speaking American, and after all, she basically was his neighbour since England was right next to Ireland. Of course Ireland was completely different than England, but nevertheless she reminded him a bit of that corner of the world.
The girl finally went silent, only added “Sorry. I never talk that much.”

“Astrophysics”, Liam said without even looking at her. He was busy getting out the book for next class, which, of course, was astronomy as well. Finally a class he would fully enjoy.

“Yes.” She nodded. “That’s what I meant.”

“Well, your father has good taste.”

She was just about to say something when he turned away from her. “Where do we have to go? The next class is actually a class I don’t want to be late to.”

“Ehm…I think it’s upstairs.” The girl followed him to the stairs.

“And what is it with that stupid project? What kind of school is this, punishing students for being late? I think my mum accidently sent me to military school…”

“Well, we all have to do that project, everyone in our class. We just have to go first, as it seems.”

“Aha.” He looked at her again. “What’s your name again?”

The girl seemed to blush. Why did she blush, just because he asked her for her name?

“Jos…Jo.”

“Josjo?”

“No…ehm…I mean, my name is Josephine.”

“You’re from England?”

“Yes, Oxford.”

“Yeah, I figured.” He walked into the room where they would have their astronomy class. This time the tables were in rows. Liam sat down at the window in the corner, he liked sitting in corners, and next to windows so he could look out. Although in this class the teacher would definitely get his fullest attention.

That girl, Josephine, seemed to hesitate for a moment, then she sat down at the table in front of him. She got out her pencils, book and notebook, then started to play around with her pencil which accidently dropped to the floor and rolled to Liam’s feet. She was just about to bend down to get it when he already picked it up for her.

“Thanks”, she said, blushing again. “Are you…are you from Ireland?” She wanted to ask him earlier, but she was too nervous.

“Yes.” He was busy drawing something in his notebook, he didn’t even look at her.

“What’s your name?”

“Fhaighin.”

“Finnegan?”

“No, Fhaighin.”

“That’s an interesting name…” When she tried to repeat the word he couldn’t hold back a chuckle anymore. That poor girl had no idea that she was saying ‘vagina’ in Irish.

“Just joking, I’m Liam.”

“Oh.” She looked at him, smiling shyly.

That moment the teacher entered the classroom and Josephine immediately turned her head towards him.


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5 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 20th May 2012, 15:39

Josephine was sitting in the row just across of Liam. On the side of all girls. The gray haired rather strict looking man looked at the students.

“No this is not working I want to mix up the class. What’s you name Miss?”

“Josephine Williams.” Jo whispered after she had jumped off her chair.

“Good Miss Williams I want you to swap seats with Mister?” He looked at the student sitting next to Liam.

“Mister Thomas Brown.”

“Mister Brown, please swap seats with Miss Williams and…” On the other side of the class students swapped seats that one girl sat between two boys and vice versa. Just as Jo sat down next to Liam and another boy on her right. Jo felt so embarrassed she never had to seat between two boys, she came from an all girls school.
The teacher started the lecture and Jo wrote every word and thing he pointed at. Her notes for this one lecture were several pages long. Jo liked the lecture but she knew this would be one of the subjects she had to work really hard to have good grades. Liam was paying a lot more attention in this lecture then he did in History.
Jo looked once over to him when he was giving an answer, she noticed the drawing in his notebook. Not one word was written just the drawing a great drawing of some kind of machine but no notes. She got worried that he would not be able to revise for the midterms. As soon the class was over she followed him shy.

“I can help you with the revision I’ve got a lot of notes. We have morning break right now do you want to go to the library and see if we find books for the assignment?”


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6 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 20th May 2012, 19:47

Liam just wanted to find a quiet corner where he could continue drawing when that Josephine girl followed him and actually offered him her notes.

“Why would I need your notes?”, he asked without any expression.

“Ehm…” She started to blush again. “I…I just noticed that you didn’t write down anything the teacher said, and I thought…well…maybe you need my help.”

He looked at her quietly for a moment. That was the very first time another student actually paid attention to him. The only people who paid attention to him were his teachers who constantly had to send him to the principal’s office for either interrupting the class or contradicting many of the things they said. Teachers hated to be contradicted by students, and Liam never missed any chance to contradict them as soon as he noticed they said something wrong. And they often did, but, of course, they thought they were always right.

“I don’t need your notes”, he said finally. When he noticed that she looked a bit hurt, he quickly added: “But thanks anyway.”

“But how will you revise for midterms if you don’t have any notes.”

Liam shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t need notes for revising.”

Josephine seemed confused by what he said, but she didn’t want to bother him anymore. “Okay…um…well, in case you need any notes, just ask me. But we really need to start planning the assignment, it’s due first thing tomorrow.”

He looked at her from head to toe. She sure as hell was one of those super ambitious nerdy students who wanted to kiss up to the teachers, those kind of perfectionists who started preparing their assignment right the second they left the classroom.
He sighed. “Sure, we can go over…whatever we have to do.” He was aware that not everyone worked like he did. When he had an assignment due, he didn’t prepare it, he didn’t even read for it. He stood in front of the class and made use of all the knowledge he had. However, this time he wasn’t working alone, but with a girl who seemed crazily determined to get a good grade, so he had no other chance than go along with her way of working.
He followed her to the library, and she immediately walked to the American History section as if she owned the place. He just watched her pulling out a few books and flipping through the pages, looking for useful information. He was about to grab a book as well and at least pretend that he was doing research, when he saw two Senior girls walking into the library, chatting and giggling behind their hands. He didn’t notice how he slowly dropped the book and turned away from Josephine, watching those two older girls standing in front of a bookshelf, still chatting. He completely forgot that he was supposed to do work, he was way too distracted right now.


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7 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 20th May 2012, 20:22

Josephine found a couple of books they could use, when she saw Liam take a book that wasn’t even useful for their assignment when he got distracted. She saw two of the seniors that lived in her house passed them. Jo just stood there behind him watching him. It scared her to see how he looked at the girls. She hoped there was never a boy looking like this at her, it seemed like Liam was a lion who hasn’t been fed for days and now a steak is walking past him.

“Hey erm Liam I don’t know about you but my break is nearly over. I have an English Lit class now and I better go. I will check out these books and we can meet for lunch because after English Lit I have Music analysis so I see you at lunch?”

Liam didn’t react at all. So Josephine tuck at his sleeve to get his attention. “My break is nearly over and I have class. I’ll meet you for lunch okay? And if you are busy that’s okay I can write the presentation during lunch and give you your part and then you can just read it out tomorrow in class.”

Josephine looked with her big brown eyes at him, hoping to get a response. She had a hard time admitting it but she actually had hoped to become friends with this boy after all he must be special when he skipped a class. But he seemed to be not the type of person that would want her as a friend.


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8 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 21st May 2012, 17:48

“Sure, meet you for lunch”, he said, looking at her for a brief moment before he turned away from her to look at the older girls again. He heard Josephine sigh, then she grabbed all the books she needed and walked out of the library.
Liam had two physics classes before lunch break started. This class mostly consisted of boys, and most of them were at least two years older than him. He sat next to a guy with huge glasses, who wanted to study at MIT after he graduated. His name was something ridiculous like Cody Coleman, not that Liam really paid much attention to him. Unfortunately he was going to be his partner for the next science project, that would be fun. Cody kept talking about his numerous allergies (he seemed to be allergic to everything humanly possible) and when he asked Liam if he had any allergies, Liam was really tempted to say ‘Yes, I’m allergic to people who are allergic to everything’, but he decided not to say it directly to his face. His mother had told him not to be so extremely outspoken all the time, because it came off rude. Liam didn’t think he was rude, but apparently others did.
After the two hours were over the students went into the cafeteria, which actually looked unusually nice and clean, not at all like those in American public schools. This looked more like a big, comfortable living room with a kitchen attached. During the warmer times, the students were also allowed to sit on the wooden benches and tables outside. Liam entered the cafeteria and noticed Josephine sitting at one table in the corner, hidden behind a huge pile of books.

“Hey”, he said when he appeared next to the table. “Want to go outside?”

Her head showed up behind the books. “Outside?”

“Yes, it’s going to be loud here, and besides, people will make fun of you, sitting in the cafeteria with half of the library in front of you.”

“But-“

“Come on.” He grabbed all her books so she could carry her food tray. She followed him outside, more or less voluntarily. It was still warm in the sun, although the typical New England fall already began to show. Liam sat down at one of the tables furthest away from the building. There were some other students, but it was a lot more quiet here than inside.
Josephine sat down next to him, looking nervously around as if she had done something illegal.
“Are we even allowed-“

“Yes”, he said, getting out a brown paper bag. His mother couldn’t cook at all, and she even managed to ‘disfigure’ something as simple as a sandwich. Liam looked at his sandwich that seemed like someone stepped on it. Well, here we go again…

“Is this your lunch?”, the girl asked, then she looked down at her big tray of nice-looking food.

“Yeah.” Liam didn’t want to admit that he always got food from home because it was cheaper.

“Do you want some of my-“

“Let’s start with this ridiculous assignment.”

Josephine raised her eyebrows. “Do you always interrupt people like that?”

“Hm?”

“You don’t even notice that, do you?”

“Notice what?”

“That you always interrupt others.”

Liam just shrugged his shoulders and watched her as she opened one of the books and started reading.

“Like I said…”, she mumbled, her eyes wandering over the pages. “I will have everything prepared by tomorrow, and then I’ll give you the part that you can read to class.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why should I read a part that you wrote?”

Josephine looked up, slightly confused. “Um…I mean…I just want to help you…I don’t think it would look very good if you stand in front of class without having anything to say.”

“What makes you think that I don’t have anything to say?” His voice was completely calm, almost bored.

She started to blush. “I mean…I don’t…well…you don’t have any notes and…”

He pulled out two fully written sheets of paper and put them down on the table, then he crossed his arms behind his head. “I’m done with the assignment.”

“Done?” Josephine took the notes and inspected them suspiciously.

“Yeah, I was done early in my physics class today, and on top of that I was bored, so I started doing my part of the assignment.”

“But you didn’t read any of the…I mean…I have so many books that…” She looked from his notes to him and then to the notes again, which, she realized, all made perfect sense.

Liam just shrugged his shoulders again, got out the newest Astronautics Magazine and took a sip of his milk.


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9 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 22nd May 2012, 00:08

Josephine starred at Liam. “You did this in a few minutes? Without any books? That is amazing. You must be really smart.”

Liam shrugged his shoulders again. “Yeah I am.”

“So there is no need for the extra hour we got for study time. That means there is no need for you to have lunch with me or study tonight with me.”

Josephine looked sad at the pile of books. “I will finish my part of the assignment and then we can do the presentation tomorrow and you got rid of me. Well maybe you can erm help me with the astronomy homework.” Josephine was blushing and half hiding behind her books while she was trying to eat her lunch without making a fool out of her. She hasn’t noticed that she had custard on her cheek.

“How come that you are here on CA? Are you staying here on campus or does your family live in town? I mean you don’t have to answer if this is too personal.” Jo smiled shy at the boy across the table. She tried not to think about what her mother had told her about boys and their lust driven soul.


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10 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 22nd May 2012, 15:59

Boy, that girl was nervous. He had no idea why. There was obviously no way he was making her nervous, he only made teachers nervous, but students…never. For the kids his age he was always ‘that weird Irish kid’, that was his usual name in school. Some people called him leprechaun, but not in a nice-meaning way, rather in a ‘you’re as small as a leprechaun’-kind of way. And, of course, there was always the issue with the language, so, no, he never made anyone his age ‘nervous’. But this girl…he must have said something wrong without noticing it, otherwise he had no idea why she would be so nervous. And it was funny that she thought her questions were too personal. Now, if she’d asked what colour his boxershorts were or how many times he dreamed about naked girls, that would have been a little more personal (although he would have answered those questions anyway), but she didn’t seem the type to ask those kind of questions.

“Well, I’m at this school because public school sucks and I don’t learn anything there. I went to the local public school last year, and let me tell you, I might have just stayed in bed everyday, I wouldn’t have missed anything anyway. And then I got a scholarship for the program at CA, and since I was already living in Concord it was really convenient.”

“Since when do you live in the States?”

“We moved here last year. And I’m not a boarding student, I live at home.”

“Do you have any siblings?”

“Nope, just me.”

“Yeah, me too…” Josephine stared at her tray, and for a moment Liam thought he saw something like sadness in her eyes, but nah, he must have imagined it! He wasn’t the most tactful person, he never really notice when someone wasn’t feeling well, except his mother, but he knew her well enough. But when he was with other people he just couldn’t sense anything related to human emotions, and he didn’t really care either.

Liam put his magazine away and watched her for a moment. Maybe she was just nervous because she was generally intimidated by the foreign country she moved to, the new school and people who were so different to her posh English environment. Liam was used to moving around, but she didn’t seem used to it at all.

“Well…if you want…” He didn’t even know what drove him into saying this, after all, he just wanted to get home when school was finished instead of sitting in a room and prepare a project that didn’t need any preparation, but something inside him made him say it: “We can still work after school on this…waste of ti…um…assignment. It’s not like anyone expects me to be at home right after school.”
Except my bed. Or the couch.

Josephine blushed again. “You don’t have to, I mean, you’re done with everything and…”

“No, it’s fine.” He shrugged his shoulders and took her notes from the astronomy class without asking. When he looked over her notes he had to chuckle.

“What’s so funny?”, she asked, already sounding nervous again. “Did I write something wrong?”

“No, it’s just...you seriously wrote down every single word the teacher said, every word.”

“Well…I don’t want to miss anything important…”

“But you don’t get it, right? Your notes, I mean.”

“Well…” She blushed even more. “Not really. Astronomy is not my strongest subject, so what I always do is I just learn everything by heart.”

Liam raised an eyebrow. “ Tell you what…after school we go to that study hall in your house and do the rest of the presentation –not that it really needs much, but you seem to be really into it- and when that’s done I’ll help you a bit with your astronomy notes.”
He had no idea why he was doing that, why he purposely spent more time in school then he had to. Was he actually feeling sorry for that girl, because she seemed so lost and intimidated?
No, of course he didn’t feel sorry for her…he just liked talking about astronomy. That was all.
“Is that okay with you?”

She stared at him as if he just told her he was in fact a girl in boy’s clothes. “Eh…um…yes…of course! Are you…you sure you want to…”

Liam rolled his eyes. “Yes, I’m sure!”
That moment the bell rang, and he grabbed his bag. “Anyway, see you after school.”

“Yes, see you…” Her cheeks were bright red.

“By the way, you’ve got custard on your face.”



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11 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 22nd May 2012, 17:25

Josephine took her napkin and rubbed her face roughly to get rid of the custard on her cheek. The rest of her classes that afternoon went by quickly, in the afternoon Jo had a meeting of
The Centipede the school newspaper. She was really excited about being on the newspaper. For the moment she just wrote small articles about books but she was a member of the newspaper. As soon the clubs were over Jo went back to the cafeteria she figured that she would fine Liam here since it was dinner time. Well and she had to eat dinner anyway and hoped Liam would look for her here. The dinner was no very different, well only that she had to pick up her own tray there were no servants unlike at home. But the food was actually not bad, clearly not as posh as it had been of Waterfall Downs. But Jo liked it a lot, it was a lot more simple and less formal. Jo was sitting outside she had returned many of the books she had earlier and was now reading in her History textbook. Enjoying the last bits of sunshine.

“Are you even allowed to sit outside?”

Jo looked up and was really scared that she was in trouble but then she recognized Liam. “Liam you scared me.”

He grinned. “Yeah I figured you would.”

“Did you have dinner?”


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12 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 23rd May 2012, 18:12

Actually he was starving, since his mother had only packed him lunch because he said he would come home right after school - which he had planned to, but when he left home this morning he had no idea that he would meet this super ambitious girl who wanted to get the presentation done. So, no, he didn’t have any dinner, but he could wait until he was home.

“Yeah, I’m fine”, he said, not really answering her question.

“I’m done with most of my work as well, I think what we need to do is to put everything together so that it makes sense to the class.”

“It won’t make sense to the class”, he replied dryly.

“Why not?”

“Because they won’t get it.”

“Well, maybe-“

“It’s the first day of school, they don’t know the stuff yet- or any time soon, for that matter. So don’t worry about making the presentation understandable to the class, they won’t get it anyway, not even if you would present the whole thing by dancing and singing.”

“Oh, okay…” Josephine stared at her history book. “But we still need to put it together somehow.” They needed a few minutes to sort out how they would present it, but then they were done, and Liam kept his promise and helped her with the astronomy class. Josephine was glued to his lips as if she had never heard anything more fascinating, and by the end, when he asked her if she got it, she said a rather unconvincingly yes. Liam wasn’t quite sure if she really got it, but he hoped she would just ask him again if she really needed help.

By the time he got home he was so hungry that he could eat a horse- or his mother’s food, for that matter.

“Where were you?”, he heard her voice from the living room after he just closed the door.

“At school.”

“You said you’d be back in the afternoon.” Catherine appeared in the small hallway, looking worried. “You have to let me know when you’re planning to stay longer in school, so I don’t have to worry.”

“Worry about what? That I get kidnapped by a group of freaky women who belong to a crazy cult and use little boys as sacrifice?” Liam was about to drop his bag on the floor and leave it there, but then he remembered that his mother hated it when he did that. “This is Concord, mum, nothing ever happens here.”

“You never know…”

“Yeah, Jack the Ripper could be the guy next door, I know.” His stomach started to grumble. He walked straight into the kitchen, looking for something edible (though most of the food she cooked wasn’t really edible, but at the moment he didn’t care).

“So, how was your first day?” Catherine appeared behind him, looking expectantly at him.

He shrugged his shoulder. “Okay, I guess…”

“Are the classes better than in your old school?”

Liam nodded while he got out the leftovers from last night. Some cold vegetable-something he had no idea what exactly, but right now he could eat anything.

“Why did you stay so long in school today?”, she asked, getting out a plate before he ate that whole thing out of the plastic container.

“I had to do a project.”

She raised her eyebrows. “And you actually stayed in school for that?”

“Yeah, I had to work with this girl…kind of ambitious and stuff, isn’t used to my way of doing school work.”

“Nobody is”, Catherine smirked.

“She’s actually younger than I am”, Liam said. “From Oxford.”

“Really, younger than you?” She seemed surprised. “Well, she must be smart then. And she came all the way from Oxford by herself or do her parents live here?”

“No, they are still in England.” Liam grabbed his plate, sat down at the small table and started to eat. Man, he was hungry! Catherine sat at the other side and frowned.

“She must be lonely.”

“Hm?” He was too focused on his dinner.

“That girl from Oxford. If you think about it, she’s younger than you and lives in a foreign country without her parents.”

Liam looked up. “I think she’s doing okay.”

Catherine sighed. “Yes, because you are the last person who gets that someone isn’t feeling well. I bet she is homesick.”

Liam knew from the way his mother looked at him that she wanted something from him.
“What?”, he asked suspiciously.

“I know it’s incredibly much to ask you”, she said in a rather sarcastic undertone. “But do you think you could look out for her and maybe-“

“Look out for her? She’s not a baby, she doesn’t need a babysitter.”

“That’s not what I meant. I just think it would be nice if you could help her out a little. You know how it’s like to be in a foreign country and everything is new to you.”

“Yeah, but I don’t really give a shit.”

“Language, young man.” She looked strictly at him.

“Sorry.” He started playing with his fork.

“Liam, is that too much to ask? Can you help her a little?”

Liam looked at his mother and rolled his eyes. “Sure.”


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13 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 23rd May 2012, 20:02

Liam left early so that Josephine had time to call her father.

"Father can you hear me?" Josephine shouted into the phone.

"Yes Princess, I don no need to shout. How is school?"

"I love it father. It is so beautiful here and the subject are great and so are the teacher father I even made a friend. Well I think he is my friend."

"A boy?" Collin Williams sounded curious and a little bit worried.

"Yes he is Irish and speaks with a really funny accent. And he is just a year older then me. He is so smart. He is helping me with my Astronomy homework."

"Okay but don't do anything stupid darling."

"No I won't." Josephine sounded suddenly very shy. "Father do you think you can make it to my birthday?"

"I'm sorry princess your mother is veru sick I can't leave at the moment."

"Oh that is alright I'm sure I have a great day."

"Darling don't forget that you can't be too clingy to your new friend or you might scare him away. But it is late Princess you should go to bed now. I love you darling."

"I lov..." Josephine heard the line cracking and her father was gone. She went to bed and hoped her birthday wouldn't been too lonely. She couldnt' wait to see Liam again but she wouldn't see him until after morning break in History. Maybe she should tell Liam about her birthday?

No that would look to desperate.

If she would just know if Liam sees her as friend or just as someone he kind of got stuck with.


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14 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 24th May 2012, 14:38

Liam was almost late again because he had seen Cindy through the window of the diner again, but he didn’t want to get another assignment for being late, so he hurried up this time. He didn’t see Josephine until their history class. She seemed shy, barely looked him in the eyes, but he didn’t expect anything else. They managed to present quite a good assignment to the class and after they were done the teacher told them they did a fantastic job. Josephine smiled shyly while Liam was already more occupied with one of the girls who sat in the front, whose upper button of her shirt was open and thus revealed a little more than she probably noticed.
After history they had different classes, and then came lunch break. Liam was already outside, sitting at a table right under a tree, while he continued drawing sketches in his notebook. He didn’t see Josephine at first, how she slowly walked outside, her hands grasping the tray tightly, and how she looked at him for a moment, but then turned away and walked to another table, where she sat down and took out a book. Shortly afterwards he looked up because some student was shouting something to another, and then he noticed Josephine, sitting alone at the table, hidden behind her book. It looked kind of pathetic, actually. Liam was just about to go back to his notebook when the voice of his mother came back to his mind.
She must be lonely.
He glanced into her direction again. Was she really lonely? She seemed pretty happy with her books over there. Why did he care anyway? Oh yes, because he had assured his mum that he would look after that girl. Since when did it become his job to look after new students? He was new to this school as well, and nobody looked after him. Well, he would have hated an older student looking after him, he liked being left alone. Although…if the older student would be one of the cheerleaders…
Liam sighed. Okay, mum, you win!
He grabbed his bag, put the notebook under his arm and walked over to Josephine.

“Hey.”

She looked up, obviously surprised that he talked to her. “Hello…”, she said shyly.

“Sitting right under a tree has the disadvantage of constantly getting bugs in your hair or falling right into your shirt. So, do you mind?”

“Mind?”

“That I sit here.”

“Oh.” Her cheeks turned red. “No, of course not.”

“Cool.” He sat down next to her and put the notebook on his lap. He didn’t want anyone else to see his sketches, those were his ideas and inventions, and he didn’t want to share them with anyone.
“So…good job today.”

“I’m sorry?”

“The presentation.”

“Oh!” She chuckled nervously. “Yes, it was good.”

Liam’s eyes wandered to the cloudless sky. They definitely had a nice Indian Summer, but he knew how cold it would get as soon as autumn really started. Josephine would be surprised when she would experience a typical harsh New England winter, since she was only used to a rather mild Southern English winter.
“You know what I always have to think of when I see the sun?”, he suddenly said out of nowhere. “The light from the sun takes about eight whole minutes to reach us, so basically we see the sun as it was eight minutes ago.”

Josephine looked surprised at him. “Really?”

“Yeah.” He opened his brown lunch bag and glared carefully inside as if he was expecting a grasshopper to jump out of it. He didn’t see the way she looked at him, interested, almost fascinated. When he looked up again, she quickly lowered her gaze and pretended to read.
“So, you’ve done anything in Concord so far?”

She shook her head. “No, I just arrived and had no chance to do anything outside of school.”

Liam could literally hear the voice of his mother shouting in his head Offer her to show her the town! He tried to ignore her voice, but it didn’t work, so before he got the chance to change the subject, he asked: “Want me to show you around a bit?”


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15 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 24th May 2012, 22:38

Josephine looked at him as if he just took off his pants and showed him his male parts. “You would do that? But I am not allowed to just leave the campus like this I need to ask my housemother for her permission and I need to do this a day before I go.” Jo blushed. “I mean… that would be really nice thanks I promise I won’ be a burden or anything. You could just bring me to a bookstore and I am happy.”

“Yeah I figured that much. You ask your housemother today and we’ll go tomorrow.” Liam said sounding rather bored. While Josephine had a hard time not jumping into Liam’s arm. “Thank you so much. Thank you Liam.”

Jo starred in her book but had a huge grin in her face. “Thank you.” Jo whispered. It might be a little think for Liam but for her it was a huge honour that someone who was not paid by her parents wanted to spend time with her. “Oh no I am late for my music class I see you later. Oh erm I guess you don’t stay for study hall today. But I see you tomorrow. Thanks you so much.”


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16 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 25th May 2012, 18:23

Liam raised his eyebrows as she turned away and almost ran into the school building. He couldn’t remember the last time someone said ‘thank you’ so many times in one sentence.
I guess she liked the offer…
He shrugged his shoulders and grabbed his bag, he didn’t want to be late for biology class.
The next day, shortly before he met Josephine to show her the town, he went to the office, this time not because a teacher had sent him, but because he had to fill something out for his scholarship. While he filled everything out he noticed a pile of files next to him, Josephine’s on top. It was still a thin file since she was new to the school. The file was open, and he was able to read the upper part, her whole name, place and date of birth, before the secretary grabbed the pile of files and put them back. Josephine’s birthday was next month already. He wondered if her parents would come to visit her.

“Hi…”, he heard a shy voice behind him.

He turned around and saw Josephine, smiling shyly.

“Hey. Ready to go?”

She nodded and followed him outside. “Thank you again that you’re doing this, you really don’t have to, I’m just so thankful and…well, it’s really nice and…”

“Don’t worry about it, it’s no big deal.” Liam shoved his hands into his pockets. “But don’t expect much, Concord is really small.”

“Yes, I know.”

There really wasn’t much to see, but still, Concord alone was a beautiful town, and although Liam would never get used to the American lifestyle, he slowly came to like this town.
After he had gone to bed yesterday he had actually spent some time thinking about what Josephine might like to see. He was surprised by his own thoughts and by the fact that he actually thought of showing her something she would like. He didn’t even know her, but there were two things he was sure she would like, the public library and the Orchard House, which was the house Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in.
So, the first stop was the public library, and he was right, she loved it. It was hard to drag her out of it, he only got her out of there when he mentioned the Orchard House. It was a little outside of downtown, but they reached it easily by walking. And he had been right about the Orchard House as well, Josephine seemed to be really excited about it. She smiled the entire time and talked a lot, which was unusual, since she was very shy. When she touched the desk in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom, the very own desk she wrote Little Women on, her eyes were shining, and for the first time he noticed that they were the colour of a deer kid. Liam frowned. Why did he notice something like that? Truth was, Liam liked brown eyes. His mother had brown eyes, which made him often wonder if he had his father’s eyes.
“So”, he said after they left the house. “You liked it?”


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17 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 26th May 2012, 11:14

“If I liked it? This is so awesome. Thank you so much! You are awesome.” Against everything she thought would happen it wasn’t this, she jumped into Liam’s arm and hugged him.
It was around dinner time when Jo looked shy at him. “I think I better get back I’m getting hungry and…” Jo was blushing. “I forgot my wallet.”
Jo was never used to carry money around, her parents were knows well enough that whatever she wanted she got and if her nanny didn’t pay for it the bill would have been send to her father. She had money here in Concord but it was in CA.

“Come on I know where we can go.” He walked ahead while Jo followed him, like a little puppy. He stopped in front of a small diner.

“You can eat in here?” Jo looked sceptical at the diner, it was small and simple and close to be dirty.

“Yes sure come on in. Do you like chips?”

Jo looked at Liam. “What are chips?”

“You don’t know chips? They are made of deep fried potatoes.”

Jo blushed and looked at the ground. “Mother doesn’t want us to eat potatoes she says they are food for poor people and we should not stuff our stomachs with them. I don’t think so but…” Jo felt awful to say this and she knew how much her mother’s strict rules and expectations made no sense to other people they often didn’t even made sense to her.


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18 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 27th May 2012, 18:25

They went into the diner, and Jo looked so scared and out of place that he had to laugh. Then she stopped looking scared because she looked at him now as if he was some sort of tourist attraction.

“What?”, he asked. “You should see your face, it’s funny.”

“Funny?” Now she looked like he offended her.

“No, no, I didn’t mean it in a bad way”, he quickly said, then he sat down at one of the small tables next to the window. The same moment his attention was clearly occupied. Cindy was working today- in her little diner dress. Score! And now she walked over to them. Double Score!
She smiled widely at them, but his eyes were fixed on something that was a bit further down her face.
“Heya, have you decided what you want to order?”

Liam was too distracted, he completely forgot what he wanted to say. He stared at her, unable to get one sentence together. Cindy kept smiling patiently while Josephine looked from staring Liam to the older girl, then she kicked his leg carefully under the table to make him wake up.

“Wh…what?” He startled.

“Have you decided what you want to order?”

“Eh…um…chips…”

“Chips?” She raised her eyebrows.

“I…I mean fries.”

“Okey-dokey.” She nodded. “Anything else?”

He just shook his head, trying not to stare at her breasts. He kept watching her when she turned away and walked back to the counter while Josephine played with her napkin. “So…you like her?,” she asked shyly.

“Hm?” He was still not paying attention to her.

“You like that girl, don’t you?” She didn’t look at him, she kept her eyes on the napkin.

“Cindy?” He tried to act cool, almost indifferent, but his cheeks were still flushed. “She’s okay, I guess…”
He looked at Josephine briefly and thought of asking her about her upcoming birthday, but then he decided not to. Shortly afterwards Cindy returned with a big plate of fries.

“Hey, I know you…”, she said when Liam stared at her again. “You’re that kid who is glued to the window of the diner every morning.”

Liam blushed. Oh shit, did she see me all this time?
“That…eh…wasn’t me…”

“Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s you.” She winked at him, then turned around and walked away from them. Jo looked at the food in front of her. “That’s the first time I have chips.”

“You make it sound like it’s so special.” Liam couldn’t imagine how she must have grown up, her life must have been completely different than his.

“Do I get any cutlery?”, she asked.

He looked at her for a moment, wondering if she was joking, but she didn’t seem to, and he had to chuckle. “No, silly, you eat it with your hands.”
She’s adorable. Somehow. Kind of…
I did not just think of her as adorable!

Liam shook his head slightly as if he could get rid of his thoughts that way. “So, dig in.”


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19 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 27th May 2012, 19:34

Josephine looked confused at Liam. “Dig in? But I don’t have a shovel.”

Liam looked up. “What?”

“Nothing, nothing.” Josephine quickly mimic his action and took some fries with her hand after she had checked if her hand is clean. “Shouldn’t have washed our hands before we eat with them?”

“If you want over there is the toilet.”

Josephine looked at Liam who just continued to eat.

“No just asking.”

This was so exciting, Josephine had to ask her father if they could eat more often potatoes. She liked them a lot.

This afternoon was now nearly a week ago, but Josephine still cherished the memory. Her father had told her to take money with her next time she goes out, so that Liam didn’t have to pay again. Jo hoped Liam would ask her very soon out again.
It was Wednesday when Jo was sitting inside at lunch, because it was already cold outside, doing her music class homework. She had to compose a short piece for the piano, so the young girl was humming not noticing her surroundings. Liam sat down and started talking while she was still lost in her music.


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20 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 28th May 2012, 19:23

When Liam went to the cafeteria for lunch he automatically walked over to Josephine’s table. It was pointless sitting alone, and she wasn’t actually half as bad, so spending time with her at lunch was nice, kind of. Yeah, something like that…
When he came closer he already heard her humming a melody, and she seemed so lost in thought, almost in trance, that she didn’t notice him sitting down next to her. Since that afternoon that he showed Josephine around town, his mother kept bugging him about him inviting Josephine over to their house for dinner. He wasn’t sure what she had in mind, did she want to poison her? And was she aware that Josephine came from a completely different background and would probably get a heart attack if she set one foot into their small, chaotic home? Liam never had anyone over, not to mention a girl, and yes, it was ‘just’ Josephine, but still…However, his strong-willed mother won, as always, because that woman could argue! She could have made a brilliant lawyer. So, there he was, about to officially invite Josephine to an evening of food poisoning in a strange environment she wasn’t used to, surrounded not by high society but two scientists who sometimes changed into Irish without noticing it. He already felt sorry for her…

“Sounds nice”, he said.

Josephine suddenly startled. Now she finally noticed him, and she immediately started to blush when she realised that he heard her humming. “Excuse me?”

“That melody you were humming.”

“Oh…” She stared at her hands. “It’s for my music homework.”

“You seem to have a good ear for music.”

“I just…I um…I like music…”

He nodded. He liked music as well, but he wasn’t particularly gifted or anything. He could play a bit on the guitar and the piano, but for some strange reason his mother hated it seeing him at a piano, so he wasn’t allowed to practice.
“What are you doing Friday night?”

She looked up. “This Friday?”
Reading. Reading. Reading. Maybe studying. Reading. Oh…and reading.
“Ehm…not much.”

“You think you could get permission to leave the campus that day, because my mum invited you to dinner. Which, I have to warn you, is totally insane because she can’t cook, I mean, you saw the sandwiches, right? So guess how her cooking skills are when she can’t even fix a sandwich…” He shrugged his shoulders. “Anyway, I guess she’s very happy that there’s actually someone who keeps up with her weirdo son, so she wants to meet you.”

“Really?”, Jo asked shyly.

“Yeah, really.” Liam opened his lunch bag and inspected the sandwich suspiciously. “You better eat before you get to us and then you claim you have to stomach flu so she won’t force you to eat anything. Oh, and you don’t have to come, of course, only if you want to, it’s not mandatory and you won’t get a grade for it, so you decide…”


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21 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 29th May 2012, 00:19

Josephine looked at Liam in more or less in shock. Liam just knew that Jo was trying to find a way to say polite that she doesn’t want to come, he was just about to tell her again that it was the stupid idea of his mother when…

“I would love to come to dinner this Friday. I have to fill out a form that allows me to go with you after school and I think my housemother will call you mother to make sure we are not unsupervised. I hope that is okay?”

“Seriously? This sounds like prison and not boarding school.”

Josephine went pale and looked at her plate.

“That’s fine. I’ll gotta go now I have a physics class.”

“Thank you so much. And please tell your mother it is an honour and pleasure to meet her for dinner.” Josephine smiled shyly at Liam.

As soon Josephine was back at her house she filled in the blue slip, and talked to her housemother. “His name is Liam O’Doherty, he is a student in my class.”

“Okay Josephine. I got it, I will call Missis O’Doherty and will let you know if you can go. Now go you wanted to call your father didn’t you?”

“No not my father he is with my mother at the hospital, I wanted to call my cousin.”

“Good, go ahead darling.”

Josephine went to the phone and called Lorelai, her big cousin in Germany.

“Hey Lor how are you?” Josephine’s aunt passed away this summer, she just had time to attend the funeral before she had to come to America. Josephine had a close relationship with her aunt, and she missed her dearly.

“I am very good missing my little Josey. How is Concord treating you? Did you make new friends?”

“Yes there is this boy he, well no his mother invited me for dinner. He is really smart and a lot like father. He is so good with all the star stuff.”

“Oh man a boy. Josey, I never thought this moment would come so soon.”

“Lorelai!” Josephine squeaked.

“Okay okay, no teasing. So how is the school treating you?”

“Very good. I love it here, but it is already getting colder. I have so much to study here, I love it.”

“I knew you would. Let me guess you have to go back to study.”

Jo giggled. “Yes I do. Lor I love you!”

“I love you more Josey. I’m expecting a long detailed letter from you.”

“I promise. It will arrive soon.”

Josephine hung up the phone and smiled, she was so excited to go to visit Liam.
The next day was Thursday and at lunch she went to Liam. He was at their usual table. “Liam, Liam I got the permission to visit you tomorrow. What do I have to wear? Is it a white tie or black tie dinner?”


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22 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 29th May 2012, 18:28

Liam stared at her. “You’re joking, right?”
She shook her head, a bit confused, and he could tell that she really had been serious.
“Dude, believe me, nobody would care if you’d come in your pyjamas.”
Josephine still seemed confused, probably because she never wore her pyjamas anywhere outside her bedroom and probably because she’s never been called dude-she probably didn’t even know that word- but she nodded and continued eating her lunch.
When Liam came home that afternoon his mother was already there, just hanging up the phone.

“That was your school”, she said, trying to hold back a grin. “I have to say, they sure as hell are obsessed with rules over there.”

“Tell me about it. Why did they call you?”

“They asked me a few questions to be sure that they wouldn’t send Josephine to a psychopath.”

“And you lied to them? Mum!”

“Oh, shut up!” She threw a pillow at him. “They really wanted to know if I’m in the possession of drugs.”

“Sure, we’re growing weed in the back of our garden.” He sat down on the couch and opened his science book.

“By the way, you’re cleaning up your room before your friend gets here, right?”

“Hm?” He pretended that he didn’t hear her.

“Liam…”

“What? It’s not like she’s going to see my room. She can stay in the living room, that’s perfectly fine.”

“Oh, so you invite your friend over and she’s not even allowed to look at your room? I don’t think so…” Catherine snatched the book away from him. “Move it, Munchkin!”

He rolled his eyes and got up. “Please don’t call me Mucnhkin in front of her!”

“What?” A smile crossed her lips. “Is someone embarrassed because he brings home a girl who might hear that his mother calls him Munchkin?”

“I’m not embarrassed, and she’s not a girl…well, yeah, obviously she is, but not that kind of girl. And stop smiling like that!” He shoved his hands in his pockets and went up to his room, though his definition of tidying up basically was him throwing all the stuff on the floor into his wardrobe or pushing it under the bed.

The next day after school he waited until Josephine dropped off all her school materials in her room and then they walked to his house, which was about twenty minutes away from school, in a quiet area. It was a very small house, but they didn’t need a big house anyway, it was just the two of them and as long as Liam had his own room he was fine, he didn’t need to live in a mansion.

“Your house looks really charming”, Josephine said. She looked kind of nice, he had to admit, wearing a pretty dress and a small headband. She looked very British, and he was sure his mum would like that.
Liam opened the door and let Josephine in. He had warned her about possibly everything, because he knew that she was used to luxury and living like a princess, so she shouldn’t expect any of that at his home, but she actually looked totally fascinated, and he had no idea why. At the same moment he realized that he had forgotten to hide the pictures of him as a baby and toddler which his mum had put up against his will, and of course, Josephine’s eyes immediately caught them.
She looked at a framed picture and smiled. “Is that you with your mother? She’s so pretty…”

“Yeah, well…” Liam wished he could hide the baby pictures, but now it was too late anyway. That moment Catherine showed up behind them and smiled warmly at the young girl.

“You must be Josephine.” Instead of reaching out a hand like people in Josephine’s society did, she hugged the little girl as if she knew her already. Josephine looked surprised at her, both because she hugged her and because she didn’t expect her to be that young. Her mother, like all the other Oxford mothers she knew, was much older and wore conservative dresses and pearl necklaces, but Liam’s mum looked so different than all those mothers she knew.
“You didn’t say she was so cute, Liam.” Catherine tousled his hair playfully while he started to blush.

Josephine still stared at his mother, then cleared her throat. “It is really nice for you to invite me, Mrs O’Doherty, I really appreciate it.”

“I’m not a Mrs, and please call me Catherine, we’re not that formal here”, she said friendly. “And it’s really nice for you to come, I wasn’t sure if that son of mine would scare you away by telling you terrifying stories of my cooking skills…” She shot Liam a short side-glance, then turned to the young girl again. “Do you have another name, Josephine? Like a nickname or something?”

She shook her head. “No, Miss. Mother doesn’t want me to.”

“Really?” Catherine frowned. “You know what? You don’t look like a Josephine…you look more like a Jo. In fact, I was thinking of Jo March…”

Josephine’s eyes suddenly started to light up. “That is one of my favourite books!”

“See, that name is made for you then. Is it okay if I call you Jo?”

The young girl nodded shyly, still astonished how different Catherine was to Lady Elizabeth Williams.

“You know, there is something about names…I think you have to see someone first before you decide what name he or she should get.” Catherine put her arm around Liam’s shoulder. “Take this young man for instance. While I was pregnant with him I knew I would call him William, I really like strong and traditional names, but the very second I saw him I knew he wasn’t a William. He was just the tiniest baby, he looked like he was born two months too early, and the moment I first held him I knew he was not meant to be a William.”

Liam’s cheeks were a bit pink. “Enough with the baby talk, okay?” He was a little embarrassed, but he didn’t seem upset or anything, quite the opposite, Jo noticed the way he looked at his mum, as if she was not only his mother but someone he loved with all his heart. It was the first time she saw him looking like that, not like this cool boy with the ‘what-do-I-care?’- attitude, but rather a little boy who was not even close to being grown up.
Catherine looked from Liam to Josephine. “And looking at you right now I clearly see a Jo, not a Josephine.”

She smiled shyly. “I like it…Jo…” She repeated the name carefully, almost expecting the strict voice of her mother saying that she is not allowed to have a nickname, but there was nobody who forbid it. For the first time in a very long time she felt this weird feeling, something she never felt before. Was this what people called freedom? Yes, she felt kind of free…

“Anyway, I hope you like pancakes”, Catherine said. “I’m aware that Americans think pancakes is something you can only eat for breakfast, but as far as I know there is no rule that says you can’t have them for dinner. And besides, it’s the only meal I know I won’t screw up.”

“You sure about that?” Liam raised an eyebrow. “You are really talented in burning them once in a while…”

“Be nice to your mother!” She pinched his cheek, but then kissed his forehead. “In case the pancakes burn, we’ll order something. I won’t let our guest starve.”


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23 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 29th May 2012, 22:42

“You mean you have a cook on hold to bring you dinner? Why do you try to cook yourself?” Jo asked innocently looking at Catherine, while behind Jo Liam burst into laughter.

“Did I say something wrong?” The young girl felt really bad. She was trying so hard not to say anything that could hurt Catherine or Liam. She knew they came from two totally different world and she didn’t mean to offend them.

“No honey. You didn’t say anything wrong. And we don’t have a cook on hold, but we can order food from a delivery service, some diners you can call in and order the food you want and then they deliver it to your door.”

“Oh, that is very neat.” Jo was a little pale, she felt so stupid, there were so many things in this world she didn’t know and she didn’t like the feeling of not knowing.

“Yes it is. What would you like to drink? We have orange juice, Coke, water or milk.”

Jo loved milk, but she read in a book that milk is expensive and she didn’t want that the O’Doherty had to spend so much on her, but she had no idea how to say that politely.

“I’ll tell you what, since we are having breakfast for dinner we all will have milk.” Catherine had ushered the two children in the kitchen.

“Okay. Erm can I help with anything?” Jo asked very shy.

“Yes if you like you can mix the pancake mix, while I heat the pan. Here maybe you better wear this so that your pretty dress doesn’t get dirty.” Catherine put the apron over Jo’s head and tied it at the back.

“Oh but the laundry service at school would just wash it… I think.”

Catherine smiled fondly at the little girl, she saw how nervous she was and she didn’t want to scare the girl even more. “That is nice that you don’t have to worry about your clothes. Just like Liam, he has me to wash his clothes, even when I ask him to help me.”

“Mom!” Liam looked away, which made Jo giggle.

“Here take this and mix the pancake mix.”

“Like this?” Jo asked worried she is doing something wrong, as if there was much to do wrong while mixing the pancake mix with a whisker.

“Yes that’s great.” Catherine heated the pan, while Liam sat the table.

“Oh are we eating not in the dining room?”

This time even Catherine chuckled a little. “I’m afraid we don’t have a dining room Jo. I guess you are living at home in a big house.”

“Erm yes. We have some servants, a cook and I have a governess mother has her maid and each of us has several rooms and we have a garden…” Jo starred into the bowl of pancake mix.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to make you miss home honey.”

“Oh no it is not that it is that… I really like your house because… erm… it is warm, and friendly and you smile on pictures and it is not a house in which you live, it is your home. I like it very much, it is beautiful. Not like Waterfall Downs, not at all like it.” Jo mumbled without looking up. She knew that she just did something really bad and if Mother would hear her she would send her into her room and forbid her to read for a week. You don’t speak badly about your wealth, and you don’t envy the poor. Love is nothing you need in live, all you need is money to buy whatever else there is. Jo sighed. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said this. Please don’t listen to my bad talking, I should know better as a Lady of Oxford.” Jo hated this title, she hated to stand above people like Liam and his mom. They were great people.

“I never had pancakes only French toast and Dutch pastries sometimes we had croissants , Mother says pancakes are not the kind of meal we should eat with the standard of food we have. She has a very strong opinion what is appropriated to be served at our house. Last year for my birthday we had Estragon and Bouillabaisse."


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24 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 1st June 2012, 19:02

Liam and Catherine just looked at her, obviously no idea what she was talking about.

“What the hell is that?”, Liam asked, getting a strict glance from his mother at the same time.

“It’s French…um…it’s a stew…with fish…”

“That sounds gross.”

“Liam”, Catherine said with a warning tone in her voice.

“What? It does!”

“It’s actually quite nice”, Jo mumbled shyly.

“Oh man, it was really time for you to get out of that world. I mean, rich people might have money but they sure as hell have a screwed up taste and they have no -“ He didn’t finish his sentence when he noticed the way his mother looked at him, so instead he continued eating his pancakes. Catherine shook her head, then turned to Jo and smiled friendly.

“So, Jo, do you have any hobbies? You probably had many opportunities to practice various hobbies.”

“Well, I love reading…more than anything in the world. And I like horseback riding, oh, and I love playing the piano! I’m so glad we have a music room at school, I could play every single day.”

When Jo mentioned that she liked playing the piano Liam’s eyes wandered to his mother, who, for a very short moment, seemed a bit tense, but the smile on her face reappeared very quickly. “Those are lovely hobbies, Jo.”

“Why do you say they are lovely hobbies and you won’t let me play the piano?” Liam knew she didn’t want to talk about it, but he tried now and then, however, he also knew when he had to stop.

“Don’t even go there, Liam”, she said, not looking at him, and he knew that he better stop asking her about it, and so he did.
Catherine and Jo talked a bit about Jo’s upbringing in Oxford, and the ladies seemed to get along so well that Liam just listened to them instead of interrupting. It was actually nice watching the two, and Jo even seemed to open up a little more.
“Liam, why don’t you show our guest your room while I’ll do the dishes?” Catherine smiled at him, it was a rather teasing smile, and he knew that she was teasing him because he didn’t clean up his room properly and that was his ‘punishment’.

“Sure, I can show her my room”, he replied dryly. The two got up and Jo followed him shyly out of the kitchen, her eyes wandering to the pictures again. The pictures of her own family looked so much different, she wasn’t even allowed to smile because her mother told her a proper British lady didn’t smile. “It’s not interesting at all”, Liam said when they got upstairs and opened the door to his room. And it’s…messy.
Although he had stuffed most of his things into the wardrobe yesterday and under the bed, it was still very chaotic. There were pencils and loose paper all across the floor, some of his gadgets he worked on were lying on his bed and he just realized that he didn’t put his undies away, they were still lying around, totally visible for everyone who entered the room.
Jo, to his surprise, didn’t seem as shocked as he expected, but rather fascinated.
“This is…”

“Messy.”

“Well, yes, but it’s also how I always pictured the room of an inventor must look like.” She walked into his room and looked around as if she’s seen nothing more interesting in her life. She scrutinized his gadgets and inspected his books, surprised to find so many books she actually knew, like typical classics. She didn’t picture him as someone who would read George Eliot. While she had her back turned towards him he grabbed two of his undies that were lying close to her feet, but that moment she turned around and he quickly hid his hand behind his back and smiled.
“It’s probably not what you’re used to at home…”


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25 Re: Another Way, Another Life on 1st June 2012, 23:41

Jo looked at him, it suddenly hit her she was alone with a boy in his room and the door was closed. She took a step back and ran into the small drawer, she pulled her hand in front of her and suddenly she had one of his underpants and they had a suspicious white spot in the front.

“Oh God gracious. I’m so sorry. I mean…” Jo was blushing insanely.

“What they are just my underpants.” Liam tried to play cool even though he felt a little embarrassed.

“Um, in CA I’m not allowed to have boys in my room and close the door.” Jo mumbled, looking around.

Liam looked at her a little surprised. “Why what do they think you do? Have an orgy?”

Jo knew the word, but she wasn’t exactly sure what it meant except that it had something to do with the human reproduction. A subject she was not at all comfortable with.

“Erm… excuse me, please.” Jo had tears in her eyes when she fled from Liam’s room back into the living room where she accidentally knocked over some of the pictures. She had trouble setting them back up because her tears blinded her. She couldn’t even really explain why she was crying. A part was because Liam actually scared her, and a part because she was so jealous of his home he had. She always wished to have a home like this. Jo was noisy putting the pictures back and her loud sobbing.


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