Mia had just left the shuttle at Folkestone after passing through the Euro-Channel from Calais and traveling the fifty-mile route through the world’s longest underwater channel by train with her car—thirty-seven miles undersea in just thirty minutes. She was excited. North London University had offered her a place, one of the rare limited places in her subject. The university offered only fifty places a year for her area of study. Mia planned to move in with her boyfriend who had found an apartment in an old North London villa and share with several students.
A further ninety-minute drive through Kent, making her way through South London and the Blackwall Tunnel, Mia had to take a break to refill her tank. She stopped at a gas station, filled up and went to the cashier. For some reason, her card failed and, of course, she hadn’t enough cash.
Mia was a slender girl, standing five feet four in her sandals. She was simply dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and she blushed bright red when the Point of Sale rejected her credit card. This had happened to her once before when she had accidentally exceeded her limit, but this time the card was seriously creased, the result of her sitting on it during her long trip from Germany. Despite Mia’s general level-headedness, she could be careless at times.
Everything happens for a reason. “Do I need to wash cars now?” Mia asked with a smile. Turning towards the customer behind her, she said, “Does your car need some polish?”
The man, a handsome thirtysomething year old, athletically shaped with dark blond hair laughed. “No, love, it’s just coming out of the car wash now, but I imagine you would do a better job.”
“Well, is there an ATM machine close by?”
“No, not that close,” the cashier said. “The next cash machine is about fifteen minutes away.”
“So, what can I do? Would you accept me leaving a deposit like my ID card? I would come back later with the cash. I’ve just come from Germany and I’m moving to North London. I could leave my address and telephone number with you.”
The cashier shook her head, but the handsome guy behind Mia said, “I can take it on my card and you can come to my office next week and pay me.”
“That would be great; I don’t know what to say.”
“It’s okay,” he replied. “And I got the number of an attractive German, right?”
The two exchanged addresses, phone numbers, and the man paid using his card. Mia felt ashamed but surprised that someone was so generous.
“You made it all the way from Germany with one tank filling?” He smiled and continued, “Don’t worry; I had a similar situation lately, so I know how it feels and someone helped me out, too. My name is Jason. Anyway, I got your car license, so I will find you if I have to.”
Mia thanked him again. “I will pass by your office tomorrow and leave the fifty pounds for you at the reception.”
Jason nodded, “Any time. See You.”
On her way-out, walking over to her fully packed Ibiza, Mia noticed that only one other car had stopped at the gas station. It must be his—a shiny Porsche 911.
Mia had planned to pick up her boyfriend Bo at his old address and then drive over to the new flat. When she arrived, Bo was standing, as always, talking with his landlady, an attractive African woman from the same country as him. She was a little older. She had a little boy and always had her eyes on Bo. She looked at Mia with hardly the friendliest Hello.
Bo grabbed his one suitcase and he and Mia drove over to Lordship Road, to the old villa where they would move in. Mia parked the car and followed him inside.
They were standing in the dark entrance hall, trying to find the light. Mia, excited, finally found the switch. Wrapping her hands around Bo, wanting him to kiss her, and Bo standing there with his hands in his pockets, cold as ice. Mia would have expected a jumping heart, an intensive hug, and a long sweet kiss, anything but this. She had waited all summer for this moment. A cold shower was running down her back. All she felt was a moment of nothing, knowing this love had been an illusion, all this sweet talk on the phone, cards, presents and whatever. The moment she had waited for had turned into a moment of no emotion at all. All she felt was disappointment. The illusion of love she had held had just dropped down to the hall and into the basement!
Normally she would have turned around and be gone, but she had just left one life behind and she didn’t want to give up another—her dream study-place she had worked so hard for. She closed her eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath and thought, “Okay, this is better than no love at all, and at least I got my study place. This is what I came here for; I will manage; I won’t give up that, too.” Mia felt as if she had hit an iceberg while on board the Titanic and all her love was drowning. All she could do was let go and keep herself together.
Mia unwrapped her arms and with a fresh, friendly smile, said: “Alright, the light’s on, now you find the lock with the right key, it’s a really cool house.” Bo opened the apartment door, but the light switch inside didn’t work. The electricity in the house used a point system, which meant you had to purchase credit and charge on a meter in the corridor. With the help of her lighter, Mia made it to the bathroom. Bo, opening the bathroom door, said: “Ah, here you are.”
“Yes, here I am,” Mia replied with a grin.
“I got to go back to my apartment, I left something. I will be back later on,” Bo said. This was nothing new; Bo always had something to do. Every phone conversation had been like this—except that she had somewhere to go this time. It had happened so often that he would accompany her and for some reason managed to make her arrive late for her appointments or whatever she had to do, or miss them altogether.
“Yes, and buy some points for the electricity charge,” Mia shouted from the bathroom. She was alone now in the dark.
After returning from a break in a Tunisian holiday resort and with arising team differences at her new Internet guru company, the troubled customer service agent Avoka goes for a weekend to meet an ex-colleague and a new flame. Together they plan to start their own business offering e-bikes and tours in Dublin while fighting back against their previous company, Fruit of the Loom, with the help of the mysterious Ms. Fantasia.
Inspired by a love triangle romance between an old flame who Avoka, met only once, shortly before she left her hometown.
A 24/7 WhatsApp romance begins but circumstances make it questionable if they will ever meet.
When a new flame who Avoka accidentally crashes into on a trip to Dublin appears, she’s forced to make her choice of who of the two flames is to become real.
Starting in the 40s, during World War II, a mother with her three children flees from East Berlin to West Germany in one night following a marsh by thousands of refugees when her only son dies. Her husband, the scientist Dolphy, arranges for his family a stay with business friends and trades his freedom for his family’s safety.
Moving on in the 60s, two of their daughters start a glamorous life in the film and model world in Paris. Forced through a great tragedy the girls move back to Germany living a happy family life in the 80s following the famous advertising slogan my house, my car, my boat.
Decades later, the off-spring, Vanessa’s dream to become a ballet dancer may be forever lost and Flo, Dolphie’s other grand-daughter decides to become a scientist inspired by her grandfather’s secret papers. She becomes a pioneer in flight engines while at the same time battling for the love of her life.
Anna had decided to take Fritz’s offer and had been working with the agency in Germany for a few months now.
It was the first week in April when she was waiting for someone to pick her up to join a concert. A legendary Jazz band was playing tonight in Frankfurt. A friend of Anna had just told her that a friend would pick her up for the nine o’clock concert and it would be someone called René an architect who would pass by the Sky club on his way from the office. Standing at the corner near the Sky Club, not the best place to wait for someone after eight o’clock. Some guys mistook her for a woman with another profession making her offers to join the car. When at ten past eight a green BMW stopped without shouting prices or any other offensive comments but asking in a polite, frisk way “Hi, Anna, that’s you, pick up for Stolen Moments?”
“Maybe, René is this you? Would you also have gifted moments?” Anna asks with a smile on her face, feeling relieved to get off that street corner.
“Yes, I am René. Gifted moments? Well, I don’t know, maybe we can make it gifted.” René replies with a wink.
“Whatever moment but you come in the right moment to get me off this street here. What took you so long?” Anna greets René with a kiss on his cheek and takes the passenger seat than fastening the seat belt.
“I had to finish a draft we are working on a new building for which we have a public bidding and tomorrow is the last day for entry.” René tries to an apology.
“No worries. We are still good on time.” Anna calms him down.
The concert was a blast. At the final song, Rene and Anna are standing in the first row. Anna sits on Rene’s shoulders, in her hand holding a lighter swinging to the rhythm of the music. The two enjoy every minute the band is singing. With the last bits of the song, Anna jumps off Rene’s shoulders then slightly tumbles. Rene catches her and pulls her closer when a bonus song is announced. The two get closely involved with each other, kissing. The stolen moments turn into a moment of magic, the beginning of infinite love.
A month had passed René and Anna had seen each other several times and had planned their first trip together to a Spanish island. The night before their departure Inga who was now living with Loui in Cologne called and had news about their oldest sister….
In 1960 Inga revealed in a letter to her mother that she was married. She had fallen in love with an ambitious English actor and had silently married a year ago. Anna and her mother were surprised as this announcement had come so sudden, and it took only two more months, and Inga had announced her divorce. Knocking on Anna’s door who had meanwhile moved to Paris and was working as a model. Inga now found herself in the city of love, Paris, the city she had always dreamed of, just not as she once had imagined happy in love. But devastated and without the men of her dreams.
The upcoming week was Fashion Week, and Anna had a go. She had gotten hold of great model jobs for major brands after she had been the muse of one of the great French designers. Whereas Inga was looking for a new love, Anna had fallen in love with a new man, just two months ago. Her new flame was Jean, a film director who was known for his film noir.
Sunday night after the show, Anna invited Inga to one of the after-parties, and shortly after midnight, Inga disappeared with one of the guys, who Jean had introduced her to, Louis. He was actually in the insurance business. Anna got a call from her sister the next day late in the afternoon. She told her that she had spent the night with Louis and asked if they would want to meet at the Au Rocher de Cancale later in the evening for dinner. Anna had a quick chat with her lover Jean and came back on Inga to agree.
The Au Rocher de Cancale was one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. A restaurant that had opened its doors in 1864 and was famous for its salads and oysters. Inga loved the oysters because of being up to date with the crowed while Anna enjoyed the chewy feeling and the sour flash of citron on them. The oyster’s taste disguised Louis as well as the fact that they were served alive. But he kept a smiling face while swallowing to keep up with the etiquette. Jean, who had French origins, had grown up with the tradition of eating oysters. He could tell a thousand stories for each oyster they had eaten. He enjoyed simply the taste, the raw of it as well as the show of how the three went about the oyster food. Jean smiled and started the conversation.
“It’s the Cannes Festival next week. I have an invitation and a friend who has a beautiful beach house there. How about a weekend trip?”
The three girls, Anna, Inga and Betty, were standing in the Hall waiting to see their newly arrived sister for the first time.
Dolphie’s friend Charly, the owner of the old villa, had asked the girls to come to the salon, the part of the house where they usually were not allowed to go. The salon featured an extravagant interior. The long dining table was placed on the left and was set for sixteen people with expensive dishes of white porcelain, silver cutlery, textile napkins tied in little silver rings. At the right were a sofa set and the table. The wall had been decorated with huge paintings, of which some were displaying family members, others depicted landscape sceneries of the nearby outdoors A passage lead along to the next room, which was used as the living room, and from there into another room the library. Anna was standing in the library at a wooden table, which was from the 18th century. She was impressed, observing the book titles in the huge library shelves, then her eyes caught the big book on the wooden table, the family bible. She opened the book, reading the dedication on the front page ‘Again, God gave us just a girl’. The moment Charly came through the passage, walking towards Anna.
“Oh, you are reading in our family bible?” He took a look at the dedication.
“Ah, my grandfather wrote this at my auntie’s birth,” Charly commented and then he smiled. “But you have no idea what this girl did! She became the first person who ever took a long-distance drive with a car. Together with her husband she invented the first automobile.” And Charly continued to tell Anna the story about Bertha’s first “promotion ride” with the automobile. Anna was impressed and Charly pointed to one of the family portraits of a young beautiful woman.
“That is her, Bertha.” Then the two walked back to the salon, taking a seat at the dining room.
The following year Dolphy arranged for his two daughters, Inga and Anna, to get a good education and the girls were sent to England.