There is a security in the familiar that often keeps a person grounded. Changes in life are often caused by a crisis or perhaps an intervention from something unexpected. It takes courage to move away from the familiar. It takes courage to let yourself be carried by a wave. In this chapter we meet some people who show just such courage besides some ingenious females trying to figure it out.
NB: I must warn of some inappropriate language in one or two sections.
Today’s chapter starts almost where the last chapter ended, just as Tusnelda and Martin have landed on Sixam.
Martin has often looked at Tusnelda’s photographs from Sixam, but he never dreamed that one day he would be standing here alive.
“I’m speechless Tusnelda…the colors, the scenery, the light and….what are all the flying objects?” he asks
“I assume it’s moons Martin… aren’t they amazing?” she replies with a dreamy gaze.
“They are, but are they safe? Don’t we risk them falling down?” he asks a little timidly…. This world is so far from anything he has imagined at all.
“The moon has a locked orbit and what would make these moons different from our own moon?….. Come, let me show you the planet.” replies Tusnelda calmly.
When Martin looks into Tusnelda’s self-confident gaze, he decides to leave all misgivings aside.
Tusnelda leads him around to all corners of the planet like a familiar.
Some of Sixam’s permanent residents have detected their presence.
I don’t blame anyone for not being able to decipher their mutual language, but they agree to allow Martin access on the planet. As usual, Tusnelda must have forgotten to ask for permission.
Unaware that he has just been given an approving, Martin poses for a photo.
So does Tusnelda.
“This is absolutely amazing!” exclaims Martin excitedly… “Do you have any more surprises, Tusnelda?”
“I’d like to gather some supplies so maybe you can look around a bit while?” she replies.
“Of course I can,” replied Martin graciously.
They quickly run back towards the starting point.
Tusnelda starts collecting some crystals while Martin looks at the surroundings.
Although Sixam is not very big, he finds it best to stay near Tusnelda. There are still plenty of new impressions to digest.
In Brindleton Bay, an almost equally big surprise awaits Rasmus….
As the writer, I want to apologize that everything happened just as I opened Rasmus’s plot and that I absolutely did not choose the terrible set of clothes for him.
“Hey Rasmus! I was just in the neighborhood so I wanted to see if you were home?” Izumi says.
“Izumi! …yeah, I’m home.” Rasmus replies sheepishly.
“Oh! I see you have a dog….. I love dogs!” Izumi says excitedly.
“What? A dog?” Rasmus asks wonderingly, preoccupied with his own thoughts.…
He had actually considered contacting Izumi, but he had hesitated as he was unsure if he was about to open up to something he has finally put behind him with Blue… he feels so happy now, almost free after he has found his purpose.
While Rasmus is immersed in self-reflection, a dramatic change occurs right next to him.
Izumi has tried to pet the dog who reciprocates her kindness by attacking her aggressively.
Rasmus stands as if paralyzed.
He looks at Izumi’s back in shock as she leaves.
Fortunately, Izumi, shaken as she is, chooses to go into Rasmus’s house to collect herself.
A few minutes later…
“Izumi! Where are you?” Rasmus asks when he enters the house.
“Your dog is not very friendly to strangers Rasmus. Why didn’t you warn me?” she asks, choking back tears.
Rasmus approaches slowly….. He is terribly ashamed of his lack of attention.
“Are you ok? May I sit down?” he asks cautiously.
“It’s your couch so I can’t stop you” Izumi replies quietly.
“I’m really very sorry Izumi…It’s not my dog…It’s a stray….I wasn’t prepared for you coming and everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly…and i know it’s a lame excuse…there is no excuse.” says Rasmus in a long sentence.
“Don’t be sorry Rasmus. I shouldn’t have come unannounced and I shouldn’t have put my fingers down to a dog I don’t know,” Izumi says sadly.
“If it’s any consolation, I kicked the dog away.” replies Rasmus.
“I assume it’s safe for me to leave now.” Izumi says then stands up.
“Please! Don’t go Izumi. I’m glad you came and I’m really sorry I didn’t defend you,” Rasmus replies consolingly.
Izumi looks at him with her beautiful sad eyes.
“It’s my fault Rasmus. I have no right to expect you to defend me.” she answers sadly.
“But you have….I’m so ashamed Izumi. Please let me make it up again,” says Rasmus filled with guilt.
As if driven by a wave of tenderness, he gives her a gentle kiss.
Without resistance, Izumi lets the wave roll over her….How sweet and gentle he is, she thinks.
“Are we…are you ok?” he asks.
“Yes, we’re perfectly fine,” she says with a smile.
At that very moment, Rasmus chooses to surrender to the force of the wave and let it take him where it leads him.
“Can I invite you on a date tonight?” he asks.
“Yes, thank you Rasmus, I would very much like to go on a date with you.” she replies.
Far from Brindleton Bay, another wave will soon begin to roll…
Allan has taken it upon himself to look after Andy for a few hours until Alice comes home from work. He watches with satisfaction as the boy greedily sucks his bottle.
“That’s my little soldier.” he says proudly.
What happens now hits him like a shock…
A disturbing wave of doubt hits him when he suddenly senses something that reminds him of a chubby cheese-bearded guy in the boy’s features.
This can’t be right!
…. or actually it might be possible.
Shocked and stunned, he stares at the boy.
Then he feels an anger begin to grow.
That bitch!!! He will never forgive her for this.
Right now, Allan puts all his strength into beating the chubby man’s stubble deep into their hair follicles….“No one will ever recognize you when I’m done with you!!!!” he roars.
At Sixam, Tusnelda and Martin have entered the underground science center.
Tusnelda greets one of her Alien acquaintances. “Can I borrow some equipment?” Tusnelda asks.
“Just feel at home,” says the Alien in his strange metallic voice.
Martin almost feels at home. He never expected to find a fully equipped kitchen in an underground building below the surface of an alien planet.
He has found some bread and something that can almost pretend to be cheese.
He is hungry and looking forward to eat this fragrant sandwich.
Meanwhile, Tusnelda is busy using the giant microscope to examine some plant samples from Sixam.
After his lunch, which surprisingly tasted like a real cheese sandwich, Martin enters a room that must be a living room.
A gigantic flat screen hangs on the wall and when he switches it on, some kind of travel program appears on the screen.
It doesn’t look like any country that exists on his planet, but he assumes that these Aliens have access to several other planets in their outer space.
An Alien enters the room but is not disturbed by Martin’s presence.
Now come Tusnelda.
“Hey Martin, are you ready to go home?” she asks.
“I’m ready. I think the cats will miss us soon,” he answers.
“Then let’s go,” she says.
It’s time to say goodbye to Sixam for this time.
I will be back soon, Tusnelda thinks. She is not aware of the truth in this prediction.
Martin eagerly goes ahead.
As thrilled as he has been by this once-in-a-lifetime experience, he is equally happy at the prospect of returning. He is a grounded man.
He turns around when he feels Tusnelda hesitate.
“Will you come with me sweetie?” he asks.
“Yes, of course, Martin. I’m the one with the key to the rocket,” she replies
Down on the Sim Planet Brooke meows loudly to get Rasmus’ attention.
However, it looks like Rasmus has his attention elsewhere…. as he has for the past half hour.
Even Brook can realize she has drawn the shortest straw, so she abandons her venture.
“Rasmus! I really have to go now,” Izumi says.
“Promise me I’ll see you tonight,” Rasmus says as he strokes her cheek.
“I promise you Rasmus, you’ll see you tonight,” she replies.
Rasmus will not be able to explain why he is so sure that he can trust her. It is just an indisputable fact like the presence of a wave in the sea.
It immediately feels so familiar and the floating unknown deep does not frighten him. He can swim.
“See you Rasmus!” she says with a smile.
After this, Izumi leaves.
The Sand Bar in Ohan’ali Town
Far from Brindleton Bay we find another woman who has not long ago been touched by a man.
In Sulani, Delphine sits at the Sand bar and watches the TV premiere. The movie takes place in the depths of the jungle, where a brave adventurer searches for treasure among mummies and terrifying ghosts.
She does not own a TV, so she enjoys watching a movie in the bar when she has the opportunity.
Now the camera comes closer to the hero and it sends a shiver down her spine as he reminds her of a very specific person.
Suddenly a vision washes over her, like a wave of clairvoyance.
She will meet him again in the jungle.
She has to go to Selvadorada. Now she just has to earn a lot of money, pull some strings and make a plan.
The euphoria makes her almost unable to concentrate on the rest of the film. She suddenly knows with certainty that they will meet again.
A little after midday, some of the cats have gathered on a patch of sun on the lawn.
The peace is soon interrupted by a deafening noise.
It is Tusnelda’s rocket that is about to land.
A little later, the two astronauts tumble out of the rocket’s door.
Martin is visibly pleased to feel solid ground under his feet again.
“Jubii! You did it Martin!” cheers Tusnelda.
“I know you prefer to stay on the ground so I think it’s very brave of you to follow me,” she says a little more seriously.
“It’s not hard to be brave with you by my side Tusnelda…. Thank you for an extraordinary and unforgettable date.” he replies.
Afternoon in Willow Creek
In Willow Creek, a blue woman has just gotten off work and is now on her way up the stairs to her blue house.
She seems a little tense as she already knows what awaits her.
The tense air is even more evident when she enters the house.
“Hi Allan, is there something wrong?” she asks without expression.
At first Allan is silent for a while as if he is fighting with himself.
Perhaps he is really trying to control his temper because Alice has no doubt that he is furious….
“You damn bitch! You cheating whore.! It’s his, isn’t it?….Andy is the cream bun’s son! He stole my fatherhood!!!” he roars.
“No! No, you are wrong, he has no part….Andy is your son.” Alice stutters anxiously.
“You’re going to prove me wrong Alice! You better come up with a good explanation!” roars Allan.
In the next moment it’s like the anger has suddenly burned out….. Maybe he’s doing her wrong?
He doesn’t know what to believe…?
“I’m going on patrol tonight,” he says.
Allan marches out on his patrol. He always feels confident and strong when he is in his uniform.
He really hopes he’s wrong and it’s just his mistrust and jealousy fooling him. Alice always makes him so damn insecure, for no reason. He is a strong man who should command respect.
Alice is eating a leftover. She’s relieved Allan won’t be back for the next several hours, hopefully not before she’s asleep.
She has experienced Allan’s outbursts of anger many times before. She knows he always reaches out to her sooner or later. He cannot do without her. No one else can endure his wrath.
She has been dreading this moment. Even she has noticed the soft fluffy golden hair growing on Andy’s head…. Luckily she has the whole evening to think, pull some strings and make a plan.
Evening at the Planet Honey Pop in San Myshuno
Rasmus and Izumi have both put on nice clothes to make themselves look good to each other when they meet outside Planet Honey Pop
Izumi seems a bit shy and unsure.
She really has no reason to 💕
They go inside where Rasmus hands her a rose.
She appreciates his gesture.
“Can I buy you a drink?” Rasmus asks kindly.
“No, thank you Rasmus, I’m fine… by the way, don’t you have an unsuccessful experience when it comes to mixing alcohol and dates?” she says teasingly.
“You got me,” Rasmus laughs out loud.
“I swear I’m fully conscious tonight,” he says.
“Yes, I know,” she says quietly.
“Izumi, is there anything you need to talk about? You can safely tell me anything, except you’re married, that will break me…. and yet, you’d better say it now.” he says.
“I promise you I’m not in another relationship Rasmus…let’s enjoy the date” she replies.
Did she say another relationship? Does that mean? Do they have a relationship? thinks Rasmus and he simply has to kiss her.
There is certainly a lot to enjoy.
Rasmus has picked up a glass of nectar from the bar and this picture could indicate a disagreement, however, this is not the case.
“Tell me a little more about your dreams, Rasmus,” she says.
“As I told you the other day, I have a dream to open a restaurant in Sulani, if nothing else makes me change my mind,” he says.
“What would ever make you give up that dream?” Izumi says then blows him a kiss.
“Well, who knows,” he says with a wink…. “But what about you Izumi? What is your dream?” he says.
“I dream of a kind man with whom I can create a family. A man who can take everything that comes with me,” she says smiling….. “I have finally put a really bad relationship behind me, so I’m probably a bit careful about opening up too much,” she continues.
“I can follow you in that…I’m really glad you’re telling me,” Rasmus replies.
In his eyes, she seems very outgoing, but he can sense that she is holding something back. He is sure she will tell him when he has gained her full trust.
It doesn’t seem like Rasmus is holding anything back anymore.
“Sorry Izumi, I’ll have to consult the restroom, will you wait for me?” he says.
Of course she will.
As Rasmus walks towards the toilet, he notices a guy greeting Izumi.
“Hey Izumi! It has been a while since we last met.” he says.
Immediately after, another guy greets her. She seems to be very popular.
Izumi seems to have quite a few friends and Faiz Jaleel is a good friend of hers.
Rasmus sees them sitting together when he comes out of the toilet.
Not wanting to risk losing what he’s found, he grabs Izumi with a surprisingly determined grip.
It seems to be much to Faiz’s amusement, so no bad feelings from that end.
What a kiss 💞
“Woo Rasmus…you seem very determined,” Izumi says.
“I have made up my mind about you.” He answers seriously.
“Look at me Izumi!”
“From now on, I promise to defend you against every single rascal who crosses your path,” he says.
“Are you sure you didn’t empty a bottle of nectar while you were away?” Izumi asks with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m absolutely sure Izumi,” he replies, unable to keep his body still…. “Do you feel like dancing” he asks.
“I believe you Rasmus” she says, and then she continues….. “I have to go now. I want to say thank you for tonight. We will have to save the dance for another time.”
Although Rasmus is very passionate about holding her back, he thinks that he should not contradict her. He has already received more today than he dared to dream of.
“Thanks for tonight Izumi! Can I call you tomorrow?” he calls after her. .
“You definitely can,” she replies.
Rasmus looks in the direction she disappears until she is completely out of sight.
His heart beats wildly and his body bubbles with restless joy.
He really needs some company and so he decides to call a friend.
Evening in Brindleton Bay
Martin is done with today’s training and he finds Tusnelda on the couch.
“What are you looking at?” he asks.
On the TV screen he can see some fire and an indefinable shadow….?
“It’s a TV premiere movie about a jungle adventurer, The Mystery of the Temple Queen.” she replies.
“Didn’t you have enough adventures today?” he asks with a grin.
“But this is fiction Martin, pure relaxation and nothing near Sixam,” she says.
Sometimes Martin thinks that the reality seems rather unreal from his point of view, but he avoids pointing it out.
Tusnelda is already absorbed in the movie again, so he clearly feels that there is no contact.
“I will leave you to your adventure Tusnelda and study some opponents teams,” he says with a smile.
“Thanks Martin, we can talk later,” she replies.
Late evening i Willow Creek
It is late at night when Allan meets a lonely boy on his route.
He greets the boy with a salute.
“What’s a little boy like you doing out here at night?” he asks.
“It’s not safe for minors to walk alone at night. You never know what kind of creepy people you’ll meet. I’ll offer to walk you home,” he continues.
“Hello soldier! You don’t have to follow me. I live just around the corner. I don’t have time to talk to you anymore because my mother is waiting for me,” he says.
“Your mother and father should teach you not to walk in the street at night,” says Allan.
Allan waves to the boy who has already moved on, but meeting him makes Allan think of Andy. He certainly won’t let him walk around at night when he becomes a school boy.
Late evening at the Rattlesnake Juice Bar in Oasis Springs
Don and Rasmus greet each other with a big hug.
“What’s going on Rasmus? You sounded quite excited on the phone.” Don asks.
“I am Don. I’m really excited.” replies Rasmus.
“We didn’t really talk last time because you seemed pretty stressed about…yeah you know.”
“But a few days ago I ended up in a really embarrassing situation with a hostess… It started with me drinking way too much nectar… well you don’t have to lecture me.. I know… but she thought I had invited her home to my bed….you know, to…”
“Can you imagine how I felt when I found out Don?…I had to turn that poor woman away…I don’t even know her name! Woo how embarrassing…” laughs Rasmus blushing.
It almost looks like Rasmus is blowing Don backwards and if Don thought he was going to comment, he has now given up. He just listens to Rasmus who talks on.
“But then I went into a Diner and there’s this woman sitting and she asks how I was feeling… and suddenly I’ve told her everything and she was just so easy to talk to and so funny… and the next day then we met in a swimming pool and…”
“Swimming pool?” Don asks in confusion.
“…Yes! and we ate cannoli and went to a museum.” continues Rasmus.
“…and then this morning she came over… and even though it started off really bad with the dog biting her…we just went on a date and she likes me and she is not married and I’m crazy about her!” laughs Rasmus.
“Whoa! Stop Rasmus! Take a breath…You’re rambling like a lunatic about cannoli, seducing women and biting dogs.” laughs Don.
A little later they are sitting in the bar and luckily Rasmus’ heart rate has finally dropped a little.
“I assume you want a glass of nectar or shall we try the house specialty?” Don asks.
“I’ll just take what you take.” replies Rasmus.
It’s not the first time the two guys have been seen drinking in sync.
“How are you feeling, Don?” Rasmus asks.
“I am adjusting,” says Don.
“But maybe it’s time to move on, Don. What about the Sulani woman?” Rasmus asks seriously.
“She was a dream. A truly beautiful and unreal dream.” Don replies with moist eyes and a smile.
“But I owe you a big thank you, Rasmus. You really helped me realize that I hadn’t gone crazy. That my brain isn’t broken. That I should just enjoy the dream.” Don says.
“Did I really say that?” Rasmus asks, astonished.
“Maybe not quite like that…but I don’t have your courage, Rasmus. Courage to just let go and throw myself into deep water.” Don says seriously.
“I’ve never thought of myself as brave,” Rasmus says thoughtfully.
“Maybe you should take some swimming lessons?” suggests Rasmus.
“Listen to yourself Rasmus, you’re really crazy. I love you man.” laughs Don.
Rasmus is hardly crazy, but it is very clear that he is in a really good mood.
Another thing to note is that the entire sports club has gradually gathered at the Rattlesnake Juice Bar.
Clara looks observantly at Rasmus, who is sitting and eating hummus.
“You seem very happy, Rasmus,” she says.
“The holiday in Sulani seems to have been good for you?” she notes questioningly.
“Yes, it was something special. The nature and the sea are indescribably beautiful.” replies Rasmus.
“I really enjoyed being able to swim in the blue water every day,” continues Rasmus seriously.
If you are to interpret Don’s slightly tense facial expression in the background, he might not want to be reminded of Sulani right now.
“You should take a holiday with your family in Sulani. I’m sure it will do you good,” says Rasmus.
“Yes, maybe,” Clara answers a little hesitantly.
Rasmus looks at Clara. She doesn’t seem entirely satisfied with her life.
She quickly gets up and leaves…. Did he say something wrong?
Don and Marcus have a conversation but now they are interrupted by Clara.
“Hey Don!” she says.
Some people stubbornly stick to well-known habits.
Marcus sits down next to Rasmus in the bar, where he orders a drink.
“What about you Marcus? Do you ever think about changing anything in your life?” Rasmus asks seriously.
“You’re asking some very deep questions tonight mate…. but it happens.” Marcus replies.
“I think I’ve fallen in the deep end,” Rasmus replies with a dreamy look.
It is time for him to return home.
Midnight in Brindleton Bay
The premiere movie, has ended. The adventurer found his queen and Tusnelda goes out into the garden to get some fresh air.
A strange flash of light causes her to look up at the moon.
It’s not just the moon that shines this night.
Her alien friends have come to get her.
Martin is still bent over the computer, in the process of planning the strategy for the upcoming soccer matches.
Tusnelda lets out a loud cry as the elevator force of the light beam sends her up towards the UFO at insane speed.
It only takes a short moment before she is swallowed.
Martin looks up at the screen in surprise when he heard the scream and he sees the dancing spots of light on the lawn.
He has lived with Tusnelda long enough to know that these spots of light mean that she is gone for several hours.
He doesn’t need to worry. He knows where she’s going.
At Rasmus’ house, next door
Rasmus looks in the fridge when he gets home.
He has had nothing to eat but a little hummus and some drinks…which hardly fall under the category of food.
He enjoys cooking while going through all the events of the day.
He has made a delicious spicy vegetable dish.
He has just sat down at the table to enjoy his meal when the phone rings.
“Hey! …It’s ok, I haven’t gone to bed yet.”
“Of course you can stop by. I’m looking forward to it,” he exclaims happily.
Of course, I expect the readers have already guessed who was on the other end of the line.
They give each other a huge hug.
“I need to talk to you Rasmus and it’s very urgent.” Izumi says.
“I need something urgent, too,” says Rasmus.
Of course he does.
“Are you staying here tonight Izumi? I really want you to,” Rasmus continues as he strokes her cheek.
“I really want to stay here tonight Rasmus, but first you have to listen to me…before we go too deep….While you still have a way out.” Izumi says.
“I have fallen in love with you Izumi…. I’m already in deep water. I can’t escape unbroken…..but you can safely tell me everything Izumi, what is so important for me to hear?” he asks.
To be continued
Dear readers. I’m really sorry to leave you hanging one this cliff…..or maybe I’m not.
This conversation could easily make this chapter stretch beyond the unreasonable.
Whatever Izumi has to say, you can be sure it must be something good. She really likes Rasmus and I’ll guarantee she’s not looking for a steak. 😉