Tusnelda and Trix

89. The Loneliest

I won’t say too much about this chapter except that we will return to some of the characters that were introduced last time. We will of course return to Tusnelda and Martin’s desperate situation. I will later elaborate on this at the end. As the title suggests, the chapter contains a lot of loneliness and sadness, but of course also some uplifting pink sparks.

NB: Profanity occurs in some sections.


Morning at the Sultry Springside in Oasis Springs

Katrina sits at her grand piano. She has no job today so she will spend the day practicing.
If she is ever to hope to perform as a concert pianist in larger venues, it will require lots of practice.

Don walks past her without drawing attention to himself. He wants to go for a run to get his body going before he goes to work.

The sun is already high in the sky. It was a late night after the award show and he feels that his body is complaining after the drinks he drank during the night.

There is only one thing to do and that is to ignore the pain and continue forward.


Morning in San Myshuno

Fatima woke up several hours ago. Marcus works at the hospital today, so she won’t go to the clinic.

Here she and Ambrosius pose as models for Elijah. He’s doing a poster series he calls Cat Women.

Ambrosius is in no doubt that he has ended up in a home with lots of love.

“Stop lifting me like that, Elijah. You’ll break your back.”

“I will never lose you.” he answers.

The truth is, Fatima loves when Elijah makes her feel light as a feather. He is such a strong and passionate man


Elijah sits down at his computer in the bedroom and Fatima follows.

“Shall we do something fun together?” she asks fondly.

“I have some photo assignments today. Maybe you can go for a walk or work on independent assignments and we’ll meet this afternoon.” he answers.

This is a most unusual statement from Elijah’s mouth. He never usually rejects her, but on the other hand, it’s probably fair that he gets time to look after his own affairs.

“The weather is beautiful so I choose to go for a walk. See you in a few hours,” she replies.


In the Skyward Palms neighborhood in Oasis Springs

The weather is beautiful and at the end of the run Don sees something else he finds attractive and beautiful.

“Clara? What are you doing in this neighborhood?”

“Running. The sidewalks are equally free for all, aren’t they?” Clara answers.

“Yes of course, but…” he begins.

“Aren’t you glad to see me Don?” she interrupts.

He sees Clara position her body at an enticing angle.

“I’m always glad to see you, you know that.” he says with a smirk.

He gives Clara a kiss on the cheek and whispers…

“Maybe we should meet somewhere else, you know Katrina…”

Then he hears a piercing voice…..

“Don Lothario! You damned wretched creep!” roars Katrina.


“Katrina! Why are you yelling,” he says, flailing his arms.

Katrina stands up flatteringly.

“You’re enjoying yourself?” she says sugar-sweetly as Clara sneaks off.

Then her mood changes without warning.

“You’re a damned wretched unfaithful swine.” she shouts angrily.

“What do you mean unfaithful. Why are you suddenly attacking me. We have a deal.” he snarls back.

“You disappoint me Don. Don’t tell me you’re that stupid.” Katrina replies.

“I don’t love you anymore. It’s over Don.” she says.

“What do you mean by love? We agreed to pursue our passion with no strings attached.” he says without understanding.

“Goodbye Don, all I have left for you now is contempt.” she says.

Don feels something break inside him. Maybe his pride or something else?

“Our relationship has always been about pure pleasure not love, you know that.” he defends himself angrily.

His words hit her like a hammer.

She has no words but just looks at him with a disappointed hurt look.

“I am disgusted by you.” she finally says.

Don feels kind of lost when he sees her turn her back on him.

He looks for her without making any attempt to follow her.

Where should he turn now?

He sets the direction towards a bench. He needs to think.

Katrina is furious. Everything she has hoped for and fought for is finally lost.

Don sits on the bench and struggles with why this is hitting him so hard. He is hurt and feels betrayed by his own ideals.

After the anger, Katrina is overwhelmed with disappointment and grief.

She sits down at the dressing table in Nina’s room to give herself a pep talk.

She knows he’s a womanizer, but she didn’t think he was so cold and cynical at the same time. What happened to all of his loving caring qualities?

Suddenly she finds herself in the direction of the roof terrace.

At the sight of the punching pad the anger returns.

I’m going to fucking beat you to a pulp, you little mite!” she hisses angrily.”

Well Don. It’s not pretty superlatives that are starting to stick to you, is it?

Right now, Don is reaching out to a friend. He needs a place to stay if he’s not going to spend the night on the uncomfortable benches from now on.


Morning at the public hospital

We will now turn our attention to a place that does not display anything uplifting.

Behind a closed door you sense some recognizable figures.

Martin embraces Tusnelda and gives her a kiss. Fear and grief constantly threaten to tear them apart. He won’t let that happen.

Tusnelda is constantly crying and Martin feels pressured by the tense situation.

Now he notices Doctor Flex looking over at them. He doesn’t seem to have good news.

“I’m so sorry, Mrs. Andersen, but the X-ray clearly show that the fetal heartbeat has stopped. Now we just have to think about your health. I’ll make sure you have surgery later today.

“Isn’t there a possibility that the x-ray is wrong?” Tusnelda asks.

“Unfortunately it is not possible.” Doctor Flex says seriously.

Doctor Flex shows Tusnelda some data and Martin feels like he is being knocked over. All hope is definitively lost.


Just before noon in Oasis Springs

We return to Don, although he most likely can’t contribute to a cheerful mood right now.

Don is just now finishing his phone call.

You can’t help but see the deep worried furrow that is currently appearing on his forehead. After all, Don is not as insensitive as you might think.

Someone might think that after seeing him with Fabio they are not that surprised.

Don goes to a stall to look at the menu when he hears someone say his name.

It’s not Katrina. She is still in the process of smashing the visual gestalt that stands in for Don’s lack of presence.

Not that she wants him there. She does very well with the punching bag instead. Smack! Smack! Smack!


“Hey Don! I see you’re out enjoying the sun too.” Fatima says with a big smile.

Damn! Don frets.

If there’s anyone he doesn’t want to see right now, it’s his previous one night stands and the secretary at the clinic where he received treatment for his embarrassing paralysis.

Fatima fits into both categories.

“Sorry, but I don’t really feel like talking. I’ve had a terrible day.” Don says.

“What can ruin such a beautiful day?” Fatima answers kindly.

Here she does it again. Fatima has a special ability to get people to open up and without him thinking about it, Don starts talking.

“I’ve had this long term relationship with a woman. Today, she threw me out on the street….. I don’t get it. We both agreed to have a casual relationship with certain benefits… you know like…um, how can I rephrase it….” Don begins.

“You don’t need to rephrase the concept of benefits, I’m not ignorant of what it means.” Fatima smiles.

“Well, yes I guess you are not.” Don says, blushing slightly at the thought of a satisfying round with her in a bush outside the Rattlesnake Juice bar, several years ago.

Katrina is sure she can recognize Don’s voice from down the square. He is surely in the process of seducing a random woman passing by.

She considers going down to the square and slapping him, but she instead chooses to give the punching bag some extra punches. Smack! Smack!

“You had this agreement about open casual relationships that you enjoyed. What about her?” asks Fatima, smiling.

“What about her?” Don asks in surprise.

“Why do you think she made that deal with you? Did she enjoy it or did she perhaps want something in return?” Fatima continues smiling.

Don embarrassingly discovers that he never asked her.

“Maybe she’s in love with you? What about you? Are you in love with her?” continues Fatima.

“Is this supposed to be an inquisition? No one is in love with anyone. Love is not a theme in this relationship at all.” Don angrily defends himself.

“Oh, so why did you live together?” Fatima asks.

“We make amazing sparks together in bed and it all worked out without a hitch until she got the crazy idea that we should have a child together.” Don rages on.

“I see? So she did want to commit to you? It sounds like she has some kind of crush on you.” says Fatima.

“Well not anymore. She told me this morning. She hates me.” Don says.

“What about you? Do you have heartaches or are you mostly hurt at your pride?” Fatima asks.

“I don’t know what heartaches cover?” Don says embarrassed.

“If you have ever loved another person without thinking about your own pleasure, then you know what love is and then you also know the heartache of losing the one you love.” replies Fatima.


“It was nice chatting with you Don. Good luck with your future life.” Fatima says kindly and stands up.

“Well, the same to you I guess.” Don replies.

It’s damned all people have to confront him with deep questions these days.
He never asked to reconsider his life, but somehow he ends up being forced to.

Fatima continues her walk. She recognizes Don’s fear of commitment, but today she knows how indifferent it is.
The most important thing is what you can do for the one you love. That gives you nothing to fear about.

Don sits back in thought. Is he really as selfish as Fatima made him appear.
He finds it difficult to find anything to disprove it.

When Fatima disappears completely from his field of vision, he stands up. He has to go to work.


The public hospital.

Tusnelda feels really miserable and sick.

She has said goodbye to Martin and is now waiting for some test results.

Martin tests some blood samples regarding the patient’s general health.

All the figures look reasonable so after she has had a short fast he can remove the dead tissue.

He confidently walks down the hall to deliver the good news.

Tusnelda gives him a brave smile when she sees him.

“All your figures look reasonable Mrs. Andersen. I expect you’ll have surgery this afternoon.” he says.

Tusnelda moans lightly and grabs her belly.

“Are you in pain? Maybe the fetus is already being expelled.” says the doctor seriously.

He takes her temperature.

“You don’t have a fever and I would in any case recommend surgery.” he says.

“You need to fast and try to rest. I’ll see you later this afternoon.” says the doctor kindly.

Marcus sits down at the computer and writes a note in her medical journal. There is still some time before the operation and in the meantime he has other patients to see to.


At the same time in Windenburg

Right now, Martin is a broken man. He is in mourning for the lost child and quite worried about Tusnelda. Everything seems bleached, but he has nevertheless chosen to visit the Hare and Hedgehog cafe while Tusnelda’s operation is to take place.

He asks the barista for a cup of coffee. The specialty of the house.

Martin is not fond of crowded places and even though the cafe is almost empty, he finds a place outside in a secluded corner.

He looks down at the blurred bottom of the coffee mug. It’s like looking in a mirror.

What did Dr. Flex said about the ‘depression helpline’? He might give it a try.

He dials the number and gets a friendly welcoming voice on the other end of the line.

He might have expected some good advice, but most of all the conversation is about giving him a space to talk about everything that pains him. Then he starts talking.


Just behind Martin you will find the Harbor Quarter Gym and this is exactly where we find Don.

Don’s daily task is to find some motionists who can use his expertise as a personal trainer. This presents him with some challenges as few are accommodating.

He sees a young red-haired woman walking towards the stairs. She must be a newcomer?

Don finds the newbie up by a punching pad. She hits some surprisingly well-placed punches.

“It looks really good.” he says encouragingly.

He cheers enthusiastically as she places the next punches hard and precisely.

“That’s really good! You’ve got talent!” he cheers.

“Hey dude. Would you mind moving on. You’re ruining my rhythm.” she says, irritated.

Don feels like another nail is being hammered into an already ruined day.


Just outside, Martin has finished the conversation with the counsellor.

Martin was encouraged to take god care of himself and do something he enjoys doing. It’s hard to know where to start.

The counselor suggested a warm bubble bath, but that’s not really possible right now, so instead he finds an easel and begins painting.

Martin really enjoys painting and it has been a long time since he made time for it.

Sometimes grief hits him again like a wave.

Then he forces himself out on the other side and continues to paint.


Afternoon in San Myshuno

Today, Elijah had a photo assignment to photograph children’s fashion.

The girl is very lively and she insisted on keeping her bike helmet on throughout the session. He therefore had to compromise with some of his own ideas. However, he assumes that the result will be excellent.

“You did a really excellent job. I’ve called your parents so they can pick you up now.” Elijah says kindly.

“I can take the subway myself.” objects the girl.

However, it will be as Elijah says. He will not accept responsibility for a minor child disappearing in the subway.


The sky is cloudless blue in San Myshuno. Outside of Elijah’s address, you might recognize the two craftsmen from Rasmus and Tusnelda’s renovations.

Here they have just left Elijah’s apartment after a job well done.

“We could visit the museum” says Sam.

Matt confirms and walks towards the entrance. In the distance, he sees a guy with a strained gait.

Elijah is hunched over the computer editing and uploading some photos when he hears the front door open. It’s probably Fatima coming home.

It turns out that it is not.


“Akira! You can’t just barge in uninvited. What are you doing”

“Please Elijah. You’re making drama out of nothing.” sighs Akira

“I needed a toilet and figured you can’t refuse an ex-lover that favor. Besides, the door was unlocked.” says Akira.

“You could have used the museum toilets. There is free access for all citizens.” says Elijah.

“I saw you at the outdoor concert with a woman. So now you’re suddenly into women, Elijah?” says Akira.

“I guess it’s none of your business what I’m for, Akira. I’m in love with Fatima and I’m really sorry that I never felt as strongly for you as the other way around.”

“I know I hurt you Akira and it really wasn’t my intention. I was too confused and fumbling and ruined it for both myself and my partners while fooling around. I really want to apologize for my behavior.” Elijah continues.

“Well don’t think too highly of yourself Elijah. You were never so important. I have a new and more passionate lover….in fact they are texting right now. Goodbye Elijah.” Akira says and leaves.

Whatever Akira says, Elijah feels good that he gave him a sincere apology. He is not a bad guy and deserves love.

Akira doesn’t look back as he leaves.

Elijah stands looking around the bathroom when Akira has left. The craftsmen have done a good job. Now he hopes Fatima likes it.

He looks up at the wall. There is an old picture left by the previous owner. He should replace it and he actually gets an idea.

Then he hears the front door again. He hopes Akira hasn’t returned.

“Hey Fatima! You’re home.” he says with a smile.

“I met your model on the way out.” says Fatima.

“Well him? We can talk about that later.” he says.

Elijah grabs both of Fatima’s hands.

“I have a surprise for you.” he says.

She follows him into the newly renovated bathroom.

“I could use some new lamps, but what do you think?” he asks.

“You removed the old worn black tiles?” she says.

“The craftsmen have, but do you like it.” he says hesitantly.

“Are you really asking? I love it!” she says happily.

“Since you like it, I’d suggest you take a hot rose-scented bath while I cook, to test the tub.” says Elijah.

“I have a much better idea. We should test it together.” Fatima suggests beaming with joy.

They eagerly begin their joint tests.

I can guarantee that the bathtub passes its tests to the complete satisfaction of both participants.


Windenburg outside the Harbor Quarter Gym

Martin has finished the small painting. He is inspired by the conversation he just had, which reminded him that even above the gray clouds there is still a sun.

He feels a little better and walks down to the water to enjoy the view.

To the left is the Discotheque Pan Europa and in front of him a fountain that sends cascades of water into the fjord.

He continues to the right when he hears a voice calling.

“I can offer coffee, cold lemonade, pastries. What should it be?” says the lady in the stall.

Martin buys a glass of cold lemonade. It’s a pretty hot day.

He takes the glass to some benches in the shade of a tree.

The lemonade is delightfully refreshing.

He still has a few hours to wait.


A short distance away at the Harbor Quarter Gym

Don and Valentino have talked about many things the previous night. Among other things, Valentino has highly recommended yoga as a form of exercise that can keep the body young and agile.

As we know, Don loves all kinds of exercise.

That’s why Don now wants to try a single yoga lesson.

His first impression is some wonder at the slow pace.

However, he quickly becomes aware that it requires a great deal of concentration and strength to achieve the perfect balance.

His well-trained physique comes to his aid.

He must son admit that yoga is definitely not as easy and dull as his first impressions have told him.

As the lesson draws to a close, he is almost exhausted.

He gratefully accepts the rest that is the end of the program.

This is where he experiences his first vision. A flickering light that tells him nothing.

Gradually the light takes on colors that remind him of something that could look like a sky and a forest?

A little later, Don receives a message he has been waiting for.


Afternoon in San Myshuno

Elijah is back in his clothes and he leaves Fatima in a hot rose scented bath.

He stands for a moment enjoying the sight. He loves her devotion to all forms of pleasure.

He goes into the kitchen to start dinner.

He likes to cook, but he likes cooking for the one he loves even more.


Fatima sits and smiles at her own reflections. She thinks about the conversation with Don. There is nothing in his so-called free life she misses and she can barely remember her own misgivings about moving in with Elijah.

Elijah thinks about Akira and how misunderstood their relationship was.
After his first crush on Leon, he had not imagined that he would fall in love with a woman. What do you really know when you are very young? You grope your way blindly and suddenly you might find a jewel in a place you would never have imagined. He has been lucky.

“Do you have any plans for tonight?” he asks.

“I’m thinking of working on a website assignment I’ve taken on. Unless you have other ideas.” Fatima says with a smile.

I think that sounds like a great idea.” Elijah replies graciously.


Elijah paints while standing at the easel. Fatima is bent over the computer. She as passionate as in everything else she does.

“Do you know you hum when you work, Fatima?” he says.

“I do? What are you painting Elijah?”

“It’s supposed to be a surprise.” he replies with a wink.


Afternoon at the public hospital

We have now arrived at the time no one has been looking forward to. Tusnelda least of all.

Even though her fetus is dead, it feels like she can still hold on to a bit of the feeling of being pregnant until now.

She feels very vulnerable and lonely as she lies there on the operating table.

She can hear Doctor Flex in the background. Other than that, it’s incredibly difficult to understand what’s going on because this operating table looks like something from an alternate world.

Regardless, the doctor seems to know what he’s doing.


Suddenly, it is all over.

“What should I do now?” Tusnelda asks heavily.

“You should take a few days off from work. Rest and maybe go for some short walks. Prioritize things that make you happy.” The doctor says seriously.

Nothing makes her happy. She listens the doctor’s explanations about how statistically speaking 30-40% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion and many before the woman knows she is pregnant.

It gives her no comfort.

“I know it’s hard, but at least now you know you can get pregnant. I’m sure it will work out again soon.” says Doctor Flex comfortingly.

“The chance of miscarriage will still be just as high.” says Tusnelda despondently.

In the future, she will not even be able to enjoy a pregnancy without fear.

“I’d like to see you at the clinic in a few weeks and then you’ll be ready to go again soon.” Doctor Flex says before leaving.

The doctor leaves the room with energetic confident steps.

Tusnelda leaves the room with heavy dragging feet, as if she is carrying all the burdens of the world on her shoulders. She suddenly looks very thin and small.

At the other end of the hall, Martin is waiting for her.


“How are you Sweetie?” he asks caringly.

“I guess I’m pretty much ok. How are you?” she asks.

“Well, you know. Head up and legs down.” he answers.

They get up to get ready to go home and he can see that she is not at all ok.

He needs to be strong and collected for her sake.

He caressingly grabs her shoulders and pulls her in for a comforting hug.

“Hey Sweetie. We’ll get through this.” he says with a smile.

“I’m so sorry Martin.”

“We’ll get through it.” he repeats composedly.


It is getting late when Tusnelda is ready to be discharged from the hospital.

Martin turns to her to wait for her to catch up.

How can he even smile, she thinks heavily.


Sunset at the cheap end of Oasis Springs

“Thank you for your message. I apologize for disturbing you.” Don says.

“It’s all right, I just had some things to do. Let’s go inside.” says Valentino.

“I am truly grateful that you can shelter me.” Don says, a little embarrassed.

“It’s okay kid. I was young once and did my stupid things too.” Valentino says seriously.

“Let me show you to your room.” Valentino continues, leading the way.

Don follows him into a room that is nearly empty except for a dresser and a single bed.

He sits on the bed and looks around the room. What now?


Valentino starts cooking dinner.

Don sits and stares blankly into the air as he scouts for a future he has never worried about before.

Yesterday was such an amazing day. He won an award. No actually two if he includes Valentino’s certificate of honor. How strange things can change.

Then he receives a text message. It’s Katrina.

She does not send an uplifting message.

He considers a response, but he seems wiser to delete the contact.
He definitely shouldn’t expect to see her again.

He instead heads to the bathroom to take a shower and change into everyday clothes.


Early evening in Brindleton Bay

Tusnelda is exhausted and lies down on the bed to take a nap.

Martin is restless and starts climbing to drown out the pain.

The steep climb requires all of his concentration.

He hangs on as best he can.

Suddenly his grip fails and he falls to the ground.

Fortunately, he lands on both feet and regains his balance.


He has run out of arm strength and goes to the mirror to talk himself up.

Tusnelda is still sleeping. He shouldn’t wake her.

“Come on man! You can do it.” he says with a stern look directed at his reflection.

He enters the living room and as soon as he distances himself from Tusnelda he dares to let the mask fall.

The disappointment and pain is overwhelming.

He begins his daily tasks by examining the opposing teams.

Sometimes he has to wipe away his own tears.

Evening in Oasis Springs

Valentino and Don are eating dinner together.

“I tried a yoga lesson as you recommended and I got some strange visions. They almost looked like a flicker of light.” Don says.

“Oh? It’s perfectly normal. It could be your subconscious trying to tell you something… You can just relax and enjoy the colors.” says Valentino, without the least bit of uneasiness.

“Sounds strange to me, Valentino.” Don says…

“Why did you actually move to Oasis Springs?” Don asks.

“Well, I like to experience new parts of the world and I also had a prize to present, didn’t I?” Valentino says subtly.

“Well? Yeah, guess so.” Don replies.

Don looks for Valentino as he goes into the kitchen to put the rest of the food in the fridge.

There is much that does not make sense. He seems like he’s hiding something.

Don picks up the dishes to wash them up.

He has just finished when he receives a text message. It is Eva who asks him to stop by.

He has no other plans, so he might as well visit her.

Valentino is playing his guitar when he hears the front door close after Don. He seems very restless the young man. He wonders what Delphine sees in him, other than a devine body.


At the same time on a beach in Sulani

Delphine runs down towards the sunset.

The sunset in Sulani is the most beautiful in the whole world.

She suddenly turns as if she is looking for something behind her.


If Delphine could really see Don right now I’m sure she wouldn’t be happy. Right now he is heading for a door that leads to anything but sensible behavior.

There are many methods to drown an inner pain.

“Well there you are at last.” says Eva in welcome.


They lie down together on a bed. At least they won’t go in the closet this time.

“What kind of face is that? Don’t you find me attractive?” says Eva.

“Of course Eva. You are beautiful and attractive as always.” Don says without a glow.

Eva does not let herself be put off but begins to kiss him with passion. She will surely be able to bring him back to life.

Don tries to surrender and let his body do what it was designed to do.

Then he gets another vision.

He understands nothing, but somehow it takes his focus away from his current actions.


His cursed paralysis is back.

“I’m sorry Eva, but I’m not really in the mood tonight.” he says heavily.

Eva stands up.

“I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you Lothario, but please go. I can’t bear to deal with your grumpy face.” she says angrily.


Don feels neither relief nor regret as he leaves. He feels nothing.

Something calls him down towards the water.

He looks confused in the channel. Nothing matters anymore. Maybe he should drown himself?

The water is gray and not very inviting. As insignificant as everything else.

He yawns tiredly. He is exhausted and should go back to Valentino and sleep, but he still has a task to do.


In Sulani, the sun has almost set and Delphine heads back towards the coast.

If she could see him, I wonder if she still thinks Don is worth the effort?

How should she ever know?


Late night in San Myshuno

Elijah and Fatima stand looking at his painting.

“What do you think?” Elijah asks.

“You painted a portrait of me!?” she says with a smile.

“I sure did. I’m glad it can be seen.” he says.

“You are such a lovely man Elijah.” she says gratefully.


They both get ready for bed.

They are tired and should sleep immediately, but they have a really hard time keeping their fingers and lips apart.

As soon as Fatima hears Elijah sleeping heavily, she gets out of bed and goes to the painting.

She feels blessed. No man ever dreamed of painting her before.


Late night in Brindleton Bay

Tusnelda and Martin sit on the edge of the bed. Grief lies like a heavy wall between them.

Tusnelda looks towards Martin. She can see that he is suffering.

“Tusnelda, will you please talk to me. Tell me what’s on your mind.” he says.

“Please Sweetie. We can’t let this come between us.” he says.

“Maybe it was our only chance Martin and I should have been more careful. Doctor Flex told me that 40% of all women miscarry. If I get pregnant again I might lose the next child too. I should have been more attentive and considerate towards the fetus. I feel such guilt and shame.” she says.

“It’s a lot of thoughts and feelings to lift on Tusnelda, but it can never be your fault. There might be a reason we don’t know.” Martin says.

“Aren’t you the least bit angry with me, Martin. I failed your dream. I’m the cause of your pain.”

“Never Tusnelda. You are my dream and the only one that matters to me. You have to talk to me or you can call the number the doctor gave us if it’s easier for you.…. I’m exhausted and want to go to bed now. Are you ok for now?” he says gently.

“Yes, thank you Martin.” she smiles.


When Martin has gone to the bathroom, Tusnelda is left alone.

Although she is grateful for Martin’s support and love, nothing is as easy as it sounds. Grief is an open wound that takes time to heal.

Martin feels it too. Every time he lets go of the facade, he feels the pain from the open wounds.


Martin crawls under the covers.

Tusnelda calls the number that Martin has suggested.

She talks long after he has fallen asleep.

It’s almost daylight when she crawls under the covers to him.

She snuggles up against him and falls asleep.

He wakes up briefly when he feels her presence and puts an arm around her. They are in this together.


Oasis Springs just before dawn

Don stands in front of the house that has been his home for several years.

Thats it!?

At least she put his belongings in a box and didn’t scatter them across the grass.

It’s actually not much.

In front stands his award trophy and shines with an artificial shine.

He quickly packs up and leaves the Sultry Springside for the last time.


The sun has risen when Don can finally go to bed. He is sweating and should have taken a shower but he skips it. It’s all irrelevant anyway.

Fortunately, he quickly falls into a dreamless sleep. He can’t bear to make up his mind about anything else today.

Valentino has hung his certificate of honor and award photo on the wall. On the dresser is his trophy. All parts tell of a man who is a winner.


Author’s note: I have had such a doubt that a subject like spontaneous abortion is too heavy a subject for a Simlit story. I can inadvertently touch someone’s trauma. I will say that is not my intention.
I would also like to say that it was never my intention for Tusnelda to become pregnant. I have other plans, but the game played tricks on me.
I paused her pregnancy and started playing some other households. When Tusnelda showed up sick and pregnant at the hospital, I decided I had a story to tell. Like Tusnelda, it took many years of trying before I finally got pregnant. My forster died in the 10th week of pregnancy. I am not writing this to gain pity. I later had two perfect wonderful children. As Marcus, I can say today that that child just wasn’t meant to bee, without any kind of pain.
I am therefore a little surprised that it cost me some pains to remove the lid from that jar while writing this and the previous chapter. However, I want to say that everything is ok again. My story is not unusual and there is plenty of light on the other side of the pain. Let this be the conclusion to this text.

NB: The song The Loneliest is one of my favorite songs at the moment. It embraces loneliness and grief as two sides of the same coin. Enjoy!




The Soothing Snuggle, shown in the header image, is found in maplebell’s More Kisses Mod #3


  • GlacierSnow

    This was a rough one. Nearly everyone is going through something painful right now except Elijah and Fatima.

    I really feel worried about Tsunelda and Martin. This has hit them both so hard. I just want to hug both of them right now.

    This whole chapter was quite emotional, and I have a lot of reactions to it, but I always find those kind of responses hard to put into words. It’s extremely good and well written though. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences in the end comment. It’s very evident that you have personal empathy for Tsunelda and Martin from the way you write about them. It feels very real.

    • MonaSolstraale

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you liked the chapter and found it evident and believable ❤
      It is definitely a sensitive subject and I made an effort to strike a tone that did not end in the sentimental. I really feel for Tusnelda and Martin right now.
      It was surprising that Martin started painting a picture with the sun and clouds, but somehow it fit the theme of this chapter perfectly.

  • cathytea

    It’s beautiful. It’s very healing to write about these things–both for the writer and for your readers. It helps those who’ve experienced it feel they’re not alone, and those who haven’t experienced to understand the grief with greater sensitivity and empathy. And Martin and Tusnelda become richer and more compassionate people as they move through this. Grief is hard to go through, and it’s also part of what makes us human and draws us together.

    I’m very happy to see that Don’s destiny (thanks to a little intervention) is coming about! I’ve been waiting for this for so long!

    • MonaSolstraale

      Thank you very much for your comment cathytea ❤
      I am so glad that you think it is healing to write about this topic and you are right that this may have become a form of self-therapeutic. I hope it can help others feel seen.

      Involuntary childlessness is highly taboo and associated with shame. I really don’t think Tusnelda has anything to be ashamed of. Shame creates distance and walls.

      Hooray for Don! Although he’s probably not having too much fun right now. He really needs to have his values replaced. An intervention was probably necessary 😉

  • SirianaSims

    I’ve had a hard time commenting on these last two chapters because it’s an emotional subject for me, but I want to say that your writing is deeply touching and I love these characters and their stories, even if they sometimes make me cry. You really have a talent for capturing something deep and profound in just a few simple words ❤️

    I’m heartbroken for Tusnelda and Martin but I always had a bad feeling that it wouldn’t be easy, so I was afraid to hope. I know they’re strong, though, so I feel pretty certain they’ll make it, together.

    I also still have hope for Don, but I’m glad Katrina broke things off since he can’t get it done himself! 😂

    • MonaSolstraale

      Thank you so much for your really kind words. I know the last two chapters have been hard to get through. This applies to me as well as to my readers. As I wrote in another comment, it is a balancing act that the profound should not end in sentimentality. I am therefore extra happy about your comment 💖

      All development often starts with a breakdown and a pain. Why else would you leave what feels comfortable and familiar? Hopefully, a positive development will come out of Tusnelda and Martin’s tragedy 💔
      This applies not least to Don as well. He has found his familiar life in the trash. Now the only way is to start from scratch.

  • Yimiki

    Finally had a moment to sit down and comment! I’m so glad that you decided to touch on this subject in your chapter. I’ve never gone through it myself, but it’s so easy to feel alone in this and sharing it, even through simlit, is a way to show others that they’re not alone in their experience. Thank you for doing that. <3

    Fatima and Elijah are floating on pink clouds together. Life is absolutely wonderful for them and they are enjoying it to the fullest. They are the bright-coloured balance to the darkness of this chapter.

    Katrina… sigh. More and more I get the idea that the Don in her head, and those “loving caring qualities”, are not the same as the Don in real life. Yet she’s trying to will it into existence and gets mad when the obvious result is failure.

    Poor Tusnelda, and poor Martin. My heart bleeds for both of them. To want a child so much and to have it fail is always a blow. I hope Tusnelda doesn’t feel like she’s less of a human being for it. My mum explained miscarriage to me at a young age, and how much stigma and misunderstanding is built up around it.

    I love the little painting that Martin made. Even above grey clouds there’s still a sun. It’s hope for the future and I hope that he passes that sentiment on to Tusnelda. She’ll need it. That scene in the hospital is heartbreaking. Oh, honey. Miscarriages are not the woman’s fault. The fact that such a large part of our society is convinced otherwise is a terrible thing.

    Don and Dephine’s overlapping scenes are so well done. They’re drawn to each other on a level that neither of them understands, least of all Don. But it’s also really messing with his headspace, too. Fingers crossed that Valentino can be the bridge that reconnects them.

    Oh, Tusnelda… she’s not at fault. I wish she knew that.

    I want to put this out here, because so many women are wrecked with feelings of guilt and shame and inadequacy when they shouldn't be. There are so many misconceptions around miscarriage – while they are the body doing what it is designed to do. A miscarriage doesn't mean that the woman is not good enough, or not taking care of the fetus properly. Miscarriages are a mother's body saving her from a bad fetus. Our wombs are constantly testing the fetus during pregnancy and if it fails those tests, then our body is designed to do everything it can to expel it. Not because the woman did something. Not because she’s at fault. But because that fetus simply wasn’t viable. All it would have done, eventually, is threaten the mother’s life. I dearly wish more people knew that. Miscarriage is not your fault. It’s never your fault. Please don't let anyone convince you otherwise. </3💔

    • MonaSolstraale

      Thank you for your comment.
      Today I am also glad that I shared this topic. You are so right when you point out how much blame is placed on the woman. It is a natural and healthy process for the body to destroy fetuses that do not develop as they should. Of course, that doesn’t make the disappointment easier to bear in the first place. When society adds guilt and shame on top of that, it is a sign of inhumanity 💔

      The subject of Martin’s painting is one of the game’s random gifts, but it makes so much sense in this chapter.

      I love having Elijah and Fatima as a happy counterbalance to all these characters who are now in some kind of crisis.

      Katrina has hopefully finally dismissed Don as an option and that’s good for both of them. Don’s approach to life is too laissez faire for him to get there on his own. Now he has found the remains of his life among the debris and his paralysis has returned. It is time for him to ask himself the important questions about how he ended up here.

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