Chapter 4.10: Caretaker

Screenshot-1092It felt as if someone had turned my life upside-down and shaken the container after the confrontation with mother. The night after was pretty much sleepless and I found myself tossing and turning even though Berrian kept his arm around me the entire night. The next morning I sent Watermelon and Salmon off for school without telling them of the events that had taken place the night before. I would of course tell them, eventually. First, I wanted to visit Bittersweet and tell her about it. It was crazy to think that I had watched her father getting killed by our mother.

When we arrived at her house Romeo was already there and judging by their facial expressions, they had already heard the news.

Screenshot-1094“I never knew him” Bittersweet sighed. Her eyes were red as if she had been crying, which honestly was the right thing to do. “I suppose it shouldn’t matter, but it does” she said and Romeo started stroking her back.

“I’m sorry sister” I said. It was a poor attempt to comfort her but I knew that there was nothing I could do. No words would bring her father back or make her mother a decent berry.

Screenshot-1093I had never felt awkward around these people before. The room consisted of my best friends and most beloved ‘bows in the entire world, yet an awkward silence filled the room. The only thing to break it was the occasional sighs from Bittersweet and the sound of skin brushing against clothes as Romeo stroke her back.

“It happened fast, I’m sure he didn’t feel any pain” I said after a while. Another poor attempt at providing comfort. It didn’t matter, Bittersweet only glanced at me quickly before going back to staring in to the wall in front of her.

Me and Berrian stayed for an hour or two but there was nothing anyone of us could do to make it all feel better. In the end Bittersweet commanded that we go home before Watermelon and Salmon got home to an empty house. We would have some explaining to do once they got home, that was for sure.

Screenshot-1172Telling my younger siblings about what had happened proved to be a lot easier than talking to Bittersweet. Salmon had no memories of mother what-so-ever and merely reacted to the very fact that his mother was a murderer. Watermelon in her turn already despised mother so the news simply added to the hate she was already feeling. I promised myself I would keep being the best substitute mother I could for my siblings, they would sure need it.

The next few days were a blur of arranging a secret funeral for Precious (who had been taken care of by Thunderbird and whom the town therefore knew nothing about), supporting Bittersweet and caring for my younger siblings while also trying to get back to a normal life myself. I knew it would never be the same again after watching my mother so cold-hearted kill a man, but I had to make the best out of it.

When the spring festival was upon us I decided to make it a family outing and we did our best to pretend that we were all alright.

Screenshot-1098Watermelon met up with her best friend Celeste, who I had got to know fairly well by now. Celeste had the misfortune of getting pregnant in her early teenage years and had decided to keep the baby. A few weeks before the whole incident with mother she had given birth to a little baby girl named Surf. Whenever Watermelon looked at the little baby there was a spark in her eyes which I had never seen before and my sister seemed to soften up to that little one in a way that was not like her usual character. It was satisfying to see, to say the least.

Screenshot-1099Salmon in his turn met up with a girl from his class who I had never met before but of whom I had heard lots of things. Tosca Thorn was a cute girl with a face full of adorable freckles, who seemed to have a personality which was nowhere as soft and cute as her looks. From what I understood Salmon was having some pretty strong feelings for this girl but he was unsure whether she felt the same way. I kind of wondered what that was like for I had never experienced a first love which wasn’t mutual.

Screenshot-1100Me and Berrian stayed at the back for a while to make sure both Watermelon and Salmon were alright. It was quite fascinating to just stand there holding hands watching my younger siblings interact with ‘bows they cared deeply for.

Tosca soon took Salmon’s hand and pulled him with her indoors which made him blush and quickly stumble after her. Watermelon needed no guardian while she was with Celeste so when Salmon was no longer to be seen me and Berrian went indoors to amuse ourselves, too.

Screenshot-1109Inside the festival building there was a “love machine” which said it could measure how true the love between two berries were. Of course it was simply a way to rob the festival visitors of their money, but me and Berrian decided we had to try in non-the-less.

When Berrian’s hand touched mine electricity ran through my body. Even after all the time we had been together, I was still just as in love with him as I had been the first time. If this machine didn’t explode by our touch it was sure broken.

Screenshot-1110It was silly, really, but when the lights climbed to the very top of the machine – letting us know our love was burning – both me and Berrian started clapping our hands. It wasn’t like we didn’t know our love was pure before, but it still felt good.

It also felt good to forget about the tumult in our lives and feel genuinely happy for a short moment.

Screenshot-1106When we turned around we saw that Salmon was in the rollerskating rink with Tosca and they were holding each other’s hands and skating around in a circle. It sure was sweet to watch them and whenever Salmon’s face was turned towards us I could see how a big smile covered his face. It was nice to see him smiling despite everything that had happened the latest time in his life.

Screenshot-1108Me and Berrian stood and watched Salmon spinning around with Tosca for a long time before Watermelon came running  towards us and asking if it was alright that she headed back home. Celeste had to leave to put Raindrop to sleep and Watermelon felt no need to stay now that her best (and only) friend had left. I was still worried about her, but she did seem happier than she used to, so I said she could go and promised to be back home before too long.

Screenshot-1111I didn’t intentionally follow Salmon and his friend around, but the festival building wasn’t very big and they didn’t try very hard to hide from my curious eyes so I did catch the two of them holding hands on the upper floor later that day. I found myself wishing their relation would work out well and made a mental note to make sure Tosca wouldn’t hurt my younger brother. He deserved to be happy for he was the sweetest young boy I could think of.

Screenshot-1112Not that Tosca seemed to have any intention of hurting him for she too smiled and looked happy as their arms swayed from one side to the other. It was incredibly sweet to watch really and I almost felt jealous for not experiencing that young love that the two of them seemed to do. I had never had time for love or friendships during my teenage years and seeing before me what I had lost was sad. Then again, the love I had experienced – and still experienced – was far greater than any young love could have ever been. There was no reason for me to feel sorry for what had been.

Screenshot-1113Before we left for home, Salmon found the courage to steal a kiss from Tosca. I almost let out a loud “Naaw”  but managed to control myself. Instead, I squeazed Berrian’s hand extra hard and felt extremely grateful for everything that still was in my life.

Perhaps life wasn’t perfect and perhaps I had the worst possible mother, but there was still so many things to be grateful for.

Screenshot-1139When we got home Watermelon had placed herself in the mud bath in mother’s spa in the back of the garden. She sure didn’t seem too upset about the latest events since she could do such a trivial thing as take a relaxing mud bath. That was good, of course.

Screenshot-1177Even though our life was pretty much turned upside-down by mother’s actions Berrian kept being restless and eager for new adventures. He behaved exemplary the first few weeks and was a great support for our entire family but once the initial shock had blown past he started planning a new trip. I was eager to go with him too, for I desperately needed to get my mind on something brighter than the last weeks incidents but I was also hesitant to the idea of leaving Watermelon and Salmon alone at home.

In the end, Berrian came with the idea of letting both Watermelon and Salmon go with us to China. Once that was decided I couldn’t wait until we were on our way.

Screenshot-1118Just as when we had been to Egypt, Berrian arranged a camp for us to live far from the normal tourist spots. It was a beautiful spot just steps from a breathtaking waterfall. The climate was a lot more humid than it had been in Egypt but way hotter than back home in Fondant Fields.

As soon as we stepped on the soft grass of the camping spot I felt the troubles from back home disappear to the very back of my head and an adventures lust and excitement took its place. It was indeed a very welcome change.

Screenshot-1122We begun our vacation with grilling some lunch over the open fire. Both Watermelon and Salmon looked happy to be here and I was already starting to believe that this vacation was the best thing we could have possibly done in our situation. Back at home Bittersweet had Romeo, so she would be fine.

While we sat by the fire Berrian told my siblings some of his tomb exploring stories which made them both eager to come with us to one of the tombs close by. Berrian promised to teach them as much as possible once we were there.

Screenshot-1123Later that afternoon Berrian lead us all to a tomb close to our camp. According to his words it was a great tomb for beginners and would therefore suit both me and my siblings well. I suspected it wasn’t exactly the most exciting adventure for him but he seemed glad to take us all.

When we got down in the dark and moist tomb I quickly realized what he had meant the last time we went exploring and he told me that it was easy to see the leads once you knew what to look for. Huge statues stood along the walls and on the ground you could see areas that were lighter than the rest of the floor – a clear sign that it was something special about it.

Screenshot-1124Berrian commanded Watermelon to move the statue towards the lighter spot on the ground and her whole body lit up when she got a task as important as that. She used her full strength to even be able to move the statue but not once did she ask for help. When the statue started to move we all clapped our hands and Watermelon gained new strength which helped her get the statue in place. A rumble was heard and soon after another part of the floor sparkled slightly.

Screenshot-1126“What was that?” Salmon wondered, eyes wide with what could be either fear or curiosity. It surprised me how calm I felt myself for the last time I had been exploring with Berrian I had been a lot less relaxed.

“It was the sound of us being on the right track” Berrian smiled. “Salmon, do you see that stone in the floor that looks a bit different from the others. Go stand on it.”

Screenshot-1125After searching for the right stone for a little while, Salmon found it and placed his feet steadily on it. At first nothing happened and Salmon looked as though he was ashamed, perhaps he thought he had somehow failed.

“You might be too light, jump a little” Berrian said and Salmon did as he was told which caused a loud breaking sound in the room. Just seconds later a hidden door was revealed in the far side of the room and we all went through it.

Screenshot-1127The next room was small and huge piles of rocks and stones laid in the corners. A wooden door was locked securely by a giant rusty padlock. Watermelon and Salmon looked around curiously, mesmerized by the splendor of the place. I myself felt a bit taken, too. It was amazing to think that these places were built eternities ago.

Berrian did not stop to take the surroundings in, though, and instantly started to dig through one of the stone piles. It looked sweaty but once the stone started to give in a marked floor tile was revealed so I suppose it was worth the hassle. Berrian himself stood on the marked spot and a hole appeared in the wall next to Watermelon.

Screenshot-1128Screenshot-1129After a nod from Berrian she reached her arm in to the hole, at which I held my breathe for the memory of Berrian’s insect covered arm came to my mind. Watermelon almost had her full arm in the hole as she searched for something. When her hand touched something solid her face first turned in fear but when she realized she could pull it she smiled and looked victorious.

With a click the giant padlock opened itself and fell to the ground, leaving the wooden door unlocked and free for us to enter.

Screenshot-1130We came in to another small room with a strange pool in the middle. The water inside the pool looked surprisingly fresh and clear. Yet, this was the first time Berrian told us to step back and let him handle the puzzle that would lead us forward. “We’ll have to swim down this well” he said and nodded towards it while keeping his arm out to prevent us from getting too close. “Sometimes they’re awefully deep and I’ve even encountered obstacles on the way to the other end. I’m sure there is another end, though, there always is.”

Screenshot-1131Before I could say anything or try to stop him, Berrian had jumped high in the air and dove down the pool with a big splash. Watermelon went up to the pool and looked down after him but announced directly that she could not see him.

Salmon looked at me with fear in his eyes and I tried my best to stay calm although it felt like an eternity before a door appeared in the wall next to us. We stayed in the room with the pool until Berrian came back the same way he had disappeared with a big stone statue in his hand and a content smile on his face. “Finders keepers” he grinned before leading us through the newly open door and back to the camp.

Screenshot-1132The next day we took my siblings to the kind of exploring I had found I enjoyed the best in Egypt: We went to pick fruits and vegetables from the local open gardens. I could see quite clear that none of my companions enjoyed this kind of traveling as much as I did, but no one complained and they even helped me pick the fruits.

Watermelon found some kind of wooden doll which Berrian told her was a martial arts training dummy and once he had showed her the little he knew of the chinese sport she was hooked. While the rest of us tasted the exotic fruits she had several boxing rounds against that dummy. She seemed happy and that made me happy, too.

Screenshot-1135When we got back to the camp Berrian and I took some time for ourself inside our tent while Salmon and Watermelon prepared the fire so we could cook up some dinner. I felt no need to hide the fact that me and Berrian had sex with each other for I considered it such a natural part of any ‘bows life.

Life is too short to not do the things that makes you feel good. That was my most important motto.

Screenshot-1136After a fire roasted dinner we remained seated by the fire just talking and wathing the flames play with each other. I was curious to what my siblings thought of the relaxed way of living that came with traveling and exploring and was pleased to know that they had both had a good time.

Watermelon’s favourite experience had been the martial arts dummy while Salmon’s had been the tomb exploring.

All in all, it had been a good trip but when it started to close in to our journey home, the stress about mother slowly came back. I did not want to go back to that, it had been way too good to forget about it for some time. Still, I had a garden at home that needed my care. And both Salmon and Watermelon had friends they needed to get back to. I wouldn’t uproot them by deciding to stay traveling, even if that was what both me and Berrian really wanted.


Actually, Celeste has three babies already. Surf is the middle kid. Her older sister is named Raindrop and her younger sister is Baby Blue.

And how cute is Tosca, who Salmon was paired up with on prom? I can’t wait to see them two produce some babies. ❤ And speaking of babies… Generation 5 is on its way!

Also, while traveling I bend the rules for “Home Made” since I let my sims eat raw ingredients simply grilled over a fire. I reckon that’s fine since the time away doesn’t really count since they don’t age. They still cook everything from their own ingredients while they are home. 🙂

Chapter 4.6: Finders keepers

First of all, this chapter contains a new type of writing because part of the story is told from a narrative perspective where Coral isn’t present. It’s a technique I will be using some in this generation overall because there will be events where she isn’t present to tell about the happenings. It’s marked with italic writing and is also written in third-person rather than first-person.

Secondly, this is a really long chapter but I didn’t want to cut it in two because this generation will already be crazy long. Sorry about it and I hope you enjoy.


Screenshot-985Even if Bittersweet was still annoyed with my lack of phone calls while I was away, she did soften up rather quick. The bird I had brought home instantly made a nest in her heart and the way she talked to it and cared for it only reminded me of how good she had always been with the younger kids. Still, I knew it wasn’t easy to run a household as young as she was. I knew for I had done it myself for a very long time. It felt distant now, but I had done it alright.

I did what I could to ease her work while I was at home for I wanted her to have a life too. She had given me the greatest opportunity I could have ever wished for and it was only fair that I returned the favor. But Bittersweet rarely went out. She never hung out with any friends her own age, which I guessed depended on the simple fact that she didn’t have any. She had cared for the family when there was no-one else to do it, and now she suffered the consequences.

She named the bird Rainbow because of all the different colors of its feathers. There was something special about Bittersweet, let me tell you, for she talked to that bird as if she could really understand what it was saying. And the bird chirped back as if it could really understand what she was saying. And there was no need for Bittersweet to cage the bird, she simply put a small tree in her room and let Rainbow fly around as he pleased. It was rather fascinating to see, actually.

Screenshot-919Every day without Berrian was a burden for me and it was lovely when he finally arrived at our house with the few belongings he decided to bring. Like me, he didn’t feel the need to own stuff just for the simple satisfaction of actually owning it. We only needed the very basics.

“I can’t wait to introduce you to everyone” I said and drowned in his dreamy, happy eyes.

“If they’re anything close to as fantastic as you describe them I can’t wait to meet them either” he replied.

The truth was that no words could ever describe how much I loved my siblings so he would simply have to learn by himself what it was that made them so fantastic.

Screenshot-916First of all I introduced him to Bittersweet for she was the most precious friend I had besides the ones Berrian already knew. As they shook each other’s hands I felt strangely nervous even though I was sure they would like each other.

Bittersweet needed to like him for she needed more friends. If I could help with that I would, even if it was as easy as introduce her to Berrian. In fact, if they became friends it would be about the best thing that could happen for they were the two ‘bows I cared most for in the whole world.

Screenshot-918They took a liking to each other right away, which was only natural since neither of them was very hard to like. It warmed my heart to see them lean in and giggle together. Although, Bittersweet also got a bit serious when she told him it wasn’t fair that he was stealing me away from her. It sounded like a joke, and I’m sure Berrian took it as a joke, but I understood that she did kind of mean it.

And I had to say I understood her. I would feel the same way if it was the other way around.

Screenshot-921If Bittersweet liked Berrian, it was nothing compared to how Salmon greeted him as a member of our family right away. I had always worried most about Salmon for he was so young when mother left and there had never been an adult in his life. He had needed to rely on his two elder sisters to provide for him, which we of course had done as well as we could, but surely there had to be something missing in his life. For instance, he had never had much guidance from an older man. Except for what uncle Blizzard provided when Salmon played with Calypso. Or what Taxus provided the few times he came to visit.

He rarely ever came around, Taxus, for he had his own family now. A family who actually loved him and I knew he had sworn to not repeat mother’s mistakes and I was also sure that he was the most loving husband and father one could think of.

Screenshot-922It was interesting to see Berrian try to beat Salmon at video games. As far as I knew, Berrian didn’t care much for technology or video games but yet he threw himself straight in to the game and actually tried his best to give Salmon a fair game. Not that it mattered for Salmon was a natural with that controller.

I stood just watching them play together and it was a lovely sight. It was amazing to think that my siblings welcomed Berrian to the family with their arms wide open.

Screenshot-998Of course, that was before I tried to introduce him to Watermelon. I didn’t know much about her, but it came clear to me during the introduction that she was a hot-headed young lady. Instead of shaking Berrian’s hand she twisted her face and snarled at him, making it very clear that she was not happy to have him in her home.

Screenshot-984As a matter of fact, Watermelon seemed to be constantly grumpy unless her best friend Celeste was around. When Celeste did come with her home after school she was a whole different person who even had a smile on her face.

Screenshot-979Celeste was, they told me, a far-away relative to us: Grandfather Sundance had a brother named Quince – who in his turn had a son called Mustard and Celeste was Mustard’s daughter. That made her our… second cousin or something?

No matter, she had a great impact on my youngest sister – who despite my worries about Salmon – seemed to be the one hurting the most of all the drama in our family. Perhaps she had been old enough to remember mother being suddenly gone and she was certainly old enough to remember me leaving the family, but perhaps not old enough to understand why I did it. And unless she did, I had done the same thing as mother had in her eyes. It hurt to think about, so I just relished the times when Celeste was around since Watermelon seemed so trouble-free and happy then.

Screenshot-980Celeste was a great girl. She had en energy quite like the one Romeo had and always managed to bring joy and laughter to our house. Perhaps it had to do simply with the fact that Watermelon didn’t pout – or perhaps Celeste was simply a person to bring happiness wherever she went.

Screenshot-928I quickly got used to having Berrian around and I found that having him close made me a better person. He completed me in a way that is hard to describe in words, but which sure did feel like one of the most precious gifts ever.

With my own garden growing, providing us with what food our family could eat, we found that we did not need to work to get around. Although, Berrian did talk a lot about all the amazing places he wanted to take me and I knew that we would need some money to make it work, even though Berrian promised me he had it covered.

He had been staying at our house for a week when Romeo called and asked if he could come visit us. By this time Berrian was almost climbing the walls with restlessness and each day he wondered when we could leave for our first trip. I think he did understand that I couldn’t walk away in my siblings again but it still made him jumpy. Having Romeo over would hopefully ease some of his tensions and get his mind off the fact that he was for the time being stuck at one place.

Screenshot-972“Romeo, one of my friends from Uni, is coming to visit” I told Bittersweet during breakfast the next morning. I could barely contain my excitement over having Romeo over and Bittersweet, of course, noticed.

“You sure didn’t rest while you were there, did you?”

“Oh, you will see when he gets here” I replied and smiled. “He is the most amazing person. I mean, he is really, really great. I know you’ll like him. You really will!”

Screenshot-973Bittersweet stuffed her mouth full with waffles before speaking. “Did’n– knrghw — yehwre –” she paused and swallowed the food. “– such a Casanova.”

“Excuse me?” I turned to look at her and raised my brows.

“I thought Berrian was the one? And now you’re telling me there’s someone else, someone who’s as amazing as him?”

Screenshot-974“Oh” I blushed slightly and turned to the kitchen counter again. “Not like that, Romeo is just a friend. But a great one. The second best, actually.”

“Second?”

“No one could ever take your place, you know that.”

Screenshot-965All of my siblings were in school when Romeo arrived and Berrian was glued to the TV on the upper floor, trying to master the game so that he would eventually have a chance against Salmon. I hugged my friend tight and we both smiled widely at each other. It hadn’t been long since the graduation but I had sure missed him since and judging by how tight his hug was, he had missed me too.

We spent a few minutes just catching up before I showed him the house. He would be sleeping in Taxus’ old room while he stayed which suited him just fine. Once the tour had come to a stop, we were back in my old room. It hadn’t been used much since Berrian came here because we preferred sleeping in mother’s double bed to sharing my single one or having separate bedrooms. But I still liked my room and as always, it was everyone’s favorite hangout spot because of the rocking chair.

Screenshot-966“So, you and Berrian are like– exclusive now?” Romeo asked and smiled. Of course it wasn’t a serious question for he knew very well we had been exclusive ever since we first met. No one could deny it.

“It’s great having him around. And you too, Romeo” I replied.

“I should never have introduced you to him. Who should I be with now?” Romeo winked and I couldn’t quite figure out whether he was being serious or not. Our relation had never been to the romantic side, even if he was attractive and nice to hang out with.

“I’m serious. Kind of” he continued and I felt my jaw drop. “I mean, I’m really glad you and Berrian are together. You are perfect for each other, after all. I just… I wish there was someone for me too. It gets lonely. Especially now that you two have each other.”

“You’ll find someone, eventually. Probably when you least expect it. And really, even if it’s wonderful, it’s not the biggest deal. As long as you have berries around you for who you care for and who cares for you, you’ll be fine. I was perfectly happy when it was just you and me too. And you can always be with us, if you want to.”

Romeo smiled, “An eternity as the third wheel. Sounds awesome.”

Screenshot-914“You know what’s great?” Berrian said later that evening, once Romeo had been introduced to everybody.

“Having Romeo here again?” I guessed.

“Nah-ah. Or well, yeah… Now that Romeo is here we can leave. I know him, he won’t mind staying here to care for your family while we go for a short trip. It’s only for a few days after all.” Berrian beamed over his own idea but I was more hesitant. I rarely had any reason to work against my love, but after having had the conversation I did with Romeo earlier, I couldn’t just agree that it was a great idea.

“I think he came to see us… Not my family” I said but the smile on Berrian’s face didn’t fade.

“We’ll be back! It’s only for a few days. He hasn’t got anything better to do anyway. And I need to go, we’ve been here for too long already. There’s so much to see! We can’t just wait for it unless we want to risk growing old without having seen everything there is to see out there. You do realize, right?”

Screenshot-987We asked Romeo about it later that night, even though I still had a bad feeling about it. It simply didn’t feel fair, but Romeo just scratched the back of his head and said: “I suppose I could.”

I know it meant he wasn’t overly happy with the task we had given him, but since he didn’t object we just went with it and started planning for our trip. Or rather, Berrian started filling me in on what he had already planned since long. I would just tag along and let him show me the beauty of traveling and exploring.

Screenshot-925Berrian told his newest best friend Salmon about it all and promised we would be back before his birthday. It had been my one condition – we wouldn’t miss any birthdays while traveling for the younger kids probably still considered me their prime parent and I couldn’t take it all away from them.

Salmon seemed pleased knowing we would be back to celebrate his birthday and he also got along well with Romeo so it would be alright. Bittersweet naturally pouted a bit, but like Salmon she had connected to Romeo straight away so she wasn’t as upset as I had feared since she knew Romeo would be there with them. Watermelon simply didn’t seem to care whether I was at home or not, and just shrugged when we announced we were leaving.

When we were on our way I let go of all the guilt and embraced the thought of exploring a new place by the side of my true love. It all made me very excited.

Screenshot-930As soon as my eyes caught sight of the sandy land that was Egypt my heart flopped and I felt a rush of happiness fly through my body. It looked nothing like the worlds I knew. There were no vibrant bright colors wherever you looked and it was a bit strange to adapt to. Everything kind of blended together since it all followed the same matte color scheme. It sure was beautiful.

Screenshot-931I kept trying to look at everything at one as we walked in to a camp where several tents were placed. Berrian smiled at how hungry my eyes were and I started to understand why he loved this so much.

“This.. This is beautiful” I gasped and took a few running steps to catch up with Berrian and entwine my fingers with his.

Screenshot-932“This is nothing. Just you wait until you see our camp” he replied and smiled.

This was nothing? It had to impossible for any place to be more perfect than this, and yet Berrian said it was nothing. I tightened my grip of his hand and pulled myself closer to him. “Our camp?”

“It’s no adventure staying at the prepared camps, is it?”

Screenshot-934It was only a short walk, but I never would have found the place unless Berrian guided me. We walked through some thick growth and behind some big rocks before a quiet little spot close to the river laid in front of us. A single tent stood already in place next to a fire pit. It looked deserted and yet oddly live-able.

“Ah, I knew I could count on Camel” Berrian said as we stepped in to the camp.

“Camel?”

“Met him when I was here last time, asked him to set a tent up for us here. Less time spent preparing our camp means more time for exploring. What do you say, just ditch our things here and then get going right away?”

Screenshot-935“Hold it there a bit. You’re stressing me out. Can you just tell me a bit about this place. I feel like I’m lost.”

Even if I wanted to explore the tombs and pyramids with Berrian, I first wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself in to. It seemed like he sometimes forgot about the fact that I hadn’t been traveling before while he was very experienced himself. He would have to take it slow and guide me through it rather than just pushing me in to it.

“We’re in Al Simhara. You know that already” he said slightly disappointed.

I didn’t want to disappoint him and I was really excited for the exploring to begin but I was also worried because I didn’t know what I should expect. Berrian smiled and took my hand, “Love, I could tell you everything there is to know about this place and you wouldn’t know what to expect anyway. There’s no way any story can tell you what it’s like when you really see it for yourself. I promise you though, that I will tell you everything I know about every single place we visit.”

Screenshot-936Even if Berrian’s word didn’t really ease my nerves, we did as he wanted and just left our belongings in the tent before heading towards our first adventure. I had heard about The Great Sphinx before but I could never have guessed that it would be as big and mighty as it was when we got there. Standing next to it, I couldn’t even see above its feet.

Screenshot-940“It’s huge” I said and looked up as we progressed towards the entrance Berrian promised laid between the statue’s front legs. Like our hidden camp, it was such a thing that you never would know about unless someone told you because the whole statue looked to be made out of solid rocks. Non-the-less a door slid to the side as we got closer, revealing a dark corridor where flames were shooting up from the floor.

“This is the Sphinx” Berrian said and kept walking forward. “It was built over 4000 years ago as what is mostly believed to be a marker of the Equinox. I don’t know what to believe, other than I think it’s filled with secrets and treasures worth looking for.”

Screenshot-943We made our way through the flames: Berrian went to stand on a spot on the ground which he said was “marked” in a way while telling me to swim through a small pool and push a statue until it revealed an entrance. All in all we made it through rather quick and I was surprised by how well-guarded the place was and by how easy Berrian knew how to get around it.

“It’s easy when you know what you’re looking for” he simply said. What we had just done was a wonder to me, while to the experienced explorer by my side it was no big deal.

Once we had gotten through the first obstacle we stood in a big, dusty room only lit by a few torches hanging on the walls which Berrian easily lit with the matches he had brought. As he made his way around the room, lighting the torches and gently touching all the walls to look for hidden passages I felt a strong love build up inside me. It was no wonder that I loved this man.

Screenshot-944He walked around the entire room stroking the walls without finding anyway to get further and I thought that perhaps this was it. The room we stood in was amazing as it was with its massive stone constructions and high ceilings. Just thinking about the fact that this whole place had been built by hand several thousands years ago was overwhelming.

“I can’t believe someone built this” I said and looked around.

“Slaves” Berrian said matter-of-factly. “Poor things most likely had to work until they died and no one thought it was weird. It’s still an amazing building, of course.”

“Mhmm” I nodded.

Berrian continued to search the room by crawling on the ground and I was pretty much mesmerized just by looking at him move through the room with such determination. His whole body shined with joy and it was easy to tell that this was his true element. He belonged here. My thoughts were soon interrupted by a happy and content cry from Berrian: “Aha!” He laid with his arm stuck down in a hole in the floor.

Screenshot-945Another cry escaped his lips just a short moment later and he pulled his arm up with such speed that I had a hard time understanding what was happening. Berrian shook his arm wildly by his side and I soon realized that it was covered with bugs and insects and I too started flailing my arms around. “Get those off of you!” I cried. “They could be dangerous!”

He managed to shake them all off and didn’t seem to have been caused any harm which was a true relief. “Happens” he said without any trail in his voice that he had just experienced a near-death-moment. I almost lost my breath when he sat down on his knees and lowered his arm down the hole again. “I’m quite sure I felt a switch down here” he mumbled and just seconds later a loud rumbling sound was heard.

Screenshot-946“I knew it!” he cried out in joy and ran over to the wall from where the sound had come. He pushed brick after brick on the wall and after what felt like an eternity the door gave in and swung open.

Screenshot-947“Look at this Coral!” he exclaimed as we entered the secret room. Piles of old golden coins laid shattered on the floor beneath a pillar which held an old rusty bowl.

I followed him in to the room and looked around at all the treasures hidden here. It was hard to imagine that we were perhaps the only ones who had ever seen this. Even if the old rusty bowl didn’t look like it, it was most likely worth more than anything I had ever own in my life. If it had been hidden in here when the statue was built, it meant that it was about 4000 years old. It was crazy to think about.

Screenshot-942“This place is…” I was literally lost for words. “This is the most amazing place I have ever seen” I said instead. Berrian nodded and started to walk through the room and pick up the gold coins from the ground, putting them in his pockets.

“Are you sure you’re allowed to take them?” I wondered, fairly certain that the coins and treasures belonged here.

“Whatever’s in here doesn’t belong to anyone. Finders keepers.”

“But it’s… history. You can’t just take it, can you?”

“It’s what I do. I collect the things and sell them to museums. Then I use the money to see more places. It’s a fair deal. Now come, I’m sure here’s another room.”

Screenshot-948A rumbling sound echoed in the room, but this time it came from my own stomach rather than the stone walls.

“Oh, you are getting hungry” Berrian said and kept walking. “Just this last room, then we’ll head back to camp and have some dinner, okay?”

Screenshot-949When we got out from the Sphinx it was already dark, it seemed like hours had passed while we were exploring the underground tomb. Berrian had laid his hands on several piles of golden coins as well as some relics and he were happy as a clam when we returned to the camp. I was happy, too, for I had just had one of the best experiences in my life. It had been a pure joy watching Berrian explore and the old building was simply breathtaking.

And cooking our food over the open fire in the camp was beautiful, too. Even if it wasn’t as good as my home-cooked meals.

Screenshot-950“I’ve had a great day” I said later and wrapped myself up in Berrian’s arms. “Thanks for showing me all of this.”

“It was my pleasure” he replied and kissed me softly. Even after the amount of kisses we had already shared his kiss still managed to set my body on fire and we soon took it to the tent:

Screenshot-951Screenshot-952Sex wasn’t a big thing for us. It had never been, it was simply a natural way of going with your feelings. Still, it was of course a big thing because it was good. Magical, almost.

Screenshot-954The next morning we grilled some of the vegetables I had brought from home for breakfast and Berrian told me he wanted to visit another tomb today.

“I loved going with you yesterday” I said and took a bite from my potato, which didn’t really taste like a potato since it wasn’t completely cooked and tasted mealy and hard. “But I think I want to see some things above ground today.”

“Oh… I forget that you haven’t been here before. It feels like you’ve always been with me. There’s a great garden just up the hill here, I think you’ll like it. I kind of know the guy who runs it and I’m sure he’ll let you pick some of the fruits and bring home if you’ll like?” And like that it was decided: I went to visit the garden while Berrian would go explore another tomb.

Screenshot-960When we had said goodbye and Berrian promised to be careful I started walking up the hill after Berrian’s directions and after a while a neatly planned garden came in to view. The simple sight of it made me feel so at home that I started running towards it.

Screenshot-963It felt just like being home, in my own garden, when I gently picked some of the fruits down. There were some plants I had never seen before, growing fruits you could only buy at the stores at home and I treated the rare fruits just like Berrian had treated his treasures the other day.

Several hours passed while I was in that garden but to me it felt like only a few short minutes. I simply loved gardening and I couldn’t wait to get back home and plant some of my new fruits and vegetables.

Screenshot-964Screenshot-961Screenshot-962While Coral was busy picking fruits and vegetables from the Egyptian garden Berrian went for another treasure hunt. His searches led him down through a maze of hidden doors and fire traps. Without Coral by his side, Berrian was able to move much faster through the tomb. Unlike Coral, he had seen a lot of awful things down tombs like this before and when he stumbled upon the remains of a human skeleton he was happy that Coral was not with him. He knew that Coral had in fact enjoyed exploring the Sphinx with him, but he also knew that she was a lot more scared of the dangers in the tombs than he was, and he didn’t want her to worry about him. For all he knew, worry only led to dangers. It was better to just push on and focus on what laid ahead.

After having emptied several rooms on their treasures Berrian finally came to a room where a big stone chest stood in the middle. The lid of the chest was heavy and laid sturdy in place but with enough will he managed to get it to open. A sparkling beam came to his view and he carefully leaned down and laid his hands on an old relic in the shape of an eagle. 

Screenshot-956It was still light outside when both me and Berrian were back at our camp. Even though I hadn’t been by his side the entire day I still felt like I had. Unless he were here, I wouldn’t be either, which meant that we were here together even if we were separated for a few hours.

Screenshot-957“How has your day been?” Berrian asked and his eyes were still the kindest and most amazing ones I had ever seen.

“It was lovely!” I exclaimed and went on to tell him everything about the garden and the smell of the fresh fruits. He listened closely while I talked without interrupting and yet again I realized how lucky I was to have reeled this guy in. He was perfect, just perfect. “I could totally live like this. Just you and me, perhaps a bunch of kids, and the nature.”

“Uhm, you might want to take your food out of the fire now” he said once I was quiet long enough to let him speak.

Screenshot-959I looked at my stick on which three black, burnt potatoes announced that I had been focusing too much on the past and too little on the future during the last few minutes.

“But we have to get ourself a decent stove if it should work” I joked and swallowed the potatoes which tasted anything but good. Berrian just laughed and nodded:

“Sure, if you let me live like this I can live with having a real stove.”

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