Markal Go is 34; Abina & Kenda zan-Avira are 10; Moluu zan-Ace is 7
The last few months had been hard on Markal's family.
Abina had lost her sight last winter, and Aralata and Kitira had left for Teal Camp not long after the first spring thaws. The family was still struggling with a lack of food and resources from a fire just before the older twins moved out. They'd had help from the rest of the tribe, but even with two fewer mouths to feed it was clear that they barely had enough to get by. Markal's mother, who had come from SimNation as a young woman, would have called them "broke".
And then, less than a month ago, Zade had walked out. After that, it felt like nothing would ever recover.
Ten years ago, his first wife Turi died giving birth to Kenda and Abina. Markal had been left to raise four small children alone. He'd grieved for ages, while toddlers slept on the floor and dirty plates and water skins piled up everywhere, until Zade had moved in to help out. Nine years of marriage and a fifth child, Moluu, had followed.
From left to right: Kenda, Abina and Moluu
Admittedly the girls were a lot better at looking after themselves now, but Markal couldn't help but feel that they were drifting away and he was losing them too.
Moluu and Kenda were throwing all their energy into whatever they happened to be doing, usually seeing how many points they could score in treeball or some other active thing. They didn't talk to Markal much any more. Mostly the three sisters kept to themselves
and whenever Markal tried to reach out to them, he was pushed away.
So he'd decided to take a day off. Enjoy some time to himself and give his daughters some space. The hot springs north of the village were always a good place to relax.
He wasn't sure why Arafa Herendez was hanging around, though. There weren't many herbs to harvest around here, at least as far as he knew, and he was pretty sure she was expecting another baby. She didn't look much happier than him, though... maybe she just needed to get away as well.
"My parents have been nagging me and Nathan to get married since before Sasha was born," she'd told him, "and now with another one on the way, it's got so much worse... I do want to settle down, but honestly I don't think Nathan really loves me. Or at least, he's as clueless about Nuidya marriage customs as he is about how to spot a pit trap. Or has a fear of commitment." She rolled her eyes. "City boys, huh?"
Markal tried to reassure her that Nathan would come round eventually. "Arafa... you've grown into a lovely young woman since we came here, any man who turned you down would be crazy."
Arafa gave him a strange look and suddenly remembered somewhere she had to be. Markal wasn't surprised... did he really say that?
He'd been wondering whether he might like Arafa himself all evening after returning home. The girls were sleeping - they'd spent the day out in the woods with some of their friends - and there wasn't too much mess lying around.
At leaast, not until he caught Zade dumping a pile of stinking bones onto the ground outside his huts.
He might not have been that effective at warning her off, but she left anyway, leaving Markal with a pile of animal remains to pick up and an aching feeling in places he didn't know he had.
At least it was an excuse to call Arafa over and ask for some of that soothing bluish goo that he wasn't sure what it was called. It wasn't his fault men weren't taught healing.
Before long, they'd come to the conclusion that they did in fact like each other that way.
**********VT says: Markal and Zade broke up a couple of days after I started playing again. She kept hitting on other Sims in front of him and after a day or two the tension led to them splitting up. I really feel bad for Markal, he's one of the nicest Sims in KS but hasn't had much luck in finding the right partner. Zade has moved back in with S'Ahmisa and Zita, took a plantsim cure (her equivalent of a post-breakup makeover) and is on the lookout for a new woohoo partner or two or three. Expecting some interesting times in both households!