A Safe
1 Step Forward, 2 Steps back More Setbacks A Nasty Shock Riva Life goes on Growing Pains Time Flies The Cat's away Pt1
Back at 
the Ranch


Ben led Sapphira to the sofa and wrapped his arms around her. "And now my love, there is a story you need to tell me. Your story before I met you."

Sapphira was silent. "I came here as a refugee. I was granted this land as reparation. It is all I have... I have no family but you. There is no more story to tell"

"There's more to it than that, Sapph" Ben looked at her long, "But you're not ready to tell me, are you?"

Sapph nodded, not looking at him.

"OK. But you will tell me when you're ready?" 

"Yes. I will, Ben." Sapph turned and kissed him, "You are a good man."

"Just one thing more, when people ask me where the boy's names come from - I can't keep saying 'From my wife' "  

Sapph giggled, "They are Bohravian"*

Ben filed that information away, to do some research on his own.

B.H.I.S note: Yes I made that up - It a combination of Bohemia and Moravia, 2 Czech provinces. The boy's names are Czech.

As the boys developed over the next 3 Sim-days, Sapphira was a whirlwind. Bathing, feeding, nappy-changing, cuddling, playing, putting them down for their sleeps, getting up with them. And all without a Nanny!

She did the lot and  Ben had to push to get a hand in. But he did help as much as he could while he wasn't at work. He was getting worried about his wife though. She never seemed to eat with him anymore, and if she slept - he didn't know it. He wondered when she would burn out.

"Sapph - slow down! I'm here and can do some too you know!" Ben held her still.

"The boys need their bath. And so do you!" Sapph pushed Ben towards the bathroom.

So Ben kept his worry to himself, and went and studied more. "If I can get this next promotion - that will help our family."

He had been studying hard for many hours when he heard both boys crying. He waited a little while knowing that Sapph would only rouse on him, if he took over from her - but after 10 minutes of their wails, he decided it was time for action.

Both boys needed their nappies changed and once he'd done that, fed them and put them on their blankets to watch the mobile, he went looking for Sapph.

Ben couldn't find her anywhere in the house. Now he got panicky.

Then he realised that he hadn't checked the energiser machine for days, a cold fear gripped him, and his heart dropped to his stomach. He ran outside calling

"Sapph! Sapph! Please Will Wright,  I'm not too late!!"

The energiser machine was burnt out. and Sapph lay on the ground unmoving.

Ben bent down and checked her pulse and heart rate. It was weak but steady. He said a small prayer of thanks to Maxis, and carried her inside.

He forced her awake and fed her jelly - the only thing that was already ready-made in the fridge. "Jelly? We don't eat jelly? Oh well." Ben thought.

Sapph fought him but she was so weak and teary that she proved not much opposition.

"Sapph. You must eat. Just one more bite." Ben could hear the boys getting restless and he needed to look after them all, he wasn't sure if he was going to be able to hold onto his family.

Finally Sapph ate enough to get her out of danger, and Ben carried her up to bed. She lay there tossing and turning, the effects of nightmares crossing her face. Mumbling fearful words in a foreign language. Ben hated to leave her like this - but the boys had to be looked after too.

Sapph slept on, dreaming she was a refugee still.

The next day, Ben hired a nanny. They needed a full-time nanny - but they couldn't afford it. So he got one for while he was at work, and hoped he could afford at least that.

Sapph, struggled up out of bed - and Ben helped her down to clean up. He made her a breakfast, but she just looked at the food.

"Sapph, you've got to eat - I can see your bones through your skin. When was the last time you had a proper meal?"

Sapph thought for a long time. "I don't remember. I'm not hungry." She pushed the plate away.

Then the boys cried, and Ben had to deal with their needs. When he got back, the plates had been cleaned and put away.

"Sapph did you eat that? I hope you did."

Sapphira went to tuck in her boys, and touch their faces.

That evening both boys turned into toddlers just as their father got home - it was a precious moment for the whole family. Jan has audacious cheekbones, just like his mum - and Boz looks like his dad, complete with nose. Both were amazingly calm and peaceful (probably because of their high niceness scores) and they had their favourite toys that were happy to play with for hours.

The toll of toddlers and work and a sick wife was taking it out of Ben, finally. Some nights, he got home only to fall asleep on the couch - being too tired to change or make it up the stairs to his bed.

The days were not easier for Sapph though. While she had finally caught up on her sleep, she suffered bouts of depression and regularly collapsed for no apparent reason (though not eating would probably have something to do with it.)

The nanny was not impressed with Sapph, and started to make jibes, and insults. The day that the nanny had Sapph broken down in tears, was the day that Ben walked in to see this happening - and he sacked the nanny on the spot.

The nanny's parting words were like an arrow in Sapph's heart "You'll never be a fit mother - I'm going to report you to the social worker and she'll take those babies away from you."

Ben comforted her, but Sapph knew in her heart that the nanny was right. She'd never be a fit mother. She swore she would get better and do better.

Ben spoke to the nanny agency and spoke of his needs, and his concern for his wife. The new nanny that was sent had trained as a psychiatric nurse, and was able to help Sapph take more care of herself. The nanny was at a loss to work out how to make Sapph eat, and she discussed with Ben the possibility that Sapph was an anorexic.

"It had crossed my mind." Ben said, "I was never trained to deal with that - and she won't go see a psychiatrist."

"I've got some ideas, " the Nanny said, "If you're ok I'll try them out. She loves her children so much... I think we can encourage her to eat with them."

Over the next few days, the nanny took over the more menial tasks, and encouraged Sapph to talk with her boys, and do the more pleasant tasks of raising them.

Then the nanny would cook a hot lunch, and the toddlers in their high chairs, and Sapph and the Nanny would eat together.

"You need to eat, to encourage the boys to eat - otherwise they'll only want to stay on the bottle."

Sapph nodded, and took a bite of her food. The boys followed, scooping the rice and veggies out of their plates with their hands. The nanny smiled to herself, as she saw her plan working.