Sometimes Sinbad couldn't help but mull over the events that had led to him being aboard The Providence. The tragedies. The losses. The curse. His fingers traced the silver necklace that he could never remove.
Yet today, as he leaned over the edge of the ship, breathing in the fresh sea air, the wind whipping his hair, he felt alive. As if anything were possible.
"Maybe we should try and catch some fish, eh?" Gunnar asked, coming to stand alongside Sinbad. "Cook is complaining about the stores running low."
"Perhaps," Sinbad agreed. Gunnar clapped him on the back and wandered away, apparently satisfied that Sinbad wasn't so melancholy as to throw himself overboard.
Sinbad stood upright and stretched. He saw Anwar sitting with Nala and Rina, discussing something, and headed over.
"Sinbad, settle a dispute for us," Anwar said.
Somehow, Sinbad had become captain – not yet in name, but certainly in nature. Settling disputes or planning their route, it all fell to him. That said, Cook was the only one with more expertise, and he preferred to keep his secrets. It was obvious Cook had an interesting past where he'd learned much about ships, the sea, folklore, and food preparation, but he seemed most content left to the cooking wherever possible.
"You are both equally beautiful, ladies," Sinbad said, with a bow, making an inspired guess about the debate. Nala laughed even though she rolled her eyes.
"No, we are guessing what is for dinner." Rina lowered her voice. "It smells delicious, like chicken stew with saffron, but we ran out of chicken yesterday."
"I think we should accept whatever Cook gives us with gratitude," Nala put in. "It is always delicious."
Cook came up onto the deck. "Dinner is ready," he called. "Stew Surprise!"
Anwar shrugged. "Might be better not to know what it is."
Sinbad followed them down to the dining area, a smile on his face. They all had secrets, most had lost something or someone, but beyond that they had nothing in common.
In many respects they were the most unsuitable crew on the high seas: a cook, a very inexperienced doctor, a thief, a diplomat's daughter, a reluctant warrior.
And you're just a street rat, Sinbad told himself. Yet they were all more than these things, and they were learning to work as a team.
Better still, these people were his friends, now, and he was very glad of it.
He smiled as he took his place at the table, surrounded by these very different people who now had being part of the crew as something in common.
He'd been wrong before. Anything might be possible, but not alone. Together, though?
Together they could do anything.