How Do I Live
Sinbad stood on the deck of his beloved Nomad and looked up at the night sky. It was a clear night - not a cloud in the sky. There was a light breeze and the stars were particularly beautiful and out in abundance tonight. "A perfect night," he thought as he sat on the rail.
Tonight was the night. He had decided that earlier today. He loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. And he had learnt a long time ago to act swiftly on his feelings. He had lost people in the past without them ever knowing how much they had meant to him. And there was no way he was going to let that happen with Bryn.
At the thought of her, he smiled in the darkness. He couldn’t pinpoint exactly when their feelings for each other had turned from friendship to love. But he knew that from the first moment they had met, they had been connected to each other. Trust and friendship had been instantaneous and unbreakable. They had been through so much together over the years, and it had only strengthed the bond between them. His mind wandered back through the years. Back to the day when he had almost lost everything and everyone to Scratch. The day Mala, his mother, had saved him.
The Nomad sailed through calm seas, destination unknown. Sinbad leaned against the rail and looked out at the dark waters. For the first time in a long time, he was at peace with himself, able to think about things without anger or bitterness.
"You're up late," Bryn's soft voice broke the stillness of the night.
Sinbad looked over at her and smiled. "Yeah, guess I am. Just didn't feel like sleeping...." He wasn't at all surprised to see her. She always knew when he was brooding and needed to talk about it - sometimes before he did.
Bryn nodded in understanding as she sat beside him. It was a long and.... interesting day," she said thoughtfully.
"Bryn... sometimes you have a way with understatement," Sinbad chuckled. She joined in his soft laughter.
After a few moments of quiet, they began to talk about the day. Both were a little confused about different things that had happened to them - Bryn with what Scratch had said about her heritage and Sinbad with Mala and how she had seemed so familiar to him. In talking to each other, they found comfort and understanding. They could say the things they wanted to say without fear of being misunderstood or judged. She was his sounding board, and he hers.
Soon, their quiet talk was punctuated by soft laughter and humour. As always, talking to her gave him comfort and a sense of peace.
The days turned into weeks.... And their friendship deepened.
Bryn sat at the railing, staring unseeing into the dark waters. The wind blew in a cold gust, but she was oblivious to it. Felt nothing but the turmoil inside. How could this be... how could the fates be so unkind, she screamed inside as she clenched her fists. Scratch's taunting words from a few weeks ago came into her mind - this is what he must have meant about her heritage. She was Turok's daughter... Rumina's sister... family to those that had done everything possible to hurt Sinbad and the others. She closed her eyes and sighed as she remembered the look in Doubar's eyes - everything had changed between them with the one revelation. Trust and friendship that had been unshakeable and strong was replaced with doubt... suspicion.
She groaned a little. "Please... just go away, Sinbad... leave me be..." she silently prayed.
But he didn't. Not that she had expected him to. He always seemed to know her moods, sometimes better than she did. She listened as his footsteps came and stopped behind her. She felt his gentle hands on her shoulders and, after a moment, she leaned back against him and her hand laced with his, seeking comfort in the contact.
"Give them time, Bryn. It's just a shock. They'll get over it and see you're still the same Bryn as before. Nothing's changed." His voice was calm, soothing her frazzled nerves.
She swallowed a sudden lump that had formed in her throat. They might... but would he? she wondered as she started to draw away from him. She was afraid to look at him... afraid to see what she would find when she looked into his sea blue eyes.
But he wasn't going to let her go that easily. He gently but firmly turned her towards him and cupped her face so she looked up at him. His normally bright eyes were sad, but everything that had been there before was still there. His trust in her, his friendship, his belief in her.
"Bryn... it's going to be ok. I'm still here... and I always will be," he whispered, hoping he could give her the strength she needed to get past this.
She nodded and let herself relax into his embrace, taking the strength he silently and unconditionally offered to her.
Weeks turned into months... Friendship turned into something more.
The music played festively as everyone danced and roared with laughter. The ladies all tried to grab the attention of a certain blue-eyed sailor but it was all in vain. He only had eyes for the dark haired beauty he held closely in his arms as they danced. She shook her head lightly and chuckled. "Sinbad... if you keep staring at me like that, you're going to give me a complex..."
He grinned back at her. "Can't help it, Bryn..." he paused as he gazed into her dark eyes, "You really look beautiful tonight...."
She didn't say anything but the smile she gave him took his breath away. He had never noticed til now how her smile seemed to shine right through to his heart. How her dark eyes mesmerized him and drew him in.
He slowly drew her face towards him and the world around them disappeared as their lips met. After a long moment, they slowly drew apart, breathless. This wasn't the first kiss they had shared... but there was a depth to this kiss that hadn't been there in the others.
He rested his forehead against hers. "I love you, Bryn..." he whispered.
"I love you, Sinbad," she whispered back.
Months passed into years, and the love between them grew deeper and stronger. No one doubted that the two of them belonged together. They were soul mates - each was the missing part of the other. Bryn was the inner peace and strength that Sinbad needed and he was the light and laughter she needed. Without each other, their lives would forever be only half lived.
He let out a deep breath and chuckled lightly to himself. Now... if only he could put what he was feeling into words. And actually say them to Bryn without making a complete fool of himself.
He turned to her, her quiet voice startling him a little bit, and his heart did a little leap as it always did when he saw her.
"Everything ok, below?" he asked, not really caring, as he took her in his arms and gave her a hug.
"Yup..." she replied with a little chuckle, returning his hug. She looked above his head at the night sky filled with stars.
Sinbad grinned and gently kissed her. He couldn't resist when she looked up that way. She turned in his embrace and leaned against his chest. In comfortable silence, they watched the heavens sparkle in the darkness.
"It's a beautiful night..." Bryn said softly, finally breaking the silence.
"Aye... but not as beautiful as you..." he whispered back as he kissed the top of her head.
She chuckled and turned to him, disentangling herself from his embrace. "Flattery will get you nowhere, Sinbad...."
He grinned as he brought his head down towards hers. "Maybe not... but it's still the truth," he whispered as he brushed his lips softly against hers. His arms wrapped themselves around her once again, as the kiss deepened. After a long moment, the kiss ended.
"Happy?" he asked, resting his forehead against hers and kissing the tip of her nose.
She smiled and nodded, enjoying the quiet moment. Even after all these years, adventures were many and quiet moments like these were rare - and something to be treasured.
"I love you..." he whispered.
"I love you too, Sinbad." She drew back a little to look into his eyes. She knew something was on his mind - had been for a few days now. She had patiently not said anything, knowing that he would come to her and open up when he was ready.
He looked down into her dark eyes, and he suddenly felt all the nervousness drain away. He knew what he wanted to say... how to say it.
"Bryn... I've been doing a lot of thinking... and wondering..." he whispered as he reached out to gently move a stray strand of hair away from her eyes.
"About what, Sinbad?" Bryn asked softly.
"About us. The way I feel about you...." He took a deep breath. "Wondering...
"How do I get through one night without you.
If I had to live without you... what kind of life would that be.
I need you in my arms, need you to hold.
You're my world, my heart, my soul...
And if you ever leave, you would take away everything real in my life.
So... I've been wondering, how do I live without you.
I want to know, how do I breathe without you.
If you ever go... how do I ever survive."
Bryn swallowed the lump that formed in her throat, but couldn't keep the tears from falling at hearing his words. Sinbad gently brushed them away with his fingers as she sat down on a nearby crate. He knelt in front of her and took her hand in his before continuing.
"Without you... there'd be no sun in my sky.
There would be no love in my life,
There'd be no world left for me.
And I don't know what I would do, I'd be lost if I lost you.
If you ever leave, you would take away everything.
I need you with me, Bryn, because you're everything good in my life."
His hand caressed her cheek and his voice grew husky with emotion. "You're the better half of me, Bryn... my love, my best friend. And I love you. Will you marry me?"
To be continued…