I should have known that Ja'far wouldn't abandon me after that, he took me with him, and it was more like him dragging me with him, the pressure of the ropes around my neck was burning, and I could feel my wind pipe go dry.
"I told Sin not to trust you!" Ja'far exclaimed, I could tell he was angry. I closed my eyes, and let tears fall, but I was shocked to see that my eyes were dry now. I had cried all I could, and my body understood now that tears weren't going to help. I felt my hands become numb, and I collapsed on the ground, and the last thing I could remember was someone calling out my name, and I felt myself call out for my brother, who I knew wasn't here.
I despised myself.
I've always wanted to go back in time and change one moment in my life, just one untimely event that would make my life better. And if I did that, I'm sure it would have made my life better.
But now, I'm not too sure. If I did have the power to change one moment in my life, what if that would ultimately end up breaking my heart?
Or break the heart of another?
I was sure at that moment, I was at a crossroad of options to choose from. Options that would decide the fate of the rest of my life. Would I have chosen just another path, so different from the path I chose now, that would change my outlook on life? Or would I not be given into temptation of power, and just change one thing, just one moment, that could make my life better, or the life of my loved ones better?
One moment that I've always regretted that happened. One moment which I always wanted back, one moment, which would save me from the beast that I became.
I've always wondered whether it was the minutes in our life that made us who we were, or whether it was who we are that put those minutes in there.
I woke up to a bright light, and a place that I did not recognize. I blinked but it hurt to move any part of my body, including my eyelids. "Where am I?" I couldn't recognize my own voice, and I felt drowsy, like I was drugged.
"Your safe, now don't talk." A voice told me, but I could make out who the voice belonged to. Not the identity, but I could tell it wasn't my enemy. I had no enemies, and I had no friends. I had just one family, a shattered one, a family that I didn't know was dead or alive.
I could tell Ja'far was around, somewhere and he would be regretting having me around. I was slowing him down from saving his country and saving his king. Saving the one man that meant the world to him, just like Asad meant the world to me. That was when it hit me, Sindbad was in danger, and it was all because of me. Ja'far and I were hurrying to Sindria again, and that was when I collapsed.
I sat up straight, abruptly, and my eyes were wide when I yelled out, "King Sindbad! Is h-he-is he alright-Ja'far-""Aliyah, I am fine." It was him.
And next to him was Ja'far and another male that I didn't recognize. Behind Ja'far's legs was a boy that I couldn't see that clearly, but I knew it was someone that I once knew. "But how-""Ja'far carried you here, and it was just in time. And you shouldn't have underestimated me, I am King Sindbad, I am strong enough to defend myself." He smiled at me, and I didn't know why.
I tricked him, and he was smiling at me as if I saved his life.
"I tricked you and I was the reason you were attacked. I did not save your life, stop smiling at me like that." My sentence came out like a scolding to him, and Sindbad laughed at me. "Anyways, did you know you were unconscious for over a month? You were seriously starved and dehydrated. And-"Sindbad frowned at Ja'far and said, "-Ja'far's hold on you with his rope almost killed you, your windpipe was seriously damaged."
In that one month, Sindbad had made another friend. A red haired gorilla like man, who wore more gold than any normal person could carry. "Aliyah, there is something else we need to discuss." This time, Sindbad smiled wider and I grew annoyed.
"Ja'far." He said, and the white haired male that came so close to ending my life moved aside for me to be able to see that one boy that was hiding behind his legs.
He had pink hair. And his eyes were a slight turquoise. My hands began to shiver and I let out a soft whimper. I got off the bed, and waited. I waited for a sign from the boy.
"Ali." He said, closing his eyes and then reopening them, a game we once played a very long time ago.
I ran to the boy and embraced him, washing his face with my tears, hugging him as closely as I could, and letting out tears I didn't know I held back for so long. I kissed his hair, and his face, and his hands, it was as if I was blessed. "Asad!" My voice was shaking, my hands were trembling. I was beyond happy, and this was all I needed.
Right then, I didn't care about the eyes that were watching me, and judging me. All that mattered was my younger brother that I was holding, my younger brother who was safe, and alive and well. He looked healthy, and I was relieved. My heart grew soft at the very sight of him, and I knew right then that this boy was my life.
"Ali, don't cry, I'm here now." He spoke, his voice a little broken, because he was growing older. He was eleven now, and I was fourteen. I felt his soft fingers wipe the tears off my face and I smiled at him. "Sin saved my life. He came with that big man and white man and helped me from Al-Fida." Asad spoke and I looked down on the ground.
"I promised that I would help you, Aliyah. I don't break promises." Sindbad said, and I licked my lips before falling to his feet.
"Thank you." I said, and he was shocked. I could tell everyone in that room was shocked. Ja'far mostly, since he almost killed me. I didn't need details of how they saved my brother, but all that mattered to me was Asad was alive, and safe, and well.
"Don't bow to me, Aliyah, I need your favor in something." I nodded and stood up, holding my brother close to me. He had grown taller, his head now reached my chest. "Anything." I said, and my voice showed my sincerity.
"We'll talk about this after dinner! For that you need to be dressed up! Yamraiha, take her and decorate her." Sindbad said, and I could see a beautiful woman with blue medium-length hair and big breasts. Sindbad spoke about me as if I were a tree that needed decoration. "Oh yes." The woman said, and pulled me away, but I didn't want to let go of my brother. Yamraiha noticed this and her expression softened.
There was a hand on my shoulder and I could swear that it was Sindbad, but it was not. It was Ja'far and my eyes widened. "When you were asleep, Asad was always with Ja'far. It was as if they were best friends!" Sindbad exclaimed and I didn't understand how. "Go, he'll be fine." Ja'far told me and I obeyed.
Yamraiha was a kind woman, and she dressed me in inappropriate clothes. She didn't say much to me but only things like, "Oh this is a better suit for you!" and then came in another girl, a blonde, who looked no older than me.
"I'm Pisti." She laughed for some reason and I didn't change my expression. After I was 'dressed', Yamraiha looked at me and said, "Aliyah, you know no matter how beautifully you dressed tonight, you won't look that attractive if you didn't smile. A smile is the best make up a woman can wear, I suggest you have one." She smiled at me, and I felt myself doing the same.
I walked outside to the place where the dinner was held and I could see it was a very festive occasion. They were celebrating, and I didn't know why. "Why are you all celebrating?" I spoke, and Sinbad's eyes were on me instantly.
Ja'far looked at me as well, but he looked shocked for some reason, and I could tell why. Ja'far had seen me in rags, and clothes that didn't show much of my body, but now I was cleaned up and I was forced to wear grand clothes, which would make any girl look beautiful.
Asad ran up to me and I hugged him, and smiled, while I still felt Ja'far's eyes on me.
"Aliyah, you look beautiful!" I turned red on impulse on Sindbad's statement, and I smiled softly. The dinner was indeed a celebration without reason.
But, I did have reason.
"Thank you Sindbad, for saving my brother. It means so much to me-""Don't be silly! Eat now!" Sindbad ordered.
I watched my brother eat to his fill, laughing and talking, a sight that I waited and dreamed to see for so long. He was so happy, and that made my heart melt with joy.
I never wanted him to have a frown on his face ever again.
I stood up, excusing myself but at this point, no one would notice. I walked to the palace and I sobbed, but these tears weren't of sorrow, but of joy.
"You weren't lying." I heard a voice behind me, and I turned to see Ja'far. "Lying?" He nodded. "About Asad. You seem to love him-""Don't insult me Ja'far. I told you I wasn't lying about him. You cannot imagine the relief I felt when I saw him safe and sound. I wanted nothing more in life. It was as if all my crimes were washed away because Asad was alive."
Ja'far did the strangest thing after that. He smiled at me.
"Sindbad took you in after you collapsed a month ago, and asked Pisti and Yamraiha to treat you. And after that, we went to Al-Fida and brought back your brother. We found someone else there we brought back too."
I didn't know who he was talking about.
"Masrur. He was a slave and gladiator. Sindbad convinced him to come with us." I smiled back at him, and wiped my tears.
"Thank you." I said, and Ja'far smiled back.
But while I knew his smile held nothing behind it, mine did. I knew I couldn't stay here for too long. I had to leave.
My fate with Al-Fida wouldn't ever leave me. There was something else that I had to do. And this time, I had to do it alone.
A/N: Anybody out there? Let me know you're reading this... *cries in a corner*