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I was in the port, in front of the gigantic ship with a very large red sail and a many level of floors. I never saw any ship of this size before. I hesitated if I should go in or not. But I remembered my dad shouting at me to marry a fat, 40-year-old man who was 28 years older than me just, because he wanted money.

“ You need to marry him or else I will kill you! Understand?” he shouted.

I was so scared of my dad, I didn’t want to make him any madder than he was. It was  the horrible thing to marry the 40-year-old man in such a young age like me. So, I decided to run inside the ship before it leaves. I had nowhere to go, and I was scared of the world.

I hid in the storage room,  I ate the food in there, some of them tasted different from the food that I used to eat, but I was happy that I could still stay alive. I always tried to walk very quietly, because sometimes sailors came down to take the food or put new treasure. I was not bored because I could always see new things like beautiful vases from different places from the world. I loved exploring the storage room. I spent a whole day exploring the large storage room, I put some special things into my pocket when I find something intriguing. I was always worried about me getting caught by one of the sailors and getting  into trouble. And, it happened…..

One day, I was stealing some food and water as always, but I didn’t hear the cook of the ship coming. He came and saw me stealing the food. He grabbed me with his big hand and shouted,

“Who are you!! Why are you stealing the food!”

“Oh…. Can you please listen to me first?” I said.

“ No, I need to get the captain. You should not be on the ship!” He replied.

I was scared, I told him again. “Can you please just listen to me first….. Please…”

He didn’t listen and just passed me, I ran to him and grabbed one of his long, thick leg, crying, “ Please…. I beg you…. Please…….I didn’t come in for a bad purpose. I don’t want to die…..” He finally stopped walking and I explained my situation to him.

After he listened to me without interrupting, he finally opened his mouth,

“ Are you okay? I also lost my family last year in the voyage, they were sick and died.I used to have two daughters like you…. I feel so sad for you, I can help you here you little girl…..”

I said thank you several times.

Then he took me to a small storage room which needed a key to go in.

He told me, “ It’s too dangerous to stay in any other storage room, this room will be the safest, I am the only one who can come in here, you can just keep one of the keys. But I will give you food, please don’t go out of this room…..” I nodded. He went out of the room, I was relieved and tears fell from my eyes.

I was so happy that I finally got somebody who supports me and I was not alone in the world anymore.

After that day, the cook came every day to provide me with some food. I spent most of my time looking outside of the ship through the portholes. I saw all the places where they visited. The cook always explained to me the place when he came to give me my meal. I saw so many boats and ships around our ship, I couldn’t count all of them because there were too many of them. I still remember the place called “Yemen”. It was a really beautiful place, it had so many buildings with detailed design. I also remember the place called “ Mamluks”, it was busy for sailors when we arrived, they came back with a lot of things like spices.

The cook always warned me to be careful because the rule was very strict on the ship. All the sailors had to go out of the ship when the captain was out to make sure nobody stole anything from the ship.  For a few months I stayed very quiet and didn’t try to go out of the storage room. However, as I saw them always going out of the ship and come back at midnight, I started to wonder about what it will be like on the main deck. One day, I went up on the main deck when all the sailors went out of the ship with the captain. I saw a beautiful scenery, I felt very free and cool. So, when I realized that I was safe to go up and come back before the midnight, I started to go up to the main deck when the people left and came back down before people came back before midnight.

I continued the routine before I heard the cook saying that the next destination of our voyage is the place with the most beautiful sunset. I suddenly really wanted to stay on the main deck to see the sunset in that place. I was scared if I will get caught, but I was more excited to see the wonderful sunset than worried about getting trouble. Finally, in the place called “India” people went out of the boat to get treasures, and I went up to the main deck. I was going to hide near the main deck to see the sunset but they came back early today. I was not expecting them to come back before midnight, so I couldn’t hide fast enough that I got caught by the captain.

Captain looked very surprised, I could see the cook at the back looking at me with the angry face. I couldn’t say anything because it was all my fault.

The captain asked me, “ Who are you? And, why are you here?”

I explained my situation but I didn’t mention my relationship with the cook because I didn’t want the cook to get in trouble.

The captain asked me again, “ If you were hiding, then why did you come up to the main deck, you silly girl?”

I replied to him that I really wanted to see the sunset.

The captain said, “ Oh then you are in trouble! You were not supposed to ride this ship at the first place and you are now against the rule!”

My tears ran along my face, I was scared to die. The cook looked also sad, he was also worried about me.

The captain arrived with the ropes in his hand. I imagined him tying me tightly until I die. I cried even harder. And, he said…

“ If you’re going to be the sailor you’re going to need to learn how to tie some knots.” He threw the rope down at me