Epilogue

            Rose opened her eyes to find herself moving swiftly through a brightly lit sea. Strangely, it was neither cold nor wet, but instead warm and clear, calling her onward.

            In moments, the Titanic appeared before her, the rust and grime of eighty-four years under water vanishing as she came to a stop upon the promenade deck. It was as bright and beautiful as the day it had set sail so long ago. Wonderingly, she stepped forward across the shining wood floor, realizing then that there was no more pain. She walked easily, her once-gnarled hands smooth and supple again. A gentle breeze blew her long red curls about her face.

            As she walked along, she realized that Cal was walking beside her. Stopping, she turned to look at him, but he just smiled and took her arm, leading her to the door.

            A steward opened the door, nodding to them, and they walked inside. The crowd within the room, people of all classes, turned to watch them. Rose stopped as a group of people walked up to her, surrounding her and embracing her, people that she had lost long before—her father and mother, Adam, Libby, and Gregory, her grandson, John—all gathered together to greet her.

            After a moment, they stepped back, and she walked onward, greeted now by more people, some who had died on the Titanic, some who had not. She nodded to them, smiling to see their familiar faces—Trudy, Molly Brown, Nathan Hockley, Tommy, Fabrizio, Cora and her father, Thomas Andrews—all friends, all people she had long ago said good-bye to.

            As Rose and Cal reached the base of the grand staircase, she looked up and saw the figure waiting at the top, his eyes fixed on the clock. It read 2:20, the time that the Titanic had plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean eighty-four years before.

            Jack turned from watching the clock, his face lighting at the sight of Rose. Cal pushed her forward gently, whispering, "Remember, sweetpea, I told you I would make sure you two found each other again. He's been waiting here for you for twenty-six years. Go to him, Rose."

            Rose turned to Cal one last time. "Thank you, Cal," she whispered, kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you for everything."

            Jack held out his hand, just as he had on their wedding day, and Rose ascended the staircase, reaching out to take his hand in hers. Their faces lit in joy as they embraced, their lips meeting in a kiss of love and promise that would last forever.

            They barely noticed the applause around them as the light of eternity brightened around them, surrounding the ship and its people for all time.

The End.