It was the first day of twelfth grade at St. Ignatius High School, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Rose DeWitt-Bukater was almost bursting with excitement. Right now, she was in her room, reading a book about star-crossed lovers.
Star-crossed lovers. These are the most unlucky of all couples. Something keeps coming between them, and until their souls get it right, they will keep coming back to be together. That's how much in love they are. Take Romeo and Juliet. They were so much in love that I believe that their souls came back as other people, until they got it right and spent their lives together. Some people have dreams or visions of their past lives, so if you have had strange dreams about being someone else, then you just may be a star-crossed lover.
Now Rose was confused. She had been having strange dreams about being on the Titanic, a first class privileged girl as she was now. She was unhappy about her life then, but now, she was happy—some of the time, anyway. Rose did not understand them at all. She hadn't told anyone about it, because, having been raised from birth as a member of one of the most prominent families in the city. She was very popular, and if anyone found out about her dreams, she would be shunned from popularity at her school.
She was always surrounded by a gang of giggling girls. As she stepped out of the limousine which drove her to and from school, she was surrounded by girls saying things such as, How was your summer? What did you do?
She finally struggled out of the group of people, happy to finally be alone. Her crowd was of people from privileged families. She found that they could be just as possessive about their friends as anything else they owned. Especially the boys. They tended to think of their girlfriends as objects.
As she sat down in her first class, the teacher came forward with an announcement. They were getting a new student. His name was Jack Dawson, and he had moved here from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Then he buzzed the office, asking that Jack come down to the classroom. Five minutes later, they heard a knock at the door. Rose's seat was closest to the door, so Mr. Pascoe asked her to open the door and greet their new classmate. When she opened the door, she was almost speechless. She had expected a rough-looking boy, but was surprised to see a tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed boy standing there with a worn leather folder in his hand.
"H-hello, w-welcome to our s-school," she stuttered.
"I'm Jack Dawson."
"Ha ha. I'm gonna have to get ya to write that one down."
"Come on. You have to sit with me."
She grabbed his hand and dragged him to his seat.
"Mr. Dawson, would you like to come up here and tell us a little about yourself?" Mr. Pascoe asked.
"Yeah, sure. I guess." He got up and walked to the front. "Well, I used to live in Chippewa Falls..."
"Is that anywhere near Chippewa Park? Maybe he lives with the animals!" shouted Gary.
A dull flush went up Jack's neck.
The class started to laugh. He glanced at Rose. She wasn't laughing.
"Oh, Gary. Shut up!"
"Oh, someone's got a crush on the new boy! Eh, Rosie? Is that it? Do you have a crush on the new boy?" Gary asked.
"Um...no, of course not, Gary. I just think that you ought to be nicer to him, that's all."
"All right. That's it. That's enough, Gary! One more remark like that, and Mr. McKeown will be only too pleased to see you!" stated Mr. Pascoe. "Jack, you may continue now."
"Well, my parents died when my house went up in flames, and my closest relatives are here, so that's how I got here," he finished in a hurry, not wanting anymore comments from the class.
"All right. Go sit down now, Jack," Mr. Pascoe said. Jack left and walked down to his seat. "Okay. Open your books to page sixty-eight. Jack, you can share with Rose until we get you some proper books and things."
This lesson was rather sketchy, as it was the first day of school, so Jack and Rose contented themselves writing notes to each other on a scrap piece of paper.
So, did your parents really die in a fire?
Yeah. It was pretty hard on me and my sister. She got sent to live with my aunt in California. But I got landed here instead.
I'm so sorry, Jack. Really I am. Where are you staying?
With my cousin James. He lives in that apartment building near the river.
You mean River Heights Apartments?
You know the place?
Of course. I've lived here all my life. My parents were originally in Philly, but I guess they decided here was better. But yeah, it's near Boulevard Lake and the skate park in Current River.
Um...sure...if that's where it is. Yeah.
Oh, I'm sorry, Jack. You don't know where these places are. Today is Wednesday. It's the sailing club's first meeting. At six, I'll take you on a tour, and then you can join me and my cousin on our sailboat.
Sure. That'd be great. By the way, where do you live?
I live on Court Street.
Wow. James told me that's the rich part of town. I figured you must be rich because you've got a sailboat.
Then the bell rang, and they headed off to their next class, French.
"Jack, we have Madame Franks. She's really strict, so no writing notes, or she'll read them to the class."
"Yeah, right. I bet she just says that to scare you."
"Oh, no! She's done it before. Believe me."
"Ha ha. Has she caught you?" Rose immediately blushed.
"Well, yeah. Once...shh...here she comes."