Summary: One-shot – On a visit to France for her one-hundred-fifth birthday, Rose comes across a haunting picture…
Disclaimer: I do not own any familiar characters featured in this story. It all belongs to the great and powerful Paramount Pictures.
By: Silver pup
The sound of the rain against the window was like a soothing melody from a dream. Rose felt her eyes drifting close and struggled to keep them open. She had slept on the airplane they came on to France and missed all the beautiful scenery that came with flying. She didn't want to that again with the car trip to the hotel.
Even though Rose had been to Paris many times before and seen the whole city practically, she still wanted to see it. Things change with time and Rose always wanted to be updated of these changes. She may be old, but that didn't mean she was going to lose track of the world.
Sighing softly, the old woman turned to her granddaughter who sat next to her. Lizzie was practically glowing with joy. Her long blond hair was swept back in a loose bun with a few loose strands framing her face. Her pale skin had a hint of blush and her eyes shined as bright as her diamond engagement ring.
Rose couldn't keep the bright smile off her lips even if she wanted to. Her granddaughter was getting married! Oh, she was so proud and overjoyed for Lizzie. Her dear grandchild had finally found true love, and Rose hoped with every fiber of her being that she got to hold onto it longer then she did with Jack.
A sharp pain to her heart made the blue-eyed woman flinch slightly.
The name brought back the familiar pain of love and adoration when she thought of him. Even though it been years since she lost her handsome savior, she still felt the same about him. She loved him with every fiber of her being; even more than her dear husband whom she loved more than life itself.
The weeks after the sinking of Titanic and Jack's death were unbearable. It was a constant struggle to not just give up and die and finally be reunited with her dear love. The unbearable pain that accompanied her from the moment she woke to the moment she slept made living even harder.
The only thing that kept her alive was her promise to Jack: the promise that she would keep living. Living the life Jack had died to give her. The life she tried, and succeeded, to live to the fullest.
But yet…even though she knew Jack was real, she found herself losing grip of the memory of him. At night she would dream of him and knew then he was real. But when she woke up she felt dazed and lost as she realized she had nothing left of him. No Jack, no picture, no reminder, just… nothing. It was slowly breaking her heart and spirit.
The soft voice broke Rose out of her musings. She blinked her eyes and turned to Lizzie who was looking at her questioningly.
"Yes, dear?" she answered with a small smile.
"Are you alright, nana? You looked sad just a moment before. Or are you tired?" Lizzie asked. Her face creased in worry as she reached out to take the small wrinkled hand into her own slender one.
Rose felt her lips twitch into an amused smile. Lizzie was always looking out for her; taking care of her and doing things for her. Her devotion was sweet, comforting, and amusing.
Rose chuckled softly and patted her granddaughter's hand and said, "I'm fine, sweetie. I was just thinking about the past. Now how about we stop for awhile, hmm? I don't know about you, but I'm getting thirsty."
Lizzie looked skeptical but didn't say anything. Instead she turned to the driver and asked him to stop at the next café.
Rose smiled and leaned back into the soft seat and waited patiently for the driver to stop. Ten minutes later she found herself standing up and holding Lizzie's hand as she and the driver helped her up. She looked up as they entered an old, run down café with a sign above saying, "Café De Mémoires De Clair de lune", which in English meant "Moonlight Memories Café".
The door made a jingling sound as it was pushed open. The small café was painted in a light shade of violet that was peeling in the corners. The few white painted tables and chairs were scattered across the small room with only a few people sitting in them. The windows were few and dirty, but the rainwater that hit the glass was beginning to clean it off.
The air was relaxing and gave Rose a feeling that the place was old. Perhaps as old as her, but that seemed unlikely. As Lizzie and she settled into the comfortable chairs, a young woman with straight black hair and gray eyes came up to them with the uniform of a waitress.
"Good afternoon and welcome to the Moonlight Memories Cafe. Is there anything you ladies wish for or shall I come back later?" she asked in perfect English.
Lizzie nodded her head and answered, "Yes, may we have a glass of tea please?"
The young woman nodded and turned around to go into the back. Rose took the time to look closer to the small café. There wasn't much but to the left wall where an old woman sat behind a counter with snacks was a board with many different pictures stuck to it.
The moment her eyes landed on it Rose felt an indescribable feeling well up inside of her. She didn't know what it was exactly, but she felt the urge to get up and take a closer look at it.
Struggling with her cane and ignoring her granddaughter's questions, she stood up and walked slowly up to the wall; only half aware that Lizzie was following her. As she stood in front of the pictures her eyes darted across them. She took in all the unfamiliar faces until her eyes landed on one particular face that made her heart stop.
It was a picture of a young man with shaggy, semi long hair. He stood leaning against a table of people with ruffed up clothes and shoes. His lips were pulled back in a dazzling smile, and there was a twinkle of life and good humor in his eyes. Even though the picture was old, faded, and in black and white she knew his eyes were blue and his blond and his skin tan.
In that moment Rose felt her heartbreak and tears sprung to her eyes. She felt her cane fall from her hand as she lifted it to cover mouth as a sob rose to her throat. She felt warm arms wrap around her shoulders as she stared at the faces that haunted her dreams.
The name was whispered but she knew Lizzie still heard it. She was confirmed in her guess when she heard the quick intake of breath and the murmured words of, oh nana, I'm so sorry.
"I take it you recognize someone?"
The raspy voice startled her. She turned to meet the gray eyes of the old woman who sat behind the counter. The woman stared at her with a knowing look in her eyes. The woman's face was similar to the waitresses she noted, which probably meant that this was a family business.
"Yes… I do recognize someone. Someone very dear to me. Tell me, did you know this young man?" Rose asked as she shakily reached for the picture. She held it up to the woman, whose eyes widened slightly and a light of recognition dawned in their gray debts.
"Actually I believe I do. His name was Jack, correct? Yes, I thought so. When I was still a little girl he used to come over every night to visit my older brother. They were good friends, and he used to sometimes give me candy, I remember. This place used to be an Inn and has been in my family for ages, and we have always liked to keep things to remember our guests. Pictures are one of them. Usually I don't do this, but if you like you may keep that one. He was obviously important to you, and I don't remember him very well so it would be a waste if I kept it," the gray-eyed-woman said with a soft smile.
"I… I would like to keep this, yes. Thank you… you don't know what this means to me," Rose choked out.
Tears were beginning to drip down her cheeks but she didn't care. All she could do was stare at the picture in her hand. She felt like she had just found the most valuable jewel in the world, and the joy and sorrow she felt in her heart was overwhelming.
Oh, Jack, I finally have something to remember you by. You're not just a distant dream from a memory anymore. You were real. You were here. You were with me. You are still with me. Oh…
Right then Rose could care less if the world died all around her. All that was important was the picture in her hand and feeling she felt in her heart as she realized that, in the end, he was always with her. Even if he was just a memory.