Ready to Make Nice
Written by: adpi24
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Even if I did, I couldn't do anything about it, the ship still sank.
I also don't own the Dixie Chicks song, "Not Ready to Make Nice" since that is where I got most of the title from.
This is my first Titanic story (although not my first story in general). I've seen the movie a zillion times but this is still new to me.
This will be a Cal/Rose story in the end. Sorry to all the Jack/Rose fans. I really got into the Cal/Rose relationship after I bought a book about the movie and Billy Zane made an analysis of his character. Billy basically stated that "Cal was the product of bad programming and that he could benefit from a loving relationship and that his heart was breaking at the moment he was realizing he had one". That really just hit me and I've always wanted to write a story about that relationship.
I'm will try to keep this as realistic and true to the characters, but please understand that I've got about 50 percent of the story already plotted out, there will be a rhyme and reason to everything although it might not make sense in the beginning. :-D.
So please bear with me and review!!!!!!
April 17, 1912
Rose stood on the deck of the Carpathia allowing the rain to pelt onto her and the wind to blow her hair. The cold rain added to her grief. She was starring at the magnificent Statue of Liberty. Prior to Titanic sinking she assumed coming to New York and then on to Philadelphia, she would envision the Statue of Liberty as an object binding her, holding her against her will. Now, she wasn't sure how she saw it. A part of her recognized the freedom it represented but the other part was saddened by the loss of Jack.
"Can I get your name love?"
Rose turned to the Carpathia crew member and answered, "Dawson, Rose Dawson"
That was it; Rose DeWitt Bukater no longer existed.
As the ship docked to the pier, Rose made her way with all the other survivors, to make their way off the ship. She had no idea what she was going to do.
As she made her way off the gangplank she was horded like cattle onto the street. Thousands seemed to be around. Some where holding signs advising the survivors where they could go for help.
She cautiously approached middle aged women, "Hi".
"Hello, I'm Mildred O'Rielly, are you a survivor of the sinking?"
"Yes, my name is Rose, Rose Dawson."
Mildred stretched out her arm and Rose shook her hand, "It's nice to meet you Miss Dawson. I run a women's shelter downtown, when I heard about the sinking I had to be here to support anyone I could."
"I haven't got much." Rose replied.
"We won't worry about that right now, once you're settled and into a job we will discuss the monetary issues."
Rose smiled, "thank you"
Mildred nodded and guided Rose out of the crowds and to a waiting car. Rose could tell that Mildred came from money, much like her and Cal. Thinking about Cal made her heart clinch in an odd way and a flutter in her stomach occurred. After a short drive, they arrived at a brownstone. In a city where buildings spanned stories high the brownstone was small in comparison, only about 5-6 stories from what she could tell on the street.
"Come on dear" Mildred stated and guided Rose out of the car.
Rose nodded and followed her into the brownstone. The inside was very simply decorated. Beautiful throw rugs and coaches filled the living area to the right of the door. To the left looked like a small kitchen.
"I run a shelter for women. Whether it be women who just got off a ship and are looking for a new life, or women who are trying to leave an old life behind here in the city. The brownstone has five floors and there are 10 rooms on each floor. To your right you see the sitting area and to the left is the kitchen. There is a community bathroom on each floor."
Rose nodded and began to follow Mildred up the stairs, continuing to listen to what she was telling her.
"The rules are simple, no overnight guests. No men upstairs in the rooms. You must limit yourself to fifteen minutes in the morning or evening for your shower. The kitchen is a community kitchen, so you must clean up after yourself."
The women arrived to the third floor and Rose followed her to the end of the hall and watched as she unlocked the door and handed the key to Rose. Rose followed her into the room. It was small in comparison to what Rose was used to, but she just was satisfied to have a roof over her head. There was a small closed to the left. A bed to the right against the wall, sheets and blankets were neatly folded on top. There was a window in the middle of the wall that faced out towards an alley, flowered drapes hung over it. There was also a small writing desk on the wall with the closet and the dresser was next to the bed.
"Laundry can be done any day of the week, the supplies are in the back yard, to get to the back you must go down to the first floor and head straight to the back of the brownstone. I have supplied each woman with a nightgown and a dress, the nightgown is in the dresser and the dress is hanging in the closet. In the closet, on the shelf you will see there are two towels and a washcloth, these are yours to use during your stay here. They are your responsibility; I don't supply extras in the bathroom. Soap and shampoo though are provided. I ask that all the tenets attempt to find and secure work within a two week time frame. I also charge 10 dollars a week, due Saturday. Any questions?"
"No, thank you?" Rose said politely.
Mildred nodded, "get some sleep Ms. Dawson; you're going to need it tomorrow, so you can start your job hunting."
Rose nodded and escorted Mildred from the room, closing the door behind her. She leaned against the closed door and slowly slid down to the floor.
And for the second time that day, she began to cry.
Rose awoke as the sun peaked through her window. She got up and grabbed the towels from the top shelf in the closet. She headed down to the bathroom and was pleased to see that the door was open. She quickly entered, locked the door and started the shower. She was out within 10 minutes. Once back in her room, she changed into the dress that was hanging in the closet. It wasn't a dress that Rose would have picked for herself but beggars couldn't be choosers. She put her shoes on, grabbed Cal's coat, which she had hung over the chair to allow it to dry, the room key and headed downstairs.
She casually smiled at the other tenets as she headed downstairs. As she was heading out, she accidentally bumped into another one of the tenets.
"Oh I'm so sorry" Rose said.
"It's okay; I'm Elizabeth, Elizabeth Maxon."
Rose stretched her arm out and shook Elizabeth's hand, "Rose Dawson, pleasure to meet you."
Elizabeth smiled, "Nice to meet you to, on your way out?"
"Yes, I need to find a job today."
"Me too, since Mildred encourages us to walk with one another, would you like to walk together today?"
Elizabeth and Rose headed out and began walking south on 67th street.
"When did you get here?" Elizabeth asked.
"Just last night, I was aboard the Titanic."
Elizabeth stopped walking, "I heard about that. I'm so sorry."
Rose nodded and quickly decided to change the subject, "So I'm not obviously familiar with New York City."
Elizabeth took Rose's hand, "Well, the brownstone is what is considered the Upper West Side, which is a ritzy area, obviously you know that Mrs. O'Rielly comes from money."
Rose nodded and allowed Elizabeth to continue, "All the textiles are in the industrial area, which is in midtown Manhattan. We can walk there, but it is a long walk. I usually take the trolley, which is five cents each way."
"I have no money right now." Rose replied, not wanting to give away the fact that she had Cal's wad of money in her pocket.
"That's okay; I can cover for you today."
Twenty minutes later the two women sat on the trolley headed towards midtown.
"Why are you here in New York City?" Rose asked Elizabeth.
"Well, I have always wanted to be one of the Ziegfeld girls. When I turned 18 I told my parents of my dream. While they were less than thrilled, we reached an agreement, they would support my dream for two months, if it worked out than I would get to stay, if not I have to go back home and marry."
"Your parents are going to force you to marry?"
"Well yes, but I agreed. I am living my dream, if it happens it happens, if not I need to uphold my end of the agreement and return home."
"If your parents are supporting you financially, how come you are looking for a job?"
"Well, I heard around that one of the textile companies has gentlemen that frequent the Ziegfeld follies and that the owners tend to come in and look for new talent in the factory from time to time."
Rose wasn't sure if what Elizabeth was telling her was truthful, but she wasn't about to say anything and dash the girls hopes and dreams.
"This is the company we are going to then?" Rose asked.
Rose decided she no longer felt like talking and began to look at the city slowly going by her. It was not but a couple moments later when she began to feel dizzy and queasy. She put her hand over her mouth in an attempt to not throw up on the trolley.
"Rose, are you okay?"
"No, I need to get off, I'm not feeling well."
"Okay. Driver!" Elizabeth yelled, "There is a sick woman back here, will you please pull over so we can get off?"
The driver nodded and quickly pulled over, Rose and Elizabeth rushed off the trolley. Rose barely made it to the wastebasket on the sidewalk before she emptied her stomach contents, which weren't much. Elizabeth guided Rose over to the wall and the two women rested for a moment.
"Are you feeling better?" Elizabeth asked.
"Yes, I just got so dizzy and nauseous. But if it is alright with you I would much rather walk the rest of the way."
Elizabeth nodded, "it's not much farther from here."
The two women walked in silence and in roughly twenty minutes time arrived at Smythe Textiles. They entered the small office where they were greeted by an elderly receptionist, who immediately gave them a half sheet of paper to fill out with their names, address and age. Once done they handed the sheets back to her. The woman nodded and walked to a door at the end of the narrow office, she knocked and a plump man of about fifty answered and took the papers. He looked at Rose and Elizabeth and called them both into the office.
"Ms. Dawson and Ms. Maxon"
The women nodded and shook the man's hand. "My name is Edward Smythe; I'm one of the owner's of the company. We pay twenty cents an hour, for ten hour days. You are to work six days a week, Monday through Saturday. The hours are from seven am to seven pm. You get one thirty minute lunch, unpaid a day. Your wage is based upon you completing 10 garments, which are men's trousers, in an hour. For those women who complete more than their 10 garments in an hour, we will give an additional one cent for each garment. Payday is every Friday. Do you have any questions?"
The women shook their heads.
"Good, you both start tomorrow."
With that they were dismissed from the office.
AN: I really tried to keep the continuity as best I could. I actually have a BA in History and know a bit about the era, but unfortunately all my books and notes are in storage. I did look up information on the internet and it was hard to find things. So obviously, please allow me to take some creative licenses, but I will try to keep it as accurate as I can.
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