I wrote a story in 2006-07 and now that I look back on it, it was horrible. So now I've decided to redo it. Also, I'm changing the story almost entirely. I tend to deal with depression and stress a lot, and just writing anything actually helps get my mind off certain things. It's quite helpful to me, even if it isn't very good. So please, read and review. I'll take good or bad criticism and use it to better the story. Thanks.
The clock over the mantle ticked loudly, as I sat in an overstuff chair in the corner.
"She should come with me to New York . There I can create a suitable match for her. Of course, she'll need a bit of teaching to become a proper young woman." I could hear my Aunt Gwen's voice saying from the next room.
"I'm not sure if I want her so far from us." My mother stated worriedly.
Then my father joined in, "Harriet, dear, she's twenty-one years old! She should already be married and doing something with her life."
"I guess you're right…"
"Good, it's settled then. Meredith will come with me to my home in New York and I'll look after her until a suitor can be lined up for her."
From that moment on, I, Meredith Wynne Lowe knew that my life was going to change.
That had been mid-march. In early April, Aunt Gwen and I boarded a train and traveled to England , where we went shopping in London , because of my lack of 'fancy' clothing. I came from a middle-class family, as had my aunt. But she had married a wealthy railroad owner who died some years ago and she inherited his money. In London she had bought me enough beautiful dresses to last me until we got to New York .
From London we went to Southampton , where we would be embarking from.
When I left my home in Wales , I felt very sad and homesick, and also afraid of things to come. I'd never been so far from my mother and father. Plus, I was worried they'd feel lonely since my three oldest brothers, George, Arthur, and Edgar, were all grown and moved out of the house with their own families. My youngest older brother, Harold, had left home fifteen years earlier to pursue a career at sea. I haven't seen him since. I was my parents' little baby, and now I too was leaving home.
I had been born on September 15th, 1890 in Eglwys Rhos, Conwy, Wales. As a child, I was quiet around most people, except for my brothers. I was a bit of a tomboy, always playing in the dirt and running around. My brothers used to trick me into doing their chores, and that was only because they were all at least eight years older than I was and I respected them all a great deal.
The morning of April 10th, 1912 , Aunt Gwen and I closed our trunks and got dressed for the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. I wore an emerald green jacket over a white shirt with a matching long green skirt. I also had a green hat perched atop my head and white gloves covering my small hands. My dark brown hair was pinned up, although one curl escaped so I just tucked it behind my ear. My aunt's maid, Iris, caked powder all over my face, making me look paler than I ever had. She had also tied me into a corset earlier. Those things are absolutely dreadful, although it did make me look slimmer.
"Ready to go, Miss Meredith?" Iris asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.
"Yes, I'm as ready as I'll ever be." I smiled politely and followed her out of my hotel room. There was Aunt Gwen in a blue dress with a high lace neck. The color of the dress matched her eye color, the same color as mine.
I really wasn't anything spectacular. I was pretty, but I wasn't drop dead gorgeous. I was just average.
We left the hotel and got into a car that took us to the dock.
The door was opened by the driver, and he put out his hand to help me down, but I had already jumped out. This earned me a disapproving frown from Aunt Gwen.
I stared around me, seeing people of different classes and race. The steerage passengers were farther away, being inspected.
The first class was permitted to board without inspection, under the assumption that being wealthy spared you from carrying harmful diseases.
Then I looked up at the giant leviathan. There was the RMS Titanic, looking large, luxurious, and brand new. I had never been on a ship before, so to see this incredible technological feat was one of the most amazing wonders I'd ever seen in my life.
Aunt Gwen and I walked up the gangplank, being greeted at the door by a man with a list. "Gwendolyn Quinley, and Meredith Lowe" she told the man who then checked us off and uttered a greeting as we passed by.
I was starting to become confused as I attempted to keep track of which hallways led to our rooms up on B deck. The ship's corridors reminded me somewhat of a maze.
Soon we located the rooms. I was awestruck by the grandeur and opulence of the design. One could certainly tell they had put a lot of effort into the creation of the first class accommodations.
My room was located next to Aunt Gwen's. She had considered me to be mature enough to have my own room separate from hers, and for this privacy I was grateful.
"Meredith," Aunt Gwen walked into my room and found me putting a few things away, "Is your room alright?"
"Yes, ma'am, it is wonderful." I answered politely.
"Good." She turned to leave.
"Aunt Gwen?" I made her turn around, "May I go up on deck to watch the ship leave? I've never been on a ship before and I'd love to wave to all the people. It seems fun."
"Well, I suppose it'd be alright. Just be back in time for tea."
"Thank you." I waited for her to leave, and then I headed up to the boat deck.
I found a small section of railing that wasn't crowded with passengers waving frantically. I looked out at the mass of well-wishers on the pier. I, having nobody to wave to, just smiled at the people below. I saw a group of young school boys, who were likely local children who wanted to see the Titanic sail.
Suddenly, I felt as though the people were moving from us, although in reality it was the Titanic moving from them. We had set sail. Next stop, Cherbourg , and then after that, Queenstown, and then within a few days we'd be in New York .
I decided to take a leisurely walk down the deck before heading back to my room. The sun warmed my face, and the breeze made the one strand of hair come untucked from behind my ear.
Up ahead of me I saw three men in uniforms, all talk and laughing. They seemed to be having a good conversation.
I stopped walking as soon as I saw the face of one of them. He looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place him.
A sailor walked by so I tapped him on the shoulder. "Excuse me, but I was wondering if you know the three men over there."
"That'd be the fourth officer, fifth officer, and sixth officer, miss."
"I mean I'd like to know their names."
"Oh, I'm sorry. There's Joseph Boxhall, Harold Lowe, and Jim Moody."
I froze. "Harold Lowe, you said?"
"Yes. The fifth officer. That tall fellow right over there. The one in the middle." He pointed him out.
I stared at the officer. That was my brother. I was sure of it.
I stormed over towards the three men, and once I reached them, well… I slapped my brother.
"Oi! What the hell was that for?!" Harold yelled while rubbing his cheek.
"Figure it out!" I yelled back.
"I have no idea who you are, miss! What's your problem?"
The sixth officer joined in, "An old lady friend of yours, Harry?" he joked. "If she wasn't so pretty I would advise you to call the master at arms."
I rolled my eyes. "Think of somebody you haven't seen in 15 years."
"I didn't know many young girls fifteen years ago. I was still in Wales then, so…." Then he stopped as realization struck him. "Please don't tell me we share the same last name…."
I nodded while staring angrily at him.
"And please don't tell me you're my sister…"
I nodded again.
I cocked an eyebrow and waited to hear what would likely be an idiotic explanation.
"I'm sensing some tension." The fourth officer said to the sixth.
"Well when a boy abandons his family and leaves his baby sister behind, and that sister doesn't hear a word from him for fifteen years, there's bound to be a bit of tension."
Harold placed his hand on my back and led me over to the side of the deck. "Listen, I think you and I need to sit down and have a calm discussion about this whole thing."
"Why? You left us all for your own selfish reasons. You didn't return, like you promised me you would. You also promised we'd go fishing. That never happened. So many promises, and none of them kept."
"I'm sorry… I got a bit busy…"
"Even taking perhaps ten minutes to write a letter would have showed me that you cared. I would have known you hadn't forgotten about me."
"I didn't forget about you. I've been busy. Changing the subject for a moment, why are you here?"
"That's none of your business. I mean, we are practically strangers, after all." I crossed my arms.
"I just want to know what you're doing so far from home, where you're headed, and if any of the other family members are with you."
"Perhaps you'd know if you kept in touch." I turned around and walked away.
"Good day, Mr. Lowe!" I snapped, not turning around. I kept on walking, grateful that he didn't follow me.
I found the first class entrance and was attempting to locate my room again.
There was a young man up ahead. He seemed to be confused as he walked slowly, staring closely at each door's number. I walked passed him, and was surprised to feel a soft tap on my shoulder. I turned abruptly.
"Excuse me, Miss. I didn't mean to startle you. I was just hoping to ask if you knew where I could find B-92."
His light brown hair fell over his eyes and he brushed it back as he waited for an answer.
"I think that room is right next to mine. Follow me." I walked down the hallway next to him in silence. I didn't even know who he was. "What's your name?" I asked after a moment.
"Spencer Welch." He held his hand towards me, and I shook it politely. "And yourself?"
"And what's your story, Merry?"
I normally didn't permit people I'd just met to call me by a moniker, but I decided not to argue it. "My story?"
"I mean where are you from, where are you going, who you're with. Stuff like that."
"I'm from Wales , and I'm going to New York with my aunt."
"I've always wanted to visit Wales . It seems like a lovely country."
"It is very lovely." I answered, feeling a slight pang of homesickness.
"Well, I don't know if you care, but I'm from New Hampshire . I'm heading home with my parents and my brother. We've been on holiday in England , visiting my mother's relatives."
He wasn't entirely right. I did care. He was a very engaging and friendly young man. "I have some relatives in England too, but I haven't visited them in a long time."
"I like seeing my family. Although I can only tolerate them for so long, it is nice to get together with them every once in a while. Sometimes after not seeing someone for years you don't mind how irritating they are."
"That isn't true, at least in my case. I just saw my brother for the first time in fifteen years. It was far from a pleasant reunion."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Its alright." we had just arrived at our rooms. "This should be your room, Mr. Welch." I gestured to a door labeled B-92 in brass lettering.
"Please, call me Spencer. Thank you so much, Merry."
"You're welcome." I saw him enter his room and shut the door, and then I put the key in my own and opened the door.
I saw a young man rush by and go into the same room Spencer had just entered.
Then I walked into my own stateroom, and proceeded to take a nap.
That night we docked in Cherbourg , France . I was supposed to meet my aunt in her stateroom in a half hour to go to the dining saloon on D deck.
There a knock on the door, and when I answered it, I found a young blonde stewardess standing in the hall.
"Good evening, miss. Might I come in? I've been sent here to assist you in preparing for dinner."
"Right. Come in." I stood aside so she could enter.
She led me into my own bedroom and shut the door. "Sit." she ushered me to my dressing table and quickly began to apply powder to my cheek.
Then when she was working with my eyes, I decided to strike up a conversation. "Lovely weather we've been having so far." I was such an idiot, but it was all I could come up with at the moment.
"Yes, miss. Very fair weather, I'd say." She didn't stop even for a moment.
There was silence. The stewardess applied lipstick to my dull-colored lips. I felt like a doll.
"What is your name?" I asked curiously.
She stopped and stared at me as if she'd never been asked that question before. Perhaps she hadn't…
"I shouldn't be socializing with the passengers, miss. I'm only here to do my duty, not to speak to those above me."
"Trust me. I am not above you at all. I do not come from a wealthy family. It's only because of my aunt that I am here. I wouldn't report you for speaking to me. I'm trying to be friendly."
"I appreciate your effort, but it isn't right."
"My name is Meredith Lowe." I smiled and held out my out to her, hoping she would follow suit.
After hesitating for a good ten seconds, she took my hand loosely and shook it. "I am Emma Winfield, miss. " She answered in a soft voice that was nearly a whisper.
"See, Emma, was that so hard to do?"
"I suppose not." She was now just finishing brushing my hair and was about to pin it up.
"Where are you from?"
"I'm from Liverpool ."
"That's nice. I'm from Wales . I'm immigrating. Leaving my family is a bit difficult though."
"I'm working here so I can make money to support my five other siblings. My other sister is home right now to look after them, and my sick mother."
"I'm sorry to hear that. What is your mother sick with?"
"We're not sure. All we know is that it's unlikely she'll make it."
"Well, I hope by some miracle she'll be alright. Nobody should have to go through that. How old are you?"
"Oh dear. That's way too young to be raising five siblings. I really wish I could do something." I now felt so awful for this girl.
"It's fine. Nothing can be done anyway. Your hair is all done, miss. Stand up and we'll find a dress for you."
I was quiet, unsure of what I could possibly say. Emma tightened my corset and then threw a mauve dress over my head.
A few last adjustments and I was ready. I stared at my reflection in the mirror and I saw what didn't look like me. I did look beautiful, by the world's standards, but I wasn't me. I looked too pale and too skinny. Back home if I looked this way my mother would assume I was ill. I had cleavage for once. Back home my father would likely throw a shawl over me and scream at me to change immediately. This was something very new to me, but it was a life I'd have to get used to.
I followed Emma out the door of my stateroom and I locked it behind me. She retreated down the hall, and I saw my aunt locking her door as well. "Oh, Meredith, I was just about to come get you."
We walked to the staircase and went down two decks until we reached the entrance to the dining hall. There were so many people there all in elaborate gowns with beads and lace and bright colors. Also men looking smart in their sharp tuxedos and slicked back hair.
"Meredith, I'm going to go speak to a few acquaintances of mine. Would you like to join me?"
I didn't really wish to mingle with a bunch of strange wealthy people. I didn't feel like I belonged with them, so I politely declined, explaining I just wanted to go find a place to sit before all the good tables with taken.
Then I saw a slightly familiar face walking towards me. "Merry!" it was Spencer.
"Hello, Mr. Welch." I greeted.
Another man who bore a close resemblance to Spencer came up beside him.
"I told you to call me Spencer." I nodded in acknowledgement. He presented the boy beside him, "This is my younger brother, Adam."
The boy held out his hand and I shook it gently. Then he didn't let go, raised my hand to his lips, and kissed it. I found this a bit odd.
"Pleasure to meet your acquaintance, mademoiselle." He said in a mock-snob voice.
Spencer pushed him playfully and I couldn't help but laugh at the display of brotherly horseplay.
"Boys!" I heard a deep voice behind me scold, "Act like gentlemen." I turned and saw a red-faced man who was a bit pudgy and had a graying mustache that matched whatever hair was left atop his head.
"Yes, father." Spencer and Adam answered in unison, and the man disappeared to go over to a tall and thin woman. They looked like such an odd pair, but I suppose there must be some sort of attraction there, unless it was just for money or convenience. I wouldn't ask Spencer or Adam because really, I didn't care that much.
"Might we escort a pretty young lady like yourself to a table?" Adam asked, attempting to sound charming. He really only sounded obnoxious to me.
"Sure." Why not? I didn't know anybody else.
"Now where to find one…" Spencer asked as he looked around the room, pretending to scan for pretty young girls.
I sighed. These two men (if they could even be called that) were absolutely ridiculous.
Spencer took my left arm and Adam took my right, and we walked around looking for a table to sit at that wasn't too crowded, or had too many old or snobby people. That task was more difficult than I imagined.
Finally we came across a table towards the back that was empty except for one woman who looked like she was about my age.
"Mind if we sit here?" I asked.
"No. Of course not. Go right ahead."
We took the three seats to her right. I sat next to her, and Spencer sat on my other side, and then there was Adam.
"I'm Meredith Lowe." I said to her, trying to be polite.
"I'm Clarissa Buller-Hewitt." She looked over at the two 'gentlemen'. "And who are you?"
"I'm Spencer Welch and this is my brother, Adam Welch."
We all looked to Adam, who was staring at Clarissa in such a daze.
"Is he alright?" she asked.
Spencer pushed his brother slightly and he finally returned to his senses. "What's going on."
"Nothing. Nothing at all." I replied, as we all giggled at him.
It was clear he was a bit taken by Clarissa. She had honey blonde hair and eyes as green as the sea, and high cheek bones. She was pretty even in my opinion. One might even say she had a glow radiating off of her, like a sunset.
We were the only people at the table, and we actually had a great time, sitting around and laughing over the dumbest stories. I hadn't laughed so hard in months.
After dinner ended, Clarissa went to return to her stateroom, and Spencer and Adam went to find their parents. I had to search for Aunt Gwen, who located me instead by the staircase.
"Where were you?" she asked curiously.
"I made a few friends and we were eating dinner together. The Welch boys and Miss Buller-Hewitt, if you know any of them."
"I'm not sure about the girl, but I was actually just eating with Mr. and Mrs. Welch."
"Aunt Gwen, may I go take in some fresh air on the boat deck? I won't be out too long." I asked. I wanted to see the ocean at night.
"Of course. Just don't be too long."
I went up to the boat dead and grasped onto the white railing. It was freezing and the air was bitterly cold. I rubbed at my arms in an attempt to become warmer, but to no avail. I looked out at the sea and because of the darkness I couldn't see where the sea ended and the sky began.
"You're Harry's sister, aren't you?" I heard a male voice say from behind me. I turned around and saw one of the officers from earlier.
"Yes, sadly, I am." I answered coldly.
"Don't be so hard on him." This man spoke in a sensitive tone. He had a sweet face that was pale and there brown hair poking out from under his hat. I couldn't stop looking into his warm brown eyes because somehow I felt a bit less chilly. Although I'm sure that sounds crazy.
"Why not? He left for fifteen years without caring what or whom he left back home. He was sort of my role model when I was five or six years old. Then he was gone."
"So you felt abandoned and forgotten, I'm assuming? You felt like he didn't care?"
"I know he didn't care. He not even once tried to contact any of us. As if he had no family at all."
"He does care and always has. He didn't forget you, I promise you that. I haven't known him long, but I recall last Friday we were just shooting the breeze and he was telling me all about the darling little sister he had back home. He would call you Merry and he would play hide and seek with you, and during the winter you both had intense snowball fights. He also mentioned you were always a very smart child."
"He probably just told you that now and asked you to talk to me for him."
"No, he really didn't. He's been sleeping and off duty for over two hours now. I saw you over here and just thought I'd let you know that your brother isn't such a bad guy, and he does care about you."
"Thank you." I replied in a soft voice, unsure of what to say. "Shouldn't you be doing your job?"
"I have a few minutes. I was doing the rounds. They won't know if I'm here socializing."
"Alright. So… Who are you?"
"I'm James. I'm the officer one rank lower than your brother."
"I'm Meredith. But you already know that." Yes, I was a complete idiot. I felt a bit shy around him, so it was next to impossible for me to be charming.
"Judging on how it's been fifteen years and you were six when your brother left, you're about 21 now, right?"
I nodded. "What about you?"
"I'm 24. I'll be 25 in August."
"My birthday isn't 'til September. Looks like we both got a ways to go."
"Doesn't matter much to me. I'll only be another year older."
"You don't do much for your birthday?"
"My birthday isn't anything special. I'm usually working. I might get a few well wishes, but that's all."
"On my birthday every year my mother bakes a cake and I get one gift. One year my father took me hunting with him. It was a lovely thought for him to include me, but I didn't find it appealing. It was quite sad actually."
"Most girls don't like hunting, so I don't blame you. I'm a man and even I dislike it. The thought of shooting animals for fun is appalling to me."
I was still rubbing at my arms which were nearly numb at this point.
James began to take off his coat. "You must be freezing."
"I'm fine. Keep your coat. I should actually be heading back now. I promised my Aunt I wouldn't be too long. But thank you anyway."
He put his coat back on. "No, Miss Meredith, thank you for the pleasure of your company." he did a fancy bow which looked silly. Then he cracked a smile, as did I.
"Goodnight, James." I walked back to the first class entrance.
"Goodnight, Meredith." He went the opposite way.
I arrived back at my stateroom and collapsed onto the sofa. It may not have been ladylike, but I was in private so I assumed it was alright to not act refined. I smiled while staring at my ceiling. It was going to be an interesting voyage. A voyage for which I was looking forward to much more than before.
Thank you for reading chapter one. Chapter two is already done but I'm not posting til I get a few reviews on this. If I get reviews. Those would really make me happy. Also I hope everyone had a fun and safe new years. Chapter two is coming soon. Stay tuned. Haha. Love, Kell.
Disclaimer: I do not own Titanic, obviously. I only own Meredith, Spencer, Adam, Clarissa, Aunt Gwen, and any other people affiliated with them I decide to put into the story.