You Miss Nothing, Do You?

By Mackenzie L.

An elderly Rose manages to pick the ripe fruits from an otherwise traumatic past. - One-shot, Rose remembers.

* Disclaimer: I do not own Titanic.

"Forgive me, but it seems there aren't enough for everyone aboard..."

She still remembers.

Still, in the otherwise peaceful lull of an undisturbed night, she is never safe from that dream.

Her gaze passes lazily over the stacks of wooden lifeboats where they rest dejectedly against the railing, never expecting to be needed, knowing they were only clutter...

It's as if she really is there again, walking the length of the ship deck, under a sun that wasn't really a sun. The heat over the ocean was weaker, fainter, never able to warm her skin in the way it had on dry land.

"Forgive me, but it seems there aren't enough for everyone aboard..."

Her own voice, from her own throat, in a foreign tone, echoes in her pillow just before she wakes in a chilly sweat.

"Rose, you miss nothing, do you?"

She still remembers.

The carefree Irish lilt of Andrews as he strolled alongside her. The way his amiable eyes squinted in the light. The tightness of her corset beneath her gown while she walked.

Oh, she missed everything.

Even missed the weight of that God-forsaken stone around her neck.

But it was incredible how much a woman could miss, while still being so utterly content, even happy with the way her life turned out.

Because her life was... So unlike the life her eighteen-year-old self had so anxiously anticipated. It was an easy life, a peaceful life - rather like sailing, her life was.

But as she so well knew, no ship can sail smoothly forever.

She would have had a perfect life, if only it weren't for those tiny little moments, those snippets and flashbacks that disrupted her day.

The sound of rushing water sometimes still sends shivers down her spine.

At that first step into an unfamiliar body of water, she will always harbor the fear that it will be too cold.

She cannot fully enjoy a sports game, when the innocent blow of a whistle haunts her so deeply.

But it isn't even the traumatic parts that she continues to find so disturbing. Ironically, it is those insignificant moments before it happened that haunt her so ruthlessly.

Her mother's shallow chatter over the tea table, the petty arguments they had shared over the symbolism in one of her Picasso paintings, Lovejoy's hawk-like glare as he surveyed every scene from the corner of their suite.

The hilarious tune of the bugle that announced dinner; the dry but somehow passionate music of a quartet that hoped people were listening. The sweet, unassuming faces of children as they watched dolphins leaping ahead of the unsinkable monster that chased them.

These are the things she feels the most loss over - things that would have never resurfaced as memories had they not happened there.

Then there are nights where her more innocent memories are challenged.

A nightmare will taunt her with the fleeting image of a lopsided dining room; a mustached man in white, drowning in his brandy before he would drown in the Atlantic.

The sinking, horrifying weight of water, pulling her under. Her breath being stolen, her lungs collapsing inside her chest, her flesh freezing over, stiffening until her youthful body was nothing more than a marble doll.

The silver oppression of a moon that hung still and lifeless in the sky; a million stars that saw the tragedy and did nothing to help. A slow crawling frost that penetrated her skin and soul.

These are the things she feels most distant from.

Awkwardly grateful she is that these memories may as well be those of a stranger. Looking back at the time since the iceberg scraped her sanctuary is like looking back at a separate life - one that remains to this day a recurring nightmare, and nothing more.

She never thinks of Hockley. And if she does, it is for one flash of time, one second of pity and nothing more. She felt no loss over him.

But she thought of Jack more than anything else.

And how could she not, for fear of forgetting such a good soul?

Often her memories of him are the best ones, the bright ones... save for the one that sees her hanging from the stern of the ship.

But even that one had a pleasant ending.

The image of his boyish face was always fresh in her mind. No matter how many people she grew to know in her life, the details of their faces would inevitably grow dim with the passing of time. But his remained - every detail, every color, every expression - as strong as his will for her to live when he could not.

She still sees that image. The adoring look in his cornflower blue eyes that managed to be both energetic and tender at once. The tan of a poor man, and the heart of a traveler.

His sun-kissed hair, erratically blown about by a strong Atlantic breeze that could have never been strong enough to hold him back.

Jack was her light at the end of the tunnel, her inspiration in times of peril, and her crying shoulder in times of depression. And he would never know it.

He would never know how much he had influenced her life just from that short time he spent with her. He had shown her so much about life's blessings, and even more about love.

In the deep ocean of her heart, he would remain a reckless and adventurous youth for eternity.

And so would she.