A Simple Kind of Life is a story I wrote back in 2008 and was my second continuing fic. I posted it on here back then but never finished it and ended up deleting the whole story off here. I have now decided to repost it in two/three part installments and then give it some sort of an ending as I hate leaving fics unfinished. The title of the story 'A Simple Kind of Life' comes from the No Doubt song which I listened to and got some ideas. If you haven't read this before then Jack is upper class too and both him and Rose are travelling alone on the ship. Review if you like :)
April 9, 1912
London was a very lonely place. The weather was on the cool side and the nights were long and boring.
For Rose DeWitt Bukater, this was something new. She had never been alone at night before, especially in a hotel in a city she had never before traveled to.
The hotel, however, was simply beautiful. It was a five-star in the heart of London and was world famous-the Ritz.
Rose's heart beat faster than ever before, it seemed, as she lay in the darkness and saw the unfamiliar shadows which the trees outside the window cast across the walls, as if an unknown shape was walking past.
The bed seemed hard and uncomfortable and the pillow seemed cold and unwelcoming.
The whole city seemed unwelcoming. Or maybe it was just her. For tomorrow, she would set sail alone for the first time on the maiden voyage of the Titanic.
She had tried but failed to sail on another ship a little less attractive, but because of the coal strike in England at the moment, she was forced to take a first class ticket aboard the ship.
Rose DeWitt Bukater was just seventeen years old. She was born and raised in Philadelphia by her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her father, Dick Bukater. Her beloved father had passed away when she was just eleven.
As Rose had grown, she had attracted attention from various males wishing to court her, but her mother had refused, much to Rose's delight.
Although that story had later seemed to change.
It was a Wednesday evening, December nineteenth, when Caledon Hockley had asked permission to dine with the DeWitt Bukaters when they all attended a ball at the country club.
Mr. Hockley was very handsome and dashing, tall and with perfect black hair. Rose had thought her heart had skipped a beat when he had asked permission to court her.
He had been twenty-eight and she was not quite sixteen, but that hadn't seemed to matter. Especially to Ruth, Rose's mother, who couldn't have been more delighted about the match.
Mr. Hockley was a rich man. His father, Nathan Hockley, was a steel tycoon and one of the wealthiest men in the country at the time.
Caledon was set to inherit the money when he married.
Rose had been affected by this man. She was flattered by his affections and thought she had grown to love him in some way.
He treated her the way she had always wanted to be treated by a man.
Rose's seventeenth birthday had come in January of 1912, and Caledon Hockley had proposed to her.
As happy as she was to court this rich, handsome man, as he bent on one knee, holding the most expensive-looking diamond ring she had ever laid eyes on in the box held out to her, she had felt somewhat trapped.
She felt she had some sort of feelings for this man, but marriage at just seventeen?
Other women of her age were happy wives and mothers already.
Maybe she had just felt selfish for thinking of herself too much. What could getting engaged mean?
Rose had said yes and placed the diamond on her finger. It was beautiful, she had to admit, and probably cost enough to feed a few small countries, but to Cal, that didn't seem to matter.
As soon as the ring was placed on her finger, she had felt as though she was a dog wearing a dog collar for the first time. A dog collar which marked who the dog belonged to.
A ring to show who Rose now belonged to, in body and mind.
After ignoring the initial feelings of entrapment, Rose had begun to shove those feelings to the back of her mind and continued on with her life.
Her mother, Ruth, had never been so happy about anything in her life, it seemed. It was then that the wedding began to be planned around her.
Everything from her long, lace ivory dress to the color of the seating was planned around her. Rose felt as though it wasn't her wedding.
She felt like an actress in some play. She didn't feel like herself anymore. At times, she was even ignored by Caledon while this wedding was planned. She felt as though she wanted to scream just to have a small amount of attention, but even if she did muster up the courage to scream, she feared she would still be ignored and the people would continue to work and plan around her.
In late February, Caledon had announced he would take Rose around Europe on a trip as an engagement present before they would return to the States to marry.
At the thought of this, Rose had been excited beyond belief. She had never been on a ship before and never been to Europe.
The pair had boarded the Mauretania in New York early in the morning of February 19, 1912.
Their journey around Europe had taken them to Spain and France. Cal had planned to head to England, Ireland, and then to Athens, Greece.
But they never made to it England together.
During their three-week trip to France, Cal had begun to be make advances at Rose. He had been trying to get her into bed for some time now, but Rose had put him off, stating that they should wait until they were married, which was something Rose had been looking forward to at one point in her engagement.
It was one night at the Moulin Rouge which had changed everything.
April 1, 1912
Rose DeWitt Bukater held out her arm as her maid, Trudy, proceeded to fasten the diamond-encrusted bracelet onto her wrist.
Next came the necklace to match. The weight of the jewelry around her neck felt as though it would choke her.
The mirror in the vanity unit reflected Rose, a girl of just seventeen.
Her long red hair was twisted up into a tight bun and held in place by several pins. Her eyes were a deep blue and her skin was pale porcelain.
She was the picture of her mother, Ruth.
Her evening gown was black and covered in pearls. She felt as though she was royalty. She felt as though she was a woman of great importance in the world. But she knew she wasn't. She was just a young woman, barely even a woman, who was engaged to the great Caledon Hockley.
Tonight they were to don their glad rags to see a cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge. The French artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, had made the Moulin Rouge popular around the world from his amazing artwork. Rose owned a piece at home in Philadelphia. To just look at the art and see the Moulin Rouge had made Rose want to come here many times in her young life. Cal knew of her obsession with art, so this was his gift to her. He knew of the reputation of the Moulin Rouge, he knew of the prostitutes who had worked there at the turn of the century, and who knew if it was any better now? But this was what Rose wanted and he wanted tonight to be special for her.
The door clicked open and Cal appeared in the doorway and startled Rose. There he was, dressed perfectly in a tuxedo.
Rose forced the best smile she could onto her face. Even though she was to go to the place she'd dreamed of for years, she couldn't help but feel smothered and sick. She almost wanted to vomit, but she put on a brave face for her husband-to-be, which was something she had grown quite used to.
The Moulin Rouge was in the Paris red light district of Pigalle. It was famous for being the birthplace of the can-can dance.
The cabaret was full of sensual dancers, singers, and actors. They all seemed larger than life and more in your face than anything Rose had ever seen before in her life.
The women of the cabaret wore raunchy dresses uplifting their cleavage and making the men of the audience swoon.
Cal had encountered discomfort early on and had wanted to leave since just after the show had begun. When Rose refused to budge, he had up and left without a word.
The show itself had inspired Rose. The raunchiness had opened Rose's eyes a lot to what life as a showgirl at the Moulin Rouge was like.
A life which she found herself actually yearning for. She had felt ever so out of place in her beautiful gown and perfect posture.
Rose had wondered for many years what it would be like to just slouch, just once, in a public place. The entire party would gasp and it would cause uproar.
The show had ended just after midnight and the respectable Mr. Caledon Hockley had been found in the chambers of Madame Amelle. Drunk and half-clothed, he had been thrown onto the streets as Rose had been leaving.
The stench of absinthe on his breathe and his half-clothed body were enough to make Rose attempt to move away from him, but her attempts to escape were useless.
When they had reached their hotel room, Cal had ordered Rose to undress for bed, and when she hadn't done as she was told, he had raised his hand to her and cut her lip.
It was the first time Cal had ever laid hands on her and the first time Rose had ever been hit. She didn't like blood. Why was he doing this?
"Come on, Rose. Take off your clothes. You're happy to see other women do it and you seem to enjoy it, so why won't you do it now?" Cal's voice seem to echo into the dark room of the hotel.
He forced Rose from the floor to her feet and held her against the wall.
Rose could feel her own heartbeat in her ears. She had never felt so much fear. She just wanted a big hole to swallow her up and take her away from this hell.
"Why are you doing this, Cal? You were the one who went to bed with a whore."
A sting came around Rose's cheek as she felt his hand strike her sharply. After that, he let her go and began to wander around the hotel room, somewhat absentmindedly.
"Don't speak to me like that, Rose."
Rose watched him go and had wondered whether to make a run for the door to get out, but she knew he would follow her. She knew it. She was too afraid to speak. Too shocked for words. Too much in pain to move from the floor where she sat, tears running from her eyes.
Violence was never the answer to anything, Rose had always thought. It was a way of being punished. But why was she being punished for loving this man?
"Why are you doing this, Cal? I have never hurt you."
Her voice seemed scared, like that of a small child. A bitter laugh came from Cal as he opened a bottle of whiskey and downed almost half of it. He could taste the burning of the liquid in his throat and he thought he would vomit.
"You don't disobey me, Rose. I am your husband in practice. You honor me. You don't make a fool out of me."
"You made a fool out of yourself, Cal. You went to bed with a woman who wasn't even your fiancée."
Rose found inner strength and stability from somewhere to stand. She looked at the man she had once thought she loved and stared with contempt and disbelief.
"How could I go to bed with my fiancée when she wouldn't let me? This is your fault. Now it's your punishment."
With that, Cal swooped Rose from her feet and carried her kicking and screaming to his bed. His stench was vile and when he tried to kiss her, she squirmed away.
What was wrong with him?
"Cal. Stop. Please stop."
Cal just laughed at her whimpers of desperation. He would get what he wanted, whether she liked it or not. He pulled violently at her corset strings as she attempted to move from under him. He pinned her down strongly with his legs and one arm. He was strong, and it seemed the strength of the alcohol had added to it.
Tears spilled from her eyes as she didn't know what was happening. Her back was to him and she could hear his muttering of curse words and feel his dreaded touch.
He hitched up her skirts and began to pull at her stockings.
"No. No! Get off me, Cal."
Rose attempted once again to kick him away, but he just covered her mouth with his dirty hands.
Tears spilled from her eyes and she panicked. She wished someone would just walk in or he would just stop. She had never felt so much pain in her life.
She wished she could give him the same pain in return.
Then she thought of something. Cal continued to struggle with her corset as Rose opened her mouth slightly and bit as hard as she could on the finger which Cal had over her mouth.
He seemed to back off slightly and moaned with pain.
"You little bitch!" he stormed, and then more violently threw himself at her. She panicked and rolled over from her back onto her stomach, raised her legs, and kicked his chest. Cal stumbled backwards.
In a few seconds, she saw Cal stumbling back towards her. Rose had never seen her life flash before her eyes before. She reached for the first thing which seemed possible to reach and hit him over the head with it. It was a glass vase.
Blood poured everywhere. Rose could also taste the blood from biting his finger.
She screamed a little, seeing the scene she had just caused. It seemed too violent to be reality.
Scanning the room, Rose saw blood and pieces of her dress, which he had torn away. She sat in just her corset and stockings, which were torn.
Reality kicked in. Rose knew she had to get out. Cal lay stone cold unconscious on the bed.
Rose quickly found her suitcase and packed in it what she thought she would need. Her breathing was quick and she was dizzy from hyperventilation, but she knew she couldn't stop for a second. He could awaken soon.
Rose packed a few dresses and stockings, her perfume, lipstick, brush, a few select pieces of jewelry and three pairs of shoes. That would be fine until she was home with her mother.
Pinning up her hair and changing into a more comfortable dress, Rose raided the safe and was shocked by what she found. A gun.
She had no idea Cal even carried a gun with him. Would he have killed her?
Just then, Rose realized she held no remorse for what she had done. She took all of the money in the safe, which totaled almost ten thousand dollars. He owed her that, at least.
With that, she left the hotel room, shaking, shivering, and unsure of what to do next. She knew she had to leave the country and somehow get home. But it was almost two in the morning. How could she do that?
After wandering the city endlessly for what seemed like days, Rose found a train station when daylight came. She boarded a train for the coast and never looked back.
The clock ticked endlessly on the bedside cabinet, the wind blew heavily, and the rain tapped on the window.
Rose's heartbeat grew faster again. She sat upright in bed, turned on the small lamp beside the bed, and gazed at the clock. It was just after eleven and she could not sleep. On the dresser hung Rose's boarding dress, hat, and shoes. She had bought them here in London and hoped the large mauve hat would hide her face the next day while boarding, for it would be a huge social event and the press would be there, too. Rose was nervous about boarding a ship alone, especially after what had happened, but she was glad to be free.
She had already telegrammed her mother, telling her she would be returning home without Cal, but didn't give a reason why. She couldn't wait to be at home, but most of all, she hoped that Cal would never come to her again. She hoped she would never lay eyes on him again. She could still feel the pain from what he had caused her, even though it was over a week ago.
She wondered where Cal was, what he was doing, and what his intentions really were towards her that last night. She knew they were sexual.
A hundred thoughts ran through Rose's mind, mostly of what would happen the next day. She had so many doubts about boarding a ship alone, but she was also excited that she would be witnessing history as she boarded the largest moving object ever made by man.