Edited: Tuesday 10th December 2013. Song lyrics amended. Spellings and grammar.
July 3rd 1912
Prison gates won't open up for me
On these hands and knees I'm crawlin'
Oh, I reach for you
Well I'm terrified of these four walls
These iron bars can't hold my soul in
All I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'
Feeling her hands tremble, Rose heard the organist begin the wedding march. Clutching her bouquet, she closed her eyes saying a silent prayer to get her through the day. In fact, to get her through the next few minutes. She could feel her veil and her tiara digging into her head like nails. She couldn't even put one foot in front of the other. She knew that there were five hundred people waiting for her right now. Five hundred members of Philadelphia society who have come to witness the marriage take place. Why had she returned to her family? Was the question she had asked herself day in day out since the Carpathia docked. Cal had found her in steerage but she could have easily refused to return with him. She didn't want to marry him. Jack's name had forever been etched into her heart and there was no way she could ever let him go. She loved him more than words could ever say.
On Carpathia her mother had been overjoyed to see her but still wanted to her marry Cal. Once again, she had informed Rose of their financial situation and when she had seen the look on her mother's face she had felt guilty. There was something frightening about living out in the world alone without Jack. She had meant what she said - she would have got off the ship with him, but he hadn't survived. She fought back tears as she thought of Jack, her beautiful love who had died in the water for her. Her hands trembled even more as her breathe became caught in her throat. She remembered the promise she had made to Jack.
"I don't know about you, but I intend to write a strongly worded letter to the White Star Line about all this." Jack shivered uncontrollably. He laughed weakly, but it sounded like a gasp of fear. Rose found his eyes in the dim light.
"I love you, Jack."
He took her hand.
"No...don't say your good-byes, Rose. Don't you give up. Don't do it." Jack knew what was coming. He just couldn't face leaving her alone in the world. But she'd be all right. He knew it.
"I'm so cold." Rose's teeth chattered vigorously as she shivered more with the biting chill.
"You're going to get out of this...you're going to go on and you're going to make lots of babies and watch them grow, and you're going to die an old, old lady, warm in your bed. Not here. Not this night. Do you understand me?"
Rose didn't want to listen. They'd get out of here. They'd go on and make lots of babies.
"I can't feel my body."
"Rose, listen to me. Listen. Winning that ticket is the best thing that ever happened to me." Tears appeared in Jack's eyes. He was having trouble getting the breath to speak. "It brought me to you. And I'm thankful, Rose. I'm thankful," he continued.
His voice was trembling with the cold, which was working its way to his heart. But his eyes were unwavering.
"You must do me this honour...promise me you will survive...that you will never give up...no matter what happens...no matter how hopeless...promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise."
"Never let go."
"I promise. I will never let go, Jack. I'll never let go." Jack gently kissed Rose's hand as he breathed harder. He was struggling.
She gripped his hand and they lay with their heads together. It was quiet now, except for the lapping of the water.
Was marrying Cal keeping her promise? Was Jack looking down on her now? At first she had been flattered by his affections and maybe had initially though she had been in love with him but after his proposal, he had turned into a rather nasty pompous piece of work. During their trip to Europe, he had made many failed attempts to get her into bed. Of course, he excuse been she wanted to wait until they were married. She had been raised a good Christian girl. Of course all of that had been thrown into the wind when she had met Jack aboard the Titanic. He had taught her what real love was, how beautiful the world was and every moment they had together would be cherished by her. She felt the pain in her heart and the lump in her throat. It had been Jack who she had learn to love, and it was he who had showed her what lovemaking was in the back of the Renault. Cal had known about their love affair, he had known how much she loved Jack but there was one thing he didn't known, the one secret she had kept up to now but knew she couldn't keep for much longer. The one night they had spent together, they had conceived a child. A baby which grew within Rose and which had given her a reason to live on. She wasn't very far along, not even barely showing a bump but she knew it was there. Morning sickness had hit her hard the week they had arrived back in Philadelphia. Her mother had put it down to the trauma which she had endured, not even knowing the truth about her daughter. Night after night, she had stroked the small bump, talking to her unborn child, making promises she knew she couldn't keep. Without a corset, the bump was noticeable so of course she had to keep her secret hidden.
Rose's thoughts came back to the present as she felt her two maids brushing the white dress which she wore. They adjusted any curls which had straightened and sorted out her veil. Her three bridesmaids stood at the front of the largest church in the area. She hadn't been inside since her fathers funeral two years before. They wore burgundy dresses which had been chosen by her mother, who too wore the colour. Rose had originally chosen lavender, not just because she loved the colour but because she knew her mother detested it. Of course, she had no say in such things, every single little detail been planned around her which she had no voice. When she did speak out, she was told to shut up and sit down like some rude little girl, so she had known better than to voice her opinion.
The Heart of the Ocean sat around her neck, the only reminder she had of Jack. It was heavy around her neck like a dog collar and she knew the gasps she would get once it was seen. Just another reminder of how much money the Hockley's had. The Heart alone cost enough to feed several small countries. She peered just once around the corner to see Cal's cool face, her mothers beaming smile greeting the guests and the vicar stood at the altar. She knew she would have to get moving soon. Her heart beat fast within her chest and for one moment she felt like turning and simply running away. A life without Jack scared her, especially knowing she carried their child within her. How would she cope? She had no money to support herself let alone a child. Oh how she wished Jack had lived, to see his unborn child. A single tear fell down her face and quickly she wiped it away. Her mother would know just by looking at her face that she had been crying, and she knew who she was crying for. The same person she had dreamt of since Titanic. The nightmares she had endured, the pain and the screams at night she called for him.
Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me
Could she raise their child within the same society walls which had trapped her not only as a child but now as a woman. The society which had been the reason she had almost ended her life? But if she ran out now she would be homeless and no one would take in a pregnant single woman, she would be frowned upon. On her eighteenth birthday she would receive a little money from her father. He had put away some inheritance for her when she was a little girl, but she wouldn't be eighteen until the end of the year. Her mind swirled and she knew that she would have to make an on the spot decision about her life there and then. There was no one around, not a soul she knew she could make a quick exit now. Maybe run back to the house to collect a dress or two and then run to the station, jump on the next train which came bound for wherever it would take her. She felt her breathe become caught in her throat. 'Jack.' She whispered, feeling the familiar pain eat her up inside.
In just a few moments, she would join Cal and be his forever. How would he react to the news that she was carrying Jack's child? A man she hated. How could she allow Cal to kiss her and make love to her on their wedding night knowing that Jack's flesh and blood was within her. She knew that she wouldn't get away lightly and she couldn't push Cal away forever, she knew that he would want to consummate their marriage over and over.
She could hear the whispers of the people in the church, wondering where she was. She knew she would have to make a decision now or never. She nodded her head, knowing what she would have to do. She was about to take a step forward out towards the altar when she realised she couldn't. Almost as if her feet were glued to the floor and she was been held back. Something inside of her snapped, she couldn't do this…she couldn't marry Cal.
Dropping her expensive bouquet to the floor, she whirled around and lifted her skirts. She threw the back door open and ran down the sidewalk. She received several glanced from passers-by but she didn't care. Her veil flapped about her and she stopped momentarily to remove it and her tiara from her head. She yanked out her grips, freeing her curls and they whipped about her face as she headed for her house.
Shakily, Rose attempted to button up her coat while her eyes darted around the room trying to find anything else which she might find useful to pack. By now Cal would notice that she had been gone a while and probably would come looking for her. Her mind couldn't focus on anything else other than leaving the house and never returning.
''That's everything.'' She whispered to herself. She grabbed the small suitcase and headed down the stairs. She had packed very little, just three plain dresses and a pair of comfortable shoes. She had also taken small pieces of jewelry, things that she could sell once she reached…well wherever she was going.
Rose hoped Cal wasn't home with all of her heart, she wanted things to run smoothly. She carried her small bag as she descended the four flights of the stairs to the bottom floor. She was out of breathe but didn't care she had to carry on running.
''Miss, what on earth?'' A small Irish maid called to her. Rose's eyes widened, she hadn't realised anyone was home. The maid was stunned Rose was here, not wearing her wedding dress. Rose had pulled off all of her jewelry on the way home and had left her wedding dress on her bed - slightly torn because of her struggle to get out of it. 'A young man came by earlier for you.'
''Look please, don't tell anyone of my whereabouts.'' Rose warned the maid. She hurried to the back door hoping that if she took the long way and ran through the woods then she wouldn't be seen by anyone.
The maid nodded, only half listening. ''Miss Rose. A boy came here looking for you.'' She repeated. Rose unlocked the back door with her trembling hands, not even looking at the maid. She didn't care who came for her, she had to escape. ''Miss, where are you going?''
Rose stopped for a moment. She shook her head slowly. ''I don't know. I just have to leave.'' She proceeded down the garden path looking for a gate which led into the woods.
''Oh wait.'' The maid called as she followed Rose. ''The boy asked me to give you this.'' She thrust a letter into Rose's hand and she inspected the handwriting. It seemed hauntingly familiar. Throwing the letter into her pocket, she unlatched the gate and ran out into the woods.
Rose did not know her way in or out of the woods but she would find a way. She set off running as fast as her legs would carry her, tears running from her eyes, her hair whipping about her face in the wind as she ran. After running for what seemed like hours, the slowed her pace down before glancing back to see how far she had ran. If she wanted to go back, she didn't even know her way. She hoped she would find an end soon. She stood in a field, surrounded by bushes and large trees; she glanced up at the sky, it was cloudy and she thought rain threatened. She placed her hand on her stomach, her bump more rounded as she had removed her corset and changed into a more comfortable dress. She knew that by now her mother and Cal would be at home looking for her. She knew she would have to leave town today but for a moment she would have to stop and rest, she could barely catch her breathe. Leaning herself against some rocks, she allowed herself to take a breather. Remembering the letter which the maid had thrust into her hands, she pulled it out of her small case her curiosity getting the better of her. What young man would write to her?
Ripping at the envelope, she saw the familiar handwriting. The letters curved into perfect words. Taking a deep breathe, she began to read:
My dear Rose,
I saw your picture in the New York Times and just knew I had to come and see you before you were married but it appears I am too late. I wasn't allowed to see you at the church and I was thrown out of the house but I did ask your maid to give you this.
Its been three long months since I have see you. I have searched everywhere but never found you. Just because you have returned to your family, I have no hard feelings. I know they will keep you safe from harm and give you the life you deserve. I have no material goods to offer you, I can barely even afford to eat but know this much Rose, I love you with all of my heart. If for some reason you did decide you wanted to see me, or even come away with me then I am leaving town this evening around six. I will be at the train station and will wait for one hour, if you aren't there then I will leave this city and never return and never try to look for you again and I will assume that you are happy in the decision which you made to become Caledon Hockley's wife.
Placing her hand over her rapid heart, Rose felt the tears fall freely from her eyes. Jack was alive? Surely this was some sort of dream? She closed her eyes and shook her head vigorously trying to wake herself up, she glanced down at her trembling hands and saw the letter still sat in her hands, she scanned over the words again and they still said the same thing. Jack had come to her home looking for her? Was she going to meet him at the station? What time was it now? She didn't have a watch on her, she had been due to marry Cal at four and it had been over an hour since she had left the house. What if she was too late? She didn't even know her way out of the woods. She knew that she had to try.
Grabbing her case, she picked up her skirts and began to run faster than before. She ignored the stitch in her side and the fact that she could barely breathe, she continued to run. Finally, after what seemed like forever there appeared to be a light in the trees indicating that she had come to a clearing. Slowing down her pace, she allowed herself to breathe properly. Stopping as she came to the clearing, she poked her head outside and glanced around. She didn't appear to know anyone. Keeping her head down, she crossed the road onto the other side where a horse drawn carriage had pulled up. She contemplated asking them for a ride but knew she couldn't drawn any attention to herself. Her buttoned coat felt tight around her stomach and she kept one hand crossed around her body to keep peoples eyes away from her bump.
A loud thunderous noise came and Rose jumped, turning she saw a train rumbling over the railway bridge. That meant the station was near. Picking up her skirts, she darted in the direction of the train avoiding any dirty looks she received from pedestrians. She came across a large clock which chimed loudly, whipping her head around she saw the time. 6.00pm. Her heart beat wildly, was Jack at the station now? Was he waiting for her or had he already caught a train and left. Walking further down a long road, she found the entrance to the train station. Rose had rarely caught a train and even when she did, she was ushered into a carriage and then boarded a train, she knew nothing of purchasing tickets or such.
Fine rain began to fall and Rose darted for cover. Trains pulled up on the four tracks and Rose wondered where they were headed. She wondered if Jack was really here. She couldn't believe any of the days events. She realised it was something to do with fate. Her stomach cramped but she tried to ignore it for now. Steam was everywhere and Rose couldn't see anything. She had almost bumped into several people and she apologised profusely, trying not to trip over people luggage. A loud whistle sounded and a loud engine started and the second train which had arrived headed North of the station and a little of the steam cleared. She wafted it out of her face and tried to allow her vision to clear. Just as she turned on her heel, she came face to face with someone she thought she would never see again.
''What…how?'' Rose was speechless. 'I' thought you were dead.'' She cried to him and he put his arms around her holding onto her for dear life. He hadn't been near her since he had put her in a lifeboat aboard Titanic. He could feel himself shaking and she clung to him scared that he would disappear.
''I'm right here darling. I'm not leaving you again.''
Rose pulled away from Jack and touched his face, as if checking that he was here. ''I thought you were dead.'' she repeated, throwing herself at his chest and he kissed her hair gently. Jack knew they had to move and couldn't stay where they were forever they had to leave.
''Rose listen to me, I'm not dead I am right here.'' Rose went to say something but Jack shushed her gently. ''Listen to me Rose, I saw your engagement in the papers when I was in New York so I took a train here. I saw your maid earlier.''
''She gave me your letter.'' She cried, throwing herself into his arms once again. For a moment, his face fell serious.
''Did you marry him?''
''I couldn't do it Jack. I-I-…'' She trailed off unable to breathe, and just thankful to be in his arms. Her make up had ran and tear tracks were visible down her porcelain cheeks. Jack shushed her and pulled her back into his arms, feeling tears in his own eyes. ''I couldn't go through with it.' 'She struggled to breathe and pulled away from Jack feeling her stomach and chest tighten. She undid her coat quickly and put her hand over her stomach in an attempt to calm herself.
She breathed heavily and felt herself become dizzy once again. Jack took her hand in his and she leant against him.
''Cal was at the altar and my mother and I just couldn't do it…'' She broke down in a hysterics, remembering what happened that day.
''I love you Rose, more than anything.'' He whispered to her, touching her face with a smile playing on his lips. ''We'll go wherever you want to go Rose now.'' Rose heart began to beat faster, from both nerves and excitement. She had so much to tell him. How would he react about the baby? Would he even want her then?
''Do you want to leave now Rose? Do you want me?''
All she could do was nod, and he kissed her hair. Jack approached the ticket man.
''Evening sir.'' Jack smiled to him. ''When's the next train and where's it heading?''
The man removed the cigarette from his mouth. ''Chicago in four minutes.''
Rose turned to Jack. What was in Chicago for them? ''How do you fancy it Rose?'' He winked to her. All she could do was nod, she didn't care where she went as long as Jack was with her.
The train chugged endlessly through towns and cities. Rose had fallen asleep almost right away on the train and Jack saw how beautiful she was as she laid with her hand over her stomach. He stroked her hand softly and couldn't help but notice she had gained a little weight since April. He stroked her hand with his fingers before his eyes traveled to her stomach and how swollen it was. She had her coat fastened but now as she slept he couldn't help but notice. His hand trembling, he touched her stomach.
Rose's eyes flickered open and quickly she sat up. She startled Jack but he didn't remove his hand from her stomach. She glanced at him and silence fell over them.
''Are you-Rose…'' Jack managed to say, emotion overcoming him. Silence fell among them for several minutes, neither of them knowing what to say, but a small nod of Rose's head confirmed Jack's thoughts and when realisation hit him, he too broke down.
Rose stood from the seat and began to stroll around their room, her body shaking violently. ''Jack, I wanted to tell you but was scared to.''
Words failed Jack completely, the truth could not sink into his mind. The fact that he was going to father a child with Rose, the woman he loved more than anything. ''Rose…why? I cannot believe this at all, I…''
''Jack, I'm so sorry. I'll understand if you want me to leave.''
Jack raised his head to Rose. ''Leave? Why the hell would I want you to leave?''
''But everything is so messed up Jack. How will all of this work out?''
''We'll find a way Rose. It will work out, whatever is meant to be will find a way, and this isn't any different. Its fate Rose. Fate brought us to where we are now.'' Jack really believed that. Life would be different from this day on, there would be no more running, no more being scared, all they had was their love for each other and their child.
''I just…I'm so scared to lose you again Jack.'' Rose's vision was blurred by her tears and she clung to Jack as though her life depended on it.
''Your never going to lose me Rose. That I promise you.''
Feeling content for the first time, Rose pulled away from Jack, feeling her heart beating so fast she felt dizzy. . ''There's so much work we have to do now Rose.''
Nodding Rose could taste her salty tears, she felt she had been crying to much her heart had rang out and her stomach pulled. ''Yes I know.''
Jack's face broke into a smile, something Rose had not seen for a while. He looked so happy, and pulled her towards him once again and kissed her forehead. She wrapped her arms around his body and just stayed there for what seemed like eternity, just in the arms of the man she loved.
Heaven's gates won't open up for me
With these broken wings I'm fallin'
And all I see is you
These city walls ain't got no love for me
I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for you
Come please I'm callin'
And all I need from you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'