April 14, 1912; James
They said we'd hit an iceburg. They said we were going down; that we were going to sink, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
And they still locked the cuffs around my wrist, binding me to the pole in the storage deck of the ship. They were leaving me to die.
And they didn't even care.
"Help me!" I cried out for what seemed like the millionth time since I had been imprisoned in the tiny storage room. My pleas were useless; even the echoes created in this deck of the ship would never make my pleas loud enough to be heard over the chaos on the decks above. The room was slowly filling, the arctic water pooling around my ankles and steadily rising.
I knew people must be in a state of panic, but I could not bring myself to feel anything for the lives of them. My thoughts only drifted to one - Logan.
"Please be safe, oh god, please be safe," I begged no one, simply hoping that Logan would be alright. He needed to be. If I was to die down here, he needed to make it.
I hung my head, setting it against the pole my arms were locked around. I could heard the moaning of the ship protesting the water that was rushing in, mixed with the frantic pounding of my own heart in my ears.
I was going to die. I knew it.
My eyes fell closed. I had no hope. Nobody was coming to rescue me. I was no damsel in distress. My mother would not send for me; there was no doubt that Joseph had been revived, and the moment he got the chance, he told my mother of what Logan and I had done.
I was like a sick joke - the minute I finally find the one I'm supposed to spend my life with, my life is cut short. I wasn't going to make it out alive.
But Logan needed to. Logan needed to go on. I would make sure of that.
I didn't know how, but I knew I would. If I was going to die, he was going to live.
"James!" My head snapped up.
"James, James please answer me!" Logan's voice called to me, echoing down the halls.
"Logan!" I called back, rattling the cuffs against the steel pole to make more noise. "Logan, I'm here!"
I heard the sloshing in the halls that signaled Logan's running, and I made more noise as the sloshing got louder, closer.
My heart swelled when Logan ran into the room, his eyes frantic, expression panicked and hapless.
"Oh James, James!" Logan cried, running over to me and throwing his arms around my body. He kissed me desperately, and I could feel the wetness of tears on his cheeks.
I pulled away from the kiss. "Don't cry Logan, please," I begged him. "We're gonna be fine, okay? We're gonna get out of here. I just need you to find something to break the chain. Like a key or something. Look around Logan, we don't have much time down here."
The water was steadily rising, calve level now.
Logan nodded, running out of the room. I heard glass break, silently hoping that Logan had found something. He came running back in with a small hatchet in his hands.
"Will this work?"
"Yes, yes, it'll work," I directed Logan over to where my hands were chained, stretching my arms to pull the chain tight around a second pole. "You need to hit it right in the center okay? Use that dresser over there and take some practice swings. Try to hit it in the same spot."
Logan nodded, sloshing over to the wooden dresser in the corner. He hefted it up, bringing it down onto the top of the wooden piece of furniture. "Now hit it again the the same place," I instructed him.
He lifted the hatchet and brought it down again, the blade striking nearly five inches away from his first. "Shit," he grumbled.
"It doesn't matter," I hissed, getting impatient as the water had risen above my knees. "Just get me out of these things."
"But what if I miss?"
"We don't have time, Logan!"
Logan sloshed back over to me, his face hard and determined. "I trust you, Logan," I assured him. "You can do this. Hit right in the middle. You can do this."
"I can do this," Logan mumbled to himself, raising the hatchet. "I can do this."
He brought it down, my eyes squeezing shut for the few seconds the motion took, the sound of metal beating against metal filling my ears, and my hands fell separately from the steel pole. I opened my eyes to see Logan smiling exuberantly before tossing the hatchet into the far corner of the room.
I lurched forward, grasping Logan's face in my hands and kissing him hard on the lips. "Good job, Logan," I mumbled against his face. "Good job baby."
"James," Logan's voice quivered. "James, they said, they said we're sinking. We're gonna go down and there's not gonna be enough ships or jackets and we don't get one and-"
I slammed my lips down on Logan's to silence him like I had done so many times before. "Shhh," I soothed the quivering boy in my arms. "We're gonna make it, okay? Both of us. Together. And then we're gonna get to New York and live the life we're supposed to, okay?"
Logan's eyes locked with mine, and he nodded his head. "Okay."
The water filling the room we were in was still steadily rising, the icy liquid pooling nearly to our knees. "We have to go, Logan," I grabbed his hand and began to pull him from the room. "We don't have much time..."
Logan understood immediately, grasping my hand tighter and running with me when my legs sped up.
We dashed around corners, frantically trying to find an open gate to the stairways that led to the upper decks.
The water was still rising.
The ship was groaning around us, protesting as the rushes of the water abused the steel walls, stretching them out of proportion with every inch the water rose. I knew that if they walls broke, if the only thing holding the water back from completely filling the area we were in collapsed, the tidal wave that followed would surely kill Logan and I, drowning us in a split second.
"James," Logan's voice was strangled. "James, we're trapped."
"We're gonna make it," I told him fiercely. "We just need to keep moving."
The walls of the ship groaned again.
I was panting as we ran, and I could hear Logan's heavy breathing as well as he ran behind me. We ducked down another hallway, running up the stairs to the steel gate at the top, rattling it in hope that somebody would hear us.
I nearly fainted when a person really did.
"What're you doing down there?" the man that turned the corner scolded us. He was in a white and black waiter's uniform, probably forced to scope out this area for any other women and children that may be lost down there.
"Can you unlock the gate, sir?" I asked frantically, my eyes pleading.
The ship groaned again, but the sound was different this time. Instead of a long, drawn out groan, the sound was a short groan and then and earsplitting metallic shriek that could only mean one thing.
The walls had broken.
The waiter's expression became as frantic as ours, as we could hear the sounds of the water rushing in to fill the lower decks. He turned to run.
"Please!" I cried out. "Please, please don't leave! Don't leave us here to die! I beg you!"
The waiter stopped, his head flicking from us to the other end of the hallway, and with a sigh, he came back towards us, pulling a ring with multiple keys on it from his pocket.
The sound of the water was closer, nearly roaring in our ears.
The keys jingled as the waiter frantically tried to unlock the gate as the water that had not yet been higher that the stairs rose steadily, pooling around our calves.
The waiter switched keys. The water hit our knees.
The jingle of the keys got louder and more frantic as the water level rose, and I could feel Logan's panic emanating from his small body. I grabbed his hand.
The waiter stopped searching through keys when he saw our intertwined fingers. "You two are-?"
"Yes." I answered him simply. my patience wearing thin as the freezing water rose higher and higher with every second that passed.
The waiter's face creased in displeasure, but he continued to fiddle with the keys nonetheless.
His fingers became increasingly unstable, until the keys tumbled out of them all together, falling into the water that had reached a much-too-dangerous level. "I'm sorry," he said, his face sincerely apologetic. "I have to go."
"Wait!" Logan cried out at the waiter turned and ran, sloshing down the hall and away. "No, please! Come back! Come back! Help!"
"Logan, stop!" I grabbed his face and turned it to mine. "Calm down."
"But the keys!" Logan fretted. "We can't get passed the gate!"
"Don't worry," I told him, taking deep breaths to prepare for what I was going to do. "We're going to be fine."
And with that, I gathered my breath and dove under into the ice cold water. I heard a short cry of "James!" as I sunk further down.
My body felt like it wanted to shut down, the water was stinging every nerve in my skin numb. But I had to find the keys.
I could feel the water rising as I searched blindly for the set of keys. My hand slipped around feebly, desperately trying to get my fingers around the keys.
I was getting desperate as my air slipped away, my fingers raging, trying to snatch up the keys.
My numb fingers clasped around the ring.
I kicked back up to the surface, breaking into the air with a wild gasp.
"James!" Logan shrieked when I appeared. The water had risen so high, we were nearly pressed up against the ceiling of the lower decks. "Hurry, please!"
I fumbled with the keys until I found the one the waiter hadn't tested. The long, silver, double-toothed key. I took another deep breath and dove under, keeping my eyes squinted against the stinging of the water as I stuck the key into the lock, and turned.
The gate came clanging open, the water rushing out and dragging Logan and I along with it. I coughed as I came up, only to be knocked back down under water as the current sped through the hallway.
I managed to plant a firm foot on the ground, grabbing Logan so he would stay in place as well. "Come on. There's another staircase at the end of this hall."
Logan nodded, and I pulled him through the icy water to the staircase, shivering as we climbed the extravagantly crafted stairs.
As we broke through the door that took us to the top deck, I was shocked with what I saw.
The passengers were all frantically running around the deck, desperately trying to find their children or their family. Others were trying feebly to jam into the rescue boats, the crew having to forcibly hold them back as they loaded the wealthy women and any children they could find onto the boats instead.
I couldn't help but scan the panicking crowds for Reisa and my mother.
"James," Logan's voice was feeble as he spoke my name, and I realized he had the same feeling creeping up inside of him as I did as we watched the chaos on the deck around us.
We were going to die.
April 14, 1912; Logan
People were screaming, desperately trying to find a way to escape the fate that was most obviously going to befall them. They ripped life jackets away from others, pulled anything that look like it would float from the walls, hastily wrapping them around their bodies.
Death was waiting around the corner and people were doing all they could to avoid it. But it still wasn't going to be enough.
"Logan," James's voice was cold, shaking a bit around the edges. I could tell he was trying to keep himself together, but he was fraying at the seams. I took his hand into mine.
"I don't want to die, James," a small whimper escaped at the end. "I don't want to die."
James turned to me, his hazel eyes hard, his lips set in a firm line. "You listen to me. You are not going to die. Understand? You are not going to give up on me. We're going to make it."
My lower lip trembled, but I nodded nonetheless.
James kissed my forehead hastily before pulling me over to the huge crowd of people that had begun to gather near the rails, where another lifeboat was being loaded. I figured he was searching for Reisa, or his mother.
I was wrong.
He shoved me through the crowd, up to a crew member who was trying to hold back the rest of the mob, and failing. "Sir," James caught his attention. "Sir, excuse me, but this boy needs to get on that boat." My eyes widened.
James was trying to make me leave him.
"Women and children only," the man said, obviously strained.
"Do you realize who this is?" James hissed. Where was he taking this?
"I'm sorry, I do not," the crew member murmured.
"This is James Diamond," James ushered me forward again. To say I was confused was an understatement. "He is engaged to the daughter of Joseph Bruce Ismay, thus the newest heir to a million dollar fortune. If he dies, the whole fortune could be lost, thus causing thousands of people employed by Mr. Ismay to lose their jobs. Thus eventually sending their families into poverty. That's thousands of families you could be destroying if you do not let James on this boat. Now sir, do you want that to happen?"
I was speechless.
Everything that James had just said to this man seemed incomprehensible to me. There was that much riding on his marriage to Reisa? Thousands of families, he'd said.
The crew man looked hastily from James's face to mine, before nodding and grabbing my arm. "Get in," he pushed me towards the rescue boat.
My hand was ripped from James's, and my eyes locked with his in a desperate attempt to get him to stop this.
I didn't want to leave him.
"Please," I whimpered, and James's face fell. "Please," I pleaded again.
James just looked back at me sadly, shaking his head. "I'm sorry," he mouthed.
I wanted to run to him, to cling onto him and never let him go. I couldn't bear to look at him as I was lowered onto the rescue boat, safe because of a lie, as he stood on the deck of a doomed ship, waiting for when the time came for him to die.
The crew man raised his hand, calling out the signal for the other crew members to lower the ship. The craft jerked and the levers and pulleys moaned as the weight of the ship was lowered into the water below.
James rushed to the rail as the boat was lowered down, his gaze catching mine and never once leaving as the craft jerked and shuddered, and my heart squeezed and ached with more and more pain as James became further and further away.
I looked up to him in desperation; I needed him. I couldn't sit on this boat, being lowered to safety, as he stood there dying. And as he looked down at me, mouthing the words 'I love you' over and over again, something in me snapped.
There was no way in hell I was leaving him. If we were going to die, I was damn sure we were going to die together.
I lurched up from where I was sitting, ignoring the startled grunts of the women and children beside me, as I dashed to the edge of the boat. I planted my foot on the edge of the craft, and putting all of the power I could behind it, I pushed off and leaped to the rail of the deck we were descending passed, desperately reaching out for the rail. I nearly cried with joy when my fingers closed around it, but the joy was short lived as I realized I didn't have the strength to pull myself up.
"Help!" I cried, and thankfully, a group of passengers abandoned their panicking to pull me up and over the railing, and when my feet where firmly planted back on solid ground, I was immediately locked in an embrace I knew so well.
"James," I breathed, burying my head in his chest.
"So stupid, Logan," James scolded, but I could hear the relief in his voice. He hadn't wanted me to go as much as I hadn't wanted to leave him. "You're so stupid. Why would you do that? You're so stupid, Logan," James pulled my face from his chest to scatter kisses all over it. "I love you, you're so stupid, I love you, I love you."
"I couldn't do it," I told him, my voice shaking. A few tears littered my cheeks. "I couldn't leave you. I couldn't. I just couldn't, I'm so sorry."
James's fingers cradled my face, his thumbs wiping away the stray tears. "It's okay, baby," his own hazel eyes were shining with wetness. "But now that you just threw away a sure chance at survival, you better not leave me now, got it?"
I nodded. "I wouldn't dare."
James pushed me away from him fully, holding me by the tops of my arms, an arms length away from himself. "Now you listen to me, okay?" I nodded, my lips set in a firm line. "This is not going to be easy. I can't promise we'll make it. But you must promise me one thing, and I will promise you the same."
"I'll do anything," I told him.
"Promise me, that if I die, you will not give up. Promise me that you will go on, that you will live."
My eyes widened in horror. "No," I whimpered, trying to get close to him again. If he was going to die, I was going to die with him. He held me back still.
"Promise me, Logan."
I shook my head, a mantra of 'no' still spilling from my lips. "Promise me, Logan." James tried again.
I hung my head, trying to hide the wetness in my eyes. "I promise," I finally said. James pulled me close.
"Thank you," he buried his face in my hair. A few stray tears slipped through. "I love you, Logan."
"I love you, James," I murmured.
I pulled away from him myself this time, looking into his eyes for answers. I was scared, and I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was just as frightened as I was. Our future, the fate of our lives, only hours, minutes, seconds away, was completely uncertain. As the ship groaned and people continued to panic, the line between life and death became thinner, more and more blurred. There was no way to tell which fate would befall us.
Friends would hold friends as they died, family would hold family. Strangers would embrace as their fates were sealed, as they lived, or as they died. It was the only thing we could do; embrace another and try to bring ourselves peace in these panicked, uncertain moments of our lives.
"Logan!" I broke my gaze from James's to see a familiar face I had nearly forgotten about running towards me.
"Carlos!" I ran to him as he came to me. When I was close enough, I locked him in a tight embrace.
"I'm so scared, Logan," Carlos cried, and I could tell he'd been running. I figured he'd been running, trying to find a place of refuge like mostly every other passenger on the ship. "I don't want to die."
"We're not going to die." My words sounded like I was trying to convince the both of us of this fact. "We're going to make it."
I don't know how much time passed as Carlos and I were locked in an embrace, both trying to convince the other of the probability of life. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours. All I knew was that it was long enough for the ship to start its treacherous descent into the murky waters below.
"Logan, Carlos," Carlos looked up when James spoke his name, probably shocked to see him standing there. James didn't seem like he noticed. "We have to get up to the top deck. It's starting."
I nodded and grabbed the sleeve of Carlos's jacket, pulling him in the direction James had began to run.
The journey to the top deck was quicker than I'd expected it to be, and in a matter of slim minutes, we were there, caught in the mob of strangers that had not been lucky enough to get in a lifeboat, or even acquire a life jacket. It was not a new sight, but yet everything was different.
There was no panic.
The people had accepted their fate, had accepted that what would become of them was out of their control, and the only thing they could do was simply keep themselves together, and fight to live. Panic would do nothing but seal the death that lurked so closely behind them.
James, Carlos, and I stood motionless, joining in with the mob of people.
There was no turning back now.
April 14, 1912; James
The ship was sinking faster than anybody had presumed. People had thought we'd get days, if not, at least 24 hours before Titanic went completely under.
But like many other times during the short voyage, people were wrong. Titanic was going down fast.
The eerie calm that had befallen the passengers when Carlos, Logan, and I had emerged in the top deck had dissipated as quickly as it arrived wehn it was made lcear that we had not days, but only tiny hours until Titanic was under, and we were all left stranded in the middle of the ocean.
It was much too soon.
"We need to get to the other side of the ship," I spoke quickly, hoping Logan and Carlos understood. I could tell from the looks on their faces that they understood.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the ship was lifting out of the water, the stern beginning to rise out of the water as the bow sunk deeper and deeper. I was not the only one to realize that the ship was becoming more and more vertical, and the mob of people all began rushing towards the stern, all trying to get to the rails before the ship was completely vertical.
It seemed we'd have enough time to make it to the stern before it rose completely from the water, but my judgment was made too soon.
The ship gave a tremendous groan, and the ascent that had been taking a sweet, slow time suddenly lurched into speed, the ship beginning to rise with invigorated fervor.
"Shit!" I grabbed Logan's hand as I realized that the minutes I thought we had were turned to mere seconds. I wasn't the only one who noticed the change, and the mob of people had become a vicious crowd, all trying to get to safety before safety was just a fantasy they wished they'd grabbed when they'd had the chance.
"Don't you dare let go of my hand, Logan," I hissed, clutching his small hand in mine. "Understand?"
Logan nodded, lacing the fingers not intertwined with mine through Carlos's shaking ones.
I tugged on Logan's hand, bringing both him and Carlos forward at a fast pace. It was hectic, trying to keep my hand in his and his hand in Carlos's as we maneuvered the flood of people on the deck, but we somehow managed.
The ship let out another tremendous groan, and I stopped dead where I was.
I didn't know if my eyes were playing tricks on me, or if indeed, so quickly I could blatantly see it, the stern was rising out of the water at a pace that, frankly, frightened me in a way I hadn't been since a child.
"Oh no," I breathed, and Logan's hand tightened around mine, his expression mirroring the fright I felt inside.
"What's going on, James?" Logan asked, his voice quivering.
"The ship is sinking faster than I expected it to," I told him, and both his and Carlos's eyes widened in panic. "We need to get to the rails now, before the stern gets completely vertical."
Both Logan and Carlos nodded in understanding.
I tugged Logan along again, legs shaking as we tried to move quickly as the stern rose higher and higher. The ship groaned with the pressure put on it, and it became harder and harder to climb up the ever-steepening deck. Objects were already falling loose from their places, careening down the deck. The cries of people who had been hit by the objects set the preamble to the sounds of them falling and sliding down the deck with a horrid thud into the dangerous waters the ship was sinking into.
"James, I can't, Carlos -" I looked at Logan, struggling feebly to keep climbing. Carlos was having as much trouble as he was, and his hand had fallen from Logan's, causing him to be lost in the sea of people.
"Don't you dare stop now!" I growled at him, tugging him up towards me, desperately trying to keep him moving.
"But Carlos -"
"He needs to fend for himself," I hissed, regretting the words as soon as they were out, but I couldn't let my guilt at abandoning Carlos in the sea of people. "I'm sorry baby, but if we try to find Carlos now, we're not going to make it. And we're going to die."
I could see the conflict in Logan's eyes as he trudged on. I squeezed his hand, trying to ease his conscience. It seemed to worth a little bit, Logan smiling slightly up at me.
The ship groaned again, the stern rising out of the water at a more intense angle. People were sliding and falling all around us, my heart pounding in fear and the exertion I had to give to get to the rails.
They were so close. I could reach out and grab them. Just a few more steps -
"Oh thank God," I cried aloud when my fingers wrapped around the cold metal of the rails, Logan grabbing on next to me in the next second. "We need to get on the other side," I yelled to him, seeing as the chaos of the people and the ship crashing down around us.
Screams echoed all over the sinking vessel, one after the other. Death was spitting in our faces, and we simply watched as people fell to their treacherous fates, and there was nothing anybody could do but watch.
The stern rose higher yet, and people continued to scramble to reach the rails, more failing and falling to their deaths than actually succeeding. Fear was etched on the faces of those who had succeeded yet, and I looked to my right to see that Logan's face was marred with terror as well. I placed my hand over one of his on the rail, giving a little squeeze.
"I'm so scared," Logan whimpered.
"We're all scared," I breathed.
Logan looked as if he wanted to say something, but he was drowned out by the newest - and the most tremendously loud - roar made by the ship. The noise was like something you'd hear if the pits of Hell were splitting open, and my body locked down.
And the next thing I knew, the stern was falling from it's vertical position back into a horizontal one, breaking away from the other half completely.
The screams that had been so loud before seemed to increase in volume impossibly, every voice of every person on the ship now being stretched raw, Logan's and mine included.
"Hold on!" I yelled to Logan, my hand leaving his to grip harder on the railing than it had before.
It felt as if we were falling from a thousand stories high, the air rushing passed and stealing the breath from our throats as we tried to scream.
I felt my body lifting from the rail as the ship fell, and the weightless feeling that should've been a high was nothing more than a horror as I realized I might not be able to hang on, and neither would Logan.
My throat felt ripped raw as I screamed, my ears popping from the instantaneous shift in pressure. The cries of the other passengers flooded my ears, but they were all overridden by the sound of Logan next to me, begging desperately to whoever cared to listen, please, please don't let us die. Don't let us die.
The stern finished its fall with a groan that could shake the world, crashing into the murky waters, a tidal wave of epic proportions rising from the wreck. My body slammed down onto the rail, a cry of pain coming from my lips as the rail dug into my ribs.
"Logan?" I asked, my voice breathy. "Logan, baby, are you okay?"
Logan's face was pressed to the rail, his knuckled white with his grip. "Yeah, I'm okay," he responded, turning his head to look at me, offering a small smile.
There was a rare moment of silence as the people desperately gripping the rails in hope of survival realized that, indeed, they had survived. But the rare moment was short lived, as the stern slowly began to rise again, taking on water at a rate that proceeded it's previous, as the place where the bow had been was simply now a gaping hole, the water rushing in with nothing to stop it.
The only thing I could do in that moment was reach over, grabbing Logan's hand in mine. "I love you," I whispered to him, the ship getting closer and closer to going completely under.
"I love you, too," Logan smiled.
"I need you to listen to me, Logan, okay?" My expression was cold, serious. "When the ship goes in, its going to pull us under. Don't let go of my hand, and keep kicking, you hear? Do not stop kicking, even if you lose my hand. Got it?"
"Of course," Logan nodded. "I won't stop. Promise."
I craned my neck to kiss out intertwined hands. "As long as you don't let go, we'll be with each other forever," I whispered.
"Forever," Logan echoed.
Silence fell over us as the ship began to sink, the chill of the air cooling us to the core, and causing shivers to run down our spines. The scared whimpers of those around us gave an eerie soundtrack to the inevitable. I squeezed Logan's hand harder as the ship got closer and closer to the water. We had only seconds before we would be sucked in.
"On three," I yelled to Logan, as the whimpers of the other passengers had turned to screams as the water got closer and closer. "Hold your breath, and don't stop kicking." Logan squeezed my hand, his silent way of telling me he understood, that he would do what he needed to to live, to get back to me.
The water closed in on us.
"One." Logan squeezed his eyes shut.
"Two." His breathing became harder, trying to suck in every breath he could before the water cut it off.
"Three!" We both sucked in our final breaths as the water pulled us in.
April 14, 1912; Logan
The ship went under fast, the vacuum it created pulling us under faster than we could kick our ways up. My hand went to clench around James's, and my heart sank to my stomach as I realized his hand wasn't held in mine.
I kicked my legs with more ferocity, desperately trying to break the surface and find James. I didn't even care that I could be dying, that I could end up drowning. The only thought in my mind was the need to have James's hand in mine again.
I nearly cried with joy as my head broke the surface, sucking in the air that had been ripped form my lung. "James!" I called out as soon as I had enough air. "James! James!"
I tread water, my head flying in all different directions, water splashing in and burning my eyes as the people around me panicked. I called out again.
"Logan!" I nearly lost the air I had gained back when I heard James's voice answer me. "Logan, where are you?"
"James, I'm here!" I hit the water, trying to make myself obvious enough for James to find me.
I kept splashing until I felt arms wrap around me as best they could while in water, and James's voice purring in my ear, "Oh, thank God, Logan."
"James, James, it's so c-cold," I pulled myself closer to James's body, shivers wracking my own.
"I know," James said, his voice quivering. "We just need to find something to float on, get out of the water some."
James looked around at the debris from the ship floating around the surface. "There," he said, swimming over to a large, rectangular piece of wood floating in the water. I swam over to it as well, realizing it was a door as I got closer. "Get on." James pushed the door towards me.
I gripped the edges, kicking my feet and hauling my body onto the door. Part of my bottom half was still submerged in the water as I tried to leave a space big enough for James to get on as well. "You get on, too," I urged him.
James nodded, grabbing the door and attempting to haul himself up. The door, however, didn't have the buoyancy to hold both his and my weight, the door sinking under as James tried to get himself on.
"You just stay on," he said as he slipped off. "I'll be fine right here."
"But the water-"
"I'll be fine, Logan," James said sternly. "Get all the way on if you can, okay?"
I nodded, pulling my body completely onto the door. I shivered; though I was out of the water, the effect of the freezing air and the soaking clothes I had on still chilled me to the bone. "J-James, it's still s-so cold."
"I k-know," James began to hum quietly, and I recognized the tune as the one he's played me on his guitar in his cabin.
I smiled, leaning my head on the door as James hummed the tune over and over, the cold numbing my body until I couldn't feel any more.
"I-it has l-lyrics too, y-you know," James stuttered out.
"W-what?" I looked up to James's eyes, noticing for the first time the frosty look to his eyebrows and the blue tint to his lips.
"The s-song," James smiled weakly. "It h-h-has lyrics."
My eyes widened, my own lips curving upwards. "Sing?"
James leaned his head on the door, hand intertwining with mine as he began to sing the lyrics in a voice no stronger than a whisper.
"I p-p-promised I w-would be there, I s-s-swear I'm on my way. I know you may not h-hear me, but that's the pr-price I pay. And I don't know h-h-how I could ever go on a-alone, walking on my own. Like angels, you were floating to m-me, and that's how it sh-should be," James sang, his voice bringing a comfort with it that I hadn't expected.
"I d-don't wanna waste another m-moment, I don't wanna p-p-pay for things unspoken, I just w-wanna reach with a-a-arms wide open; take a shot in the d-dark to be where you a-are," James's voice died out, the short song going with it.
"You w-wrote that f-for m-m-me?" I asked, my voice a mere whisper.
"O-of course," James said. "W-who else?"
I shrugged my shoulders as best I could, as my whole body had gone numb. "You h-have a b-b-beautiful voice."
"T-thank you," James smiled, his blue lips only able to turn up slightly.
Silence fell over us, neither wanting to talk too much, as to conserve as much heat as we could. The only sound was of our shallow breaths, and the shivers and chattering teeth of the people around us. The cry of a child could be heard every so often, but when the child cried for the last time and the sob of his mother rang out, I stopped listening to the sounds around us, simply trying to focus on the breathing of the man in front of me. James's eyes were closed, his hair littered with frost, his lips a stark shade of dark blue.
"James," I nudged him gently.
"Logan," he whispered back, his eyes remaining closed.
"I l-love you," I told him, my voice breaking slightly.
James's hazel eyes opened. "Don't you dare do that," he scolded.
My brow furrowed, the wrinkle feeling odd on the shot nerves in my face. "What?"
"Don't sound like you're saying goodbye. Don't you dare give up." And James's voice didn't stutter.
"I won't," I assured him.
"Promise." He demanded.
"I promise," I whispered fervently.
James simply smiled at me, his eyes falling closed and the silence falling over us again. I could see the shivers wracking his body, my heart clenching in my desperation get him on the door too, or at least get him out of tthe water.
"James, m-m-maybe if I sh-shift over on h-h-here, you could still g-get on -"
"No," James said, eyes opening. They were a sad representation of what they were only yesterday; the sparkle was gone, the beautiful hazel color muted to a simple, muddy green. "Y-you're shivering w-worse than me. I'll be f-fine. Worry about y-yourself."
I sighed, my eyes following the trail of my breath as it puffed out then dissipated back into the chilly air. James's head fell back against the door, his eyes closed once more. "Do you think they'll come back?" I whispered in question.
"The b-b-boats. Do you th-think they'll c-come b-back?"
"Don't know, baby," James murmured. "We just g-gotta hope s-s-somebody does. And th-that's all we can do right n-now. Just sit, wait, and h-hope."
I grimaced as a painful shiver wracked my body. "James?"
James cracked open an eye. "Yeah?"
"H-hold my h-hand?"
James smiled, slipping his fingers into mine.
April 14, 1912; James
It was cold. No, cold was an understatement. It was absolutely subzero freezing.
I don't know how much time passed, how long I'd had my eyes on Logan, simply watching him just breath, the knowledge that he was still alive keeping me fighting for every ounce of warmth that was being sucked out of me, every ounce of the consciousness I'd desperately wanted to hold onto slowly slipping away.
Don't close your eyes, I chanted over and over in my head. If you close your eyes now, you're dead.
I don't want to die.
Logan's sleeping, or unconscious, I don't know, but the fact that he is blissfully oblivious to the situation now, if only for a few minutes at a time, and knowing that he can get away from the suffering cold for a bit brings me comfort. That's all I want, really - for Logan to survive. If I die, if I don't make it, he has to. He has to go on, for the sake of the both of us. We both can't die here. We didn't fight to get here for both of us to end up dead.
I look out into the black distance, my eyes straining to desperation to find any sign that the life boats were coming back, that they would save us, that we would be okay.
But as I scanned the horizon for what seemed like the millionth time in the infinite time we'd been floating, the result was exactly the same - nothing but the sullen, depression black nothingness that I'd seen every time.
Except now, the black was spotted not with the glowing lights of rescuers, but the cold, pale faces of those who had silently frozen to death.
It was ironic, really, how they had survived the whole sinking of the ship, only to die in the water as they waited for rescue.
My eyes flickered back to Logan's peaceful face, his short breaths puffing out in little, foggy clouds. Frost clung to his eyebrows, to the tips of his hair, and I couldn't help the thought that we looked like some sort of fallen, snowy angel.
I bet that I looked somewhat the same, only I could probably be described as some sort of human icicle.
A shiver ran through my body, my mind paying no attention to the wracking shudders, as my nerves were frozen to complete and utter numbness. I was colder than I'd ever been in my life, and I was damn sure that, if I even lived through this, I would never regain full feeling in my body.
That's what I feared about living through this. I didn't fear that I would find out my family had died, that I was going to simply be alone wherever I ended up. No, what I feared was never being able to touch the one I loved, to never be able to fully experience the smooth curves and hard planes of his body with my fingertips, to never be able to fully feel the way we pressed together in the most intimate of ways.
Still, I knew that horror would never be a possibility. I knew what was going to happen to me, what was happening now, what I had no control over or ability to stop. I'd made my decision as I looked at Logan's sleeping face, his parted lips through which his breaths still passed, and I whispered my apologies.
I love you, I thought feverently, squeezing my hand around his as best I could through the numbness. Don't you die.
I let myself sink further into the water than I already was, the cold barely even registering. My wasted body was practically the same temperature now. I was ready for what was coming. I accepted it.
With one last look to Logan, one more whisper of I love you to soothe my conscience, I let my eyes fall closed.
I let myself slip away.
I let the overwhelming blackness take me under.
April 4, 1912; Logan
The first thought to register in my mind was shouting. The second was that there was a light shining in my eyes.
The third was the realization that somebody had come back.
I lifted my head up from the door, my heart pounding in my chest with revived life. "James," I called. My voice came out as a hoarse whisper. "James."
I looked to my love, his hand still curled around mine. So cold.
My eyes scanned his face, his expression peaceful, like he was sleeping. His pallor was a ghostly white, his lips a chalky, pale blue. His eyelids were nearly transparent, eyebrows and eyelashes home frozen crystals. His hair looked like a painted, frosty masterpiece, the once lively strands seemingly frozen in time.
My heart split in two in realization. "James? James? James!" My voice broke as I cried his name. My chest tightened in the need to sob, to cry out the pain as the knowledge that James had died right next to me - his frozen hand still held in mine - sunk into my core.
I wanted to cry, needed to cry, but my drained body wouldn't let me. The only thing I could do was stare brokenly, pain ripping me apart as I pulled my hand from James's, and watched as he went down, face still that peaceful, ghostly white.
"Hello?" I turned my head to see two of the crew members from Titanic standing solo in a rescue boat, one sitting on the bench stack with blankets and paddling the boat, the other holding a flashlight in his hand, shining it on the faces of the dead in the frozen water. "Is anybody alive out there? Hello?"
My eyes widened in horror as I realized the boat was going away from me, my only change of survival slowly being paddled away. "Come back," I tried to yell, my vocals chords still numb, my voice still meager and weak. "Come back!"
I dropped off from the door, my body sinking into the water as I pleaded again and again, my cries getting no louder. I swam slowly, my body to numb to move properly.
I cringed as I swam up to a corpse of another crew member, my eyes widening as I noticed the object sticking out of his mouth.
Ignoring my better judgement telling me not to take something out of a dead man's mouth and put it in mine, I ripped the whistle from his mouth, putting it in mine, and blowing as hard as I could.
The shrill sound of the whistle rang out loud and clear.
The man on the boat with the flashlight gestured to the one paddling, holding his hand out and pointing in my direction. I kept blowing on the whistle.
I kept blowing until the boat was floating up beside me, and then men were hauling me from the water. The whistle fell from my mouth as they wrapped blankets around my body, trying to heat me up to the best of their ability.
"Do you know if anybody else survived?" The man with the flashlight asked me. I shook my head. "We're still going to search a little longer, alright? And if we don't find anybody, we're going to go back to the other boats. Alright?"
I nodded again.
The boat continued to float among the corpses for about ten minutes longer, only finding two other people alive in the water, both women. I heard them deftly say their names were Maria and Rose, my mind not fully comprehending anything passed the fact that I'd survived, and James hadn't.
A sob broke through my lips as I was finally able to feel again, Maria and Rose giving me looks of concern, the two crew men too occupied with navigating away from the corpses and back to the other boats. Another sob broke through and another, until I was completely breaking apart. I felt the arms wrap around me as I broke down, James's name spilling from my lips like a grief-filled mantra.
"Oh God, Maria, he must've lost his brother," Rose's arms tightened around my body. God, she was wrong.
I didn't lose my brother; I lost the love of my life. I lost James. My James.
It was sheer luck that that ship was sailing by, sheer luck that the rescue boats were floating in that place in that time. It seemed like God was finally cutting us some slack, having put us through enough hell to do us this small favor.
I sat on a wooden crate, a wool blanket wrapped tightly around my shoulders. Rose and Maria had bid me farewell when we got on the ship, saying they had places to be and people to find, wishing me the best of luck and that I may find what I was looking for. If they only knew I'd already lost everything I could've hoped to find.
I didn't realize somebody had been talking to me until they tapped my shoulder, a small "Excuse me, sir?" catching my attention, my head turning to the voice. A thin man in a crew's uniform stood before me, a clipboard in his hands.
"Hmm?" I mumbled.
"I need your name, sir," the man said.
"Logan -" I hesitated. I squared my shoulders as I turned fully to him and said "Logan Diamond."
The man nodded, scribbling on the clipboard before turning and walking back the way he came. I sighed, turning back the way I'd been facing before.
"Logan Mitchell?" I grunted in annoyance as I turned again, my annoyance morphing to shock when I saw exactly who was calling my name.
"Reisa?" My eyes widened as she came over to me.
"Oh thank goodness," she fell onto her knees next to me. "I thought I was the only one. Finally. Somebody I know."
"Reisa, hold on, back up," my brow furrowed as I tried to comprehend the woman's bizarre behavior. "What are you talking about, somebody you know?"
"I haven't found anybody," she explained. "Father...Father didn't make it. I don't know where Mrs. Diamond is. Oh gosh, James! Did James...?"
"No," I told her, my voice falling to a whisper.
"I'm sorry," she apologized, my confusion stirring as I realized she sounded genuinely sorry.
"Reisa, I'm confused," I admitted.
She smiled sadly. "I figured you'd be," she said. "Well you see, I had a lot of time to think about what a shrew I was when I realized I'd might never see James or my family again, and I was sick with myself at the last impression of me I left them with. I'm not usually like that, you know,"
I remained silent, waiting for her to continue.
"Well, when we got on this ship, I had already vowed to myself that I was going to fix the opinions of me I'd left those people with if I found them alive. You're the first person I've found, Logan."
"So you just want me to change my opinion of you, to prove that you're not a shrew?"
"That was the plan originally," Reisa admitted. "You know, I was standing over there -" she pointed over by a bunch of crates like the one I was sitting on, about twenty feet away - "for about ten minutes before I even came over and called your name." She paused. "I heard you tell the man your name was Logan Diamond."
Logan flushed, a little surprised that blood could actually heat his cheeks again. "You heard that?"
Reisa laughed one, hard chuckle. "I did," she said. "I thought I'd be angry, but the only thing I could think of was how much you must truly love him. About how much he must've loved you too. He fell deeper in love with you in a matter of days than he did with me in years." Reisa's blue eyes were sad.
"I'm sorry," I murmured.
"Don't apologize," Reisa's sad smile was back. "I'm not upset, actually. In all honesty, I'm a bit relieved."
"Why?" I asked, my interest peaked.
"I knew the reason James was marrying me was only to keep his family's fortune. My father, however, was painfully oblivious to it. I went with it because Father thought it was the right thing to do. I did love James, but it wasn't nearly enough to be ecstatic about marrying him." Reisa spilled.
My brow furrowed. "if you really didn't want to marry James, why were you so angered when he ran off with me?"
Reisa's lips curved up at one corner. "How would you react if your fiancee had run off with another man?" Her smile faded. "I wasn't as much angry as I was embarrassed. The only thing I could think of at the time was 'what does this man have that I don't?'" Reisa shook her head. "I figured it out, though."
"Figured what out?"
"What you have that I don't," Reisa explained. "What you still have, even now."
"And what's that?" I asked, inching forward in anticipation of what she was going to say.
"You had his love," she said. "His full, real, heartclenching love. And I never had that." Reisa smiled, digging into the pocket of the large coat she wore around her shoulders, pulling something out, keeping it tucked in her fist. "Hold out your hand," she ordered.
I did as she told, holding my hand out, palm up and open. She set her fist in my palm, her fingers opening, whatever she had in her hand falling into mine. She pulled her hand away, and my eyes flashed to the curled up piece of gold in my palm. A necklace.
"James said he would give it to the love of his life," she said. "He gave it to me on the night we were engaged." Her small shoulders slumped. "I know now that he was lying. I wasn't the love of his life." Reisa looked me dead in the eyes, countenance more serious than I'd ever seen a woman's before. "You were."
"Reisa, I -"
"Don't argue, alright?" She said brusquely. "He would've wanted you to have it. You deserve to have it."
"I don't know what to say,"
"Thank you would work."
"Thank you, Reisa," I murmured. "Thank you so much."
Reisa rose to her feet, offering me a smile that, for the first time, wasn't sad. "You're welcome, Logan." She looked over her shoulder for a moment before she looked back at me. "I really should be going," she said. Reisa bent at the waist, leaning into me and wrapping her small arms around me shoulders. "May you find what you're looking for, Logan Mitchell, and may you find the happiness you deserve."
And with that, Reisa left me, the necklace in my hand, mouth open in surprise, and a feeling in my heart that I knew was telling me that everything was going to be just fine.
Present day, 1996
I stroked the delicate gold in my wrinkled hands, smiling to myself as my children sit bewildered, their expression almost laughable in their shock.
Ian was the first to speak. "You kept this a secret all these years?"
I nodded, closing my hand around the necklace. "But why?" Kate chimed in.
"I never got the right chance to tell it," I said simply.
Ian's brow furrowed. "If...if this James Diamond was the love of your life, did you ever even love mom at all?"
I leaned forward in my chair, smiling at my son. "Your mother was the one to heal me. Alexandra took on quite the load when she met me," I chuckled, "but she did it. I loved your mother very much. Still do."
"Wait," Kate held up a and, as if to tell me to physically stop. "Our last name is Diamond. As in James Diamond?"
My smile turned to Kate. "Didn't you hear when I said I told the man on the ship my name was Logan Diamond?" I sat back in my chair again. "That's what I went on living in New York as. Logan Mitchell died on Titanic, Katherine."
Kate looked utterly shocked, Ian mirroring her expression. "I can't believe no one knew," Ian muttered. "Not even Mom,"
"Oh, Alexandra knew," I said, and Kate squeaked a 'What?' "It was the first thing I told her when she said she wanted to help me. I remember, I said, "The only person I've ever fallen in love with was a man; I don't know if you're going to be able to fix me.'" I laughed lightly, thumbing the necklace in a somber remembrance. "She laughed, and you know what she said?" I grinned fondly as I recalled the memory. "She said, 'Oh, Logan, I bet I can fix you. And I bet I'll get you to fall in love with me when I'm done.' And she did, that woman. I fell in love with her damn hard."
"And she didn't care that you'd loved a man?" Kate pondered.
"If she did, she sure didn't show it," I said. "Most amazing woman I ever met, I'll tell you. Damn glad I got her before anybody else did. Don't know where I'd be without her."
Kate and Ian fell silent, the eyes of my grown children looking like they did when they were only toddlers, trying to absorb the confusion that the world caused them. "Do you still love him?" Kate asked quietly.
I nodded. "I will always love him," I stroked the necklace gently once more.
Kate simply nodded, Ian echoing her action. My children rose to their feet, as they'd taken a seat on the floor as standing became tiring during the long story.
Kate came forward, resting a hand on my knee. "How are you, Katherine?" I asked quietly.
Kate leaned in, placing a kiss on my withered forehead. "A little irked that you waited so long to tell us, Daddy," Kate smiled. Ian nodded, smiling as well. "But other than that, I'm good."
I grinned at my daughter and son. "Give me your hand, Katherine," I commanded. She stuck out her hand, palm up. My grin grew as I remembered the scene with Reisa on the ship that had saved our lives as I dropped the necklace into my daughter's hand. "I want you to have this." I said as her hand closed around the delicate gold piece.
Kate's countenance was confused. "But why?"
I simply shook my head. "I was told that it was meant to be given to the love a somebody's life," I murmured, "and you and your brother are the best things to ever happen to me, and the greatest loves in my life. So I want you to have it, Katherine. And you as well, Ian, although you probably won't want to wear a piece of woman's jewlery," I grinned. Ian smiled back, laughing as he did.
"Good guess, dad," he said.
"Take good care of that," I told Kate. "It's very special to me. And I hope it will be as special to you."
Kate nodded, closing her hand around the necklace then pressing the hand against her heart. "Thank you," she said, planting another kiss on my wrinkled forehead.
I stretched out my joints, stiff from sitting so long. "How about we take a walk downtown?" I proposed. "I'm stiff from sitting so long."
Ian and Kate nodded in agreement. "Sure, Dad," Ian said. "Do you need help getting up?"
"No, no,: I waved off Ian's attempts at help. "You two go grab your coats and things. It's chilly. I'll be there in a moment."
Kate and Ian nodded again, Ian walking from the living room into the foyer where his coat was, Kate tapping my knee with her hand lightly before following him out.
I groaned as I tried to get up, my joints protesting the movement, but I made it.
I sauntered over to where Kate had found the necklace, picking up the box she'd snatched it out of. I opened the box, lifting up the velvet lining where I knew it opened.
I stuck my fingers under the flap, the tips closing around the thin picture I knew was there, pulling it out slowly, as not to damage it.
I sighed as I turned the picture, James's face from so many years ago digging up the memories I had just revealed to my children. I smiled sadly as I took him in, his brown hair, hazel eyes, the complete beauty of his face.
I held to photo to my heart as Kate had done with the necklace, the sad smile still on my face as I whispered the words I'd wished I'd had the chance to say to James before he died.
"I love you, James Diamond."
Weeeee shit ending, I know.