A/N: Isn't it nice that Jack went to Heaven? It's gonna be so awkward when I die and get to Heaven and the real Jack Phillips will be all like, "Did you write a romantic story about me?" and I will be all like, "Yeah, I guess I did." I'd like to say hi to Mark C, who is attempting to finish my story, well done for getting this far. Sooo thank you to TailsNdJosh6210, such a sweet review! Thanks to Upisdowngirl and finally thanks to Number 1 fan, it has been a while! Poor you and your lack of internet! I am glad that I was able to write a story that you enjoyed, makes me so proud.
"I have done all that is required of me," – Jack Phillips, quoted at his memorial service in 1912
I cannot stop crying, it is mean to be the happiest day of my life, well, that is what my mother had told me. I kneel on the ground, knowing that I am getting my dress dirty.
"Young lady, are you alright?" a woman asks from behind me, I had not noticed her approach, all I had heard before was birds singing, the sound of water and myself sobbing.
"Very alright," I say as I turn to face her, wiping tears from my cheeks,
"So, who are you?" she asks with a kind smile, holding her hand out to help me up, but I don't get up.
"My name is Rachel Given," a lie,
"What a nice name," she coos,
"I am seventeen years old," another lie,
"This is a happy place," she tells me, "You should feel happy."
She turns and walks away, leaving me alone again. It is the twenty-fifth of April 2020 and I am in Godalming, Jack's hometown, there they have a beautiful memorial cloister, all for him, this is where I am now. In front of me is an inscription,
"This cloister is built in memory of John George Phillips a native of this town Chief Wireless Telegraphist of the ill-fated S.S Titanic. He died at his post when the vessel foundered in the mid Atlantic on the 15th day of April 1912."
I press my head against the stone under the brass inscription, remembering how I came to be here. I was on the 'Carpathia', the men wrapped Jack up in the sheet and they lifted his body up, I couldn't watch, I just couldn't, so I turned and ran, my cold, wet feet pounding on the wooden deck, pressing the ring against my face as I cried and ran, unable to see, I didn't want to see anything, I just wanted to get away. I crashed into someone and fell to the ground, scratching my knees and knocking the air out of myself.
"Sorry, love," a broad accented male said.
I couldn't get up though, I was too tired and dizzy, I shut my eyes to try and block out the swirling, it was as if the world was spinning faster and faster.
"No!" I called out,
It was hard to breathe; I struggled to fill my lungs. I tried to scream out again but my mouth was too dry.
"No," I whispered, before opening one eye, a dark place.
I was lying down, that much I could tell, so I opened the other eye. I felt confused as to where I was, then I heard a steady bleeping, this shocked me back into reality. I put my left hand to my face, no ring. I quickly sat up; it was painful as my body was so stiff.
"Hello?" I whispered, hoping that there would be a reply, hoping that there would be someone with me, but I was alone.
My eyes adjusted to the dim light, it was not completely dark. It was the same hospital room as before, the heart rate monitor lit up red and bleeped steadily, there was a tube sello-taped to my nose; I pulled it off, the same for the wires and tubes that led to my wrists. The steady beep of the heart rate monitor turned to a constant tone, ringing in my ears; I flinched at the sound and slowly climbed out of the bed, my limbs aching. I walked to the window, putting one bony hand on the glass, seeing myself dimly reflected.
"I am not used to being alone," I whispered.
I could see that I now had sharply protruding cheek bones, my hair longer and messier looking, my eyes shrunken and my skin pale in the dim light. Life in Belfast had gone on; I could see the lights of cars shooting past in the street below my window. I put one hand to the latch, it was unlocked, and so I opened it, feeling the cold wind rushing in, blowing back my long hair and hospital gown.
"What are you doing?!" Someone shrieked, the light was switched on,
It was too bright, so I narrowed my eyes and shielded them with one hand; I turned to face a shocked nurse standing in the doorway.
"Don't be at that!" she said, attempting to sound calming.
She walked quickly over to me and grasped my wrists, then she took me back to the bed, sticking various tubes and wires back to me.
"You need rest!" she said sternly,
"I have been resting!" I moaned, "I've been resting for…"
"I don't mean to shock you, I know you have been in a coma for a while," she said, "But it is the twenty-third of February 2020."
I gasped as she lifted up the chart at the end of my bed,
"They didn't switch off your life-support because you woke up a few years back," she said, "You are twenty-five years old."
I pulled the sheets up around me to hide my fear,
"No! I'm not that old!" I hissed, glaring at her, "Keep away from me, you liar!"
"Don't be so rude," she said, tucking me into the bed, a patronising smile on her face, "or I'll have to give you a sedative!"
So I lay down and she switched out the light. I tried not to cry, stuffing my fist into my mouth and biting down on it, and then tears started to pour from my eyes.
The first people to visit me in the morning were my family, mother, father, Ciaran and Mr Andrews. Mum and Dad looked nearly the same, just a bit older, I felt such relief on seeing them, they cried as they embraced me warmly. Ciaran was now a fully grown adult, which was very strange.
"I was asleep in Glasgow when Mum and Dad called me up," he said, "telling me that my big sister had woken up at long last, so I caught an early flight and here I am!"
"Glasgow?" I asked slowly,
"Yes!" he smiled, "I am in my final year of studying Naval Architecture!"
Thomas Andrews smiled proudly at him, then his face turned serious as he looked to me,
"I see Mr Phillips couldn't return," he said, knowing that my parents could not hear,
I shook my head in reply.
"We will be back later to pick you up," Dad said, "when the hospital says it is fine for you to leave."
"Thank you," I said.
They left me on my own again, but within ten minutes a young woman entered the room, her dark hair tied back and she was wearing a plain dress,
"Hello, Rachel," she said,
I stared at her for a moment, before realising that she was my school friend, Hayley. She came and sat on the bed.
"I'm Hayley," she said slowly, pointing to herself,
"Yes, I know," I replied, she looked shocked that I could even speak.
"All the people in our class gave you a card," she said, picking up a card from the table next to the bed, she opened it, on one side there was a photograph of everyone from my class at school and on the other side was everyone's signatures and messages like,
"Get well soon, love Kellie,"
I could barely remember most of the people, as if they had all been knocked from my memory by everything that had happened. Hayley set the card into my skinny fingers, she smiled sadly at me.
"We can catch up sometime," she said,
Then I saw the rings on her finger,
"You're married?" I asked quietly,
She nodded and laughed before walking to the door,
"Like I said," she giggled, "We'll catch up sometime!"
Throughout the day I was checked by doctors for various damages, brain scans, flashing lights in my eyes and poking me in nerves.
"You are under-weight," one doctor told me, "but you will make a full recovery,"
"Well, that is good," I said, not really caring that much.
By evening I was at home, the same house, the same room. I sat on the bed with my legs crossed,
"Jack?" I whispered hopefully, wishing that I had imagined all that had happened while I was in a coma. I wanted the comforting cold, the blue glow that I had come to adore.
Of course nothing happened, I sighed to myself and walked over to the mirror, my parents had brought some of my clothes up to the hospital for me to get changed into for going home, but they looked too big on my skinny body, I cringed at my pale face, so sickly looking. I put my hands over my eyes.
"I'll look better after I take a shower," I told myself.
In the shower I noticed that my stomach and lower back were covered with huge, raised, white scars, my arms weak and weedy, a clatter of ribs showed through pale and scarred skin. After the shower I plucked my eyebrows a bit and solidly cleaned my teeth. I dried my hair and put on some clothes that had been too tight on me when I was seventeen. I applied some old make-up when I was back in my room, the make-up was probably rotten as it hadn't been used in so long, then I looked in the mirror once more.
"Not as bad," I muttered on seeing myself again.
I went to the window, staring out at the Belfast skyline, seeing tall buildings I had never seen before. I heard someone come into the room behind me; I turned and saw that it was Ciaran, followed by Mr Andrews. I could still not adjust to my little brother's new, grown-up appearance.
"I went in the 'Titanic 2' a few years ago," he said, leaning on the windowsill next to me, as we looked out on the city,
"It was quite accurate to my ship," Thomas chipped in,
"When I was in the coma," I said, "Jack and I were on the Titanic, it was lovely, but then..."
"Thomas tried to explain to me," Ciaran replied, "he said some angel lady put you and Jack on the 'Titanic' to see what would happen... it must have been horrible."
"Oh it was," I whispered, "it was all so real..."
Then the doorbell rang,
"I'll get it!" Ciaran called; there was a Scottish hint to his Belfast accent.
He ran down the stairs, Thomas stayed with me for a moment,
"I hope you are alright, Miss Rachel," he sighed, "it is difficult to be apart from the person that you love."
"It's for you, Rachel!" Ciaran called up the stairs.
I looked at Mr Andrews, wondering who could possibly be calling for me. Mr Andrews nodded at me, to tell me to go downstairs, so I did. I could not see who was in the doorway, as it was dark outside now. Ciaran stepped away from the door, walking to the kitchen with Thomas who had followed me down the stairs, so I was alone with whoever was at the door.
"Hello?" I called out,
He stepped out into the light, it was a young man, not particularly handsome, but not unattractive, his dark eyes reflected the light from inside my house; he pushed his fringe behind one ear.
"Aren't you going to invite me in?" he said with a smile,
"I would," I replied, "if I had any idea who you are!"
He looked deeply insulted, that look could only belong to one person.
"Oh shit," I said, putting a hand to my mouth and stepping back to let him in, "I'm sorry, Chris."
"It's okay," he said as he walked up the front steps to my house.
I closed the door behind him; he was looking down at me, smiling kindly.
"Let's go to the living room, shall we?" I said, pointing the way.
He took my hand in his, I didn't complain as I liked the comfort. We sat down together on the sofa in my living room; I switched on a small lamp, so the room was warmly lit.
"I've missed you," he said, letting go of my hand,
"It's been hard for me too," I said quietly,
"Girls like you are rare," he said, looking into my eyes, "I know because I have looked."
I blushed and looked downwards; he put a finger under my chin, tilting my head up again.
"I'm sorry about the way I treated you before," he whispered, "I was stupid, I understand now."
"You understand?" I asked,
"I have a guardian angel too," he smiled, "her name is Hilary Dennehy, say it,"
I repeated her name, then she faded in and I could see her, she was beautiful and strangely ageless looking, dressed in a dark nuns' robe.
"Christopher is very affectionate towards you," she said kindly, "we would go and visit you every day,"
"I appreciate it," I said, smiling at them, grateful for how much they had cared about me,
"That's not all," Chris said, he looked so much more mature than last time I saw him,
"Oh no," I thought to myself as Chris got down on one knee, I wanted to tell him that I couldn't possibly, that I already had someone, but that would be a lie, previously I had had someone, I was engaged in another life.
"Will you marry me?" he asked, the ring in the box was a lot more expensive looking than the one Jack gave me, but nowhere near as beautiful, or as romantic.
I glanced away from him; this wasn't what I wanted at all,
"Come on, Rachel," he whispered, "I already asked your parents and they agree, I am good for you now."
"Now?" I asked,
"I wasn't good for you when we were younger, we weren't right for each other," he said, "but things have changed, we have changed; now we need each other."
"I need you?" I whispered,
"Yes," he smiled, taking my left hand in his and slipping the ring onto it.
"Okay then," I said, knowing that no one else would want a girl who had been in a coma for years, I felt as though I was a girl without any kind of future.
So I had agreed to marry Chris, which is what led me to where I am right now, I promised him I would marry him if the ceremony could be in Godalming, he said yes to my suggestion. So two months after I said I would marry him I was standing in a church in Jack Phillips' hometown, a plaque on the wall of the churching saying that he attended that very church.
"Rachel Given, do you take Christopher Gallagher to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
The only people that attended were close family and friends from both sides, so there were not a lot of people there. I stood with a pen in my hand after signing my name on the register, that was it married, I had kissed him, I had agreed, that was it.
"If only I had been born one hundred years earlier," I thought to myself, "I could have married Jack."
Chris went to take my hand,
"Come on, wife," he whispered with a smile,
Then it all dawned on me, I should have been with Jack, not with Chris, I had made a big mistake, so I ran out of the church, Chris called after me, Ciaran looked shocked. As soon as I got out the door I ripped the veil from my head and flung it away, running and running, unsure of where to go, but then I was drawn to a place with high walls, like it was calling out to me, The Phillips Memorial Cloister.
I cry and cry, wishing that I could change what had happened, wishing that things didn't have to be this way. A hand is on my shoulder, I see Chris looking down at me as I kneel at Jack's memorial.
"I swear we will be happy together," he says, I feel slightly spiteful towards him, he has an angel, he is protected by her, I have lost mine.
He helps me to my feet, wiping tears off my cheeks,
"I love you, Chris, but..." I say,
"You need to learn to forget," he tells me, "I will be like your angel now,"
But I know that I told Jack that I would think about him every single day for the rest of my life, and I do not plan to break that promise, no matter what Chris tells me. Chris kisses me on the lips, a passionless kiss.
"You are mine now," he whispers,
I force a smile, I may be married to him, but in my heart I am forever on the 'Titanic' with Jack Phillips and I know that when my time comes, I will find him.
A/N: The final word
Firstly, thank you for reading! This story has been a BIG part of my life for the past few months, I didn't ever imagine getting this far when I started this in a little notebook while lying on my bedroom floor when I should have been studying for exams in June, but here we are, the end. Promise me you will all look out for Jack Phillips' one line in Titanic 1997!
So, a few dedications, I will keep this short.
Jack Phillips - Well obviously without you this story never would have happened, I find you very inspiring, a true hero, I hope I did you proud.
Louise – True best friend, I hinted that I had written a story and you found it and read it! You always had something nice to say about it, which was always very motivating! I love you!
Joe – little brother, the first person I know to read this story, you are the person most knowledgeable about Titanic that I know! You defeat even me, you are a lovely little bro, always up for a chat, a movie or whatever, keep up the good work!
All my reviewers – every time I see that I have a new review my heart leaps! You have all made me very happy; I hope you all enjoyed reading my story, as I have really enjoyed your reviews.
Everyone that was on the Titanic – each person has a story to tell, a dramatic, tragic story, many of them we will never know, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't care.
Lastly, Sammy – you will never read this, I know, former friend, former love, apparently I was the first person to call you a best friend, so you repaid my efforts with dumping me on my birthday, I thank you for your unintentional inspiration, you accidently invented the title, "I don't give second chances, hint hint." On 14th April 2012 (last time I saw you) the only thing that struck ice was your apparent "love" for me.
That is all from me for now, hopefully I will think of a new idea sooner or later.