"Forever and always..."
Emma Carson is travelling on the Titanic back to America with her fiancee, Peter Whitman and her baby sister Sybil, to save her parent's company after their deaths. Along the way, the trio becomes entangled in the well-known love story of Rose and Jack and the web that ensnares them all. Can their actions help or destroy the lovers' chances of freedom? Or will they be too late?
Prologue: They Call Her TitanicEdit
A loud horn breaks the silence of the night like a lone voice calling on its people.
Emma Carson sits up in bed at the sound and stretched out. She makes her way to the window and pulls back the curtain. Her eyes behold a beautiful ship ablaze with lights from bow to stern contrasting the inky black night that covered the Southampton port. She can't help but smile with pride, knowing exactly what ship it was. It was going to be a bittersweet trip home, after laying her parents to rest in Ireland. There was enough money from the funeral to cover their trip home on a marvellous ship the world had ever seen.
Emma feels a deep sadness whenever the thought of her parents came up. She was now the sole guardian of her baby sister, Sybil, forcing her to grow up quickly. It also saddened her that her sister would not grow up and know her parents as she did. Eighteen beautiful years with the love and support of her mother and father that could never be replaced. Nevertheless, Emma vowed to love and care for Sybil and give her as close to a normal life that she could offer her sister.
She was off to a good start. She was engaged to the most handsome young man life had to offer. Peter Whitman had proposed to her six months ago and she accepted without hesitation. She truly loved him and wanted to be his wife. Their plans for a wedding had taken a backseat to for her father and then the death of both her parents. Her mother had died shortly after Sybil was born due to complications and her father followed soon after. Despite the setbacks, the couple agreed to marry as soon as possible so that Sybil would have a loving 'real' family to watch over her as she grew. The couple planned to have children of their own someday, but after Sybil had grown a bit.
The future of her father's company weighs heavily on her mind these days and was one of the reasons that the ship's horn had woken her from a stressed and restless sleep. She was now heir and owner of the company, meaning every decision was crucial to the fate of her family's future. She must be sure to honour her father's wishes and protect what he had built for his children.
The horn blows out again that brought Emma back to the present. As she gazes out from their little hotel window, she can't help but be amazed and excited for the journey ahead and a single glance at the ship fills her with hope. For the brief few moments of gazing at the ship, she feels relief and like a child again, staring at something that was so magical and magnificent.
She turns once to see Peter sleeping in their bed, quiet and solemn as if simply pondering what his dream might mean to him.
She steps away from the curtain and checks on her baby sister in the cradle adjacent to the window.
Her baby sister's angelic face seems to glow in the warmth of the bed and begs for Emma to pick her up and never put her down again. She had to protect Sybil at all costs and give her the life she deserved to have. It was a vow she made after her mother passed on and she'd said it again when her father did too. Family vows were sacred, and she always kept them no matter what.
Emma leans down and whispered in her sister's ear
"I promise to love and care for you forever and always"
Sybil rolls over once in her sleep and coos ever so softly.
Feeling a bit better, Emma climbs into bed next to Peter and snuggles close to him.
The glowing ship seems to be ingrained in her memory and gave her a sense of hope and peace. She hears the horn blowout once more before darkness took her consciousness and allowed her to rest with slight ease.
The words fell on her lips as she falls asleep
Chapter 1: Ship of My DreamsEdit
The water is cold. Unbearably cold. Emma's eyes flutter open as she clings to a piece of wreckage, it is the only thing keeping her afloat and away from a very dark and watery grave. She's afraid to look down into the deep black void that is the ocean below, ready to suck her down below the icy waves. Her entire body is numb as can be, knowing her hands must be frozen to the wreckage. She slowly looks up to see a mighty ship in total blackness going downwards, sinking into the void of the abyss. Thousands of people are screaming in her ears and she can only watch in horror as tremendous boom echoes across the water, the sound of the ship breaking in two. The screams become louder and death is so near. Emma's tears freeze to her face as a final ship horn blows out before it vanishes beneath the...
"Emma" a faraway voice calls out to her. "Emma wake up."
Emma jolts upwards in bed, chills all over. She's panting frantically as her face meets daylight and her eyes try to adjust from the darkness of her slumber.
"Emma, sweetie what wrong?" Peter asks, blowing his blonde hair out of his face.
Emma looks beside her to see her fiancé's bright blue eyes looking up at her.
"Just...just a nightmare," She pants. "One about a sinking ship."
The ship horn blares across the harbour. Emma shudders again.
"You're just nervous that's all," Peter says, patting her side.
"But it was so real Peter! What if this ship sinks?!" Emma says, going to the curtain, pulling it back to stare at the ship that just last night had enchanted her and made her excited.
"It's brand new Emma, this ship has all the latest and proper safety equipment. They wouldn't let people set sail on it if it wasn't safe or seaworthy."
"Still, you can't help but wonder..." Emma squeaks, closing the curtain again.
Peter gets up, wraps his arms around her, and kisses her cheek to comfort her
"It's just the stress of what's to come to Emma. We have a lot to deal with when we get back to America."
"Don't remind me." she groans.
"It'll be okay, I'll be right here the entire time...I promise."
A happy squeal reaches the couple's ears as Sybil, herself wakes up. Her tiny legs kick upwards, and she sucks on her fingers. Emma moves to the cradle and stares lovingly down at her sister. Her lively blue eyes seem to light up the room and her lovely patch of blonde hair seems to glow in the morning sun. Emma had always been pleased that her sister looked so much like her mother did, while she herself looked like her father with blue eyes and chestnut brown hair. She wants to be reminded of her mother whenever she looked at Sybil.
"Hello, sweetie." Emma coos, forgetting her nightmare completely to pick up her baby sister.
Sybil squeals again and reaches her arms up towards her sister. Although only five months old, Sybil was quite the individual and an easy child to handle. She slept well and was beginning to crawl on all fours. She was calm or happy most of the time, despite the sadness that surrounded their family. Emma couldn't help but spoil her sister a bit, now that she was her only family left. Peter absolutely adored Sybil as well and both felt their lives would go smoothly after the couple married and made it back to America.
Emma holds Sybil over her head and nuzzles their noses together. She kisses her sister multiple times. Sybil responds by kicking her feet and continuing to squeal.
Peter leans over and whispers in Emma's ear.
"We will definitely be okay."
The small family packs up their hotel room and headed for the docks. They had packed as light as possible, for their trip only lasted two weeks, which consisted of getting to Ireland, laying her parents to rest, and getting home. They had little time for anything else and it's not like Emma wanted to do too much after her parents' passing. Her recovery from grief was slow, but Peter was patient. He loved and cared for her, reminding her of the good things that would come in the future. The only thing that made her smile more was Sybil and Peter. Emma also found solace in drawing and painting, a passion she'd had since childhood and something her parents always encouraged her to pursue. She even drew a full family portrait of them just before her mother passed. Although she had stopped her passion in order to take care of her father for the next several months, her muse left her completely when both her parents were gone. It was after the funeral in America, before they departed across the ocean, that Peter suggested Emma draw her feelings out on paper. Draw or paint as many things as she would like, express herself through art. She had started to draw again on her way to Ireland, but all the images were sad and didn't make her feel any better. It wasn't until she saw Peter sitting with a sleeping Sybil in his arms, that she decided to draw them, something peaceful and calming. Something that gave her hope for the future.
The couple hails a taxi to the docks and they watch as the driver weaves through the hoards of people coming to see the ship off.
"It's like the Fourth of July and Christmas all rolled together." Emma jokes. "You'd think the king was coming into town."
"Well, the ship is a Royal Mail Ship. It's got kingship and supremacy in the name. It is the mightiest ship in the world." The driver says a cigarette rolled in his teeth. "Some are calling it unsinkable and the most luxurious ship ever created. And there will be royalty on board like JJ Astor and his new wife, along with the socialite Molly Brown and the famous Hockleys. Everyone is pining for a chance to see this floating palace. You kids, are lucky that you get to be amongst the first to set sail on her"
"Well, the tickets certainly weren't cheap," Peter says. "Took every last penny of the funeral fund to buy a cabin."
"We definitely won't be rubbing elbows with any of the royalty," Emma adds. "We're only second class."
"Well, I still consider you the luckiest ducks on the planet." the cab driver says, laughing blowing smoke out the adjacent window.
As the cab approaches the ship, Emma has to crane her neck to see up to where the giant funnels towered over the harbour. Once again, she is filled with pure wonder and awe. Never had a ship seemed so tall and glorious to her. She can't help but smile as the portholes are only level with the top story of a nearby hotel. She lifts Sybil up to the window so that her sister could see too. She knows that Sybil would never remember this trip, but it would forever be a part of hers. Sybil seems to reach out and almost wave at the ship.
The cab comes to a halt in a parking lot near the harbour.
"Last stop." the driver says, blowing smoke into the back. "Exact change please."
Emma pays the man as Peter digs their luggage out of the trunk.
"Clear skies are a good start to a voyage. It's the good type of omen for a ship like this. Good luck to you kids." the driver says and winks at them before driving off.
Peter comes up behind Emma, gazing upwards.
"It's amazing that they could build something this tall," he says.
Emma looks up again and then swallows hard. The nightmare from last night comes flooding back. If something this tall and this massive could float, what would it take and how long would it take for it to sink?
"You okay?" Peter asks.
Emma looks up at him and gives a small smile.
"I'm okay, just wondering how we're going to get our bags to the right pile," she says.
The couple weaves through the large crowd, holding hands the entire way so they wouldn't be separated, and carrying their luggage with them. They can hardly hear anything over the noise of the crowds. The sounds were eerily similar to what Emma had heard last night in her dream. She pushes the thought from her mind and re-adjusts Sybil in her arm. Peter goes ahead to see if they could find where to put their bags, leaving Emma with Sybil to gaze again at the ship. She looks up again at the ship, only to trip over something and bump into someone else.
"Look out!" someone yells.
Emma holds onto Sybil and screams as she falls forward. Her luggage leaves her hand and she uses what strength she has to hold onto her sister. Fortunately, a gloved hand catches her before her face hits the pavement.
"Are you okay?" a gentle voice asks her.
Emma looks up to see a woman's bright green eyes appearing to be worried for her safety. Her face is demure and concerned, covered in fancy make-up. She wears a white and black striped collared outfit, looking like it costs more than an arm and a leg and a large purple hat that completely encompasses her face. Even with the hat over her head, Emma can see lively red curls threatening to pop out of her tightly styled bun.
Emma adjusts herself accordingly.
"Yes...thank you," Emma says.
Sybil squeals and claps her hands in delight.
"What a lovely child." The woman says. She holds her white-gloved hand out to her, which Sybil grabs eagerly. "How old is she?"
"Five months," Emma says, picking up her bag.
"She's beautiful, what is her name?"
"Sybil. She was named after my grandmother who came to this country in 1886 from Ireland and she was the first woman ever known to sail a boat in the Great Lakes and..." Emma stops, realizing she's giving this total stranger her full family history.
"It is perfectly alright." the woman says. She smiles at Sybil. "I am Rose. Nice to meet you, Sybil."
"I'm Emma Carson."
"Delighted," Rose says.
Emma gets a chance to take a long look at this woman. Her attitude is in no way what she expected from a woman who is obviously from first class. This woman continues to fawn over her baby sister like there is nobody watching them. She doesn't seem to care that she's in the presence of someone lower in social standings than her. From the rich people she's met, Emma knew that all of them were stuck up old twits who cared little about anything except themselves and money.
She'd met some when her father had parties for his clients. He'd let her mingle with all the guests and talk to them as she pleased. Emma had full freedom in the family home, she was treated as an equal as long as she helped clear the dishes after dinner. However, one night she was stopped by a woman in a very feathery hat and told to run along to the nursery. Emma said that she wasn't a baby anymore and that her mother needed help as the hostess. The woman wrinkled her nose in disgust and turned away in haste. Emma was later helping her mother with serving the after-dinner drinks when she heard several of the first-class women, including the one in the feathery hat, scoffing and laughing haughtily about how "uncivilized" her family was. They were "incredibly daft" to even consider letting a child mingle amongst such important guests. Emma hated herself then and she left the party after helping her mother. Her father came to see her later on and she'd been crying profusely by then. Her father hugged her and asked her what was wrong. Emma told him everything and her father laughed for a long time. He told her to ignore such comments from such shallow women and that the only reason they spoke so ill of their family was that Emma had talked back to them, she put them in their place instead of doing what they had said. These first-class people had so much money they didn't know what to do with, so they judged and gossiped about others. He mentioned that each one of those people had a stick shoved so far up their ass that they couldn't slouch or move for any reason, and that included to tolerating lower class families. He also said that there was less love in upper-class families and no one was ever really happy. He told her that their family was more civilized and a lot better off than any of those people put together. Ever since then, Emma either ignored or laughed at the first-class citizens, they were no different from her or Peter. She did not care what anyone thought about her or her family. It wasn't easy, but soon it was like riding a bike.
But this girl is different. She wasn't much older than Emma herself. Her attitude, mannerisms and clothes scream "proper lady" and yet she's tickling Sybil under the chin and acting like her mother. It seemed that the stick in this girl's ass was either smaller or less uptight.
Rose begins to make funny faces, much to Sybil's delight and then the baby grabs onto Rose's glove, pulling it off her hand completely and sucking on it.
"Sybil!" Emma gasps, trying to pry it from her sister's mouth. She turned to Rose. "I'm sorry, she's always grabbing things and she has quite a strong grasp. Once she gets what she wants, it goes in the mouth."
"It's fine." Rose laughs and tickles Sybil again.
"Rose!" a sharp voice calls out to her. "Rose DeWitt Bukater come now, we must be on our way." Emma turns to see a woman with Rose's hair colour and eyes but with more wrinkles, a sullen and pursed expression glaring at them. The second-class girl assumes that this is Rose's mother.
When the woman catches sight of them, she grabs the arm of a tall and rather similarly sullen-looking man. He looks rather familiar, but Emma has little time to think about where she might know him from.
"Come along Sweetpea." the man says. "We have to be the first on board before the 'others' come."
Emma's stomach tightens when he said 'others' knowing that he was referring to the two sisters. He is just like any other uptight twit, only ruder and definitely cockier.
He reaches forward and takes Rose by the hand, guiding her away from Emma and Sybil.
"Uh...bye nice to... uh..." Rose starts before disappearing into the crowd.
Emma stands on the dock, rather shocked at what she had just witnessed. She didn't find Rose rude at all; it was just the company she had with her that was intolerable.
Sybil looks at her sister and Emma remembers the white glove in her hand.
"Wait!" Emma says, trying to shove her way through the crowd. "Wait, Rose! Your..."
"Emma!" Peter calls. Emma turns to see her fiancé running towards her. "Emma come on, we have to get in line or we'll miss the boat."
Emma can barely speak, but she lets Peter drag her and Sybil to the line boarding into the second class area. In the haste of their movement, she shoves the glove in her coat pocket. Her feelings of foreboding and the nightmare she'd had comes back again as they walk up the gangplank which is leading to the second-class entrance. The officer checks their passports and tickets before directing them to their cabin. Everything looks amazing on the inside, everything fresh and seems to shine. A stewardess leads them to their cabin and gives them the keys.
"I might suggest you go up on deck for the send-off, it is going to be quite the spectacle."
"Thank you," Peter says politely. Both leave their luggage on their beds and go up to the main deck.
They can hardly reach the edge of the rail on deck because it is already flocked with excited people. Peter leads them to a spot on the edge of the rail and can't help but laugh loudly. His eyes take in the vast crowds below.
"Look at all those people down there, they look like ants," he says excitedly.
Emma manages a small smile and sits Sybil on the rail. She feels like a lone statue on a large podium, up high and on display for the world to see. The crowds' cheering is so loud that Emma can barely hear herself think.
The ship gives off several long horn blasts that startle her. It is the same sound that the ship made when it slipped beneath the surface. She shudders and watches as some last-minute stragglers rush to get on the floating palace. Emma still can't shake the feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach.
The ship lets out one long final blast and it jolts forward ever so slightly, moving from its mooring lines, indicating the beginning of the voyage. The wind begins to pick up her hair and Emma clings to Sybil tightly. The chilly air blows against their faces and the ship lets out more long horn blasts to the crowds around it. Peter suddenly grabs her hand.
"Come on. Let's wave, everyone else is waving back!"
Emma takes a deep breath in and slowly puts her hand in the air.
"Goodbye!" everyone around her is shouting. Some were waving handkerchiefs or their hats out towards the roaring crowd as the ship begins to move along, away from the docks.
Emma waves her hand slightly and tries to put on a smile. She can see that Sybil and Peter are delighted and very excited. Sybil, of course, didn't know what is going on, but the smile on her face makes Emma feel a little better on the inside. She pulls her cheeks up into a wide smile and waves harder to the cheering people. A new feeling begins growing inside of her, a feeling of excitement and wonder, just like what she had felt last night when she stared at the ship all lit up in the darkness. She gives into her child-like wonder and begins yelling good-bye like Peter is.
Ever so slowly the dock and crowds begin to move further away, getting smaller and smaller every second. The entire ship seems to be waving in glee as the ship, the Titanic, the ship of dreams, set sail to America.
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