I began this a number of years ago and picked it back up in the last few months.
Life After Titanic – Rose Dawson’s life and times
Rose DeWitt Bukater stood on dock of pier 54, fixated on the view of The Statue of Liberty. She did not even care she was soaked through and through from the pouring rain that had been steadily falling since she disembarked the Carpathia nearly 10 minutes ago. Rose vaguely recalled officers, reporters, other survivors, family members and various other people whizzing by her in a tizzy on the dock. She however, remained silent and immobile. The series of events that had taken place over the last 24 hours had been surreal. It seemed like a lifetime ago she had been standing on the deck of The R.M.S Titanic, thanking Jack Dawson for saving her from taking her own life via the back of the ship. Now, she was in New York City, alone, frazzled and scared. She had lost the only man she had ever loved in the sinking. Although she did not ever truly love Cal, she was glad she was free of him. She wished him no harm, but she had no desire to reconnect with him after this tragedy. She had seen him on the Carpathia looking for her and hid from him. This was her chance to be free and make a new life for herself. She never saw her mother on the ship, oddly enough. Rose did not want to reconnect with her either to be honest. Reconnecting with her mother meant reuniting with Cal and marrying him. She could not let that happen. She simply was not cut out for the life her mother envisioned for her. She thought a moment, while pacing the dock, back to the time she spent with Jack on the boat deck after dinner. He had told her she was delivered to the wrong house when she was born. There was never a more true statement ever said about her in all her life. Rose looked up then and to her amazement she saw a shooting star, just like the one she and Jack had seen that night.
Suddenly, Rose heard someone speaking to her, “Miss?” Rose turned slowly towards the officer who was now standing next to her holding an umbrella. He spoke to her in a very calm and curious manner. “Can I take your name please love?” Rose hesitated for a moment. If she gave her true name it was possible her mother or even Cal could track her down. “Dawson, Rose Dawson.” The man wrote her name on a clipboard, smiled and walked away. It was done, she thought. Her new life had just begun with the simple lie she told. As if for the first time in months, Rose felt free. She had no worries about money, or rather the lack of money, she did not have to marry a man she did not love to save the reputation of her family name and she no longer had to pretend to like balls and cotillions. The only bad thing about starting her new life was Jack was not there to start it with her. They had agreed moments before the ship struck the iceberg, when the boat docked in New York, they would get off together. It was a crazy and impulsive thing for them both, but in the few short days aboard that ship, she had never felt freer in her life. Now Jack was gone forever. He was only a memory. It was in that moment she realized she had no proof of his existence. The sketchbook he carried with him had been put into the safe in Cal’s stateroom. The ticket used for passage was won in a game of poker minutes before Titanic left port in Southampton. All of his belongings and his only friend in the world, Fabrizo, was at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. She had nothing except the last few days, and what little information he had told her about his life, that sunny day on the boat deck. She did not even have a picture of him.
Rose felt a chill course through her body, and just then she realized it was practically sleeting rather than raining. It was at that moment she had put her hand in the pocket. To her surprise she felt something in the pocket. She grabbed the item quickly in her hand, feeling it before she pulled it out. When she had it in her hand in front of her she was astonished. She looked at it like it was a dangerous bug. She had completely forgotten that the coat she wore had belonged to Cal. He had placed it on her on the boat deck, when he and Jack had persuaded her to get on one of the last lifeboats. She panicked, and quickly placed the necklace back in the pocket, before someone saw it. Looking around, Rose began to walk from the spot she had been pacing. She wasn’t sure if anyone would recognize her from the ship. The vast majority of the survivors were first class passengers and it was certainly possible they may recognize her. Rose tried to calmly walk from the dock as quickly as possible. She did not want to do anything that may cause a reporter to approach her for an interview about the sinking.
Rose walked for a long time, dodging reporters, families, ship officers and finally came to what appeared to be a normal street in New York City. Suddenly, out of nowhere a short man, stout of a man with a fedora hat on, carrying a note pad and a camera around his neck stepped in front of her. “Miss, were you a survivor of the Titanic sinking?” Rose had gotten this far and was not going to be stopped by this reporter. She calmly replied to the man, “No, I am sorry sir, I was just trying to get a better look at one of the lifeboats from the ship, but no one would let me get near, so I gave up and started back home.” The man gave her an odd look, but shrugged his shoulders and walked past her. “Thank goodness,” Rose whispered to herself. Rose decided she needed to get these wet clothes off before she caught a cold. The only problem, she had no idea where to go. She had been in New York a few times before, but of course she had always been accompanied by her mother, Cal, his valet Mr. Lovejoy, and her personal servant Trudy. Rose wished at that moment she had paid better attention to her surroundings back then. Rose had no idea what time it was or what day it was. Luckily, just then the rain let up. She was grateful for that. Rose was then able to look around her and grasp a general whereabouts, something that was almost impossible during the sheets of rain falling from the heavens.
Rose kept walking farther from the pier. It was quite late by this time, nearly 10:15 pm on the evening of April 18th, 1912. Rose knew if she wished to keep away from the media she needed to get away from this pier, find accommodations and work as quickly as possible. As she walked the streets she noticed meat shops and businesses. The street lamps thew eerie shadows on the store windows. “Why can’t I find a boarding house somewhere?” she wondered to herself as she walked past a butcher shop on W. 13th St. Rose walked a little further and decided to turn down one of the side streets off W. 13th St., hoping she would have better luck finding a place to stay. Surprisingly, she didn’t have to walk too far before she found the first sign of a decent building advertising a room for rent. “Rent.” Rose said out loud. “How am I going to pay for a room?” she wondered.
She stopped in her tracks at the thought of this. She was almost cut down by a motorized vehicle whizzing down the street. She stepped out of the way just in the nick of time but sadly the puddles left behind from the torrential downpours caused her to be drenched with muddy water. “What more can happen to me?” Rose yelled aloud. Before she knew what was happening a older woman about in her mid sixties was rushing to her and covered her with a thick blanket, wiping the mud from her cheeks. “My dear! Look what that retched vehicle has done to you!” Rose was unable to say anything at first, she only stared at the woman in shock. The woman continued to rub her with the blanket and try to get the majority of the mud from her hair. After a moment or two, Rose found her voice. “Thank-You so much madam. I greatly appreciate your assistance. I do not know what I was thinking, stopping in the middle of the street like that. I have had hectic few days and I… I,” Rose began crying. She did not particularly want this woman to know she was aboard the R.M.S Titanic but she would do what she had to do to survive.
“My dear, call me Katie, Katie Murphy. Please, won’t you come inside? I run the boarding house right here. Please come in and we’ll find you some clean, dry clothes before you catch a cold. Please, follow me dearie.” Rose smiled and followed Katie into the boardinghouse. She was so grateful. She did not intend on this but as it happened it worked out well. This lady seemed warm and caring. Perhaps she could trust this woman with her secret. Time will tell.