Titanic: Beautiful Eyes


Cheyanne Darling, 16, joined the Titanic crew to get a fresh start. Albert Ervine, 18, joined the Titanic crew so that his family could afford their home in Belfast. They're both scarred, broken; a little rough around the edges. But they have one thing in common. They are survivors.


2. Tea in the Parlor

"Hello, Mr. Ervine." I murmured, collapsing in the seat next to him. He seemed incredibly calm. I on the other hand, was feeling completely out of my element.

He'd cleaned up nicely, with a snappy suit and slick hair. I, on the other hand, hadn't even bothered to change out of my uniform. Technically, I was still on duty after all.

"Cheyanne." he greeted, standing and taking my hand, "How are you?"

"No worse for wear." I chuckled, glad to be taking a seat for the first time in hours, "Those first class passengers sure do love their -"

"Their stuff?" he chuckled, taking a sip of his tea, then reaching to pour me a cup, "I've never much cared for them myself. Much humbler people in second if you ask me."

"Lots of new money down there." I agreed with a sigh. I winced. I'd stressed a muscle earlier earlier on that morning and hadn't had a chance to slow down until now.

"Are you alright?" he asked, noticing my wince and the fact that I was now nursing my shoulder, "Did you hurt yourself?"

"Just a muscle. It'll be fine by morning." I assured, "So..." I began, desperate to turn the conversation into something different. I'd never really been much for talking about myself, "How old are you anyway, Albert? You look quite young to be an engineer."

"Youngest on this ship," he admonishes proudly, "Just turned eighteen."

"Quite the accomplishment, Sir." I agreed with an earnest smile.

"Had to petition the entire White Star Line," he murmured as if it were some magnificent secret, "They didn't want to take me on. Thought I was too inexperienced. It was Bruce Ismay who put the final stamp of approval on my petition. Believe me, I'm very fortunate to be here."

"And who did you leave behind? A wife?" I asked. Well, that was a bit crass. I just couldn't put a filter on my mouth around this man.

"Oh, gods no!" he laughed heartily, as if there wasn't even a chance of it, "I left my mam, my brothers, a niece."

"A niece." I smiled. I'm sure I looked like a massive lunatic, but I just loved children. Especially infants.

"Eleanor. Ellie. My older brother's daughter. She'll be turning a year old in September." he seemed in a dream state while he spoke of her. It was evident that if anything was calling him home, it would've been that little girl.

"Well, I certainly hope you make it home in time for the occasion."

"Oh, I intend to."

"Where are you from, Mr. Ervine? I notice your accent. It's familiar."

"Belfast, born and raised." he seemed rather proud once again, "I've been around since the day they patented the blue prints for Titanic."

"You're from Belfast! I'm from Derry."

"Practically neighbors, then?" he chuckled, raising his cup to clank against mine, "Anyway, you've heard plenty about me." he urged, "What about you?"

"What about me? I'm nothing particularly special."

"How did you end up joining the crew? Everybody I've heard from this far have had fairly interesting tales. Surely you do as well?"

"I had to pay my way on. They saw me too young to take the job seriously. I paid a lesser fee, of course, because I was the help, but it took everything I had to put myself in this position. And I have every intention of getting off this boat in New York and never looking back. The life I left behind...frankly, it was hell. At least in America I'll have a fighting chance."

"Spoken like a true artist." he acknowledged, "How young are you that they wouldn't consider you for a maid's position?" he suddenly seemed a bit befuddled.

"I'll be sixteen on the fifteenth of this month." I admitted. I wasn't very proud of that. The fact that I was fifteen, engaged to a thirty-two year old man, because I was in desperate need of whatever money I could get. Not exactly my proudest moment, I must admit.

"So young," he guffawed, "No wonder they were hesitant."

"Anyway, I'm sure you have work to do. If you're free, I'd love to have you for dinner tonight." he offered, seeming a bit too eager.

"Unfortunately, they pay me to work, Sir." I blushed thoroughly.

"Come now," he laughed, "I'm asking you to come to dinner with me and some of my friends. It's not like I'm taking you back to my cabin."

"That's hardly appropriate, Mr. Ervine!" I gasped, trying to keep my giggles contained. He never struck me as someone for crass conversation.

"What's the worst they could do?" an impish grim spread across his face, "We're in the middle of the ocean. They can't throw you overboard."

I mulled it over in my head for nothing more than a second until I finally caved, "Sure. Okay. Fine. I'll go to dinner with you."

"I'll meet you behind the stairs at seven?" I'm fully confident that he would've been jumping up and down like a little school girl had we not been in the middle of a crowded parlor.

"Seven o'clock." I agreed, "I look forward to it."

With that I stood and nodded, and turned to leave.
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