Titanic | At Journey's End

True love is hard to find. Sometimes you have to travel far and wide to discover who you are. Sometimes, it brings happiness. The ending of this love story, joyous or tragic, brings hope, mercy and dignity. It all starts on the RMS Titanic.

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2. Chapter I

Chapter I

8th April 1912

I can't wait, even though I'm terribly nervous too. All I can think about is the ship, and everyone is saying its the biggest, the best, the fastest around. It'll reach New York in no time, and I am desperate to get there. Its mad, completely mad, me - Lisette, the quiet corner-shop girl - travelling to such a place, after all these years. It seems like only yesterday I thought I'd be staying in England all my life, slowly fading away even more, until I disappear entirely.

But New York! My goodness! It'll be a whole new world over there, with new people, new opportunities, and - most importantly - a new Lisette. I can change, the second I step on that ship, become the girl I always wanted to be, without the limitations and expectations I've been chained up with.

I've been offered a new job in New York, from an old friend of my mother's. She said she'd 'simply adore' to have me there, and I made her promise not to talk about my mother, which she sincerely agreed to. She said I'd make a perfect seamstress in her little shop in the city, and I could make dresses and bonnets for all the ladies. She even offered to by my ticket there, but I instantly refused. She's already doing enough for me, letting me board in her house, and I can't trespass too far on her generosity. After all, Titanic is notoriously expensive, whatever class you travel on.

In two days, I board that ship. The famous RMS Titanic, the ship everyone talks about. From then onward, my life will change for the better, with or without the people I love. I must leave the past behind and focus on what lies ahead in my future. I am young and I must not waste my life waiting around for my dreams to chase me. I must chase them. When the Titanic sails away from the port in Southampton, I will be free from this burden on my shoulders. This town holds many, too many, painful memories, but now I am the bird being freed from the cage. I can spread my wings, though I do not know how to fly.

They say it's the finest ship to sail the seas and the crew is made up of the most handsome men in town. I travel first class, thanks to the money I inherited from my mother's will. As her only daughter, she felt obliged to take care of me, whether life keeps her or carries her away. She would be proud of me if she was alive. "My beautiful Lisette," she would say, "Creating her very own path in life, but dear, you must promise me you find a better husband than mine." Mother would always laugh about my father being so useless. But it was his nature. Not even my mother could change that. He flirted with all the women in town, and he lost his job many a time. I do believe he truly loved Mother, though, whatever the gossipers said. He did love her. He must've. He must've loved me, too, somehow in his busy heart.

Our village did not like Father. He was a troublemaker in the taverns, and always had one too many drink: it wasn't like him to know when to stop. He never hurt anyone, though, so I still to this day can't see what the fuss was about. It was only fun, in my Father's eyes. Some neighbours to us even told Mother to leave him, saying he would be the death of her.

They were wrong.

He died, only a few years before mother, probably from his alcohol addiction, perhaps from his horrendous diet. I don't think he ever touched a piece of fruit in his life - just fed it all to our dog, I expect, and Mother always turned a blind eye to his behaviour. She made me eat every single thing on my plate, though. I think she always wanted a rosy-cheeked, plump, healthy child, but ended up with a scrawny little thing like me. It didn't matter I ate like a pig.

Mum. Oh, Mum. How I miss her.

Now, in this hour of the calm before the storm, I can almost see the crashing waves in my mind and the white foam chasing the Titanic as it sails along. I can smell the salty ocean spray and I can hear the sound of the seagulls flying overhead. My hair will drift in the wind as the ship sails eastwards to New York, and a new life for me. I will stand on the front deck, the waves lapping against the hull, looking out at the horizon. And I will never look back.

 

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