There was no need to rush. At least that was my opinion. I glanced around at my mother and my fiancée, both were cool and composed as usual. I didn't want to be here in this automobile, but that made little difference. I was here and I was on my way home to America, where upon our arrival, Caledon Hockley and I were going to be married.
"There she is, Rose." Cal said to me as he motioned out of the window. "The grandest ship in the Atlantic waters - Titanic."
I spared a glance out of the window but I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of seeing any approval. I was not happy and there was no need in pretending to be otherwise.
The Renault slowly made its way down to the White Star Line dock. I was amazed at the mass of people that were everywhere I looked. They were all there to see the grand ship make her departure I supposed.
Harrison beeped the horn as he drove, sending the crowd in opposite directions on either side of us. He brought the Renault to a stop and Capshaw immediately opened the door for me. As I had always been taught, I gingerly placed my hand in his and gracefully stepped out onto the pavement. I glanced up at the massive ship and instantly felt overwhelmed by its size. As I gazed upon it, I couldn't help but feel as if this were a slave ship taking me back to prison.
I'm sure if anyone could have read my thoughts they would have thought me insane. What could I possibly have to complain about? I was well bred, schooled, wealthy and marrying a man who was my equal. But, if they only knew what I really longed for…
At that time Cal stepped out from the Renault behind me. His superior smile set me on edge and wanted to erase if from his face.
"I don't see what all of the fuss is about," I commented dryly as I turned to him. "It doesn't look any bigger than the Mauritania."
Cal looked at me in mild astonishment. "You can be blasé about some things, Rose but not about Titanic. It's over a hundred feet longer than Mauritania and far more luxurious."
Cal turned to my mother and offered her his hand as she stepped down. "Your daughter's far too difficult to impress, Ruth."
My mother laughed at Cal's comment. "So, this is the ship they say is 'unsinkable'."
"It is unsinkable," Cal declared. "Not even God himself could not sink this ship."
I turned away from them and wished I could run at that moment. I tried so very hard to look disinterested as I waited for them.
"Sir, sir," a porter called behind us. "You have to check your baggage through the main terminal. It's round that way, sir."
Cal immediately pulled a roll of money from his pocket and handed the porter a five pound note. "I put my faith in you, good sir. Now kindly see my man."
His man was Spicer Lovejoy. I didn't like him and he wasn't particularly fond of me, either.
"Oh, yes sir." The man stammered over himself. "My pleasure, sir." Cal had told me once that he never ceased to be amazed at the effect money had on people of lower stations. He liked to see them grovel.
I came around the Renault to make sure Trudy had gotten my personal bags. Cal called to us as he stared down at his opened watch.
"Ladies, we'd better hurry."
I felt myself stiffen when he came around to join us. He walked ahead with my mother leaving to me trail behind them, for which I was glad. I turned to Trudy who was balances several boxes and bags. "My coat?"
"I have it, miss." Trudy answered.
Cal stepped away from my mother and came back to me. "Stop lagging behind, Rose. Now take my arm like a good girl."
Reluctantly I did as he asked me and we walked together up the gangplank. I could hear the roar of the crowd behind me as everyone cheered and waved goodbye to the passengers already on board.
As we entered the doorway I knew there was no turning back. I had no place to go but to my to my future, no matter how dismal that prospect seemed.