May 21, 1927
Picking up The Times newspaper, Jack Dawson absentmindedly flicked through the pages. His daughter Lilly lay asleep in her crib. She was two now, and just finding her way in the world, day by day growing into her own little person. She was so much like her mother, the same eyes, the nose, and the hair. She had begun walking at ten months old, and by the time she had turned two she was talking away. The house which Jack rented wasn't anything spectacular, just big enough for himself and Lilly. The neighbors were fantastic and popped by every few days. Mrs. Anderson next door brought around her freshly baked bread every Thursday, something Jack looked forward to.
Seeing the print from the paper on his fingers, Jack rubbed his dirty fingers on a cloth. Lilly stirred slightly in her sleep, making a small groan. Jack glanced over at his daughter, but she was sound asleep and he smiled contently before running his fingers through his hair, feeling the need to have a bath. The news was the usual—British troops in action defending foreign nationals in Shanghai and today the First solo transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh ended at Le Bourget, Paris in the Spirit of St Louis. Pictures illustrated the pages one by one, and as Jack turned onto the next page, a photograph caught his eye, causing his to blink several times—it was Rose. Squinting, Jack found his reading glasses and read through the small print beside the photograph.
US silent movie actress Rose Bukater arrived in London today to begin filming her new picture. The actress will begin work next Thursday and will be in town for three months. Along with her, she brings her three children, who are to be schooled here for the duration of Miss Bukater's stay in London. She will reside at the newly opened, luxurious Mayfair Hotel.
After reading through the print several times, Jack shook his head in disbelief. Fiddling in his jacket pocket, he found his tobacco and began to roll himself a cigarette, his mind reeling. Lighting the cigarette, he puffed on the end silently and allowed himself to think of Rose, to look at the photograph. My God, she was stunning. That fact never changed. Thinking of the last time they had met in Santa Monica before Amelia had died, shaking his head free from any thoughts of Amelia, Jack found himself wondering whether he should attempt to contact her. But what should he say? In the back of his mind, he knew he had to see her. It had been too long and he longed to see her face before him once again. It was fate. That was the reason why all of these years they kept seeing each other and coming back to each other. He knew it was all down to fate. Smoking the last of his cigarette, Jack stood and headed to his room to change into something more suitable. Running his fingers through his short hair and then his beard, he thought of shaving, but decided against it.
The Mayfair Hotel had opened just two months before and the media hype was amazing. Jack thought back to the Titanic, when she had ruled the headlines for months before. After finding a cab ride, Jack Dawson stood before the Mayfair Hotel. It was God knew how many stories high, and he placed a hand over his eyes to shield them from the sun as he looked upwards. The opulence stunned him and once again he felt out of place. Men and woman of obvious upper class sashayed in and out of the glass doors of the entrance, casting dirty looks at Jack. Ignoring the narrow-minded people, Jack pulled Lilly closer to him and entered the building. Inside, the hallway spanned what seemed like miles and more people inside looked his way. At the front desk, a small man in a black suit and spectacles stood before him. Clearing his throat, Jack spoke.
“Hello. Is…um…Miss Rose Bukater staying here?” he asked in a low voice.
Looking down the length of Jack, the receptionist replied, “I'm afraid I'm not allowed to divulge that information, sir.”
“Well, I'm a friend, an old friend. Ask her yourself. Please, sir, I just wish to see her.”
“Sorry, sir.” The old man shrugged.
Sighing, Jack felt frustrated. Damn. How was he supposed to get to her if they wouldn't even let him know she was here?
“Well, could you give a message to her please?” Jack asked, fiddling in his pocket for a pen and some sort of scrap paper.
“Please, just tell her Jack Dawson dropped by,” he said, scribbling on the paper. “This is my address if she wishes to contact me. Please just give her that. It is all I ask.”
Smiling, Jack thanked the old man before heading back out into the May sunshine. Back home, Jack anxiously waited for Rose to contact him, but he told himself she was busy. Jack studied the photograph in the newspaper. Her hair was now shoulder length and her eyes still shone. He couldn't take it anymore. All the feelings he had once thought were laid to rest came screaming back to him. He just had to see her.
“The children will be home around eight,” Clara, the nanny, informed Rose, who was removing several flapper dresses from her suitcase and hanging them in her closet.
“Thank you, Clara,” Rose replied, and with that, Clara left. Lizzy, Olivia, and Charlie were in a private school in London for the next three months. The trip had been the first overseas for all of the children, who were all largely excited at the prospect of going on a ship. Rose, though, was less thrilled, although she knew it was an obstacle she would have to overcome. The ship was nothing like the Titanic. Although she traveled first class, the social barriers were not as bad. The passage had turned out to be a joy, spending their evenings dancing in the saloon and by day exploring the ship.
The telephone in the sitting room rang loudly, breaking Rose's concentration, and after placing her last dress in the closet, she started towards the telephone.
“Hello. Rose Bukater,” she answered into the mouthpiece.
“Miss Bukater? This is George from hotel reception. I have a gentleman here who wishes to speak with you.”
Rose was puzzled. Who would possibly visit her here so late, when she knew no one? “And who is the gentleman?”
“Says his name is Jack Dawson, an old friend of yours. If you wish me to send him away, I will.”
Rose almost dropped the earpiece. Jack? What was he doing here? Had she misheard? “Jack Dawson?”
“Yes, ma'am. Would you like me to send him away?”
“No, no,” Rose answered before thinking for a moment. What would she like? To see him? He was a married man now, after all, and obviously had a child. To see him would bring old memories screaming back to her. But she couldn't just send him away. She had to see him. “Tell him to meet me in the bar in fifteen minutes,” she replied before hanging up. Of course she felt like running straight down to him, but knew she couldn't. She would need time to compose herself, to think of what sight would greet her. Was he alone or with his wife? Alone, she hoped, not because anything would happen, of course, but so she could speak with him alone. She wondered what had made him come to see her here, but she desperately needed to see his face again. A sudden pang of excitement hit Rose and a large smile spread across her face. She had a feeling tonight would bring something good.