Written by XxMachixX
The night started out calmly, and everyone aboard was blissfully unaware of the tragedy and horror that awaited them later that night. No one expected this beautiful night on the unsinkable Titanic to end in so much death and sorrow.
I walked down the hallway, making my way to the stairs that led to the promenade deck. I made my ascent into the cool air of the afternoon, and my eyes skimmed the deck for William. I sighed and shielded my eyes from the sun with one hand as I began to walk around, looking wherever groups of men were gathered. After searching for a good while, I decided to take a break as I looked out over the waters from the port side of the ship. The setting sun made the sea sparkle like diamonds, and hurt my eyes if I looked for too long.
"Cordelia!" A call came from behind me. I whirled around to see William strutting across the deck to me.
"William." I smiled.
"Where've you been, Delia?" he asked, struggling to intimidate me as he stood up straighter and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"I could ask you the same." I turned again to the water and leaned against the rails. Will sighed.
"What am I going to do with you?" he asked slowly, resting his hands on the rail on either side of me.
"Your guess is as good as mine." I shrugged. He looked away, towards the groups of people huddled about the deck.
"It's getting late, Delia," he murmured into my hair. I looked down at my hand and twirled my wedding ring around my finger, barely feeling the engraved initials and date carved on the inside. Three other rings marked my fingers, all of which shone like the water in the twilight.
"I feel horrid." I sighed, turning to face my husband again. His arms remained on the rails, boxing me in. He knew exactly what I was talking about, too.
Earlier this year, William's brother in Cornwall had passed away, so Will and I had decided to visit his older sister, Beatrice, and his parents. His mother had given me a hard time about my husband's decision to leave after only four months, and after all, the dear old mum was having financial problems, and Will had more then enough to support her. Right?
"Cordelia, I assure you that Mother will be fine. She's always exaggerated things. We had to come back to America in style, though, didn't we? What other chance did we have to experience something like this?" His attempt to comfort and ease my guilt was feeble, but I went along with it anyway.
"I suppose." I sighed.
"William!" a man's voice called from by the lifeboats. Will and I both turned. We saw none other than Sahid Nakid waving to us. "William!" he cried again.
"Go ahead." I dismissed my spouse and he smiled. He walked over to the Arab man, who looked ecstatic and began talking quickly as soon as Will was in earshot. I shook my head and my eyes wandered to the woman a few feet away from him, who was chuckling. I walked over to the dark-skinned lady and she gave me a white-toothed grin.
"Marha'ban, Mrs. Lobb," she greeted.
"Hello, Mary," I replied. "You may call me Cordelia, too," I added. She smiled and bowed. "I see that Sahid is very excited," I observed.
"Yes. How could you tell?" She laughed at her husband. I couldn't help but grin at Mary. She had this happy aura about her. The men joined us silently.
"Finished conversing already?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"Well, William decided it was getting late, and..." Sahid let his voice trail off, shrugging. He knew about his tendency to talk too much to anyone who'd listen.
"We're going to head below to our quarters. See you two tomorrow." Mary took Sahid's hand and waved shyly to us. I nodded back and they disappeared down the stairs. I looked at Will and found him staring back at me. In silent agreement, we left for our room, hoping to get as good of a night's sleep as the one before.
I assumed it was midnight when the mighty ship shook. I sat up and looked around in the darkness.
"Will!" I shook him, and he sat up as well.
"What on earth..." he muttered, throwing the covers back and standing up. He threw the door open and exposed our dark room to the brightly lit hallway, which was bustling with panicked and annoyed passengers. Mutters of "Ridiculous drill" and "This ship can't sink. The watertight doors will stop the water" filled the hall and Will became desperate. "What's going on?" he demanded. No one answered. People just walked by. Will grabbed a man by the shoulders and held him. "What's going on?" he repeated.
"They-they're saying we've hit an iceberg...you'd better get up there…" The man pointed to the ceiling. "…before the water starts coming bad. It's already gotten to the cargo hold, the boiler rooms..." the man explained quickly. I stood in the doorway, my lips white. It can't happen, this ship is unsinkable. It can't end this way!
"William..." I murmured softly. Will turned to me and let go of the man. My heart thudded.
"Cordelia...I'm sorry. I put you on here...this is all my fault." His eyes stung with tears that he refused to let go, for my sake. We were the few who believed this was real, who didn't think of it as a drill.
"Come on, then! There are lifeboats. We could get out of here!" I dragged him up the stairs and out onto the crowded deck of the ship. People shrieked and a man by the lifeboats called out a repeated phrase.
"Women and children only! Come on now, hurry! Women and children! Anyone?" He looked over at us and I realized that not many women were left. "You there! C'mon then, love!" he yelled at me. I looked at Will and nodded, pulling him with me. "Oy, are you deaf? Women only!" the man bellowed at William. I stopped.
"But...he's my husband! I'm not going without him!" I said tearfully. The man running the davits shrugged.
"Suit yourself." He lowered the lifeboat and readied the last one. I turned to Will, who looked angry enough to spit nails.
"Cordelia, get in the boat," he ordered.
"No, Will. I'm not going without you," I stated.
"Don't be bullheaded. I'm your husband and I order you to save yourself. You're not going to die because of me!" He was screaming now, and a few people were staring.
"Watch me," I challenged. Tears flowed down his face, but I couldn't tell if they were of sadness or rage. The last lifeboat left and he pulled me into an embrace.
"You're dying because of me, Cordelia...you stupid, stupid woman."
I began to sob into his coat, but I felt the deck tip beneath me. The ship was tilting, soon to break. People were grabbing onto whatever they could to escape the harsh and unmerciful water that was engulfing the ship. People cried, screamed, and cursed as I found a thick pole to hold onto. I scooted up so that my middle was against the pole and made sure that William was holding on behind me. He had a tight grip on my waist, and was crushing me against the metal. I figured that this was better than drowning, so I kept all complaints of discomfort to myself. The ship rose a little more, and the people began to slide and jump from it. What made people so desperate to freeze? To die? It sickened me. The cracking began, and most of the lights below deck went out, if they hadn't blown already--and some of them had. I looked up towards the lifeboats, and in the dim light that the crew on them carried, I could just make out the familiar faces of Sahid and Mary with her baby in her arms. Both looked up at the ship fearfully.
At least they get to live. Poor little Maria. Better me than her.
I thought about the infant, Maria Nakid. The cracking of splintering wood sliced through my thoughts. The boat snapped in two, splinters raining down on us. Will and I covered our heads the best we could without using our hands, but we still felt the prickly wood sting the back of our necks. The bottom portion was sinking fast now, and I thought of the twisted irony once again. The unsinkable RMS Titanic would be lost tonight, along with hundreds of lives. I watched as the water drew up around us, and I felt the cold shock. If the suction didn't get me and I didn't drown, I'd certainly die of hypothermia.
"I love you, William," were my last words.
"Always and forever, Delia..." he replied, shaking.
We drew in our final few breaths as the water swallowed us and an eternal unconsciousness nipped away at my mind.