BETWEEN TWO HEARTS
April 14, 1912
Siobhan got back to her stateroom just as the morning sun was setting its sights on the Titanic. Her head was still spinning from the amount of dancing that she had done that night as well as the time she had spent with her two childhood friends. It took her no time to change into her nightdress, and before she knew it, she was in bed and drawing her covers up, fully intending to sleep until the late afternoon. However, she forgot one important detail concerning the day.
She had just closed her eyes when she heard a knock on the door.
"Miss Siobhan! It’s time to get ready for the services! They’re in an hour!"
She groaned as she pulled the covers over her head. She had not slept since the day before…when was she ever going to get some rest?
She forced herself to get up out of the unusually comfortable bed. She sighed as she pulled her robe on and opened the door. The maid came in and shut the door behind her. She turned around, intending to help her charge dress, but stopped in her tracks.
"Oh, dear…" she said, with a sort of whisper in her voice. "You don’t look too good. Is everything all right? Did you sleep at all last night?"
Siobhan remembered her ploy to get out of dinner. "Um…I actually was not feeling well last night, and consequentially, I hardly slept."
"Are you sure you want to go to the services?"
"I need to. My uncle is stopping by to escort me to the dining room, anyway. I will attempt to pray for a recovery."
"Well, heaven knows you need it, child. I will try and get you fixed up to look halfway decent for that gentleman of yours. I would recommend that you come back up here right afterwards and try to get some rest."
"I’ll…try…" She trailed off as her maid got started and seemed to be not listening to her anymore.
It was only a matter of time before her uncle came to her room. "Siobhan! Are you feeling better? You look worse than you did last night."
"I didn’t sleep too well, uncle. I’m fine, though. Really…I’m doing better."
"Are you sure that you want to come?"
"Of course. I’ve been raised never to neglect the services on Sundays."
"I know you have. Come on…they’re starting soon." With that, he held out his arm and she took it. The two walked back to the Grand Staircase and down to the dining hall, where there was an area set up for the service.
They sat towards the back of the area and quietly watched many of the passengers file in after them. They didn’t choose to sit up in the front because of the fact that the elder could be called away at a moment’s notice. He wouldn’t want to disturb any of the passengers at their service.
Siobhan saw all of the officers filing in together--all except for Moody and Murdoch, who were the watch officers at that time. She caught Lowe’s eye, and he flashed her a smile. He motioned that he had to sit with the others, but he’d meet her afterwards and they could get some breakfast before he had to go on his watch.
As the last people sat down, Captain Smith stood up and announced the first song. The passengers, in turn, picked up their hymnals and turned to the page as they heard the first notes of the song on the piano.
The service lasted about an hour, and afterwards, the first class passengers began to mingle with each other. Mr. Andrews gave his niece a kiss on the cheek as he said, "Pardon my sudden departure, but I need to take a look at something in the gymnasium and after that I need to give a tour of the ship to some of the first class passengers. I’ll meet up with you after I’m done and we’ll go to dinner or something. I’m sorry I’m neglecting you for most of this voyage."
"Uncle Thomas, don’t worry about it. I’m meeting Harold for breakfast, anyway. Good luck with the tour--I’ll see you tonight." With that said, he headed off to the boat deck.
"Ahem…Miss Andrews, Lowe had to run to the washroom. He’ll be back in a few minutes. How is your voyage going so far?"
She turned around and saw Third Officer Pitman next to her. "Oh, hello…" she said with a smile. "My voyage has been quite enjoyable, Mr. Pitman. Thank you for asking."
The two continued to talk for a little while, until she heard a third voice join the conversation. It was none other than Ismay, the man who had left a sour first impression on the first night out.
"Mr. Pitman," he said to the officer. "Do you mind if I talk to Miss Andrews for a few minutes?"
The officer shook his head and motioned to go ahead. He moved off to the side, leaving the two passengers to their conversation.
Mr. Ismay did not hesitate when he had his privacy. "What do you think you are doing to your uncle?"
"What are you talking about?"
"You know exactly what you’re doing. Associating yourself with third class people? Getting involved romantically with a ship’s officer? People are talking about this, Miss Andrews. And it isn’t good."
She looked at him with narrowed eyes. "Since when are you so concerned with my status in society?"
"Since your uncle became the master shipbuilder." His eyes looked over her slowly, examining every aspect of her. She felt like she was a cow on the auction block.
"Friendship and love associate themselves with no class, Mr. Ismay…I’m sure you would be able to find some suitable friends in the Second and Third Classes if you tried."
"Oh, Miss Siobhan…you silly, silly girl. You are quite beautiful. You can use that beauty to get any man you want. Why don’t you go for one with money and power and leave behind that piece of sea trash?"
That comment struck a nerve in her. She officially grew tired of the classism that was running rampant throughout the majority of First Class. No one criticized anyone that she cared about. No one.
Suddenly, while surprising everyone except her, she took her right arm and quickly slapped Ismay across the face. It was apparent that she was not going to take any more verbal battering from anyone about her life--it was her life and she could live it the way she wanted.
The next thing she knew, she felt strong arms grip her shoulders. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lowe standing right behind her. "What is going on here?" he asked with a raised voice, as if he knew that he had done something to provoke her.
She didn’t say anything, but just looked over at Mr. Ismay. "I think it’s time for you to leave," she said quietly while directing the statement to the overbearing ship owner.
Ismay looked enraged at this--was he actually going to let this woman win over him? He looked over to the officers, and both of them gave him looks that said they were going to side with her. "I won’t let this be over here," he said. "There will be repercussions," he said as he left quickly.
Siobhan scowled after him as she felt his arms draw her closer. "I personally think that there won’t." She looked up to her companion. "Are you ready for breakfast?"
"Whenever you are," he said in reply. At that, they bid the other officer good morning and went to the a la carte restaurant.
Harold dropped her off at her stateroom before he went up to take his place on duty at the bridge. She smiled as she thought this would be the chance for her to catch up on her sleep.
However, that didn’t happen.
She opened the door after she heard some knocking. There she saw her uncle, and he didn’t look too happy with her. "You slapped Mr. Ismay."
"Uncle Thomas, I can explain everything."
She turned on her heel and went back into her room. He followed her while saying, "There’s nothing to explain."
Glancing back to him, she saw him shut the door. He turned back to her quickly and said, in an extremely quiet voice, "What did it feel like?"
She couldn’t believe her ears. "What?"
"Siobhan, my dear, you have done what many of us have wanted to do for a long time. Ismay, if he wants something, will not think of others’ feelings when he goes for it. I am not mad at you--in fact, I found it rather funny when he came ranting to me about your behavior. I had to hold laughter in, of course, but I’m not mad at you. He probably deserved it for provoking you."
"Yeah…" She chuckled slightly.
"Anyway," her uncle continued, "I’m going down to survey the Second Class area. Do you want to come?"
She shrugged. "Sure," she said. "How late will we be out?"
"Just until about nine or so. We can always get the rest of the areas tomorrow that we don’t get to today." She nodded and grabbed her overcoat and, a few minutes later, the two were underway.