THE DIARY OF MRS. TOMY RYAN
I boarded Titanic in Southampton. I had only been in 1912 for two days. I spent the first day here securing passage on the ship, as well a wardrobe. I loved the styles of the day, and I felt like I belonged in them. By ten AM on April tenth, I was ready to begin. I was only supposed to talk to people who did not survive the sinking. I had a list of them, from all classes. Mr. Thomas Andrews was a must, as he could answer quite a few questions of ship’s design. Captain Smith, if at all possible. I was to try to pass myself off as an acquaintance of his daughter’s. Some people from second class, but not too many. Second class stories were the most widely told, next to the crew’s. I was to try to talk to almost every single man in third class. Actually I was to talk to all of third class, as so few survived.
When I reached the pier, and first saw the Titanic, I was in awe of it. It was so huge! Seeing it in real life was nothing compared to the pictures! I had to force myself not to stare; it was not becoming a lady to stare. I had booked passage under the name of Katherine Steadwick. Very formal, and it would fit in very nicely. I had no problem finding my cabin, as I had studied the plans of the ship before leaving my time. Once in my cabin, I changed out of my boarding outfit and into a tea dress. I was planning on going out and watching the ship leave port. Being a second class passenger, I was able to go to any part of the ship, except the few restricted first class areas. Since so many first class passengers survived, I really didn’t need to go there.
Fighting my way through the crowds, I tried to get a spot right along the rail. It was very nice out, and it seemed that at least half of the passengers were out on deck. I was very determined to get a look, so I pushed myself up, and got a spot. The people down below seemed to be moving. It took me a minute to realize that the ship was the one moving. Having never been on a ship before, I got caught up in the excitement and waving. I lost myself in the mob of people and let go of all the pent-up emotions I felt. I was on the Titanic, history’s most glorious ship. It truly was everything the history books had said it was.
I stayed out on deck to watch the incident with the New York. As we drew opposite the New York, there were a sudden series of sharp cracks. I looked down at the water, and saw that the smaller vessel’s mooring lines had snapped and it was being drawn toward the Titanic. A few other people by me gasped. "It’s going to hit!" I heard one man say. I saw the tugboat swing to intercept and felt our ship move a little. I noticed a swell of water from our ship that seemed to help push the smaller boat out of our way. The tugboats got hold of New York and kept it out of our way.
I went back to my room after the excitement had died a little and wrote a note about what I had seen. Then it was off to tea. I had my tea and sat in the café watching the other passengers. One set of passengers that were of particular interest were the DeWitt Bukaters. They were a mother and daughter traveling with the daughter’s fiancé. The daughter was sitting at a table with her mother and some other woman I did not recognize. The daughter’s name was Rose, and she was staring off in to space. She seemed very unhappy, like there was something missing in her life, or even as if she felt trapped. I’m not sure how I could tell all this, but I felt a great bond with Rose, even though I had never spoken to her. I, too, was not happy with my life in the twenty-second century, and I could not figure out what was missing. Since the name Rose DeWitt Bukater was not on my list of survivors, I thought I’d try to talk to her.
Dinner that night was very boring. My table companions all wanted to gossip about the first class passengers. Afterwards, I returned to my room, rather tired. It was a big day for me, and tomorrow might be even bigger.