THE DIARY OF MRS. TOMY RYAN
That night, I was going to eat dinner at the captainís table. My steward had gotten me a seat there. I was dressed impeccably in a dark green gown, which I had bought just for such an occasion. I had hoped to get a chance to sit at the captainís table before I had boarded. As I walked down to the dining room, I saw Rose in front of me. I hadnít seen her since she had come and gotten Jack this afternoon. I hurried, hoping to catch her and introduce myself. I saw her stop at the top of the stairs by the clock. I pulled back and waited to see why she had stopped. I looked down the stairs and saw Jack! He was dressed in a formal tuxedo and it was him that Rose was walking towards! I watched, fascinated, as Jack took Roseís hand and kissed it. Was this the reason Rose didnít survive? Oh, if I could only talk to her!
I decided to not introduce myself now. Besides, Jack already knew me, and I didnít want to spoil anything for him. It was obvious to me that he had fallen in love with her. I wondered if the others could tell. I walked around introducing myself to all the other passengers, trying to stay away from the survivors as much as possible. If I was unable to change anything, I still wanted to go back and give my report, even though I would be going back broken-hearted.
All through dinner I was looking at Roseís table. She was sitting with some very powerful people. Mr. Andrews, Mrs. Brown, Mr. Ismay, Colonel Gracie, Mr. Guggenheim, Madame Aubert. And her mother and Cal, of course. Jack seemed to be the one bringing life to the table. I saw many looks between Jack and Rose, and I hoped that if they had to die, they would be together.
The conversation at my table was quite boring, but I tried to listen. One couple was entertaining the captain with stories of their trip over on the Olympic. It seemed that this couple would only travel with Captain Smith. I ate, realizing that this had been a bad idea. I wouldnít get to talk to the captain at all. Since I was new to most of these people, they were barely polite. It was a struggle to even get some of them to look at me. I was waiting for the dinner to be over so I could leave. I had been neglecting my assignment, convinced that I could change history. I was realizing that it was a hard thing to do. From now on, I would concentrate on making sure that Tommy and I could get on a lifeboat. If I had to go back without him, I would have something to report, anyway.
These thoughts were depressing. I had to do something. I looked around at all these people, and even though I was in first class, I still saw faces that wouldnít survive. The Allisons and their daughter would die, all because the childrenís nanny kidnapped the boy, Trevor. Mrs. Allison would refuse to leave the ship without her son, never knowing that he was already in a lifeboat. I saw them sitting there eating dinner. I imagined Mr. Allison talking about the horses he saw, as his whole purpose had been to go to England to buy new breeding stock. I looked at Roseís table, and I saw many who would not survive. Rose herself never made it. Jack and Mr. Andrews. Mr. Astor, Colonel Gracie. This was becoming too much for me. I struggled through dessert and excused myself. I couldnít handle looking at anymore people I knew were going to die.
I left and went out to the stern of the ship. I stood there and I began to think of all the good that had come out of the Titanic sinking. But the cost in lives! It was almost overwhelming. The American Ice Patrols that turned into their coast guard, the safety laws that made ships safer. I stood and stared out at the water; this freezing cold water that hid the iceberg. We would hit it tomorrow night. Finally, after standing there, crying, I went inside down to my cabin. I changed into my nightgown and lay down on the bed. I started to cry more softly, trying not to imagine the sound of people freezing to death.