Fiction logo

Betrayal on the Titanic

by Roy Tsukishima 2 months ago in Love
Report Story

Graham is betrayed by his wife and best friend

RMS Titanic

April 12, 1912, Southampton England

While standing on the Southampton dock, Graham Docker kissed his wife Pamela and asked her, "What do you want me to bring back from America for you?"

"Why don't you surprise me, and maybe I will have a surprise for you when you get back." Says Pamela with a smile.

"That sounds good. I will try to message you from the ship if I can."

"That would be wonderful." Says Pamela

"Goodbye, my love. I have to get on board now and get started on my duties. I will see you on the 27th."

"Take care of yourself." Says Pamela as she waves to her husband.

Graham runs up the gangway to board the ship, and as he looks up, he thinks. "This ship is huge, and it should be since it is the largest and most luxurious passenger liner the world has ever seen."

As Graham boards the ship, he looks back and waves at his wife one last time. He watches as Pamela waves back and blows him a kiss.

Graham enters the ship and starts to work his way down to the engine room, where he works as a trimmer, and his job is to move around the coal in the bunkers to make sure they are level and to shovel coal down the chutes to the firemen below who shovel it into the furnaces. It is hard work, but Graham thinks himself lucky to get a job aboard the majestic Titanic on her maiden voyage to America. As he gets about halfway to the engine room, he thinks, "Bloody Hell, I forgot to give Pamela the insurance papers I signed for being a crewmember aboard the Titanic. I hope she is still on the dock." Graham turns around and heads back up the stairs to the main deck. As Graham reaches the main deck, he runs to the railing to see if he can see Pamela. As he looks around, he sees Pamela, but she is not alone as she is with his best friend and crewmember, John Godfrey. Graham watches in horror as John grabs Pamela, pulls her close to him, and gives her a long passionate kiss. Pamela doesn't seem to resist as she puts both of her arms around John and kisses him back.

Graham stumbles backward as he is in shock. Is his wife having an affair with his best friend?

In a confused state, Graham wonders back down to the engine room. Graham enters the engine room, but instead of starting his duties as a trimmer, he sits down and covers his face with his hands as he still can't believe what he saw. Could his wife be having an affair with John? Would his best friend betray him like this? After a few minutes, John enters the engine room and sees Graham sitting down.

"Hi Graham, I saw Pamela on the dock. She is looking well today."

Graham grumbles something incoherently.

John is unsure what Graham's problem was today, but he shrugs it off and starts his duties.

The trimmers aboard the Titanic worked two four-hour watches in a twenty-four-hour period. On this voyage, John and Graham will work two shifts per day, the first from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and the second from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

Not much is said between the two friends the rest of the day.

7:00 AM, April 13, 1912

When John awoke, he noticed Graham was already up and getting dressed.

"Morning, Graham."

"Morning, John. How'd you sleep last night?"

"Slept as well as you would expect in these bunks."

"Yeah, I hear you mate."

"Glad to see you are more talkative today, as you hardly spoke yesterday."

"I had a lot on my mind yesterday, but I am fine today. Should we go grub down?"

"That sounds good." John gets out of his bunk, begins to dress, and then joins his friend as they head down to the cafeteria for the staff.

As the two men eat, John asks his mate, "What was bothering you yesterday?"

"Nothing important that you need to worry about."

John shrugs his shoulders and continues to finish his breakfast.

After breakfast, the two men head off for their first shift of the day.

John and Graham enter boiler room #4, where they work. They saw James Wilson and William Nash, the other two trimmers assigned to this boiler room. The four men met up with Ron Bolt, an Engineer and the man in charge.

"Ok, men, let's get going. We've got a big day ahead of us." Says Ron

Graham grabbed a wheel barrel and a shovel and headed off to the bunker to get his first load of coal for the furnaces. While he did his work, he still could not get his mind off his wife's possible affair with John. Graham and John have been friends since childhood, and when Graham first met Pamela almost three years ago, John seemed to be happy for his friend that he had found the love of his life. When Graham and Pamela married 14 months ago, John was Graham's best man. Graham still couldn't believe his best friend would betray him, and he never thought Pamela would cheat on him, as he thought she was happy with their lives and they recently discussed starting a family.

After the men had completed their first watch of the day, they headed off for lunch.

While they were eating lunch, John looked at Graham and said, "You were rather quiet again this morning."

"I still had some things on my mind."

"What is bothering you?"

Graham thought for a second and wondered if he should ask his friend if he was having an affair with his wife, but quickly decided this was not the time or place to bring it up. "I am just a bit worried. I forgot to give Pamela the insurance papers I signed before the voyage. I hope something doesn't happen, as she might not be able to get anything without the signed papers."

"What could happen on this ship. It is the safest ship in the world, so you have nothing to worry about."

"I guess you're right." Says Graham as he tries to force a smile.

"Come on, let's finish lunch and then you can go up to the radio room and send Pamela a message, telling her how much you love her and how much you miss her." Says John

"That sounds like a good idea. I did tell Pamela I would try to send her a message while at sea." Says Graham

"Well, this is a good time to do it." Says John

After lunch, the two men head to the radio room, where Graham sends a message back home to Pamela. The two men then head back to the crew's quarters, and John pulls out a pack of cards and a cribbage board, and the men start playing crib.

John pulls out a sheet of paper from under his bunk. "Let's see. After yesterday's games, I am up 16 pence."

"Well, start dealing, mate, as I think my luck is about to change." Says Graham

The two men play cribbage the rest of the afternoon until it is time for dinner and then their second shift.

7:00 AM, April 14, 1912

When John awoke, he noticed Graham was already dressed and gone. John couldn't find Graham in the cafeteria, so he ate alone. When John arrived at boiler room #4, he noticed Graham there.

"You got up early this morning." Says John

"I couldn't sleep, so I took a long walk on deck. When I got back to the crew's quarters, I noticed you were still asleep, so I went for breakfast by myself.

"You still worried about the insurance papers?" Asked John

"Yeah, I guess." Says Graham

"I told you, you have nothing to worry about." Says John

"I know, but I can't get it out of my mind." Says Graham

"Well, come on, let's get to work. That will help clear your mind." Says John

As the two men begin their watch, Graham remains quiet as the question of what is going on between Pamela and John still bothers him.

11:40 PM, April 14, 1912

"Did you feel that?" Asks John

"Yeah, it almost felt like we hit something." Says Graham

"But that can't be. Something else must have happened." Says John

"You're probably right. We might as well wait until Ron tells us what happened. I hope it isn't something bad, as our watch is almost over." Says Graham

A few seconds later, the engine room telegraph rang "Stop," telling the crew to stop the engines.

Now the four trimmers of boiler room #4 met and discussed what was going on. About a minute later, Ron Bolt entered the room.

"Men, I have some grave news. We hit an iceberg. I am not sure how bad the situation is, but Lead Engineer Russel Johnson informed me that boiler rooms 5 and 6 are flooding. I know your shifts are almost over, but could you stay awhile and help out as we try to figure out what is happening?"

All four trimmers nod in agreement as they can't fully comprehend what Ron just told them.

"Thanks, men. Bring in as much coal to our boiler room as quickly as possible. If we lose boiler rooms 5 and 6, we will need as much power from our furnaces to help keep this ship afloat as we need this power to run the pumps that are pumping out water from boiler rooms 5 and 6 and elsewhere in the ship, as well as keep the lights going all across the ship."

"But this ship can't sink. The Titanic is unsinkable." Says John

"I don't know how to answer that. Let's do our jobs and hope for the best." Says Ron

The men grab their wheel barrels and shovels and set off to work, wondering what the ship's fate and theirs were.

12:35 AM, April 15, 1912

Boiler room #4 now had about 16 inches of water flooding the floor.

"Men, we can't stop the flooding, and the ship is going down, so it's time to evacuate. We've done all we can do. Try to get topside and find a lifeboat. Thanks for your hard work, and I hope you all make it out alive." Says Ron

All the men in boiler room #4 looked shocked. Could the Titanic sink?

John quickly grabbed Graham and said, "Come on, we got to get out of here."

The two men scramble to get out of the boiler room and find the staircase to get topside. After a few minutes, Graham noticed that they had separated from the rest of the group from boiler room #4. As they continued, Graham saw a shovel lying under a foot of water and quickly grabbed it. It became clear to him what he had to do at that moment.

"I saw you were kissing Pamela on the dock, and I suspect you have been shagging my wife."

John turns back and sees Graham holding the shovel above his head, ready to strike down.

"You're right, Graham. I have been a bad friend. But please don't do this. You don't want this guilt inside you."

"Shut up! All I want to know is how long you and Pamela have been cheating on me?"

"It started about six months ago. It was an accident. While you were serving on the Olympic at sea, I was laid up and couldn't work. Pamela came to visit me to see how I was doing, and one thing led to another, and we ended up making love that day. We both knew it was wrong, and we vowed never to let it happen again. But then, the next time we were alone together, we couldn't hide the fact that we were both attracted to each other, and we started seeing each other regularly, whenever Pamela could find a reason to be gone from home." Says John

"Well, I am now going to end this, and I will kill you and leave you here to go down with the ship. No one will suspect anything, and I will then have Pamela all to myself." Says Graham

"Wait, there is something you don't know yet. Pamela is pregnant!" Says John

"Blimey! Why didn't she didn't tell me? If she told you first, does that mean you are the father?" Asked Graham

"No, she doesn't know who the father is. That is why she told me first. She wanted me to know that our affair had to end. She said she still loves you and wants to have a family with you. She was going to tell you about the baby when you returned. That is why we kissed on the dock, as it was a goodbye kiss." Says John

In shock, Graham dropped the shovel and dropped to his knees as he started to think about what John had just told him. He was going to be a father.

John now saw his opportunity and grabbed the shovel that Graham had dropped.

"I was going to stay out of Pamela's life and let you two be happy starting a family, but now that you just threatened to kill me, I think I have a change of heart. I will kill you and tell Pamela that you did not make it out alive. She will then happily fall into my arms, and we will be together to start our family."

"You wanker, I can't believe you were my best friend. I know I would never cheat on you if it was you that married Pamela." Says Graham

"Don't be too sure about that. I thought the same, but we both know that Pamela is a fine woman, probably someone neither of us deserves." Says John

"Go ahead and kill me then. See if you can live with yourself after killing me." Says Graham

"Oh, I will have no problems living with the guilt with Pamela in my arms." Says John

"You can go to hell, John!"

"You first, mate." Says John

John then aims and smashes Graham's head with the shovel.

John drops the shovel after seeing the blood gush from Graham's head and then quickly runs up the stairs to try to escape the rush of seawater.

John manages to make it topside and finds a seat on one of the last lifeboats.

At around 4:00 AM, the RMS Carpathia arrived to take on the survivors.

Once John boarded the Carpathia, he knew he was safe. He now thought about how he would tell Pamela about the death of her husband. He had no guilt as all he could think about was finally having Pamela all to himself.

After finally figuring out what he would say to Pamela, he went to the radio room to send a telegram home. A long line of people was anxious to send a note back home to let their families know they were all right. When John finally had his turn, the telegraph operator handed him a piece of paper and a pencil to write down his message.

John took the paper and pencil and started to write:

"Pamela, my love, you probably heard that the Titanic went down. I don't know how to tell you this, but Graham did not make it. After we evacuated the boiler room, a rush of water overtook us. I was able to make it out, but Graham didn't. I will tell you more when I arrive back home.

Love John."

John headed back to the room housing the Titanic survivors, grabbed a blanket, and found a spot on the floor to sleep. That night he slept soundly.

The following day, while John stood in line for breakfast, one of the Carpathia's officers approached him. "Are you John Godfrey?"

"Yes, that is me."

"My name is First Officer Jason Conrad. Can you come with me? I have a few questions for you."

"All right." Says a confused John

As the two men enter Mr. Conrad's office, John sees his crewmember, James Wilson.

"Hello, James, glad you made it out all right."

James says nothing as he looks over John with a look of disgust.

"I see you know Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson told me something interesting this morning, and he said he saw you kill your friend and fellow crewmember Graham Docker. He overheard you say that you were going to kill him so that you could be with his wife. What do you say to those charges?" Says Officer Conrad

"I can explain. Graham knew that Pamela and I were having an affair, so he wanted to kill me. I killed him in self-defense." Says John

"So you admit you were having an affair with Mr. Docker's wife and that you killed him." Says Officer Conrad

"Yes, but I swear it was in self-defense. Graham tried to kill me first." Says John

"That is not what I saw. I saw you standing over Graham with the shovel in your hand, telling him that you would kill him, which would enable you to be with his wife. Then you struck him down." Says James

"So you didn't see us earlier when Graham had the shovel, and he told me he would kill me because I was having an affair with Pamela?" Says John

"No, I didn't see any of that. All I saw was you beating a defenseless man with the shovel." Says James

"Mr. Godfrey, did Mr. Docker strike you with the shovel?" asks Officer Conrad

"No, he dropped the shovel before he could hit me." Says John

"Why would he do that?" Says Officer Conrad

"Because I told him Pamela was pregnant." Says John

"You are now admitting Mr. Docker was defenseless when you struck him." Says Officer Conrad

"No, ... I ..." stumbles John as he is unsure what to say.

"I asked the radio operator to go through the messages sent from the Titanic survivors to see if you sent any messages home last night, and guess what he found. A note to Mrs. Docker, telling her that her husband was dead and that you love her. Did you send this last night?" Asked Officer Conrad as he passed the message to John.

John looked at the note and replied in a quiet voice, "Yes, I sent that."

"It looks like you had a motive, a means, and an opportunity to murder Mr. Docker. We also have a witness to the murder, so I think we have enough information to have you detained until we arrive in New York and then hand you over to the proper authorities." As he opened his office door, Officer Conrad asked the other officer standing outside, "Take Mr. Godfrey and hold him in a room and make sure someone is guarding the room, so he can't escape."

The other officer comes in and takes John, and leads him out.

"I can't believe you would kill your best friend." Says an enraged James.

John says nothing and does not even look toward James as he leaves the office.

April 18, 1912, New York City

After the Carpathia docks in New York, John is taken into custody by the New York City Police. After the police questioned John and James about what happened aboard the Titanic, the police were satisfied a crime had been committed and would then send John Godfrey back to England to face prosecution for murder.

After John arrived back in England, he tried to contact Pamela, but she refused to see him. Pamela did not appear in the courtroom on any days of the trial.

The trial was quick, and John Godfrey was found guilty of the murder of Graham Docker. The Judge sentenced John to the death penalty, and on March 22, 1913, John Godfrey hung from the rafters for his crime.

Pamela never visited John while he was in prison, and after the trial concluded, she gave birth to a son she named Graham Jr. Pamela knew in an instance that Graham was the father of her child since he had Graham's eyes. About a year later, she remarried and moved away from Southampton and relocated to London, where she remained for the rest of her life.

John wrote Pamela several letters while in prison, admitting to her that he murdered Graham. He implored her to believe it was self-defense, as Graham tried to kill him first because he knew of their affair.

Pamela never did read any of John's letters. She never told her son what happened to his father, just that he died while serving on the Titanic.

Love

About the author

Roy Tsukishima

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.