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New eyes ahead

survivor story

By Lovelypom83Published 2 years ago 12 min read

This was supposed to be a new start, that's what Father Jameson told me at least when he gave me this ticket--it was a donation to the parish, the place I grew up when I was ten years old after my mother past away. He'd always told me, I'd accomplish way more than everyone would have imagined me to go, including myself. America is my only way to prove to Father Jameson, the orphanage and to myself that I can be anything I want to be...but there is something in my way. A ocean, an iceberg, and a giant hole in the ship, perfect.

"Mable, hello?!" Isabel snapped her fingers in front of my face. It was hard to focus, there was people running around like crazy. Just half an hour ago, it was like any other night, most families on the third passenger level were either in the social room where they gathered before bed and talked--the kids played and adults played the piano in the great room while the gentlemen went into the cigar room. Some stayed all night dancing in the lower hall--while others turned in early after a very filling supper.

"Mable, have to snap out of it...We have to go, or we will go down with this ship!" I know she meant well, Isabel and I met on the ship, we were paired together because we were both single passengers and we clicked right away. I'm grateful for her.

You could hear the staff walk up and down the hall calling out to the passengers, " Wake up, dress warmly, put on your life vests and go to the upper deck immediately." I packed a small bag with my most valuable possessions, hooked it to my arm and took Isabels extended arm and we hurried with the rest of the passengers.

I felt sorry for Isabel, she was on complete survivor mode and she trying to stay calm and focused, while I'm trying to wrap my mind around the entire situation and what is going on. She was all calm, cool, and collected--me on the other hand I was one step away from having a major freak out moment.

"Sorry, Isabel...I'm trying to understand what is going on my brain is trying to process the past hour without having a freakout spaz moment." I'm rambling, I'm officially on freak out mode--great job Mable.

Isabel stopped walking, and yanked me to an abrupt halt. "Mable, I'm not going to die tonight, you can ramble all you want--just as long as you walk on your own, I'm not caring you." She looked firmly at me, and you could tell she meant business. I didn't answer in physical words, just simply nodded.

We reached the opposite side of the ship, there was one main exit that most people were trying to exit from...the line was long and it didn't make sense that everyone was trying to leave from this small cramped area, then it dawned on me that there was a hidden exit on the other side of the ship, that I'm pretty sure no one knows about.

"This is insane, we are never going to reach the upper deck at this rate--theres too many people." I looked at Isabel and grabbed her arm, she looked hesitant but willingly followed me.

"C'mon, I know a short cut." Isabel looked worried, but I knew that she knew this was the only chance we had. Because we were third grade level passengers we were kept separated from the second and first level passengers, mainly because they thought we were infected with disease.

Which wasn't at all true, but they had this strict system with us only allowing one way in and one way out method. It only worked until you through something like an iceberg into the mix of things, then I know all regulations were out the window and every person were for themselves.

Every one was walking against us, going to that main exit--ice cold water had started to seep into the ship that we were trying to get out of, it was only then when it started to make sense that this was a true emergency, and not something out of a story book.

"Around here!" We were the only ones of the this side of the ship, it looked like I didn't know where we were going, but I did. It just looked strange because it was one of the employment passages, I've seen a servant to take just the day before yesterday when I decided to explore the ship.

Isabel looked amazed, but I just simply smiled. I let go of her arm and let her climb the steep staircase first and we were both met with a cold rush of sea breeze as we headed to another staircase to reach the first level deck to reach the life boats.

You could hear children and women crying as they said their good byes to their fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, grandfathers. It was a heartbreaking image to witness. It was a stupid thing really, to see for yourself. Just because they were male--I don't understand why they couldn't be saved as well.

When we reached a boat...we were halted, "You have to wait Miss." as snooty sailor instructed Isabel and myself as we tried to get onto one of the boats. Isabel simply nodded, and I found myself saying the words before I had a chance to catch myself.

"Why? the boat is only half can easily hold at least 20 more people! if you will not take us, then kindly put this young gentlemen aboard so that their mothers can see them to live another day, rather than dieing on this horrible ship." Isabel elbowed me in my side and I jumped when her bone made contact with my hip. I was never one to shy away from voicing my opinion, I'd like to think it was my late mothers spirit deep within me.

People looked at me differently, Isabel didn't get people starring...she was a white french lady who had just turned 19 yrs old aboard this ship just the other day. We've known each other for years, her father died around the same time my mother past and we bonded over the connection of the lack of a family in our lives. I wasn't white, I looked Milano, it was a race word I was often called because my mother was black and my father was white. I was a caramel color with vividly blue eyes just like my father, I don't remember much about him other than his dark hair and clear crystal blue eyes. Even with the racial barriers I faced on a day to day basis--I wasn't afraid to speak my truth. Growing up after my mother past away, I wasn't treated any differently, but most of the nuns at the parish made me understand that I was in fact different and would occasionally separate me from the other kids because of it, I guess in a way to make my reality real for once.

The sailor standing in front of me wasn't much older than myself or Isabel, but he took in my words and simply nodded. It looked like he were to cry as if he was holding that in since this entire ordeal had happened. He let on several youngish boys that looked like they were playing dress up in their father or grandfathers finest clothes.

As the boys finished climbing onto the boat, Isabel and myself were the last to board, some of the young men nodded at me with appreciation and respect. Knowing all too well, that if I had not spoken up they would still be on that ship waiting to die.

The boat slowly lowered, if felt like we were moving in slow motion. As it hit the water with a crash, icy droplets hit our faces--Isabel and myself formed into one being--and tried not to shiver too much. The men aboard started the boat into motion, we were barely the third ship onto the sea. There was still room for more souls aboard, but no one wanted to take the chance to wait and see what chaos would happen if people waited, which most people knew it would happen. Most people still thought this was a drill, and exercise to see if people were paying attention to the staff.

You could hear the faint music on the ship as we rowed away, a baby started to cry--and it brought most people back to reality. I looked around and there were mainly women and children aboard and it made me think of how they had to say goodbye to their loved ones, that impossible task that I was grateful that I didn't have to do. My heart did go out to them, while they were left with this difficult task...I only had to worry about myself an Isabel of course.

The gentlemen took turns stopping and resting, while the others kept going. I thought it was a nice compromise between them since us females didn't have to help out. Isabel had fallen asleep on my shoulder almost an hour ago. The ship is still a main backdrop for the sea that consumes us, only now there are three more ships that are following us. I could feel the lack of sleep starting to overtake me, as I let Isabel hug my tighter and I sank into her embrace to help keep me warm. I was only asleep for twenty minutes before the shrill screaming jolted me out of my sleep. I didn't know what to think as I opened my eyes, and saw the Titanic bouncing like an apple in a bucket of water. We were a ways out already a ways out, but you could see black specks, which looked like people in the water begging to be saved. There was nothing no one in the boat could do to save anyone, we were already too far out--I curled up into a ball and tried not to cry for all the souls that would be taken today.

I must have fallen back asleep because, Isabel was trying to wake me up. "Mable, they are trying to gather the boats to take the survivors aboard--" that word rang in my head...'Survivors', we had made it while so many others hadn't.

The next few days that turned into weeks were a blur, Isabel tried to get me to eat--and function like a regular human being...and I really did try. I had what I called 'survivors guilt', I didn't understand why god allowed me to survive and other women, children, men, and workers in general went down with they ship. It made me sad to the point, that I felt weak--I couldn't even open my eyes. Isabel didn't understand why I refused to eat or even go out onto the deck and get some sun. The vitamin D is what I needed...but my body refused again.

I was confined to my room, Isabel would talk to me about the ship we were currently on and how people were excited to see what new adventures they would come up to next. "Mable, you need to get out of this bed...I got a letter from Father Jameson, he is grateful that we survived the accident. He's sorry and sends you his wishes that you get better soon to your journey. He also said he secured a job for you and me once we get to America, and to live in a boarding house of women. Isn't that exciting?!" Isabel exclaimed with joy and excitement at what was to come in the land of opportunity.

I was happy that Father Jamesons letter had finally arrived to us and that we were able to see how he was was an excited feeling to see what the future had in store for us. I was grateful for his head start offer to us, that way we could have at least a place to stay without having to stay on the streets.

It was three more days until we reached Ellis Island, Isabel was happy to get off of that ship, took us almost a months journey to get to America--it felt that it took longer. I had to get help to get off the ship, I tried to walk--but It felt like my legs were jelly. As soon as we were off the smaller connecting boat, to the Island--the only other entrance into America for foreigners to the land of freedom and new beginnings. I had help from two other passengers, but once on my own feet on solid land--I fainted and everything went black. All I could hear was Isabel yelling out my name "Mable!!"

I could hear a lot of background noises, and was in an out of consciousness for felt like weeks, and I felt so weak...I didn't know what was happening to my own body. I was scared, at times I could hear Isabel...and at other times I could hear my mother. I could feel her cool sweet touch on my forehead and hear her whisper sweet loving words in my ear. It was a dream that I wanted to be reality, she was the one that wanted to come to America. I didn't want to live this dream without her, but it was gods will to be taken from me. Even though I could feel her presence with me ever single day, it just wasn't enough. I fell back into a deep sleep...and it felt like ages before I actually woke up.

"Mable, sweetie, can you open your eyes?" it was a haunting voice that was trying to lure me into civilization. My eyes were heavy, but they really wanted to open to see who was calling me. It took some time, but my lids finally blinked open from their slumber.

There was a natural sunlight that filled the room, there were white cot beds that filled the small room, with a sign above the door that read--blacks only.

"Mable Ann Parker?" my head turned at the voice that said my full name, that nobody knew but me, well maybe father Jameson...but he never called me by it.

"Mama?!?" I was surprised and shocked, but the lady standing over me was the splitting image of my late mother.

"Oh, no sweet child. Your mama was my baby sister, I'm your Auntie May" I sat up in an instant and hugged her with all my might, thats why my mom wanted to come to America, but she never told me that she had family here.

"I was able to track you down, by a priest named Father Jameson...he told me that my sister had past away years ago and that you were living at the parish. I was able to get money together for a ticket on the great titanic to get you here--so you could come live with me and my family. We live in Brooklyn, I own the boarding house. He also told me that you befriended a woman named Isabel and I extended her to stay with me as well. " I was trying my best to take everything, the ticket was donated like I was originally told, but it was by my aunt instead of a stranger.

I hugged her again, afraid she might disappear just like my mom. This couldn't be true, this had to be a dream--reality couldn't be this kind to simple minded girl like me.

It was another two weeks before I was let go from the small hospital area within Ellis island, the doctors signed the paperwork saying I was free to access America, stamping my paperwork and giving me to the right to start my adventure.

Seeing the world with new eyes, told me that this was just the start of a great life to come and if the unsinkable Titanic couldn't hold me down nothing in this world could either.

"Aunt May, I was thinking about being a writer and letting people know about the stories I've encountered through this journey, what do you think?" She smiled and hugged me slightly...took my hand and squeezed it.

"That sounds girl, you can do anything you set your mind to." I smiled in response.

"Yes, the ship of dreams...changed my world, it brought me to you" and with that I embraced my life living the American dream.

The End

Short Story

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