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  Julie - A Life So Short

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  •  Titanic_charlie
      Titanic_charlie
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#21

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it's very good, in fact, if you fix the few mistakes you made and made it a lot longer, you could probably get it published.


note: the bow is the front.
Posted on: 2007/6/17 14:56
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#22

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I know. I... oops, yes you're right sorry I'll chage this.

What mistakes did I make except of that one? Tell me!
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Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Posted on: 2007/6/17 15:52
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#23

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D a m n , there are so many superficial mistakes... You know, I sat there and had so many great ideas about was could go on there... And I was afraid they could disappear before I had written them down
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Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Posted on: 2007/6/18 14:12
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#24

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Julie looked back. The young man reached one of the lifeboats and began to talk to an officier who stood nearby. Then he went to the other side of the boat and prepared it to lower it. He removed the awning and took some paddles out of the boat. The officier helped him to fix them. Then he went down the ship, towards some passengers who watched fearfully what happened. "Women and children first", he shouted. At first, many women looked as though they didn't want to leave Titanic, the safest ship on earth, yet. But one man, a small, thin guy with mousebrown hair, pushed his woman forwards softly. "Come on, Julia", he said quietly. "Take the children with you. We'll see each other again soon." Julia nodded with tears in her eyes. She took several steps forward and told her children, a boy who was about five years old, and her little daughter to come with her. They sat down at the front of the boat. The few people looked very lonely in the big boat. Maybe it was the expression in the little girl's eyes, maybe it was something else, but suddenly other women said goodbye to their husbands and joined the family in the lifeboat. This went on until about forty people were sitting there, then the officier said: "Okay, lower down! Slowly... be careful..." The ground of the boat touched the water. There was a loud splash and some children screamed. Their mothers hugged them, whispering consoling words into their ears. They had to get away quickly. Soon the next boat was lowered. And the next one.
Julie and Henry stood on deck, directly near the lifeboats. The boat-deck was crowded with hysteric men and women who all wanted to get a seat. Most of them were first and second class passengers. Julie wondered where the others were. "Maybe the third class passengers didn't believe Titanic is indeed going to sink", she said to herself. But somehow she was sure that was wrong.
A girl, maybe a few years younger than herself, arrived on deck. She had the hand of a girl that looked as though it just had lerned to go in her hand. The little looked a little surpirsed. She didn't seem to undersatnd what was going on. Henry watched them jealously. He'd have given much to be the girl now. He needed someone to take his hand and to show him what to do and where to go. Julie looked at him critically. Sometimes Henry really felt as though she could read his thoughts like an open book. He looked to the waiting people to avoid her eyes. Some of them were really hysteric and were trying to get into the boats as quick as possible, others looked a little undecided. Maybe it was a joke? But on this slanting, slowly lowering ship it didn't seem so.
Julie watched the door of the lounge. Sometimes people came out of that room, onto the boat-deck. They were trembling in the sudden cold. Small children were crying, others just didn't notice what was going on. They pressed the hands of their mothers and looked very tired and confused.

I know how it will end and everything, but it's quite difficult to write ... Well I'll try my best LoL
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Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Posted on: 2007/6/22 18:46
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#25

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After the lifeboat was half-filled the young steward looked around. He couldn't see any more women and children because he shouted: "Okay, now everyone else into the boats!" Some more men joined their wifes. The others stayed aboard, shivering in the cold night. Julie pushed her friend forwards. "Get into the lifeboat, Henry", she said quietly. "You can't help them anymore." "What about you?", he asked. "I have to get something from our cabin. Don't wait for me, I'll take the next boat." Henry looked undecided. On one hand, he wanted to get away of the sinking ship as soon as possible, but on the other hand, he didn't want to leave his best friend. "Hurry up", Julie said urgently. "Okay", he said. "But promise me you take another boat." Julie nodded. "But if there's not enough space for me... I can't promise that, Henry." "Try your best, okay?" He kissed her cheek. "Don't leave me, Julie." Then he ran towards the lifeboat that was just lowered. He jumped into it and nearly fell into the ocean. He waved and smiled at Julie, but she saw the tears in his eyes.
Julie sprinted down the corridor. How could she have forgotten it? She reached the stairs which leaded to her cabin. As she went down, she saw water - water that raised faster and faster. Carefully, she took a few steps more down and reached the water level. She felt a shudder run down her back as she touched the water. But she had to get back... she couldn't leave without it. Slowly Julie went down the corridor and turned right into her cabin. The water flow up her waist. She couldn't loose any more time. There was the locket she had been looking for. It was under her pillow where she had put it the evening before. It seemed to be years ago. She grabbed it and wanted to put it into her back, but the lace slided out of her hand and the locket fell into the cold water. She reached for it but it sank too fast. It had sunk right to the floor. Julie took a deep breath and fell on her knees. Her eyes were open and the saltwater burned terribly but she didn't care. The locket was the last thing she had from her father, and she wouldn't let it sink down to the bottom of North Atlantic. Julie's hands were groping over the floor for a few seconds, but then she had it.
On her way back she wanted to take a short cut through the smoking room. She had just reached the door and wanted to go back on deck when she heard someone cough. She turned around surprisedly, wondering who would stand in the smoking room calmly while he was about to die. Mr Andrews stood in front of the fireplace silently. He had just noticed Julie and went towards her. "What are you still doing here?", he asked. "Get into a lifeboat as quickly as possible. And take on a lifebelt." "Okay", Julie nodded. "But why aren't you in a boat? You should try to get a seat like all the others do, and if..." She fell silent as she looked into his eyes. She could see endless regret and sadness in them. "If I stay here I can maybe save the life of someone else - someone who is not as guilty as me. I couldn't make her unsinkable, and I did never say something like that. But I should have contradicted all the people who said this." He looked at the painting over the fireplace thoughtfully.
"Mr Andrews?", Julie asked quietly. "Why are there no third class passengers on deck? I didn't see any." The creator of Titanic sighed. "You shouldn't worry about this too much. Just get in one of these lifeboats, okay?" Julie stayed were she was. "They don't let the poor get a seat in the boats, am I right?" Mr Andrews didn't answer. "That's not fair! Everyone should have a chance to survive." He looked directly into her eyes. "Of course, little girl, but that's not possible. Money makes the world go around. I didn't make this up, it's just a fact. You'll understand this when you're older." Julie felt tears come to her eyes. Damn! She hadn't wanted to cry in front of a man she didn't even know.
_________________
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Posted on: 2007/6/24 13:26
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#26

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She turned around. "If you give them up because they are poorer than the other passengers... okay, but I will help them." She wanted to leave the room. "Wait", Mr Andrews said loudly. He took a lifebelt from a chair and gave it to her. "Good luck", he whispered.

Henry had grabbed a paddle instantly. His arms hurt, but he couldn't stop. Physical activity had always been a good way to avoid thinking of disagreeable things. He looked back to Titanic. They still lowered boats, people were running around, looking for their families. He shuddered. Maybe Julie would be too late... if she wasn't on deck on time... if the last boat was lowered without her... He rowed faster. And faster. He didn't feel his arms anymore, but it kept him warm. He wished he'd taken his coat with him. He noticed a thin girl with sleek red hair sit on the other side of the lifebaot. She was about fourteen years old and looked as if she was about to faint. Her face was paperwhite and her lips were blue of the cold. Henry wished he could help her somehow. But how? He didn't even have a second shirt with him.
The officier who stood at the bow lifted his hand. "Okay, stop! We'll wait here." They raised the paddles. Henry looked left. The young girl's face looked nearly transparent now. And - he hadn't noticed it before - she weeped. Tears flew down her cheeks silently. She didn't even put her hands to her face.
Henry turned to the ship again. The stern had raised more and more. Could they still lower lifeboats in this weird situation? It seemed so. A uniform-wearing guy shouted something Henry didn't understand, and lots of people sprinted to the lifeboat. Henry watched them nervously. He couldn't see Julie in the crowd but he hoped she was there. As he looked down the decks he was kind of shocked: There was no other lifeboat left. He looked back to the last boat. It was just lowered.
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Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 18:48
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  •  <3
      <3
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#27

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this is really quite good! i didn't get to read the whole thing though! but iw ent on ur web page, as u know, and found the story! i copied and pasted it to Microsoft Word and will read it later! i hope it gets published!
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ilysm..5/24/09..always&forever..<33
Posted on: 2007/7/2 21:29
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  •  Mac G
      Mac G
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
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Interesting.....!
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"Looked like a rocket sir."

"Yes, I wonder why a ship like that would want to fire a rocket?"

(A Night to Remember, Stone & Gibson)
Posted on: 2007/7/8 17:10
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#29

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Quote:

Mac G wrote:
Interesting.....!

What exactly do you mean by that?
Posted on: 2007/7/8 17:15
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  •  Kathi
      Kathi
Re: Julie - A Life So Short
#30

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However, I have finished the story now, corrected a few mistakes and everything. Have fun!

It was an unusual dark and cold night when Julie Corbeau lit a candle and took on her clothes. The girl kissed her sister and her brother goodbye. She didn't feel sorry for leaving them, but she wished she had been able to explain everything to them. She hadn't even written a letter, and now it would have taken too much time. Julie wasn't very good at writing. Although she was happy she had made the choice to work on this ship (the biggest and the most luxurious ever built), she was a little afraid of the following days. And she wasn't sure what her mother would say when she saw the empty bed the next morning. As Julie walked down the street, towards the port of Southampton, she thought about the arguement she had had with her mother the day before.
"I forbid it, Julie", Mrs Corbeau shouted. "Now be quiet, I don't want to hear one more word about it." She sat down and wiped the sweat off her forehead. "But Mum", Julie inveighed, "this ship can't sink! Remember - I will be able to get to America, the land where dreams come true, and Henry told me he'd - " "Shut up, you nasty girl. This Henry you always talk about - he isn't even French, is he?" "No, but.." "Go to bed! I just don't want you to work on a ship, and I don't care how big or luxurious or whatever it is. Good night." "Good night", Julie murmured, and she went into the little room she shared with her twin brother Etienne and her four-year-old sister Gabrielle.

Henry was already waiting for his friend. They had decided to meet at the port of Southampton. "Half past ten near the bow", Henry had told Julie two days before. He sat on a big box with the red symbol of the White Star Line on it. "Joseph Bruce Ismay" the letters of gold on it said. "Oh, there you are", the boy welcomed his friend. "I just started to think you had changed your mind" He smiled. "Listen, Jules, we have to get these to the suites B52, B54 and B56." He pointed at the box he sat on, and at two other suitcases that stood nearby. Julie took the suitcases. They weren't as heavy as she had expected.

Half an hour later, she sat on a tiny bed, a cup of tea in her hands. Henry sat on the other bed. The room was so small that there was only space for the two beds, a chair and a box with some lifebelts in it. Henry added some more sugar to his tea. Real English tea - and sugar... When had Julie tasted this for the last time? Probably it was more than three years ago...
Julie was actually from Paris. The family had moved to Southampton after her father Fabien had died. "His" ship - he had rented it from a friend - sank near Iceland where he was fishing. After that Julie's mother began to work as a seamstress. But then they had to move in a smaller apartment, and after a few weeks Mrs Corbeau decided to move to Southampton where an uncle of hers lived. They reached the town in July 1909, after the uncle's death. All their life seemed to be an endless streak of bad luck. And it hadn't improved much yet. Being a stewardess and a lift attendant at this beautiful ship seemed to be a good idea - not only because she would get to New York. Julie loved ships, especially the big cruise liners she often saw at the port. She spent most of her free time there, watching the ships and wishing to travel on one of them once. Now her dream had come true... Julie felt very tired. She put the cup away and laid down.

The next day she was awaken by Henry who shouted "Put on your lifebelt, Titanic is going to sink!" directly into her ear. She jumped to her feet. "Huh? What's up?" "Only a joke, Jules. Come on, we have to bring the food stock to the kitchens. First we take the second class stuff." They went down the stairs and two other long corridors. Julie was really amazed. In every corner she saw men and women, some of them not older as herself. All of them were working, bringing stuff into the suites or to the kitchens. After what seemed to be hundreds of corridors, Julie saw the port of Southampton again. Many boxes, trunks and other stuff had been brought there. Henry laughed. "Yes, I know, but it isn't as much as it seems to be." Julie sighed. "Alright, the earlier we start, the earlier we're ready."
It took more than three hours to take all the food to the second class kitchens. Then they had a little break. They ate some sandwiches and drank some water. Fifteen minutes later, they went on with the trunks that should be brought to the first classe suites. Then they had to go into their cabin because the passengers arrived. "We don't want to bother them, do we?", Henry asked with an ironic smile. Julie went to the tiny window, but all she saw was the ocean and a few other ships because their cabin was at the wrong side.

Their work was hard, but it was interesting and (maybe most important) well paid. They had to bring the passengers up and down in the elevators. They prepared the food. They brought tea and cakes to the suites of the first class passengers. In the evening they were so tired and exhausted that they fell asleep instantly.
Julie and Henry, however, felt as if they were in heaven. They had enough food, a business and - most important - they were on the most beautiful ship ever built by human hands. "And the steel is from Germany, like my ancestors", Henry said proudly the next day. They were sitting in the kitchen, peeling potatoes for the first class passengers. "Really? That's cool", Julie answered. "I am only from France. No idea which material of this ship comes from there." "You should never be ashamed of the country you are from", Henry said thoughtfully. "That's what Uncle Michael always told me. And I think he is right." "Yes... possible", Julie answered. They put the potatoes into the boiling water.

A few days later, on a sunday, they had to bring the plates into the first class dinner room because one of the waiters had become ill. It was a very hectic atmosphere in the kitchen. Cooks were running around, waiters were bringing plates to the tables and taking empty plates back into the kitchen again. Julie was responsible for the non-alcoholic drinks, Henry was washing the dishes. He was a little jealous because his work was much harder.
It was about half past eleven when Julie brought an orange juice and a glass of water to table number 11. "This is for you, madam. And your water, sir..." "Thank you, Miss", said the man. He lifted the glass to his lips, but suddenly the ground shook. The water splashed out of the man's glass. His jacket became wet, but when Julie wanted to wipe the water away, he jumped to his feet and pushed her away. He ran to the exit. The other passengers were confused. Nobody actually know what had happened until another man stood up and told them to be quiet. He said "Ladies and gentlemen, don't worry, everything is okay. The shudder you felt was probably caused by a big wave. Now sit down, please." He waved to make a waiter come to his table. "A brandy for the gentlemen, please." The waiter nodded. "Of course, sir." He went ino the kitchen.
In the meantime, one of the older guys who did the washing-up had noticed Henry nearly fall into the sink. He was so tired he couldn't even think clearly anymore. The guy - his name was Carl - told Henry to go straight to bed, "otherwise I will take you to your cabin myself". When Henry saw Carl's muscles he decided to hurry.
Julie was worried. She had heard the man assuage the passengers, but she had a feeling he wasn't right. How could he have known about the "big wave" a few minutes after the shudder? She decided to look for her best friend. He wasn't in the kitchen and she couldn't find him in the dinner room either. After a couple of minutes she decided to wait for him in their cabin. When she opened the door she instantly heard him snore. She didn't want to awake him, so she sat down and began to write a letter to her family. She would send it to them after the ship had reached New York. It wasn't easy to find the right words, and when she laid her pen at the table, it began to slide to the oppsite side of the table. Julie looked at it in amazement. After a few seconds she realised what this could mean. She knew a lot about ships because her father had told her so much before he died. Julie got to her feet. She ran down the corridors to the kitchen. The head cook Charlie was still standing in front of the oven. The tissue he used to wipe the sweat off his forehead was wet as if it had fallen into the ocean. "Charlie!" Julie had to shout because it was so noisy there. Most of the passengers had left, but there was still so much to do: Bread for the breakfast was baken, the dishes had to be put on the tables and all the other preparations for the next day had to be done. "What's up, Miss?" He always called her "Miss", and Julie thought it was annoying. For her, it always sounded as if he wanted to tease her. But now she didn't care. Charlie was one of the best informed crew members she knew. "Charlie", she yelled in his ear. "What did this shudder mean? Don't tell me it was just a wave or something. Did we hit anything? Maybe it's only my table, but don't you think the ship is a little more... I don't know... at an angle than it usually is?" "Well, Miss...", the cook started. "I don't know whether it's true but I heard we hit an iceberg." Julie swallowed. "But this needn't mean we are in any danger", Charlie added quickly as he saw the shocked expressions on the girl's face. "I assure you, we're on the safest ship I know. And I know many ships." He was right, of course, but Julie still didn't feel very safe. She decide to go back into her cabin. Stewardesses like her weren't allowed to go to one of the first class decks, and she didn't want to get into trouble now. When she arrived, she saw Henry stand at the window, watching the water outside. "The water is not horizontal", he said calmly. "Huh?" Julie went to the tiny window and looked down. "Shit", she said. "That's not the water... I think I know what this means." And she ran out of the cabin, straight to the forbidden first class deck and to the bridge.
At the door of the captain's room she stopped and took a deep breath. Then she lifted her hand to knock at the wooden door. The hectic voices inside became silent and someone shouted "Come in". She stepped into the room and saw six men sit at a big desk. There was a big map of the ship on it. She recognised the man she had brought a drink half an hour before. It was the man that had jumped to his feet quickly after the shudder. He looked at her in amazement, then he turned to another man. He seemed to be the oldest, and everyone in the room looked at him respectfully. "I know that girl, sir. She's a waitress." He watched Julie derogatorily. "So, what do you want, girl? We're quite busy, even without your problems." Julie cleared her throat. She took a step forward and said "Sir, I am sorry for bothering you. But I just wanted to make sure that you all know... Well, I think Titanic will sink. I felt the shudder, and I noticed the ship doesn't lay horizontally anymore." She looked at them all frightenedly. Nobody said a word. After what seemed to be an hour to Julie, one of the men began to laugh. He was a uniform-wearing officier and he laughed and laughed until the captain looked at him angrily. "Sorry, sir", he said. "It's only - damn, we are sitting here, talking about what to do, and then a little waitress appears and tells us what nobody of us wants to realise - this ship will sink. Straight down to the bottom of the Atlantic, and the fish will eat our uniforms in a few hours. Why are you all so unrealistic?" "Calm down, Mr Murdoch, we can't be sure at the moment" the guy they had called "captain" said sharply. "Oh yes, we can", the man who had talked to Julie first interrupted. "Like I said... six compartments have been damaged. You can see it here..." He pointed at the map. "I constructed the ship. I know Titanic, maybe better than anyone else here." He swallowed. "She cannot stay afloat with six water-filled compartments. It is just impossible. Titanic is said to be unsinkable, but..." He sighed. Everyone looked at the captain, even Julie watched him interestedly. The man looked very old and tired at that moment. "Alright, then... Mr Lightoller, go into the wireless room and tell them to send signals to other ships. I hope one that is nearby answers." He stood up, and so did another man with a thin moustache next to him. Julie hadn't heard him say one word yet. His face was pale, and everyone could see the fear in his eyes when he said: "Mr Smith... don't tell me this is true... Titanic is unsinkable, we're safe here, aren't we? What about the company now? This could be the end of the White Star Line!" "Frankly said, Mr Ismay", Mr Andrews said coldly, "I don't care about the company now. What is most important for me now is to get as many passengers as possible into the lifeboats." He left the room angrily, and Julie heard him shout some orders on deck. All the other men went on deck now, too, and after one minute she was all alone in the office. She sat down on a big chair and looked at the map carefully. Someone had marked the first six compartments with a pencil. Suddenly she saw her own cabin, and remembered Henry: He was still there, not knowing what was going on! She went on deck and sprinted down the stairs.
When she came into the room, she noticed Henry sit on the only tiny chair next to the table. He put a pencil on one side of the table and watched it slide down again again. He had heard her open the door, catched the pencil deftly and turned around. He looked at her relievedly. "Jules! You're there! My god, I was worried about you; where have you been?" Julie sat down on her bed. She felt tired. She sighed. "Well, I was in the captain's room... I saw him, Mr Andrews, three officiers and Mr Ismay. They know Titanic is going to sink. She's not unsinkable, like everyone said, and we are maybe the only people who know that - apart from the six men who were in the captain's room, of course." "And so... ?" "They wanted to warn the other passengers, and to get as many people as possible into the boats. But I think this won't be too easy... maybe they won't believe them." "Why not?" Henry had jumped to his feet. He looked a little upset. "They don't want to die, do they?" "Of course they don't", Julie sighed. "But they are all so sure this ship is unsinkable... it seems so safe to them, you know?" "Okay. But what can we do for these people now?" At first, Julie didn't answer. She looked to the window but she didn't seem to see it. It looked as if she was in another world. "Julie?", Henry asked quietly. She didn't answer. He touched her shoulder. "Jules, I know this is hard. I can understand you're afraid. But... come on, we're almost the only people who know about it. So what shall we do now? You're the one who knows better about ships, remember?" He shaked her softly and Julie looked at him suprisedly as if she hadn't known he was there. "You're right. Come on, we'll tell Charlie and the other guys in the kitchen first." She opened the door and left the cabin quickly. Henry followed her. They entered into the kitchen and saw the waiters and cooks prepare the breakfast for the next day. "Better to do these things in the evenings or at night", Charlie once told Henry. "You want to sleep a few hours, right?" It looked as if nobody had told them about what would happen yet. Julie tried to get to the oven at the opposite side of the kitchen. She had to avoid three waiters with piles of plates. Henry was behind her, trying not to loose her in that chaos. Finally they reached Charlie who was preparing small bread rolls for the first class passengers. "Charlie?", Julie asked. "Can we talk to you for a minute? Somewhere where it's quiet?" The man's eyes looked at the unfinished bread rolls, then into Julie's suppliant eyes. "Okay. But only one minute, I have to bake these and I have to make some cakes, too. For the breakfast, you know?", he said while he went to a quiet corner of the dining hall with the two friends. "But Charlie!", Julie said loudly. "I was in the captain's office. I know Titanic will sink; and so do the captain, Mr Ismay, Mr Andrews and some officiers." She wanted to go on, but the cook interrupted her. "What do you mean by 'Titanic will sink'?! She's unsinkable, isn't she?" "No, she isn't", Henry suddenly said. "I know she's made of iron. And iron can sink. If there's too much water in the compartments..." Charlie nodded. "I know, I know. But what to do now?" "I don't know", Julie said slowly. "First, we should tell as many people as possible about what happened. We'll try to explain that Titanic is indeed unsinkable, okay?" "Alright. I will tell the other cooks and the waiters and so on, and you, Julie, go to Mr Andrews - he seems to be the most reasonable man aboard at the moment. Ask him whether you should go and wake up the passengers. That's important because you might get into trouble without asking first. And if you don't ask... maybe nothing will happen then. Henry, you can wake up the other crew members. Some can help, and others can just try to get a seat in one of he lifeboats. Come on. And take care of yourselves." He hugged them, then he went away quickly, back into the kitchen.
Henry was afraid. At first, he had tried to hide it. He hadn't wanted the others to panic. He had explained everything to them calmly. They had listened quietly. After he had finished, there was silence for several seconds. Then a thirty-year-old stewardess, Nelly, asked: "Okay, but why can you be that sure? Who has told you about it?" "Well", Henry said slowly. "My friend Julie was in the captain's office. She heard him and the officiers talk about everything, and they said they'd warn the passengers. We wanted to help. You know, Julie thinks maybe the first class passengers won't believe it. Titanic is said to be the safest ship ever built - and maybe she is . But she's not unsinkable!" The crowd became louder. People were whispering to their neighbours. "And by the way", Henry went on loudly, "we think that it will take quite a long time to convince the first class passengers to get into the lifeboats. Time we don't have. Meanwhile, many second and third class passengers and crew members could be saved." Many of the crew members Henry had woken up nodded. One man in the backrow even said: "He's right!" Henry heard him and went on: "We will wait for Julie who is looking for Mr Andrews to ask him what to do. She'll be back in several minutes." He sat down on a hard chair in the corner of the dining room and sighed. They couldn't loose any more time.
Five minutes later, Julie arrived in the hall. She seemed to be very exhausted. "I couldn't find Mr Andrews", she said in a low voice, looking as if she was about to cry. "I met Mr Lightoller on the bridge, and he said I should wake up the crew and tell them to wake up the passengers and to send them to the boat-deck. 'Women and children first', was what he said." Henry took a deep breath. He stood up and told the others to be quiet. "Julie met Mr Lightoller. He said we all should wake up the passengers and tell them to go to the boat-deck. Come on, everyone goes to the corridor he or she is responsible for." The crowd dissolved. Some of them went right down to the decks with the third class cabins, some to the second class passengers and others to the suites of the first class. Julie and Henry wondered what to do when they saw Charlie arrive at the door, quickly breathing and holding a hand to his heart. He seemed to have just run two miles without breaks. "I told 'em what's goin' to happen and they went crazy", he gasped. "I think they all ran up to the decks. Ouch!" He pressed his hand to his heart. "Damn, I'm too old for this job." The cook tried to smile. "But what does it matter? We'll die anyway." "Don't say things like that", Julie said. She had seen Henry's face become white at Charlie's words. "Of course you will live. Now, come on, we will look for the cooks and the waiters, okay?"
It came out that the men and women from the kitchen hadn't reached the decks. They had changed their choice midway. Some of them had still wanted to get a seat in the lifeboats, but as they were at the wrong side of the ship, they couldn't get one. "Mr Murdoch on the starboard side lets men into the boats", was the rumour Julie, Henry and Charlie heard as they went on deck. Henry was shaking as he went out of the warm dining room. His face went even whiter as he looked down the hull. The deck was about twenty metres above the water level. He looked into the others' eyes. Julie had a determined expression on her face. Charlie looked just very exhausted and tired. As if he had already given up... "Don't say things like that", Julie had said. "Of course you will live." A cold breeze touched his arms. Did Julie really believe her own words? He looked into her eyes once more and knew she did.
They went down the ship, right to the stern which lay a little higher in the water than the rest of the ship. What would happen if it raised more and more? Henry was sure Julie knew that, but he didn't want to ask. He was afraid of the answer.
That was a really new experience for him: the pure fear, running through his venes, paralyzing his thoughts. He had always been the "cool guy". He never cried. Not even as a small child. It was as if his eyes wouldn't be able to produce tears. Even when his parents - he didn't remember them - died, he didn't cry although he was so sad he thought it wouldn't be worth living anymore for a few weeks after their death.
When his uncle told him his friend William was going to be first officier aboard this liner, he had thought it would be his big chance to escape the boredom of Southampton. He would go to New York, to America, the continent that was called the "New World" where a good worker could get rich as fast as you blinked.
A woman with a baby in her arms ran past him. Tears flew down her cheeks and she pressed her child to her heart. Her lips moved quickly. She seemed to whisper something - maybe a prayer. Henry had never believed there was a god, but Julie did. She thanked God for what he did to her every evening, and she pleased him to save her family, especially her dead father.
They had reached the stern. Only a few passengers stood there. Julie went to a steward and asked him where the others were. "They went in again", he answered. "Think they found it too cold here." Then he went down the deck, to the lifeboats.
Julie looked back. The young man reached one of the lifeboats and began to talk to an officier who stood nearby. Then he went to the other side of the boat and prepared it to lower it. He removed the awning and took some paddles out of the boat. The officier helped him to fix them. Then he went down the ship, towards some passengers who watched fearfully what happened. "Women and children first", he shouted. At first, many women looked as if they didn't want to leave Titanic, the safest ship on earth, yet. But one man, a small, thin guy with mousebrown hair, pushed his woman forwards softly. "Come on, Julia", he said quietly. "Take the children with you. We'll see each other again soon." Julia nodded with tears in her eyes. She took several steps forward and told her children, a boy who was about five years old, and her little daughter to come with her. They sat down at the front of the boat. The few people looked very lonely in the big boat. Maybe it was the expression in the little girl's eyes, maybe it was something else, but suddenly other women said goodbye to their husbands and joined the family in the lifeboat. This went on until about forty people were sitting there, then the officier said: "Okay, lower down! Slowly... be careful..." The ground of the boat touched the water. There was a loud splash and some children screamed. Their mothers hugged them, whispering consoling words into their ears. They had to get away quickly. Soon the next boat was lowered. And the next one.
Julie and Henry stood on deck, directly near the lifeboats. The boat-deck was crowded with hysteric men and women who all wanted to get a seat. Most of them were first and second class passengers. Julie wondered where the others were. "Maybe the third class passengers didn't believe Titanic is indeed going to sink", she said to herself. But somehow she was sure that was wrong.
A girl, maybe a few years younger than herself, arrived on deck. She had the hand of a girl, which looked as if it just had lerned to walk, in her hand. The little looked a little surpirsed. She didn't seem to undersatnd what was going on. Henry watched them jealously. He'd have given much to be the girl now. He needed someone to take his hand and to show him what to do and where to go. Julie looked at him critically. Sometimes Henry really felt as if she could read his thoughts like an open book. He looked to the waiting people to avoid her eyes. Some of them were really hysteric and were trying to get into the boats as quick as possible, others looked a little undecided. Maybe it was a joke? But on this slanting, slowly lowering ship it didn't seem so.
Julie watched the door of the lounge. Sometimes people came out of that room, onto the boat-deck. They were trembling in the sudden cold. Small children were crying, others just didn't notice what was going on. They pressed the hands of their mothers and looked very tired and confused.
After the lifeboat was half-filled the young steward looked around. He couldn't see any more women and children because he shouted: "Okay, now everyone else into the boats!" Some more men joined their wifes. The others stayed aboard, shivering in the cold night. Julie pushed her friend forwards. "Get into the lifeboat, Henry", she said quietly. "You can't help them anymore." "What about you?", he asked. "I have to get something from our cabin. Don't wait for me, I'll take the next boat." Henry looked undecided. On one hand, he wanted to get away of the sinking ship as soon as possible, but on the other hand, he didn't want to leave his best friend. "Hurry up", Julie said urgently. "Okay", he said. "But promise me you take another boat." Julie nodded. "But if there's not enough space for me... I can't promise that, Henry." "Try your best, okay?" He kissed her cheek. "Don't leave me, Julie." Then he ran towards the lifeboat that was just lowered. He jumped into it and nearly fell into the ocean. He waved and smiled at Julie, but she saw the tears in his eyes.
Julie sprinted down the corridor. How could she have forgotten it? She reached the stairs which leaded to her cabin. As she went down, she saw water - water that raised faster and faster. Carefully, she took a few steps more down and reached the water level. She felt a shudder run down her back as she touched the water. But she had to get back... she couldn't leave without it. Slowly Julie went down the corridor and turned right into her cabin. The water flow up her waist. She couldn't loose any more time. There was the locket she had been looking for. It was under her pillow where she had put it the evening before. It seemed to be years ago. She grabbed it and wanted to put it into her back, but the lace slided out of her hand and the locket fell into the cold water. She reached for it but it sank too fast. It had sunk right to the floor. Julie took a deep breath and fell on her knees. Her eyes were open and the saltwater burned terribly but she didn't care. The locket was the last thing she had from her father, and she wouldn't let it sink down to the bottom of North Atlantic. Julie's hands were groping over the floor for a few seconds, but then she had it.
On her way back she wanted to take a short cut through the smoking room. She had just reached the door and wanted to go back on deck when she heard someone cough. She turned around surprisedly, wondering who would stand in the smoking room calmly while he was about to die. Mr Andrews stood in front of the fireplace silently. He had just noticed Julie and went towards her. "What are you still doing here?", he asked. "Get into a lifeboat as quickly as possible. And take on a lifebelt." "Okay", Julie nodded. "But why aren't you in a boat? You should try to get a seat like all the others do, and if..." She fell silent as she looked into his eyes. She could see endless regret and sadness in them. "If I stay here I can maybe save the life of someone else - someone who is not as guilty as me. I couldn't make her unsinkable, and I did never say something like that. But I should have contradicted all the people who said this." He looked at the painting over the fireplace thoughtfully.
"Mr Andrews?", Julie asked quietly. "Why are there no third class passengers on deck? I didn't see any." The creator of Titanic sighed. "You shouldn't worry about this too much. Just get in one of these lifeboats, okay?" Julie stayed were she was. "They don't let the poor get a seat in the boats, am I right?" Mr Andrews didn't answer. "That's not fair! Everyone should have a chance to survive." He looked directly into her eyes. "Of course, little girl, but that's not possible. Money makes the world go around. I didn't make this up, it's just a fact. You'll understand this when you're older." Julie felt tears come to her eyes. Damn! She hadn't wanted to cry in front of a man she didn't even know.
She turned around. "If you give them up because they are poorer than the other passengers... okay, but I will help them." She wanted to leave the room. "Wait", Mr Andrews said loudly. He took a lifebelt from a chair and gave it to her. "Good luck", he whispered.

Charlie was sitting in the middle of a lifeboat that was floating next to some others. Looking right, he would have seen his friend Henry, but he just looked down, to the bottom of the boat. He could hardly breath. It was as if the cold air cut his neck into pieces. He had no paddle because he was in the middle, but he wasn't sorry about that. Other people, younger and stronger, could row insteadly. He was worried about the kids... He had seen Henry get into a lifeboat, but he didn't know anything about Julie. He had seen her eyes as they had been going to the boats - he was sure she'd do something very brave and very stupid.

The slowly raising water touched Julie's hips as she sprinted down a dark, quiet corridor. Not all the lamps were out, some lights were still shining - not enough to make her see everything, but enough not to let her walk against walls. Actually, it was more something between swimming and climbing than walking. Julie wasn't sure how many metres the stern of Titanic had already raised, but it had to be many. She had reached the stairs at the opposite side of the corridor. She wondered what to do. The only possible way was to go upstairs, vut if there were still people on the deck under her... Maybe they had found a room with a little air left. Thinking about what could be possible or not, she heard a noise behind her. It sounded as if someone went through the water quickly. The noise cam nearer, she could even hear someone breath now. Julie turned around and saw a little boy, not older than seven, who tried to reach her. He had to held his head up to breath, but the water still flew in his mouth and nose as he walked to Julie. He coughed and looked so desperate she'd nearly broken ino tears. Julie took his hand. She tried to smile at him, but that wasn't too easy with all the freezing water around them. They walked up the stairs together, and when they had reached the upper deck which was much warmer and dryer, Julie asked the small boy for his name. "Stephen", he said. Julie swallowed. Her knees were trembling. Steven was the English form of Etienne... Etienne, her twin brother... God, she'd given everything she had to have him with her right now. And Gabrielle, her little princess... they used to watch the ships in the port of Southampton together all day, Julie had to promise her to take her with her on one of them later... they had always pretended to be captain of a big ship; Julie on a cruise liner and Gabrielle on a sailing ship. She had broken her promise, she had sneaked away stealthily at night,and she had made her and her sister's dream true on her own. Stephen grabbed her hand awkwardly. "Don't be sad, Miss", he said quietly. Julie wiped away the tears she hadn't even noticed before. "My name is Julie", she said and gave the boy a warm smile... or at least tried to. It wasn't his fault that his name reminded her of her family. "Listen, Stephen", she said quickly. "Where is your family or the people you travelled with? Maybe we can find them." The boy looked to the floor. "I don't know... I lost them. I wanted to go back to the cabin to get Tom" he held up a tiny bear with dirty brown fur. "and then I couldn't find my way back to the boat deck and the water raised and raised... I was so frightened..." Julie nodded. "Okay, if they were on the boat deck, I think they got in one these lifeboats. But however, we have to look for other passengers who aren't on deck yet."
They went into another corridor. And then into another. In the third one they saw a crowd of passengers stand near a gate. It was closed, but there was no officier and no steward nearby. She wondered why they didn't try to get through the gate. Maybe, she thought, the officier or someone else who had made them stay has just left to get into one of the lifeboats. But as he had left, he had kept the gate closed - and he had taken the keys with him. Julie looked at the passengers behind the gate. She saw many women and children Only a few men stood there. The children cried and hided themselves behind their mothers as if they could make he water stop by that. Everyone seemed to have given up. Why don't they just try to break the gate?, Julie hought. It doens't look very solid. But everyone was talking, crying, screamng and running around so she couldn't tell them her idea. Julie felt helpless in that confusing muddle of bodies. If only she had something to stand on so that they listened to her... Or something like a whistle... She saw a small bank behind her and put herself on it. Then she lifted her fist and knocked against the alarm bell next to her head. The sudden silence was frightening. "Alright..." Julie tried not to let her voice tremble. "It won't save any of us if we don't organise all that a little. We can't just run against all the obstacles in our way. We'll have to find a good solution. What about taking a wooden board to break the gate? We could use it as a kind of lever." "Good idea!" a young man with black hair said. He just pulled some nails out of a board in the floor and easily took it out. The gate was open within ten seconds.
The men and women ran past the broken gate which hardly hang in its angles. They climbed up some stairs and suddenly stood on deck. Julie was happy. But... were was Stephen? She hadn't seem him since the gate was broken. The young girl turned around and ran down the stairs again.
Back in the lower corridor, which was already half-filled with cold water now, she saw the boy look around desperately. "Where are you all?", he said in a tearful voice. "Stephen, come here!", Julie shouted. "Come here!" Stephen turned around. "Julie?" The door he stood next to cracked. "Quickly!", Julie screamed. The door broke out of its angles. Water cascaded into the corridor and took Stephen with it. The boy's body looked like a large doll as he floated out of Julie's sight.

Henry had grabbed a paddle instantly. His arms hurt, but he couldn't stop. Physical activity had always been a good way to avoid thinking of disagreeable things. He looked back to Titanic. They still lowered boats, people were running around, looking for their families. He shuddered. Maybe Julie would be too late... if she wasn't on deck on time... if the last boat was lowered without her... He rowed faster. And faster. He didn't feel his arms anymore, but it kept him warm. He wished he'd taken his coat with him. He noticed a thin girl with sleek red hair sit on the other side of the lifebaot. She was about fourteen years old and looked as if she was about to faint. Her face was paperwhite and her lips were blue of the cold. Henry wished he could help her somehow. But how? He didn't even have a second shirt with him.
The officier who stood at the bow lifted his hand. "Okay, stop! We'll wait here." They raised the paddles. Henry looked left. The young girl's face looked nearly transparent now. And - he hadn't noticed it before - she weeped. Tears flew down her cheeks silently. She didn't even put her hands to her face.
Henry turned to the ship again. The stern had raised more and more. Could they still lower lifeboats in this weird situation? It seemed so. A uniform-wearing guy shouted something Henry didn't understand, and lots of people sprinted to the lifeboat. Henry watched them nervously. He couldn't see Julie in the crowd but he hoped she was there. Suddenly some more people appeared in the door of the lounge. They went to the lifeboat fast. One of them looked just like Julie, but as he wanted to look at her again, the woman was gone. He looked down the decks and was quite shocked: There was no other lifeboat left. He looked back to the last boat. It was just lowered.

Slowly Julie stumbled down the corridor. The water touched her chin and made her tremble, but she didn't care. It was her fault that Stephen had died. She had no chance to make it up... no chance to survive. As she realised that, the tears started to flow. She had tried not to cry, but now it made no sense to pretend to be strong. Nobody was around. Julie looked around in the corridor before entering a room. It was a second class cabin which was nearly completely under water. It was too late. The water raised faster and faster. Titanic stood almost vertically now. Julie stood near the window. She looked at the black water outside the ship. It was completely calm. In this moment she could hardly believe that half of the passengers of Titanic were about to die in that water. Suddenly she remembered what her father had said once: "The ocean is a beautiful and unpredictable creature. You never know which secrets it hides..." The little girl hadn't understood what he meant then, but now the words appeared in Julie's mind as if she had heard them just a few days ago.
The water had reached her mouth now, and she raised her head automatically. Her neck hurt.
She put her hand in her bag and took out the locket of her father. It was just as cold as the water around her. She hardly felt her fingers and toes. Salty water flew into her nostrils. There was no need to survive. She hadn't rescued Stephen, and she had left Gabrielle and Etienne at home. But she would see her father again. Maybe. If there was something like heaven.
Julie pressed the locket to her heart as a final wave came over her and filled her lungs.
_________________
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Posted on: 2007/7/15 19:21
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