Finished a chapter! :D Sorry it took so long; I kind of stopped writing it for a while because I got distracted by other things *coughATLAcoughRPingcough* Then I went on vacation and my computer stopped working for a while, then my laptop cord broke, so I couldn't work on it all vacation (because I definately had time to) and then when we got back home I had to start sharing a cord with my brother. :/ Unfortunately, the next chapter probably won't be up too soon either because of the whole cord-sharing thing, but I'm hoping to finish this story before Christmas. *fingers crossed*
Anyways, enjoy! :) And thanks to everyone who's reviewed so far.
Friday, April 12th, 5:30pm
Curran sat in the third class dining room, across from his two sisters, who were arguing about the biscuits being served, and next to a rather young and exasperated looking woman with a fussy baby on her lap.
"He's just not eatin' anything, Jack," she said to the man beside her. "I'm worried 'bout 'im. D'you s'pose he's sick?"
"There's no need to fret so, Cora," the man said, placing his hand atop of her's.
The couple continued to talk about their child for several more minutes, but Curran soon stopped listening, turning his attention to the bowl of gruel in front of him. Supper in Titanic's steerage class was a far cry from the thirteen course meal served in first class; most of the passenger's ate their main meal at tea, two hours before supper each and every day.
"Oh, will you two stop your bickering?" Flann said suddenly, shaking his head at the two girls. "They're just cabin biscuits; no use startin' a war over 'em."
Melora and Riona clamped their mouths shut, both of them stirring the spoons around their bowls sulkily. Flann watched them for a few seconds, chuckling, before turning to Curran.
"So, Curran, how have you enjoyed the first few days at sea?" he asked, smiling.
"It's been very fun," Curran said, looking up from his bowl. "There's been a lot to do."
His father nodded. "It's all very excitin'," he said.
"I heard there's going to be a party tomorrow night in the General Room," Curran said, taking a biscuit and pulling a piece of it off.
"Ah, there's a party there every night, my boy," Flann laughed.
"I know that," Curran said. "But I heard this one's gonna be bigger!"
"Well maybe there's some truth in there," Flann said, smiling at his son.
A few minutes later, supper was over; as usual, Curran left his family to go for a walk on deck. As he was watching the sun dip beneath the waves, he spotted a familiar blonde head on the first class deck, though most of it was sheltered by a lacy white parasol. She had her back to the third class deck, though she was alone, so it looked like she was waiting for someone. Shaking his head, Curran walked over to her; it did seem like he couldn't go anywhere on this ship without her being there.
"Hello there, Miss Isabella," he called, craning his neck to look at her.
Isabella spun around her name, looking down to see Curran grinning up at her.
Opening her mouth, she was just about to let out a cold quip when she remembered the tour; remembered the things, the luxuries, she had seen. Luxuries that no one in third class would probably ever see in their lives.
"H... Hello," she said instead, feeling tense. Should she be doing this? What if her mother walked by? Oh Lord, she'd be mortified! Isabella was the daughter of a wealthy English businessman; Curran was just the son of a poor widower Irishman.
Curran raised his eyebrows; he was obviously surprised that Isabella was being so kind to him. "You seem to be in a good mood today," he observed, smiling slightly.
Isabella gripped at the railing. "I... I suppose I am," she said, trying to avoid looking at him. "You know, it seems that we are meeting an awful lot."
"Almost like you hang around here just to talk to me," Curran teased.
Isabella could feel her face heating up. Why would he say such a thing? Oh God... She was absolutely mortified!
"T-That is most certainly not the reason why," she hissed, just loud enough for him to hear. "I can assure you of that."
Curran laughed. "I know, I know," he said. "I was just pullin' your leg."
"It wasn't funny," Isabella said haughtily, rather annoyed. "Do you have any idea how much trouble I would have been in if the wrong people heard that?"
"Alright, I'm sorry," he said, shrugging. "I apologize."
Isabella sighed. "Fine," she said. The stood in silence for a few moments, both of them looking around rather awkwardly.
"You know, all this shoutin' up at you is hurtin' my neck," Curran pointed out, finally breaking the silence.
"Your point?" Isabella said, twirling her parasol around.
"Maybe I could come up there and we could talk face-to-face for once," he suggested.
Isabella stopped twirling the parasol. A horrified and insulted look crossed her face, staring at him as if he had three heads and a lobster tail. "Absolutely not!" she cried, loud enough so that a first class couple strolling arm in arm looked over to her, their faces telling her that they found her behaviour quite unruly and inappropriate. The young girl didn't notice them, however, and continued on gawking at Curran. "What on earth would possess you to even think something like that? You are third class, and this is first class. This ship has an order which must be kept; you can't just jump ahead a few classes and expect everything to work out wonderfully! If a crew member were to catch you you'd be thrown in jail without a moment's hesitation!"
Curran was rather taken aback by what she said. He had certainly expected her to talk about the order of classes and how important they were, but he had never thought in a million years she would say anything about him getting thrown in jail. I was almost as if she was worried for him.
"Then I apologize," Curran said, dipping his head lightly. "I had no idea it was such a... important matter."
"Well it is," Isabella said, a bit of her usual haughtiness returning.
"Than why don't you come down here?" he asked innocently, though he knew that she would deny the request.
"What?" she said softly, looking a little confused.
"You, Isabella Wilkinson, come down here, to third class," Curran repeated.
"I can't possibly do that!" Isabella said loudly after a few seconds of processing what he was saying.
"Well, first of all, it's steerage, and I'm in first class," she said, furrowing her eyebrows. "Second, there could be... diseases and germs down there, and I'd prefer not to get sick during my vacation. And third, there's no way to get down there; the gate is locked."
"Oh, do you really believe we're all infected with the plague?" Curran asked, chuckling. "How can I be sure you and your fancy first class friends aren't infected with some posh disease? I certainly don't want one of those."
Isabella glared at him. This Curran boy had some nerve, she had to give him that. No one had ever talked to her the same way he did. It was... odd.
"Fine," she said, heaving a sigh. "But only for a few minutes." Heading over to the gate which led to a small staircase down to third class, she folded up her parasol, hanging it off the crook of her arm. Grasping the dark, finely polished wood with one hand, she looked around to make sure no one was looking at her and, with the other hand, hoisted up her skirts, swinging a leg over the gate. Quickly swinging the other leg over, she hurried down the steps, her shoes clacking loudly against the white metal.
"Oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord," she muttered, hurrying past Curran and ducking into a corridor so she was out of sight of both first and third class. Curran followed after her, closing the door halfway so they were hidden from view but could still get out fast if need be.
"I can't believe I did that," Isabella said, pressing her shaking hands against her temples. "I cannot believe I just did that."
"Welcome to third class!" Curran said, a wide grin on his face as he spread his arms wide.
Isabella let out a deep breath, shaking her legs as she looked around the corridor. It was very plain; the doors blended into the stark white walls around them and the carpet was simple, rugged and not nearly as plush as the carpets in first class. She could see no decor hanging from the walls or anywhere at all, and the lights gave off a very bright, bored light.
"It's very... different than first class," she said, running a hand up and down her parasol nervously.
"Ah, but it's full of luxuries," Curran said happily, and Isabella wondered how on earth someone could think a place such as this was luxurious. She had seen closets with more luxuries than this place.
"Really?" she asked, not even trying to hide the disdain from her voice.
Curran laughed. "It might be a far cry down from your precious first class, but it's a far cry up from the conditions most of us third class passengers lived in back home. There's running water and electricity and real beds!" he said. Isabella suddenly felt guilty for everything she'd ever said about third class; she couldn't remember a time when she'd lived with electricity or hot water, and she'd always slept in her own real bed, in her own room. And here was this fifteen-year-old boy, absolutely excited because for the first time in his life he was sleeping on a real mattress in a room with running water and lights that turn on and off at the flick of a switch.
She sighed, looking at Curran. His eyes were lit up and shining, and for the first time she realized that they were a lovely hazel-green colour. A wide grin was spread across his tanned face, and she noticed there was a scar across his right eyebrow, and couldn't help thinking what it was from. His light brown hair was tousled and messy, looking in dire need of a cut, and he was wearing the same clothes he had been wearing since she first saw him; a coarse-looking white shirt, brown pants, and suspenders.
As she looked at him, a smile crept onto her face, and she felt like hugging him. But just as she took a step forward, she remembered; she was in third class. If they got caught in here, they'd most certainly be in a lot of trouble. At least, Curran would. The smile disappeared, and she took a step back.
"So, what did you want to talk to me about?" Isabella asked, staring at the carpet.
"Nothing really," Curran said, shrugging. "Just to talk. Like friends do."
Isabella opened her mouth to tell him that they weren't friends, but quickly closed it. Were they friends? She had come down to third class to talk to him... They must be friends. Did she want them to be friends?
She had no idea.
"Oh, and I wanted to ask you something," Curran said, standing up straighter.
She looked up at him. "Yes?" she asked tentatively, wondering if it was something she wanted to be asked or not.
"There's going to be a party in the General Room tomorrow evening," Curran said. "Well, there's actually a party down there every evening, but this one's going to be big."
Was he going to ask her to the party? Yes, he probably was...
"So I was wondering if you'd like to come," he said. Isabella felt her heart sink. Was this a good thing, or was it a bad thing? "To the party." He added quickly.
"Uh..." Isabella rubbed her arm, clenching and unclenching her first. "Curran... I... I can't. It wouldn't be proper. And what would I tell my parents? If I told them about you and... and this party then they'd never let me out of their sight. They'd think that I have plans to... to run away with you when the ship docks or something. I'd never be able to do anything again. And I hate to say this, but I'm first class. I know it's terrible how the classes are segregated like they are, and I think I realize that now, but I can't do anything to change them. I wish I could, but I can't."
"Again with the classes," Curran said, running his hands through his hair. "Can't you just for... forget about the classes and the social ladder and everything just for one night. The ship will be docking soon and though you may not like it, I do think of you as a friend. I've only known you for like two days and I'm pretty sure you hate my guts, but I really do want to be friends with you. I thought that today when you came down here you had changed, and that we could finally get along. But you can't even forget about how superior you are being in first class and how you have to be proper and follow this social ladder. It's 1912, Isabella! Not 1860! Whether you like it or not the classes are going to die out and the world will become more modern."
A silence once again fell onto the two. What Curran had said made Isabella want to cry. She stood there, grasping her parasol, her eyes closed tight.
Do something. A voice inside her head cooed. You have to do something. Hug him, talk to him, whatever!
"I can't," she said softly, shaking her head. "I..." Without finishing her sentence, she set off down the corridor.
"Isabella!" Curran cried. She could hear his footsteps behind her.
"No, Curran!" she called, quickening her step.
"Isabella, you're going to get lost!" he yelled. "You don't know where you're going!"
She didn't say anything. She just kept going until she rounded a corner, disappearing out of sight.
nialler (bahahaha I feel so official calling you that for some reason): Third class passengers were poor; most of them were going to a new life in North America with next to nothing. The tickets for third class were the cheapest, and compared to the poverty they had come from, Titanic was amazingly luxurious. Titanic and her sister ships basically created third class, which was normally called steerage at the time, and third class on Titanic was said to be as good as second class on other ships (hurray for random facts that don't have anything to do with the question! :D). So in short, they were poor, and not at all rich.