28th of September 1911

Sorcha is still in the infirmary. The nuns refuse to tell me how she is; Sr. Patricia threatened to give me a lashing if I kept pestering her. Honestly, all I want is to know if my dlúthchara* is going to recover! I find myself snapping at the younger children; on one occasion I had raised my hand at little Hazel McGrath, I was instantly ashamed of myself, I had told myself long ago I would not end up like the nuns.

I will not let this happen again; when I saw the poor girl cower in front of me, I apologised immediately, but of course Myrtle saw what happened and ratted me out to Mother Minerva.

I took the lashing without a complaint, I deserved it, but how I wish they would tell me how Sorcha is. Oh poor Sorcha, she shouldn't have to endure whatever sickness she has.

10th of October 1911

The dates been changed! There has been some complication with the Titanic and it has been changed to the 10th of April 1912. Why must I only be sixteen? I know it is cruel and wholly unfair to Sorcha, but I just might run away. If there was a box with Mary's name on it in Mother Minerva's office, there must be one with my name, and by some miracle, father had left some sort of inheritance for me.

No. I must not get my hopes up; in this small slice of Hell, no one's dreams come true.

31st of October 1911

Oíche Shamhna Sona Duit*! Halloween! I adore Halloween. It's my second favourite holiday. Sorcha returned from the infirmary two weeks ago; she was very pale and weak. I am so happy she has returned; now I have more than just Myrtle for company. When I had managed to bring her some meat, she told me that she could barely remember anything of the last month, but at least it's Halloween and she can rest.

We all (Except Sorcha) went for a walk and played 'ghost in the graveyard'; it drove Srs. Patricia and Philomena mad! And when we arrived back at the orphanage, there was a letter from Mary-Alice waiting for me.

Dear Ellie and Sorcha,

Are you better now Sorcha? I was so worried when Ellie wrote to me saying you were ill; I was in a half – mind to travel back to Cork. Ellie please stop infuriating the nuns, I know you were worried about Sorcha but getting on the wrong side of them will only make matters worse.

Everything is going wonderfully here; as I've said before, the bakery is a great way to get to know the local folk and they are always bringing me news; in fact I have some very good news; I have met a man who has caught my fancy. His name is Liam McSweeney and he is the local farmer's son. We danced together at the last céilí and there hasn't been an evening where he hasn't invited me out for a stroll around the village. Let's hope I can give you more news on him in the future. Oh girls, I'm so happy! I am so very pleased that I made the decision to come here. I have a loving family, so many friends, and a place to call home; I can only pray that you will have this life when you leave the orphanage.

Now enough about me, I want all the news. How are all the children? Are there any new unfortunate souls? Write to me soon, I miss you so much!

Do chara,

Mary-Alice

Sorcha and I were squealing in delight as we read the letter; Mary-Alice deserves all the happiness in the world and more. We would have started to reply immediately but we were interrupted by very excited calíní* telling us that Adam had arrived with bairin breac.

We enjoyed our feast tremendously; and after lights out everyone snuck into our room, where everyone still is, I might add. Lights out was hours ago and yet we are all still telling our spooky stories of wailing Banshees and the roaming vampires.

25th of November 1911

The prices of the tickets for the Titanic have been decided; they cost £850 for a first class ticket, £12 for a second class ticket and £3 to £8 for a steerage ticket. Now I must decide; will I try to run away, get a fresh start. I have written to Mary-Alice asking her advice, yet I already know what she will say; that I should go and that I must tell Sorcha. But how can I tell her; I don't know I can even manage to make this work, and she will hate me! I will be forcing her to endure this hell alone. How can I even consider this? I am such a selfish person.


*dlúthchara - bestfriend

*Oíche Shamhna Sona Duit - Happy Halloween

* calíní - girls