“Back to the Titanic”
I remember my childhood years quite well. I had lived with my big brother, Colby Winston, ever since I was five, I don’t remember much before that though. We traveled all around Europe; Colby was a big gambler and loved to make bets. He lied, he cheated, everything was always changing. Colby promised me one thing though, “Reagan,” he would say, “one days it gunna be you and me, in the United States.”
I really wanted to believe him, but I never saw it coming true. But then one day, one lucky day, Colby won the biggest hand of poker. Along with money, cigars, and a bracelet for me, he won two tickets to get aboard the Titanic!
On April 10, 1912, Colby and I boarded the Titanic from the Southampton Harbor. It was my first time on a ship but I wasn’t that scared, Colby would describe me as a girl without fear. There were thousands of people lined up to board, Colby made me hold his hand so we wouldn’t get separated. After we put our bags into our third class room I wanted to explore. Colby didn’t mind that I wondered around but before I left he would always say, “If anything bad happens, you know where to find me.”
He would be at one of the gambling tables testing his luck again. I loved to go watch the first class people through the ballroom windows. They were so proper and perfect. Sometimes I would wish that Colby would get rich so we could live like that, things would be a lot easier for us considering we didn’t have much money. The next day, Colby and I ate lunch on the deck with some of his gambling friends. It was really interesting to listen to their conversations, one of the guys they called Cash brought up that the Titanic was an unsinkable ship. “That’s not true,” I said, “no ship can be unsinkable, if it crashes it will sink.” They all just laughed at me, Colby said I just didn’t understand, and he was right, I didn’t. I went to bed early that night, after my walk around deck watching the sun set. I was so tired that I drifted into a deep sleep.
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“Reagan, wake up!” Colby was shaking me as if something terrible had happened “We got to go, get our shoes! Quickly!” I did as he asked, even though I didn’t know what was happening. He shoved a life vest on me, grabbed my hand, and took off running. My first thought was he cheated during one of his gambling games, but I also noticed other people around us getting their things and putting on life jackets. Everyone was in a state of panic and running furiously to all the Exit signs. It got so crowded that Colby picked me up so I wouldn’t get lost. We ran down hall after hall, up stairs and around the corner and finally stopping at a locket gate. “Colby!” I finally yelled out, “What’s going on?”
About that time Cash met up with us, he was just as clueless as I was. “What’s happening?” he asked.
Colby just glared at him with a frightened look on his face. “We hit an iceberg, the ships sinking.” Those words hit me and almost knocked the breath out of me. “We got to get to a life boat, come on!”
Colby was frantic, I had never seen him like this before and personally I didn’t want to. We got to the second gate and it was locked as well, “Are we going to get out of here?”
I asked. Nobody answered me, I told myself they couldn’t hear my question over all the peoples yelling. Cash picked the lock with one of my hair clips, I didn’t even ask how he learned that, and I don’t think I wanted to know. When we got to the top deck it was more crowded than ever. Imagine over 2,000 people crammed on a boat deck, it wasn’t the most comfortable place to be. I over heard one of the sailors shouting, “Women and children ONLY!” this couldn’t be true, I told myself, in the whole world all I had was my brother. A tear gently fell from my eye, they must let Colby on the boat with me, they must. As we ran down the boats deck, I noticed there weren’t many boats left to aboard, frightened I yelled out, “Colby, what are we going to do?”
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He then came to a stop, “I don’t know Reagan, but what ever happens, you have to be strong…with or without me.”
Those words pierced my heart. A life without Colby? I never really thought about what I would do without him. Live in a mean orphanage I would guess. I couldn’t live like that so I was determined for him to find a boat both of us could get on. At the end boat the man cursed and said “NO!” when the idea came up to let a man on the boat. Colby, Cash, and the sailor argued for about 2 minutes before I finally yelled out, “Please sir! He’s all I have in the whole world! I don’t want to live in an orphanage! Please sir! Don’t take Colby away from me!”
A tear fell from his left eye and as if I had changed that sailor’s heart he finally agreed to let both of the boys aboard with me. When they started to release the boat I thought it was shaking, but then I realized that it was I, Colby told me to calm down and that it was all going to be all right. I had to believe him because if I didn’t, I new things would get worse. The boat rowed about 100 to 200 hundred feet away from the Titanic; we could see everything from where we were. People were jumping over the ships deck into the freezing water below; others were climbing to the back of the boat. Then suddenly Titanic cracked into two pieces, the tidal wave that followed was humungous, there were still waves out where we were too. I bundled up into Colby’s arm and fell asleep.
When I awoke it was morning time, the hot sun was just coming up, you could still see some of the debris floating in the water. Far off I could see a ship, “Look!” I shouted out. As it came closer others started taking notice. “Its the Carpathia!” Cash shouted.
They had finally answered our prayers and came to the rescue. The captain of the Carpathia took good care of us; he gave us food, blankets, and a bed to sleep on. When I first saw the Statue of Liberty I was in aw, I had dreamed of this moment ever since I was little and now it had come true. The insurance companies gave everyone who survived ten thousand dollars to make up for what had happened to us. Our life was going pretty well until about fifteen years later when Colby suddenly died of lung cancer. Colby used his poker winnings to buy a flat in uptown New York, which I inherited, from him after he died. I don’t plan on selling the flat anytime soon; it contains some of the best memories of my brother and without them I would be internally lost.
... New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. , 1986. Lynch, Don. Titanic: an illustrated history. Toronto: Madison Press Ltd. , 1992. ... Years passed, and the whereabouts of the monstrous boat remained a mystery. The idea of finding the ... as a grave for their loved ones who died. The tragedy made many people aware of the ... to those remaining that they were going to die if help did not arrive soon. A normal ...
Cash and I went our separate ways after that, we meet up every once and a while just to talk and to check up on each other. One time we visited the Titanic Museum in New York together, but the pictures of what happened that day are nothing compared to the real thing. Occasionally I will wake up screaming a bloody scream with visions of the sinking ship and my brothers’ face. The Titanic is haunting my dreams to this day, and until I die and return there with my brother, it will go on.