April 15, 2012. I had lived in New York City for 15 years now. Everyday was the same. I would get up and brew a cup of french vanilla coffee with vanilla creamer and sugar in my owl mug, and leave it on the counter. I would turn on the television to the news, make breakfast, and eat at the table. I got up and feed Roxie, my ten-year-old golden retriever. She had the shiniest, softest, golden coat ever. She was a love bug too; she would give you kisses. I fed Roxie and sat down at the table to read the newspaper.
That morning I was reading the New York Times, when the headline caught my attention. It read Remembering the Titanic Disaster: Recovered Memories Tell Stories. The article was about the recovered objects from the Titanic wreck site. It included things such as jewelry, notebooks, pocket watches, and their owners. One particular object captured most of my attention. It was a golden pocket watch with the glass chipped and cracked. The hands had froze at 2:20 am, and the date dial read April 15, 1912. I stopped and thought for a moment, Don’t I own that pocket watch?
I ran to my room and opened the nightstand drawer next to my bed. I removed the false bottom and took out a black display case and sprinted to the kitchen and placed it next to the newspaper. I unlatched and opened the case, and the watch in the box matched the one in the newspaper exactly. I read the article about the watch. It said that pocket watch belonged to John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man on the ship.How did I get this watch, I questioned myself. How could something with so much value end up in my possession. I picked up the pocket watch to get a better look, and that’s when all hell broke loose.
We didn’t even have time to blink, let alone comprehend what the heck happened. Roxie and I landed on the deck of a ship. The four massive funnels were quietly spewing smoke into the air above. Men and women were strolling down the deck, talking with one another. I looked down to see a wet newspaper which had the date April 14, 1912. That was the date Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, I whispered to myself. I noticed that I was dressed in very nice clothes. I was in a fancy jacket, pants, and shoes. There was a top hat on my head, and a golden chain coming from my pocket. I pulled it out and it was the pocket watch. It was ticking. I decided the best thing to do was give Astor back his watch. I stopped a finely presented couple to ask for directions
“Sir. Madame. Do you know where I can find John Astor?”
The couple replied, “Oh, John Jacob Astor.” “We just had dinner with him no more than 30 minutes ago.”
“So do you know where he is?”
“He might be in first class dining saloon, but I’m not sure” the women said reluctantly.”
“It’s worth a shot,” I said out loud. “Thanks for both your help.”
Roxie and I entered the ship through the grand staircase. We took a moment to take in the amazing scenery. The dark, rich oak wood was beautifully crafted. Every piece of wood had exquisite detail. When I looked up I saw the glass dome which was even better in real life. One could see directly out to the luminous stars above. It was a sight to behold. We walked down to “D Deck” and the atmosphere changed.
A red patterned carpet covered the floor. Wicker, green chairs and tables made the whole room feel like christmas. The white paneled walls with the carved side molding gently flowed to the white paneled ceiling which couldn’t compare to any ceiling on any ship. This was the first class reception room. We walked through to a separate room behind double doors and glass, the first class dining saloon.
I searched everywhere for Astor, but he was nowhere to seen. We were walking through the dining room when there was a shutter. I saw the water in the glasses dance and heard the china clink. A faint, white object passed by the window; the iceberg. The shaking didn’t startle any of the passengers, but Roxie jumped and scurried away, so I ran after her.
I was shouting, “Roxie! Roxie! Where are you.” There was no response. “Roxie! Roxie!” Still no response. Thirty minutes had passed by, and I found myself back at the grand staircase. There were a few first class passengers with life vests around their chests. They were not rushing but rather calm and collective. I began to ask people if they saw Roxie.
“Sir. Did you see a dog run by,” I sad to one gentlemen.
He replied, “I have not.”
I walked to a woman sitting in a chair. “Miss. Did you see a dog run by.”
“No, but I have seen a cat,” the women commented.
“Okay, thank you,” I said.
I stopped a couple walking up the staircase, and realized that it was the same couple I talked to earlier on the boat deck.
“Oh, hello. It’s nice to see you again,” The gentleman greated me. The woman welcomed me too.
“Sorry to bother you again, but did you see a dog run by.” I asked.
“We did,” they replied. “The dog ran down to “E Deck” I thanked them and ran away.
There was a long, descending staircase that lead down to “E Deck” People frantically were trying to escape to the deck. People were pushing each other and yelling “get out of my way.” People were desperate to get out, so they resorted to violence. One man punched another, drawing blood. A woman kicked another women for getting in her way. Kids cried in the distance, and their mothers held them tightly. A gate segregated the second class from the third class. People used benches and crowbars to try and break down the gate, but it didn’t work. Crew members pushed people away, and told them they would shoot anyone who tried to escape.
I did not believe that Roxie went down there. I thought for a moment on where Roxie could have gone. It was quiet, and then I heard a bark and a whimper. I followed the sound, and saw Roxie laying on the bench. Her ears perked up and her face turned ecstatic. Her tail wagged, and she almost knocked me over when she saw me. I called for Roxie to follow me, and then there was a crash. The third class passengers somehow broke through the gate, and rushed upwards to the deck. I grabbed Roxie not wanting her to run away again. We couldn’t get through the crowd.
The only other way to the boat deck was to go the long way around. Roxie and I rushed towards the stern of the ship near the aft grand staircase. We sprinted down the long channels of hallways, but when we got to the end, a gate locked us from the outside. We ran back to where we were before and saw that the crowd of insane people was almost gone. I picked up Roxie and squeezed my way through the remaining passengers. We followed more hallways until we reached the first class reception room on “D Deck.” All I heard was the sound of flowing water.
I saw the murky blue water make its way up to the reception room. The christmas carpet was ruined, and the beautiful white paneling was warped. The ship was literally breaking up at the seams. The room was almost flooded, and the dining room was next.
I waded through the water and Roxie swam until we reached a landing on the grand staircase. The gorgeous bronze candelabra at the bottom of the staircase submerged beneath the gray water. The lights flickered, and the room got eerily quiet. In the distance, I heard the dishes in the dining room clink as water lifted them up off the table and into each other. Reality snapped back to me and I stepped up the stairs to “C Deck.” Roxie and I did not stop.
We flew by “B Deck” and stopped at “A Deck.” The dome scared me at this point. I knew the dome would burst open and flood the staircase with all the people in it. I glanced at it for the last time. We ran out onto the boat deck and looked around. There were no lifeboats. “We are doomed!” I looked at Roxie. She looked at me with fear in her crystal brown eyes.
I had no idea what to do. The Titanic’s bridge was almost underwater. I listened to people screaming, glass breaking, and music playing. I yelled for Roxie to stay with me, and we scurried away. It was nearly impossible for us to walk up the the deck. The stern was in the air and the ship banked to the left. The water creeped around our ankles.
I saw the white lifeboats in the distance. They seemed millions of miles away, but they were rather close to the ship. I heard a snap and saw the second smokestack break away from its base. It collided with the first stack and they both fell on the grand staircase dome and bridge. Anyone underneath was crushed by the impeccable force. Roxie and I had to walk rather quickly as the water followed us every step of the way. If we stopped for any moment, the water would have swept us away.
We were close to the ocean. I decided that jumping would give us the best chance for survival. Roxie and I can swim to a nearby lifeboat and jump in. I wrapped my arms around Roxie and pulled her close to my chest. I leaped over the cold, iron railing and felt a thousand knives stab into my chest.
The force was incomprehensible. It took me a moment to get my bearings. The water was near freezing. My breath was visible as steam in the bitter cold air. Roxie was no longer in my arms. I was worried. “R-R-R-R-oxie,” I shiver as I shouted. People splashed in the water and were screaming. I didn’t see or hear Roxie. I found a life vest in the water and put it around my neck. An orange head suddenly popped out of the water. “R-R-R-R-oxie! I-t-t’s y-y-y-ou.” I grabbed ahold of her.
I saw a lifeboat and waded towards it It was very far away. . A group of women reached their hands out for us.
“Over here.” one shouted.
Another one screamed, “I got him. Pull him in.”
The women lifted me in the boat. I snatched Roxie and placed her in the boat too. I thanked the women and we turned our heads and saw the stern of the Titanic slip beneath the icy waves. I thought about all the helpless people who would soon die. We all took a moment of silence for them.
The lifeboat was filled with women and children. Some of these women I recognized; Margaret brown, the richest women on Titanic. She convinced lifeboat 6 to return back to the site. She basically rescued me and Roxie. Dorothy Gibson was to her right. She would later become a famous actress. To her left was another woman who was crying. I went to go ask her what the matter was, but before I reached her, Roxie bumped into me. The watch fell down onto the lifeboat floor and cracked the glass. The watch hands stopped at the force of the impact. The woman picked up the broken watch and examined it. She flipped it over and stared at the back. She stood up wrapped her arms around me and wouldn’t let me go.
“John is that you?”
And for a moment time stood still…
And I knew why I had the watch.