x

2.9K 102 49

When breakfast was over, Mother decided to take the little ones out onto the decks for some fresh ocean air and sunshine. The twins, in particular, were in need of some open space as their bickering seemed to agitate everyone at the dining table. To make matters slightly worse, Father's head was about to explode as they fought over his lap.

"Girls, that's enough. Now, if everyone will excuse the three of us, we will compose ourselves and make our way to the deck outside," mum said.

"Please do, Johanna," Father muttered. He looked to be completely fed up with everything at that point.

"C-Can I join you, mum?" I said tentatively. Hopefully, I wouldn't get a harsh word from Father or worse, make him explode like a cannon.

"Yes, Louis, you may go accompany your mother." Father straightened his jacket coat and cleared his throat before going with the Count of some county in Eastern Europe to the smoking rooms.

As we arrived outside, I felt the muscles in my neck relax as the warmth from the sun high above us seeped into my skin. A shudder ran through me, expelling all the cold in my body. I looked over at mum and the other girls, sighing in frustration at the scene all of them were causing:

"Daisy, Phoebe, stop this nonsense at once!" she said, while pleading with Charlotte and Georgia, the eldest half-sister, to quiet the two. I picked up Félicité, who began crying as a result of all the fighting, and tried my best to quiet her.

"Shh, you're alright, little one." But our situation was very not alright. A scene was already caused, just something else needed to hurt our reputation—the Tomlinsons were unable to soothe their own family in times of distress.

"Hey, hey, look. There's a man here who wants to give us a tour of the upper decks!" Mother exclaimed. Although her excitement was obviously faked, there was clear relief in her voice when the twins got distracted from each other.

I looked up to see one of the officers from the bridge tip his cap to the ladies and shake my hand firmly. "How do you all do?"

"We're stuck in a bit of a turmoil, here." Mum laughed nervously, gesturing to the red-eyed criers and pouting fighters. "Would you mind giving us a tour of the boat deck? I think we all need to stretch our bones."

"No problem, miss. Come this way, please," he said. We all followed behind him as he showed us the bridge where Captain Smith was keeping watch with the Master-at-Arms at the time, and then back down to the deck where he showed us where all the lifeboats were kept. We weren't the only people who were touring the deck, up ahead was another small clique of people with Mr. Thomas Andrews, the builder of Titanic.

". . . the sum in my head, and with the number of lifeboats times the capacity you mentioned, forgive me, but, it seems that there are not enough for everyone aboard," a pretty girl said. I recognized her as the same girl from steerage with that boy from Third Class the other day.

I immediately became intrigued by her rather intellectual observations, and pulled closer to hear better over the chatter between my sisters about the pulleys holding the boats in place. As he spoke to her, I overheard her name being Rose. Mr. Andrews confirmed her observation, and congratulated Rose for being able to "miss nothing".

"Oh dear . . . Louis, would you be a dear and fetch that for me?" Mother called out to me. I turned to see her overgrown-weeds-and-flowers hat on a bench near a lone man sleeping with a top hat covering his face. I paid no mind to him as I took the hat and gave it to her as she trailed closely behind Mr. Andrews with the girls, but as I followed them from a distance, I noticed the man coming up behind me and take a hold of my arm.

Titanic: A Larry Stylinson NovelWhere stories live. Discover now