Tonight on the Titanic: Chapter 3

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“This way, Sam,” Jonathan tugged on my arm as he rushed down the stairs. He disappeared from view as he jumped onto the landing. “Look, there they are!” I heard him call out.

On the landing between the 1st and 2nd class deck was a group of young boys around Jonathan’s age. They were tossing a bright red ball back and forth in a game of keep away. Most likely they had ventured up the steps to stay out of the way of passengers strolling the decks.

“I’m right behind you,” I responded, chasing him down the steps. “But slow down. Mother wouldn’t-” My foot caught the on its pair and I went head first down the last few stairs. I crashed into something rather solid, but it broke my fall as I tumbled to the ground.

“Owww,” I moaned, pushing myself up onto my knees. Looking down, I noticed that the rather solid object I had crashed into was a girl.

She blew a bit of bangs out of her face with a huff and sat up.  When she looked up at me, her eyes opened wide in surprise. I myself felt surprised as well, for I couldn’t tear my gaze from hers. In my twenty years of life, I had never seen such a beautiful girl.

Her long blond hair was pulled back into a simple braid, but the strands that had escaped were curling around her face. On the ground next to her rested a small journal, opened to a half full page. A pen still in her hand, she must have been clutching the bundle when I ran into her. I was intrigued; who was this girl?

She spoke first, breaking whatever spell had been holding me captive. “You don’t suppose you could get up?” It wasn't a rude question, but instead more of a painful plea.

“Oh of- of course!” I stammered and quickly stood up, my cheeks burning red. Holding out a hand, I helped her to her feet. We both brushed ourselves off.

The group of boys who had stopped their game at my sudden, rather painful entrance, had resumed playing.

“Thank you,” she sighed, her eyes closed shut as she stretched her back out.

“Are you okay?” I asked, worried that I had seriously hurt her.

“Quite well,” she responded, her eyes fluttering back open. “Just a little sore.”

“I’m so, very sorry," I apologized. My sore wrist and bruised knee seemed like a fair trade for being a hypocrite. Chastising my brother for running while I in turn hurried down the stairs was a careless thought on my part. As a consequence, the beautiful girl in front of me had suffered.

“Don’t worry,” she said with a small smile. “I’ll live, but are you okay? You fell rather far.”

I cleared my throat, rather embarrassed. “Besides bruised my pride, I’m perfectly intact. I think you broke most of the fall.”

“Yes, I’ll have to agree with that.” Bending down, the girl picked up her book.

An awkward silence befell us and I stood staring, scratching the back of my head.

 Jonathan tugged on my sleeve again. I had completely forgotten that he was there. “Can I play with them?” he asked me with a hopeful look.

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