1. Do You Fear Death?

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"I'll never let go

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"I'll never let go. I promise." Rose kissed the frozen fingers of her dead lover.

Jack's long lashes were covered in frost, and his blue lips partly opened. She had kissed those lips not long ago. Her heart constricted. Even in death, he was so beautiful. He looked as if he were only sleeping.

How quickly a life could end! Jack had been young and strong, a boy full of life and humor, taking each day as it came. In the short time they had known each other on the Titanic, he had taught her so many things, and saved her in so many ways. He had talked of teaching her horseback riding when they returned to America – not in a side saddle, mind you! – and ride the roller-coaster until they threw up. But it would not happen now. He would never see America again.

Jack had saved her one last time, choosing to give up his own life so that she could survive. She had to accept that.

Swallowing her tears and grief, Rose pried his cold fingers away from her own and released him. She watched him slowly sink, following the Titanic down into the abyss. Soon the murky depth had swallowed him and he was gone.

She was alone now. Alone and alive. But for how long? She was so cold, and in the distance she saw the last lifeboat leaving. "Come back!" she croaked, but there was no reaction. Her voice was too weak and feeble; they could not hear.

She felt like giving up. Just stay here, laying back on the broken door she had used for a raft and sleep. Sleep and never wake up.

But no! She must fight. Jack could not have thrown his life away for nothing!

Resolutely Rose turned around on the raft, and with a yelp she slipped into the freezing water. The pain hit her like a thousand needles, almost paralyzing her with the shock.

She fought to swim towards the boat but her heavy coat dragged her down. Her fiancé had lent it to her, she remembered. Cal. He was probably dead too, now, or dying. Only women and children had been allowed on the lifeboats.

Well, at least she would never see that horrible man's face again. That was something.

Where was her life vest? Turning her head she saw it on the makeshift raft where she had lain, stuck to its frozen surface. She had to return and get it. She clumsily fought to turn around, but found that her arms would not obey. All her limbs had numbed, and she could not feel her legs at all.

Was this it? Had Jack died in vain?

The depth pulled on her. She was so tired. If only she could rest... Close her eyes and sleep, just like Jack had done. Eternal sleep.

Only her nose was above the water now. She drew in quick gulps of air, but even breathing had become difficult. And then she slipped beneath the surface entirely.

Above her the brilliant stars illuminated the night sky. A beautiful last view.

She sank slowly. A strange calm had come over her. It would all work out, somehow. She would share Jack's ocean grave, and they would be reunited in the afterlife.

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