ESCAPING THE ICY SEA: A STORY OF THE TITANIC|
When they got to the large room, Reilly and Kiana sat at one of the tables covered in a clean, white tablecloth.
"Are you sure you're all right?" Again, Reilly had that same look of concern Kiana had seen down on the deck. "There has to be something more wrong than just what the man said down there. I mean, of course they were wrong, but you can't expect everyone to believe the same way you do!"
Kiana took a deep breath. "I know. You're right, it's not just that."
"Then what is it?" he asked, studying her face as if he was trying to read her thoughts.
She hesitated. Could she trust him? She wasn't sure if she could trust anyone anymore. Her heart thumped loudly, and she was sure Reilly could hear it.
"What is it?" Reilly repeated. "Are you sick?"
Shaking her head, Kiana tried to clear her thoughts. What should she do? If someone found out that she didn't have anyone to go to in America, she would be for sure sent to an orphanage.
"Kiana, you can tell me. I promise I won't say anything to anyone. Please, tell me."
"IóI um, I'm worried about staying with my aunt and uncle in New York," she lied reluctantly. She let out a deep breath again. For some reason, she just couldn't tell him. Oh, why couldn't she? She wanted so badly for someone to share her secret with.
"But why? Aren't they nice to you? And where are your parents?" Reilly looked confused.
"Oh yes, they're very nice to me. It's just, well, I don't like being so far away from home, and traveling alone. My parents might worry." Kiana felt bad about lying so much. She'd never had to discuss her parents with a stranger before.
Reilly nodded. "I see. I'm glad you told me. I was wondering why you started acting so strange."
Kiana sighed. "Uh huh. I'm sorry, Reilly, but I'm getting tired. I think I'll go take a nap."
"Good. I hope you're feeling better when you get up."
Nodding as she walked away, Kiana tried to shake off the terrible feeling that had just flooded her heart. Why had she lied? Reilly had been nothing but kind and gentle towards her. Why didn't she think she could trust him?
Her head spinning when she got to her stateroom door, Kiana decided not to go in. The tiny room would just make her dizzier.
Instead, Kiana decided to go to the dining room again for a snack. She hadn't had breakfast, or supper last night.
Walking up on deck, she looked above her at the beautiful blue sky. Fluffy white clouds floated around without a care. Kiana kept walking, gazing up at the sky. Suddenly, she crashed into someone.
"Watch where you're going, kid!" A girl about Kiana's age dressed smartly in a silk dress and a new-looking hat glared at her with angry brown eyes.
"I'm sorry, ma'am." Kiana felt strange addressing someone her age so formally, but it came automatically.
The girl rolled her eyes. "Sure you are. You steerage trash shouldn't be allowed up on deck. You should just stay in your own little rooms." Anger flashed from the girl's eyes.
"I am sorry, miss," Kiana forced her temper back down. "But this deck is open to anyone." Instead of making a scene, she decided to introduce herself and try to make friends.
"My name is Kiana Connor. Pleased to meet you." Kiana curtsied politely. The girl gave a huff.
"My name is Elizabeth Jacobson and I'm not pleased to meet you."
Kiana flushed. How could anyone be so rude? "I'm sorry I wasn't watching where I stepped. Please excuse me."
Elizabeth gave a stuck up nod then pranced away without looking back.
Kiana let out a frustrated grunt. How she had wanted to slap that Elizabeth Jacobson on her smug face. It was amazing the difference between first-class people. While Reilly was sweet and kind, Elizabeth was crabby and insensitive. Kiana hoped she'd never have to lay eyes on her again.
She sighed and began walking up the stairs again.
When she got to the third-class dining room, she sniffed the wonderful smell in the air. Sitting down at one of the tables, she looked around at the beautiful white tablecloths, and at the waiters and waitresses who were serving meals on silver platters.
One waitress walked over to her and flashed a beautiful smile. "Hello, what can I get for you?" she asked politely. She placed a menu card in front of Kiana.
"I'll have the chicken, please," Kiana decided. Everything looked so good!
In the middle of eating, Valerie and her mother came to the table and sat with Kiana. She tried her best to communicate with them, but finally the two French women gave up and began talking to one another in their own language.
Kiana sighed and finished her meal, thanking the waitress as she left. She was so tired that she walked directly to her stateroom that was at the stern, or back, of the ship. It was one of the closest rooms to the bow.
As soon as she was in her room, Kiana lay on her bed for a nap. She rubbed the side of her head that was still sore from bumping it against the wash-stand.
Relaxing her head against the soft pillow, she closed her eyes. "Lord," she prayed, "please help me to find Prudence when I go to America. I know you care about me. Please, direct me where I need to go." Exhausted from the already-long day, Kiana fell fast asleep.
When she woke up, the sun was already setting over the horizon. It was so beautiful! She went up on the deck again, and stepped to the railing surrounding the top of the ship, assuring that no one fall off. The cool wind blew in her face, and she shivered. The rising moon dismissed the last few sparkles of sunlight from their job of lighting the sky. Stars came out to wink at the passengers on the Titanic.
Kiana's mind was cleared, and for the first time in days, she almost felt peaceful. But the moment didn't last. Behind her, two men started to argue. One of them even punched the other, and Kiana gasped.
Just when everything seemed perfect!
"What'd you say to me?" one man screamed.
"N-nothing sir!" the other man said, and Kiana gasped again when she saw it was Reilly.
"Yes you did! Look what you've done! My room is a mess! How could you?"
"B-b-but sir, you Ö"
"I won't hear another word about it! I'm speaking to Captain Smith himself!" the man sputtered. Kiana could smell the wine on his breath, even from 10 feet away. The man stomped off, leaving a stunned Reilly behind, holding his stomach against the pain.
Kiana rushed to him and put her arm around his shoulder, helping him walk over to a wall to lean against. Reilly groaned, but his blue eyes flashed with anger.
"He told me to go get the doctor. I told him I didn't know where he was, and said that maybe he'd had too much wine. And then he threw a fit and IÖ" his sentence was cut off by another groan as Kiana tried to help him sit up.
"Shh, shh, it's okay. You're going to be all right, don't worry." There were people standing around, staring. "Well don't just stand there! Someone get a doctor!" Kiana commanded.
Safe in her room again that night, Kiana lay on her bed, confused. Why is it that whenever something seems perfect, it always gets ruined? First, my mother dies, after what seemed like a safe trip to America. Then Papa had to go and do the same thing. Why is it that everyone I love ends up getting hurt?
Chapter 4 >>>
Submitted by Copyright © 2003 Amy S. 'Soccer Chick' (), USA
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