The final day aboard the RMS Titanic started out as any other day. Layton, my husband, and I went to breakfast in the dining room with our daughter, Beatrice. Beatrice loved the dining room. She said it was the most luxurious room she'd been in yet. It was decorated in gorgeous wooden paneling, with white walls. The floors were covered in blue linoleum tiles featuring an elaborate red and yellow pattern. We ate baked apples and fresh fruit with Mr. Thomas Andrews, the designer of the ship. Beatrice loved hearing him talk about the mechanics of the ship. Layton quite enjoyed it himself to I think.
In the afternoon, Layton spent his time in the Gymnasium with his friends, and also in the smoking room, where they smoked, got drunk and gambled. I spent it with Beatrice walking around the boat deck. The wooden deck creaked under our step as we walked along, and the metal hand railings were like ice through the material of my gloves. When I looked at Beatrice, she had her coat pulled up around her neck, trying to keep the wind away. Her cheeks and nose were pink from the wind.
When dinner was announced, Beatrice and I went to change into our dinner clothes and found Layton in the rooms. We all went to dinner together. We ate Poached Salmon, vegetables and cucumbers. There were many other foods you could choose off the menu, but we chose the simplest as for desert we had Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly and French Ice cream.
At 11:40 that night I was jostled awake by the brief shuddering of the ship. Layton went to find out what had happened. Beatrice and I sat in our room and waited. Eventually, around 12:30 I knew something had happened as Layton hadn't come back. I stood to go out into the Hall but someone knocked on the door and opened it. A steward came in and announced that we needed to put on our life vests and make our way up to the deck. I could feel the tilt in the ship by then and so could Beatrice.
Beatrice and I made our way to the boat deck where we heard a steward saying "All women to the port side." As we made our way to the port side I looked up to the sky. It was a starry night, and there was no moon, but the stars seemed to shine brightly, like cut diamonds on a navy back drop. When we got to the port side men and women were crowed around and I could hear someone calling out for all women to make there way forward. I began to push my way through the crowd then. As I did so, I could hear the music playing in the distance. I was pushed roughly forward and I lost hold of Beatrice's hand. I was roughly picked up and put on a life boat. Thankfully, Beatrice was next to be put on the boat before we were lowered to the water.
We watched, horrified, from the place on the life boat as the ship rose into the sky, nearly a 70 degree angle. I watched, as groups of almost 1,500 people clung to the ship as it ripped in half. The sound was deafening, metal being ripped in half, power cords, wooden decks cracking in half, the screams from all the people as the second half of the ship crashed back down. I could see people jumping from the sides of the boat into the freezing water. It was one thing to see the ship torn in half, but it's another to see half of the ship pull the rest of it down. I watched as the lights flickered out for the last time, as the half of the ship rose back up into the air, almost a vertical line before sinking into the water.
The cries and screams I heard then were the stuff from nightmares. Those terrible cries last for twenty to thirty minutes. Gradually, the people began to die away, one after the other as they could not withstand the cold and exposure any longer. Only one life boat went back for the people, but they were too late, they were only able to pull thirteen people from the water out of the 1,500 people who went into the water.
Around dawn the ship, 'Carpathia' came and pulled us all from the life boats. We were all given blankets and food, before being separated into class before having to give our names for a list, so they could keep track of us.
The cries from the thousands freezing in the water still echo in the silences of my life. My mind still wonders back to that night, in my dreams I relive it. That night has been known to me as the night my husband died, the night where God failed us all.