The pier

Smiling, Rose lays that picture down and moves on to the next. The picture of her on a horse, riding in the surf with the rollercoaster towering behind her. Of course, when Rose looked real hard at the picture, she saw the faint image of Jack setting behind her, his hands around her waist. He smiled into the camera, again his eyes full of pride.

She carressed the picture lovingly. This one of her most precious memory…the time she really felt she had accomplished something…

It was a beautiful summer day. It’s been a month since Rose went to Chippewa Falls. Rose had found a steady job as a waitress at a local café that over looked the pier. Each day she would look out the window and long to be out there among the churning crowd, doing all the things She and Jack had talked about doing together. Or she imagined Jack setting on a bench with his portfolio in hand, sketching portraits for ten cents a piece. Maybe that would’ve been what he would’ve been doing right now if he had lived. She would of course be working here and he’d be out there sketching portriats for ten cents a piece, maybe even twenty with inflation on the rise.

"Oh Jack," Rose sighed to herself.

"No regrets for what could’ve been Rose. Remember your promise. Live for both of us." A voice spoke into her ear.

Jack. He was with her even now while she worked. Keeping her company.

"I love you Rose."

The next day Rose had the day off and she made that the day she went to the pier. It was time to fulfill her and Jack’s dreams. First thing’s first, the roller coaster.

She stood in line for fifteen minutes and when it was her turn she took the ticket and slid into the car. She could feel Jack next to her all the time, holding her hand, telling her not to be nervous, that it would be like flying aboard Titanic, only faster. Rose screamed and held up her hands as the car went faster and faster, speeding around the curves and plunging down the tracks. Finally it was over and Rose immediately ran for some bushes where she threw up.
"I did it Jack," She laughed. "I rode the roller coaster ‘til I threw up! Mission one completed."

"I’m proud of you Rose. I knew you would do it."

Rose smiled at his encourageing words. How would she get along without him? Just the fact that he was still with her after all that happened was amazing. But would there be a time she’d have to do without him? Would she be able to handle it if there was? Pushing that thought from her mind, Rose pushed ahead. She’s determined to fulfill her promise to Jack.

Next was the horse. She wanted to ride one in the surf with one leg on each side. She found what she was looking for when she went down to the beach and found a old man walking a beautiful black mare along the shore.

"Excuse me sir!" Rose ran down to the man. "Are you offering horse rides?"

"Well Miss. It’s not actually a horse ride, but I let you set on her in the surf for fifty cents every five minutes. I walk her along the shore, or in the surf mind you, for an extra ten cents. And I take a picture for an additional five," the man explained.

"I’ll take it," Rose smiled.

The man’s surprised when the young lady hops upon the horse and swings her other leg to the other side. Quite unlady like in his opinion, but he knew how to keep his opinions to himself.

Rose relaxed as the man led the horse out into the surf, keeping tight hold of the rein. She sighed with pleasure as she felt Jack slip on behind her, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist.

I’m right here Rose. We’re doing this together.

She closed her eyes and smiled, relaxing even more. Jack was with her and she was safe. He’d never let anything hurt her.

"Ready for a picture?" The man’s voice interrupts her thoughts.

Rose nods eagerly as he adjusts the horses position to take a perfect picture. The young lady was indeed lovely smiling on top the horse, with the roller coaster looming behind her.

"Smile!" The man flashes the picture.

Present day…

That day was one of the best days of Rose’s life and her first real accomplishment as Rose Dawson. Jack was so proud of her. She felt his pride splashing over her like waves. She remembered not being surprised when she noticed the faint image of Jack behind her on the horse with his arms wrapped around her waist, a big smile on his face. They had accomplished what they had talked about doing together, even when he was long dead.

Present day…

Rose smiled at the picture. Such a wonderful memory. All of them such wonderful memories.