Rose picks up another picture. This one was of the young man that had taken her to the hospital. He was just standing in the corner, a baby bottle in hand. Rose sighed deeply as she remembered how Jason had decided to just barge in her life without her permission mind you. He refused to take no for an answer.
Rose sets up in bed gazing at her son, whos peacefully sleeping in her arms when theres a slight knock on the door. She looks up to see the nurse and the young man who had driven her to the hospital.
"Mam, your husbands here to see you and the baby," The nurse smiled.
"Well actually," The man begins, but Rose interrupts him.
"Thats okay nurse, he may come in."
The nurse nods turns to leave. "Congratulations on your son sir."
The man just looks at her, stunned at the mistake. "Im sorry about that."
"Dont worry about it," Rose shrugs. "Id like to thank you Mr "
"Id like to thank you Mr. Calvert. For all youve done. Im sorry I was so forceful at the apartment. Its just that I was in a hurry."
"Thats okay. I understand," The man nods. "Im just happy I knocked on your door at the right time. So you have a son huh?"
Rose nods. "His names Jake Fabrizio Dawson. Fabrizios an Italian name just in case you were wondering."
"Its a nice name. How about yours? I cant keep calling you mam can I?"
"Its Rose. Rose Dawson, waitress extrodinaire."
"Nice to meet you Mrs. Dawson. My names Jason. Jason Calvert, university student extrodinaire," The man offers his hand for a handshake.
"Nice to meet you Mr. Calvert."
"Just call me Jason," Jason shrugs.
"Well then, just call me Rose," Rose grins.
Jasons eyes again falls on the sleeping baby in her arms. "So, wheres Mr. Dawson?"
"Oh," Roses sunny mood dampens a little as she thinks of Jack. He should be here with her right now. Not some university student she didnt even know. "Hes He died about a month before I found out I was pregnant."
"Oh. Oh Im sorry. You must have been devastated."
Rose just smiled then changes the subject. She definitely didnt want to talk about Jack. Shes been thinking about him for the past two hours since Jake was born. Now it was time to move on to other things. "So youre new here to Santa Monica?"
Jason nods. "Just moved here from Philadelphia. I was on a grant to school there, but things got screwed up somehow so I headed on out here to California to start a new life."
"California seems to be a perfect place for that," Rose nods. "Goodness knows I should know from experience."
"So rose I take it that you live by yourself in that apartment building. How do you support yourself?"
"Im a waitress down at the café on the corner," Rose smiled. "Its not the ritziest job but it pays the bills and puts food on the table. And right now, thats all that matters."
"But will it be enough to support little Jack there?" Jason asked, staring up at the ceiling.
"Jake. Im sorry. I meant to say Jake. Its just that the name sounds so much like Jack its an honest mistake," Jason stutters.
"No. Its okay. Dont be sorry. Its my fault," Rose looks down at the baby. "I guess thats why I named him Jake. Because it was so close to Jack and "
"Jacks the name of the father. Right?"
Tears in her eyes, Rose looks at the Jason and nods. "He was an artist. He could draw the most plain looking person and make them look like the most beautiful person on paper."
"How did he die?"
"You know, I think thats enough about Jack. You know he was just someone listen, its getting late and its been a long day. Thank you for driving me here and everything, but I really do think you should go."
"Rose Im "
"Ill probably see you again around the building when I return home. So Ill see you around."
"Rose " Jason begins then thinks better of trying to continue the conversation. She obviously didnt want to talk about Jack and he was going to honor that wish. "Ill see you around. Maybe Ill even stop by to see how youre coming along,"
"Id like that," Rose smiles.
"Well then, Ill see you then," Jason waves before leaving the room.
That night, Rose found herself on the Titanic once again. Its been six months since she last had this dream. She immediately knew where to go. The bow of the ship. This time she Jake with her and Jack was waiting for them, his eyes sparkling with love.
"I brought your son," Rose smiled.
"Hes beautiful Rose. Just like his mother," Jack grinned, then looked back up at Rose, an serious expression on his face. "Rose our son needs a male role model. He needs a man he can look up to."
"He will. Im going to tell him everything he needs to know about his father "
"Thats not good enough Rose and you know it. Our son needs a male role model thats of flesh and blood. And I sent you one. You just have to let him in," Jack strokes her cheek.
"Let him in Rose. For Jakes sake."
Rose sniffs back fresh tears. And Jack laughed. "What are you crying for? This isnt good-bye Rose. Not in a long shot. Itll never be good-bye for you and me dont you know that by now?"
"But Jack Im not ready. Doesnt that mean anything to you?"
"Youre not ready for another romantic relationship. But how bout a friend. You need one Rose. One thats close by, not hundreds of miles away. One thats alive not deceased," Jack sighed. "You may say thats enough for you but is it really enough for our son? Think about it Rose."
"I will," Rose smiled.
"And dont forget your promise. Live life to the fullest. Make it count."
"I will Jack. Ill make it count," Rose felt tears fill her eyes as she begins to float away from Jack. "Jack wait! Im not ready!"
Jack doesnt answer. He just waves to her, a tear in his eyes. She thought she heard him whisper he loved her. Then he was gone and she was back in the hospital room, her pillow wet from crying.
Two weeks later
Rose is rocking her sleeping son, singing come Josephine to him as he slept peacefully when theres a knock at the door. Placing the baby in his crib, Rose gets up and opens the door to Jason Calvert bearing a bouquet of roses and a teddy bear with a red bow around its waist.
"Hello," He greets.
"Oh hi," Rose smiled. "Come on in. Im sorry the place is such a mess, its just that I havent had a chance to clean up since Jake was born."
"Yeah. The landlady mentioned that you came home a week ago with your baby. I was meaning to come over before now, but things kept coming up. But Im here now and brought some gifts for the new mother and her baby," Jason hands the roses and bear to Rose.
"Oh thank you. You didnt have to do this," Rose grinned.
"I wanted to. Its also a peace offering for sticking my foot in my mouth the last time I saw you."
"Oh yeah," Roses smile fades a little at the mention of their discussion about Jack. She remembered her dream about Jack and Him telling her that he had sent Jason so she could have a friend near by. Thats when she had to ask. "Jason what made you come here that night when you took me to the hospital?"
Jason is confused by the question. Why would she ask him that now? Should he tell her the truth? Of course he did. Something someone insisted that he tell her the truth. "Dont think Im insane or anything, but a voice told me to knock on your door. That youd be able to help me."
"I know it sounds weird but thats how it happened," Jason shrugged looking at the voice.
Rose is dumbstruck. Jack had told her he sent someone, but she had never thought hed be so blunt about it. Of course she was having his baby at the time "Was this voice belonging to a man a young man?"
Jason simply nods.
Rose just nods. "Of course. Well Im glad you did stop by. I dont know what I would have done if you hadnt."
"Rose you dont think Im crazy do you?" Jason asked uncertainly.
"Of course I dont Mr. Calvert. Ive had a similar experience six months ago. Its quite understandable," Rose giggled. "Set down and Ill fix you some tea and tell ya about it."
"You dont have to," Jason quickly replies. He had a feeling that telling him would reopen an already festering wound and he didnt want to be the cause of any more pain for her. "But I would take some more of that tea."
"Ok," Rose nods, relief hidden in her eyes. She was glad he gave her a way out of talking about Jack. His memory still hurt her so much she looked forward to the day when she could look back on her time with Jack without the stabbing pain to her heart. Shes determined never to love anybody like that again except for her son. "So Mr. Calvert, what have you been up to since I saw you last?"
"Getting use to the weather. Its gorgeous here in Santa Monica. I cant wait to go to that pier," Jason grinned.
Rose smiled. "That was one of the first places I headed for when I moved here. Its fantastic Jason. Youll like it."
Jason smiled at the lovely woman setting before him. Rose Dawson was indeed lovely, but her green eyes shown with a certain knowledge of tragedy that no young person her age should have. But he wasnt going to pry. Then he heard that voice again the voice that had once again led him to her door.
"Ask her to the pier."
Jason knew there was no resisting. He tried that a number of times, but the voices insistance and his own desire to see the lovely red head again won out. "Would you like to join me when I go? Since youve been already, you can show me around."
Roses eyes widen with surprise. He wanted to take her to the pier the pier that had belonged to her and Jack alone. If it was anywhere else she would say yes, but she felt shed be betraying Jack if she went to the pier with anyone but him.
"I-Im sorry. But I cant. I have work, plus Jake here to look after it just wouldnt be a good idea," Rose lowers her gaze to the floor, trying to push away the feeling that she was somehow disappointing Jack by refusing Jakes offer.
Once again the voice speaks. "Invite her to dinner. She cant say no to that."
"Well how about dinner at that little restaurant a couple of blocks around here, maybe we can take in a play while were out. Just two new friends getting to know one another," Jason throws in the last couple of sentences.
Rose bit her lip. Jack wanted her to go on with her life, she knew that. In fact, he may somehow be setting this up but how could she go out with anyone when she still loved him so much? When all she could do was remember the way his eyes shone with amusement when they had walked on the deck of Titanic or how he smelt of charcoal when they had made love in the renault?
"Just as friends?" Rose asked, her voice uncertain.
"Just as friends," Jason nods.
"Well then I cant see why not," Rose shrugs. "But just as long as you know this isnt a date."
"I know Rose. Just two friends going to dinner and a play. Itll be fun," Jason smiled enthusiastically, his blue eyes sparkling in a way that Rose could almost swear that those eyes belonged to her lost love, not her new friend.
"Ill see you at eight then," Jason grins from ear to ear.
Rose just nods and follows him to the door. He waves one more time before heading into his room right across the hall. Rose closes the door and closes her eyes tightly. What was she doing? Why was she going out with another man who wasnt Jack?
"Because its what I want for you Rose," Jacks voice spoke into her ear.
"Oh Jack," Rose clamps a hand over her mouth and runs into the other room in tears. How could Jack be so cruel as to make her promise to go on with her life? How did he expect her to survive without him? Well, if thats what he wanted, thats what he was going to get. Rose sets up off her bed, this time determined to forget Jack Dawson even though he was the father of her baby, but that didnt make a difference. She was going to do her hardest to forget about the young man who had turned her life around for the better.
Four hours later
Rose and Jason had just gotten back from the play they had went to see after dinner. Rose and Jason are standing outside his door, prepared to say good-night, at least Rose was anyway.
"Want to come in?" Jason grinned.
"Isnt that improper?"
"Not when were in the living room taking in a couple of cocktails," Jason smiled and takes her hand. "Besides, were just friends. Whats going to happen?"
Rose smiles and nods, accepting his offer.
He excitedly pulls her into the apartment and sheds his coat on the couch. "Sit. Make yourself at home. Ill be back, I have to get out of this suit and tie. Its killing me," Jason laughed, disappearing into the door that must lead to his bedroom.
Rose sets back and thinks to herself. She was quite proud of herself. She hadnt thought about Jack once that evening. She didnt think about how his hair shone in the sunlight or how his cheeks had turned red when he had drawn her portrait in her stateroom.
"Stop it Rose!" She hissed, pushing the thoughts from her mind and gets up to look at the photographs that Jason had setting up on his mantle. They were quite interesting, capturing bits and pieces from his life. She smiles as she spies a picture of Jason with his arms wrapped around an attractive girl with blond hair. She wondered if she was his sweetheart back in his hometown. Somehow the pictures looked somewhat familiar, like shes been to some of the places they were taken.
Everything becomes clear when she sees the next picture one that stands out among the rest and brings her hand up to her mouth with surprise and shock. It was a picture of Jason and Jack! Both boys were standing in front of what looked to be a lake, holding a fish hooked to a line between them. Both boys smiling happily as they held up their trophy for the world to see.
"Ah I remember when that picture was taken," Jason smiled, appearing behind Rose. "It was the winter of 1907."
"Who is he?" Rose asked dumbly. She knew who the boy Jason was with was, she just wanted to know who he was to Jason.
"My favorite cousin Jack Dawson," Jason crossed his arms. "I remember that picture. It was a year before the fire that took his parents life, and we were out that morning after being told not to even think about going out until our chores were done. I of course had no intention of going out, but good ole Jack he was always wanting to be somewhere he shouldnt. He talked me into joining him in a trip down to lake Wissota to take in some ice fishing. Thats when we caught the biggest fish around. Jack was so excited, he forgot about the trouble we were in and insisted on going to show Uncle Matt what we had caught. When Uncle Matt saw that fish, he forgot all about the whupping he was going to give both of us for disobeying. That night we had a grand ole time dining on that big bass."
"Sound like you two were close," Rose smiled wistfully at the story.
"We were. As close as two brothers. If you saw us together, you would think we were. Thats how close we were," Jason smiled wistfully. "But sadly, Jacks parents died the year after and he left Chippewa Falls and hadnt been back yet. He of course wrote me a couple of times. The last I heard he was in Paris trying to get some of his drawings he liked so well sold. Havent heard from him since its been a whole year just about since that last letter."
"Jason " Rose began , but was interrupted.
"You know, thats not like him. He always kept in touch within a six month period, but he hasnt written once not one single time."
"I have to go," Rose pushes her way to the door, tears beginning to spill from her eyes.
"Rose wait! Whats wrong?" Jason goes after her. "Did I say something wrong? Im sorry if I did."
"No Jason, its not you its Oh never mind. I have to go," Rose rushes out the door and over to her apartment, shutting door behind her.
Jason is left, looking both stunned and dazed. What had gotten into Rose? Why did she run away like someone possessed? Hed have to find out later, right now he was going to make a call someone who was good at finding people. He was going to go in search of his long lost cousin and hopefully bring him home.
Rose lays on her bed, looking up at the ceiling. Cousin. Jason was Jacks cousin. No matter what Jason reminded her so much of Jack. Jack had led her to the one person who he was closest to.
"Oh Jack," Rose sobbed, burying her face in the pillow. "Why are you doing this to me."
"Because I love you," a clear voice says beside her as a gentle hand runs through her hair. Rose darts up and looks into a pair of familiar blue eyes.
"Rose dont cry. Im sorry if I upset you. I thought I was helping you by sending my cousin I thought that you two could help each other. But I guess I was wrong," Jack bowed his head sadly. "I just hated seeing you so sad and so lonely."
"Oh Jack You didnt upset me and you did help me by sending your cousin. Hes the one who got me to the hospital on time to deliver your son," Rose smiled, tenderly touching his cheek.
"But youre so miserable right now Rose "
"I know. But that cant be helped. Not by anyone, no matter how close to you they were. Do you understand?"
Jack slowly nods. "But if you dont mind my saying, I still say you two look good together. Jasons a good man Rose. Hell take good care of you and our son. Whether you tell him about me or not."
"Should I Jack?"
"Ill leave that up to you Rose. Were a subject youre going to have to be ready to share. I cant tell you when or with whom to share it," Jack gets up.
"Jack? Where are you going?" Rose sets up from the mattress.
"Its morning Rose. Its time for you to wake up," Jack smiled lovingly down at her. "Wake up Rose."
"Jack," Rose reaches for him as he floats farther away from her.
"I love you Rose. Ill always be with you," Jack too reaches his hand out toher to no avail. He gets farther and farther away.
"Jack no! Wait!" Rose cries. "Jack!" She bolts awake to bright sunlight streaming through her window and Jakes hungry cries from his baby bed.
"Coming Jake," Rose mumbled forcing herself out of bed.