Its now Saturday. Rose has stayed in the boarding house for an entire week, afraid that Cal was out there waiting for her. But by time Saturday rolled around she decided she was being silly. Cal was probably long gone by now, and besides, this was Jacks day off and she knew he wouldnt want to spend it indoors. And she was right. She woke up to see Jack standing in the door way, a picnic basket in hand.
"Jack?" she asked, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.
"We have yet to go to lake wissota. I think its time you meet the lake that saved your life," Jack grinned.
"Its Saturday. Dont you want to sleep in?" Rose arched a eyebrow.
"Nope. Rise and shine my beautiful Rose. The fresh air awaits you," Jack sat down the basket and pulled her out of bed. "I even picked out a dress for you to save you the trouble," He walks to a nearby chair and hold up a simple yellow dress, somewhat similar to the dress she wore on Titanic when he showed her his drawings.
Rose sighed. "Youre not going to take no for a answer are you?"
Jack shook his head. Rose has been indoors all week, and he understood why. Now it was time for her to face her fears with him by her side. What better way than by taking her to the lake?
"Ok. Im up. Give me a minute," Rose disappeared into the restroom.
"Ill wait for you downstairs," Jack called to her and headed downstairs to see Mrs. Gladys.
"I take it your young bride is getting ready for your day out?" the woman asked.
Jack nodded. "Thanks for the idea Mrs. Gladys. I forgot how nice it was down by the lake. Rose is going to love it."
"Shell love it because shell be with you," Gladys patted Jacks cheek.
Jack smiled, just as Rose arrived in the
kitchen. "Are we eating breakfast first?"
"Do you want to?" Jack asked.
Rose shook her head. "Not really."
"Well then lets move out," Jack took her hand and led her out the door.
Five minutes later they are walking along the trail leading down to the lake. Rose gasped in surprise and delight to see ducks waddling along in front of them. "Jack look."
Jack laughed at Roses wonder. "Surely they have ducks in Philadelphia."
"Yes, but mother never letted me be this up close to them."
"Well the lake is full of them at this
time of year. Youll have plenty of chances to see more even
Reaching the bottom of the hill right in front of the lake, Jack spread out a blanket for both Rose and himself to set on. Rose took a seat and stared out across the lake.
"This is so beautiful."
"I knew youd like it," Jack smiled. "We havent had many moments alone like this. I wanted to make today special."
"Everyday is special with you Jack," Rose wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately.
For most of the morning Jack and Rose played and frolicked in the grass near the lake. Rose was having a wonderful time. The noon sun rose into the sky and beamed down onto the now tired couple. Hungry, Rose fished a sandwich out of the basket.
"Mrs. Gladys also fixed us some lemonade if you want a glass," Jack offered.
"Ok," Rose smiled watching Jack pour her a glass. "You take such good care of me."
"Well I promised I would didnt I?"
Rose smiled and kissed her husband tenderly. Shes surprised to hear two giggles from across the lake. She breaks away from Jack to see two little black children watching them.
"Looks like we have an audience," Jack laughed.
"Peter! Ruthie! Where are you!" A stern voice called from the wooded area behind the children. A lovely medium brown-skinned girl appeared. Her eyes were light brown and her hair was braided into two braids. She was about Roses and Jacks age. "What did mama tell you about running off! Especially so near the lake?!"
"That if we dont stay away from the lake, the Wissota monster would get us," The little girl shrugged.
"But theyre not scared of the Wissota monster!" The little boy pointed at Jack and Rose.
"Wissota monster?" Rose looked at Jack who laughed again at Roses question.
"A story parents tells their kids to keep them away from the lake. For a while there, children were getting drowned, so parents made up the story to keep their children away. My parents had me believing the same thing when I was little," Jack explained.
"Didnt seem to stop you from falling in ice fishing," Rose snorted.
"My dad was with me then. The monsters never came out when mom and dad are with you."
Rose simply nodded.
"Why Jackie Dawson! Is that you?" The girl takes a closer look. "Why I cant believe it, it is!" The girl rushed around to the other side of the like to give Jack a hug. "Its been years and years since youve been down to the cabin. Whatever happened to you? And who is this pale little thing you've got here with you?"
Jack laughed. "Its great to see you too Imogene. Wow it has been a long time. I saw you two weeks before my folks died in that fire."
"Oh Yes. My ma and pa mourned them so.
Your folks were right kind to us back then. Right kind. Inviting
us to dinner and coming to our house for supper too. And all the
games we played when we were younguns," the girl known
as Imogene remembered. "But whatever happened to you Jack?
My folks tried to find out, but there was no word."
"I took off after that. Ive been gone for five long years now. I got into town a couple of weeks ago. Wow its great seeing you again."
"And whos this pretty little
"Oh Rose. Rose this is one of my best friends when I was a kid. Imogene Johnson. Imogene, this is my wife, Rose Dawson."
"How do you do," Rose smiled, offering her hand. Imogene accepted in a firm handshake.
"And a lady too. Why Jackie has done good for himself," Imogene laughed.
"And who are these two?" Jack asked.
"My sister and brother Peter and Ruthie. Three and four. Say hello to Mister Dawson."
"Hello," The two children smiled up at the couple.
"Shes pretty," The little boy smiled up at Rose.
"Why thank you," Rose blushed.
"Just call us Jack and Rose," Jack grinned.
"Jackie, you two must come down to the cabin. Ma and pa would want to see you."
"We wouldnt be intruding would we?" Jack asked.
"Of course not Jackie! You know better than that! Youre family. Come on!" Imogene grabbed Jacks hand, who grabbed Roses leading them to her side of the lake.
The Johnson home was bustling with activity when Imogene led her siblings and two friends into the cabin. But all activity stopped when Bill and Prissie Johnson caught sight of Jack and Rose.
"Imogene? Whos this and why did you bring them here?" Prissie was the first to speak.
"Sorry Jack. Mothers gone senile in
her old age," Imogene smiled at her old friend. "Why
mama, you remember Jack dont you? The only son of those
people that died in that fire five years back? You had a time
finding out what happened to him."
Prissie stepped up to Jack and examined him closely, not believing what her daughter had just told her. Finally her eyes lit up with recognition. "Why bless the Lord it is! Bill! Bill! Come here! Its Jackie! Hes returned to us at last!"
"Jackie Dawson?" Bill made his way next to his wife and looked at the young man himself. His brown eyes lit up and the biggest smile spread on his face. "Why it is! Jackie Dawson! What happened to you boy! Weve looked all over town for you! We thought you had burned up with your mammy and pappy that horrible night!"
"No sir. I stayed with my Uncle Dwight in Eau Claire the night of the fire and after that, I lit on out of here. You can say I was a tumbleweed blowing in the wind ever since," Jack explained.
"Well you should have stopped by here and
said good-bye," Imogene scolded. "I cried a good week
over the disappearance of my best friend."
"Sorry," Jack sheepishly smiled. "I didnt say good bye to a lot of folks. I just left. I couldnt take the memories "
"And who is this pretty lady?" Bill looked at Rose. "Shes right pretty and has a spark in her similar to your mas."
Jack blushed. He didnt want Rose to know that was another reason he was drawn to her. Her fire was something his mother contained also. No one dared cross Meredith Dawson. Jack couldnt bare to see that fire contained and destroyed, like it would have been if Rose had stayed with Cal. "Bill, Prissie, this is my wife, Rose Dawson. We were married a couple of weeks ago."
Bill pumped Roses hand in a friendly handshake. "Let me tell ya mam, its right pleased to meet the lady that caught young Jackies heart. We knew itd have to be someone just as free-spirited as he is."
"Youve married into a fine family if I do say so myself," Prissie nodded.
"You two dont just stand there. Come in. Make yourselves at home," Prissie beckoned them deeper into the cabin. "Youre welcomed to stay here as long as you want."
"Jackie, you still sketching like you used to?" Imogene asked.
Jack nodded. "Of course. In fact, I have my portfolio right here if you want to see some portraits. Theres not many in here since my old one was destroyed in a accident."
"Can we see!" Peter and Ruthie chimed, crowding together between Jack and Rose.
"Peter! Ruthie! Come back over here and stop being rude!" Imogene demanded.
"Oh thats ok Imogene. I dont mind showing them," Jack grinned, opening up the portfolio, all of the pictures were different places around Chippewa Falls and its people. A few were of Rose setting on the porch of the old Dawson house and setting in the setting room in the boarding house. The children were awestruck by the pictures.
For the first time since shes been to Chippewa Falls, Rose felt totally comfortable. Rose was pointing out another drawing to the children, neither she nor Jack noticed the sound of the door closing and Imogene greeting the newcomer.
"Its about time you got home. Ma was worried you decided to run off to New Orleans or some foolishness," Imogene pulled the person into the setting area.
"Sam!" The children got up and ran to a tall black man that had just entered.
"Petey! Ruthie!" The man swooped the kids up into his arms. Roses eyes widened as she recognized the man from Philadelphia. The mans eyes widened as he noticed Jack and Rose. He remembered Rose alright. He worked for her family two years back. Her pa was decent but her ma was as cold as ice. Rose of course was a little pistol and he knew shed give whoever she married a run for his money. "Miss. Rose? Is that really you?"
"You know each other?" Imogene asked curiously.
"Yes. Shes Rose Dewitt Bukater. Daughter of those rich folk I worked for in Philadelphia," Sam nodded. "Miss. Rose what are ya doing here in Chippewa Falls and here of all places?"
"Oh my God, Sam. I havent seen you in two years," Rose got to her feet to greet her mothers employee.
"Yes and I was thinking you were dead, gone down on that big ship folks have been talking about."
"Well in reality, Rose Dewitt Bukater is dead. Im Rose Dawson now," Rose stepped closer to Jack .
"Sam, Id like you to meet my friend Jack Dawson. His folks were right kind to my parents when we first came here. They died in a horrible fire five years back and Jack disappeared. He came back married."
"And now Miss. Rose is married to him?" Sam pointed at Jack curiously.
"Yes. Now dont just stand there gaping, congratulate them!" Imogene whacked her husband on the back of the head.
"Uh congratulations," Sam winced rubbing his head.
"Thank you Sam," Rose smiled.
"The same ole Imogene. Beating up on just about anyone," Jack shook his head.
"Do you want some of the same Mister Dawson?" Imogene crossed her arms, playfully glaring at Jack.
"Ah, no. Thats perfectly ok," Jack shook his head.
"Dang Imogene, stop that! That hurts!" Sam growled, disappearing into the kitchen.
"Men are such babies," Imogene shook her head.
"But we love them anyway," Rose grinned, kissing Jacks cheek.
That night Jack and Rose returned to the boarding house, exhausted from their day. They had shared a delicious meal with the Johnsons and Prissy sat everyone around the fireplace and everyone sanged old songs, Come Josephine being one of them. After a warm good bye and a welcome to come back anytime, the Dawsons headed for home.
Rose stopped at the bottom of the stairs
leading up to their room. "Jack
I dont think I
can make it another step."
"Here. Let me fix that," Jack scooped her up in his arms. "Is this better?"
Rose giggled and sighed, leaning her head
against her husbands shoulder. "Much better."
"Good," Jack grinned, carrying her the rest of the way upstairs where they remained for the rest of the night.