Chapter Eleven

Jack sits outside, sketching the apartment building that he's been living for the past week. It's hard to believe that he had first come here with a wife and a dream for the future. Now everything's gone. His wife and his dreams for the future. Rose was his future.
"Good morning Mr. Dawson," a friendly female voice asked from behind him. Jack turns around to face the daughter of his landlady. "I see you're a fine artist."
"It turns out that Mr. Dawson is a fine artist. He was kind enough to show me some of his work today," Jack hears Rose's voice at that first class dinner aboard Titanic. It was amazing how one phrase can bring back a memory like that. It was as if she had said it just now.
"I guess I do okay," Jack shrugs, trying to rebury the memory back into the recesses of his mind. He's determined now. He's not going to think of Rose today. Thinking of her wasn't going to bring her back to him.
"I've noticed that you've been at this for hours now. I was just wondering if you wanted to take a break. My mother makes the best oatmean cookies on this side of the Atlantic," Anne offers.
At first Jack just looks at her like she's crazy. Why would she think he liked oatmeal cookies? Or anything else for that matter? Well, he might as well be polite and take the girl up on her offer.
"Sure. Just lead the way," Jack stands up from his work, ready to follow Anne inside the apartment and into her mother's kitchen.
"Sould we be expecting you mother back anytime soon?" Jack feels a shiver go up his spine as he realized that was the exact question he had asked Rose about Cal before he drew her. God he wished he kept that picture. It may have been the only thing he had left of his relationship with Rose.
"No. She went to play morning bingo with Mrs. Gosalez," Anne answers, not noticing Jack's nervousness. "Would you like some milk with those cookies?"
"No thank you. That won't be necessary," Jack accepts the cookie and takes a seat at the kitchen table.
"So Jack...Mother tells me you're new here in town."
"I guess you can say that, even though I've been to New York a couple of times before. It really is a nice city, just takes a little getting used to though."
"Do you like music Jack?" Anne suddenly asks, her eyes light up with a certain hope.
"All depends on what type of music it is. IF it's upbeat and got a fast tempo, I love it. A slow song has to be something special for me to listen to it," Jack said. Like the hymn the band played while Titanic sank, Jack suddenly thinks. Now why did he bring that up? Why can't he seem to put Titanic in the past where it belonged? Maybe because it was the only way he could hold on to Rose. Putting Titanic in the past meant putting his relationship with Rose in the past and he wasn't willing to do that just yet. He had to at least try to find get an explanation...better than the one in the letter out of her.
"I was asking because there's this band that will be playing in one of the bars a couple of blocks from here and mother won't let me go by I was wondering...would you like to escort me to the concert...tonight?" Anne asked nervously, avoiding Jack's eyes.
"You mean like a date?"
Anne's eyes grew wide in shock at Jack's suggestion. "Oh no! Nothing like a date. It'd be just two friends going somewhere together. That's all."
"Oh," Jack smiles in embarrassment. "Well then, sure. I'd like to go. Maybe it will take my mind off my problems for a while."
Anne claps in excitement. "Great! You can pick me up at seven! Believe me Jack, this will be so fun."

Seven o'clock had arrived and Jack is standing outside the Hitcherman door when Mrs. Hitcherman opens without Jack even knocking.
"Come in Jack. Make yourself at home. Anne will be ready in a minute," The old woman smiles with pleasure. "So tell me, what do you and my daughter have planned tonight?"
"A concert and maybe dinner," Jack answers, sweeping away the feeling that he was somehow betraying Rose. This wasn't a date. It was just two friends getting together. It would be no different if he was going to this concert with Fabrizio and Tommy. Jack inwardly winced at the thought of his two friends who had parished along with Titanic. He wondered what they would think of him escorting this girl to a concert when he was married to Rose.
"Messing up big time Jack. A classy lass like Rose deserves better treatment than this," he can hear Tommy's irish accent full of disappointment.
Stop it Jack. Stop thinking about them, he orders himself. He was going to have a good time tonight, even if he had to get drunk to do so.
"Ready Jack?" Anne appears in the living room wearing a shimmering white gown and her hair tied back. Her dress reminded him of the dress Rose had worn to the party down in steerage, except that dress had been a lot fancier and it was red and black.
"You look beautiful Anne," her mother smiles in delight. "Doesn't she look smashing Jack?"
Jack just smiles and nods, still lost in his memories of Rose aboard Titanic.
"Come on Jack," Anne grabs his arm and heads for the door. "We'll want to get there before it starts so we can get good seats."
"By the way Anne! What type of concert is this?" Mrs. Hitcherman arches her eyebrows in suspicion.
"Classical," Anne calls, pulling Jack out the door and practically runs around the corner.
"Classical?" Jack asked, having a feeling that Anne was trying to keep something from her mother. "Why do I have a feeling that it's not the concert that you want to see?"
"Don't be silly Jack. Of course I want to see the concert. In fact, I've been waiting for two weeks to go to this concert," Anne nervously laughs as they exit the apartment building and begins walking down the sidewalk.
"You mean to tell me that you've been waiting two weeks to go see a classical music concert?"
"...No. That's what I'm telling my mother. I'm telling you I've been waiting two weeks go see a modern concert."

"Anne...I don't understand. Why do you want your mother to think we're going to a concert about classical music?"
"She doesn't like today's music. She says it fills young people's heads with silly daydreams when it should ready them for life," Anne looks away from Jack's soulful glance. Those beautiful blue eyes seemed to be reading her very heart. Like they could read the real reason she wanted her mother to think that they were going to a classical concert. But he didn't push the subject. He just nodded like he agreed with her and walked with her in a deep silence, his mind a thousand miles away. A couple of more minutes, they were at the diner club where the concert was being held.
"We're here," Anne gently touches his arm. "Come on, we can get a seat up front."
They took the first table, the only table with a rose in the vase.
"This is nice," Anne happily sighs, staring up at the empty stage, a dreamy expression on her face.
"It's okay," Jack shrugged, looking around as more customers begin to arrive. How many people were going to be here? Jack couldn't help but hope that it wasn't a big crowd. Crowds of people still remind him of how thick the crowd was on Titanic when he and Rose were trying to get to safety.
"Jack what's wrong?" Anne asks in concern. Jack has been off somewhere else than with her. Not that it really mattered. She was here for one person only, and that person wasn't Jack. It was the handsome musician that her mother had forbidden her to see. Jack was her unwitting decoy. Her mother would never suspect that she came to see Tommy Reynolds sing their song if she was on a "date" with Jack Dawson, the handsome stranger who had just moved in. But Jack was nice and he was a friend. One thing she didn't like was for her friend to be upset. "Jack?"
"I'm fine Anne. Don't worry," Jack forces a smile, his eyes back in the present. "So tell me. Who are we here to see?"
Before Anne could answer, the love of her life appeared on the stage. For one second their eyes met and then he went into a rendition of Come Josephine in my Flying Machine. Was it Anne's imagination or did she see a hint of jealousy in his eyes when he saw her with Jack.
Anne gasps in surprise when she looks over at Jack. His face has gone deathly pale, his mouth was dropped open in shock and his eyes were once again far away. She's about to get up and go for a doctor when she heard him whisper a name. "Rose."
Lightly touching his hand, she asks, "Jack...are you okay?"
"That's our song," Jack answered, his voice also sounding far away.
"Jack?" Anne is getting worried. It was like Anne wasn't even there.
To Jack, it was like being at the bow of Titanic again, teaching Rose how to her that first real kiss. Finally the song ends, and Jack snaps out of the daydream. He was no longer on the Titanic with Rose. He was back in the bar with Anne, listening to the singer go into another song.
"Are you okay? You had me worried," Anne questions, concern shining in her eyes.
"I'm fine. It was just that can say that it has special meaning for me," Jack straightens up his chair. "I'm sorry Anne. I guess I'm not a very good escort. My mind keeps on wondering."
"It's that girl isn't it? The rich girl who left you isn't it?" Anne questions. "Mother told me about her. You were with her just now weren't you?"
Jack doesn't answer. He just stares at his hands. "I can't get her out of my mind. I see and hear her everywhere I go."
"I'm sorry Jack...I wish I could bring her back for you," Anne squeezed his hand in sympathy. She knew all too well what it was like to be separated from the one you love.
"That's okay Anne. Besides, no one can bring Rose back but her. And by the look of things she won't be coming back to me anytime soon. Listen, let's forget about my problems and enjoy the rest of this concert. I promise, no more moping from me," Jack forces a smile.
Anne just nods and turns her attention back to the concert just in time for Tommy to begin singing the song he had written just for her. It was the most beautiful song she ever heard.
After the Concert is over, Jack and Anne are about to get up when Tommy comes up behind Anne and twirls her into the air.
"Tommy no! Stop! Put me down!" Anne squeals in delight.
"I didn't think you'd be able to make it," Tommy laughs, sitting Anne back down. "How did you get her to let you come? I know it couldn't be because of me. She hates my guts."
"I told her we were going to a classical concert," Anne kisses him. Then she remembered Jack. What must he be thinking of her right now?
Tommy feels a pang of jealousy as he notices the handsome man who had escorted Anne to the concert. He hates the fact that he wasn't aloud near Anne, yet this stranger could be next to her anytime he wanted.
"Tommy, let me introduce Jack Dawson. He's mother's new tenant I met last night. He agreed to come with me. Even though he had no idea it was to meet you," Anne swallows hard, not knowing what either man's reaction will be. But to her relief. Jack just offers his hand.
"Nice to meet ya," Jack smiles.
"Same here," Tommy accepts t he offer. "you don't mind me interrupting here do you?"
"Not at all," Jack shrugs. "I'll just wait outside. Whenever you're ready will be fine." Jack heads for the exit. Jack takes one last look over at the happy couple. He can remember when he and Rose were that happy. How he wished that they were back together and that happy agian. Sadly sighing, he goes outside and wait for Anne to get through with her date and thinks of the good times he had shared with Rose for the short time they were together.