Chapter Twelve

The freezing water laps against the board. Her whole body is numb. The only thing she could concentrate on was his cold hand gripping hers. It was strange, they weren't even trembling anymore. All they now can do was wait to die. Suddenly a light passes her face. She turns to see the returning lifeboat moving among the lifeless bodies. They were saved.
"Jack," She shakes his hand. "there's a boat." She does this repeatedly, but gets no response from Jack. A heart-wrenching sob escapes her as she realizes that he's dead. She was never going to look into his beautiful blue eyes again. As she disconnects her frozen hands from his, she sobs as he disappears into the dark sea. "I'll never let go Jack. I'll never let go."
"I'll never let go," Rose says as she bolts upright in her bed, now wide awake. Relief runs through her as she realized it was just a dream. The North Atlantic didn't claim Jack. He was alive and well in New York, and she was here in Chippewa Falls with out him.
"Rose? Are you alright?" Eliza asked, sitting at the edge of the bed. "mother sent me to fetch you since you're late to work, and I find you in bed mummbling something about not letting go. Are you ok?"
"Oh no," Rose groaned. It's been a week since she began working at the Hathaway's and she's still having trouble adjusting. "I can't believe I'm late. Don't worry. I'll be ready in a second."

"I'm so sorry Eliza. I know your mother must be furious with me right now. But I'll make it up to you. I promise."
Suddenly Rose is struck with a case of dizziness and an urge to vomit. What was wrong with her? This has been happening more and more lately in the past three days. "I'll be right there," She manages to mumble.
"Rose!" Eliza screams as Rose fails to the floor in a dead faint.
Rose awakens to Eliza and a strange man dressed in a white coat hovering above her.
"What's going on?" Rose asked, trying to set up, but lays back down when another wave of nausea comes over her.
"You fainted," Eliza explained, sympathy clear in her blue eyes.
"Don't worry. You'll be fine."
"I'm sorry about that today miss," the man smiles encouragingly. "It's best that you take today off. In your condition, it's best that you get plenty of rest."
"My condition? What do you mean my condition?" Rose is immediately worried. The doctor's on the Carpathia said she was in perfect health. What could have changed in such a short period of time?
"Why Mrs, you're with child. In about nine months you're going to be a mother. I'm sure the father will be thrilled," the doctor grins, proud to be the one to give this happy news.
Rose is in shock. Pregnant? How could she be pregnant and without Jack here to take care of her. This couldn't be happening. "You must be mistaken. I can't be pregnant." Rose stammers, her face is now a deathly pale.
"No mistake about it. You're pregnant. I suggest you tell your husband right away so you two can start making arrangements," the doctor said. "Now if you don't mind I have some more house calls to make. Rose, I check up on you again next week to see how you're coming along. Good-bye ladies." the doctor tips his hat before leaving.
"Well....congratulations Rose. A baby is a wonderful thing," Eliza smiles, waiting to see happiness finally light up Rose's eyes.
"I'm going to have a baby," Rose silently replies, her face is now blank of emotion, but her mind was reeling. What was she going to do? Should she go back to New York and tell Jack? Write him and tell him about the baby? Go back home to mother? Or stay here in Chippewa Falls and hope that Jack will show up here some day? What was she going to do?
"Rose...are you ok?" Eliza asked, taking a close look at her friend.
"What am I going to do? I can't believe this is happening," Rose bites her lip.
"Is the man that you left behind the father?"
Rose just nods, still staring off into space. "What am I going to do?"
"Tell him of course. I mean, this is his child too. He deserves to know that he's going to be a father."
"But if I go back to New York...that woman may go through with her threat and something may happen to both him and the baby. I can't let that happen."
"Well then stay here and we'll think of something. But for now, I'll tell my mother that you're not feeling well and will report tomorrow. You need your rest right now," Eliza heads for the door. "Don't worry about a thing Rose. You and this baby will be fine. Maybe we'll find a way to let the father know without putting anyone in any kind of danger."
"Thank-you Eliza. I can't tell you how much all you've done means to me," Rose smiles shyly.
"Don't mention it. Hey wait a minute. Have you ever thought of writing him a letter? Tell him about the baby that way?"
"I have thought about it, but that old woman may read it and never give it to him. Then all would have been for nothing," Rose sighed mournfully. "Eliza...I don't know what I'm going to do."
"Give it time Rose. We'll think of something. I promise."

Five months later...
Eliza's mother is throwing her an extravagant engagement party. Everyone of high society are invited, including Molly Brown, a distant cousin of the Conways who lives in the next town over.
"Molly," Eliza's mother greets her with open arms. "I'm so glad you could come. A party just isn't the same without you."
"Thank-you for inviting me. It's been a while since I've been to a party...haven't had a reason to since the sinking of that ship."
"Oh yes, the Titanic. What a tragedy that was. All those people...the poor Astors. How's Madeline?"
"As well as a young mother could be doing without her husband. Poor dear. At least J.J's sons are taking care of her."
"At least," Mrs. Hathaway nods in agreement. "And the Dewitt's Ruth? After the tragic loss of her daughter..I bet she was devastated."
"Not as devastated as being kicked out on the streets by that nasty Nathan Hockley. The poor thing. I offered to my house to her, but she refused. She said maybe she deserved to work as a seamstress after the horrible way she treated Rose."
"Oh dear," Mrs. Hathaway shakes her head. "How about a cocktail? Reno's the best at making martini's."
"Wouldn't mind if I do," Molly smiles, looking over Mrs. Hathaway's shoulder to gasp in surprise. There, in a maid's uniform, her pregnancy now in plain view was Rose Dewitt Bukater Dawson. She was obviously the Hathaway's maid.
"I know. What a disgrace. If it wasn't for Eliza's pleading, I would have fired her when I found out."
"I know that girl," Molly ignores the haughty tone of Mrs. Hathaway's voice. "You don't mind if I have a word with her do you?"
"Suit yourself. It's not like she's much help. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she was a debutante that had never cleaned a dirty dish in her life."
"You don't know how close to the truth you are," Molly chuckled to herself, heading up to Rose. "Rose Dawson, what are you doing here and in your condition?"
Rose whirls around in surprise at hearing the name Dawson and smiles in relief to see Molly. "Molly, I'm so glad to see you," Rose hugs the older woman tightly.
"I'm glad to see you too darlin," Molly hugs Rose back even tighter. "But I'm surprised. Especially seeing what condition you're in. Please tell me that you went back to Jack and he's somewhere around this town with you. The last time I saw that boy was five months ago, and he was devastated. By the look on your face I can tell you two are still apart."
"Oh Molly...I couldn't tell him. I just couldn't."
"So writing him a letter with a flimsy excuse was better? Rose, Jack loves you. He would have understood. He would have taken care of that old woman once and for all."
"And now that there's a baby on the way...I have to insist that you go back to Jack and tell him what happened. That baby deserves both of it's parents in it's life. Not just one."
"Molly, I can't. I can't go back to Jack. She'll get mad and tell Cal where we are and he'll do something bad to Jack and the baby. I know he would," Rose now has hot tears in her eyes. Molly just doesn't understand. Rose wanted to be back with Jack more than anything in the world. But fear of Hagatha Hitcherman's actions if she did return frightened her. She even has nightmares about it.
"Rose...I don't believe in ultimatums. I think they make things even worse. But I have no choice here. I'm heading back to New York on business next week. Now I'm going to check in on Jack and see how he's coming along. If it turns out that he hasn't heard anything from you...then I'll have no choice but to tell him myself about not only the baby, but about that woman blackmailing you as well."
"Molly no. Please, I'm begging you not to tell Jack. He's probably gone on with his life. It's better that I'm out of it."
"Rose honey, he's not better off. He loves you. He'll understand everything. Now I'm counting on you to tell him. But if you don't I will. One way or another, Jack will find out about everything. Now I'll let you get back to work. You take care of that baby."
Rose just nods, sniffing back the tears that were threatening to spill out of her eyes as she watched Molly return to the party. There was nothing she could do. She knew that Jack will know what happened soon, and then it'll be time for reckoning. Then she'll know what she was afraid to find out for the past five months, rather Jack still loved her or not.
"Rose? Are you ok?" Eliza comes up behind her, her brow etched in concern. She saw Molly Brown talking to Rose and became concerned when she spotted the tears in Rose's eyes. "What did she say to you?'
"I'm fine. I had asked her about the Titanic and I was crying because of all those people dying," Rose lied. She didn't want Eliza to get in the middle of her problems. She was already deep enough. "Don't worry. I'll be fine."
"Ok. But if you need anything, just tell me. I'll be right over there with Amanda, talking about the bridesmaid gowns. I'm going to see if I can get a maternity gown made for you."
"I want you to be a bridesmaid Rose. I mean, you're one of my best friends. It's only right that you're in the wedding too."
"Oh Eliza...I don't know what to say...I'll be honored to be a bridesmaid in your wedding." Rose smiled, hugging Eliza.
"I knew that would make you happy. And I have another surprise for you. I talked to Lee and he said that you could be my own personal maid, meaning since I'll be a lot richer them I am now, I can pay your more. Which means, you're going to get a raise."
"Oh don't have to do that."
"I want to. Besides, you're going to need the extra money to support that baby."
"Thank you Eliza," Rose hsut her friend. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Now no more crying. For now on I want to see a smile on your face," Eliza replies.
Rose just smiles and hugs her friend tightly. She feels thankful to have found such a good friend as Eliza. She hopes nothing could come between them.