Chapter Thirteen

Three week later in New York City...

Molly is strolling through central park when she spots Jack drawing Tommy and Anne horseplaying with each other. He's so deep in concentration that he doesn't hear her approach.
"Hi ya Jack," Molly cheerfully greets him, causing him to practically jump out of his skin.
"Molly! Hi!" He greets, his face growing bright red in embarrassment. "I didn't hear you come up."
"I figured that when I saw you so deep in concentration drawing that young couple," Molly sets next to Jack. "Kind of reminds me of you and Rose."
Jack doesn't say anything. He just continues sketching the scene before him. It's obvious that Rose is the last thing he wants to talk about.
"Have you heard anything from her in the past five months?" Molly asked, examining Jack's blank expression.
"Not even a letter. I guess she's with Cal living the good life," Jack shrugs, trying but failing to hide the pain in his eyes. It's clear that he's still very much in love with her and wants her back.
Molly laughs at the idea of Rose going back to Cal. Rose would rather eat rancid meat than go back to that pompous jerk. "Well actually, I saw her a couple of weeks ago in your hometown, and she wasn't with Mr. Caledon Hockley."
Jack looks up immediately, his eyes full of surprise. Rose in Chippewa Falls? Why would she be there? What was she doing there? How much of his past did she find out?
"Yep. Working as a maid for Mrs. marge Hathaway. Do you know them Jack?"
"Yeah. Mrs. Hathaway and my mother used to be rivals you could say. But I was best friends with her daughter Eliza. Why is Rose working for them? Is she staying with them?"
"I don't think she's staying with them. She didn't go into details with me. But I think she's working there to support herself and the baby."
Now Jack is confused. "Baby? What baby?"
"She's pregnant Jack. Five months along. That's why I'm telling you this. I told her that if she didn't tell you the reason for leaving, that I would. It's not just you two anymore. A innocent baby is involved now."
"Did she tell you the reason for leaving me Molly? The real reason? It can't be because it's a hard life. I mean, it must be very hard now that she's by herself."
"She told me the reason when she first left Jack. I tried to tell you but you ran off before I could. In fact, I tried getting her to talk to you first, but I guess she thought it'd be easier for you if she just left."
"Well then, why did she leave? I mean...I thought she was happy with me."
"Oh she was happy with you Jack. It wasn't because of you that she left. It was because of that landlady you have. That Mrs. Hitcherman."
"Mrs. Hitcherman? What did she have to do with Rose leaving? I mean, I know she scared Rose a little, but not enough to make her want to run away."
"Obviously Mrs. Hitcherman showed her true colors to Rose while you were out working. The old lady had discovered the heart of the ocean necklace that Cal had left in that coat of his. She threatened poor Rose. She told her that if she didn't leave you within five days, she'd find Cal and let him know where the two of you were. You of all people know how scared of Cal Rose was."

"Yeah. He tried to kill us aboard the ship. He chased us right into the heart of Titanic while it was sinking."
"Right. And Rose thought that if Cal ever caught up with you, that he'd do something awful, especially to you Jack. So she thought it better if she just did what the old woman wanted and left. But she didn't want to be too far away from you, so she went to Chippewa Falls...your hometown."
"How did she avoid being asked about her last name?" Jack asked, his mind in shock at this revelation. Rose didn't leave because she was weak, she left because she was scared away by some strange old woman.
"She went by the name Hockley. That way no one would ask about you and Cal would never suspect her to go by his name. So that would throw him off as well."
"Poor Rose. All alone and pregnant. How could I allow this to happen?"
"Oh Jack, it's not your fault."
"But way didn't she tell me about what Mrs. Hitcherman was doing? I would have put that old woman in her place. We would have returned to the hotel if we had to. Why didn't she tell me?"
"She thought you were under enough stress. She said you were feeling guilty about the others deaths. She didn't want to load you down."
"Poor Rose. She should have known she could come to me. No matter what."
Suddenly Anne and Tommy came running up to them. Anne had noticed that Jack stopped sketching them and was talking to the strange upperclass woman. Curious, she decided to go over to see if everything was alright.
"Jack?" Anne asked. "Is everything ok?"
"Fine. Everything's fine. I just got some news on Rose."
"Really?" Anne asked.
Jack nods and gets up. He has decided to pack up his belongings and head back to Chippewa Falls where Rose is waiting for him. But he can't leave without telling the one person who's been his friend for the past five months the one thing she needed to know. "Anne. I have to tell you something. Something important. Your mother was the reason why Rose left. She threatened her and I know why. Your mother doesn't like Tommy does she?"
"...No she doesn't. But what does that have to do with Rose?" Anne asked.
"I'm guessing that your mother had plans for ma and you to get together, but she had to get rid of my wife somehow. And she did just that until Molly here came and cleared things up. I know where Rose is and I'm going to get her back. But I just wanted to warn you to watch out for your mother. She obviously hates Tommy enought too breakup a stranger's marriage. There's no telling what she would do to get her way."
"I should have known," Tommy growls angrily. That was it. Hagatha Hitcherman was not done with trying to get him out of Anne's life.
"I just thought I should let you know what happened. You two have been such good friends to me during all of deserve to know what she was up to," Jack packs up his supplies. "But don't worry. I know what it's like for the mother of the woman you love to despise you. Rose's mother hated me but we're married and would be together right now if it wasn't for Mrs. Hitcherman."
"Thank you Jack. And I'm sorry for all my mother put you two through. Tell Rose that for me," Anne steps closer to Tommy.
"I will. And don't be sorry. It's not your fault," Then Jack remembers the drawing he was working on when Molly approached him. "Oh, I almost forgot. Here's your picture." He hands them the picture of Tommy tickling Anne in the grass.
"Oh Jack, this is beautiful. Thank-you," Anne wipes away the tears that suddenly come to her eyes.
"Come on Jack. We have to get your stuff together and catch that train back to Chippewa Falls. We want to get you back to Rose as soon as possible," Molly taps his shoulder.
"Good-luck you two," Jack waves to his two friends as he follows Molly back to the apartment building.
"Bye Jack!" anne waves after him. She hoped this wasn't the last she sees of Jack Dawson. He's become such a good friend and listener for the past five months. But Tommy was full of relief. He liked Jack and all, but he couldn't get rid of the feeling that Jack was after Anne, which of course was absurd. The guy was on his way to Wisconsin to retrieve his wife. And he had nothing but good wishes for Jack Dawson.