STARBOARD SIDE PROMENADE,
11th of April 1912.
I must have been sound asleep as Jane tried to wake me up by touching my shoulder and was calling my name in a way so calm, I thought I was dreaming. Still unwilling to get out from bed, I suddenly remembered I might be getting Aunt Celeste’s message that instant. Jane and I almost hit each other’s head when I sat up all so sudden. You would not believe how invigorated I was to receive her reply, but how displeased I was to read what she had written:
DON’T GO NEAR THE STEERAGE. IF THEY FOUND OUT WHO YOU ARE, YOU MIGHT BE IN DANGER. I’M JUST CONCERNED.
Oh, father. Auntie did not even mind about the price at all. It is so typical of her to say such a thing. She is a Duchess after all. So, I think I know why she would say that; I just don’t quite understand.
I could not express how furious I was at myself for mentioning what had happened last night. I know she is just looking out for me, and she means well, but I suppose I should obey her. But if I do, I will not see what is beyond the Cabin class.
I heard it is not just ordinary Steerage, and you know me so well, I got your strong, desire for adventure. So, this is what I told her:
I COULD FEEL IT IN MY BONES. I CAN TRUST MR SANDERS. PLEASE DO NOT WORRY.
I got your instinct, and I know I can trust Mr Sanders. Besides, Henri is here. So, there is nothing to worry about, but I believe she forgot about that.
After Jane helped me get dressed, she accompanied me to the purser’s office to deliver my message. As we left the office, we heard fainted strains of string music. Curious and wanting to hear more, I pulled Jane’s hand, and we followed where the melody was coming from.
I believe the musicians were parading in the hallways because it was drifting away near the second-class library. I know it was not lady-like, but I ran pulling Jane with me and, I swear I heard her laugh:
‘Sierra, where on earth are you taking me!?’ she said with a bright, infectious laugh. Whenever it was just the two of us or, she only calls me by my name.
‘Oh, hush now, just follow me!’ I laughed back, ‘and faster, will you?!’
I let go of her arm and, we ran as fast as we could towards the music.
When Jane realized where I was off to, she gasped. ‘Oh! We’re going to the musicians!’ she said excitedly, ‘But what about your breakfast?!’
I laughed it off. Adrenaline was enough to keep me going. We bumped into some snob passengers eyeing us with odd looks, screaming with disapproval but, we did not care. I believed I even saw Ms Abram as we made haste to the ascending music. I looked back at Jane, who was clearly having fun. I forgot how to be this carefree since, well, when you left.
I focused on the music, and I could hear it getting louder. Oh, the sweet sound of live music, you know how much I love it, despite being a girl born with a silver spoon in her mouth because people in our class ignored the beautiful harmony. But all the rush and laughter stopped when I saw Jane’s eyes widened, and kind of shouted ‘Brace for impact, Sierra!’
I knocked onto something solid and warm. I fell, bum first on the floor.
I heard Jane cried out, ‘Oh, Lady Sierra, are you alright!?’
In front of anyone, she calls me with my title. She rushed and helped me get up, and so did the man who knocked me over. The man offered his hand and, I took it as I laughed.
‘Yes, yes, I am alright, I’m fine. I’m fine!’ I said as I got up, dusting off my dress.
Him still holding my hand, I heard the man said, ‘It’s sure music to my ears hearing your laugh once again, Miss Charmonte.’
I looked up, flabbergasted, ‘Oh, Mr Sanders!’ I chuckled. ‘Why, am I not surprised?’
He smiled and mumbled, ‘You’re a terrible liar, Miss.’
Raising my eyebrow and rolling my eyes, I pulled my hand back and gave him a little smirk. ‘Fancy meeting you here,’ and I looked at the walls, Deck C, ‘Avoiding work, I presume?’
He touched his chest and, groaned as if shot. ‘Got me! She got me!’
Laughing at him, quietly, I shook my head.
‘Lady Sierra,’ Jane laid a hand on my arm, I turned around. ‘I hate to interrupt,’ and then she eyed Mr Sanders meaningfully, giggling, and back to me saying, ‘but we must return, Mr Colinsfirth is waiting at the promenade, for your breakfast, Miss.’
Mr Sanders stood straight, remembering his place or duty, and bowed once at Jane and, dramatically, at me. ‘I was actually on my way to your suite, Miss Charmonte, to inform you about a dinner party later with Mr Andrews. He wants to introduce you formally to some of his friends.’
I might have looked confused because he added:
‘He would want to, personally, invite you, but, at this moment, he is in a meeting with Mr Smith, the captain, and Mr Ismay.’
I nodded. ‘I see.’ Looking up at his enticing, intriguing eyes, I beamed and said, ‘Please tell Mr Andrews that I, surely, will be there.’
He was aware that Jane’s prying eyes were at us. I knew he wanted to say something more, perhaps, about travelling between classes today. But instead, he bowed at us again and then walked on to the opposite direction.
I heard Jane groaned when he was gone. Not in pain, but it was something else. I suppose she was smitten. I shook my head, giggling. I mean, Mr Sanders is like a statue, sculpted by the gods.
‘Oh, come on, Sierra, don’t you dare deny his rugged good looks!’ exclaimed Jane.
My eyes followed where Mr Sanders turned and told Jane, ‘I am not saying anything.’
Jane nudged and teased me. ‘I think he liked what he saw,’ and then she caressed her chin. ‘Hmmm, I wonder how many girls he had left broken and heartless?’
As Jane told me stories of her discoveries and led me to her stateroom, I internally shake myself from the feeling of the possibility that I might see Mr Alec Sanders sooner or later. And I blame him for I have forgotten about music because of seeing him. Shame, I was really looking forward to watching the string musicians in action.