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This story doesn't involve the normal characters we know. This is a story of two little boys and their friendship, how strong it was even when facing death.
Famous Last Words
April 10th, 1912
It was the early morning. The sun had painted the sky a beautiful shade of blue. Seagulls twisted swiftly through the air, occasionally swooping down to skim over the sea’s surface. Others were on the dock, hounding unsuspecting people for food. Fog was heavy in the air. A cool sea breeze kissed the land. There were copious amounts of people standing on the harbor, chatting excitedly. They were all carrying their luggage; some had children in hand as well.
In the middle of all this was a wealthy lady, scolding her luggage boy for dropping her suitcase. The woman’s timid son stood nearby. He appeared to be no older than eleven. Both he and his mother were wearing clothing of the same shade of blue. The mother wore a lacy dress that cascaded to her ankles. Her brown boots clicked with every step she took.
Suddenly, the woman let out a startled cry as the wind blew her hat off of her head. She swirled around, her skirts following her, as she attempted to reach it.
At that moment, the hat landed at the feet of a boy. The boy’s name was Ray Morgan.
Ray Morgan was almost too tall for his age, a lanky ten year old boy. He had unruly shaggy brown hair, fair skin, and warm baby blue eyes. His face was peppered with freckles and his smile was sweet.
He had just arrived in the Southampton Harbor with his mother and father, Mary and Lewis Morgan. At the moment Ray was happy. He was one of the few lucky families that could afford to reserve rooms on the Titanic. It was the ship’s first voyage, a round trip from England to New York.
Ray looked down at his feet. His new boat shoes were already scuffed around the edges. Ray saw the delicate wide-brimmed hat at his feet. It clashed conspicuously with the grimy wooden floor in the harbor. He picked it up curiously.
“Excuse me,” a thickly accented voice said, “that’s my mother’s hat.”
Ray looked up from the hat and saw a boy, probably about his age. He was of average height and had dark hair that curled neatly right below his ears. He had even darker eyes and pale skin. His face had freckles splattered across it. He was wearing a plain, freshly ironed white shirt under a navy jacket over brown trousers with matching boots. A hat was pulled snugly over his head.
“Oh…here,” Ray said as he slowly handed the hat over.
“Thank you,” the boy said politely as he took the hat.
“Oi, what’s your name?” Ray asked.
“Hector. Hector Beauregard,” the boy said proudly, “You?”
“Raymond Morgan, but all my friends call me Ray.” Hector smiled. Just then a shrill voice cut through the atmosphere.
“Hector! Hector darling, where are you?”
“Here, mother!” Hector called, turning around attempting to locate his mother, “I’ve got to go,” he said, turning back to Ray, “Maybe we’ll see each other again, eh?”
“Yeah,” said Ray. As Hector ran back to his mother, lacy hat in hand, Ray wandered back to his own parents.
“Mother, when do we board?” he asked, tugging on the hem of his mother’s dress.
“Very soon, Ray,” she said, as she knelt down to the boy, making herself eye-level with him. “Listen to me Raymond, during this trip you mustn’t ever get separated from us, ever. Do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am!” Ray said cheerfully.
“Good boy,” his mother said as she stood up. She brushed down her skirts, and then patted Ray on the head.
“Let’s make this a trip to remember!” Ray’s father said.
April 12th, 1912
Ray loved the Titanic. Its steel beauty never ceased to amaze him. He had never seen anything more beautiful in his life. The ceilings were hundreds of feet above his head, crystal chandeliers gently swaying with the movement of the ship. The walls were painted brightly, with happy colors.
All the people onboard were friendly and content. It was Ray’s second day on board and he loved it! So far his parents had taken him to a few shows. They had also gone to the library for a few hours.
Ray and his family had run into the Hectors quite often while on the Titanic. They had even had dinner with each other the night before at a quiet little café towards the bow of the boat. It was painted all pastel colors and had dainty little chairs.
The café was outdoors and had a wonderful view of the sea. The sky was always blue and the water was calm. The sun smiled down upon them. While their parents chatted Hector and Ray stood by the deck and talked. It turned out they had a lot in common. They both had a love of reading and enjoyed comics. They boys talked until their parents came and took them away.
April 14th, 1912
Ever since the day at the café, Hector and Ray were inseparable. They would go down to the library and talk for hours. They’d read too. The library was beautiful. It had high ceilings and rows of bookshelves that seemed to go on forever. The walls were a plain shade of green, but the floor was covered with burgundy carpet.
The boys’ favorite spot was by one of the few windows in the library. After a few hours their parents would go down and collect them. The parents really enjoyed how happy their sons were. This brought the families together as well. The Beauregards were a stingy pair. At first they weren’t very open to the friendship, but after a while they warmed up. They had been spending many evenings dining at the same place. Over the few days they found out they lived only towns from each other. They promised to get together sometime after the trip.
April 15th, 1912
It was an uneventful day. The only thing the Morgans had planned was a fancy dinner in the ships restaurant. Until then they mostly stayed in their room. When the clock read 4:45, the Morgans got ready for dinner and made their way down to the restaurant. They were all dressed in their best clothes. Once inside they were seated and ordered their meal.
The restaurant was the finest the Titanic had to offer. It had a high rounded ceiling with chestnut beams supporting it. The wallpaper was red with intricate gold designs. All the tables were round with snow white tablecloths on them. Each table was adorned with a single red rose in a vase. The furniture was made of the finest materials and the staff was handpicked. The guests were treated like royalty.
Ray took in every detail and savored every moment.
That’s when it happened.
Suddenly the ship tilted. Everything and everyone was thrown against one side of the ship, the tables in the restaurant crushing some unfortunate passengers as they went. Lights blew out; plates and glass cups could be heard shattering, as could the splintering of wood. The heavy crystal chandeliers rocked dangerously. Ray’s parents held on to him protectively as they were thrown against the wall.
In a matter of minutes the ship balanced again. People hesitantly stood up. Some appeared seriously wounded, but most were unharmed. Ray and his parents stumbled up the marble stairs along with other frightened people. As they hurried to the upper levels, someone shoved Ray hard from behind. His grip on his mother’s hand loosened.
Eventually they broke contact all-together. As Ray was swept in the opposite direction as his mother, water started pouring in the windows. The sound of the glass breaking under the pressure was as frightening as the turmoil itself.
Ray’s mother screamed frantically for him, but Ray was already too far away. Her voice was drowned in the screams and rush of water. As Ray was finally freed from the crowd out on the deck, a lifejacket was shoved into his arms by a woman.
“Take this, I don’t want it.”
Before Ray could reply, she was gone.
Ray wandered around, searching frantically for his parents or Hector. The whole time he was slipping and sliding on the wet deck, tables and umbrellas flying past him as he went. Some people sped past Ray and threw themselves off the deck. It was then, by pure luck, that he found Hector in the crowd. It seemed that he too had lost his parents in the fray.
“HECTOR!” Ray screamed running over to him, tripping multiple times and knocking down men and women in the process.
Hector turned around upon hearing his name. Once he spotted Ray he ran to him. Once they found each other they embraced briefly, the screams of the other passengers filling the night.
“We need to get to the upper levels!” Ray screamed.
They ran. They ran up every flight of stairs they encountered with and didn’t stop. Water cascaded down on the lower levels, sweeping people away mercilessly. Both boys were freezing, and the water was blinding them, but still they kept running. As they passed each level they encountered less and less people.
As the ice cold water crashed over the highest level of the deck, Hector looked over at Ray. They knew their time was running out. They anxiously looked around as the frantic screams of the other passengers pierced through the night. Their parents were nowhere to be found. The boys were showered from head to toe in water, cold, scared, and alone. Once they reached a safe spot they collapsed on the wooden floor. Ray grabbed a hold of the slippery metal banister. Hector proceeded to spit out some sea water.
“Ray, I know I haven’t known you long, but you’re my best friend,” Hector said. Despite his teeth chattering uncontrollably, he had the most serious look he could muster on his face.
“Same Hec,” Ray said as he shook his head, water dripping from his hair into his face.
“I dunno how much longer we’ll survive this, or where we’ll go after death, but I’m glad I get to go there with you,” Hector said, “I dunno know if you know this, but you were the first kid I’ve met that ever bothered talked to me.”
“Really?!” Ray said in disbelief.
“Yeah,” Hector admitted.
Just then the ship was violently thrown to the left. Hector and Ray slid toward the opposite rails. Both boys clung on to them for dear life, battling the waves and debris. Their little hands kept slipping on the wet metal. Next to them a poor man was thrown to his doom as he fell headfirst into the water.
“Do you believe in God?” Ray suddenly asked Hector.
“Well, why would He do this? Condemning all these people to death?”
“That’s pretty deep mate, don’t ya think?” Hector said to Ray, letting out a hoarse laugh.
Ray just stared at him, “Do you think we’ll go to heaven?”
“Of course,” Hector said.
They were silent; the only sound was that of the waves and screams. For a moment it was almost peaceful. The boys were lulled by the rocking of the boat. Then Ray crawled over to Hector and hugged him. He hugged him with all the strength his little body had left in it.
“I wouldn’t have this any other way,” Ray said.
“Same,” said Hector.
As the water finally approached the upper levels, the two boys looked at each other. They gave each other genuine smiles of friendship.
“See you on the other side, mate,” Ray said.
April 16th, 1912
News reporter: “It was late yesterday evening, April 15th that the Titanic, a brand new luxury liner, struck an iceberg and sank on its first voyage. The ship departed on April 10th from Southampton, England en route to New York.
Out of the 1,324 passengers onboard, only approximately 706 passengers survived. The lifeboats onboard could only hold up to 1,178 people. Shortly after the crash, the Titanic sank and now resides at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean along with its passengers. The crash was a tragedy worldwide and we offer condolences to all the families that have lost a friend or family member.”
“You're here, there's nothing I fear and I know that my heart will go on. We'll stay forever this way. You are safe in my heart and my heart will go on and on.” – My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion