Gwen and Walt are sitting alone, enjoying a glass of wine and the riches that surround them. This treatment was nothing new to either of them. They were both born into wealth. Walt’s father was a business man and from the money he idly threw around, a very good one indeed. Gwen’s father was born into money. His father was born into money, and his father was as well. It was destiny. They both never knew what it meant to be poor, nor have they ever wished it.
The two talk about the ship. They gawk and gasp at every little thing that was in the room. Walking or more like stumbling by them is Debbie and her newly made friend, Mr. Bayard. Doug Bayard is just as inebriated as Debbie. Gwen looks at Walt and smiles, cringing in the process. Gwen sets her drink down and smiles at Debbie as she stands inches from the table.
Ms. Krepts. I see you found the bar with no problem.
Debbie nods. She doesn’t take offense to the blatantly obvious remark. She puts her hand on Mr. Bayard shoulder.
Oh, how rude of me. This is my friend, Mr. Bayard. He was just about to show me the bridge of the ship. You two want to the grand tour?
Debbie tosses her hands in the air, and puts a strong emphasis on the word, “grand“. It turns out, Mr. Bayard, is quite well known around the ship and very well known with the Captain. Mr. Bayard is a priceless art dealer. He points to a painting that hangs above the bar.
You see that one right there? It might be worth less than those in third class but the story behind the painting make it priceless. Folks paid pretty good money to get it on board.
Gwen asks, “Then why did you sell it?”
It’s cursed. Strange things happen when you’re around this painting. They say those that have the painting in their possession will meet death. But that’s just a silly story. I had the painting for 2 years and I’m still alive. But I didn’t sell it cause of the curse. It’s all about the money.
Gwen and the others look at each other. Walt didn’t say anything to Gwen but just from the look her gave her, the uneasy feeling that had just swept over her was gone. Debbie nudges Doug who was still deep into the painting. He remembers instantly about the tour of the bridge. Walt steps aside and waves him forward, letting him lead the way. As the four leave, Debbie grabs a wine bottle off of a waiter’s tray. She takes a quick swig before turning around. She waves the bottle in the air and thanks him.
Everything appears fine above deck but to the people in the third class section, they soon will know what fear and death really means. The third class passengers are cramped into tiny rooms. They don’t look much like rooms. You can probably consider them janitor closets. The couple from earlier, Ronnie and Marion, are alone in their room. She is busy unpacking what little belongings they have. Ronnie is still passed out on the bed. He is tired, weak, almost near death. Marion would be lost without him. He is the bread winner of the family. They don’t have kids but he always promises her that one day they will. This trip is going to change everything for them. He is sure that before it is all over, they will be richer. Not with money but with the experience and maybe it’ll be the night they conceive a child together. Marion sits on the edge of the bed and holds his hand in hers. Ronnie coughs and sits up. She taps his hand and let’s him know that everything will be okay.
I’ll be right back, Ronnie. Let me see if I can find us a doctor. You’ll be up and enjoying this trip in no time.
Marion leaves the room. She leans against the door for a bit. Marion cries. She knows that he wasn’t going to live much longer. She can’t tell him that. He needs some sort of assurance that everything is going to be okay. She wipes the tears from her eyes and walks away from her cabin. Marion takes to the stairs but before going up, she takes one last look towards her room. She whispers an, “I love you” and proceeds to make her way to the upper deck to find a doctor.