Art and story by Sam Liacos.
Who doesn’t love a good “what if?” movie moment? A neat and tidy end isn’t always ideal for a classic movie. A good flick will leave you with more questions than answers. What happened after Rose DeWitt Bukater let her ship bae, Jack Dawson, freeze to death and vanish beneath the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean?
The cultural behemoth and box office legend that is Titanic, which will celebrate 20 years in December, left viewers with mixed feelings about Rose and how her inability to make space on the floating piece of ship wall led to the demise of a promising relationship. It’s very likely that Titanic fans have kicked around hypotheticals surrounding the aftermath of Rose and Jack’s steamy and all-encompassing love affair. Did she grieve, and if so, for how long? Did she ever reconnect with the posh family that seemingly disowned her after she chose Jack over Cal, her then-fiance? What did her life as a “common girl” look like?
Here, we imagine what happened soon after the promise of a life full of love with Jack slipped from Rose’s fingertips.
En route to New York City, Rose sits quietly in a boat packed of shivering fellow survivors. There will be no one to meet her when she arrives. Her eyes are glued to the hands in her lap; she can’t look at the water. It’s too painful. She keeps repeating Jack’s final words in her head, worried she’ll forget them, worried she’ll forget his voice. Looking around at all of the lost faces, she wonders how her own must look. She’s disoriented and anxious, and wanders into the city towards the closest café she can find.
She steps into a family-owned spot, ran by the Harrington’s. As soon as Rose walks in, she’s greeted by Mrs. Clara Harrington. Rose realizes how awful she must look, but they chat for a bit. Clara offers her a blanket and hot cup of tea. Clara’s son, Frank, walks in from the back. When he asks her where she lives, she explains solemnly that she had been living on the Titanic, and no longer has a home. He offers that she stays with them. In that moment, she makes a promise to herself that she will never speak of her love, Jack Dawson.