Good evening, my name is Sebastian Jones. At the moment I work as a steward for the Richards family. In the past I have worked for many different families in both England and France. In fact, I even used to be head butler for the infamous and extremely wealthy family called the ‘Desjardins’.
I have no wife and no children, and I can only serve my master or I shall be sacked. I don’t really mind my tiresome job, but sometimes I wish I could have a little more freedom.
However, I’m not really here to tell you about my thoughts on my job. I want to tell you about my experiences with the Desjardins, and my time on board the Titanic.
In my past family, Master Desjardin could be especially nasty whenever he was in a bad mood! Despite that, my job had its perks – for example I get to stay with the Desjardins whenever they went on holiday, and I’ve always wanted to see the world! Especially New York in America. Now I’m not too sure.
It was 1912 when Mistress Annie decided the family would set sail to America. She booked the finest, most exciting ship ever made. Titanic. Just thinking about it before the journey used to make my heart beat just a little faster. Now it gives me a dull ache whenever I hear its name mentioned.
I suppose it could have been for the best that Titanic sank. Maybe technology isn’t ready for these kinds of insane advances? An indoor heated swimming pool inside a ship?! Ridiculous.
Stepping on board the ship was magical. My luck was finally beginning to turn around! I was going to America, my dream! I could smell the fresh paint and the crisp white of the silky bed sheets. Violin music played in the background as if to remind us of how posh this all was. It was complete luxury.
Nowadays I wish I could have just stayed at home. It would have been a whole lot less painful.
Master Desjardin directed us cheerfully to our cabins. The two young children skipped merrily down the corridor, chanting and singing, their faces flushed with joy. Mistress Annie snapped at them of course. I smirked – but now I wish I didn’t. Those children are gone.
My humble cabin was fairly basic of course. Yet I liked it. It was clean and that’s all I could really ask for. I am a servant after all.
Every day was long and tiring but filled with excitement and awe. I worked from 7am until 12pm, however master let me have Sunday off! This was a rare treat for me. I spent those Sundays exploring and relaxing around the ship. Sometimes I would kid myself I was first class.
On these explorations I would see the rich – clad in their finest garments and sipping champagne. Some were fat and jolly, some were simply bored. Then, on the other side of the ship were the poor – their clothes were dull and sometimes ripped, and their faces were slightly gaunt. However they were also very happy despite all the taunting from the rich.
It was evening when the family and I were celebrating Mistress Annie’s birthday. The Desjardin children were sat primly in their Sunday best, hands folded in their laps. At one point, out of boredom, one of the children placed a glass marble from their pocket sturdily down onto the table. Alarm filled my body as it rolled rapidly as if it were at a 90° angle. I knew then that something wasn’t right! Nobody mentioned it though!
Master Desjardin averted his eyes and began to make a crude joke about the lower class. Everyone laughed but me. It was a chime-like laughter. It always used to offend me whenever they made jokes like that. Despite my trim black suit and sharp white gloves I still know I’m not first class…
About half an hour later a young cabin boy came running in. He was out of breath and his colour was very hectic. Stray hairs covered his bulging eyes (Mistress Annie whispered something malicious to her daughter).
‘Ladies and gentlemen! Please may I have your attention!’
He was ignored. The upper-class went back to their dull conversations and the violins began playing once again.
‘There is an emergency. Titanic is flooding slowly – can’t think how it could ‘ave happened, but you need to travel in a calm and orderly fashion and evacuate via—‘
Suddenly everyone rushed out the double doors, grabbing children and dogs as they went. The poor cabin boy was almost trampled as he ran away gasping and blinking back tears.
I knew this of course. The phrase ‘unsinkable ship’ was almost too good to be true in my opinion. Instead of the shrill hysteria everyone else was displaying – I felt more of a dull sadness. I was going to die. Soon.
Master grabbed me by the shoulder and rushed me along the deck. I tripped trying to keep up with him. What does he want? Dragging me away from the family he whispered silkily—‘You wait here on board the ship along with the ship’s crew. There will never be enough room for anyone but first class…’ His voice was as icy as the murky water filling the ship.
‘Excuse m-me, sir?’ I remember croaking hoarsely. It hurt that he could say something so cruel. So filled with prejudice yet truthful…
He said nothing and walked away. I turned my back on him so he wouldn’t see my tears. It would be shameful to cry. Taking one last glance over my shoulder I saw that his retreating face was void of any emotion. Who was this new person?
Looking back on this event I wish I could have said something nasty to him. Tell him how much I hate him and his snobby family.
As soon as I saw them evacuate I ran over to wave them off, grinning widely. Why should I have to die for them? Grabbing a nearby child (who was crying for her mother) I ran over to the people helping with the lifeboats.
‘Please help us!’ I yelled over the sounds of screaming and praying, ‘I have a child!’ One of the men must have thought I was her father, and told me to get in the boat along with some of first class! I couldn’t believe my luck!
It’s been three months since the tragic event of Titanic. I’m trying to forget what happened, but a few days ago I received a letter from Mistress Annie. It did nothing to relieve my stress. Apparently their rescue boat was swamped by other passengers who had fallen into the water, begging for help. She saw many people drown – and three of them were members of her own family.