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The Diary of Adalina De'Monte
April 5, 1912
I suppose I should start by telling you that I am Adalina Deâ€˜Monte and you were a sixteenth birth date present from my mother. I was given you because in five days I will be leaving my home and birth place of France for America on the Titanic or as many call it the unsinkable ship and they believe I should write of everything that happens so I will be able to tell my children or some nonsense such as that, regardless you are now my best friend of a sort. I shall be leaving in five days time and will be accompanied by my mother and maid, Emily, whom besides you is my only friend. Now before you begin to think that I am an anti-social person, I am not, I just do not make friends with very many people in my class. I absolutely detest most of the upper class of France, they are always criticizing something about me which just makes mother begin her long speech about how Isabella was a proper young lady and I should be more like her. I do not want to be anything like my sister or my mother for that matter, they are dependent on their husbands, I do not want that, I wish to be a famous painter or writer just someone that will be remembered after my days on this world are over. I must be off though mother is calling for me.
Of course it was something stupid. She had me fitted for a new wardrobe. Like I really need all new clothes for a ride on a ship, I’m already going to have more trunks than every other person, I am almost positive. But back to the fittings, I have ten new dresses that are being made probably as we speak. After my fitting I was called to lunch, then mother told me to freshen up so we could go out to find new everyday and ballroom shoes. In short of the torture of having to go to every boutique, it was a very long day so I am off to bed. I will write more tomorrow.
April 6, 1912
It is now four more days until I leave my beloved homeland. Yesterday, I mostly complained. Today I am, going to tell about myself and my family. I have pale skin, which comes naturally, I am slender and five foot exactly. I have my mother’s brown curls that go down most of my back my eyes are light blue, the color of a clear sky is how father describes them. I am what most people call pretty but I have never thought myself anything special. Now, for my family, mother, Marianna, is in her late thirties, her and father married when she was fifteen and he was twenty-four. My father, Edgar, was and is a man of great wealth as is my grandfather and great-grand father. My sister is in my opinion the most beautiful person ever and the kindest. That pretty much describes my family and me. Unlike the rest of my family, I do not wish to inherit my money, I want to make my own way, and only have the best in life if I have worked for it all. But I must go wash and dress. I shall write more tonight.
I did nothing of great importance today. Emily packed my luggage while I told her whether or not I required certain articles. I wonder how it will be in America without any of my family but an aunt I’ve never met; I suppose it will be pleasant she seems quite nice. I wonder if she will expect me to have a governess; here I have already had all the education needed but I do not know of American customs. Well the hour is late, I must get sleep.
Adalina De’ Monte
April 7, 1912
Three more days I am permitted in my home, only three, it makes me feel so horrid, thinking of everyone I am leaving behind. I am sitting here trying to think of the pleasant things of leaving my home. One, is that mother will no longer be around every waking moment to criticize every detail of my being. Another is that there will not be as much expected of me in America being that Raquel never lived like mother or cared as much about trifle things like mother does, or so that is what mother was telling father some nights passed when they thought I had retired for the night. But, I must stop writing for now; Emily and I are going out to see our home for the last time in full. I shall write more tonight.
It was a tiring day and although it is rather early; I am completely exhausted, I shall write you everything come morning.
April 8, 1912
Yesterday as I told was extremely long, but I am glad I was able to see everything once more. France really is lovely, more beautiful I think than anywhere else in Europe. Paris, which I do not think I have every told you is my home, especially. The Eiffel Tower truly is breathtaking, oh how I wish you were able to see it. I was thinking, I wonder what type of foods Americans eat; they cannot possibly eat just as I do here. That will be rather peculiar. I also wonder what will be served while I am aboard the Titanic, it will be grand I am sure, never mind, it is nothing I can change so I must stop worrying about them both. Back to my day, I shall miss all the smells and sounds of Paris so much it is so energetic, I could get lost just staring in amazement at it all. But mother is calling, so I must be off.
There is not much to report of today, I packed some more and spent time with father while Emily said her farewells to her loved ones. I never thought of what a strain it shall be on her to travel so far away from everything she loves; I am so selfish only thinking of myself. I do not know what to do nonetheless. Mother says she is coming and once mother says something that is how it is done, still I must apologize to her tomorrow for this. I am going to sleep now though, I shall write to you tomorrow.
April 9, 1912
I told Emily how sorry I was about making her leave and she smiled at me and told me that she was happy to go. Tomorrow I will be leaving on the Titanic from Cherbourg, France sometime before sundown. It will fist stop in Southampton, England then come to Cherbourg then we will stop at other prominent places along the way to New York. But I must go, Isabella is coming to bid me farewell today and I was supposed to start getting ready awhile ago. I shall write more tonight.
When Isabella came today she informed us that she is to have a baby. Can you believe it, I am going to be an aunt and I won’t be able to see my niece or nephew till they a year old maybe older. I told mother of my worries and all she could do was say “babies don’t change much.” I cannot believe she had the audacity to say that! I must go to bed now though, I will write more once I am on the Titanic.
April 10, 1912
I have been on the Titanic for a little under three hours; it is the most magnificent ship in the world. Mother acts as if it is the same as any other ship but this is like a dream. My suite is gorgeous with a gold and dark red comforters, burgundy carpet and cream rugs. The bathroom has a large porcelain claw foot tub and more mirrors than I care to count. But the most breathtaking part of the whole shit is the grand stair case, it has beautiful all natural lighting during the day and it’s just amazing. But, I must go to dinner now, joy. I will tell you more about the ship before bed.
Before I tell you anymore about the ship I must tell you about Margaret Brown, mother can only say that she is new money because her and her husband were not born into money but I admire her for that among other things. Margaret was on a European tour with her daughter, Helen, when she learned her grandson, Lawrence, was ill and booked a first class trip on the Titanic back to America. Margaret is into many things in America, she was involved in the early feminist movements. I shall probably be telling you more about Margaret Brown because she seems to be the most interesting person on this ship. After dinner, I took a short tour of the ship and found that there is an onboard pool, a gymnasium, a Turkish bath (which is a steam bath), a library, and a squash court. While I was in the library admiring the thousands of books on the shelves, a very handsome man walked in with a book already in his hand.
“Hello,” I smile at him.
“Hello,” he smiles back.
“Adalina De’Monte and you are?” I question him.
“Joseph Branson,” he replies still smiling.
“How old are you?” I ask sitting down at a table and gesturing for him to do the same.
“Eighteen as of yesterday,” he takes the seat.
“Sixteen as of the fifth,” I smile looking into his blue eyes; they have that hypnotic quality that you only hear of in stories.
“I didnâ€˜t expect anyone under the age of fifty to be in here,” he laughs quietly.
“Nor did I.”
“You are extremely beautiful,” he breathes as if he’s telling a deep dark secret and I feel butterflies form in my stomach.
“Thank you, you are rather handsome yourself,” I tell him smiling and blushing.
“Would you come to breakfast with me tomorrow?” he asks after a moment of looking at me with the same smile.
“I would like that,” I say again getting lost in his blue eyes.
“Can I escort you back to your room?” he asks presenting his arm to me.
“That would be wonderful,” I loop my arm through his blushing.
It is eleven-thirty now; I must be getting in bed. I will write more after my breakfast. I can’t quit smiling and I’m giddy with happiness and sleep seems improbably but I will try.
April 11, 1912
Joseph is wonderful; he’s sweet and down to earth and a gentleman. I have never met anyone like him and I don’t believe I ever will. He is truly one in a million.
“What do you want to do with your life?” he asks me while we are standing at the stern looking into the horizon.
“A writer,” I answer smiling up at him.
“I will take over my father’s business,” he tells me but from the tone of his voice that is not what he dreams of.
“If you could choose what would you do?” I ask and he puts his arms around my waist.
“A doctor, I want to better peoples’ lives,” he answers kissing the side of my cheek.
“Then be a doctor,” I tell him snuggling closer to him as a cold breeze blows against my bare arms.
“I may,” he answers and we stand in quiet for awhile oblivious to the people walking by us. He is the only thing that matters to me at the moment.
“Eat dinner with me tonight?” he asks and I look up to see an anxious look on his beautiful face.
“Alright,” I answer smiling watching him put one hand through his dark brown hair.
“Tell me about your family,” he says as we begin to walk.
“My mother is hard to deal with, she means well I suppose. Father is always smiling or laughing he spends more time working than at the house but I do not blame him. Isabella is the most beautiful woman I know and the most generous, you remind me of her,” I smile thinking of my family, I will miss them terribly.
“Isabella cannot be the most beautiful because here you stand,” he squeezes my hand and I feel my cheeks heat up.
“Tell me about your family,” I say after my cheeks have cooled some.
“Mother and father are two of a kind, they are both good hearted and generous with their money; the both come from prominent families. I had an older brother who was killed in an accident when I was ten, he was my age and I looked up to him for everything,” he tells me and I can hear the pain in his voice and it breaks my heart. I do not know what I would do without Isabella.
“I’m so sorry.”
“Adalina Christine De’Monte, where have you been all afternoon!” I hear my mother’s shrill voice and cringe before turning around to see her coming up from behind me.
“I have been with Joseph,” I say coldly, she says I am the embarrassment; you don’t see me screaming in front of all of these people.
“Joseph who?” she says looking to him with a sour expression.
“Joseph Branson, nice to meet you, madam,” he extends the hand that is not wrapped around mine to her.
“Is your father Phillip Branson?” she asks taking his hand, visibly warmer towards him after learning he has money, how typical.
“Yes,” Joseph answers releasing her hand.
“I am dinning with his family tonight,” I tell her still cold.
“Alright, dear,” she walks off.
I stay with Joseph till six in the evening when he walks me to my suite, “until tonight.” He kisses my cheek and leaves me with a smile. I must finish dressing now; I will write more before I lay down.
My dinner with Joseph and his family was almost as wonderful as my breakfast. Mrs. Branson, whom insisted I call her Elizabeth, treated me better than my own mother ever has. She told me numerous times how pretty I am and that if she had ever had a daughter she would have wanted her to look and act like me. Mr. Branson, who told me to call him Phil, also treated me with more love than my own father.
“Good evening, Adalina, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you, we haven’t been able to shut Joseph up about you,” Elizabeth smiled at me after I sat down.
“I can see why though,” Phil smiled at me.
“Thank you both,” I feel my face growing hot and Joseph gives me a smile.
“Your dinner,” waiters sit the food in front of each of us.
The small talk continues though out dinner although Phil and Elizabeth continue to exchange knowing looks and then smile at Joseph and myself. As soon as I have taken my last bite Joseph grabs my hand and makes-up some excuse about us having to leave.
“Joseph slow down,” I say as he pulls me along causing me to trip in my heels.
“Sorry,” he smiles slowing down to a walking pace.
“I think I might love you,” he tells me after we are alone on the deck.
“I think I would love you if I had never met you,” I reply wanting so much for him to kiss me.
“When we get to New York will you come with me?” he asks pulling me close to his chest.
“Where will we go?” I ask not sure if he really understands what he’s asking.
“Anywhere you want,” he replies kissing the top of my head.
“You will?” he questions.
“Of course,” I smile. He pulls me closer to him and bends down to tenderly kiss my lips. I feel more feelings at once than I ever knew I had. In that moment my life is perfect.
“I had best get you back to your room,” he pulls away from me and I see the same feelings in his eyes when I look up at him.
“I suppose,” I answer not wanting the night to end so soon.
“Eat with me in the morning?” he asks when we get to suite.
“Until the morning,” he kisses me and then turns to leave.
“Goodnight, Joseph,” I smile as I shut the door.
In the words of Joseph, until the morning.
April 12, 1912
I have just awoke and I am still smiling from last night, I’m even humming, can you believe it, me humming. I am going to go find Emily to help me dress, I want to look perfect. I cannot wait to see Joseph, so sorry I’m cutting it short. I’ll write more tonight.
I walked into the café this morning and my eyes went directly to Joseph. He is so handsome, with his tan skin glowing in the sunlight and his blue eyes sparking.
“You look beautiful this morning,” he says kissing me and I can only imagine what the nosey women in the room will say. I no longer care though, let them gossip.
“Thank you,” I say as he pulls out my chair.
“Will you spend the whole day with me?” he questions a look of worry on his face.
“You’re so absurd, of course I will,” I laugh and he reaches for my hand. We really are giving everyone in the room a field day, you don’t show this much affection in public if you have any class.
“I have a surprise for you later.”
“Tell me,” I say, I detest waiting for anything.
“No,” he smiles.
I hurriedly finish my breakfast and am done eating several minutes before he is.
“You really didn’t have to eat so fast,” he laughs as I tap my fingers impatiently.
“You’ve made me impatient,” I whine and he laughs again.
“What does your mother say of me?” he questions after he is finished eating and is putting on his coat.
“She likes you for your money,” I reply honestly.
“My parents adore you,” he laughs taking my hand and leaving the café for the deck.
“I’m glad,” I smile at him.
“Close your eyes and I’ll take you to your surprise,” I do as he says.
“Open your eyes,” he whispers in my ear after a few minutes of us walking.
“Oh my,” my breath catches in my throat, I am in the library and there are rose petals all around and candles replacing the electric lights.
“Adalina De’Monte, I know we have only just met and you may think I’m moving too fast which I will completely understand, but I do not want to be without you, will you marry me?” he asks getting down on one knee and presenting me with a diamond ring.
“Joseph, of course I will,” I whisper and he puts the ring on my finger.
“I am so glad,” he wraps me in his arms and kisses me.
“What will our parents say?” I question after staring at him for what feels like an eternity.
“I told my parents last night and asked your mother for your hand after I left you at your suite,” he tells me smiling a crooked smile.
The clock has struck one; I will finish telling of my night in the morning.
Adalina De’ Monte
April 13, 1912
“We still have to tell Captain Smith, Mr. Ismay, and Mr. Andrews,” he tells me in one breath already pulling me from the room.
“Because, I want everyone to know that I am marrying the most beautiful person in the world and they will have a dinner in our honor,” he stops to kiss me before continuing down the hall.
“Alright,” I laugh to myself, it should be me pulling him to announce out engagement.
All three of the men congratulate us but it is Mr. Andrews who it the happiest for us I think. They schedule our dinner for tonight and we spend the rest of the day walking with Mr. Andrews as he tells people what to do for the dinner and seating arrangements; he really could have done all of it without us but insisted we come along.
But I must be off now; I am spending time with Joseph before I have to start getting ready for dinner.
Tonight was wonderful. For once people were looking at me like they look at my sister. I could not tell you if it was because I was marrying Joseph or if I was finally being my own person.
“You are two very beautiful people on the inside and out, and I wish you everything in the world,” Mr. Andrews tells us as we stand arm in arm at the grand staircase.
“Thank you, Mr. Andrews; can I hope to see you at our wedding?” I ask smiling at him.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he smiles and then leaves to attend to another passenger.
At dinner Mr. Andrews is seated next to me and stands raising his glass, “I wish these two lovely young people a life of joy in the love that they have.”
Everyone follows his lead and toasts to us. The rest of our dinner went on without any large events; Joseph and I promised many people invitations to our wedding.
It is very late and I am exhausted. Until tomorrow.
April 14, 1912
I have just awoke and it is already ten; Emily says that Joseph has already stopped my five times to know if I had awoke yet. Each time she has told him no and each time he says he will check back in half an hour. She said she gave up telling him I would come to his room when I awoke and just shakes her head. I must go and dress now, he will be back in a short time.
It is four in the afternoon. I can only write for a moment. Emily is drawing my bath water. She is yelling now, big dinner with mother and Phil and Elizabeth tonight.
I will write more later.
It is exactly eleven thirty-six at night and I have just got back from dinner. I am actually proud of mother she didn’t say anything out of the way; she actually complimented both Elizabeth and myself. Our wedding will be sometime in July, we were going to have it later but Isabella would not be able to fit into a bridesmaid dress any later than that. Yes, father and Isabella will be coming to my wedding. I cannot wait until I can be Mrs. Joseph Branson. Joseph also informed his parents of his dream to become a doctor with many encouragements from me. They were both alright with the fact and then talk turned to which college he was to attend.
The boat just had an odd quivering noise go through it and there is a commotion in the hallway. I just walked out there and a steward told me there was nothing wrong to go back to my room, how queer. No matter, it must have just been a large wave, back to what I was saying. Even mother seems excited about my getting married and she had decided to stay at Aunt Racquel’s until my wedding. Emily is more than excited for me and I have of course picked her for one of my bride’s maids.
There is a knock at my door; well Emily’s answered it but its Joseph. Oh god, he says we’ve hit an iceberg. I am taking you with me.
April 15, 1912
I am now on the Carpathia. After I stopped writing last night I got warmly dressed and then went to the deck with Joseph, Emily, and mother. We quickly found Elizabeth and Phil. It was like hell had broken loose on deck. We were told that all first class women and children were to depart the boat first. I began crying and Joseph took me into his arms.
“It will be alright, my love, I will get on a boat after the women and children are safe,” he kisses me long and hard.
“I love you,” I whisper into his chest.
“I love you too,” he pushes me forward and I look back to see tears in his eyes.
“I can’t leave you,” I run back to his arms.
“You will leave me; you’re not dying because of me,” he picks me up and carries me to the lifeboat that our mothers are already on.
“Put me down,” I yell but it’s barely heard over the screams of the other people on board
“Bye, Adalina, if I don’t see you again know that I love you and you will give me my reason to try and survive this hell. If I don’t make it find someone else to love,” he kisses me tears running as fiercely down his cheeks as mine.
“Bye, Joseph, I love you with all my heart and don’t talk like that, I will see you in a few hours,” I kiss him and he sits me into the life boat.
He blows me a kiss as the boat is lowered and I watch him until I am completely in the water. It is then that I turn to mother and Elizabeth.
“Don’t cry, dear, you’ll see him soon,” Elizabeth takes me into her arms and I cry on her shoulder.
“I’m being so selfish, you have Phil and Joseph on there,” I say wiping my own tears.
“At least I know I have you with me,” she pats my hand and I see tears in her own eyes.
I continue to cry for a long while as I watch the ship sink little by little into the icy depths of the ocean. I cried for Phil and Joseph and the people I didn’t know, I cried because I didn’t know if Joseph was sinking with the ship or if he was in a lifeboat somewhere near me. All through the night I watched as everything I had known for the past four days fall apart. I didn’t think we were ever going to get out of the life boat and when I had began to lose all hope I saw a ship in the distance and breathed a sigh of relief. I had lost feeling in my fingers long ago. I had believed I was going to die at sea and never know what had become of my beloved.
I still do not know if Joseph and Phil made it. They have yet to get the names of the survivors. I wanted to go and look for them today but mother and Elizabeth both refused to let me leave. I do not know what I will do if Joseph has died. It will be such a cruel end to the fantasy life I had imagined. I will never know that feeling of sharing his bed or of sharing his life. I will never see his crooked smile again or his blue eyes. I feel lost right now even not knowing, but at least I still have hope.
Elizabeth is calling for me; I will write more later.
I have good news and bad news. Joseph is safe and is lying beside of me asleep at the moment. When I walked out of our make-shift room I raised my head and saw the face I had only hoped I would ever see again and I ran into his arms.
“I. Love. You.” he kisses every inch of my face.
“I love you too,” I kiss him back.
“I was so afraid I would never see you,” he whispers into my hair.
“I know, I was too, I kept watching the ship sink. I was so afraid you were one of the people screaming in the ocean,” I cried into his chest for the people who would never see their loved ones and for joy of having Joseph in front of me now.
It was not until later that I was told that Phil had not survived. I feel awful for Elizabeth, she says she will be fine, as least she has her son. There was only one seat on the life boat and Phil gave it Joseph. I am crying now thinking of it. A father loves his son unconditionally and Phil proved that, he gave his life for Joseph. I know it hurts Joseph more than I could ever imagine and I have not let my thought known to him, maybe one day I will let him read you. Let him see my inner most thoughts on our fateful journey. We will not have a body to bury there was no way they could have brought his body back even if it had not already sank; so forevermore his resting place will be the Atlantic Ocean.
The list they brought us today said that out of the 2,224 people on the Titanic 1,522 died and like Phil will forever be at the bottom of the ocean with the unsinkable ship. I will no longer write in the diary; I will only open it to tell my tale. I do not need reminded ever of the tragedy.
Joseph and I were married on July, 7 1912. We had a moment of silence for the people from the Titanic who could not be present. Molly Brown was there and cried along with us when we toasted Mr. Andrews who would not leave his ship that he knew would kill so many.
Joseph and I lived for sixty joyous years together until he died in his sleep at the age of eighty-nine. I will follow him shortly though for I am eighty-six and I am missing him dearly. We both followed our dreams, I became an author and he a doctor although he kept his father’s business running as well. During our lives, we raised three children, two girls, Elizabeth and Isabella, and one son, Phillip. We have many grandchildren who sit around me now as I tell the story of the Titanic as Joseph told it until the day he died. He never forgot his father and told our Phillip many times how great a man his grandfather was and how he would not have been here if he had not gave his life for him.
Elizabeth died shortly after Joseph and I were married, the doctor said of natural causes but I think it was from missing Phil. She was never the same after he died, she would smile and laugh but it was very seldom that it reached her eyes. I know that all of my loved ones now look down on me and Joseph is anxiously awaiting me.
Mother stayed with Aunt Raquel until the wedding. She then went back to France with father and Isabella. But while in America mother and Racquel settled their differences and they visited each other frequently up until mother’s death. Father approved of Joseph and Isabella was bubbling when she met him, Joseph told me as soon as we were alone that I was more beautiful that Isabella.
Emily stayed with Joseph and I until she met George Elliston when she was twenty-four. George was a very rich man and she no longer had work. But she frequently came and visited. George also died a few years back now and Emily came to live with me once more. Now we are the only two left alive from the Titanic of our family.
Out of the people I mentioned to you, only Molly Brown and Mr. Ismay survived. Mr. Andrews and Captain Smith blamed themselves for the ship wrecking and would not leave. Although it was neither of their faults; no one can be blamed for such a tragedy. I still remember them in my prayers and hope to see them again when I depart from this world into the next.
This is my story, although I am and old woman now and many memories have left me I still remember the Titanic as if it was yesterday. Every smell and sound is still as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. I will put down my pen now and turn out the light; I hope I do not awake to morning light, it is time for me to go home, I have been without Joseph for too long now.
New City, New York
Portola Valley, California
Grove City, Ohio
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"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more then are abilities."