“God does love you, Emily.” Maria argued. “Even if your mother bore you out of wed lock and then abandoned you, you are of great value to GOD.”
Emily shook her head.
“Emily dear,” Maria said, reaching out and laying a hand on her new friend’s arm. “Jesus said that there’s no love greater than of one giving his life for another’s. He showed how much value you are to Him by taking your sin and death on Himself.”
A spark of hope lit in Emily’s eyes but she hesitated.
“I’ll think on it,” she replied. “And I’ll read some of this Bible you gave me.”
Maria nodded, understanding that this was not a time to press farther. Then after a moment’s pause she exclaimed, “Oh Emily! I had a wonderful idea last night.”
Emily laughed lightly, “Beginner’s luck!”
“I was thinking…” Maria paused.
Emily looked at her friend in mock shock, “Really?!”
Joining the game Maria groaned and put a hand to her forehead saying, “Actually, I did try this time, but then it started smoking like a chimney stack.”
Both girls laughed, then Maria continued, “I thought you should come visit me and maybe we could dress up and have a slumber party.”
Emily sobered. “Uh… and you think that’s a wonderful idea? I wouldn’t even get past second class. Did you forget I’m third class and not permitted to go into first class compartments?”
“We can do it.” Maria persisted. “I’ll bring down some of my clothes for you to put on and then we can go up. If anyone says anything, which I doubt they will, I’ll just say I went down to visit a friend in steerage, and you won’t need to say anything.”
“Okay.” Emily replied doubtfully.
Before long Maria had Emily all decked out like a first class passenger.
“I never dreamed I’d ever get to sail on an unsinkable ship, much less try on such fancy clothing.” Emily said, looking into a small mirror above the sink.
“Let’s go now.” Maria urged gently.
Emily turned and smiled. “Maybe this was a good idea, Maria. It’ll be fun to pretend a little… it can’t be a bad thing for an adult to do once in while?”
“I don’t think so either.”
Reaching Maria’s room on Deck C without incident, the two girls relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company.
“Let’s go to the lounge for a while, shall we?” Maria asked at length.
“Let’s.” Emily agreed, cheerfully.
As they walked to the lounge, they passed a young man who addressed them.
“They just lowered down the first lifeboat.”
“Lifeboat?” Maria repeated puzzled.
“Yeah, didn’t you know we struck an ice burg about an hour ago and we’ve been taking on water?”
“I thought the Titanic was unsinkable?” Emily voiced with concern.
The boy just shrugged and moved on.
Maria and Emily exchanged worried glances.
“Let’s go to the boat deck.” Maria said, leading the way.
“I feel the bow tilting down.” Emily said, running after Maria.
“So do I.”
Working their way onto the deck they noticed the band was playing some ragtime music but the milling crowd was beginning to grow panicky.
“Can we get on a lifeboat?” Emily asked, shivering, trying to hold back tears.
“The last lifeboat is leaving.” replied a man in front of her.
“Oh Emily.” Maria said, turning to her friend. “Remember Jesus and let Him rescue your soul before …” Just then the ship tilted more, Maria lost her balance and with a small scream fell from the stern into the sea.
Seeing her friend pitched overboard and knowing that she couldn’t stay aboard much longer herself, Emily plunged after her into the icy waters below.
“She’s fainted.” Emily thought to herself as she struggled over to Maria. “God, please help.”
Reaching out, Emily managed to heave her friend onto a piece of floating wreckage and climbed up beside her.
Teeth chattering uncontrollably, freezing and wet, she listened to the desperate, despairing cries coming from hundreds of drowning people around her and wondered, “Is there no hope?”
“Is Maria okay?” Emily asked turning her eyes to the kind ones looking down at her as she lay in a warm bed.
“She’s fine. You’re both recovering very well.”
“Can you give her a message - it can‘t wait.”
“Please tell her that last night I was twice rescued.”
“Twice rescued?” repeated the lady, looking at her strangely.
“Yes.” Emily replied with a quiet smile. “She’ll understand.”
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