Journal Entries, Writing

Character’s Corner: Time Travel Journal Entry, Thomas Andrews 24 January 1912

Malcolm Paddick informed me that they are still waiting for parts needed to install the lifts on 401 (editor’s note – 401 was Harland & Wolff’s production number for Titanic – they seldom called the ships by name). This is cutting the schedule close. I need them to begin lift installation this week. If I remember right, we had the same issue with 400, and that’s twice too many times. I’m going to look for another vendor to provide for future ships.

When Malcolm brought this up, I had the strangest thought, one I’m rather ashamed of, the more I think about it. I thought, “why didn’t Sam warn me about these things?” Of course, even on the surface, such a thought is ridiculous. Sam could not possibly know the minutiae of this business. Even I don’t know everything that goes on around here, and I log more time than anyone.

I don’t truly expect Sam to know everything. I think it’s just my frustration that brings these thoughts. But I’m uncomfortably reminded of the time I lashed out at him, back when young Kelly died.  I was unfair to Sam then, and – well, all has been said before, and we have gone past it. It’s just…

I keep looking over my shoulder, both literally, and metaphorically. The closer we get to 14 April, the more I question every step I take, every decision I make. Is this what I did before? If I decide this, instead of that, will history change?

In my more humble moments, I realize that my little decisions here at the yard probably make no difference in the larger scheme of things. For instance, the firm is committed to finishing 401, and turning her over to White Star, by 1 April. That was a company decision, and I am obligated to arrange my part so that we meet that deadline. The rest is out of my control, and therefore proceeds exactly as it did in the first timeline. It is this that makes me look over my shoulder, for hints of what happened before. As if I expect to see it written on the wall somewhere.

But enough nonsense. I’m going to lock this journal away, close my office, and go home to my family. I will have dinner, play with my children a while, and tuck them into bed. Exactly as life should be.