He was proud of himself. He had every right to be. He had finally done it. He had done what most people dreamed about. People had said, “One day, somebody will do it. One day, we’ll cure cancer.”
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Finally, Isaac had done it. The year was 1912. He had been in competition with the other man for seven years. But the other man had lost, because Isaac had succeeded. He had found the cure. Through his own hard work. Through his own sheer willpower and desire, he had done it. All by himself, he had done what the rest of history had only dreamed about. He had cured the miserable disease. He was the first of his kind, a truly unique individual. No one had ever done what he had just accomplished. No one. Ever.
The competition had been fierce. The other man had come close numerous times. Isaac had come close numerous times, but it no longer mattered. Isaac had succeeded. The competition was over. Almost.
Isaac had not written any of it down. The competition had been too fierce. Both sides had hired undercover spooks to spy on the opposing side. Because of this, Isaac had become paranoid. Everyone was a possible spy. He was too afraid to record his findings. If he did, it could be stolen and then the other man would win. Isaac was not about to let that happen. He had worked too hard for too long to let some silly slip-up doom him. Also because of the vicious espionage, Isaac hid his equipment. After making the discovery, he hid his lab. He hid it all. No one would find it unless he wanted them too.
Isaac was very proud of himself. He decided to celebrate his discovery, and what perfect timing. Mankind’s latest jewel would set sail from New York in just days. Isaac went about securing a ticket for himself. He wanted to celebrate in luxury, alongside the richest men in the world, for he would become one very soon. Isaac borrowed money from a friend, scalped a ticket, and that was that.
The day the ship set sail, he was aboard. He enjoyed everything about the cruise. He drank fine wines and danced with women he did not know. It was perfect. He bathed in his own ego, realizing that he had changed the world like no one else ever had or ever would again. He had done the impossible and he was celebrating in style. When the ship arrived at his destination, there he would make his announcement. When the grandest ship of all time pulled into harbor, an equally grand announcement would be made right there on the shores. Sure, there would be doubts. But he would prove to the world he had succeeded in doing what no one else had. Until then, he would relax, take life easy, enjoy his thoughts. The rest of his life would be a vacation, where he had not yet decided. He had plenty of time to figure that out. He considered living on the ship. It was a fine ship, a large one too. He would live on it and ride it wherever it went. See the world. Live like the rich. That would be the life. His name would be in every history book. He would be mentioned in every history class. His name would be the answer on question sixteen of the class final. Students would memorize his name. They would remember what he did.
But before all that, Isaac would relax. He would enjoy his cruise. He would kick back and simply be happy to be where he was. Enjoy his voyage on the RMS Titanic.
He was in his room when he felt the shudder. He was on the deck in seconds. Just in time to see the iceberg. Immediately, he was scared, terrified, shocked. The horrifying reality settled over him. Slowly and slowly the ship sank into the sea. Isaac raced along the side of the ship. The lifeboats were filling up quickly. There did not seem to be any room. He was determined not to die. He was too important to die. He saw one lowering into the water. It looked like it still had space. He made a quick decision. He leapt from the railing.
Isaac missed his target. He fell short, hit his head on the wooden boat splitting his forehead open, and fell into the sea. The fall snapped his neck. His body sank to the cold, relentless depths of the Atlantic.
The fall killed him instantly. He did not realize that nothing had been written down so no one would ever know. He did not have time to think about the irony, but Isaac had certainly been a part of history. The students would not remember his name, but they would certainly remember the ship.