The months following after Titanic's sinking and the inquiry into the tragedy, Charles Lightoller and Harold Lowe remained great friends with each other, visiting each other. However, Lightoller had harbored angry feelings towards the tragedy of Titanic, he harbored them towards Captain Smith, Thomas Andrews and others. Lightoller hadn't quite let go of the tragedy from his mind as Harold had. This day as they walked through the cold, winter park in Wales, they were discussing their families, Lightoller's children among other other things.
"So, I talked to Frank," Harold began, "and he said they're looking for officers for the RMS Aquitania and -"
Harold stopped as Lightoller walked a little faster ahead of Harold with a loud, angry sigh. Harold frowned confusingly.
"Charles?" Harold said as he walked to Lightoller.
Lightoller shook his head and turned and looked at Harold.
"I'm not getting on another damn SHIP as long as I live Harold." Lightoller said.
Harold frowned and sighed with a slight roll of his eyes.
"This one is not LIKE the Titanic, Charles." Harold said. "This -"
"How is this one ANY different Harold hmm?" Lightoller asked almost angrily. "We almost lost our LIVES on that damn ship because of Mr. Ismay, that fucking Captain and Thomas Andrews! I promised Sylvia I would do NO more of these damn ships"
Harold stared at Lightoller with an eyebrow raised.
"You know, Will said he's been trying to call ya." Harold said. "He said you won't return his calls, you won't return Henry's calls. Charles, Titanic sank MONTHS ago. It's time to let it GO. It's over -"
"Maybe for you it is, but to me it's NOT!" Lightoller yelled angrily. "I dreamed of working on ships since I was eight year old Harold. I mean, I used to see BEAUTIFUL ships roll in and I'd say, one day I'm gonna BE on one of those. Then - THEN Titanic happened. Every night for two months after the sinking, I was plagued with nightmares and I could hear the - the screams, the shouting, the gunfire by officers. Sometimes, very often actually, I still get plagued with nightmares and - and I could hear the screams and cries, I can still taste that ocean water from that night in my mouth. I can still fear THEIR fear."
Lightoller stopped and looked down briefly with a shake of his head, a deep frown and his eyes filing with light tears.
"I was left so scared by what happened on Titanic that it left me not - not wanting to ever get on another boat again, Harold." Lightoller said in a low voice.
Harold stared at Lightoller with a sympathetic frown..
"I don't know what to say to Will or to Henry, Harold." Lightoller said in a low voice. "I know I'm supposed to get over it but I can't. I can't even walk past water without - without thinking of -"
Lightoller stopped, sucked his teeth and rolled his eyes that were filled with tears before walking away. Harold stared on with lightly tearful eyes. Harold didn't have to share it with Lightoller but he felt the same emotions deep inside. He could hardly go a day without thinking back to him being in that boat with the other officers and paddling past all the dead bodies in the water, the oars softly hitting the heads of the bodies as it rowed through the ocean. The frozen looks on the faces of the dead. Yes, Harold still had those images and thoughts stuck in his mind. It's probably why he had a hard time sleeping himself, however it didn't obviously hit him as hard as it was hitting Lightoller, Will and Henry. It didn't quite sink in his mind that this tragedy had happened, Harold Lowe had unknowingly hid the pain and sorrow of the tragedy in the back corners of his mind for months, he fought hard to suppress any emotional pain that may come from rethinking the entire event again. So in that way, Harold Lowe was suffering from the aftermath, just as all the rest.