En position, a Phantom of the Opera narrative

Chapter 40

The next morning was.. painful. Not only were my arms, legs and pretty much every other part of my body awfully stiff, the lack of sleep also had my head pounding to the extent I considered just staying in bed for the day. However, the odds didn't seem to be in my favor.

'Angèlique, are you coming?'

I kept my eyes firmly closed, hoping whoever was there would simply leave if they thought I was asleep.

'Angèlique? Are you awake?' A tiny hand began to shake me forcefully. Adrienne, I should have known..

'I am now,' I grunted, hiding my face beneath my pillow, trying to keep out as much hurtful daylight as was physically possible. Somehow the soft bed sheets and pillow seemed like the perfect defense against madame Giry and her cane.

'Well then, why are you still being such a pain then? We're running late, you know?'

'Go without me.' Was my simple solution.

'No! Angèlique, I swear to you, if you don't come out of bed this instant I will.. I will.. Well, frankly, I don't know what exactly it is I shall do, but you can count on it that it will be something horrible.'

'I'll take my chances,' I said, lazily turning around in my bed, before being hit by the pain that single movement caused me. 'Please, can't you see I am in a lot of pain?'

'All I can see is that you're being lazy and I will take no more of it.' And with that, the warm, safe haven of my blankets was torn away from me and I lay shivering on the matrass.

I moaned 'Adrienne, please, don't be a martyr! I'm freezing!'

'Then pull your lazy self out of bed and put on some clothing!'

'Fine, fine..' I said, as I sat up and, with a lot of effort, pushed myself up. With my eyes still narrowed to slits, to guard off the garish light of day, I made my way towards the wardrobe, picked out a random dress and clumsily began putting it on. Behind me, I heard Adrienne cursing me under her breath for bringing madame Giry's wrath upon her, but I didn't pay much attention to it. In normal circumstances surely I would have been surprised by her colourful vocabulary, but this morning I simply couldn't bring myself to care much about anything but going back to bed.

When finally, after what must have been ten minutes, I was dressed and looked tolerable, we left the dormitories.

'I am so hungry!' The redhead complained and as to prove her statement, held her hand against her tummy. 'If only you hadn't been so stubborn, we'd have had time to grab some breakfast.' With that, I received a very accusing look and I looked at the ground guiltily, my normal temper slowly coming back to me as I started to wake up.

'I'm sorry, I really am..'

'It's forgiven. But only if you will pick up your pace a little, so we might still be on time.'

pagebreak ~'For the last time, Angèlique,, it's okay! Dear God, will you now stop apologizing?' Adrienne sighed, then took another spoonful of soup. Embarrassment for my behavior that morning hadn't left me and so, I had been showering the young girl with apologies for the entire length of the day. Even when the Prima Donna, La Carlotta, herself had been screaming at me for dancing on 'her part of the stage' I had been too absorbed in my endless flow of exculpations to really care about the flaring, Spanish temperament.

Marie-Claire, who had been watching the entire thing with utmost amusement, patted my back softly. 'I might be wrong, but I just have the slightest feeling you're off the hook.'

I laughed at that. 'Oh, be quiet you. You should know better than to make fun of me!''And why's that, then, my love? Because of your hot temper?' She teased.

Before I could answer, though, Adrienne cut in. 'I highly doubt she has one. Although, my brother might, if he finds out about your pestering!'

Luckily, before the conversation could become any more uncomfortable, Anne spoke up. 'So Marie, have you and your monsieur Lemoine already planned a day for your wedding?'

'In fact, we have yes. We settled on the third of March and decided to simply send my parents an invitation. Whether they will come or not will then be up to them.'

'Don't you think they will be.. well, furious because you haven't told them?' Meg inquired, carefully.

The soon-to-be bride merely shrugged her shoulders 'I do not care. It is not up to them to decide whom I shall marry. It is my life and Louis is the only man I would want to share it with.'

All of us knew at that moment that, in fact, it was up to the parents to decide. No matter how unfair, that was the way things went in today's society. Young ladies simply had nothing to say in the matter. However, wisely no one said anything about it and we let the matter pass. Instead, we decided to talk about more cheerful stuff, leaving both Marie-Claire's as my love life at peace.

The remaining part of dinner conversation was about the latest fashion in Paris, the production we were currently working on and gossip about the Prima Donna, several members of the orchestra and every other unfortunate soul who was deemed out of the ordinary and therefore means of ridicule.

Although I did not particularly like gossiping, nor the mindless chattering about fashion trends and the like, I was very much content to have the attention shifted away from my own private life to something much less intrusive. I had needed this, I realized, for it had been long since I had felt completely at ease among the other girls. The never-ending stream of questions about whatever was going on between monsieur Rousseau and myself, my secrets concerning a certain Ghost, even the strange dreams I'd been having ever since I could remember made me feel like an outsider, like I somehow didn't belong. But now, I could finally breathe. And it felt good.

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