So you are, you are the legend, the Phantom of the Opera.
I am what man has made me, with his hate and cruel ways.
Why are you? Why am I?
The Phantom of the Opera.
I have to see... You’ll never see...
What’s behind the mask.
Those words repeat in my mind never ending. Whispering secretly. Hearing or rather imagining the inevitable voice that I adore. A voice that I not only adored but also dared to let it take flight; high above the heavens. Always wishing to reach there but not on my own, I wanted Christine at my side. Yet she her heart longs for someone else.
“Opf! Pardon monsieur.” Apologized the young man after he walked into me and paced on the opposite direction from where I came. Barely noticing me and yet eager to see the flames of the Opera Populaire. Barely noticing that I am dressed entirely in black from head to foot; even concealing my face or rather my mask with a big hat. No mysterious stranger, indeed.
The Opera Populaire was the very building I lived so far to see it grow and bloom and now wither in the flames of destruction. It started and ended by me; brick by brick. Maybe you have guessed so far I am running away in search of safety but not any safety. A certain safety off curious eyes and at least where I can find my peace to finish my ‘Don Juan Triumphant’. Planning to start with the catacombs and maybe from there I hope to find something better. Although I am focused on what I shall do and maybe where to look or watch, my mind always wanders back to that face that I adore. Beginning to see her face everywhere from the corners of my eyes like a mere ghost. Ironically I was the ghost for other people, known as the Phantom of the Opera and now it is the opposite. I think many people have their own sorts of ghosts, like ghosts of their past. Mine are not nice to look back and do not really want to think back. Never had a loving mother and my father was never there. Mistreated by the Shah in Persia, got almost executed and blinded and now this. Indeed some charming past to look back and it could not be worse, right? On the contrary. Every year that passes makes it unbearable for me. What hate and cruelty; my archenemy as twins. Fighting a combat between the two with your own bare hands and wit. A combat that I have always lost; causing on me more scars than any strong warrior or soldier bears. Especially now where I let go the love of my life; I do not know if I can withstand this any longer. Seeking vainfully after respect, love and to be accepted the way I am. Like a blind person seeking after some damn light or colour.
Briefly I shook my head to get rid of those painful thoughts and paced off down to the catacombs. Through a secret passage close by the Tube is a door that does not look so inconspicuous at first sight. Many people who pass by believe it is a door to the sewers or where the electricity is stored. It is actually a long forgotten entrance to the catacombs. As I stepped into its dark and silent world, I felt for brief moment some peace. The coolness and the deep silence astoundingly soothed my mind but alas not entirely. Like the new opera owners I have now nothing. Everything went up in flames except, my music. The only inspiration that I have left. I clinged the papers with the music notes closer to my heart, as if holding an infant to keep it warm. The only creation that I can not dare to destroy in any way. It is a part of my soul and heart. My flesh and blood presented through paper and ink. I would give my retched, cursed life if I must. If I had to choose between music and Christine, which luckily will never be the case, I think I would choose music. It all sounds heartless because I am and music is now the only thing that understands me like no one else. It will never betray me nor come to a misunderstanding and it is the only thing to help me express my feelings and my life. A life of a monster who dreams of beauty, fair and justice.
What dreams? Dreams of a fool with a horrid face! I clasped my cloved hands to my masked face. I am a fool and always will be. A fool with this, this face. I tore the mask off and threw it to some dark corner along my cloves. The papers rustled like leaves in autumn to the dusty ground. My cry echoed along the walls like that of a ghost but only a dangerous and a damned one.
Suddenly something small and warm trickled at one corner of my eye. I slowly searched with my finger. It was wet and warm. What is this? Is it what others call; a tear? A tear of what? Sorrow? Love?
Love. Oh Christine; how I wish to have you in my arms. Wishing to hear your beautiful voice; once more.