I saw Angélique fall within herself; I noticed she seems to normally do this when she is severely stressed or traumatised like she is right at this moment. Without a second thought I grabbed the man by his collar and pushed him hard against a nearby statue.
“Mercy is usually not a word found in my vocabulary but I will allow it for her sake! But if I ever catch you in this Opera House again I will have no qualms in ending your life next time! Now leave and never return!” I seethed angrily and I watched stoically as he ran off with his metaphorical tail between his legs. I then turned my attentions to Angélique who was still lying unconscious on the floor. Why did I spare his life? Normally I would kill someone without a second thought but I didn’t this time; why didn’t I kill him for her sake? Am I thinking about the consequences if she knew I killed the boy even though she clearly has a bad past with him? I decided to think nothing more on the matter and so I lifted her up to carry her back down to my lair. I laid her down and made the tea; I just hope she doesn’t become mute again after her ordeal otherwise all of my hard work to heal her would be for naught. I got to the room and saw her sitting up whilst looking around. Her eyes must have fallen upon my form because a moment she looked away from me angrily. But why the hostility considering I saved her life?
“You may leave.” She said evenly after taking the tea from me but I refused to leave the room.
“I am not leaving until I know why you are being so hostile towards me considering I just saved your life from that wretched man.”
“You really are so inexperienced about this sort of thing aren’t you?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know what you are talking about. I will come back and deal with this matter when you stop talking in riddles.” And with that I left the room to leave her with her thoughts.
All I could do was watch as the masked man left out of the room with purpose in his stride. Was he really that clueless as to the feelings I had for him? Was he really that much in love with Christine that my feelings meant nothing to him? After finishing my tea I tried to sleep to calm my thoughts but all I could think about was the way Antoine raped me the night of the Masquerade and how the masked man still pursued Christine even though she was engaged. But if he cares about Christine so much why did he save my life? Since sleep eluded me so I decided to take a visit to the cemetery where my parents are buried hoping to unburden my soul. After getting into a black dress and donning my wig I left out of the Opera House to see it was early in the morning as mist still hung in the air and it gave the Opera House a mysterious feel to it. After boarding a carriage I told the driver where to take me and I lost myself in a bubble of peace as the carriage jerked into motion. Soon enough the carriage jerked to a stop and I saw the gates of the cemetery in front of me; after paying the driver I slowly opened the gates and entered through it. I then opened my mouth and started to sing.
The day starts
The day ends
Time crawls by
Night steals in pacing the floor
The moments creep
Yet I can't bear to sleep
'Til I hear you sing
And weeks pass
And months pass
Still you don't walk through my door
And in a haze
I count the silent days
'Til I hear you sing once more
And sometimes at night time
I dream that you are there
But wake seeing nothing
But the dark night air
And years come
And years go
Time runs dry
Still I ache down to the core
My broken soul
Can't be alive and whole
'Til I hear you sing once more
And music, your music
It teases at my ear
I turn and it fades away
And you're not here
Let hopes pass
Let dreams pass
Let them die
Without you, what are they for?
I'll always feel
No more than halfway real
'Til I hear you sing once more. As the last note echoed ominously around the cemetery I found myself at my parent’s grave and I knelt down heavily in front of it.
“Why did you have to leave me all alone in this cruel world? I tried to join you but this mysterious masked man who lives under the Opera House saved my life. I hold so much gratitude for him but have a feeling it is something more; I am scared of him rejecting my feelings though. What do I.....?” Before I could continue my sentence I heard a beautiful singing voice which I knew belonged to Christine. But what was she doing here? And to whom did the male singing voice belong to? I went to investigate and I saw Christine walking up towards a large mausoleum. But before she got anywhere near it I heard a shout that was familiar to me.
“No, Christine, wait! Wait!” I then heard Christine shout out.
“Raoul!” I watched as Raoul approached the mausoleum with single minded determination as he said evenly as he drew out his sword.
“Whatever you may believe, this man - this thing - is not your father!” Before I could even react the masked man jumped out from the top of the mausoleum and started to fight Raoul. But why does this Raoul seem to familiar to me? Was he a man from the past I would rather forget or is it just because he is patron of the Opera House? But before I could even think anything more on the matter I heard Christine plead quietly.
“No Raoul no! Not like this.” I saw Raoul with his sword poised at the masked man’s chest and for a moment he looked like he wasn’t going to budge. Christine then went up to him and looked at him pleadingly and soon enough he put his sword away and helped Christine onto the horse. I watched as he rode away and I then heard the masked man mutter something angrily under his breath about making war upon them both. I guess he still cares about Christine; but did she care for him too since she saved his life? I walked back to the Opera House alone trying to suppress the tears that soon came unbidden down my cheeks. I then went straight down to the lair hoping I wouldn’t bump into my masked saviour but that wasn’t to be tonight.
“Why were you at the cemetery?!” He yelled demandingly as he grabbed me tightly around the shoulders causing me to wince in pain.
“Well speak girl or I swear to God I will not hesitate in hurting you!” I then noticed the faint smell of alcohol on his breath and my mind was flooded with memories of some of the drunken men I had to serve who would beat me when I refuse to serve them. I whimpered in fear as the memories flooded my mind and I started apologising over and over to no-one in particular. I then surrendered to the darkness that soon took over.......
After trying to interrogate the girl about her presence at the cemetery she seemed to whimper a little when I threatened her but instead of replying to my statement she instead started apologising over and over.
“I’m sorry! I will do anything you say just please don’t hurt me.” She murmured. Why would I hurt her though? I know I threatened her but would I really hurt her? Soon enough she lost consciousness and so I carried her over to the chair in front of the fire and waited for her to wake up. But as I watched the girl sleep I sensed another presence in the room and I drawled sarcastically.
“Ah Nadir, to what do I owe this pleasure?”
“I see you have manhandled her again. Why is it always you that seems to manhandle her and what was it about this time?”
“I didn’t manhandle her exactly. She was at the cemetery when I tried to win Christine’s heart and I demanded to know why.” I replied evenly as I continued to watch her sleep.
“You told me she was traumatised when you found her. Do you think the reason she behaved like that was because you triggered some repressed memory that reminded her of her past?”
“But what could have made her beg to me like that to not hurt her? Someone must have been abusing her before I found her. A family member or past employer perhaps?” I questioned curiously.
“There will be no point in asking about my past because I won’t tell you anything about it.” I heard a voice seethe angrily and I looked up to see her looking at me with a guarded expression on her face. Before I could even respond she had already left the room; slamming the door shut behind her.
“I guess inside she is still deeply traumatised; she is going to be harder to heal than I first thought.” Nadir said as he stared at the spot where she was standing moments ago.
“But there is always a way to heal a person; you just need to find the best way of doing so.”
“I am running out of options; I just don’t know what to do. What with the opera that is coming up in a couple of hours and I still need to make sure Christine is ready and that everything is planned out correctly. I don’t have time to heal her if she doesn’t want to be healed.”
“So you are basically giving up on her?” He asked. All I could do was nod and I turned around when I heard a forlorn voice say quietly.
“I see how it is; I am just a burden, I am just getting in the way of your plans to get Christine. Well I’ll get out of your way; I’ll make sure I won’t be a burden on you any longer. I’ll live up there in the world above and I’ll survive like I’ve done before.” And with that she left out of the room without a reply from me.
“Well aren’t you going to go after her?” I turned and looked at Nadir with a confused expression on my face.
“Why would I need to do that?” And with that I went towards the corridor that led to Christine’s dressing room to see it empty again. Where was she? Why wasn’t she in her room by now? I then decided to go in search for her when I heard voices coming from the chapel. I reached the corridor that was near the chapel and I heard Christine and Raoul talking with each other; I heard them talking about me and I clenched my fists angrily and with that I went back down to my lair to prepare myself for the opera.
It was coming up to the Phantom’s opera and I was carrying out the last repairs and alterations on all of the costumes before the opera began in about an hour or so. I cannot believe he wanted to pry into the past I would rather forget; why would he be so concerned about my wellbeing anyway when he clearly loves Christine? But why does my heart flutter every time I see him? Do I still really harbour feelings for the man who saved my life even though he has irked me so many times before? I shook my head and continued to alter the rest of the costumes before the opera started.
Soon enough it was the start of the opera and I watched from the wings in case any costumes need to be fixed quickly but also to see what the masked man had spent so much time writing. Why would you spend most of your life writing just one opera? The opening notes started to play and I instantly fell in love with the music; it was sensuous and dramatic and so very different to anything I had ever heard before. Soon enough to came to the big scene of the opera and I watched as Piangi left the stage and Christine came on singing as beautiful as always; however I noticed there wasn’t a lot of passion in her voice and I could hear the nerves present in her voice. Suddenly another voice echoed around the stage and I realised it wasn’t Piangi singing; I took a peek from the wings to see the masked man singing on stage with Christine. I clenched and unclenched my fists in anger. Without anyone noticing I left the wings and went back down to the lair; I needed to play his organ to drown out the sound of their voices entwining in love’s duet.
I wasn’t sure how much time passed exactly but what stopped me playing for a moment was the screams of panic and the tremors that shook through the cavern. What was going on? I then heard footsteps approach and so I hid out of sight to see how the events unfold in front of me........