The next morning I got up with my mind still plagued with thoughts of this O.G. person the managers was speaking of yesterday. Who was this person? Why do they threaten the managers for money? And what is their name? I decided to get straight downstairs to eat my breakfast before my mistress demands I do a large number of tasks which I know will exhaust me by the end of the day. I just hope I won’t have to provide my ‘services’ to anyone tonight. I don’t enjoy giving my ‘services’ to anyone but I have no choice; if I refuse to please Carlotta’s guests she would kick me out onto the streets for sure.
“Angélique! Where are you child?!? I want my breakfast done immediately then my carriage brought round to the front. Then whilst I’m out I want you to wash all of the floors, mend my dresses and then prepare dinner for our guests tonight! If you don’t get this done by the time I get back I will dock your pay this week!” Carlotta screeched demandingly. All I could do was nod and do a slight curtsy in response and went straight to the kitchens to sort out breakfast. Whilst she was sitting at the table eating her breakfast I went to the stables to sort out her carriage. After bringing the carriage round to the front I didn’t even see her go off but instead went straight down to getting on with the other tasks she wanted me to do for the day. I couldn’t afford for my pay to be docked and I couldn’t afford to displease her otherwise I could lose my job. And if I were to lose my job I would have to sell myself in order to survive as no opera house would take me on as a singer; whether it be in the chorus or as the prima donna. But after my parents died I knew my dream would never come true and so I gave up on it; why would anyone want an orphaned girl like me who sold herself in a way to complete strangers to earn a living and who wasn’t really that pretty at all? Also I always believed my voice to be quite average in quality and have heard better singers than myself.
It was drawing closer to dinner time and I realised I never had any lunch since beginning my chores this morning. I quickly made myself a plate of bread and cheese and ate it whilst working by taking a bite out of a bit of cheese or bread now and again. I soon had a pot of meat and vegetable stew bubbling nicely over the stove which could be left simmering on a low heat whilst I got the table set for the guests tonight. I tried to set the table as best as I could even though there was a lack of knowledge concerning the number of guests eating tonight. Just as I finished checking the stew and adding some more herbs and spices I heard the front door open and a loud female voice echoed into the kitchen followed by three very boisterous and familiar male voices. I could tell almost immediately that the three males were the managers and the patron from the Opera House and the fact they were drunk. I guess they had come back from a gala party or something like that. I just hope that none of them want my ‘services’ tonight because otherwise I could never follow my dream of being an opera singer if I have to work in the theatre where the people who used me worked there.
“Good evening. Dinner’s ready. If you set yourselves down at the dinner table I will serve up your dinner and wine momentarily.” I exclaimed politely and I went in the direction of the kitchen before they had even sat themselves down. Five minutes later I came out with their dinner on a plate. I then quickly went back into the kitchen to get the wine and glasses to accompany their meal.
That night I had dreams that were filled with applause as I sang on stage in front of hundreds and thousands of people. I felt so elated and beautiful as I looked across the audience to see all of these smiling faces clapping and cheering for me. But then my eyes fell upon a box that held a mysterious figure who was also clapping. The figure threw down a single red rose with a black ribbon around it and the last thing I saw before I woke up was a white mask. What was the significance of the dream and who was the mysterious masked figure? Was it the Opera Ghost? Why did I have a dream like this when I clearly wouldn’t ever sing again yet alone in front of an audience? I shook my head and decided to no longer dwell on the matter but instead get ready for the day presuming it was going to be a busy day. I didn’t want to work too hard on my birthday but if I wanted to get paid then I had no choice. Maybe I could treat myself to something nice from town once I finished my chores for the day. Today I am going to be 18; I can’t believe a year has gone since I started working here with Carlotta. I know I was 17 at the time I started employment but I never realised how quickly time can go sometimes until you celebrate something as big as your 18th birthday then it makes you realise how short life can be sometimes. After changing into my uniform I went straight to the kitchen to prepare myself a small breakfast before starting on the chores. Carlotta had already informed me that Antoine Beaumont and his father were coming round this evening. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing him again after that first night we met. I still hated him for stealing my virginity and ruining my chance of ever falling in love and marrying a man who would care for me like I was made of glass. But I knew I would never fall in love. But my musings were interrupted by Carlotta demanding I make our guest happy by allowing him to use my ‘services’ and I tried to keep a polite smile as I lead him upstairs to my room. That night I zoned out as he had his way with me.......