Christine has just discovered she doesn't love Raoul and she attempts to find erik
Christine looked at the engagement ring on her finger in disgust.. It was gaudy, not at all like the one Erik had given her. His was demure and beautiful, and it seemed to sit beautifully on her finger, just as if it had been made just for her. What on earth had she done, returning something so beautiful to someone who loved her so dearly. All this for a stupid teenage infatuation. Of course she and Raoul had been childhood sweethearts, but that was years ago. Her life had taken a very different turn. She had thrown herself into her work. She had no time for crushes. Then Raoul had shown up at the rehearsal for Hannibal, being introduced as the new patron of the opera. That was were she was sure her troubles had begun, at the rehearsal. She shuddered at the thought of becoming a countess, endless entertaining, being waited on hand and foot. Was this the life she wanted to lead. All she had ever wanted to do was sing. This new life she was about to enter into would not allow her to do the thing she cherished the most. Erik would never forbid her to sing. After all, he had inspired her voice.
She noticed a pen lying on a table, with stationary lying beside it. The stationary had the de Chagny emblem at the top . She picked up the pen, and dipped it in the ink reservoir and started writing.
I'm sorry, but I've been doing a lot of thinking. If I was to marry you., loving the life of a countess would prevent me from following my heart, and doing the think I want to do most. You can probably understand what that is without my telling you. I've decide to follow my heart and return to the opera and my teacher. For both our sakes you must make no attempt to see me again. Your life depends on it. It hurts me deeply that I must leave you, but I don't fit into your life. I would be ridiculed and looked down upon, because I was an opera singer and I can not bear that form of torture. I would be scarred for life. Please believe me, I'll always love you.
She took one last look at the ring. She slid it off her finger. She laid it on the note. She quietly slipped through the house, hoping she wouldn't wake anyone. Raoul would surely find the note, when he took his morning coffee in the parlor. She closed the door behind her, and stepped off the porch and into the street. She pulled her cape tightly around her and started for Madame Giry's house.
The bitter wind stung her face, but she didn't care. All she cared about was finding her Angel of Music. She had to find him quickly. Surely Madame Giry would know where he was. Madame Giry seemed to know everything about the opera. Christine had asked her tons of questions over the years, and she never grew tired of hearing the answers, and little Meg. She and Christine had become fast friends when she first came to the opera.
Christine finally came upon Madame Giry's house. She ran up to the door, and knocked on it loudly.
Madame Giry opened the door a few minutes later.
"Madame Giry, do you know where my teacher is? I have to see him."
Madame Giry smiled, and put her hand on Christine's shoulder.
"Come inside, Christine."
Christine followed Madame Giry into the house. She was led into the parlor.
"Sit down, Christine."
Christine sank into a red velvet sofa. Madame Giry sat beside her.
Christine gasped. "Please don't tell me he's dead. He can't be dead."
"Christine, pull yourself together.. Erik's not dead. After the fire, he escaped. He had a hidden room that he could go to when he felt threatened. He stayed there for a while, until talk had settled, and he knew the mob wasn't looking for him anymore. He came here. He knew he would be safe here."
"Madame Giry, is he still here?"
"Yes, he is, but he won't see anyone. He won't even answer the door. It might work for you, but I wouldn't hold my breath."
"Can I at least try?"
"By all means, Christine. Maybe, you're the only one he'll talk to."
"He's upstairs, the first door on the right."
Christine quickly rose from the sofa, and headed for the hall. She leaped up the stairs two at a time. She finally reached the top of the stairs and found his door. Christine slowly approached the door and knocked on it gently.
"Go away." she heard the voice inside say. She noted despair and sadness in his voice. Much more than she remembered there being.
"My angel, it's me. I need to talk to you. Will you please open the door? Please, Erik open the door. We need to discuss something important. " Christine turned toward Madame Giry, who was watching at the foot of the stairs. Chhristine shrugged her shoulders and stepped away from the door. Christine felt tears start welling up in her eyes.
Erik heard the voice through the door. It was painfully familiar. He wanted desperately to open the door and take Christine into his arms and never let go of her, but reality would not let that happen. He slowly crossed the room to open the door. He could feel his heart pounding, and thoughts were racing through his mind. Was she returning to tell him goodbye forever? He hoped against hope that was not the case, but he must prepare himself for whatever was about to happen.
Erik took a deep sigh and slowly opened the door. Christine stood before him radiant as an angel. She wore a pale blue traveling dress that set off her features beautifully. Her train was bustled at her waist. The dress itself was complemented by pure white gloves. She held a parasol in her right hand. Her hair was piled neatly on top of her head. The look was completed by a delicate hat that had been placed perfectly on her head. Erik could not believe that the woman standing before him was the girl with the angelic voice that he had lured into his lair almost a year ago.
He opened the door wider and bid her to enter. She obliged. She seated herself on a delicate chair, perfectly arranged in a corner of the room.
"Erik, I left Raoul . I broke off the engagement. All my..." she corrected herself "his friends have rejected me. I have nowhere else to stay. My parents have long been dead, so naturally I can't go back to Sweden. I don't know what to do. You where the first person I knew to turn to, who wouldn't turn me away. At least you haven't yet."
Erik took her hands, and held them tightly. Christine gazed at him intently. "Christine, no matter what you did to me in the past, I have always forgiven you. I will never turn you away. You obviously knew that, even before you came here. Even the time you and Raoul were up on the roof of the opera. I saw everything. It pained me immensely. "
"Erik, I'm sorry. I heard your voice out there, but I thought I was imagining it. Why didn't you let me know you were there?"
"Christine, what else could I do? You broke my heart. I knew it would do no good to try to fight for you. You had to make your choice. I couldn't make it for you."
"Erik, is it too late?"
Erik looked at her puzzled, "What do you mean?"
"To return to you?" Christine asked, tears filling her eyes.
Eriik pulled a hankerchiief out of his pocket and wiped Christine's eyes. Then he returned his hand to hers. He squeezzed them gently.
"Christine, do you honestly think I don't love you ? Why do you thing it would be too late to return to me? I love you, Christine turned away. "Erik, I'm ashamed to say it, but the thought has crossed my mind."
Erik turned her to face him. "Christine, look at me." He tilted her face up. "Christine, I never stopped loving you. What made you think that I don't love you anymore? Would you olease answer my question?"
"Erik, it was the night of Don Juan, after you abducted me. That image of you with the look on your face as I left you., has stuck with me. That's why I can't marry Raoul. Believe me, I've tryed to push you from my memory c Erik, you have to understand, I was willing to stay with you and offer you companionship, which you so desperately needed.. You pushed me away, straight into Raoul's arms."
"Christine, I had to protect you from the approaching mob. It wouldn't have been right to run away with you, and leave Raoul tied up."
"What about the kiss, Erik? Did it not mean anything to you?"
"Christine, how can you say that? That kiss meant everything to me. You might not understand why I was spooked, but one day I will tell you everything. Just be patient my angel."
My angel, how long had it been since she last heard those words. It seemed as though the night of her first gala were years ago. Erik had come to her and taken her down to his home. He had used those words then. How she longed for those days again. To be again a young protoge' taking singing lessons from a mysterious teacher. Here he was again sitting before her, using those words once again.
Christine took off her gloves, and laid them on the table. "Erik, I need to explain something to you. Raoul and I used to be childhood sweethearts. He used to come to my father's house just to see me. We would play for hours. When my father died, Madame Giry brought me to the opera. I threw myself into my work and forgot about him. Then he returned and became a distraction. I didn't realize he was a distraction until just yesterday. I know you told me to forget about you, but Erik, it's impossible. Of course, it's supposed to be Raoul I should think about, but you're all I think about. I know it's not just compassion and pity. That's why I came to see you. You had to know."
Erik turned away and walked to the window. "Christine, if you return to me, I want to provide a normal life for you, but I don't know if I can. I've been alone for a long time." He turned back to face Christine.
"Are you sure? Life with me is not going to be easy. And what about my face?"
Christine walked across the room to him, and turned him to face her. "Erik, look at me. We've already been over this. You're face doesn't scare me. Do you remember the first time I took your mask?"
"How can I forget?"
"Erik, you didn't scare me. I saw that you had been hurting for a long time, with no one to comfort you. I had no right to take it, and I'm sorry. I wanted to hold you and comfort you, but I thought you wouldn't let me. Please don't reject me, Erik. I can't take it a second time."
Erik took Christine in his arms. He buried his face in her hair Christine could tell he was crying. "Christine..., please don't.... leave me again."
"Erik, I'll stay forever if you need me to."
"Christine, you don't know what this means to me."
Erik reluctantly pulled away from her.
"Erik, let me go tell my driver to unload everything, and dismiss him. I was heading for the train station, but it appears you need me more, so I'll stay. Would you like to go for a walk tonight."
"Let me think about it, and I'll let you know tonight."
Christine kissed Erik and rushed downstairs. She passed by Madame Giry and Meg in the hall, who were watching after her in amazement. Christine ran outside and the screen door slammed behind her. The driver climbed down out of the driver's seat and greeted her.
"Paul, I'm not going to be requiring your services the rest of the evening. Please unload my luggage. They'll let you know where to set it."
"Yes, mademoiselle." he said tipping his hat.
Christine walked bach up to the porch, where she was greeted by Madame Giry. "Christine, you look like you've been doing well. How's Raoul?"
"I left him."
"Madame Giry, don't be. I didn't realize it until a month after I left the opera that I had made the worst mistake of my life. I left him a note just before I left this morning. He knew I was miserable, but I don't think he wanted to admit it. I just wasn't cut out for life as a vicomtess."
"Christine, you know life isn't going to be easy with Erik. He isn't used to having a companion."
"He told me that also. Madame Giry. I'm prepared to face whatever may come"
Madame Giry patted her shoulder.
"I'm going inside now to start supper. You obviously love him, so this may be the best thing for you both, but please just consider what you're getting yourself into."
"Madame Giry, don't worry. Everything's going to be fine. I'm going back up to see him."
Madame Giry nodded her head.Christine watched her walk back inside. Did she just want her to be cautious, or did she have another agenda? Christine decided she must tell Erik right away. She rose out of her seat, and ran into the house, tears stinging her eyes. She bolted up the stairs. She flung open Erik's door without knocking and ran straight into his arms, nearly knocking him over.
"Christine, angel, what's the matter?"
"Is Madame Giry trying to break us up?"
"Why on earth would you think that?"
He gently pulled Christine away from him, and led her to the sofa. She sat down gently, turning her head toward the door. Erik sat beside her. He gave a deep sigh.
"Christine, Madame Giry knows me quite well.. She resued me from a life as a freak show attraction, and brought me to live in the opera. I have been living alone all my life, It's going to be difficult to adjust. She also was my box keeper. She knows I have a temper problem. If she told you to be cautious, then you need to be. My angel, you have to bear with me. All I ask of you is, that you love me unconditionally, and I'll do all I can to protect you and keep you safe. Is that too much to ask?"
Christine turned to look at Erik. She smiled, and took her hands in his.
"Erik, it isn't too much to ask. In fact, I think it's just enough."
"I'm glad you feel that way, just remember nothing's going to make me stop loving you. Close your eyes, Christine."
"What are you doing, Erik?"
"I'm surprising you with something. Just hold out your left hand and close your eyes."
Christine did as Erik asked and closed her eyes and held out her left hand. As she did so, she felt Erik take her hand and slide what felt like a ring on her finger. She couldn't be sure. She felt her hand enclose in Erik's grasp. She didn't dare pull her hand away. Then Erik said, "Open your eyes, my angel."
Christine opened her eyes and looked at her hand. On it was a beautiful diamond and sapphire engagement ring. The diamonds were set in a heartlike fashion. The sapphires surrounded the diamonds and offset them perfectly. She smiled. "Erik, this is beautiful. It looks exactly like the one I returned to you."
"My angel, it is the ring you returned. It needed to be returned to your hand."
"Erik, will I ever sing for you again, since the Opera Populaire is gone?"
"You will, my angel. Just be patient."
Christine touched Erik's face and smiled at him. She had never been so happy as she was righr now.