Deborah loves all books, her favorites being mystery and romance. She writes fiction on her spare time.
I held the parchment in my hand. The joy I felt reading the tender words had been like a drink from an oasis after feeling parched of thirst.
The knife of guilt pricked at my heart. I was violating my obligations of both understandings.
My angel had written me a letter. I would never admit how happy his endearing message had made me. Never the less I was all too aware of the cruelty of not replying. In truth he demanded nothing. He wished to see me. He stated that he missed our conversations and my beautiful voice as well as my presence. I knew unquestionably that he had listened to my song during the last performance.
He asked to meet with me, and he understood if I wished to refuse such an intimate engagement.
I wanted to see my angel even if it was for one last time. It was a betrayal to Raoul, but I had betrayed my angel on every other count. I did not wish to miss this opportunity to speak to him.
I took pen to paper. Then held my quill timidly… How would I relay this message to him? He had left his own letter here in my room, but that was surely an easy task for him. For me it would be nearly impossible to deliver him a letter. I looked at my mirror with a new-found fear. If I ever decided to seek him out, I would be incapable of finding him.
I set that thought aside and began to write. I would pass my note to Madam Giry. Surely, she would know where to leave it for him to find.
I will meet with you. I do not fear that you will harm me. We have already discussed so much and come to an understanding. I will gladly see you again, and meet you at the appointed time at the chosen place.
The words were ungenerous. I found that unfortunate since I knew I would most likely become speechless while in his presence.
I carefully closed the letter and tied it.
I left my dressing room. I knew I could not find her out on the stage, rehearsals had ended hours ago. It was late and very dark. I did not like this time of night. The opera was so quiet, yet each time the feeling of being watched felt as if shrieks disturbed the quiet halls.
I held the candle up as I walked the passageway to her door. I knocked carefully hoping not to overly disturb her. Her door opened abruptly; she already wore her bonnet. Her shawl was wrapped snugly around her shoulders.
“Christine?” She asked slightly irritated.
“Madam Giry will you please give this to him?” I held up the letter.
“Him. Please… I am sorry to disturb you so late.” I hoped that she would hear my plea.
Her eyes turned knowing and cold. Yet she tilted her head.
“Monsieur Phantom.” I whispered ever so low under my breath.
Her eyes appraised me from head to foot, no longer irritated but with concern.
“I know nothing of this.” she replied.
Refusing to give a vocal agreement. I held it up again.
“Please it’s very important that he receives this.”
She took the note and stowed it away in her gown. She nodded stiffly, as did I.
“Goodnight.” I said kindly and turned away.
I heard the door close behind me.
I returned to my room. My choice had not been driven by reason, but by the depth of sadness I had felt reading his letter. It was not him who was in desperate need to see one another again.
I looked at the mirror once more before blowing out my candle.
I stood on stage and attempted to make the last note. It was difficult today, we all chose our places and performed with the expectation that would come tomorrow. The last song would be the most difficult. It was the most tragic lyric with demanding notes. I remembered well what he had instructed me to do in such cases. I sang from the beginning to the end.
There was shouting, as everyone had to remember their designated place on the stage.
Then came a pause of rest. I collected myself, Madam Giry was not here. I saw her from a distance, she was tending to the boxes. At once a saw her preparing to travel up! I knew where she was intending to go.
Box 5! Of course, she would place my letter there. It was the most likely location in the opera house that would reach his hands. It had not occurred to me to leave it there. I mentally decided that plan may have failed. I did not know exactly how Madam Giry and he relayed messages. I would surely make a mistake in the endeavor.
We began again. Pianza joined me for the duet in act 1. I remembered when my angel had joined me once in a duet. I had never felt that way again in all my performances or moments I had sung. His voice was not like anything else I had ever heard. The beauty in the music he made could be compared to nothing else than an angel.
I removed my costume. We left the stage intending to return in a few hours. I quickly redressed. Perhaps I would have enough time…
Meg ran up to me with enthusiasm.
“Christine there is a note for you!”
I took the paper quickly. Had he gotten my message?
It was from Raoul.
“What does it say?” Meg asked me excitedly.
“Raoul won’t be able to meet me today. An urgent matter has come up.”
“Oh! That is awful.”
I was ashamed that I had entirely forgotten of our engagement today. I might have forgotten to meet him as well had he not sent me this note.
“It must be wonderful!”
“What is Meg?”
“Being engaged to the Vicomte. It is surely a wonderful match.”
“Yes. It is.”
I returned to my dressing room. I would try my very best to meet him today. If not now, tonight. I looked at my mirror. A world existed hidden behind it. If not under the opera house, in my memories. To me he was not Erik, not the Phantom, not even a Maestro. He was my angel.
To be continued....
© 2020 Deborah Minter