Deborah loves all books, her favorites being mystery and romance. She writes fiction on her spare time.
I tossed and turned in bed.
I would not sleep or have any peace until I knew. I threw my blankets aside. I carefully stepped into my shoes and stood. The gown I wore a few hours before would suffice as well as my copper hair pin.
I peered into the corridor as I quietly opened the door. There didn’t seem to be anyone out of slumber. The large passages were so still. I walked quietly down the dark hall. I did not know what I wanted to do? The quiet empty dark opera house at this time of night seemed like a direct passage to him.
I walked to the auditorium. It seemed much vaster in the dark. The massive red curtain to the stage had already been lowered. I peered at the seats above.
I stepped softly to the upper levels. There were those who had said they could feel his presence. I walked up to the box. It was the only place I felt closest to him in the opera house. I could never reach him below.
It was most likely locked. I cupped my hand over the handle.
It turned easily. It had not been locked.
I entered box five and quietly closed the door behind me. I sat slowly in the familiar chair. The curtains had been partially drawn. Just enough to see into the grand auditorium. I did not look out of them.
I felt pleasantly apart from the outside world. Enclosed in the sheltering cover of the curtains and mahogany walls of the opera box. I had been here once before in the open lighted splendor of the performance. Those were different times with him.
I put my hands over my face and wept.
I did not wish to remember those moments, yet they were the moments of my life that I cherished within the secret recesses of my heart.
“What are you doing here Christine?”
I became still.
He was not within the opera box… yet… the voice of a phantom was here by my side. There was something comforting in the voice.
“I wanted to be quiet and alone Maestro.”
“It is the best box of the opera…” He whispered “…and it provides quite a view.”
My outrage boiled over my sense as if my anger were boiling over a tea kettle.
“Is it true that you love Carlotta?”
I nearly shouted. “...And that there is an understanding between the both of you?” There was utter silence after my question. I could nearly picture him in my head…
I heard a chuckle.
“Carlotta is already engaged to the attention of another… three to be correct.”
“Perhaps you meet with her in secret as an agreement?” I asked quietly.
“As flattering as your suggestion is, my liaison is with the music of this Opera House.”
Tears silently filled my eyes.
“If you approached her, she would no doubt accept you?” I realized how unfitting my questions had become. It was improper of me to request such information from him.
“If my appearance were as pleasing as the melody, I have created….”
His voice came closer to me somehow, right by my ear.
“…. I would choose a song bird not a toad.” He whispered.
I flinched at the reminder of his visage.
“She is learning music from her teacher.” I declared.
“Is that so?”
“Who else could teach her music to perfection?”
“Indeed. I agree who else could instruct her music to perfection.’’
“Not you?” I asked with hope.
“The time for my instruction has come and gone. The occasion for such music to take flight remains in the past.”
His voice had lost all humor.
I could no longer hold back the tears. I cried.
“Christine do not weep.”
I now only felt sadness. Not of his misunderstood engagement but of the possibility that he could truly forever be apart from me.
“I thought you had forgotten me.”
He asked so quietly I nearly believed he had disappeared.
“You have met with me before.” I said.
There was silence.
“Maestro.” I called. It was what I had called him before.
“Yes. I am still near you Christine.”
“I did not know if you knew of what had happened?”
“I am aware of the situation all of you find yourselves in.”
I tried to harness my anger. He could well be the culprit of our strange predicament. “Your missive has been that you considered our meeting void.”
“If you wish to meet me tomorrow, I will be there.” He repeated what Madam Giry had delivered to me.
“How? If we are trapped in the opera house? We are forbidden to leave.”
“Tomorrow you shall all be freed of your bondage.”
“It has not yet been decided.” I insisted.
“I am certain.”
My eyes drifted down to the burgundy floor. I looked away from the sound of the voice. “For a moment I thought you no longer wished to meet me because your heart had found… Carlotta.”
“Oh, Beware, my lord, of jealousy!... It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock. The meat it feeds on.”
I recognized the line from Othello. His voice had surrounded me with the lyrical verse.
“I thought you may not want to meet me anymore because…” I hesitated. “You had found another student…to teach your music.”
“You are my only student.”
I heard loud sounds and talking from the stage. I approached the window of the box and peaked out of the curtain. Men were on the stage arranging props and moving boxes.
“You better return Christine before they see you.”
I nodded. “Goodnight Maestro.” Then vacated the box.
I took care not to be noticed. I returned to my bed and covered myself. I closed my eyes and only heard music.
In the morning it felt as if it had all been a dream.
To Be Continued.....