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Bid Time Return

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Bid Time Return

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Chapter One: Elisabeta

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Elisabeta Rogers…

That was her real name. But to be what she wanted be, changing it was the only option. Now everyone knew her as Elisabeta Devereaux. As an aspiring opera singer, her dream was to become the Prima Donna at the Opera Populaire in Paris, France. But for right now, she was stuck in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in the United States.

Standing at five feet seven inches, she had green eyes, pixie – cut flamboyant red hair, skin white as snow, and a beautiful soprano voice to complete the physical ensemble. Sadly in need of a personal vocal coach, she could not afford one. She lived in New York on her own in a one bedroom apartment with a horribly loud trumpet player that lived upstairs. Everyday, she got up, ate breakfast, dressed, left the apartment, and crossed the street where the world of opera was waiting for her.

First, she would go to rehearsal for that week’s or month’s performance. Then it was music class, learning and studying different operas and the artists who created them. Her favorite was what was known to everyone as the “Mystery” show.

It was called “Don Juan Triumphant.”

Elisabeta was the only one who actually enjoyed the music. Teachers thought it was too sensual and advanced for the young hopeful students. Elisabeta thought otherwise. It also seemed that Elisabeta was the student was highest range. She could reach the High “C” with the greatest of ease, yet she always struggled with the lowest note of “Don Juan Triumphant.” The other girls would poke fun at her when she reached the note. As always, her voice would go lower…and lower…and lower…to the point where it would crack, loud enough for the teachers to yell at her and the other students to start laughing.

However, despite all the torture of the life of an artist, Elisabeta wasn’t all that unhappy. In fact, she was very enthusiastic.

Especially when she opened her mail box, on Monday morning to find an invitation inside.

It asked her to join a certain number of students to travel to Paris, France. They would sit in box seats at the Opera Populaire, while watching a special opera. What the students did not know, or were not meant to know was that the show would be “Don Juan Triumphant.” The opera had not been performed since the 1870, when during the show, the opera house caught on fire. To this day, it remained a mystery as to who or what even started the disaster. All anyone ever knew was that one person had been killed…by strangulation.

The murderer was never found.

That day on Monday morning, when Elisabeta got the invitation in her mail box, she raced to work.

“Can you believe this! A trip to Paris!” she shouted to her friend Lora.

“Of all the shows to see, why did it have to be this one?” Lora said.

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, you’ve heard and read the lyrics, it doesn’t make sense. It’s also a little too sexy to sing. For me anyway.” Replied Lora.

“It’s “Don Juan Triumphant? How do you know that?” she asked.

“My mother is the director. She told me, and swore me to secrecy. But I figured since this one is your favorite, you deserved to know.” Lora said.

Elisabeta smiled, but then she remembered.

“Wait, haven’t you been to the Opera Populaire?” asked Elisabeta.

“Yes, but it was to see “The Magic Flute.” Said Lora.

“What does the place look like from inside? The opera house, I mean. Is it beautiful? What seat should I sign up for?”

Lora was a bit amused that her young friend was so excited to go. (Elisabeta was only eighteen, the youngest chorus member in her level at the Met.)

“Yes, it’s exquisite, but the great chandelier has electric lights and not candles. Try Box Five. Everyone says it’s the best seat in the whole auditorium.” Said Lora.

“This is going to be so much fun! Will you help me pack? I haven’t the slightest idea what to bring. I’ve never been to Europe. In fact, I’ve never even left this country.” Said Elisabeta.

“Slow down girl. I’ll email you a list of stuff to take with you.” Lora said.

Elisabeta hung her head down. Lora had forgotten that Elisabeta was the only person on the planet who didn’t own a computer. She couldn’t even afford her own cell phone.

“Oh sorry, I forgot.” Said Lora.

“It’s alright. Just call me tonight.” Said Elisabeta.

The rest of the day went by fast.

At least for Elisabeta.

She was given her airline ticket, all paid for, including her seat for the show in Paris. On the way home, she went to the travel book store, and picked up some information on France and the Opera Populaire itself. Finally reaching her apartment, she went inside, dropped her stuff on the floor, and sat down on the couch. Taking out the ticket to the show, she took a deep breath and read her seat.

Box Five

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Chapter 2 – The Hall of History

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Paris, France

Two weeks later…

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The flight across the Atlantic was long and nauseating. The plane took off like a rocket, and landed like a ship’s anchor falling to the bottom of the ocean. After she picked up her luggage, Elisabeta got into a taxi that took her through the crowded streets of Paris. Traveling by herself, Elisabeta was nervous. She was starving and didn’t even know if she’d gotten a suitable hotel. She looked into her purse just to make sure that she still had her opera ticket with her. Suddenly, the taxi passed a McDonald’s and she sighed with relief. Finally, the vehicle pulled to her home for the seven days.

It was called Hotel L’Imperial. Getting out of the car, she paid the driver, picked up her suitcase, and walked inside. The hotel was small, but beautiful. Chandeliers everywhere, cherry wood furniture, and the place smelled of roses. Elisabeta checked in, and went into the elevator. It was only big enough for one person! As she reached her floor and walked down the hallway, something caught her eye. It was a sign on top of a doorway that led to small room. The sign said: Hall of History.

“Hmmm, sounds interesting. Might as well take a look.” Elisabeta thought to herself.

She opened the door to her flat and gasped. The bed was smaller than the average American sized twin bed! It had one small window that overlooked the chimneys of the surrounding buildings. She went into the bathroom and noticed that there was no tub. There was only a small cement square on the ground with long hose attached to the wall above it.

“I suppose this must be a French version of a shower. Oh well, I’ll just endure.” She said to herself.

Opening her suitcase, she changed into some jean shorts with a red top. Putting on her sneakers, she then went into the bathroom, and brushed her pixie-cut hair. Leaving her room, she took her camera with her, and walked towards the one-person elevator. Suddenly, she heard something.

It was music.

And it was coming from the Hall of History. Curious, Elisabeta took a detour and went through the doorway. She found the source of the music.

It was coming from a strange but beautifully crafted monkey music box.

Then she saw the sign that said “Do Not Touch.”

“But who wound up the music box?” she said out loud.

“Oh, I see you found it.” said a voice from behind.

Elisabeta whipped around in surprise. She hadn’t even heard the man standing before her enter the room. He was an older man. At least sixty years old. He had white hair and a mustache. He was dressed in servant’s uniform and holding a duster in his hand.

“Found what?” Elisabeta asked.

“Why his music box of course. That is a special little thing. Belonged to a special man who lived many years ago.” He said.

Elisabeta was intrigued.

“Man? What man?” she asked.

“That man, mademoiselle,” he said pointing to a painting at the far end of the room.

Elisabeta looked at the painting. It was a portrait of young man dressed in a black suit with cloak draping over his shoulders. She began to walk towards, and looked closer. The man in the painting was quite handsome. Not only being clean-shaven, he had a strong jaw line, full sensuous lips, and a pair of green eyes that were to die for.

She sighed. Never had she seen such a man. But one thing really caught her attention. The man was wearing a white mask on the upper right side of his face.

“How strange,” she said.

“Strange indeed. You seem quite taken with him.” said the old man said.

Elisabeta had forgotten that the old man was even there. She was so enraptured by the painting. She could have sworn that the eyes of the man were trying to cast a hypnotic spell over her. Finally, she spoke.

“Who is he? There’s no name plate on it.” she asked the old man.

“No one knows. His picture is there because of the mask. No one had ever seen anything quite like it.” said the old man.

“Do you know who painted it? asked Elisabeta.

“No. They found it in his room the day after he left.”

“He stayed here?” she asked.

“Oh yes. In room B5.” He said.

“When was it painted? How old was he? Is he still alive?” asked Elisabeta.

The old man smiled.

“I believe it was painted somewhere around 1870, and I believe he was in his thirties at the time.” He said.

Elisabeta hung her head. That meant that he was indeed not alive. The old man spoke again.

“Some people believe that he was the Phantom of the Opera.” He said.

Elisabeta looked up. She’d heard that story before, but never really thought anything of it. Then she yawned.

“Looks as if you need a nap.” Said the old man.

“Yes.” She said.

And with that, Elisabeta left the Hall of History, and made her way back to her room. Turning the key in the doorknob, she noticed the room number on her door.

B5

She gulped and opened the door. She widened her eyes. The room smelled of roses.

“Wow, this is too much. Better get some sleep. The opera is tonight.” She told herself.

She took off her shoes and climbed into bed. Closing her eyes, she smiled as the music of the monkey box lulled her to sleep.

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Ch. 3 – The Opera

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Elisabeta stood in front of the full length and looked at herself. The evening gown, to her, was exquisite. It had survived the flight to Paris. It had no wrinkles or creases whatsoever. The evening gown was pale pink that had a small train trailing down the back. The top of the bust stopped below her shoulders. Quite a bit of cleavage was showing, and she was quite shy about that little. She wore white long gloves that traveled up her arms, and stopped just before her elbows. She had her hair in a beautiful French braid and she a gold necklace with a solid white pearl hung just at the end of the golden chain. Her makeup was simple and she wore a rose scent.

Yes, she was ready.

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The Opera Populaire

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The taxi pulled up out front. Elisabeta was in awe. The opera house all aglow. Golden lights lit up the place from inside and there were fireworks exploding in the night sky. She looked around. All along the sides of the buildings that surrounded the opera house were posters with scenes of “Don Juan Triumphant” on them. With a stomach full of butterflies, Elisabeta held her head up and headed front door.

The opera begins.

Here the sire may serve the dam,

Here the master takes his meat!

Here the sacrificial lamb

Utters one despairing bleat!

Poor young maiden!

For the thrill on your tongue of stolen

Sweets, you will have to pay the bill –

Tangled in the winding sheets!

Serve the meal and serve the maid!

Serve the master so that, when tables,

Plans, and maids are laid Don Juan

Triumphs once again!

Elisabeta sat in Box Five and watched the dancers perform, and the singers scream their lyrics. Her senses began to fly out of control. Before she knew it, her hands were sweating and her eyes were widening.

Finally, her favorite part began.

Past the Point of No Return

The final threshold

The bridge is crossed!

So stand and watch it burn!

We’ve passed the Point of No…

Return…

As the song ended the gypsy girl was kissed and the performance was over. Never had Elisabeta felt so exhilarated in all her life. She couldn’t move from her seat! When she actually got up and left Box Five, she had trouble walking straight, because she was so hypnotized by the music. Getting into the taxi, she closed her eyes and dreamt of how she would’ve loved to have been seduced by the lustful Don Juan.

Back at the hotel, Elisabeta had taken the elevator up to her floor and was walking down the hallway. On the way, she once again passed the Hall of History. She caught sight of the possibly Phantom of the Opera’s face in the painting at the end of the room.

“If only he were my Don Juan.” She thought.

She reached her room, B5, unlocked the door and went inside. Taking off her dress, slip, shoes, and gloves, she went into the bathroom, and took a hot, relaxing bath. After she was done, she dried herself off with huge pink towel. Putting on her long cotton nightgown, Elisabeta got into bed.

This time she did not hear the monkey music box like before when she taken her nap earlier in the day. Not being able to sleep, she decided to sing to herself hoping that that would work.

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

She thought of the man in the painting.

His eyes

His lips

His mask

Soon she was asleep.

Then it began…

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Chapter Four – The Arrival

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Flowers fade

The fruits of summer fade

They have their season, so do we

But please promise me that sometimes

You will think…ah…ah…ah..ahhhhhhh!

Of me!

The applause ended. Flowers were thrown and Christine Daae stood on stage smiling. Finally, she took her bow and the curtain went down.

As people began to rise from their seats, someone cried out.

“Help, we need a doctor!” cried a man sitting in Box Five.

It was Raoul de Chagny; and the woman sitting behind him in Box Five throughout the performance of “Hannibal” had fainted.

Quickly the young woman was taken backstage to the ballet dormitories where there were beds. They laid her on Christine Daae’s bed where a doctor arrived. He diagnosed the young woman with a minor fever, due to the excitement of the opera itself. Madame Giry and the doctor took off the girl’s blue silk dress and left her in her undergarments. Suddenly, the girl opened her eyes and sat straight up in the bed.

“Where am I?” cried Elisabeta.

“Relax my dear. You passed out for a little while. You are at the backstage of Opera Populaire.” Said Madame Giry.

Elisabeta blinked and looked all around her.

“I’m where!” she cried.

“The Opera Populaire. You fainted while watching the performance. You were found by the Vicompte de Chagny.” Madame Giry told her.

“Vicompte de what? What performance? And who are you?” asked Elisabeta asked.

“Here, lie back down and get some sleep. We’ll send you home in the morning.”

Elisabeta was frantic. She recognized her own name, but not where she was. She had to ask.

“M’am what time is it?”

“It is Madame Giry. And it is just after nine o’clock.” Said the woman.

Elisabeta looked at the woman. She was wearing a long black dress and had blonde hair in a black hair net. She also carried what looked like an instructor’s cane. She looked to be in her forties, age-wise, and she had a stern yet sympathetic look on her face.

Elisabeta decided to take things slowly.

“Okay, first things first. What year is it?” she asked Madame Giry.

Madame Giry was puzzled, yet she decided to play along.

“It is the year of 1870. Do you remember your name or how you came to be here?” she asked Elisabeta.

“Sort of. My name is Elisabeta Wilhelmina Devereaux.”

“Very good. Here this might help you.” said Madame Giry. She went over to the wooden vanity and picked a small hand mirror. She came back and gave it to the confused young woman. Elisabeta looked into it. Her face paled.

It couldn’t have been her!

But it was.

She could tell because that one little freckle was still on her cheekbone. The rest said otherwise. First of all, her hair was no longer red and pixie-cut. It was now long, down to her waist, and naturally curly. She stood up from the bed. She had become a little bit taller. Her eyes had become almond shaped, yet they were still emerald green. Her skin was soft and delicate, yet it had tanned just a bit. Basically, almost every physical trait had changed. All except for her eyes.

“Oh my.” She said.

Madame Giry spoke up.

“You seem to barely recognize your own face. Yet the resemblance is remarkable. You look almost exactly like Christine.” She said.

Elisabeta turned her head to face Madame Giry.

“Who is Christine?” she asked.

“Christine Daae, the young girl who performed the female lead tonight. You were sitting behind the Vicompte de Chagny. From what I’ve heard, when the performance was over, you rose from your seat, and fainted from a slight fever.” Said Madame.

Elisabeta stood there stunned. It all made sense now. She’d been watching an opera that starred this Christine Daae. She apparently fainted from a fever, yet she felt fine now. It was obvious that this Vicompte had rescued her.

“I must thank the Vicompte for helping me.” She said to Madame Giry.

“Of course you may, but you’ll have to wait. He’s with Miss Daae at the moment.” Said Madame.

“Oh,” she said.

Then she remembered.

“You said that I looked very much like Miss Daae. Would it be alright if I met her as well?” she asked.

Madame Giry thought for a moment. Christine was most likely to get a sinister visit from a certain someone tonight, because she’d spent some time with the Vicompte. It would not be a good idea for Elisabeta to interfere.

“You will meet her later. Right now I will introduce to the Vicompte de Chagny. Get dressed. I will wait outside.” She told Elisabeta.

“Okay,” she replied.

Madame Giry left the room.

When Elisabeta finally got her dress, corset, and shoes on, she went out into the hallway. The place was packed with people. Everyone was clapping and shouting sayings of congratulations. They were popping open bottles of champagne, and two men dressed formally were standing outside an elaborate door.

“Those are the managers of the theatre. Let me introduce you.” said Madame Giry.

Elisabeta followed the woman to the door and greeted the gentlemen. That was when a light brown haired man stepped out the room with the elaborate door. He stared at Elisabeta in complete shock. Elisabeta was confused again.

“Sir, is something wrong?” she asked the man.

“Amazing, you could be Christine’s understudy!” exclaimed the man.

“Pardon me?” she asked.

“You look like Christine. So much like Christine!” the man said.

Elisabeta had had enough. She had to meet Christine and see what everyone was talking about. First she had to find who she was speaking to.

“Alright, where is Christine, and the Vicompte de Chagny. I must meet them both.” She said.

The man laughed.

“Of course, how rude of me. I am the Vicompte de Chagny. You may call me Raoul. And Christine is just in that room. I’m sure she would love to meet you.” he said.

“They will meet later.” Said a familiar voice.

It was Madame Giry who’d heard the whole conversation. She gave Raoul a stern look and he took the hint.

“Send for your carriage. I will see to Miss Daae.” she said to Raoul.

“Very well. Pleasure to meet you Miss-?”

“Devereaux, Elisabeta Devereaux.” She said proudly.

With a kiss on the hand, Raoul left quickly.

“Come, you need more rest. You still look a bit flushed from the fever. You can sleep next to my daughter Meg. In Christine’s bed.” she said.

Elisabeta was too tired to argue, so she followed Madame Giry back to Meg and Christine’s room.

After putting on one of Christine’s nightgowns, she lay back down on the squeaky bed. She closed her eyes.

Angel I hear you

Speak, I listen

Stay by my side

Guide me

Angel my soul was weak

Forgive me

Enter at last

Master!

Elisabeta opened her eyes.

Was that someone singing? What kind of a song was that? Who was singing it?

She got up out of bed. Going to the door, she cracked it open. She saw someone at Christine’s door.

It was Raoul.

He was fumbling with the doorknob. It was apparently locked.

Then Elisabeta heard it.

Flattering child you shall know me

See why in shadow I hide

Look at your face in the mirror

I am there inside!

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Angel of Music

Guide and guardian

Grant to me your glory!

Angel of Music!

Hide no longer

Come to me strange angel

Christine. It had to have been Christine. There was no one else in the room.” Elisabeta thought to herself while standing at the door.

“But then who did that other voice, that hypnotic voice, belong to?” she thought

Then she heard something else.

Whose is that voice! Who is that in there!

Raoul.

Elisabeta opened the door wider.

I am your Angel of Music

Come to me Angel of Music

Raoul left. Obviously to go and get help. Elisabeta stood in the doorway. She decided to investigate.

Leaving the door open, she crept across the hall. Reaching Christine’s door, she knelt down to the keyhole and looked inside.

She froze.

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Chapter Five – Counseling Christine

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She froze.

A woman in white stood before a large ornate mirror. Suddenly, her image changed to that of a man.

A man in black.

He wore a suit with a brocade vest. His hair was a shining black, smoothly combed back over his head. His skin was clean – shaven and his eyes were that of a beautiful green. He opened his mouth and out came a booming yet hypnotic voice.

I am your Angel of Music

Come to me Angel of Music

It worked.

Now the woman in white was helplessly caught in his web. Hypnotized fully, she reached out and took his awaiting hand. Slowly and gently, the man in black guided her through the now open mirror. From what could be seen from her position outside the dressing room door, the mirror led to a large stone tunnel. Dark and dreary with cobwebs, puddles, and rats, voices began as the man and the woman disappeared.

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“What are you doing here, Miss Devereaux? You’re supposed to be sleeping.” Said Madame Giry, who’d just discovered Elisabeta peeking through Christine’s dressing room door.

Elisabeta didn’t know what to think. Had what she’d seen been real? The woman in the mirror looked like her and the man…she knew that man somehow. He looked familiar, but where from she couldn’t remember. She finally looked to Madame Giry and tried to explain herself.

“I’m sorry. I heard voices and thought something was wrong. I wanted to make sure Christine was okay.” She said.

Madame looked at the door, seemingly deep in thought.

“I’m sure she’s just fine. Now let’s get you back to bed. Tomorrow we’ll take you home.” she said to Elisabeta.

Elisabeta panicked. She didn’t know where she lived in 1870! Did she even have a home? Quickly, she stopped Madame Giry and spoke up.

“Is it possible for me to stay here for a while…my home is…being renovated?” she asked.

Madame Giry thought for a moment and finally said,

“Yes of course.”

Elisabeta returned to her bed and thought of how to get to sleep. It was difficult, because all she could think about was the white mask that the man in black wore over the right side of his face.

That face…

His face…

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8 hours later…

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She woke up to the sound of distant weeping. Getting out of bed, Elisabeta put on a robe and some slippers, and walked out of her room. The crying was coming from Christine’s room. Crossing the hall, she watched as Madame Giry opened the door and left the room. With strength, Elisabeta didn’t even bother to knock. She opened the door and walked inside.

There she was.

The woman in white.

The woman whose looks were identical to Elisabeta’s.

Young Christine Daae.

She was on the bed crying her eyes out. The door swung shut and made a loud noise. Christine looked up, her face wet with tears.

“Hello, Christine.” Was all Elisabeta could say.

“Who are you? Where did you come from? And how do you know my name?” she asked.

“My name is Elisabeta Wilhemina Devereaux. I had an accident during your performance, and was brought here. Madame Giry told me your name. Are you alright? You seem to have been crying a great deal.” Said Elisabeta.

“Yes…I’ve done something terrible. I don’t think he’ll ever forgive me.” Said Christine through her tears.

Elisabeta was curious. She sat down on the bed and motioned to hug Christine. To her surprise, the poor girl fell into her arms, crying louder than ever. Elisabeta tried to calm her. She held her like a small child and patted her head. She whispered to her. Not even knowing who “he” was, she asked:

“Why won’t he forgive you? What did you do that was so terrible?”

Christine forced herself to speak.

“I can’t tell you.” she said.

“Why? Is it a secret between you and “him?” Tell me, Christine. You can confide in me. I won’t let anyone hurt you if that’s what you’re afraid of. Let me help you.” said Elisabeta.

Christine’s eyes had dried now. She looked up at her new friend who seemed to be willing to listen to her. She decided to trust her. She had to tell someone.

“I don’t where to start.” She said.

“First, just tell me what you did. We’ll go from there.”

“I took his mask off.” Admitted Christine.

She pointed to the mirror and looked at Elisabeta. Elisabeta immediately understood to whom she was referring.

The man in black.

The white mask.

She must have removed it. Elisabeta thought for a moment. Finally, she figured out a way to get information out of Christine.

“Let’s try this, Christine. I’ll ask the questions. You just take your time and answer them. Alright? She asked.

“That’s fine.” asked the young diva.

Elisabeta began her interrogation.

“Whose mask did you remove? Where were you last night? Was that your voice I heard last night? Who is the Angel of Music? Why does he wear a –

“Slow down. I’ll tell what I can.” Interrupted Christine.

“He put a spell on me. I was taken to his home. He sang to me. I must have fainted. I awoke in his bed. I saw him at the organ. He looked lost in thought. He was so mysterious and obsessive. I didn’t think he would mind.” Said Christine.

“You didn’t think he would mind you taking off the mask?”

Christine looked down.

“Yes.” She said softly.

“Christine, what did he look like under the mask?” asked Elisabeta.

She looked up again with a look of sheer horror in her eyes.

“Oh god! He has the face of a monster! Yet he was able to fool me into thinking that he was angel.”

“The Angel of Music?”

“Yes, he was my teacher. He taught me to sing. Since I was a little girl, he was a mere voice from the darkness. He revealed himself last night.” She said.

“Christine, did he hurt you?” asked Elisabeta.

“No…well sort of. He hurt me when I discovered that he wasn’t who I thought he was.”

“What happened when you took off the mask?”

“He knocked me to the ground. He screamed cruel names at me and stormed off down the stairs to the shore of the lake.”

Elisabeta blinked.

“Lake…what lake?” she asked.

Christine told her about his lair. She also told her about the way he’d tried to seduce her, the way he looked at her, the way he sang to her, and the way he’d touched her. She then mentioned the life size doll of herself that wore a wedding gown. That made something click in Elisabeta’s mind.

“Christine, how does he feel about you? she asked the diva.

Christine looked at her strangely. As if the thought never occurred to her.

“Christine, maybe he didn’t want you to see his face, for fear that you might judge him by his physical appearance rather than who he is inside.” said Elisabeta.

“I know who he is! He’s a monster!” Christine shouted.

“Christine, you don’t even know him. I’m sure that within time –

“I don’t want to know him! I don’t want to have anything to do with him, ever!” Christine said.

She began to cry again. Elisabeta managed to get her to lie back down on the bed. She’d heard enough. She concluded that it was all a misunderstanding. She also concluded that this man…this Angel of Music had romantic feelings for Christine. Judging by what Christine had told her, it was obvious. The Angel of Music was a man in love.

As Christine began to fall asleep, Elisabeta hummed a special tune to her. Then something occurred to her.

“Christine, if he’s not the Angel of Music then who is he? What’s his name?” she asked desperately.

It was too late. Christine had already passed out. Elisabeta then remembered the mirror. Christine had pointed to it. Getting up from the bed, she walked across the room and approached it. Walking closer and closer until her face was inches from the glass, Elisabeta raised her hand and knocked on it as if were a mere door.

“Knock, knock,” she said playfully.

She laughed to herself and turned around and headed for the door. As she turned the knob, she heard it.

“Who’s there?”

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Chapter Six: Twenty Questions

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“Who’s there?”Said the voice.

Elisabeta listened carefully to the man that had spoken to her when she’d tapped on the glass of Christine’s mirror, and asked:

“Knock, knock”

The man’s voice had a deep rich tone, but did not have the same hypnotic melody it’d possessed before. It was also very beautiful. It seemed to be challenging her. Elisabeta closed the door to the dressing room, and walked back to the mirror. With her face once more inches from the glass, she said:

“Orange”

Sounding confused, the voice spoke a little louder.

“Orange who?”

Elisabeta quickly looked over at Christine to check to make sure that she was still asleep. She was. Now it was Elisabeta’s turn to speak louder.

Orange you going to tell me the truth?”

“What truth is that?”

“You know what truth that is.” She replied.

“No, I do not.”

This was her chance.

“Let’s play twenty questions. How can I reach you?”

Suddenly, she heard a clicking sounded. The mirror swung open. It was the same scene as before. A long, dark, and dreary passageway. It was covered with cobwebs, the walls were made of stone, and there were puddles of water on the ground. Rats were screeching from all around, and Elisabeta could hear the sound of water.

Standing there, she saw nothing. Nothing but her shadow on the wall along with the lit torches. Suddenly, there was a draft that blew from deep inside the tunnel. She heard the swish of a piece of cloth, and another person’s shadow appeared in front of her own.

It was him.

But where was he exactly?

The shadow began to move. Making its way down the tunnel, Elisabeta decided to follow it. She walked in through the mirror’s portal, and closed it behind her. Starting down the passageway, she followed the shadow the whole way.

*********************

Ten minutes later…

*********************

Just as she’d reached the lair and began to stare at it in awe, Elisabeta heard him again.

“Close your eyes.”

She closed them.

Feeling him come up behind her, he put his hands on her shoulders, and skimmed down her arms all the way to her hands. He swung her around until she was caught in his arms with his hands settling on her abdomen. He began to slide his hands up her torso, brushing past her breasts, and finally stroking her neck. He curled his fingers in her hair, and whispered into her ear.

“Who are you?”

Elisabeta was so aroused that she didn’t hear him.

“Who are you?” he repeated.

“I’m…I’m…Elis…abeta.” She struggled to say.

“Do not fear me. I will never hurt you.”

“Why?” Said Elisabeta who’d managed to come of her daze.

“Why what?” He asked.

“Why must I not fear you? Is there something about you that people fear?” She asked.

“Yes…this.”

He turned her around.

“Open your eyes. This may frighten you a bit, but I want you to see.” He said.

“See what?” She asked.

“Open your eyes.” he said again.

Elisabeta lifted her eyelids. She gasped and began to shake. So distorted, so deformed. It was hardly a face. His right eye was sunken in, and there were red welts and scars all over his right cheek, and he had no right eyebrow.

He’d taken off the mask.

His beautiful green eyes seemed to dart out her, pleading for compassion. This was the face that Christine had told her about. Yet it was not as bad as she thought it would be.

Elisabeta felt brave and brought her hand up, and touched his deformed cheek. He moaned, as if her hand was made of silk. She thought she’d hurt him.

“Are you alright?” She asked.

He looked down at her. (He was at least six feet tall.)

“Yes, I’m fine.” he replied

He took her hand and led her further into the lair. He sat her down on his sofa, and took off his cape. Elisabeta gazed at him. Indeed he was the man who had appeared to Christine the night before. His black suit fit around his well-built body rather handsomely. She thought about telling him about how she’d traveled through time, but decided against it. He would think she was insane.

While she was thinking to herself, she did not notice that he had sat down next to her.

“Now let’s play your twenty questions game.” He said.

Elisabeta tilted her head sideways.

Alright. Who are you?” she asked.

“My name is Erik.” he answered.

“Why did you do what you did bring Christine here?”

“Because I love her.”

Elisabeta didn’t know why she felt jealous, but she did.

What did Christine do to you?”

“She took off my mask.” He said.

“And you did not want her to do that?” she asked.

“Correct.” He replied.

“Why do you do what you do?” she asked

He looked confused.

“What is it that I do?” He asked her.

“You pretend that you are a ghost. You hide from the world. Why?”

“Do you think the world would accept something like this?” he asked pointing to his face.

Elisabeta looked down feeling stupid.

“No, I suppose not. But aside from your face, you don’t seem that bad at all.” She said.

Suddenly, she saw a wicked grin on his face.

“My dear, you have no idea just how “bad” I can be.” He said rather slyly.

“What do you mean? Asked Elisabeta who was now beginning to feel uneasy.

He looked away from her and said nothing. She knew was treading dangerous ground now. However, she decided to be blunt with him.

“Well, if you want Christine, you’ll need to find a better way than the one you’re using now. Hypnotizing her and later frightening her will cause her to run from you. You need to tell her how you feel. Stop manipulating her, and eventually she’ll feel the need to know you. Right now, she thinks you are angry with her, and that you’ll never forgive for what she did.” She said to him.

He looked amazed and scared at the same time. Like the thought of being honest with Christine had never occurred to him. But to Elisabeta, it was obvious that he knew of no other way to gain someone’s love. Finally, he put his mask back on.

“I know that she doesn’t want anything to do with me now.” He said.

Elisabeta blinked. He must have overheard the conversation she’d had with Christine earlier.

“Did you ever think about apologizing to her?” she asked.

Again, he said nothing. Suddenly, Elisabeta saw a tear fall from his right eye. She felt terrible.

“I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” she pleaded.

“You’ve done nothing wrong. You are right. I should have been straight with Christine. But now I don’t I have a chance. She hates me.” he said.

“She doesn’t hate you. She’s scared of you.” said Elisabeta.

“You think I don’t know that!” he said.

Elisabeta was frustrated.

“Then DO something!” she shouted.

“What can I possibly do?!” He said.

“Go to her. Tell her how you feel and hope for the best.” She said.

“Why do you care what happens between Christine and I?” he asked.

Elisabeta didn’t know what to say. Truthfully, she felt it was her obligation, but she had to tell Erik something else.

“I know it’s none of my business, but I want both of you to be happy.” She said.

Erik realized that she was telling the truth. He now knew that there was hope for him. If he let this beautiful woman help him there might just be a chance to regain Christine’s trust. He decided to change the subject.

“Would you like something to eat or drink?” He asked.

“I would love that but I must go. They’ll wonder where I am.” said Elisabeta.

Erik didn’t know why but he was somewhat disappointed that she had to leave.

He’d loved talking with her.

He’d loved the way she touched him.

He’d loved holding her.

He loved…

“Erik?” she asked.

His eyes widened. She had said his name for the first time since they met.

That was another thing.

She had a beautiful speaking voice. He began to wonder if she had any singing experience.

“Erik?” Elisabeta said again.

“I’m sorry. I was day dreaming.” he said.

“About what?” She asked.

He couldn’t tell her.

“Christine,” he lied.

“I see.” She said.

On the way back, Elisabeta tripped over a stone and nearly fell.

Erik caught her just in time. She was back in his embrace.

She could smell his cologne.

She could feel his body heat.

Elisabeta began to feel her arousal pooling in a certain place. Picking up her up, Erik carried her all the way back to Christine’s dressing room. By the time, he reached the mirror, she’d fallen asleep in his arms.

He opened the mirror and stepped into the room. He laid her on the bed next to Christine and covered her with a blanket. Suddenly, Elisabeta began to moan in her sleep.

“Erik, oh Erik.” she whispered.

Erik reached down and brushed his hand across her cheek and ran his thumb along her lips.

“Beautiful.” He said to himself.

With a whirl of his cape, he made his way back to the mirror, took one last glance at the sleeping beauty, and disappeared.

**************************************

Ch. 7 - You’re Beautiful When You’re Angry

**************************************

"Did I not instruct that box five was to be kept empty?”

Those were Erik’s last words before he climbed up above the stage and killed Josef Buquet. What he did not know was that from the right wing of the stage in the auditorium of the opera house, Elisabeta had witnessed the whole thing.

“Good thing Christine was not here to see that.” she said to herself.

She knew why this had happened. From what she’d heard from Raoul, Christine was to play the Countess in the production of Il Muto. But thanks to Carlotta, she was thrown back into the supporting cast, playing the Pageboy. Elisabeta had a feeling that Erik wouldn’t take the final casting very well. Raoul had showed her the note that he’d received from Erik. She’d decided to stay out of the way.

She helped Christine prepare for the show. Christine begged her to watch her perform. Things had started out fine, but within ten minutes, the next thing she knew, a simple stagehand was hanging above the stage with a noose tied around his neck. Choking to death, she heard everyone’s screams. Everything was in chaos.

Elisabeta was disappointed. Erik had done this. She had seen his cape whirl up the rafters and the flash of his white mask disappear into the darkness.

“How could you do this? Buquet never did anything to you! You are so arrogant…so childish…so…”

Elisabeta finally realized that Erik was after all in love, and probably wasn’t thinking clearly.

“Are you alright?”

“Raoul we’re not safe here!”

Elisabeta turned. Christine and Raoul were racing up the stairs. She ran after them. On the way up the stairwell, she could hear Raoul shouting to Christine asking why she was running away. She then heard Christine shouting back to him of her fear of Erik. Almost to the top, Elisabeta followed them until a large black hand covered her mouth and dragged her back down the stairs.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Erik hissed.

Turns out that after Erik had committed his crime, he’d seen all three of them run up the stairs towards the roof.

Frightened as she was, Elisabeta managed to pry his hand away from her mouth so she could speak. She was so angry; she raised her hand and slapped his face.

With a confused and angry look on his face, Erik pulled her into the darkness.

Are you suicidal?” He asked her.

“How dare you! How dare you kill an innocent man? You deserved what I just did and you know it!” Elisabeta shouted at him.

“He was in my way.” Erik said quite calmly.

“That’s no excuse!”

“Why are you following them?” he demanded.

“I told you before; I only want Christine to be happy. She needs me right now. She needs a friend to talk to. A lot has happened tonight. You’ve scared her enough. What did you plan to do after Buquet’s death, give her a marriage proposal?” She snapped.

As Erik watched her rage on and on, he was amazed at this woman’s compassion for others. He’d never known anything like that. He was beginning to regret everything he’d done. True, Buquet had been a nuisance, but Erik did not think of Christine when he killed him. He only thought of himself.

He did not see Elisabeta run from him, all the way up to the roof.

He followed her. He hid behind a huge stone statue just in time to hear Christine sing.

Say you’ll share with me

One love, one lifetime

Say the word

And I will follow you

Erik could feel his heart breaking. He knew now that he’d lost Christine. He stood there frozen to the spot where he was.

Order your fine horses now

Be with them at the door…

Then he heard it…

“Christine, I love you.”

Christine and Raoul had pledged their love for each other. And Erik had seen the whole thing. He slowly came out from where he was hiding. He caught sight of the blood red rose lying forgotten on the ground. Bending down to pick it up he couldn’t believe the words that left his lips.

I gave you my music

Made your song take wing

And now how you’ve repaid me

Denied me and betrayed me

He was bound to love you

When he heard you sing

Christine…

He hung his head down towards the ground. The tears formed and the snowflakes fell on his eyelids. As Erik wept in despair and guilt, he realized something.

He should have listened to her.

Christine was gone.

He crushed the rose in his hand. As the broken petals fell to the ground, Erik ran and climbed up the statue of Apollo. He glared up at the night sky and screamed.

You will curse the day you did not do

All that the phantom asked of you!!

Elisabeta had seen and heard everything. She too was in tears. She now felt resentment towards Christine. Walking down the steps she could hear laughing. It was coming from Christine’s room. Elisabeta went inside, found Christine sitting at the vanity, and pulled her by her hair.

“Elisabeta, what are you doing? Stop, that hurts!” She cried.

“Good!” Elisabeta shouted at her.

“What? What’s gotten into you?” asked Christine.

Elisabeta calmed herself and glared at Christine.

“I hope you are happy with what you’ve done.” She said to her.

“I don’t understand. What have I done?” she asked.

“He loves you!” said Elisabeta.

“Who?”

“I already told you that your angel had feelings for you.” Elisabeta shouted.

“He’s not an angel, Elisabeta. He’s a murderer and that’s all there is to it.”

Suddenly, Elisabeta burst into a rage.

You ungrateful little twit! Two men love you and you choose the safest one. You have no idea what you’ve done to him! Personally, I would do anything for a man like him!”

As soon as those words escaped her mouth, both Elisabeta and Christine’s eyes widened.

How do you know him? Have you seen him?” asked Christine.

“Yes and yes. Listen to me, Christine. Choose wisely…”

“I don’t have time for this. I have to pack.” Christine interrupted.

“For what? Are you going somewhere?” Asked Elisabeta.

“Yes, I’m leaving with Raoul.” Christine replied proudly.

“Will you ever come back?”

“Maybe”

Elisabeta left the dressing room. She went into Christine’s old room where she changed clothes and got into bed. Just as she was falling, she felt a cold draft. She turned over and saw Erik standing in the doorway.

Without words, Elisabeta pulled back her covers and got out of bed. She took his hand and gently pulled him inside the room. Shutting the door and locking it, she turned towards Erik. The fire in his green eyes was indescribable. Elisabeta took off his outer clothing. (cloak, jacket, vest, etc.) She lay down on the bed and motioned for him to join her.

He did.

The two of them embraced each other. Elisabeta put her hand under his white shirt over his heart. It was beating wildly. She looked up at him. Before he could say a word, she got on top of him, took off his mask, and kissed him. Erik’s arms went around and tried to pull her closer to him as he kissed back. Suddenly, Elisabeta held her head up.

“I love you, Erik.”

Erik didn’t know what to say. He still wasn’t sure of his feelings towards her.

Had his feelings for Christine changed?

Right now he didn’t want to think about her.

“Thank you, Elisabeta.”

That was all he could think of to say. Then Elisabeta shocked him when she said:

“You’re welcome.”

“Elisabeta?”

“Hmm?”

“You’re beautiful when you’re angry.”

*********************************

Chapter Eight - Don Juan loves Aminta

*********************************

Three months…

Three months…without a word from the opera ghost.

Three months…without a word from Christine since the night she fled the Opera Populaire.

The Bal Masque which was to be held on New Year’s Eve was when Christine and Raoul decided to return. They would announce their engagement, and Christine would bid a final farewell to her Angel of Music.

Erik was still in love with Christine, but he’d managed to put those feelings aside and make room for Elisabeta. Truthfully, he didn’t understand why he chose to let Elisabeta become so close to him. He knew for sure that one day he would have to choose between the two women.

Throughout those three months, Erik had formed a relationship with Elisabeta. He’d told her of his days as a gypsy prisoner. He showed her the ways about the bowels of the opera house. He’d shown her a shortcut to his lair. It was one that not even Madame Giry was aware of. He’d even let her sleep in his bed while he sung to her.

On one of those nights, Elisabeta had woken up to find Erik asleep next to her in the swan bed. She’d gotten out of bed, and went out looking around. When she came to Erik’s organ, she noticed a composition sitting on the bench. It was the music of Don Juan Triumphant.

By now, Elisabeta had forgotten that she’d come back through time. She’d forgotten things about her former life, like her real name, her family, and her friends.

When she found the composition, she started to sing the first few lyrics.

You have brought me

To that moment when words run dry

To that moment when speech disappears into silence

Silence…

By that time, Erik had awoken. When he heard Elisabeta singing, he bolted out of bed. Quietly sneaking up behind her, he listened to her rich and beautiful voice as it echoed throughout the caverns of his lair.

Elisabeta continued.

By now, she’d reached the production’s climax.

When will the flames at last

Consume us?

Erik grabbed her and savagely spun her around until she was again entwined in his arms. Startled to death, Elisabeta tried to turn around and face him, but he held her still. He whispered in her ear.

“Sing with me.”

Elisabeta obeyed.

Past the point of no return

The final threshold

The bridge is crossed

So stand and watch it burn

We’ve passed the point of no return

When the song was over, they faced each other. Elisabeta’s arms went around him. She stood on her toes, and gently brought his face down to hers. After she kissed him, she pulled away slightly and said it again.

“I love you.”

“Thank you.” Erik replied.

It was at that moment that Elisabeta made a vow.

One day…

One day, she would hear him say it.

“I love you.”

****************************

Masquerade!

Paper faces on parade!

Masquerade!

Hide your face so the world will never find you!

Elisabeta stood at the Bal Masque, and watched as the people of the Opera Populaire danced and drank their champagne. She’d received word from Madame Giry that Christine and Raoul would be returning that night. She’d then received word from Erik telling her to go the ball, and that he would meet her there. What Elisabeta didn’t know was how Erik would be dressed.

She found out.

The minute she saw him appear at the top of the stairs, dressed as Red Death, she knew that he had something up his sleeve.

Descending the stairs, Erik drew his sword and sung his instructions and insults. He approached Christine after Raoul had left. Walking closer and closer to each other, Christine was once more hypnotized by Erik’s seductive gaze. Face to face now, Erik glanced down at Christine’s chest and quickly ripped the chain from her neck.

Your chains are still mine!

You belong to me!

Elisabeta hung her head down.

So it was true.

Erik still loved Christine.

Raoul appeared with his sword ready to fight. He followed Erik down through the floor trap to the mirrored room. Elisabeta ran over to Christine.

Why did you have to come back!” she shouted at her.

In tears, Christine turned to her.

“I never wanted to hurt anyone!” she said.

“Seems like you can’t do anything without hurting someone.” Elisabeta snapped at her.

Christine stopped crying.

Excuse me? What are you saying?” she asked.

“I’m simply saying that you may belong to Erik; but remember this. He belongs to me!” Elisabeta said in a triumphant tone.

Christine suddenly felt a twinge of jealousy course through her veins. She finally realized what was happening. Elisabeta was in love with Erik. She’d been jealous of him and Christine, so she stole him from her. Christine and Elisabeta’s friendship was false.

“How could you do this to me? I thought you were my friend!” said Christine.

“We are friends. I did nothing but help you realize your feelings. You made your choice. Erik’s – “

Before Elisabeta could finish, Christine slapped her across the face.

“You thief! You wicked little -!”

Elisabeta slapped her back.

Madame Giry quickly stopped the two girls.

“Ladies stop this! It’s over! I told Raoul what he needs to know. As for the two of you, I suggest you keep your distances. Come Christine. Raoul is waiting for you outside with the carriage.” Madame said.

Christine glared at Elisabeta.

“Farewell, friend.” she snapped.

Elisabeta said nothing. She began to head for the door that led to the dormitories.

*****************************

Back in the lair, Erik clutched the ring in his hand. He knew what Madame Giry had told Raoul. His head was pounding and his heart was racing. He couldn’t believe how beautiful Christine looked. He also couldn’t believe that she was now engaged to the Vicompte. He couldn’t believe –

“Are you alright?” came a familiar voice.

It was Elisabeta. She’d seen the whole thing. He felt so guilty. In all his anger, he’d completely forgotten her. He had to make it up to her somehow. Looking at her, he marveled at how exquisite she was. In a golden ball gown with white roses wound up in her hair, she resembled a goddess.

Elisabeta ran to him worried. He’d taken off his blood red cape and jacket. The skull sword lay on a chair next to his piano. As she hugged him, she could feel him trembling. She asked him again.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine.”

“I thought Raoul had hurt you.” she said.

“Impossible.”

He sat down on the piano bench and pulled Elisabeta onto his lap. For a few minutes, they just held each other.

“Erik?”

“Hmm?”

“Do you love me at all…I mean…in the same way that I love you?” she asked.

“How do you love me?” he asked.

“To me, you are my soul mate…my Don Juan…my true and real love. The only man I’ve ever loved.” She told him.

“Thank you.”

Suddenly, Elisabeta took his face in her hands, and removed his mask. Before he could say anything, she kissed him hard. When she pulled away, he was out of breath.

“Why won’t you tell me!” she cried.

“I can’t.” he said.

“WHY NOT!!” she cried again.

“Because I want to show you, not tell you.”

“Show me what?” she asked.

“I want to show you what you do to me every time I hear your voice.” He said.

It did not take long for Elisabeta to realize what Erik wanted to do.

By the time the night was over, Erik and Elisabeta had given each other what they’d wanted their whole lives.

Readers, I think you know what this means.

Yes, they made love. In the swan bed. And just as Elisabeta was falling asleep in his arms, Erik said it.

“I love you…Aminta.”

**************************

Chapter Nine: Where Am I?

**************************

Morning came all too soon. Elisabeta had fallen asleep in his arms, and he’d told her that he loved her.

Yes, she’d heard him call her Aminta after admitting his love for her.

However, of course, she wanted him to say it again with her name at the end of the sentence. Elisabeta opened her eyes to find herself still entwined in Erik’s arms. He was fully awake and staring down at her face watching her sleep.

“Morning,” she said.

“Good morning. How did you sleep?” he asked.

“I couldn’t. I was…busy.” She said with a smirk.

“I meant afterward.”

“Oh, of course. I slept very well, thank you.” she told him.

“Glad to hear that, Aminta.”

“Stop that.” she said.

“What is it?” he asked.

Elisabeta was getting a little impatient. He knew what she wanted to hear, but was still having trouble. She then watched him take a deep breath, close his eyes, and finally look at her.

“I love you…Elisabeta.” He finally declared.

“Thank you.” she said.

She said that on purpose. He had been saying that to her every time she told him that she loved him. She was surprised when he just chuckled.

“Hey, that’s my line!” he said.

They both started to laugh.

“Christine?” she asked.

Erik knew what she wanted to know, but he didn’t know to explain it to her. He thought about it quickly, and took another deep breath.

“Let’s just say the obsession’s over.” He told her.

“What of your love for her? You need to choose between us. That is inevitable.”

“I know. I choose you. My love for her was great, but it turned into an obsession. Obsession blinds you and you lose the love because you cannot see it anymore.” He said.

Elisabeta was confused.

“That does not sound like you. Love can’t just disappear. It has to be taken away…stolen…the love has to go to something…or someone else.” She said.

That’s when she realized what she’d just said. Erik smiled. He could tell that her thoughts were becoming clear.

“And that someone is you, Elisabeta. I think you already knew that. While I was blinded by my obsession, somehow you snuck in there and stole my love…my heart.

Elisabeta’s eyes began to tear up.

“Are you mad at me for stealing you from Christine?” She asked.

“Well you did blind me from her for a while.” He said.

“It’s a yes or no question, Erik. But I think I already know the answer.

“I’m not angry with you.” he said.

Elisabeta sighed with relief. She was grateful to know that she had won. Suddenly, she heard something. It was music. The tune was the melody of “Masquerade.”

But where was it coming from?

She looked around and finally saw the little monkey music box sitting at the corner of the swan bed. It was playing the tune of “Masquerade.” She smiled at Erik. He smiled back.

Suddenly, Elisabeta began to feel somewhat strange. She became silent. Her eyes darted about the room. Erik stopped smiling. Elisabeta felt like she was going to be sick, because her head had begun to hurt. It was like it was racing with thoughts of the past few weeks.

But were they thoughts?

Could they have been memories?

“Of course they were. I just forgot.” She told herself.

Then more memories came back to her. Erik was shaking her trying to wake her up from her staring spell. In his eyes, it looked as if Elisabeta had gone somewhere else. Her eyes had stopped darting everywhere, and were now just fixed on the monkey music box. She was breathing faster now, and had a terrified look on her face.

“Elisabeta, are you alright? Look at me.” said Erik.

She did not respond, for it looked as if she couldn’t register the fact that he was talking to her.

Did she even recognize his voice?

What was distracting her?

It was all coming back. From being found in Box five to meeting Christine to being in Erik’s arms to…

Suddenly, her head stopped hurting. Everything became clear. Her memory had returned.

“Where am I?” she said out loud.

Erik was dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe her words. This definitely wasn’t Elisabeta.

Had she been possessed?

He grabbed her shoulders and shouted her name. She looked up at him. She reached out to touch his face. He closed his eyes, but he never felt her hand against his skin. His eyes popped open. He saw Elisabeta. She was not in his arms anymore.

“Wait!Wait! Please, oh God, no…NOOO!” shouted Elisabeta.

While Erik’s eyes were closed, she felt herself slowly slip away from him. Suddenly, her view of everything became smaller and smaller. Erik’s face became smaller and smaller. Everything was disappearing. Suddenly, she couldn’t see anything. Suddenly…

“Elisabeta!Elisabeta!...ELISABETA!!!” Erik screamed.

The music stopped.

*****************************

Ch. 10 Broken Hearts Are Painful

*****************************

Like the chapter title says; broken hearts are indeed painful. Unfortunately Elisabeta would find that out the hard way.

When the music stopped, that was when she opened her eyes to find herself in a bed. It wasn’t just any bed. It was her hotel bed at Hotel l’Imperial in Paris. She looked all around. Her hotel room looked the same. Her memory was still a bit foggy. She looked down at herself and discovered that she was wearing a pink evening gown.

“And how are you feeling, my dear?”

Elisabeta didn’t recognize the voice that came from beside her bed. She looked over to find an old man sitting in a chair. He was wearing glasses and had a stethoscope around his neck. She concluded that he was a doctor. She had so many questions racing through her mind. She had to speak to him.

“Am I sick?” she asked.

The old man chuckled.

“No honey, you passed out at the performance. Forgive us for going through your purse, but we needed to find out who you were and where you belonged.

“Performance?” she said.

“Yes, Don Juan Triumphant. Obviously, you were overwhelmed by the show. You were running a fever and you were showing signs of shock.” He replied.

“Is that why I’m dressed like this?” she asked.

“Yes. Well I will leave you to get some rest. Good night, Elisabeta.” He said.

Elisabeta rested her head for a moment when something came to her.

“Wait. How did you know my name?” she asked.

The old man turned around with a grin on his face.

“It says so on your driver’s license.” He said.

Elisabeta’s eyes widened. Her head began to ache, and she started shivering. She shot up from the bed and found her purse. Going through it, she found a familiar card that had someone’s picture on it with her name printed next to it. She stood up from the bed. With her legs a little wobbly, she walked forward to stand in front of the full length mirror. She saw a young woman standing there wearing a pink gown. She had snow white skin, with green eyes, and red pixie cut hair.

“Who’s that?” she said under her breath.

Suddenly, her jawed dropped. She said those words again, only louder this time.

“Who is that!” she shouted.

The young woman was herself. She no longer resembled Christine Daae.

“Good thing for Erik.” she said.

Wait a minute.

“ERIK!!! No God please!” she screamed.

He was gone.

Everything was gone.

She was home; back in the 21st century. She had been taken back through time.

Taken away from him.

She lowered her head and sat back down on the bed. The tears came down like waterfalls.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

“My dear, are you alright? I heard shouting.” Said the old man who was standing outside the door.

Elisabeta ran to the door and locked it.

“Go away! Leave me alone!” she said.

The old man left.

Ripping off her pink dress, Elisabeta closed the windows and went to the bathroom and spent an hour throwing up. After her headache was gone, she ran into the shower and turned the hot water on. She scrubbed herself like crazy, trying to wash away the memories of all that had happened to her.

It didn’t work.

When she came out and put on a fresh white nightgown, she decided couldn’t take it anymore.

She grabbed a candlestick from the night table, and shattered the mirror into small shards. Taking a long breath, she got into bed. Closing her eyes, she did not hear the monkey music playing. She buried her face into her pillow and cried herself to sleep.

One week later….

The staff was getting worried. Elisabeta had not come out of her room since that night. The door remained locked and they never heard the slightest of movements in the room. All they heard was the faint sound of her singing. By the time the week was over, even they had memorized the songs she sang.

“We have to do something!” shouted a maid.

“What can we do? The door is locked.” Said another maid.

“Then find the skeleton key. She can only go on like this for so long!” they said.

Breaking down the door, they found Elisabeta sitting in a chair in front of the shattered mirror. She was still wearing her white night gown and robe. Her face resembled that of a ghost. She had no sign of life in her eyes, only small tears dripping from them.

Panicked, the staff put her on the bed. She hadn’t eaten for a week. Her hands were like ice and her eyes stayed wide open.

She did not blink once.

The people called the ambulance and left to fetch some oxygen. When they came back, the door again was locked. The old man bent down and looked through the keyhole.

“Good God.” he whispered.

Elisabeta had risen from the bed. She was wearing a white corset, a skirt, and dressing gown. She walked towards the mirror and took hold of a gloved hand. Looking closer into the mirror the old man saw a man dressed in black from head to toe and donning a white mask. He was singing to Elisabeta as she took a step and disappeared through the mirror.

Suddenly, the door unlocked. The old man raced inside and looked in the mirror. There was Elisabeta in the arms of the man in black.

“Look, Sir!” said a shocked maid.

The old man looked back to see Elisabeta’s lifeless body lying on the bed. Her eyes were closed and she had a small grin on her face.

Suddenly, the singing stopped. The old man looked again at the mirror. The image of the two lovers had disappeared.

And from that moment on, the monkey music box played its tune. It never stopped.

The End

Edited by rivendell

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