Chapter 1: Prologue: Confession
Author's Note: I don't own the characters, they were created by Gaston Leroux. I'm just borrowing them.
This is a dark story. It is not romantic or fluffy. If such things bother you, you should probably turn back now.
Each chapter was written quite quickly. Sometimes they ramble. Sometimes they reuse words in rapid succession. This is deliberate, given the nature of the tale. I wanted it to read as if Christine herself were speaking - sometimes hurried, sometimes slow and thoughtful - but always trying to give voice to her story. I hope you enjoy it. :)
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been several months since my last confession, and I have many things that burden my heart. Please, allow me to tell you my story before saying a word – I don't seek your pity or comfort, Father, merely an ear that is willing to listen to me. I have not had anyone truly listen to me in a very long time, and I fear that if I don't say these words I will burst.
I grew up in Sweden, Father; perhaps you can tell by my accent. When my father lived I was always a child; he filled my head with fairytales and refused to allow his little girl to grow up, and even after he died I could still hear his voice ringing in my mind, telling me the dark stories of our homeland. The tale of the Angel of Music captured my interest the most, for I wished to be a singer and prayed fervently that this angel would bless me so I could fulfill my dreams.
Once upon a time, it seems very long ago now, I joined the chorus at the Opera Garnier, but I was nothing special and seemed destined to spend the rest of my years languishing in small roles. Then one day, Father, I heard a voice – not just any voice, please don't think me silly, but the voice of the Angel of Music, sent by my poor dead father. I believed the voice Father – perhaps you have heard your own fairytales, the story of the Opera Ghost – he did indeed exist, Father, although he was neither an angel nor a ghost. He was only a man…a very ugly, yet brilliant, man.
Father, I will spare you of the details of my courtship with a young nobleman, for perhaps you have heard those tales as well. Suffice to say that I met a childhood friend while at the Opera and fell in love. I adored him and would have given my life for that man, and he felt the same way about me. The man whom I falsely believed to be an angel did not approve, for he wished for me to love only him, and although I felt pity for him, for he was truly nothing more than an animal cowering in a basement, my heart belonged solely to my dear friend.
It hurts me to say his name even now Father, and yet I fear if I do not speak it aloud he will disappear and be nothing more than a foggy memory. Please do not mistake my intentions, Father, for I do not tell my story for myself alone…but also for my dear, dear Raoul. Please, allow me to continue.