Christine's dress became heavy very quickly with the falling rain, making it even more difficult to walk on her freshly sprained ankle. Despite dancing in the chorus, her ankles were not what they ought to be. Nevertheless, she thought slightly to herself that jumping from a moving carriage onto wet cobblestones would supply anyone with anything less than that.

She could hear the carriage come to a halt behind her as Raoul shouted orders at the driver to go back the other way. She hurried along a narrow alleyway that was small enough to ensure that the carriage could never follow, and dark enough that they could not see her in it. She crouched down amidst some rubble that lined the sides of the aged brick walls and waited silently for the carriage to pass back the other way, looking for her. When she felt it was once again safe to move on, she carefully got to her feet and began walking a little more slowly, cautious not to slip or trip upon her petticoats.

She sadly smiled down at herself, knowing that the beautiful dress Erik had most painstakingly chosen for her, was now a muddy, tattered ruin that could not hope to be saved.

As Christine walked along the darkened streets, she felt a little comfort knowing that she, like Erik, was safe in the darkness. It was rather late, but there were still a few souls out wandering the streets, with whom she avoided all contact.

Christine's thoughts were a muddled mess. Just a few hours ago she had decided that she loved Raoul and was to run away with him after the opera had finished. A few hours ago she had realized how much she loved Erik as well, and how much more than Raoul she felt for him. A few hours ago, she left Erik, not knowing what else to do. Her soul was compelled to stay, but with everything that had happened, the lies and betrayal on both their halves, she knew she had to leave. From the moment she had gone, she knew the terrible mistake that she had made and her entire being wanted nothing more than to go back to him, but her own weakness and inability to handle the stress of her own decision, caused her to give it all up to someone else to decide for her. And every moment since, she wondered to herself, "Why?"

Christine's audacity to jump out of the carriage and away from Raoul, shocked herself almost as much as her outburst towards him in the carriage, defending Erik, and admitting her love for him. Despite the circumstances, it felt so good for her to say those words out loud, admitting her true feelings for Erik, but it felt so incredibly wrong for them to fall on Raoul's ears first. He was not worthy of such intimate information and details of her emotions. She saw that in this one evening, Raoul's intentions had shifted from her to himself. He was taking her away because it was what he wanted, and not what he wanted for her. He had become obsessed with the idea of stealing her away from

the man who truly captured her soul.

She turned suddenly at the sound of Raoul's voice calling back to the driver to keep searching the streets. He was getting closer to where she was walking. She had to find someplace to hide, quickly before he found her wandering the dark alleyways. Around a few corners turned, there was the familiar sound of drunken voices, laughter, and the unmistakable sound of a piano, being badly played inside the cabaret. She made for the place that was the cause of those sounds, knowing that perhaps she could hide in the crowds. Thinking quickly, she removed all but her corset, chemise, and petticoats, leaving what was left of the poor wedding gown hidden behind a stack of crates behind the building. She entered quickly, seeing Raoul down the road, headed towards her.

Upon entering the wild and waxed atmosphere of the cabaret, she found herself blending in perfectly with her attire. The other women working there were scantily clad at best, and there was no question of the intentions of the men attending their company. She worked her way quickly towards the back of the crowded room. A disgustingly drunk fellow grabbed her hand and pulled her close.

"Where do you think you're going sweetheart? I've had my eye on your all night," he slurred in her face.

"No you haven't been eyeing me all night," she retorted, meaning to pull away. Just then she saw Raoul enter the doorway, searching the crowd for his runaway beloved. Christine pulled herself onto the lap of the inebriated customer and buried her face close to his neck.

"Now that's more like it darling," the man exclaimed at her sudden brazenness.

"Shut up you idiot!" Christine snapped as she tried to avoid Raoul's searching gaze. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him asking several people whether she had been seen. A few men laughed and ignored his request for help, several others just shook their heads.

After a few more intensely nerve-wracking moments, he left to search elsewhere. Christine breathed a sigh of relief and pushed herself off the man.

"Where are you going sweetie? Don't you want to stay and have a little fun?" he protested?

"I've had all the fun I can handle for one night, thank you very much!"

And with that, she cautiously made her way to the back door of the place, leaving her temporary sanctuary, heading out into the damp of the night.

Sorry this is rather short. At least I'm continuing it though... Please review and tell me what you think!