[ all the things she said ]
with shaking fingers, she tried desperately to open the damned door. it was nothing else than a simple, plain door; and yet, she was totally unable to perform this task. her hands shook with terror, her mind was somewhere else far away in another part of the world. she couldn´t believe that she´d done this ... after all, it seemed to be that way, didn´t it?
once more, she saw herself running through the corridors, only to get as far away as she possibly ever could. but to be proud ... could she be that? she didn´t know the answer ...
suddenly the door opened, but it not by her hand. a girl stood in the frame, looking somehow worried at her trembling features and white appearance. her hand was grasped and she was pulled inside the room. there she was forced in a fauteuil.
'try to calm down ... please ...', the other girl wanted to soothe her, 'shhhhh ... hush ...'
again, her eyes grew wide in fear for a moment ... then she relaxed and calmed down. the other girl offered her a cup of tea, to let her thoughts concentrate on something else. it seemed to work ... although it took more than quite the same amount of time as it took of patience.
when her hands stopped trembling, she looked for a moment at the other girl; trying to study her.
'you know ... where i came from ...', she began.
'i think, it´s not that hard to guess.', the other replied.
'yeah ... i know ...', she went on, 'and i´m pretty sure, ya know ... it wasn´t very easy for me to do.'
the other girl nodded sternly.
'yet ... i don´t know, if this all was right ... to do it ...', her voice trailed away, as much as her thoughts.
the other girl looked over her hands, straight into the almost empty cup.
'want to read the tea-leaves?', she tried a faint joke. 'maybe they will tell us more truth about all of this.'
'reading the ... tealeaves?!', christine giggled, 'i always thought, this is something your mother is up to.'
'eh ... well ... erm ...', the other girl began with a slightly coughing, 'i´m also doing it ... from time to time ... sometimes they are really ... interesting to read ...'
'i would not doubt that for one moment.', christine replied and handed the now empty cup over to her friend, who started carefully to examine the contents.
while meg was doing this, she let her mind wander back ... below in the cellars. how would it carry on, everything ... not only for her? she knew there are also two others with maybe the same problems that she´s having now ... well maybe even not. after all, they both were no woman ...
'look ... quite interesting.', meg´s voice let her come out of her thoughts.
'what is it?', christine asked anxiously.
'ya gonna be hundred years old, having at least five children, being in a happy marriage and the most important thing of all - -', she made a short pause for putting in some drama, 'ya´ll be ...'
'yes ... what?'
'a very rich and spoiled lady.', meg finished.
'uh ... that ... seems to be the thing of it all ...', christine said, a wide smile in her face.
'nah ... far from that. believe me, there are much better things of which the leaves are talking.'
'are? you make me quite curious, knowing this?'
'yeah ... doing so.', meg said, putting up a very stern face and pretending doing to read once more in the leaves.
'so ... now ... what is there more?'
'they are saying, that you went the wrong way ...'
'why that?', christine frowned.
'coz there are no ghosts ... you know ... voices singing in your head and all this stuff ...'
'no?', she seemed to be somehow delighted. 'oh ... i thought ...'
'nope ... far, far away. as i said, you´ll be a happy and content woman with white hair and no wrinkles in your face.'
'oh ... come on ... you know, how ludicrous you sound?', she asked, rose, and snatched the cup from meg´s hand.
'hey ...', she protested, 'they are mine ... and mine alone ...'
'yeah ... sure ...'
'so ... now ... how did things went ... down below ...?', meg finally asked the long avoided question.
'depends on the point of view.', christine said, knowing only too well that she´d not run for all time.
thoughtfully, she poured herself another cup of tea, made herself more comfortable, and began to relate the events.
'you try my patience! make your choice!', he growled.
raoul was still dangling in the rope, heavily panting for breath, almost on the edge of passing out. i looked at them both, trying to understand what they both wanted to tell me - somehow. after all, they were both men, obviously; and nothing more than that. just two men more ... whatever. and yet, they both were driven by the same thoughts and ideas.
erik was still looking at me, expectantly waiting for my decision. i was wondering about what to do. not that i´d have some serious problems concerning decisions and all this stuff. again, my gaze wandered between the two of them. and again, i asked myself if this is what i´d ever want.
suddenly my memory slipped back into another part of this passed six month ... and i remembered all those times i spent with meg. the evening tea chatters after exhausting rehearsals, the utterly crazy games we did with the other rats in behalf of saving ourselves from the sure death of boredom. and all those irrational madly stories she told me on some occasions. however, there were other memories too, things, of which these two here didn´t know ...
somehow, i knew quite exactly what to do, as much as i knew my decision.
carefully i went closer to erik and looked into his eyes, trying to find some kind of understanding ... at least. the life he thought of wasn´t what i wanted to share. neither the one raoul was thinking of. i wanted to be true to my self, at last ... and if it was only for the first time. erik shared my gaze for a moment, then turned away.
'erik ... i made my choice ...', i stumbled through the words, knowing well enough what i did to him, but ... wasn´t it my life ... after all, and mine alone.
'i know ...', he replied, 'i should have known earlier ...'
raoul raised his head, choking out some kind of sound. erik went on to him, took a candle, and burned the small, almost unseen rope.
'what is she talking about?', raoul choked, after getting some bits of air some moments later.
'i´m saying, that i´d made my choice.', i repeated. 'and it doesn´t include one of you.'
'but ... christine, i ... thought ... we wanted to marry.'
'i´m not that sure, that there´d ever been a ... how did you call it? ... we.', was eriks dry remark. 'although there´s a kind of we ... somehow, i suppose.'
raoul struggled to his feet.
'you can´t do this to me ... christine ... i ...'
'no, raoul ... don´t try it even.', i warned him, 'i´m sorry for it, but this is my decision. i want to have a bit of life ... at least of what i´m up to wish from it.'
raoul went closer and i got the foreordaining that both of them wouldn´t take it that good as i´d supposed them to. i reached behind me, fumbling around a small table until i grabbed a small dagger, which i tried to use for protection ... if one of them would do something ... not so good.
suddenly i heard a small whisper next to my ear.
'run ... as fast as you can ... before it might be too late ... for anything ...'
i fetched my skirts, the dagger still in one hand, looked at them for maybe the last time, turned around, and ran.
somewhere behind me, i heard an agonizing cry that made me almost stop dead for a moment but the better part of me thought otherwise. there´d be no second chance, that was for sure. only this one i´d now. better i´d take it.
like a bat out of hell, i ran through the corridors, stumbling and trying to find my way in the almost dark surroundings. i knew, there was a way without crossing the lake. even if i´d be above, there was no promise for safety, only if no one would find me for the time they´d need to calm down.
once again, i thought i´d hear something from the lake, a kind of echo from a sound. what ever it was, better not to pay attention, better to do nothing else than running. the dagger fell from my hand, cluttering on the stones. nevertheless, i went on.
'what will they do right now?', i mused for a moment, 'how long would they take to regain from the shock?'
however, this was all i´d to think of them, there was something else i´d to think of. this decision i´d made ... was it the right one? what, if it was wrong, what if ... there´d be a no ... there´d be no chance ... what if ...
i ran on, beginning to breath more heavily. would i be able to find the door? with a deep sigh, i almost fell against something that appeared to be a wall, but gave way to my weight. so this was no door, after all. i found myself on the other side of the wall, being back in some corridor of the upper part of the opera. so i´d only to find my way to the dressing rooms ... or to where we´d promised to meet ... afterwards ...
meg hid a smile.
'so ... you really did it?', she asked.
'and ... are you afraid ... of what ever tomorrow might be?', meg went on.
'no ... neither of the afterwards.', christine said, while pouring them another cup of tea.
suddenly she gazed in the eyes of her friend, with a stern expression on her face.
'what is it?'
'promise me one thing, what ever there might be ... or happen.', she said thoughtfully. 'never ... to leave me ... alone ...'
meg put the cup aside on the table, rose, and went to the other side of the table.
'never ...', she said, sitting down next to christine, wrapping her arms around to embrace her.
'hold me ... like this ... until eternity´s end ...', christine whispered and kissed megs cheek.
vindobona 2/7, [at home]
written in vi/2k4