A/N- I'm a little depressed... so, Grayson, this is how you're making me feel right now. You may never read this, but it's for you, buddy.

Disclaimer- I don't own the basic plot, obviously, but I own most of what Raoul is feeling. -melodramatic sigh-

She loves me.

I know she loves me! At least, I thought she loved me.

That summer in Perros – not the first one, but the one where I was looking for her – and we talked late into the night. I kept avoiding her eyes, and she mine, but at last I made an effort and I looked directly into that beautiful little face, and her pure eyes locked with mine. I wanted to throw my arms around her at that moment, forgetting any caution or any of the stiff rules of society, but something held me back.

Common sense, perhaps.

And I saw the same thing in her eyes, the same dizzying love, and I believed that I could see her thoughts. I believed that she felt the way that I did.

Then I found her again.

She was dancing. Nothing about her stood out from my brother's box. She was not much prettier than the other girls were, and certainly not more talented, but I knew her. The moment I saw her again I knew that my love had not gone away. I found her dressing room, and I passed by it every day in hopes that she would come out at that moment, and that we could begin just where we had left off at the train station.

Again I felt her soft lips against mine, our kiss wet with tears, and I told her that I would never forget her. I wanted her to be my wife, but society does not allow it.

So I fled society.

I became a sailor, and a good one at that. We traveled all over the world and saw many sights, many women, but nothing could take my mind off of her, the beautiful girl who loved me, though it could never be.

We were worlds apart, she and I. Her friends were different from mine, her home was different from mine, and her entire life was different from mine.

I wanted to learn about her life. I wanted to sit up at nights before a warm fire, listening to her golden voice chatter about her father, or her pets, or her singing. Anything to be with her.

The sea could not bring her to me. I could not return to her, for we could not be wed. I had to move on, to get away from her face and her voice. When leagues of ocean could not tear me away from her I visited my brother in Paris.

But she was there. Somehow I found her again, even as I tried to escape. She danced with the other girls, just like the rest of them, but much more graceful and beautiful to me.

And then she sang.

She sang, and her voice was as clear and angelic and sublime as I remembered – better than I remembered, even, for she was older now, and she had had some training, it seemed.

She sang, and I felt my soul aching to be near her.

It's a curious thing, an aching soul. I watched her lips move and took in every note that soared from them with pride. After all, she loved me. I had some right to her, did I not? We could be married, she and I, were it not for the rules of society.

But to hell with society! To hell with what others think! I love her, and she loves me! We will be together – if we were not meant to be together, why should I have found her again? We will be together; I don't care where. I will renounce my title, my wealth, my money, and society!

So I went to her.

I found her room, crowded with people who did not deserve to be in her presence. She did not love these people; she loved me! I had come to her, ready to give everything away for her sake – all my riches and my title are nothing compared to her!

She had fainted.

I stood over her, saw those pale cheeks and that golden hair, and I knew that she had not changed. She was still my dear playmate from Perros, still that lovely girl in the garden. Here she was, unconscious; she needed to be rescued. I knelt at her side and waited for her to open those magnificent eyes, to see me and cry out, to throw her arms around my neck and we would be off!

She awoke, looked around, and saw me. My stomach turned warm as her endless blue eyes fastened onto mine. I waited for the spark of recognition and the joy that would follow...


She did not know me.

She asked who I was.

Again I was paddling through the ocean, the waves pounding my face and filling my mouth. I am choking on salt water, spitting out mouthfuls of it, reaching out for her... I seized the scarf, and a shout went up from the beach. The waves that fought me so violently are now my friends, pushing me back toward her, the little angel with the rosy cheeks and the golden hair.

And those eyes remained blank. A flicker of recognition, and my heart begins to soar...

She laughs at me.

She laughs at my dreams, at my childhood, at my life, and it shatters.

How could she not love me? Is she not the same girl from Perros, my sweet friend? I could not have been wrong about the way she looked at me, the way she spoke... She loved me! She must have loved me!


I could not have been wrong!

And yet...

I was wrong. She did not love me. She laughed at me. I am angry, but I cannot be angry with her. I weep and curse her, immediately regretting that such evil could leave my lips. I love her still, but I have wasted my time.

Will I move on? Will I find another girl who fills my thoughts and my memories and my mind?

I will not. I cannot.

She has been my life, my love, my reason for living. Everything I did was for her, even if she never saw or knew. I did things that would have made her proud, proud to say that he loves me, and I love him.

I would have been proud to say that I loved her had she never done anything. If she had sung like a tomcat I would have still delighted in telling others that that being lived wholly for me, and I for her.

But she does not.

I have lived for her, and she has tossed it aside with one laugh.

I was wrong.

Everything is wrong.

I can trust nothing now but my heart.

And my heart aches.