Hello, everyone. This is an awful Christmas present for you but a liberating one for me. MERRY CHRISTMAS! lol.
I've got some things to say about this story that will probably upset you. I hope you'll take the time to read my explanation and not hate me afterward.
There's a good reason I haven't updated in so long: the flaws of this story have caught up with me, and I can't stand it anymore.
I was trying to write chapter sixty-eight when I realized that, 'Holy—! This story is a steaming pile of crap! And what the hell?! I had Christine running a week after she got home?! WHAT THE HELL?! I was sore through the middle of January at LEAST!' I realized that I didn't pay attention to her recovery (like I should have—grr!) because of the break-up/ car crash drama.
In short, I've come to realize that I'm tired of doing back flips to make up for the "hot off the press" chapters that make up this story. There's also the fact that I can't stand my "growing pains". I don't know how any of you got through it without laughing. I read through chapter one and went, "Wow…." (And not the good kind.)
I realize that this story taught me a lot of very valuable things. This story taught me what NOT to do. (Soap opera-like melodrama is a big no-no! Subtlety is much better. OCs in fanfics should be minimal and brief in nature.) For that, I'm grateful for the experience and humbled.
I'm so angry and sad at the same time. I'm so disappointed in this story. I thought it was so epic, and I loved it…until that love turned to hate when I realized what a monster it was.
Hehehe. I'm such a dork. Any guesses as to what just went through my mind?
"The tears I might have shed for your dark fate
Grow cold…and turn to tears of HATE!"
Ahem. My apologies for the randomness.
Anyway, that being said, I want to thank you all for sticking with this story for so long. I know that I'm the worst for doing this to you, but I aim to make it up with some EC short stories.
I am so sorry for doing this to you, but the bad outweighed the good in my opinion. Plus, I might just develop an ulcer if I stress over this story so much, and that's ridiculous. It's just a story. Writing is supposed to be fun. Now that this story has become a chore (and indeed it has), I need to evaluate things. And so, I shall be removing this story because it has become an eyesore for me on my profile page. Please don't flame me; I'm only human. As I just said, I aim to make it up to you with more POTO stories.
I hope you'll understand and even stick with me, though I understand if you won't. Thank you.
Here is my attempt at summing up what I originally intended to happen for the rest of the story:
My sister's car accident actually happened December 05, 2006. She was told that she wouldn't need surgery. As the month progressed, it became revealed that she DID need surgery—quite extensive surgery, at that. "I can feel the bones grinding against each other," she'd said. And so, December twenty-something, she went in to have her surgery. She needed metal plates for her ankle and pins for her leg. She'll always have them. She was released on Christmas Eve and was able to come stay with us (my mom, my younger sister, and me) for a while instead of at her apartment.
It was a long road to recovery full of frustration and tears (many, many tears). I was there with her in January for moral support when she had the staples removed from her leg. She squeezed my hand as she cried, and I almost joined her. It was months before she was able to walk again, though she went to physical therapy. It felt like even longer to her before she was able to use her settlement money to buy a new car. She called it her "Black Pearl" because of the model, the color was something like "Black Cherry," and my sister loves Pirates. I think there was more to it, but that's all I can remember. Hehe.
She wrote a few blogs. With her permission, I'll share a couple.
As of April 17, 2007, she said:
"When I reconstructed your ankle, I made it so that if a bomb went off, and you were blown to smithereens, your ankle would still be intact." --my doctor
I had my appointment Monday. It went well, and for the first time in four months, I was able to leave the doctor's office without crying, but that's about all I have to report. I still can't walk, but at least now he's letting me try. The next time I see him (May 31st), he expects I will walk in there, no leg brace, no crutches, so there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
On April 30th, she wrote:
When one is faced with adversity, you have two choices--you can rally and push forward, and hope that it makes a difference, or you can lay down and die.
I'm choosing the latter.
Not literally, and not forever, but figuratively, and for today. I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of working so hard to walk 20 feet and then aching for hours thereafter. I'm tired of being a burden on other people. I'm tired of getting the smackdown from the universe whenever I start to think life is not so bad. I'm done; I don't wanna play anymore; I'm out.
Fuck you, universe. Let me know when you're willing to play fair again.
By May 06th, five months after her accident, she could walk in tennis shoes. I nearly cried when I watched the video—partially because of the way she smiled at the end.
So, my sister has healed beautifully, and I was planning on that for Ash, who would get all the love and support from Takuto that my sister got from her boyfriend/ fiancé. (My sister got married this past January, and I got to be a bridesmaid!) Anyway, for the end of their portion, I was planning on having Takuto propose to Ash in the Japanese garden that he took her to.
There was going to be much growing and getting accustomed to one another on the EC front. The following is an excerpt from chapter sixty-eight, where Erik drops Christine off at home after Best of Broadway, and they're in her foyer:
When Erik began to tenderly kiss me, I shivered from head to toe on the inside but simply smiled on the outside. I could hardly breathe. As exhilarated as I felt, I also felt rather scared of him. I was scared of the dark passion lurking beneath the surface. As gentle as he was now being, I knew that there would come a time when he'd lose his inhibitions; I knew that he would eventually consume me in the flames of his desires. When I thought of this, I got a bit cold and shivered. Before Erik could question the reason, I hid my face in his chest, nuzzling it as I laughed nervously.
"Sorry. I'm still getting used to it all, I guess."
For a brief, painful instant, I remembered the warmth of Raoul. The two were night and day. The night was alluring and magical; the day was warm and comforting. In the night, I was scared of the dark; in the day, I feared nothing yet felt a little too comfortable, perhaps even bored. There was no stimulation. I felt no motivation. My blood didn't rush through my body as it did in the night…as it did for Erik. He made every cell in my body sing. I felt as if he alone were responsible for making my spirit soar as it did when we created music together. Even now, just being close like this, my spirit stirred—something it'd never done with Raoul. It was overwhelming in a way, and I stupidly began to cry. Immediately, Erik was concerned, pushing me away so that he could touch my face.
"What is it? What's wrong?"
I laughed, the sound choked and watery. "I don't know. I can't explain it. It's just…overwhelming in a way…scary." I felt nervous about sharing my thoughts with him, but I pushed myself into it so that he wouldn't get the wrong idea. "You…You touch my soul so easily. It's a bit frightening, really. It's like…when we're together, time ceases to exist. I start to forget where I am and what I'm doing. I feel like…like my body's barely even here."
Heat filled my cheeks, and I laughed self-consciously. "I'm sorry," I apologize. "I'm rambling."
"I don't think so." His eyes urged me to continue, something he seems hesitant to say aloud.
"I…" My cheeks heated up as I admitted, "I never felt like this around Raoul."
The grin that stretched across Erik's face was…a little disturbing. It was gleeful and smug. It was as if he was jeering at Raoul with it even though Raoul was nowhere around. I made myself smile back even though I really felt like staring at him with my eyebrows raised. I ended up laughing due to nerves. Erik happily held me against him and nuzzled my hair with the good side of his face. Everything in me calmed; I relaxed into his embrace and returned it tenderly.
I really do love him.
I smiled, but there was still that tiny part of me that missed Raoul. My smile fell as I began to wonder if he and I could even remain friends. I hoped so with all my heart. If we couldn't be friends still, I didn't know what I would do. I sighed with a heavy heart as I pressed closer to Erik. Since the sound would undoubtedly concern him, I explained, wanting to be open with him yet not wanting to hurt him, "I hope that Raoul will stay friends with me. I mean, I understand if it's too painful for him…but he really is a great friend."
I felt the familiar sting in my eyes, but I buried my face in Erik's shirt so that the tears wouldn't surface. I'd yet to cry over the loss of Raoul. I'd been numb to it. As much as I knew I loved Erik, there was a part of me that ached for Raoul, for the loss of what we had. He really was sweet and tender—perhaps a little inconsiderate at times, but just generally a good person. He was a good person—one who cared deeply for me—and a good friend. It was probably selfish, but I didn't want to lose him completely.
I already have, haven't I?
The floodgates opened. I wept against Erik's chest, fully conscious of the fact that the cause of my tears made him uncomfortable. I could feel it in the way his arms loosened just a little. Withdrawing, I took a deep breath and huffed it out. I smiled weakly and uttered, "Sorry you had to see that. I guess it was a delayed reaction. I never really gave myself the opportunity to…grieve." I scrunched my nose at this; luckily, Erik seemed to understand.
"It's all right. I understand. All that matters is that you love me."
I regarded him curiously, unable to school my face. I dazedly replied, "I do love you." He softened, smiling as he caressed my face.
His words rang true, but his tone sounded strange. It was both comforting yet…commanding, in a way. It made me realize that my relationship with Erik was permanent. I knew that I wanted to be with him, but there was something intimidating about knowing that it was forever. Either we were together…or I killed any and all humanity in Erik by breaking up with him.
Suddenly, it seemed so horribly important to kiss him—on the lips—and for quite a while. Nervous, I gazed up into his eyes, getting lost in them for a moment. My stomach was in knots because I highly doubted that this kiss would be any less than soul-searing. Not only that, but I was the one initiating it. I could barely breathe. My hands gripped Erik's back as we stared into each other's eyes. I swallowed, took a deep breath, and tilted my head up. Erik lowered his but seemed hesitant to kiss me, though he'd done so earlier. I hesitantly closed the distance, letting my lips brush his before I pressed them together softly.
His lips were still foreign to me. I was in unfamiliar territory, and I was terrified. I pulled back just a little, took another breath, and dove back into the dark depths—his eyes, his kiss, his embrace. Though he was gentle, my soul shook with the quiet passion surging from his body. I withdrew, my body quivering. He kissed me again, and I felt myself go under the spell that he so easily wove around me. It was the spell that happened when he so much as looked at me. Prolonged eye contact, any sort of touch, a single musical note from him…that's all it took. Any of that, and I was his—utterly and completely.
Suddenly, I went weak at the knees. I laughed as I slumped against Erik, whose arms were the only thing keeping me on my feet. My breathing was a bit heavy, but I smiled and relaxed against him, finding the strength to stand on my feet without his aid. His arms remained around me, but they were looser. Lost in the magical haze he produced, I murmured, "I love you, Erik."
I felt his smile in my hair. He kissed my forehead and replied, "I love you, Christine."
Delicious shivers flooded me. Without warning, my body decided to break the spell: I winced at the way my scarred abdomen protested my semi-hunched position. I straightened and pressed my hand to the sore area. I could feel the surgical tape underneath my shirt. It reminded me that I'd have to go see the doctor for a final check-up.
And it was at this point that I thought, 'Oh, HELL!' and realized that I screwed up on the past few chapters. I went psycho and declared death on this infuriating story, which led to me writing this.
As far as their time together goes, my plans were that they'd go slowly, but Erik would begin to get braver and braver. Voice lessons would be on hold until he deemed Christine fit enough. I was planning on having a sick day for Madame Giry, leading Erik to take over conducting for the day as well as a very disgruntled choir. Hehe. I toyed with the idea of Erik saving the last few minutes to practice "Anges Purs, Anges Radieux" with Christine before the bell rang, thus enabling the others in the room to be blown away by her voice and progress. Hahaha.
They'd slowly get closer and closer. I imagined a scene where Erik explores Christine's body, but things didn't get much further than fingering due to the fact that Christine is still in high school at that point, and neither of them would feel right about "rushing" into it.
There was to be a trip to San Luis Obispo, a "tour" of sorts, like how some schools go to Europe. It was to be based off my trip up there and would feature me poking fun at myself for being stupid at certain points (like the hotel bathroom that I managed to turn into a swamp thanks to the way I had the shower curtain; hahaha). There would have been a (hopefully) very touching scene where Christine stood at the beach and felt at peace with the world—maybe even say something quietly to her father's spirit. That would be April because Madame Giry would play an April Fool's joke on the assembled choirs concerning someone getting in trouble and facing dire consequences—like being sent home (though not really). Not a very funny joke? My director pulled that on us; that's why.
OH, Cabaret! I'm getting nostalgic and fond at the mere memory. I was planning on having Christine sing "Someone To Watch Over Me".
I'd wrap things up with her high school graduation—and Erik introducing her to his staff at the opera house. Juliette would get the boot while Charlotte took the lead, leaving Christine as her understudy while she also went to college. I decided that Christine would sell her house and move in with Erik, much to Ayesha's displeasure. I'm not sure whose point of view it'd be from (probably Christine's), but I imagined the final portion to be something akin to:
It was strange to think how close we had become over the course of a year. However, it was comforting to know one thing, one thing that would always put a smile on my face: We had a bond through our love of music, and no one could ever tear us apart.
Aww. Now I almost feel like I finished this story anyway.
I hope this summary made you feel better about my abandonment. Please forgive me and perhaps support me as I offer up some 'Please don't kill me!' short stories for this fandom in repentance.
Originally, I tried writing a newer (better) story using the same premise (accompanist for choir), and it was beautiful…but I was STUPID and didn't save it to back-up.
Guess what happened! (That's right: my hard drive got fried, and I lost 37 chapters. –KH fans, fear not: I hadn't worked on my KH fics, so there was nothing new to lose at that point. By the way, y'all are gonna get bombarded with KH fics now that I've murdered this story and buried its body in the woods. Lol.)
Maybe if it had been something like ten chapters I might have rallied…but 37? I'm sorry, but I'm not making money off this, so it's not worth rewriting ALL THAT. Ick! I have the worst luck. …That story was so beautiful, too! I set it in Denver, and it was…it was going to be my masterpiece. ((sobs)) At least I can salvage some short stories from it. That's a nice silver lining.
You better believe that I use back-up every day now! Heh. I have a flash drive, and I save files to a disc once a week. Heh.
I love you all so much for trudging through this gargantuan mess I once called a story. I am so sorry that I couldn't get it together for you. Thank you for your unbelievable patience and support. Maybe my short stories will make up for it? If not, I guess it's goodbye.