By Hikaru Hayashi

Story from Phantom of the Opera

(I just KNOW I've lost my mind this time. This is a big jump for me)

Hello Phantom of the Opera (a.k.a. POTO) fanfiction readers. After reading other POTO fics and watching the movie heaven knows how many times, I've decided to write my own! I don't know how far this will get, but we'll just see; this is something I just need to get out of my system, or it will tear me apart. So bear with me; this is my first POTO fic!

Here's a full summary:

Summary: (AU) It's been six months since Erik and Christine last saw each other. Since Erik was convicted for a crime he didn't commit and sent to jail, Christine has been so depressed that she decides never to fall in love again, or for that matter, become attached to anyone because of the disappearance of her father almost three years ago. She doesn't want to lose anyone else so she stays indifferent towards everyone, including her best friend Meg, who tries so much to get Christine to open up. Now, Christine and Meg are starting their first year of college and, though she wants to remain a loner to escape the pain of loss, it would appear that she's fallen for someone else… When Erik finally gets out of jail, how will he take this? Romance Triangle: ErikxChristinexRaoul

Disclaimer note: I don't own Phantom of the Opera. Meaning I own nothing affiliated with Phantom of the Opera, including Erik, Christine, Raoul, and Meg. I don't even own the name. I am not getting paid for writing this. Yeah, I know: Boo-friggin'-hoo, but oh well. C'est la vie.

So let's start (oh, god, I suck with titles).

The Life of a Loner

Chapter 1: First Day of School

Christine…Christine…Christine, wake up…!

Christine Daae groggily opened her eyes to a bright morning and her friend Meg Giry's smiling face. She sat up and stared at her friend, wondering why she woke her up this early.

"Meg…what's going on…? Why so early…?"

"Don't tell me you've forgotten!" Meg chirped. The sunlight coming through the window made her blonde hair and blue eyes sparkle. "It's the first day of school! Aren't you excited?"

"Nope…" Christine said as she reluctantly got out of bed. She never did like school. The only class she really liked was choir. The rest she could do without.


Christine looked up. Meg was staring her in the eye. "Something's bothering you. Please tell me what it is."

Christine ignored her.

"Please Christine! I am your best friend and room mate after all."

(Personally, she would have rather had her own dorm room, but Meg insisted on sharing with her.)

Christine just walked to the closet to pull out an outfit. "I don't want to talk about it…" she muttered.

Christine…how could you…I thought you loved me!

Christine shivered. I did love him…she thought as she tried to brush this off. His voice won't get out of my head…! Oh, Erik…

Christine! Christine, how could you let this happen to me!

"There was nothing I could do…" she muttered to herself. "There was nothing I could do…! It was out of my hands…"

Christine, why! Why didn't you do anything!

She remembered everything from that day…the trial…the sentence…the type of cologne the judge was wearing…when it was her turn to speak for Erik's defense…everything…it was a day she wouldn't easily forget…it was the day she let him down.

"It's all my fault, Meg…" Christine sighed. "It's all my fault that Erik is in jail…if only I could have stood up for him better…"

Meg put a hand on her friend's shoulder. "You did what you could," she said as comforting as possible. "What matters is that you tried your best to defend him…"

That's why he was so mad at me as they took him away…Christine thought bitterly.

"Come on, Christine," Meg said as she grabbed her purse and her books. "Let's go…"

"All right, I'm coming…" Christine said as she picked up her books and left behind Meg, locking the door behind her.

Before she knew it, Meg had left her behind. "I'm going to get an early start so I can find our classes," she had said. "Fine," Christine had answered and sat down on a bench. The next time she looked up, Meg was nowhere to be found.

Crud, Christine thought. She knows I don't remember where any of those classrooms are…except the choir room…shoot… She figured if she didn't want to be late she'd better start running. So she did…and wasn't watching where she was going, let alone did she know where she was going. While she was running, she tripped over a tree root that was bulging out of the ground. She closed her eyes as she prepared for impact with the ground.

When she didn't hit the ground, she opened her eyes, confused. She was even more confused when she heard a voice speak to her:

"Hey there, be careful! I understand you must be in quite a hurry…"

She realized that someone had caught her and stopped her from falling. She looked up into the face of the man whose arms she had just fallen into. She looked up at two friendly blue eyes and a warm smile, and instantly, she felt her cheeks turn red. "Uh…uh…" was all she could say.

The man, who appeared to be only a year older than her, making him a sophomore and the same age as Erik, chuckled. "Are you flattered?" he asked.

Christine blushed even more. She had only heard him speak two sentences, yet she loved the sound of his voice. And she loved his laugh. It made her feel happy and peaceful. "Uh…yeah…a little…I guess…"

Almost at once, she backed away from him. What am I doing…? she thought as she stared at the ground. I swore to myself I would never fall in love again because of what happened to Erik…so why…do I feel so attached to this man I've only just met…?

The man frowned to see Christine so upset. "What seems to be the trouble?" he asked.

"I…" she started, still staring at the ground. "I…I don't remember where any of my classes are…you see, I'm new here…"

"Oh, I see," he said as chuckled a little. "Are you a freshman?"

"Is it that obvious…?" Christine asked, disappointed.

"Yeah, kind of…" the man replied. "Don't worry. I'll help you. Which class are you on your way to?"

"Do you know where room 274 is?"

The man smiled. "Not only do I know where it is, but I was on my way there myself. Come on, I'll take you, if you don't mind."

"Yes! I mean, no! I mean, sure, why not!" Christine replied immediately as she took his hand. The problem was that she really did mind; she couldn't afford to get involved. She wanted to stay a loner. After her father disappeared, Erik was the only person she had. But now that he was gone too, she figured she was just meant to be a loner and decided not to get involved with anyone else.

But she couldn't refuse his smiling face…his gorgeous eyes…his beautiful shoulder-length brown hair…normally, she didn't like guys with long hair…but she loved everything about this man. She felt comfort from hearing the sound of his voice…and she didn't like it. Part of her did, but the other part of her wanted to stay a loner. I can't get involved…she thought.

She was aroused from her thoughts by the sound of his voice:

"We're here," he said, smiling. "I hope you weren't spacing out; I don't want you to get lost next time."

"Okay, I won't. Thanks…" she replied, though she knew she was spacing out and she wasn't really paying attention. Before they walked into class, Christine blurted out, "I'm Christine Daae…um, what's your name?"

"Christine…" the man repeated. "What a pretty name!"

Christine blushed.

"My name is Raoul de Chagny. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Daae!"

Christine blushed even more. It's not every day you meet a guy who has good looks and manners. She liked everything she knew about him so far, which wasn't much, seeing as how they just met. She even found that she liked his name. She found herself becoming more and more attracted to this man called Raoul every second. And she didn't like it.

As they were walking into class, a familiar voice greeted them:

"Christine Daae, where in the world have you been!"

Christine looked up to see her friend Meg, apparently in the same class as her and Raoul. "Oh…hi Meg…" she said. To Raoul, "This is my friend and room mate, Meg Giry."

Raoul nodded. "Nice to meet you, Miss Giry…"

"And who…" Meg interrupted, "is this fine-looking gentleman? Christine! Could it be that you've found a new boyfriend? And didn't tell me! Oh, Christine! I'm so happy for you!" she cheered as clapped her hands.

"Actually, we've only just met a while ago…we're just friends…" Raoul said, his face turning scarlet at the thought of having been called Christine's "boyfriend".

Christine blushed at the thought of just merely being his "friend". She knew that wouldn't last long because she knew her feelings for him were deeper than that, even thought they just met…and she didn't want them to be. She really did want her and Raoul to be "just friends", maybe not even that. Even so, she just brushed it off, muttering loudly, "Shut up, Meg…"

Meg just giggled.

End Chapter One

And that's the end of that. I don't know how this is, but that's why I have people like you to tell me how I'm doing and what I should be doing and stuff like that. My only worry is that the characters don't seem too OOC. I'm trying to be as character-accurate as possible, even though the fic is AU. For my fic to work, I need the characters' personalities to be as accurate as possible (and if Christine doesn't seem so, she will soon, I promise).

Anyway, just let me know in your review how I'm doing and whether or not I should bother updating (and please, NO FLAMES).