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I still remember the very first time I saw him, marvel that he was at the time. From the moment he performed his first simple but entertaining card trick to the grand finale in which he sent the entire audience into a trancelike and delirious state by the mere sound of that mesmerizing voice of his, he was a hero in my eyes.
Mother and Father had not yet passed away, and in their lives they were the kind of people extremely fond of travel. And fortunately, being rich, it was a hobby they could well afford—and were well-known for it, too, being of such stature in society. They entertained a sort of greed for anything exotic or foreign, and had a thirst for adventure that was never quite satiated, even after returning from year-long voyages at sea or treks to the summits of the tallest mountains in Africa. The minute they returned home, they were already planning out their next trip, wherever it may be—anywhere away from home, it seemed.
Of course, this meant that the births of Philipe and myself were an enormous inconvenience to them. They were delighted by us, by having children, of course—another great adventure of life, perhaps. But as it hindered them in their travels, we were quite a burden to them, in that way. I remember passing the living room and hearing them inside talking, voices low, reminiscing on previous ventures and dreaming of further exploration of anywhere and everywhere they had not yet seen. And I remember the response I got when I asked them why they didn't travel again, why we didn't go somewhere—as a family this time.
"You're not old enough," my mother had replied, gently, yet somewhat coldly. My father had merely looked away, staring out the window—regretfully, it seemed. As though he regretted…me.
My parents weren't cruel people—and they certainly weren't the type who might abandon us, Philipe and I, should we become too bothersome. No, they wouldn't think of it—and yet, it did feel as though they sometimes wished we hadn't been born; so that they might go about their blissful, childless lives in perfect contentment, as they had before our arrival into the world. Although, I'd overheard them once speaking of how they felt that Philipe was indeed ready for travel…but not I. I was still too young; too emptyheaded yet to take in such an experience.
And so was born a terrible desperation, on my part, to grow up as quickly as possible. I wasted most of my childhood trying to prove to them that I wasn't a child at all; that I was a man and ready to see the world as they once had.
I remember most clearly one of my last attempts to prove to them my courage; that I was brave enough to face anything that might come along in our travels; to do anything. We were staying at our house by the sea for a week or so during the summer—of course we had to have a house elsewhere, anywhere other than home; I should think my parents would have withered away had we not even that little summer house to escape to every once in a while—and we were walking along the beach when Philipe spotted a girl and a much older man, presumably her father, standing just at the water's edge. The girl was on the verge of tears, and it seemed as though she were also on the edge of throwing herself into the water, for a reason which we soon found out: a red scarf, her red scarf, was floating steadily away with the current.
In a moment of partial madness, I tore away from my parents and threw myself into the water, determined to rescue the ratty thing, to show my parents—and Philipe, who'd always taunted me about being such a cowardly little boy—that I wasn't a coward at all; I'd do anything for them to see my bravery and to take me on some great adventure.
I remember the water being unbearably frigid, and I'd almost gone back—but I then caught sight of the girl's face. I hadn't really seen her before diving in—I'd only seen the scarf and my body took control of my mind, before I'd even made the conscious decision. But two things struck me about that little girl: firstly, her incredible youthful beauty; enough to make anyone stop dead in their tracks (and I'm sure I would have, had I not been swimming and would have drowned had I done so), and the look of relief and thanks that graced that pretty little face. She was watching me as though I were some kind of angel, her hero, saving that stupid silly scarf—but that look of pure admiration was enough to make me finish what I'd started. How would I feel if I returned to shore without it, and washed that wonderful expression from her innocent, angelic face?
When I did finally return, the red scarf soaked but clutched tightly in my hand, my thoughts no longer dwelled solely on impressing my family. This girl had changed everything. I felt proud yet slightly abashed, handing the dripping thing back to her, but that melted away into an inexplicable joy upon hearing her cry of delight and having her arms thrown about my neck.
"Thank you!" she repeated, again and again. "You see, it was a birthday gift, I got it only yesterday, from Papa," she explained, indicating the man standing just behind her, smiling down at both of us.
"That was a very noble thing to do, young man," her father said. "Very brave…was it cold?" he asked, smiling.
"Oh! Yes—well, only a little—" I stammered, looking down as I felt the girl's gaze fixed upon me.
I soon went back to my parents, but not before learning that the girl—Christine, Christine Daae—and her father lived there in that very town, in a house not far from ours. When I returned, my parents chastised me for running off without permission, but they did so lightheartedly, amused by the whole scene.
"You know," said my father (well aware of the reason for all my acts of bravado), "I do think it might be time for us to begin our travels once again, the four of us."
I should have been delighted, but travel seemed so trivial to me now…the only place I desired to travel was across the street, to Christine Daae's house!
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So- to be continued! Review with feedback. Going in a good direction? Anything lacking? Raoul OOC at all? Just- REVIEW!