A Goodbye Dance

Twirl, twirl, sway, twirl…

Meg danced, as silent tears ran down her cheeks, her beautiful ballerina outfit, swaying gracefully around her ankles. Her blond hair fell gracefully on her shoulders. She swayed in complete harmony with the music. It was a distant melody, a song that still embraced her mind, heart, and soul, a tune that no one could hear, but her. It was a tune from so long ago, when once upon a night, little Meg's prayer and plea had been granted.

Little eight year old Meg knelt at the chapel before the crucifix, wearing a beautiful pink dress. She clasped her hands together, and closed her eyes tightly, as she whispered her prayer.

"Dear God, please send me the angel of music, just like you sent him for Christine. You see I need him too. My papa died when I was very young, I can barely even remember him. Today is my birthday, I will turn eight, Maman says I'm a big girl now. But all I want is for the angel of music to play me one song, just one, for me, so that maybe I won't feel so lonely anymore. I promise I won't ask anything else from you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen"

But little did Meg know that a shadow, was listening to her prayer.

That night her prayer had been answered, her wish had been granted, as her heart fluttered with all the joy, and the innocence of a small child. And a breathtakingly beautiful melody, echoed through the silent Opera house.

Upon hearing that enchanting tune, that seemed to carry her to the highest heavens, little Meg had slowly and carefully gotten out of bed, so as not to wake her friend and roommate, Christine. She had walked out to the stage, and had danced to that tune of ethereal melancholy, as it lifted her soul and caressed her heart, weaving a magical spell of heavenly beauty, around her innocent being.

It was a tune she would never hear again, but one that would consume her heart and soul, for all eternity.

For just one night, the Opera ghost, the angel of music, had played for her, and no one else. And Meg would never forget.

Twirl, twirl, sway, twirl…

How ironic it was, that the grand stage that once held so much life and beauty, was empty and broken now. The chandelier lay still in the middle of the stage, broken and shattered. How ironic it was, that only one month ago, the Opera house had been one of the most beautiful, and luxurious sites in Paris. Now reduced to nothing more, than the burned ruins of what once was.

Not a soul was there, no one but Marguerite Giry, who had come back one last time, to dance one last dance, and to bid that place where she grew up, that place that held so many fond memories, and so many secrets, goodbye forever.

There was also another reason Meg was there, she had returned to bid the phantom goodbye, as well, after reading about his death in the newspaper. She remembered all those times when she had made up horrible stories about him, without even knowing him. And now she felt so very guilty.

She had realized the truth at last, the truth that behind the mask, behind the violence, the insanity, and the rage, he was just a man, a broken, tortured, lonely man, who just wanted to be loved.

Twirl, twirl, sway, twirl…

Tears continued falling down from her beautiful hazel eyes, like soft drops of rain, as they rested on the floor of the remaining stage. Dust was starting to gather on the beautiful red seats of the theater. And the tall golden statues, that had once bestowed their beauty upon the Opera house, were now nothing more than silent mourners, crying over the destruction of their dwelling place.

The Opera house had truly become haunted now.

Meg wondered if anyone would ever know the real story of the phantom, and the tragic tale of his romance. She wondered it anyone would ever know about his genius, his horror, his torment, and his love. She wondered if anyone would ever know about Christine Daae, little Lotte and her angel of music. And somewhere deep inside the recesses of her heart, Marguerite Giry wondered if anyone would ever remember her.

Twirl, twirl, sway, twirl…

Meg danced with all her heart and soul. She danced from the depth of her pain, and longing, as she lost herself, in the music that seemed to be reborn, out of the shadows of oblivion.

And for a moment Meg was eight years old again, dancing on an empty stage, to that heavenly tune that the angel of music had played for her and her alone, once upon a night.

Meg closed her eyes, as she drifted back in time, completely consumed by the music. She danced until her muscles screamed with pain, and her feet ached so viciously. She danced until her breath became labored, until her heart was exhausted. She danced until her tears ran dry. And nothing was left, but the music that still echoed in her heart.

And for the first time in a long time, Meg felt peace and relief. A small smile kissed her lips, as she opened her eyes again.

The dance was over.

Meg took a small bow, as if an invisible audience, were watching her. And she walked off that stage, never to return again.

Twirl, twirl, sway, twirl…

Marguerite Giry had said her last goodbye. She had danced her goodbye dance.

And now it was time to move on.