Kiss me goodbye, pushing out before I sleep…

Oh Erik. Less than a couple days ago, I had been ready to give myself to you at last.

I don't know if you realize that. I'm sure you still believe my kiss was just one of sympathy, just as a child kisses her sick father. But I know how it feels to lose one's father, Erik. And I know that this loss feels so much worse.

Raoul has been far too kind to me. I hope one day you can see that he really is a good man, Erik. His warm jacket is wrapped around me now as I write this by candlelight. I cannot sleep. I feel terrible, as I watch him lie innocently, fast asleep in the inn's bed. He does not yet realize that I didn't want to come with him this time.

He looks so young when he sleeps. He is very handsome, very adorable, very patient. I want to curl up next to him, but I know that I'll only feel worse. He'll open his eyes and smile at me, a smile of simple relief on a face that is not yet lined with worry or age. But there is no longing stare, no penetrating eyes. You see, he does not know who I am, Erik.

I pray to god that I can give you this one day, so that you understand. I wish that you knew already, I wish you could simply read my mind and know how I feel for you. But I have done nothing to demonstrate it to you, so how can I expect that?

…Can't you see I tried? Swimming in the same deep water as you in hard…

I wish I were strong like you, Erik. You can handle so much more than I can. I am shallow and self centered, I denied you only because I wanted to live a normal life like every other girl. I know that you cannot understand that; or perhaps you can, perhaps you too long for normalcy. Of course you do. This is what I mean about myself.

I am almost certain that I am in love with you, Erik. You've done things that are unforgivable, and yet, I still see you as the purest man I have ever met. You asked for nothing more than to be loved, and in the end, even less, wanting nothing more than for me to be happy. Well Erik, I am not happy.

I imagine you as being so strong. You take me in your arms; forgiveness has always come so natural to you, Erik; you who have been so wronged by the world. Its entirely ironic and entirely noble, and I love you even more. Your hands are gentle, your voice is soft in my ear.

…"the shallow, drowned, lose less than we" you breathe, the strangest twist upon your lips. "and we shall be together..."

You had so much hope for us, didn't you? It breaks my heart to remember the way you looked at me when I wore the wedding gown, the tears of joy in your eyes. It kills me, remembering the pride you took in me, the way you cared for me and worried about my wellbeing. It's too painful to recognize what I have done to you.

Hold me here in my thoughts; I can pretend that I explain without words what I feel. Words terrify me, Erik; you were always so much better with them than I. Please understand I am not as awful as I appear, nor as wonderful as you made me out to be. You once confessed that you were not an angel or a ghost, but just Erik. Well, I will tell you the same, my love. I am just Christine; no more, no less.

Oh God, I wish I had stayed. I believe that if you had been wearing the mask, I would have. Is that terrible? Yes. Yes, it most certainly is. I was just so tired, I wanted nothing more than to fall asleep. And when I looked at you, I saw ugliness. I saw pain. I was too tired to fight when you told me to go with Raoul. Oh, but I regret this already.

…kiss me goodbye, bow your head and join with me. Face pushed deep, reflections meet, the strangest twist upon your lips…

I walk across the room and stare deeply into the room's mirror. I half expect you to be there, waiting for me on the other side, even though I know that is impossible. As a young girl I had been afraid of mirrors. I thought ghosts lived in them. How foolish I was. What you must see in a mirror is so much more haunting. Oh Erik, you make me feel so small and insignificant. Perhaps that's why I'm afraid to be with you. Though at the same time, when I am with you, you make me feel so much larger than life. Such strange, juxtaposing emotions have always encircled our relationship.

I touch my lips with a trembling finger. I remember your smile, it was so brief, so awkward and unbelieving, but so overwhelmingly beautiful. For a second, as I pulled away from the kiss and lightly touched your cheek, wet with tears, you were the happiest I'd ever seen you.

…You disappear, the ripples clear…

I remember looking at you one last time across the lake before you disappeared from sight. I almost collapsed from grief, Raoul had to steady me as he rowed the gondola.

I keep picturing you, your partial insanity, your helpless rage. You saw right through me in those moments, saw that I was the ugly one, that I was the monster.

…laughing. "break the mirror, sweet, so we shall be together..."

Your mockery of me was so cruel…Almost anyone who I asked would tell me I made the right choice. Raoul does love me very much.

..but I don't see and I don't feel…

I feel completely alone here, staring at my reflection. My pale blue eyes and soft, pretty features meant nothing to you, I realize, and they mean nothing to God. When I am dead, I will decay like everyone else, and your ugliness will mean nothing then, my angel, when your soul is all that shows. In the end, I will have to face what I have done.

…I tightly hold up silently my hands, before my fading eyes, and in my eyes, your smile…

I have to find you. I have to at least give this to you, even if you wont take me back. It is dawn now, and I am coming to find you, my love.

…The very last thing before I go...

I stop to pick up a newspaper that the innkeeper left at our door. On the front page, some one has submitted an obituary. I don't know who, but I can not pretend that I didn't know what it meant.

I stumble backward into the room, crying and yelling. "Raoul, Raoul, wake up!" He blinks a few times. "what is it, Little Lotte? Calm down my love, what is it?"

You are dead, Erik. You will never know any of this, you will never hear my darkest, most secret confession. If there was anyway I could go back in time and show you, anyway I could have done anything to let you know that you were not alone, I would correct my mistake in a second. But it's too late. You will never know that I love you. I will never be able to tell you those three healing words that were denied to you your whole life. I will never be able to show you how much goodness there was in your soul, the beauty that I saw all too late. There is nothing I can do now but make-believe, and pray, and hope that somehow you hear me, my angel; hope that somehow, you knew I loved you without me telling you.

It is night again. I am still in denial that there is no point in writing this, Erik. I cannot be with Raoul now that I know you are dead. I cannot marry him. I will tell him this tomorrow morning, and I'm sure he will be severely hurt. I don't want to destroy his heart as well. But I know in my mind, I am already gone.

All that is left to do is dream and cry until I can find you again. I have committed the most unthinkable crime. My father sent me an angel of music from heaven, and denied him; I destroyed him. Oh God, Erik, how I repent, how my eyes have been opened! I succumb to you at long last, and there is solace in this, even if the pain goes on and on. I will find your body, and I will bury you, and I am certain that I too will soon die. There is nothing left for me in this world but pain. There is nothing left that I can do but wait. I am yours, eternally, and soon I will prove it to you. We will never be married my angel, but this means nothing, believe me. While others take shallow vows of "until death do us part," for you and I, Erik, death is only the beginning.

…I will kiss you forever on nights like this and we shall be together.