Is it so terrible, now, that the smiling mouth of the coffin will close forever? I will soon have that little gold ring upon my finger, the pleasantly smooth metal warm and heavy on my hand. For, you see, Persephone never should have eaten those pomegranate seeds. She was only meant for the world of light and joy, for she is good. And what joy, to be kissed…right there…I can still feel it now…I cannot help myself…I must reach up to brush my forehead with trembling fingers every so often. I can only imagine what this will to do her, having to come meet her Erik one last time. I can see her little white hands, placing the ring on my finger…oh! It is too terrible to imagine Persephone once more descending to the Underworld. But I am happy, because she will be happy. She must be happy. Am I dreaming? No, I am awake, for I can see the blood on the back of my hand. I pinched it. My mind is whirling with impossibilities. How easily I could have done away with everyone's lives, then. Strange, it is. Here I am: lingering, waiting, and languishing. Someone is laughing at my plight. Maybe it is me, sitting here, decaying. How wonderful it would be, to hear the tentative pitter-patter of her little feet upon the floor. Maybe she would cry, again. Would she cry, for her Erik? No, it hurt to think of that. I can feel an elusive pain. It is love, devouring me from the inside out, feasting upon my intangible self. The grave will eat my tangible self: soon no-one will know me from anyone else's skeleton. Irony! Oh, irony! I will only look like a normal man when I am dead. There is that voice, again, laughing at my plight. Now I am laughing with it. Oh, Christine! Are the white bones not beautiful? Do they shine like pearl? What will she do when she hears of my death? Will she cry? No, I do not wish her more tears. But I will be crying for her, languishing in my lonely place. Erik wishes you well, Christine. Oh, how it aches, curséd love. I think I can see her face now. But oh! She is crying! Do not cry, Christine, for Erik loves you and wishes you to have happiness! Psyche should never have looked upon her Cupid. Foolish Christine! She is gone, I cannot see her face. But my own stares back at me. Well, I say to the monster in the mirror, soon I will not ever see you again! Erik will be a normal man, soon, like a normal skeleton. Just wait for the flesh to rot away. I do not want to die, so very shortly. I would not want to frighten the angel, when she comes to say goodbye. For creatures of light and happiness do not like the dark. I would not want to look badly for the angel. Perhaps Erik will dress in his evening finery in preparation to meet Death! Yes, yes. Perhaps I shall go and change. I am humming to myself, but the music does not fill up the emptiness like it used to. What if the Époque is not delivered? What will Christine do then? Will she wonder about her Erik? No, I mustn't think of that…the Époque will be delivered. I am being nonsensical. How strange. Christine, I am weeping for you again. I cannot help myself. Is it so terrible, that I should die presently? Is it so terrible? Ha, monster in the mirror, I scorn you! You will not laugh at me any longer! Oh, Christine, you will forget me, you will not weep. It is not so terrible, that I should die so soon, then. Maybe Christine will be able to look upon my face with ease, once it is reduced to white bone. But alas! She will never see me as a common skeleton, for I will be entombed in the earth. I am laughing. I can hear the sound, echoing a thousand times over. Maybe I will go into the Louis-Philippe room, where I can catch a hint of the scent that was you. Wait – what is that sudden silence? Is that death creeping up without a sound? Do not worry; I will go without a fuss. Oh, but this is terrible. Love hurts so. But the monster in the mirror does not sympathize with me, do you, monster? I do not need your pity, anyway. There is dust on the organ. I'm sorry, my friend, that I will not be here to dust your ivory keys. Angel? Do you have the key to the Rue Scribe? You mustn't forget to wear something warm; it is ever so cold down here.