Christine Daae sat lost in thought as a paper was passed around her chorale class. Her mind was jolted back to reality as the paper reached her lap. She poised her pen ready to sign, but stopped. Was she ready to do this so soon? Her best friend, Meg, looked at her questioningly and nodded her head. Christine sighed and signed her name on the sheet and wrote down the song Broken Wing by Martina McBride. Meg smiled as Christine passed the paper on.

"Alright then if everyone who wants to sing signed up I'll be making the CDs and tapes tonight," Ms. Kay said. The bell rang and the students rushed from the music room.

"Christine I'm so glad you signed up," Meg said catching Christine.

"It's time I tried again," Christine replied solemnly.

"It's past time. Christine you're amazing, you just need that confidence that you once had, " Meg said reaching her locker.

"Yeah maybe," Christine said nodding a goodbye to Meg and walking to her own locker.

Christine hadn't sung since the fatal day her parents had died. They had been on their way to one of Christine's musical events when their car was stuck by a drunk driver. They were dead on the scene. Christine had barely spoken since the event. She had withdrawn from the world. She shunned human contact and resented people who weren't upset. She wanted the whole world to stop so that she had time to recover. It didn't.

"Christine," a voice said shaking Christine's thoughts.

"Raoul," Christine said quietly.

"I saw your name on the sign up sheet for cabaret and I have to say I'm proud of you. I know you've been in this kind of slump since the incident and I'm just happy that you're finally getting over it," Raoul said smiling.

"I'll never get over it," Christine said walking away.

Christine stopped walking as she entered a park. She didn't want to go home to the empty apartment that served as her home. It was a constant reminder of her solitude from the world. Instead Christine found a secluded part of the park and began singing her song.

"She loved him like he was the last man on earth. Gave him everything she ever had." She stopped as she heard a twig snap. Whipping around she saw the shadow of a man.

"Don't stop singing," the man said quietly.

"Pardon me, but I can't sing in front of people," Christine said.

"You can, you just don't have the confidence to," the man said.

"How do you know anything about me?" Christine demanded.

"I see it in your eyes, your face. Your whole body gives mention to your feelings," the man said stepping forward slightly.

"I am not a book to be read. Don't begin to think you know anything about me just by looking at me," Christine said harshly.

"I claim not to know everything about you. I'm just here to help you-"

"Help me with what?" Christine asked quickly.

"Your singing, my dear. I can help you. Just trust me," the man said holding out his hand to her. Christine glanced away then slowly reached her hand out for his. The moment they connected Christine took a sharp intake of breath. Something inside her changed. She felt it in her very soul. A change she could not describe. It was as if she were under a spell.

The man led Christine away from the park. She barely knew the man, yet she felt safe with him. The man led her to large building and they traveled to the top floor. Inside was a room with a piano, various other musical instruments, and a few music stands. The man led Christine to the center of the room.

"Now sing," he said in her ear.

"I can't," Christine said nervously.

"You can. Don't tell me you can't. Just don't focus on me," he said leaving her and standing behind one of the music stands. He looked expectantly at Christine.

"She loved him like he was the last man on earth. Gave him everything she ever had. He'd break her spirit down. Then come loving up on her. Give a little, then take it back. She'd tell him bout her dreams he'd just shoot them down. Lord he loved to make her cry-"

"Stop," the man said looking up from the paper he was writing on. "You are way to tense and nervous. I want you to take a few breaths and feel the air in the back of your throat. It should feel cold and dry."

Christine took the breaths and looked at the man. He nodded at her. "Before we begin can I know your name?" Christine asked.

"My name is Erik, but it is of no importance. Alright now I want you to de a few scales for me. Just ah the notes I give you," Erik said going over to the piano.

He started low and Christine sang. He would then alternate the pitch, going up or down on the piano. He went up a few steps then stopped.

"Listen to the note," he played it again. Christine found it and sang out. "Good. Now that I know you can sing them I want you to really belt them. Although considering your nerves I doubt you'll do it for me."

"I-"

"So instead we are going to try a different exercise," Erik continued cutting Christine off. "Ok I want you to tell me a story. It can be about anything I really don't care. I want you to keep telling the story until I tell you to stop. I don't want you to hesitate or stop to say um, or a. Just keep going."

"Um, ok," Christine said. She began a story about a pink dot with blue stripes and changed it into a weird twisted story about a dead person on a sidewalk. Erik paced back and forth in front of her holding a conducting stick in one hand. Christine paused.

"No stopping. No matter what, just keep going," Erik said impatiently.

Christine began another story about people in a war torn country then changed it to a story about and elephant and bird that didn't like each other. As she went on with the story Erik walked around her hitting her with the stick and yelling.

"Don't stop," he said when Christine paused again. Christine continued trying to block out Erik. She changed her story again to one about a green donkey and some random people who were red. Finally Erik told her to stop.

"Alright that went well. Now I want you to relax your jaw and try the song again," Erik said standing behind the music stand again. Christine began to sing again.

She loved him like he was the last man on earth.

Gave him everything she ever had.

He'd break her spirit down,

The come loving up on her.

Give a little, then take it back.

She'd tell him bout her dreams.

He'd just shoot 'em down.

Lord he loved to make her cry.

You're crazy for believing,

You'd ever leave the ground.

He said only angels know how to fly.

And with a broken wing,

She still sings.

She keeps an eye on the sky.

With a broken wing,

She carried her dreams.

Man you ought to see her fly.

One Sunday morning,

She didn't go to church.

He wondered why she didn't leave.

He went up to the bedroom.

Found a note by the window.

With the curtains blowing in the breeze.

And with a broken wing,

She still sings.

She keeps an eye on the sky.

With a broken wing,

She carried her dreams.

Man you ought to see her fly.

With a broken wing,

She carries her dreams.

Man you ought to she her…er…er.

FLY.

When she finished Erik looked up from his notes. He stared silently at Christine for a moment then looked down at his notes.

"Ok. It was good, but it needs a little work. You still have this whole confidence thing going on so your voice was shaky. Also on every low note you were sharp, but that also might be because you are nervous. Make sure on the word bedroom you start your crescendo, that way when it carries through to the next couple of lines it makes sense. Your first and last flies were flat so be conscience of that as well," Erik said looking up at Christine again.

How many notes do you give to people who aren't good?" Christine said in disbelief.

"You want me to help you right?" Erik asked.

"Well yes," Christine replied.

"Then you'll take my notes to heart and fix it. Would you rather have me say it was good and leave it at that?"

"I guess not," Christine said.

"Alright now again," Erik said. Christine sang the song again, remembering to fix the spots she was told to. After the song Erik looked slightly pleased.

"Well?" Christine asked.

"You have it, but it lacks the emotion. Tell me what this song is about? What do you think is happening in the song?" Erik said walking over to Christine.

"I think it's about a woman who is being abused by her husband and she wants to leave yet she feels an attachment to her husband. Then one day she gets up the courage to run away," Christine said.

"That's good. Now I want you to think about that abused woman. Think about the pain of being stuck with that man and having him abuse you all the time. Put yourself in that place. Reach down for that sorrow and sing with it. Now imagine the woman trying to escape, but she can't because she has a broken wing and she's stuck with this man. Now see her fly free and leave the man," Erik said passionately.

Christine stood silent.

"Think of the saddest experience of your life. Use that to create the sorrow of this woman. I once had a director of a play try to get me to cry on stage. You know what he told me? He said to think of my mother dying and someone telling me I can't go to the funeral. When I thought of that I cried on stage. Think of something sad and sing so that I feel the sorrow. I need to hear it in your voice. I need to see the emotion in your movements."

Christine began the song again. She tried her hardest to think of that women and think of her parents' death. She couldn't bring the sorrow back again. It was so deeply embedded in who she was that the sadness wouldn't show through the mask she wore. She stopped after the first verse. Erik looked up at her.

"I can't do this. I'm sorry," Christine said grabbing her bag and walking out of the building. Erik didn't follow.