"Anya!" shouted Claudio. I've been seeing less and less of that girl lately. Wonder what she is doing? Ever since that incident with Lucetta she's been off, even more than she used to…
Claudio heard a crash. "Who's there? Anya?"
He couldn't see anyone. Claudio was a little frightened. Maybe the ghost really does exist…
Claudio started to run. He could here someone running behind him, but he didn't dare see what was behind him. He kept running and running until. "Ouch! Claudio, where are you going in such a hurry?" asked Ballet Master Jean.
"I thought there was something behind me…"
"Claudio, what's wrong? You seem flustered."
"I thought… I thought the ghost was behind me."
"Claudio, I think we need to have a talk. Meet me in my office in after ballet practice."
Claudio nodded and headed back to his dorm. On the way he spotted Anya. "Anya! I've been looking for you everywhere! Where have you been?"
"No where Claudio… Why do you ask?"
"I… I guess I miss you. We always used to hang out after ballet practice in the mornings and have lunch together. Have I done anything to offend you?"
"No, no Claudio. I've just got a lot on my mind."
"I'm just worried about you Anya…"
"Don't be Claudio. I can take care of myself." with that Anya turned and ran off.
After ballet practice
Claudio knocked on Jean's door. "Come in" shouted Jean.
"You wanted to see me sir?"
"Yes Claudio… Take a seat." Claudio sat down, he had not been in Jean's office very often but he really like it. It was grand and had lots of photographs of a young Jean and several women in the photos. There one with a young girl and Jean looking very happy in full costume. Claudio smiled at the photo. It reminded him of how things used to be with Anya. Jean noticed him staring at the photo.
"My nearly forgotten past…"
"I forgot. You used to be the ballet principale not too long ago."
"Yes, those were the days."
"Do you mind me asking who is that?" Claudio asked pointing to the photo he was staring at before.
"Ah! That was my… girlfriend Sophia."
"Let's just say, our lives led to different paths… Anyways back to business Young Claudio! Is everything ok between you and Miss Anya?"
"Well… to be honest no! She has been very absent from my life recently…"
"Really? For how long?"
"Since that incident with Lucetta…"
Jean looked up when he said this.
"Really? This can't be good…"
"What is it?"
"Claudio, I'm not sure I should tell you…"
"Please Jean… I can handle it…"
"Claudio, I believe Young Anya is under the spell of the Phantom."
"I thought that was just a story they tell to scare children…"
"I'm afraid it is a true story… Do you know the full story?"
"I only know bits of it."
"Listen closely, I will only tell you this once. About 100 years ago, a mother gave birth to a child. One half of his face was so deformed they say that even Angels could not save him. His mother rejected him at a young age, and he was sold to a circus who treated him cruelly. He wore a mask to hide his face but still people treated him badly. One day a young girl attending the ballet school here at the opera house went to the circus and took pity on him and brought him to the opera house. He loved this placed very much. He became a genius of music, theatre and the arts. He became known as the Opera Ghost. The managers paid him and did as he asked to stop him from destroying the place. But the Phantom had a weakness; he had fallen in love with a young wannabe singer called Christine Daae. However Christine did not feel the same way as the Phantom did for her and she fell in love with the The vicomte de changy, her childhood sweetheart…"
"Yes I know Claudio De Changy, you family once had that title. You were related to that Raoul and Christine De Changy, I believe they were you great grand parents but you were probably to young to remember them…"
"I remember Great Grandfather Raoul was the one to not to fear the Phantom…"
"Indeed. But there is a twist to this story. This Opera House is not the original Opera House. It was burnt down by the Phantom trying to take Christine away. But he failed once he realised how much she loved Raoul, he left the building to burn. He left the Opera House, disappearing forever. No ever saw him again."
"But why is he appearing now? He must be dead by now surely."
"The Original Phantom of the Opera is dead. But he cursed the new Opera House. A boy who is musically gifted will receive the phantom's curse and he will be deformed on the left side of his face and he will have to go by the name of the Phantom, Eric. That is his curse, until the day he dies or if by chance he cures the curse."
"And how must he do that…?"
"To Love someone and be loved in return…"
"Is that all?"
"Yes, but the love must be true. I believe that the latest Phantom has fallen in love with Anya…There is another catch, if the girl falls in love with another the Opera House is doomed to a disaster of unspeakable horror."
"Why are you telling me all this?"
"You asked me too… Claudio I feel that I can trust you with this information and also if you fall for Anya something bad might happen!"
"Because you mentioned him"
"So this is my fault."
"Yes but don't worry Claudio… We will have to see what happens next… Anya always manages to surprise me…"