Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Phantom of the Opera. I only own my original characters and story plotline.

This is the Phantom's journey from tragedy to his one true soul mate. It is a three part epic tale filled with romance, adventure, heroes and fallen angels. the Phantom did not die from unrequited love. His story only truly began after he lost Christine.

Prologue

Diary of Antoinette Giry March 1870

Did I choose wisely all those years ago to help a poor mistreated boy escape his tormentors? Did the deformity of his face aid in my decision? Was it the filth of his cage that garnered my sympathy? Did I show mercy for that thin half dead little boy hoping only to take him to a safer cleaner place to die? After all these years of keeping his secrets and helping him do I regret giving him my support? Many condemned me when they learned of my connection with the one who lived in the dark recesses of the catacombs. Of course I can understand their censure as the disaster he instigated caused deaths and ruined so many lives.

The first night I saw him my heart ached for that poor innocent boy. The boy who had the face that on one side was the face of the most beautiful little angel to grace God's heaven. The other side looked as if the fires of hell had stormed into his mother's womb burning his flesh so that the ugliness of it equaled the beauty of the other side.

Did I feel guilty as I watched that boy strangle his tormentor? Have I ever had a moment of regret for bringing that child to the opera house? Even though the difference in our ages was not much in years, in experience and maturity we were worlds apart. I suppose that is why I always felt more like Erik's mother than his sister or had any romantic feelings toward him as he grew into a sensually handsome man. He always needed me as a child needs his mother.

He had been so lost and lonely. In the early days of our acquaintance he would not even let me touch him. If I extended my hand to him he would cower and place his hands over his head as if to protect himself from a blow. From the little I had witnessed at the fair I am sure his instincts were learned from past experience. He never expected a hand reaching out to him to mean anything good. A hand had always been used to give him pain never a loving caress. I did eventually win his trust to a certain degree but he could never allow himself the luxury of total trust.

Until Christine took over his mind he had always looked to me for approval. Once his mind set on her nothing I said or did could persuade him to change his course. Nadir I know had tried. That poor lonely boy grew into a lonely man who felt this was his one and only chance for happiness. Since he loved her she had to love him. He did not understand that this is not how love works. One can love another but not have that love reciprocated.

I grieved for that small child who grew into a desperate vengeful man. He was not always so insane. He did have his moments of lucidity. Moments when he could think of things other than Christine. Unfortunately she demanded more of him as the years passed. Her hold over him seemed like she had wrapped him in chains with a short distance between her and him. He could not or she would not allow him to stray too far. Her demands on him were constant and ever increasing in importance.

I am to this day unsure if she realized the damage she was doing to him or not. I would like to think she was too innocent to be aware of how unfairly she treated him. In light of recent events I am not so sure. We all spoiled Christine so much. Even though Meg had just lost her own father a few years before Christine came I still focused more on my adopted daughter and less on Meg. She never seemed to need me as much as Christine. Now I know that was just Meg being a kindhearted sister. She did not wish to hear Christine cry for her father so she never once protested all the attention I lavished on Christine.

If I could go back and redo things I would not have given in to Christine so much. She needed to be more independent. I should have made her behave in a more appropriate manner. I know I should have ignored her tantrums. What is done can not be undone. We are left with the life that has evolved out of all of our tragedies. Hopefully we will learn from our past making our future more secure.

All those years he was such a sweet thoughtful boy content to learn all he could. His mind was so complex. I had never in my life come across anyone as brilliant as Erik. To this day I still am in awe of him. All the things he has accomplished have been due to his own inquisitive mind. He is a self-taught man. Only when I married and ceased being his constant companion did things change. He became sullen and withdrawn. He kept secrets from me. He became bolder in the opera house.

His demands for obedience grew as the fear among the residents of the opera house grew. He demanded a salary to be paid him or retributions of an unimaginable nature would occur. As the years passed he learned the whole of The Paris Opera House from the roof down to the far reaches of the deepest buried catacomb. He built himself a small kingdom down in those damp dreary caverns. He changed many of the passages to suit his needs. Traps were set to protect what he considered his domain. The underground lake provided water for his use as well as navigating through the many tunnels. The opera house provided his nourishment in body and soul. Music became his driving passion. That is until Christine entered our lives.

Erik showed so much talent and promise I should have made more effort to bring him into the mainstream of society. There is so much he had to offer then just as he does now. So much he has had to hide over his lifetime. He had no one to appreciate his genius. I can only imagine how painful it is to create so much beauty and have no one willing to share it with you. I would listen to some of his works but that was not enough for the starving artist in Erik. If God had granted him a more pleasing face his voice would have opened many doors for him. Crowds would have given him standing ovations. Praise would have been heaped upon his head. His voice would have become legendary as would his music. He does have one of the most seductive speaking voices I have ever heard. When he sings even I feel like a young girl with the first stirrings of passion.

I should have realized his passionate voice was only rivaled by his passionate nature. If I had paid more attention I could have saved Christine and Erik so much pain. I could have saved everyone. In the end I saved no one. At first I had no concerns as he comforted the little girl Christine had been. I saw no harm in his need for a companion to share his music. Christine had a wonderful singing voice but she was not trained. Erik could give her the training she would need to take her place among the stars on stage.

If I had realized earlier how attached he became to Christine I would have tried to intervene. Once I saw how much he had come to love her in later years it was much too late to stop him from doing whatever he wanted to bring his love to join him in his kingdom. She would be his queen. If he had to kill to possess her he would. In the end he did just that. He killed in the name of his love for her. He was blinded by his first powerful feelings of lust and love.

The poor man had been cheated all his life of simple affection and love. First by his mother then by the world. Things may have worked out for him if Raoul de Chagny had not come to be patron of the opera house. He and Christine had known each other as children. They had even shared a young love. Upon meeting again the old romance rekindled.

The cursed man below would not stand for anyone interfering in his plans. His lonely heart had chosen Christine. He would allow nothing to stand in his way. During this time I do feel that Erik might have harmed even me if I had tried to keep Christine away from him. She was his first love other than the first fledgling attraction he had for Meg all those years ago.

He risked all for his love only to suffer rejection in the most painful way imaginable especially for a man who prided himself on presenting a false front of pride and dignity. His deepest shame had been bared for all to see. Stripped of any dignity he may have salvaged upon being rejected by his heart's desire. If Christine had not unmasked him in front of a full opera house I wonder how things might be changed.

In Erik's defense I have to say that in the last month before things lead to that tragic night I noticed Erik was not well. He barely ate or slept. He looked to be feverish most of the time. Sweat pored from his face when he would come for his salary or the supplies I bought for him. The flush on his face led me to believe he was ill but no amount of coaxing from me could convince him to go to the doctor or let Nadir look at him. His mind was so taken with Christine and his plans to sweep off her feet and into his arms he could see nothing else. Nothing else mattered to him in his delusional state of mind.

I worry for all the ones involved in this tragedy. How could things have gone so far? Was it my fault? Should I have tried harder to influence him? I feel I should have spoken to Christine and made her realize he was not her Angel of Music but an ordinary man. One with a heart and soul. Both having been damaged by circumstances beyond his control.

Deep inside he had still been that lonely mistreated boy I had found twenty years ago in a traveling carnival. The same little boy I released from the cage he was never allowed to leave for three years. That is how long he suffered at the hands of the man he killed that night. I feel I am forgiven by my savior as that child had suffered so much abuse. More than a grown man would have been able to survive. I have seen the massive scars on his back which are only rivaled by the ones on his face and heart. If things could have gone differently for him he would have been a tremendous gift to the world. Who knows he may still find that one place where he fits. The one spot on earth that was designated by God himself for him to be happy and loved.

Nadir has assured me he will take care of him now. I do not know the whole of the story behind their relationship. I know bits and pieces. I do know Nadir can be trusted to give him the best of care as he feels he is family. Nadir is not old enough to be his father but perhaps he plays the roll of reluctant older brother. I know by long term experience how hard it is to curb and care for someone who does not fit into any pigeon holes I am familiar with. No, our Phantom is a whole new category.

It is just as well Raoul and Christine have gone into hiding. When his strength returns he may well decide to try and recapture Christine. Even knowing of her betrayal and the part she took in the attempt to capture or kill him he loves her still. Nadir has said he calls for Christine incessantly while in delirium.

Perhaps I should have encouraged him years ago when he first had a crush on Meg. She was thirteen at the time and my motherly instincts would not allow him to even think of such a thing. In maturity and experience he was as young as she was but in age he was about twenty-five. We were never really sure how old he was. We took a calculated guess. I had made him promise to leave my daughter alone and he did. He never let her know he was haunting the opera house. The most she ever saw was a fleeting glimpse of a shadow.

In hindsight I should have made him promise to leave Christine alone as well. So much tragedy could have been avoided. In my ignorance I thought it would be good if he had an interest. Teaching Christine how to use her God given talent for singing did not seem inappropriate as he had been singing her to sleep since the first night she came to the opera house as a little girl of seven just two months before her eighth birthday.

In retrospect there are many things I could have done differently. Do I ever regret saving that boy? That poor sweet innocent little boy? I give a resounding NO! NO! NO! I only regret not taking better care of him. I should have been the one to teach him how to fit in. Instead I allowed him to hide away. Separated from all things human. I pray things go well for him. He has a second chance to make a life for himself. I will pray each morning and each night for him to find happiness. I pray the hardest for him to find a love that is returned a hundred fold. He deserves that. Yes my Erik deserves that and more. So much more. I will say good-night dear diary. I must leave so I may pray for Erik and all my loved ones. Until next time hold my secrets safe. Antoinette Giry

Diary of Antoinette Mercer 1872

These last two years have been so stressful. All the strife our country has gone through has devastated everyone. I have not been able to write as much as I wished as it was a struggle to survive. I am so glad we were among the lucky ones who escaped imprisonment or worse. So many did not. People were crazy. I am not a political person. I do not know all that took place during the Commune. I only know you took your life in your hands when you ventured out into the streets. Food was so scarce. Imagine eating the poor caged animals from the zoo in order to have nourishment. I suppose it is not much different than any other animal it just seems wrong somehow. Thankfully Meg and I did not have to resort to anything so drastic. We went to the country to stay with one of my cousins. They were not rich in money but had plenty of good food on the table. The problems in Paris thankfully did not reach us that much. We had an occasional traveler asking for food or a night spent in the barn. We ask no questions and they volunteered nothing. That system worked for everyone. I did not know who would have been my enemy in any case as I have never had concerns other than the arts. Sometimes I do love living in blissful ignorance.

One good thing happened. I fell in love and married. I had thought I would end my days taking care of Meg's children when she has them or living alone and forgotten. My dear Roberto has given me a second chance at life. I have grabbed at this chance greedily. To my sorrow my happiness was exchanged for my daughter's innocence. God why do these things happen?

I am shocked when I read Raoul's letters. I save them for the simple fact that if I did not have this proof I could not bring myself to believe Christine could have turned her back on Meg. A girl she called sister since she was seven years old and I brought her to live with us.

At least Raoul has reassured me he will act on her behalf. That young man has matured so much over the last two years. I suppose the things that have happened to him have made him leave his remaining boyish dreams behind.

Diary of Antoinette Mercer 1873

All the letters I receive come sporadically. Things happen and I do not learn of them until it is too late to change anything. Raoul and I have finally reached an agreement of sorts. He will watch over Meg when they travel to America. She will stay with them as Christine's companion. Reading between the lines I feel this is more Raoul's idea than Christine's. It makes no difference to me as long as my poor Meg is safe and happy. Raoul has assured me she is and that they have become close. Not in any romantic way. He looks upon her as a sister.

I did receive a letter from Meg confirming much of what Raoul had already written to me. She however did not mention anything about her ordeal or her future troubles. Receiving this letter made me see the sense of want Raoul said about not going to be with her. She wants to sort things out on her own. I do not care what anyone says or thinks I will be there when my daughter delivers my first grandchild. Not even Erik at his most fierce moment could keep me away. The weather is not conducive to travel just now but in a few more weeks that should change. If she delivers before I arrive at least I will be there when she needs assistance.

It will be so good to see everyone again. Even Erik. I miss him more than I thought I would. I wish to see him and how much he has grown as a man. Nadir writes once in a while but he has to be discrete for we all know Erik will read his mail. Erik does not know the concept of privacy. Or at least as it relates to others. He has no qualms about expecting his own privacy to be honored while abusing that right of others.

Raoul, Meg and Christine should be in America by now. I have not received any letters in about four months. I suppose with the voyage over then having to get settled in they are too busy to drop me a line. It doesn't matter. I already sent a letter to Nadir informing him of their arrival. I told him that Roberto and I should be there in about two months. Hopefully we will have a swift and smooth crossing.

Diary of Antoinette Mercer1873

It has been two weeks since my last entry. Depending on if the rocking of the ship affects me or not this may be my last entry until we reach dry land. I have not mentioned it to Roberto but I am scared to death to travel on water in a dinghy, ship or even to swim in water.

Things are all ready and we are just heading out to board our ship that will transport us to America. Roberto has been teasing me. He says I am as giggly as a school girl. I suppose I am. I have prepared Roberto for Erik. I think he will like Erik. He is man of fifty and has never had any children. He already considers Meg his adopted daughter. He is looking forward to being called Grand Papa. I on the other hand am torn. I like the idea of being a grandmother but to actually be called Grand Mama does not sit well with me. Well I have many weeks to come to terms with this. I pray for everyone's safety and continued happiness.