I do not own the phantom of the opera book, film or musical so please don't sue me.
Chapter 1 – A Demon's Angel
After much thought I have decided that I can no longer go on with my emotions inside of me. So, in order to express myself without fear of rejection I start this – a journal.
So I suppose I should begin at the point where this all started.
I am Erik.
Ha, such a simple name do you not think?
A scared and deformed musician, composer and architect.
But I am also the Phantom, the self proclaimed Opera Ghost.
Well, maybe that is not strictly true, the ballet girls have been speaking of the presence of a ghost for generations and I decided to fill the absent roll.
I came here, to the Opera house twenty years ago, when as a child I was rescued from a travelling freak show by the Opera's ballet mistress, Madame Giry, who was then but a ballet rat herself.
She brought me here, bringing me through the grates of the bottom level of the opera cellars and hiding me. Leaving me in the dark, deep under the opera.
But now the darkness is home.
While exploring I found a cavern on a large body of water (a lake I suppose many would call it) that sits below the streets of Paris. How amusing to think that so many of the population of this city do not even know of its existence.
Now this cavern is my home. Over the years I have used the vast array of props and settings from old performances to create for myself a very comfortable prison-for lack of a better word.
For who in the world above could possibly accept one such as me. Even with the mask that covers the marred side of my face.
I suppose that in this unveiling of my soul I should make detailed mention of the deformity from which I am afflicted but I will not, not until it should become necessary for me to do so.
But, deep within the earth I have nurtured my love of music for years; the notes of my organ filling the confines of my cavern till the very water must shake with the force of it.
But moving on to my reason for beginning this journal.
Ten years ago a young girl came to the Opera House, an orphan who's father had died but a few weeks before, leaving her alone in the world. With this in mind Madame Giry (who apparently knew the girl's father when she was young) took it upon herself to care for the child.
Now, the arrival of a new dancing brat was in itself of very little interest to me, apart from providing me with a new victim. For at the age of twenty-two I had been known for some time as the Opera Ghost.
But, when making my way along the dark passage ways behind the walls of the opera I heard sobbing I stopped abruptly. I was directly behind the far wall of the opera chapel. In my experience one of the least used rooms in the entire building. I carefully dislodged one of the crumbling bricks from the wall and peered through.
There, sitting on the cold stone floor and sobbing her heart away was this new child.
She sat there, rocking her small, fragile little frame, as though trying to stop herself from flying apart.
I had watched, almost fascinated by what I was seeing. Never before had I seen such a show of emotion.
She took in deep shuddering breaths.
"Papa, why did you leave me? You promised, you promised you would send him. Don't you love me anymore? Has seeing mama again made you forget?"
My heart clenched at hearing such words from this child's lips. Her pale face was drawn tight with grief and her eyes red and sore from crying.
Even now I do not know why I cared so much, never before had another's hurt and grief touched me as hers did then.
"You promised you would send me the Angel of Music."
My head jerked at hearing this.
The Angel of Music?
She continued to sob so violently that I could no longer stand to watch her suffer and do nothing to prevent it.
"Why do you cry little one?"
Even as I write the words I cringe at my own stupidity, for in that one question I risked exposure. But what else could I have done?
Never in my life had I felt needed by another being.
Some force out of myself was pulling me towards her and I was both unable and unwilling to disobey.
And so, with that sentence I sealed my fate.
My life was no longer lived just for myself alone but for her also, for now I had someone who cared for whether I showed up at the end of each day.
I began that very night to give Christine music lessons - discovering that she was the owner of a beautiful natural instrument.
And down the years it has continued just the same. I have always been there for her. Her Angel. Watching her as she grew from an awkward and clumsy child to a beautiful young woman. Never noticing my change in feelings until it was too late to stop them.
The first time that I realised the drastic turn that my feeling had taken was a year ago. She had turned fifteen that year, and so she was allowed to attend the yearly masked ball - officially entering the adult world.
I remember how excited she was, her voice had quivered with excitement as she told me of her plans after one of her lessons. I could not help but smile stupidly from my hiding place as I watched her exuberant gestures and shining eyes.
She truly was beautiful both inside and out.
It was then that it had struck me.
The intensity of my feelings nearly drove me to my knees as my throat had closed only permitting me to draw in shallow strangled breaths.
How could I let this happen?
I had fallen in love with her and had not even noticed it happening.
I was a monster in love with a little angel. In love with a being I had no business being in the same room with. Feelings from me would pollute her.
So I did the only thing I could.
I ran through the twisting passages in the walls of the opera. I ran as my lungs caught fire and my throat rasped. I ran until I reached my home and then I allowed the weakness to take control of me as I fell to my knees and tried to control my breathing as tears of anger and frustration fought for freedom from eyes that had not shed tears in years.
The same question spun in my mind.
How could I? How could I let this happen?
And the same answer always followed.
I could have done nothing to stop it. So gradual had been the change in my feelings that it was as though she was a part of me.
An extension of myself.
The light to my darkness.
I began to panic.
My cool and calculating mind raced, refusing to focus on anything but my newly found feelings for Christine.
A streak of jealousy shot through me. Like poison in my veins it spread rapidly - taking me over.
For the first time I felt fear. She would be seen by others - other men.
I had seen her every evening since she was six and had only now uncovered my feelings. It would not take others so long. One look would be all they needed.
I forced my mind to calm. My breathing becoming steady and deep once again.
I thought rapidly. I needed to stop this from happening. She was mine.
I laughed joyfully. The sound echoed round my home over and over again.
I was her angel after all.
Any word from me and she would obey.
I would simply forbid her to accept the attentions of any men who may offer them.
After all it would serve as a protection for her would it not - keeping her safe from those who would wish her harm and use her for their own selfish reasons?
Yes, I would produce her with that ultimatum.
If she wished to continue with her lessons she would have to agree to my terms.
I would of course have to provide her with a reason for these new rules.
She may believe that my disembodied voice was that of the Angel of Music but my Christine was no simpleton if she was to agree with my conditions she would require an explanation.
Yes that would do it.
I would tell her that to progress well with her singing she would need to focus all of her energy onto it and could not do so with distractions.
It has now been one year since I enforced this 'rule' and Christine has obeyed to the letter - never questioning her 'angel's' motives but accepting that they were for her own good.
I allowed her to attend the ball that evening for one hour, making her promise to come back to the chapel for her continued lesson.
Still upset over my sudden disappearance she thanked me and left to prepare.
I had paced for the time that she was away from me.
Should I have kept her from going?
What if she met someone?
I had already informed her of my terms and she had agreed whole heartedly but all that could change. Would she find someone just to spite me?
After thinking about it would she decide that I was no one? Who was I to dictate her life?
Such foolish question continued to attack my mind as the minutes dragged by.
But then I heard faint footsteps from the other side of the wall and I watched as she came down the steps.
I looked at the candles. She was early, they had hardly burned down at all.
Was she all right?
Had she been hurt?
In the seconds that it took for her to speak I cursed myself for every kind of idiot.
I should have insisted on starting tonight.
She was not in costume.
Instead she stood in a dress that I had instructed Madame Giry to buy for her on my behalf for her birthday.
"Angel?" her soft voice questioned.
How could she doubt my being there?
I would always be there for her.
"Yes Christine, I am here."
"Can we continue with our lesson now?"
So we began.
"Was the party not to your liking little one?" I asked her as she went to leave, my curiosity unable to be denied any longer.
"Master, they all acted so differently. It was like I knew no one." she sighed softly "Meg told me that I was acting to seriously but I was acting like me. A costume does not change that."
I watched as her face clouded with confusion and uncertainty. I realized that she thought that something was wrong with her because she could not act the way that she was being told. She thought she was flawed.
My angel thought that she was in the wrong because she was herself.
Never before had I wanted to hold her so much, to tell her that she was perfect as she was.
"Christine" I breathed "There is nothing wrong with you"
"But Meg acted like there was that is why I left; I did not understand what she was wanting of me."
I had never seen her so confused before.
I understood what she was relating to.
Everyone - from the cleaners to the resident soprano - would have been at the ball and more than a little alcohol would have been consumed. Despite being best friends no two people could have been more different than Christine and Meg. Meg was fair haired and flighty always voicing her opinions and practising her eyelash flickering on any unsuspecting stage hand. Christine on the other hand was dark haired and quiet, always with her head in a book or in the clouds. But when she sang her soul shone. She came out of herself, all of her feelings coming through her voice, which was her way of expression.
And now a year on she continues to progress and my feelings continue to grow. But I will not risk being rejected. For even an angel's compassion and care can go so far.
She loves me as her voice, her teacher and her mentor.
But to show myself in the flesh...she would run for her life.
OK this is my very very first attempt at this so please be nice and I hope you like.