It was winter in France. The cold ripped at everything from the trees to the very last strand of grass in the fields of the country. Icicles dripped from the tips of trees and homes. Nearly everything in sight was buried under a mound of snow. Citizens rushed indoors and bolted all open creaks and crevices possible to plug out the cold and bitter climate.
The de Changny Manor stood massive on the outskirts of Paris, enveloped in as much snow. Its color and decorative hue was blanketed by the heavy whiteness.
Through one of the frosted windows, a woman stared out into the frozen and glossy land before her. Her face was blank and empty, almost as if the world would fall by her gaze. But it was a memory of a winter long ago that disturbed her all the more. Through her blank and endless gaze, lied a pain and sadness that had gnawed a whole in her heart for what felt like an eternity. A black hole that served a vortex to her memories.
A fire burned in the room she stood in, but she was cold. She had been standing at the window searching for something that she kept promising herself that she would find in this vast wasteland, but it revealed nothing to her. She was alone.
The door opened into the room and her husband entered. Raoul de Changny worried about his wife. He was afraid she was ill, but she looked as healthy as ever. But Raoul started to recognize a pattern in this very situation. He remembered her like this as well during the winter of the year before and he could recall it was this very day as well. Even though, nothing was physically wrong with Christine Daae, he realized something mentally was bothering his wife. He didn't dare to even think about the events that occurred three years ago, something that nearly traumatized both him and Christine. He was fine, but he was worried all the more for his dear wife. Then again, he wondered why on this day, why was Christine acting like this? He couldn't remember anything important that occurred on this specific date. With utmost caution, he slowly approached his wife.
"Christine," he spoke her name so as to not startle her. "Are you all right? The maids told me that you have been in here all day. Is everything to your liking?"
His wife didn't speak, her figure and face remained unmoved and she looked to be in a trance. Raoul was correct about something being wrong, but what could it be so that she wouldn't even turn around to face her husband.
Raoul looked about the small furnishings of the room almost trying to distract himself from the objective at hand, but no matter what, his eyes strayed back to his wife. He was in great fear of her going insane and he desperately did not want to see her off to some asylum or institution. He loved her too much.
"Raoul," her timid, mouse-like voice broke the silence that captured them both. To Raoul, it was small flicker in the dark that enlightened his fears.
"Raoul, there is something I should tell you," her voice was dull and monotoned, but she turned a little to look at Raoul. "Something happened a long, long, long time ago. It was before I met you, before I arrived at the opera house. Before the death of my father."
She paused and breathed very deeply, but almost alarmingly. Raoul was about to call a maid, but she stopped him before her could utter a word.
"No, Raoul," she protested, "I'm fine, but this is something that happened a very, very long time ago......when Paris was at war. I-I-I-I had a...........sister."
Raoul's eyes widened in absolute shock, but he breathed and composed himself to balance him from any effect. He needed to be strong for Christine.
Christine had a sister. Raoul wanted to demand why she hadn't told him before, but he reminded himself that she was in a very delicate state and this wasn't the time to act reckless.
She knew though to the full extent of his shock. She knew how hard it was for him to accept this. A gentle hand laid on her shoulder and she placed a hand on his.
"I didn't tell you Raoul because it was too painful for me to confront this," she explained answering his silent question as she continued her endless gaze out the window. "Yes, I had a sister. A little sister. Only five-years-old. When Paris was at war, my father thought it best to leave and flee to the countryside. We had everything packed and we decided to leave by train......" She paused yet again with tears on the brim of her bright blue eyes, filled with despair. Her plush pink lips quivered as if about to burst into tears. She tried to swallow her pain to finish her tale, but it was impossible.
"I...I...I was seven-years-old, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. My little sister, I-I was suppose to watch her at the train station. I remember how she looked exactly. Her little blue coat wrapped around her tiny body. Her hair was bouncing like little curls around her face. But her eyes, Raoul. Her eyes....they were the most distinct shade of violet that I ever saw. And they still haunt me, they way her eyes looked. And it on this day Raoul. It was on this day, when a winter was this blunt," the tears escaped and trailed down her porcelain face. "I..I was supposed t-to watch her. I was....holding...onto her hand. But we got l-lost in a crowd. E-everyone was pushing......and shoving each other. I.....I let go.....of her hand. Next thing I knew, she.....she.....she was gone. All I saw were people everywhere blocking my view. She disappeared."
Raoul couldn't almost handle this story. It was breaking his heart as well. He wanted to say something, but he was speechless.
"W-when my father found me, we went searching through all the crowds, looking for her," Christine wiped away her tears. "We asked around and everyone that we saw if they saw a little girl with a blue coat and violet eyes. No matter what we did, we couldn't find her. My father and I hoped that she was maybe on the train......hopefully looking for us as well. We searched around desperately, but still no trace of her whatsoever."
Raoul wanted to say something, anything really to comfort her, but he continued to simply hold her as the tears streaked down her face. She still kept her eyes to the window with her back to Raoul.
The pain seeped through Christine's memories like an acid trail burning her past and thoughts. All things spiked her poor soul. She hadn't remembered so much pain since the last three years when the incident at the Paris Opera House occurred. What occurred three years ago was revolting, but nothing like the tragedy of her sister could match what pain she felt now.
Christine sniffed away more tears. "My father and I searched for her for a year, asking people if they had seen her, placing notices in the paper but we.....we....eventually came to believe.....she......she.....was.....dead."
At the immediate last word, Christine burrowed herself into Raoul sobbing more than she ever thought she could sob in her life.
Raoul held her; comforting her and trying to calm her. He cooed, stroking her hair.
"Everything will be all right," Raoul promised, wishing that if he had the power, he would try all he could to bring back her sister.
Christine listened to Raoul's words through her cries, but she had been carrying the blame for the disappearance of her sister for years. How could his simple words just make that all disappear? For fifteen years, she blamed herself, for not watching her sister, for letting go of her hand. Why couldn't she have spotted her sister in that congregation? She couldn't forget, it had haunted her for years and even when the truth came out, it only gnawed at her soul even more.
Her name seemed to echo about the room as if there were a ghost.