"ERIK IS DEAD"
I looked upon the epitaph refusing to believe its content, I should not care he had deceived me.
I had been nought but a child and he had filled my head with music, and promises. He had kidnapped me, threatened the life of my fiancé and still I could not find relief from these 3 words. I would scurry past each shadow as I walked through the house, fearing that if I stayed just for too long, he would be there, searching for me within them. I could not sleep in darkness either, for the dark reminded me only of his breath on my cheek, of the hanging must of death that stung the air. For weeks after our hurried wedding Raoul had woken to find me sweating, shaking and crying, for weeks I could not tell him that I was afraid, he knew it of course but he had been almost killed by the monster, how could I tell Raoul that when I lay next to him in our marital bed I was constantly reminded of him? Raoul is a good, honourable man. He knew what was wrong, he had tried everything just to get me to be open and honest with him, but his plight was as bad as mine, I had felt him tremble in his own sleep, watched him remembering as he clawed at his throat with his hands, trying in vain to pull the Punjab lasso from around his neck.
Then why did I insist upon the room with the largest, most ornate mirror in the estate? My mind was filled with him, I wanted to speak with him, and yet I wanted to forget about him. For months I had thought I was going crazy, that I was hysterical, why was I still drawn to this loathsome creature? And why, when I look into the mirror do I see him staring back at me? Why do I long to hear his voice, of all these visions of him, why had none of them included his enchanting voice? Did Erik sing no more? Was Erik truly dead?
On reading the epitaph I had remembered that night, the night when we sang together, when everybody else watched as we toyed with the emotions of the other, as he ran his fingers across my dress, as I caressed him back. Then when I had turned and taken his mask from his face, revealing the real Phantom of the Opera, a frail, deformed, mortal man. The audience had screamed, Erik had panicked, he had grasped me harshly, I felt his anger pulsing through him, as he gripped my wrist tighter. I had been made to choose. Raoul's life or mine. That was the choice. In that moment of decision he had let us go, marred by his own wrongdoings and realisation of what he had become had triggered as I kissed his mouth, as I shown him love. We had run from him. I heard the pitiful screams of the creature below, poor Erik. Who would love him? Who would save him?