Author's Note: Although this entire story is based on the plot of The Phantom of the Opera (I know, I'm so original :P), I promise you don't need to know its storyline in order to understand this story. It's probably better if you don't know it actually, because I won't be following the exact storyline. However, if you are familiar with it, I think it should be fairly obvious who the main characters are:

Erik (aka The Phantom) – Cartman
Christine – Wendy
Raoul – Stan

Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: South Park © Trey Parker and Matt Stone, The Phantom of the Opera novel © Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera musical © Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Because I Love You

Chapter One: Overture

I wouldn't exactly call my life ideal or anything. In fact, it's far from it. Like, so fucking far from it that it's almost pathetic.

All right, so here's the thing. I grew up in this crappy little mountain town called South Park. Ever heard of it? I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't. It's not like this place is anything special. I mean, sure, I could tell you stories about alien abductions, terrorist threats, celebrity visits, even a talking towel... but, believe me, you aren't missing much. This place sucks ass. I'm seriously.

Anyway, when I was a kid, I made a promise to myself that, as soon as I got the chance, I'd get the fuck out of here. I'd move so far away that, eventually, I would forget about every single memory I'd ever had of this town.

Yeah. Sounds pretty easy, right? Pssh, I wish.

That opportunity never came for me. After I graduated high school, I swear to God, I really was planning on leaving this town and going to a college somewhere up north... or, you know, somewhere that isn't crawling with a bunch of retarded, white-trash hicks.

So why didn't I do that? Well, I was kinda lazy during high school... Okay, I guess that's an understatement. It's more like I just didn't give a flying fuck about school. At all. I never cared about my grades or gay stuff like that. I'm not a fucking genius like my loser Jew friend, Kyle Broflovski, who was our class valedictorian. God, he's such a fag...

But I digress.

As for me, I managed to skate by with a solid C+ average, which I only got by cheating off of people and bribing a bunch of faggy kids to do my homework for me, mostly this pussy kid named Butters Stotch, who had, by the way, pretty much been my personal bitch since we were in fourth grade.

Point is, with my grades, I didn't get accepted into any prestigious school up north, or any other school for that matter. So, for the next four years, I was forced to tough it out at the local state college up in Denver. It wasn't that bad, I guess, except for the fact that I fucking hated everyone there. It's not like I even knew anybody to begin with. All of my lame ass smart friends got scholarships, so we all ended up going to different colleges. I'm not exactly the friendliest person in the world, either, so I pretty much kept to myself the entire time I was at college. I went to classes in the morning, worked at this old, crappy diner at night, and that was basically my life for those four years.

After I graduated from there, I swore on my dead whore-of-a-mother's life that I was gonna get out of this God-awful town once and for all. There was just one problem: I was fucking broke. I was probably just as broke as my dirt-poor friend, Kenny McCormick, who could hardly afford a grain of rice, let alone any real food. To this day, I still wonder how his parents were always able to keep their cupboards stocked with beer and vodka.

So anyway, now I'm 23 years old, a year out of college, and I'm currently living in a shitty little apartment right here in South Park with absolutely no cash, and it totally fucking blows. I still work five nights a week at that stupid diner, but all the money I earn from that job goes toward food and rent, and that's it.

I don't know, sometimes I feel like I'm never gonna get out of this craphole. Like, I'm just working and barely getting by on my minimum wage salary – which makes me feel like a fucking illegal immigrant, let me tell you. I mean, fuck, man, I'm not a goddamn minority, but those assholes down at the diner sure as hell treat me like one – and I'm gonna keep doing this for the rest of my life until I die alone.

Not that my death will even matter to anyone anyway. I'm sure everyone I've ever known has forgotten all about me by now. It's been so fucking long... I haven't seen Stan, Kyle, or Kenny since high school. Same with Butters, Craig, Clyde, Token, Jimmy, and all of those other guys I sort of used to hang out with.

So, yeah. That's my life in a nutshell. Boring as hell and totally fucking lame, I know. Now, before you go off thinking I'm so fucking miserable, and that you're so glad you aren't me, let me just stop you right there. Because there's actually something else I haven't mentioned yet...

There's... sort of this...

Okay, so there's this girl. Her name is Wendy Testaburger.

And, I have no idea why, but there's just something about that chick that drives me fucking crazy. I don't know if it's the fact that, back when we were in elementary school, she seemed to know everything – and I mean fucking everything – there was to know about the environment. It seriously used to piss me off whenever she made some kind of wise ass, hippie comment about recycling or saving energy or that bullshit about the hole in the ozone layer. As if anyone else really gives a shit about that stuff. Oh, sure, they can pretend like they care, but in reality, you know they're all out there driving their expensive, gas guzzling SUVs and carelessly throwing their trash on the ground because they're too goddamn lazy to find a garbage can.

Hey, I do that stuff. At least I have the fucking balls to admit it, unlike all of those assholes.

Or maybe it's the way she used to dress, with her tight yellow pants and her snug purple jacket, both of which showed off her super skinny body. She also wore a stupid pink beret, one that was way too small for her head. It looked so stupid.

And then there was her ridiculously long, jet black hair. I swear, every time I used to randomly glance at her during one of the very few classes we actually had together in high school, and I just so happened to notice her casually toss some of her hair behind her shoulder, I'd freeze up and suddenly find myself wondering what it would feel like to run my fingers through that perfectly silky, yet stringy fucking black mess she calls hair.

Then there was her voice. When we were kids, it pretty much sounded like a loud, high pitched screech, or nails scratching against a chalkboard, or a cat drowning in water... basically any noise that would make you wanna throw your hands over your ears and grit your teeth until they start to fucking crack.

...Okay, I realize that with the way I'm describing her right now, she sounds like the most annoying bitch on the planet. You're probably wondering why I even bothered bringing her up in the first place. And all I have to say to that is: fuck you, I have my reasons.

She actually had a boyfriend, though. Stan Marsh. A major pussy, if you ask me, but he was, technically, one of my closest friends. So, yeah, he started dating Wendy in third grade, and from that point on, their relationship was on and off for the next, like, ten years or something like that. I dunno, it was a really fucking long time, that's all you need to know. I think they kinda faded out sometime during middle school, and then somehow, they became closer than ever in high school. It was like they were married or something. They were practically fucking inseparable during senior year. That was the year they... uh... how do I put this?

That was the year they fucked each other for the first time.

Yeah. I'm blunt like that. Get over it. Anyway, the only reason I found out about it was because I was forced to hear Stan bragging about it to Kyle and Kenny in the cafeteria one day. I'd tried so hard not to listen, because seriously, the thought of Stan and Wendy being naked together and humping the shit out of each other made me want to blow my fucking brains out.

But I sat there, wishing I had a gun, and watching as Kenny gave Stan a congratulatory slap on the back while Kyle smiled and started teasing him in that totally gay, brotherly kinda way. All the while I could tell he was super jealous 'cause he was still a virgin and had been trying to get into Bebe Stevens' pants ever since freshman year when she grew bigger titties and started going out with Clyde.

So, after that, like near prom and graduation and all of that stupid shit, Stan gave Wendy this... promise ring. Which is gay, I know, but the gayest part about it was that she actually fucking accepted it. He gave it to her at this party... I think it was for their anniversary. Either that or someone's birthday, I have no idea. To tell you the truth, I only went because I figured, sweet, free food and booze, why the fuck not?

But, holy shit, you should've seen the look on her face when he gave her that ring. Her face fucking lit up like a Christmas tree. She got all excited and threw her arms around his neck and kissed him right on the lips, and everyone stood around watching and cheering for them...

When that happened, I can't really explain it exactly, but something inside of me kinda... snapped. They were just so damn happy, the two of them. And the way Wendy was smiling for the rest of the night... She literally had the biggest fucking smile on her face I'd ever seen from her. I think that's what triggered my obsession. That smile. She was fucking glowing, and it pissed me off so much to think that the reason she was smiling like that was because of Stan. Because they were totally and completely in love with each other, and it was like they were the most perfect couple in the whole goddamn world. It irritated the living shit out of me.

That's when I knew. I knew that the way I was feeling about her that night wasn't about to just go away anytime soon.

Unfortunately for me, someone else found out about my little secret that night, too. And this person was someone I'd never in a million years think I'd ever confide in about anything.

Yeah, irony, isn't it just so fucking awesome and wonderful?

"Dude, Cartman," Kyle called out that night of the party.

I turned around to see the sneaky little Jew rat approaching me from across the room.

"What do you want, Kahl?" I snarled in that cold, uncaring tone I always used whenever I talked to him.

I remember how he stopped and just kinda stared at me with the weirdest look on his face. He looked like he was deep in thought, like his brain was trying so hard to process something, but he also looked like he was... I don't wanna say concerned, but... he definitely knew something was up.

And instead of saying something to me, you know, like a normal person would do, he took me by the arm and dragged me outside where there was nobody else around, and for some insane reason, I just let him do it.

As soon as we stopped walking, though, I jerked my arm out of his scrawny little hand. "Goddammit, what, Jew?" I shouted impatiently.

He was silent for just a little while longer, and then he finally looked me right in the eyes and asked in a totally calm, quiet voice, "Dude... do you like Wendy?"

My heart nearly stopped fucking beating then. I'm not even shitting you. The first thought that popped into my head was, 'HOW THE FUCK DOES HE KNOW?'

But I cleared my throat and instinctively answered him with a couple questions of my own.

"The fuck are you talking about, Jew? What makes you think I like Wendy?"

But he sensed it. I don't know if it was his psychic Jew powers, or the hostility in my voice, but he totally sensed it. He fucking knew. He knew it, I knew it, we both fucking knew it.

He didn't say anything else, though. Instead, he reached out and gently placed his hand on top of my shoulder.

I think at that moment, that exact moment, we both seemed to forget about our strong, lifelong hatred for each other. He was comforting me and showing me that he genuinely cared. And for the first time ever, I felt like I could trust him, and I was fully aware what was happening between us.

We had become fucking friends. Like, for real, honest-to-God friends. Which is so incredibly fucked up to think, considering all the times I used to rip on him for being a no-good, dirty Jew, or the fact that I had done so much shit to him in the past that, looking back on it now, after all these years, I finally see that he didn't deserve any of it...

Huh. Go figure.

So after our totally gay, heartwarming moment, Kyle gave me his word that he wouldn't tell anyone, especially not Stan. At that point, I felt the urge to say something threatening like, "You'd better not, Kyle, because if you do, I'll break your goddamn Jew legs!"

But what did I do instead?

I fucking hugged him. Like a complete fag.


Um, so, yeah, that's pretty much the situation. I'm in love with a girl who's in love with someone else. And the someone else is one of my good friends, no less, which of course just makes it so much better.

Now, you might think I'm out of my fucking mind, you might think I'm a total dumbass, you might even think I'm just flat out retarded, but...

Well, first off, I don't even give a fuck what you think, bitch.


That still isn't stopping me. And do you want to know why?

Because I'm Eric Cartman.

No one can stop me from getting what I want. Especially not Stan Marsh. I swear, I'll do whatever the fuck it takes, and if that means ruining someone else's life so I can finally be happy, then so be it. Who needs friends anyway, right? Not me, that's for sure. All I know is that I'm sick and tired of fucking living like this. It's time for me to do something I should've done a long time ago...

Mark my words: one day Wendy Testaburger will be mine.

Author's Note: *cue dramatic music* XD