The Masked Professor

Chapter 1

(Hey all! I started this story way back in 2011 and have let it just sit for years. I have decided to work on it again since I have been thinking about it a lot recently. I hope you enjoy. I went through and made edits to the original 12 chapters and have uploaded a new chapter and will continue to keep working on this. Thank you! Fair warning, the main characters are college kids, so they tern to curse a bit, in general.)

"Erik, I made copies of your acting class roster for you," Nadir, Dr. Erik Destler's personal secretary said as he entered the rather dim but spacious underground office. Erik snatched his flesh colored mask off his desk and put it back on his face with such haste that Nadir almost would have missed what his face looked like.

"Oh, Nadir, it's just you..." Erik trailed off as he slightly relaxed in his desk chair. "I was worried for a moment that someone would've caught me with my mask off…and you know what that means, eh old friend?"

"That you would have had to kill them?" Nadir guessed, hoping sincerely that Erik would have better sense than that after all these years.

"Precisely. And that would just complicate things here, now wouldn't it?" Erik said, appearing to be smirking underneath the mask which covered the whole left side of his face.

"Have I taught you nothing?" Nadir started off on his friend for what seemed the hundredth time since they met each other nearly twenty years ago. "Violence is never the answer, Erik, even if it seems to be second nature. You're never going to-"

Erik cut him off by holding up his hand in a commanding fashion. "Hush. My head already hurt before you came in, which is why I took my mask off in the first place. Your incessant lecturing isn't helping. I'm a grown man, Nadir. I do have some sense of what is acceptable, even if I do disagree with nearly every social norm this damn country holds."

Nadir opened his mouth again to argue, but Erik simply shook his head. "I highly suggest you think twice before opening that mouth of yours again. You said you have my roster? Give it here." He held out his open hand, waiting for the list of names. Nadir sighed and placed the stapled papers in Erik's hand and began to turn away when Erik spoke again. "Christine Daae? Daae…I have heard that name before, but I've never met this girl. Who is she?"

Nadir was well known on campus to actually take the time to get to know the students whereas Erik hardly bothered to learn the names of the students he taught. He seldom held office hours and most people knew better than to just barge into his room. Instead they would relay whatever business they had with Erik to Nadir or just utilize Erik's university email. "Daae? Wasn't her father the famous violinist who died a few years back? He was well known throughout the world. Christine is a rather shy girl from what I understand, but she is in the choir and helps with the musicals. I believe she is actually an English major though...what a waste. With the talent that is in her blood, she surely should be focusing on her music."

Erik just stared at his old friend for a moment, amazed yet again how he always seemed to know something about every student. "Helps with the musical? But I have final say over all the singers in the show, why don't I know her?"

"Because she spends her time doing behind the scene work like stagecraft and costuming," he replied.

"Well that won't do at all…" Erik muttered while returning his gaze back to the list of students.

To be continued...