The broken soul can't be alive and whole
The soprano of the century is dead, leaving Erik and Gustave behind. In his blackest despair, broken-hearted Erik learns what real friendship and compassion is like. And what about Gustave – will he begin to see the beauty underneath?
The Angel of Music was gone…. Christine was dead!
She had died in my arms! I did all I could possibly do to save her and yet, the only woman I had ever loved perished in my arms….
At first I had yet hoped she would somehow pull through, but it was only when I removed my hand to look down at her blood-soaked dress that I knew she most likely wouldn't…
My heart almost stopped within my chest when I realised she wouldn't survive….No!
I pressed my hand desperately against her wound, trying to push the blood back into her veins to stop the bleeding, but it was hopeless! There was so much blood…. too much blood…
"Erik…" Came my angel's weak voice.
"Shh…." I whispered, tears falling down my cheeks "Help will be here soon…save your strength…"
I prayed to god that Nadir would be back soon with help…
"Angel, I...I...l-love y-you…" she whispered weakly, placing her hand on my flawless cheek.
My Christine was so weak…so weak and barely alive.
"No... Christine! Please... stay with me!" I begged and gently slapped her cheek when she almost passed out.
Luckily it worked for my angel opened her eyes again.
"Remember,...love never...dies..." she said, her voice only a whisper.
"Christine...no" I cried, hot tears of despair streaming down my cheeks "You'll be fine ...angel...just stay with me!"
"Promise me you will stay strong-"
"I can't …!" I cried "Not without you….Christine, I need you!"
"Please...for Gustave,...for our son" she insisted.
"No...we…we both will take care of him." I sobbed, still hoping she would somehow make it through.
"Kiss me...one last time" she whispered, weakly grabbing my shoulder.
I bent down to kiss her as she wrapped one arm round my neck and placed her other hand on my cheek.
I gently wrapped my arms round my angel's weak body as we shared the most passionate kiss we both have ever had. Tears were falling down my cheeks as I felt her delicate lips against mine. It was the last time I'd ever feel her lips upon my own and I refused to stop it.
Then she died! My reason to live perished away in my arms!
I knew that she was gone once and for all the moment her hand dropped lifelessly down from my cheek.
"No!" I cried out in despair as I held my angel close to me.
I spent hours kneeling on the pier, holding my angel's lifeless body as close to me as possible, crying over my lost love.
Only then did Nadir return, followed by a doctor and two nurses.
What the hell had taken them so long? And what where they doing here now that it was too late already?!
It was horrible to hand Christine's lifeless body over to them. I knew that I had to let go, but I couldn't… I just couldn't!
I rose to my feet and found my son standing there in front of me, his cheeks covered all in tears. The crying child looked up at me as he stepped closer. His small hand reached out for my mask, but I backed away, afraid he would scream again.
However, something in his pleading eyes told me he wouldn't. I still don't know why but I removed my mask and wig and knelt down in front of him, making it easier for him to look at my face.
Instead of screaming and running away, he looked at me without any fear in his eyes and wrapped his small arms around me.
I hugged my child close to me while watching those people carry my lifeless angel away…
Without even noticing it, I reached one hand out for my angel as I kept Gustave hugged close.
Only when I felt a hand on my shoulder did I turn my eyes away from the direction they had carried Christine to. Hot tears were falling down my cheeks as I looked up at Nadir who gestured for us to go back.
"Erik,…" He begun "we should go back…"
I couldn't say anything… I just nodded and rose to my feet, taking Gustave's hand.
"Papa,…" my child sobbed, reaching his arms out for me.
I scooped him up in my arms and he wrapped his around my neck. He frantically cried into my shirt as we walked our way back towards Phantasma.
There was no point in bringing him back to the hotel, for everything around there would remind him of his mother...my Christine! My lair was the only place I could think of going to and therefore, I carried him there. There wasn't enough space for two people to stay in the long run but it would do it for now.
Gustave could sleep in my bed and I would sleep on the couch till I had organized another place for us to stay. My bed was much more comfortable and I knew I couldn't bear to sleep anyway….How could I sleep now that my Christine was lost and gone forever?
Once we reached my lair, I laid my son down in my bed, tucking him in.
"Time to sleep now, Gustave" I said, placing a kiss on his forehead.
"I can't...I want mother!" he cried.
"I know, Gustave... but please try to sleep." I said, gently wiping away his tears.
"M-...Papa?" he grabbed my arm as I turned away.
"What is it?"
"Will you sleep here tonight?" he asked, looking at me teary-eyed.
"Of course, Gustave" I nodded and sat beside him on the bed.
My son snuggled up beside me wrapped his arms round my chest and rest his head against my shoulder.
I held him close to me till he was fast asleep in my arms. As I feared, I couldn't bear to sleep and so I rose from the bed, making sure not to wake my child.
I went to the kitchen only to find Nadir there waiting for me.
"Erik,…" he said, gesturing for me to sit down.
I rolled my eyes, for I knew what he was up to but neither did I have the strength nor was I willing to argue with him. Not now and therefore I sat down.
"Here," he said as he placed a cup of coffee down in front of me "that will make you feel better."
Make me feel better! Was he kidding me? How could a bloody cup of coffee make me feel better?
"I'm sorry, Erik" he said as he sat opposite to me.
He was sorry! Was that supposed to help me?
Yes, I knew he only expressed his compassion, but what did he expect me to answer?
Should I thank him for that? Surely not! I couldn't and I wouldn't!
Words seemed superfluous to me now...
There was nothing left to say and therefore I just kept staring down at my cup of coffee.
"Erik, …I know this is incredibly hard, but believe me, I know how you feel…"
That was enough!
"You know how I feel…" I repeated angrily "How can you know how I feel?!"
He opened his mouth but I wouldn't let him speak.
"You know nothing!" I yelled at him as I rose to my feet, heading towards the door "absolutely nothing!"
"Don't Erik me!" I shouted "Go! Just go!"
I didn't wait for him to leave, for I trusted my old Persian friend to be intelligent enough to leave. If only I had known it better…
I went to my bedroom and snuggled beside my sleeping child, making sure not to wake him. I closed my eyes and yet there was no point in sleeping… So many questions kept running through my head.
How was I to go on?
Yes, my angel made me promise to stay strong for our child, but how? How could I?
How should I raise the boy alone?
I myself had never had a father… No, all I ever had was a mother who loathed me…Not the best requirements to raise a child, but I would try it nevertheless.
Just give what I could give, and take what little I deserved…