Once Mr. Khan and I got back from the bakery I went over to my papa's room only to find it deserted, the door wide open.
"Papa?" I asked, walking in.
I looked around but his room was completely deserted.
"Papa!" I stupidly cried out for him once more even though I knew there was no use in calling for my father.
His bedroom was deserted and I knew he wasn't there. But I couldn't help it. Stupidly enough I kept crying for him, hoping it would make him return.
The very thought of losing my father as well caused me to burst out crying.
What if my father left me as well?
I was ten years old and had just lost my mother! What was I to do when my father decided to leave me now?
I was only a child and couldn't possibly care for myself!
Mr. Khan came running as he heard me crying desperately.
"Gustave, what's the matter?" he asked.
"Papa," I cried "He's not here! What if he left me as well?"
"He didn't leave you-"
"But what if he did?" I cried, tears coming to my eyes "What should I do without him?"
Mr. Khan was still a stranger to me but despite that he hugged me, trying to calm me.
"Gustave, calm down." He said, patting my back "All will be fine."
"I'll go look for your father, just promise me you will stay here." he said after a few minutes.
"Mr. Khan, I'm scared." I sobbed.
"Don't be." He assured "I'll find him and all will be fine."
"May I come with you?
"No, Gustave, it's better you wait here in case your father will return." He said and I nodded.
"Promise that you'll find him?" I sobbed.
Then he left and as I watched him leave I prayed that he would keep his promise.
There were heartbreaking sobs coming from Erik's bedroom and I went over there only to find Gustave crying desperately.
"What's the matter?" I asked as I reached him.
Erik's bedroom was deserted and the poor child was afraid that his father had left him too.
"Promise you'll find him." Gustave begged.
"I promise" I said but I was about to turn and walk out of the bedroom when I noticed in horror that Erik had taken his gun with him.
I told Gustave to stay in Erik's lair and left immediately to look for him.
After looking for him all over Phantasma and Coney Island I finally found him at the hotel.
I found him standing in the hotel room Christine used to live in.
I should have known it! Where else could he be?
He stood in her bedroom, his gun pointed at his head.
"Erik!" I said as I stood in the doorway.
"Go!" he whispered when he noticed me.
I couldn't see his face for he had his back turned on me but from his voice I could tell that he was crying silently.
"Leave me, Nadir! Just go!" he demanded.
Yes, I could just have left him but I refused to let my old friend on his own like that. I couldn't let him kill himself and abandon his son!
I had been through the same as Erik now after my beloved wife died while giving birth to our son. I too locked myself up in my home for days, refusing to talk to anyone and the only desire I had was to be with her and my son again but Erik had Gustave to care for!
He couldn't just abandon him!
"Please, give me the gun" I insisted.
"The only person I have ever loved just passed away!" came his broken voice "Give me one reason why I should go on with this hell I'm living!"
"Erik, for Gustave's sake!"
"The child is better off without me!"
"How can you say that?" I asked, unable to believe what he just said "The boy panicked the moment he found your room deserted!"
"Look at the me, Nadir! Look at the monster that I am!" he shouted, pulling back the safety "He's better off without me!"
That was enough!
"You are Gustave's father and he needs you! For god's sake, Erik! Stop wallowing in self-pity!"
"You can't know-" he started but I refused to let him speak.
"What now, Erik?" I questioned "Are you telling me that I don't know how you feel? Do you seriously think I don't know how it feels to lose the love of your life?" I asked angrily, causing him to turn and face me.
"I know exactly how you feel for I too have lost my wife! I lost both my wife and child when she was giving birth to him!" Memories of my wife came back to my mind and I had tears coming to my eyes.
Erik looked at me in shock and let the gun suddenly drop to the ground.
I was relieved that the gun was out of his hands now but I was far too angry to leave it there just yet.
"I lost my wife and son but you still have Gustave to care for!" I told him. "The boy loves you and he needs you - You have to be strong for him!"
I watched him drop down on the bed, covering his face with his hands, crying.
I knew it wasn't right to yell at him like this when he was still in grief but he couldn't wallow himself in self-pity forever – for Gustave's sake.