That night was the start of everything. I told him I didn't want to intrude, that I didn't want to be a bother. But I found myself going along with him, following him wherever he took me. We plodded along to his apartment. It was the night I first met him. Raphael. He had just met me, and I already knew he trusted me completely. I don't know why, but I'm glad he did. Raphael let me in without a second thought. I remember the conversation we had, too.
"Oh, er, hold on," he said. I had little time to react as he slipped off his suit. In a flash, he was in his underwear, and seconds later, a completely different outfit.
"This is the real me," Raphael stated, pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. Luckily, he didn't notice the fact that my cheeks were flushed red.
I couldn't help but smile. He may be a thief, but his eyes seemed to shine with innocence. They seemed to be asking for something. Perhaps it was approval. Raphael was as naive as I was. "Guess it's easier for you to hide in plain sight dressed like this," I giggled. We talked about the events we had witnessed and had our plans set for the next day. The next thing I knew, I found myself developing a crush on the mysterious Phantom R. The rest of the night, however, is the interesting part of my story.
Raphael's place was far from rundown in my standards. Still, living by himself, he had little use for much furniture besides what was in his room. In short, there's only one bed. I remember he had smiled warmly at me, before he realized his predicament. His smile faded for a few moments and soon transitioned into embarrassment. "I, uh, only have this bed, but I can sleep on the floor. It's not a problem for me, and I couldn't let you do so," he said, flashing me a smile to try and hide his humiliation.
"Now, why would you do that? I assure you, I'll be fine sleeping on the floor. I wouldn't want to impose myself any more than I already am," I replied.
Fondue, tired of our complaining, barked at both of us and looked at the bed. I guessed he just wanted some sleep. I soon found myself lying in bed next to Raphael, wearing one of his shirts. Out of politeness, he turned the other way, so all I really saw was his tousled hair. I closed my eyes and tried to get to sleep. However, memories of the past began flooding in. It was a recurring nightmare of mine, invading my mind yet again. A woman's silhouette walked away from me. My mother had left me. I started sobbing when Raphael grabbed me. It was if he just swooped in and hoisted me out of the misery. And for that, I was thankful.
"There, there. Are you okay?" His arms were wrapped around me as I rested my head in the crook of his neck. "Listen," he started. "Nobody's going to hurt you. Not while I'm around." He pressed his lips against my forehead. We fell asleep that way.
I woke up early, as usual. I pried my way out of his arms and got changed into my clothes. I grabbed my violin at the foot of his bed and started practicing. I will always remember that night. It was the first time I ever felt safe. Ironically, Jean-Francois was right. Raphael is my guardian angel.