Ever since I was a child, I listened to my father. He was a famous violinist, the best in Europe. We traveled by caravan from city to city. My father would perform, and from afar, I would watch and admire him. My mother died when I was very young, leaving just me and my papa. I thought that we would travel together forever, but when he became sick, I knew my time was running out… He left me in the care of a woman who lived in France. She was an older woman, one that had no children. After my papa died, I spent the remainder of my childhood cleaning and cooking for this woman. She became a grandmother to me. She was kind and sometimes she would brush my curly locks. The last thing my papa told me before he died was to go to the Paris opera house when I was old enough to travel there on my own. But why? Why did he want me to go to the Paris opera house? It was supposed to be a beautiful place, one filled with music and wonder. Not only did he tell me to go to the opera house, but my papa also told me that when the time was right, I would meet the angel of music.
I wasn't sure who the angel of music was, but if my father promised to send him to me, then I guess I would find out one day who he truly was. On the day of my eighteenth birthday, I left the woman's home. Yes, she didn't want me to leave, but I thanked her for all that she had done for me and promised to write as soon as I arrived. She thought I was crazy for wanting to chase after something that probably wasn't even at the opera house, but I needed to keep my promise to my father. I traveled for two days by foot, stopping at a small village to rest. Though, I was so excited about the opera house that I couldn't even sleep.
"I'm here, Papa…"
When I finally arrived, I stood outside the magnificent building in awe… Who ever built this place was a genius. I blindly walked up to the front door as I continued to gaze at the opera house's beauty. I was going to walk right inside and…and…and then I wondered. What was I supposed to do? I was here, but why did my papa want me to come here? It didn't matter, for I reached out for the door only to find that it was locked.
"Can I help you?"
I was caught off guard by a strange voice. I spun around to find a man standing behind me in a red uniform. He was in his early fifties and a little taller than me.
"I…I wanted to go inside the opera house." I said. "I've traveled a long way."
"The opera house will open tomorrow night for the gala. If you wish to see the show, you shall have to come back then."
Just then, it began to rain, causing the man to take shelter underneath the pillars of the enormous doorway.
"You should hurry home, Mademoiselle. You will catch your death out here."
"I…I haven't a place to stay," I confessed. "My father told me to come here. It was his last request before he died. I wasn't sure why he wanted me to come, but I'm here now."
"And just who was your father?"
The man smiled and I wasn't sure why.
"Someone you knew?" I questioned.
"No, but I know someone that is a fan."
I was becoming soaked from the rain and I was about to leave, when the man stopped me.
"I was going to get some lunch… Would you like to come inside and join me?"
I smiled and hurried to the man's side. He led me in out of the rain and we headed up a flight of winding stairs.
"Everything is so beautiful," I gasped, looking around in all directions. "I love it. Whoever built this is a genius."
"That he is… Did you know that he drew everything from his mind? Most masons and architects, visit different buildings for inspiration, but it was as if he needed none. He knew exactly what he wanted to do…"
"I love it…"
"I never caught your name, girl."
"It's Christine, Christine Daae…"
The man spun around and extended his hand.
"I'm Khan, Nadir Khan. I am the assistant to the owner of the opera house. I see that everything runs smoothly."
I shook the man's hand. "Nice to meet you, monsieur."
"The pleasure is all mine."
Nadir led me into a small office and offered me a seat. I looked out the window at the pouring rain and began to worry about where I would be sleeping tonight and every other night.
"You seem worried, Christine…"
"I…I left the only home I've ever known since my papa died. He made me promise to come here and I never knew why. I still don't know why. I…I don't have a place to stay and I don't have any money."
Nadir rubbed his chin as if he were thinking. A few seconds later he held out his hand to me.
"Come, I think I have an idea…"
"Where are we going?"
The man led me up another flight of stairs to an abandoned part of the opera house, one that wasn't as beautiful as the other parts.
"What is this place?"
"The owner's quarters…"
"The owner lives here?" I curiously asked. "Why? I didn't think most people lived at the opera house."
"He has his reasons," he continued. "As you can see, he isn't the tidiest of people. He's barely here during the day, and I thought that it was time he had himself a housemaid."
"Housemaid?" I questioned.
Nadir nodded. "You do know how to clean and make beds do you not?"
I nodded. "Yes, my guardian taught me how."
"Good. You will live and work inside the opera house. It will give you some money and a roof over your head. It isn't much, but it will do until you find out why your father wanted you to come here."
Thankful for the man's kindness, I wrapped my arms around his body and embraced him.
"Thank you! Thank you, Monsieur."
"Thank me later. Though, there are a few things I need to warn you about."
"Warn me about?"
Nadir nodded. "The master is never really up here. You are to clean and not snoop around his things. He probably won't be happy that I hired him a maid. That's the next thing… Don't say two words to the man or else you will know his temper."
"Don't ask questions, Christine. Just promise to heed my warning…"
"Good, let me show you where we keep the cleaning supplies and extra linens."
For the next hour, Nadir showed me where we kept the buckets for cleaning and the clean sheets. I never thought that I would be working in the opera house, but maybe this was what my father had meant. Maybe he wanted me to work in the opera house so that I was surrounded by music… Either way, it was wonderful.
"And here is your room…"
My room was more like a closet, but it would do.
"It's not much, Christine," Nadir began. "But it will have to do. We don't have lavish bedrooms here."
"It will be fine, thank you."
"Well, if there is ever anything that you need, I am usually always around."
Nadir was about to leave, when I stopped him in order to thank him one final time.
"I believe I am going to be the one thanking you, Christine…"
And then, for the first time in my life, I plopped down onto my new bed and sighed… The Paris opera house. I was working for the Paris opera house. Perhaps it wasn't as the lead singer or as a ballerina, but it was something… That night, I slept soundly, happy that I finally found my place in the world. The next morning, I woke before the sun rose and dressed for the day, tying my hair up as I stared into the tiny mirror that was hanging on the wall. Afterwards, I journeyed to the utility closet and gathered up the supplies that I would need for the day. Deciding to start with the dusty stairs, I scrubbed each one with soap and water. Yes, it was a hard job, but I was going to do the best that I could to prove to Nadir that I deserved this.
When the stairs were finished, I decided to enter the master's quarters. Being extra quiet, I entered the dark fortress and found myself standing in a beautiful music room complete with a piano. Never had I ever seen a more beautiful instrument… Curious, I approached it and began to wipe it down with one of the rags I had brought along with me. Nadir had been right, this man was not the cleanest person in the world, for there was paperwork everywhere. From the rooms I had been in downstairs, everyone so far had at least a window, but this fortress did not. There was a windowsill, but no window..If he was the owner of the opera house, why wouldn't he want to gaze out at the city of Paris? Oh, it was so dark in here…There had been a vase sitting on top of the piano, but when my arm accidently hit it, the trinket flipped over and landed on the floor. When it shattered into a million pieces I stood back and gasped, for I never meant to break something that wasn't mine.
I was just getting to my knees when I heard a door opening. It was so dark that I couldn't even see where this door was. Though, a few moments later a light came on, and I came face to face with an extremely tall man wearing a white mask. I gasped at first, for never had I ever seen a man in a mask before. Not only was he wearing a mask, but he had black hair and was dressed in a long black robe. Was he sleeping? He stood there in shock at first, but after a few seconds, he began to circle me, like a lion circling its prey…
"You broke my vase…" he had the most velvety voice I had ever heard. There was certainly some anger mixed into it, but it was soft all the same.
Before I could say another word, he hauled me up by my arm with a violent force and shoved me against the wall.
"All of you ballerinas are nothing but thieving whores! How dare you come up into this part of the opera house! It is forbidden! I should kill you right where you stand!"
I shuttered at his touch and began to sob… This man was cruel and evil. Why did Nadir allow me to clean this man's home if he was so dangerous?
The man tossed me towards the door and I hit it head first before pulling it open. From there, I stumbled down the hall and towards the stairs. I couldn't stay here any longer… I needed to leave before this evil man came after me. I was just coming down the stairs, when Nadir was making his way up. He saw the tears in my eyes and immediately spun around.
"Christine? What's wrong? Where are you going?"
"I…I can't stay here any longer," I sobbed. "I'm not welcome here…"
And with that, I hurried to nearest door I could find and busted through it, not knowing what was going to be on the other side. I didn't care. All I cared about was breaking free from this beautiful prison and its evil warden… Nothing could have prepared me for him.
First chapter done! Hope you all liked it! Please review!