by Isabel Scott
Erik finds love in a peice of an old romance. Will the new Prima Donna ruin it all?
| It was raining in Paris. Erik thought that the weather matched his mood perfectly. Not more than an hour ago, his love had left him for a rich man with a title. “I should have let Raul and the Daroga die while I had the chance”, thought Erik. Christine had pleaded with him, promised to be his wife, if he would only spare Raul’s life. Erik had let Christine go. “Why did I let her go? Oh why did I let her go?” cried the Phantom. “I was her Angel, her poor little Erik. She was my world!” Erik returned to his home under the Paris Opera House. He lived five stories below the rest of the world, five stories below civilization, and everything he had once loved.
“If I can no longer be an angel, I will become the Phantom once more. The fools running my theater have not seen the last of me. I shall rule in the Opera once more. The fools running my theater have not seen the last of me. I shall rule in the Opera once more!” decided the Phantom. When Erik returned, he found Madame Giry locked in a room. Erik felt a little guilty, for he knew she was locked up because of him. “Is there no end to the pain I have caused?” asked Erik as he entered the room. “You have shown me nothing but kindness, and they lock you up in here because of me!” ”You have grown up Erik. The last time I saw you, you were only sixteen, and I twenty.” replied Madame Giry. “Oh, Marguerite, I have missed you. Shall we go now?” “But what of Meg?” “We will not be gone long, and besides, she is sixteen now, Marguerite.
As Erik was leading Marguerite back to his home, Marguerite was thinking of the last time the two had seen each other.
It was the year 1858. Erik had just turned sixteen. "Oh Erik, please tell me you will not leave me", begged Marguerite. "It is the only way that I will not be forced to marry Jaques." "You know I cannot do that, Marguerite. I wish that I could, but for us to marry, I would need to be older than you." Marguerite married Jaques, and not long after they were married, Meg was born. Meg had black hair and green eyes. Jaques was not suspicious, but disappointed, for he wanted a son. Marguerite took Meg and went to see Erik. "Erik, Jaques is a perverted man. I fear for Meg, living in his house,” said Marguerite. Erik felt having a child would be too dangerous. "Do not ever bring that child here again!" he replied.
Erik finally spoke, "Does Meg know of me?" "Everyone knows of you, Erik", replied Marguerite. "Yes, they know of me as the Phantom. But does she know of me as Erik?" he asked. "She knows of you only as the Phantom of the Opera."
Meg was Marguerite's daughter. Meg, like her mother, was a ballerina. Christine and Meg had been best friends ever since Christine came to the Opera. Christine's father had died, making Christine an orphan. About six months ago, Meg started noticing that Christine was acting strangely. She was always going on about some angel. Meg thought nothing of it until Christine started disappearing for days at a time. She would return frightened, as if she had seen a ghost. "Nothing odd was happening before Buquet's death", thought Meg Suddenly the two managers came running up to Meg. "Where is your mother?" they inquired. "I thought she was with you" she answered. "She was, but she has disappeared." Meg knew at once what had become of her poor mother. "He was not satisfied taking Christine, he had to take my mother, too!" cried Meg. "Who?" "The Phantom of the Opera, or as Christine called him, Erik".
Meg immediately went to change her clothes. She remembered her mother’s warning, “Never go down to the basement, Meg. Death awaits you there”. Erik, wanting to remain a secret, had told Marguerite that if Meg ever made it to the lake, he would kill Marguerite’s only child. “If I do not go down to the basement, death awaits my mother!” thought Meg.
“Why did you never return to me, even after Jacques’ death?” asked Erik. “I was afraid for my daughter’s life”, answered Marguerite. “I loved you, Marguerite. I only wanted Meg to stay away, not you!”
Meg was only two stories away from the Phantom’s lake when she met the rat catcher. The rat catcher had a head of fire, and hundreds of rats followed him. When Meg reached Communist’s Road, she rested.
“Why did you not come to see me?” asked Marguerite. “I feared Jacques would find out, and after his death I believed that you would not want to see me again.” answered Erik. Erik and Marguerite sat in silence for a few moments. Erik finally spoke, “We should return you to the Ballet Dormitories.”
When Marguerite returned to the Ballet Dormitories, she noticed Meg was gone. “Meg has gone to look for me!” cried Marguerite, “She will find her death because of me!” Marguerite knew that by now it was too late to find her daughter, for by now she would be at the edge of the lake.
When Meg reached the lakes edge, she found a boat. She entered the boat and began the journey across the lake, not knowing what lay ahead of her.
Meg finally reached the other side of the lake. Awaiting her was Erik’s magnificent house. Meg went inside and found the house even more impressive than Christine had described.
Erik returned to the edge of his lake to find his boat missing. Still hurt, because of Christine, he did not think much of it, for his mind was on other things. He went back up several floors to the very spot Joseph Buquet’s body once hung. He entered through the torture chamber. Erik entered his parlor and found Meg there. “How did you get in here?” asked Erik. “I came across the lake in our boat, Erik”, replied Meg. “How do you know my name, and how did you find your way to the lake?” asked Erik. “Christine told me”, was Meg’s answer. Neither said anything for several minutes. Meg remembered why she came. “Where is my mother”, she asked. “I brought her back to the ballet dormitories about ten minutes ago. Has she not ever warned you about coming down here?” “Yes she has, but when the manager told me she was gone I began to worry.” “Well, you need not worry anymore, Meg. I protected your mother, and I will protect you, too. Shall we return you to your mother now?
“How did Meg know her mother was here?” thought Erik, “and more importantly, how much does Meg know of my past?” Erik pondered the answer to these questions while pacing through his house.
Back in the ballet dormitories, Meg found her mother pacing the floor. When Marguerite noticed Meg standing there, she ran and embraced her daughter. “Meg, where have you been?” Marguerite asked worriedly. “I was in Erik’s house, looking for you!” answered Meg; “Erik found me there and brought me back to you”. Marguerite was dumbfounded. “Why did Erik not follow through on his threat, and what made him trust Meg with his secret?” wondered Marguerite.
Later that night, Meg was lying in bed thinking about her day. It had begun as a normal opening night, with Christine playing the lead. In the middle of her song, all of the lights went out. When they came back on, Christine was missing. Raul and the Persian man, whom Erik called the Daroga, went to the basement to find her. Meg recalled not seeing any of them for the rest of the night. About an hour after Christine’s disappearance, Meg’s mother disappeared, and she had gone after her. “He was so handsome! Why did Christine not tell me that?” thought Meg, “I wonder if I will ever see him again”.
“She was so beautiful. Every bit as beautiful as her mother at that age, if not more so”, thought Erik. I wonder if she has seen Christine. If not, Meg must have many questions” Erik wrote a note that told Meg how to reach him if she had any questions. “Maybe”, thought Erik, “I could be an angel again”.
When Meg awoke the next morning, she found a note on the floor. The paper was the same, and it had a red wax seal, but the seal was in the shape of a rose, instead of a skull. The note read, “I am sure you have questions. Please meet me in Christine’s dressing room at eleven thirty this morning. Sincerely, Erik”. Meg immediately went to find a clock. She was surprised by the time. “Eleven fifteen!” Meg exclaimed. The ballerina rushed a once to her friend’s dressing room.
Meg was several minutes late, and Erik was worried that she would not come. When Meg entered, Erik breathed a sigh of relief. “You are late.” He simply said. “Perhaps you are just early” was her reply. “Come with me please.” The two of them entered one of the passageways via the mirror. “You must promise me, Meg that you will never come down here alone. The way you came down last night has already been changed. If you come down here alone you will either get lost or caught in a trap. If you need me, simply enter Christine’s dressing room and call my name.” Meg and Erik soon reached the lake. When they reached Erik’s magnificent house. Meg finally spoke, “Where is Christine?” “She left last night, with Raul.” Her next question came quickly, “What did you mean you protected my mother?” “I was the one who saved her from your father.” “What do you mean by that?” “Did you think that your father’s death was an accident? I am sorry, Meg, but it was for the protection of you and your mother.” “Do not apologize for his death. He was an evil man, and deserved a painful death.”
Marguerite went for a walk. She visited her favorite restaurant for breakfast and then bought a newspaper. Marguerite always read the entire paper, including the advertisements. What she saw in this section astounded her. The Paris Opera House was holding Auditions for a new Prima Donna.
Erik received the paper each morning, but his meeting with Meg prevented him from reading it. When he did, he was shocked to find that the Opera House was hiring a new Prima Donna. He immediately went to his desk to write the managers a note.
The managers of the Paris Opera House were very satisfied with the ad in the newspaper. That is, until they received a note from the Opera Ghost. Firmin Richard was the first to notice it. He read it and passed it to his partner, Armand Montacharim, in disgust. Armand read it aloud, “My Dear Managers, It has come to my attention that you intend to hire a new Prima Donna. You are to allow Madame Giry to select her. If the girl she selects is not hired, an accident, far worse than any before it, will occur. Your humble, O.G.” “Why would he trust a box keeper with the task of selecting the new Prima Donna?” asked Armand. “He would not. She must be communicating his opinions”.
The day of the auditions finally came. Many came and went, and several had exceptional voices, but were not up to Erik’s standards, that is, until he heard the voice of Isabel Torrel. She was a beautiful girl, about eighteen years of age, with dark black hair, not unlike Erik’s. More importantly, however, she could sing. To Erik, she had the voice of an angel. Erik told Madame Giry to give her the job.
Much to Meg’s dismay, Isabel was given Christine’s old dressing room. “How ever will I be able to contact Erik now?” thought Meg. As if reading her mind, a note from Erik fell to Meg’s feet. It read, “Dearest Meg, I am sorry that our emergency plan has been undermined. Anticipating this, when I built the tunnel behind Christine’s dressing room, I built a secondary one behind your mirror. Again, I cannot stress enough the dangers of navigating the cellar passages alone. Sincerely Yours, Erik”. “Why, he has thought of everything!” Meg thought.
Delivering the note to Meg was not Erik’s only errand that day. He had notes to deliver to the managers regarding his salary, but his most important errand that day was to visit Isabel. After a long night of pondering the matter, he decided that he would offer voice lessons to Isabel. He would not, however, pretend to be something he was no.
Isabel was getting ready for a rehearsal when she heard a voice. “You do not need to fear me, Isabel”, it said. “Wh… Who are you?” she asked, “How do you know my name?” “I am Erik. I know everything that goes on in the opera and everyone in it. While it is true you voice is good, should you wish to excel, you have much still to learn. These things I could teach you. This is why I am here. If you wish, I will give you voice lessons right here everyday at eight o’clock every morning.” “And if I do not wish to attend these lessons?” “That is your choice to make. In that case I shall not return, and your voice will only be exceptional, never angelic. Isabel thought for a moment. “I shall ponder the matter. I will give you an answer tomorrow morning at eight o’ clock.
Meg was the first to find out about Erik’s plan. “Erik, do you really think this is wise?” Meg asked, “It could be Christine all over again”. “I can assure you, it will not. Isabel and I shall never meet face to face for this exact reason.” “ I would wager that is what you said about Christine, too, did you not?” Erik did not answer.
Isabel kept arguing with herself about what Erik had offered. “There is always room for improvement” she told herself, “But how did he know of my singing ability?” Isabel reasoned that although she could not see Erik, it would be safe enough to accept his offer. “If things begin to move into a direction that I do not like, I will be able to put an end to these lessons”.
A while after Meg left, he pondered what the little ballerina had said. “It will not be like Christine all over again. I will not. If things begin to take a turn in that direction, I shall end the lessons “.
Meg could not help but feel a little jealous of the time Isabel would get with Erik if she accepted his offer. “If only he would offer me voice lessons.” Thought Meg. Her jealousy was no the only thing on Meg’s mind. She was worried that Isabel would become another Christine. Meg worried about Isabel, but she was far more worried about Erik.
After several monthes of rehearsals, the Paris Opera House was ready for its opening night. Ironically the Opera House was performing Faust, the famous Opera in which Christine was kidnapped right off the stage. The performance went on without incident, in fact, some said that it was one of the best opening nights in the history of the Paris Opera House.
Isabel herself was stunned by her triumph. When she returned to her dressing room, Erik greeted. “You did very well my dear. I should like to reward you. Would you join me for dinner?” said Erik. She would never admit to herself, but she had fallen in love with him. “I would love to join you for dinner. You need only to tell me the time and place.” “Meet me in your dressing room tomorrow night at seven o’ clock”.
After congratulating Isabel, Erik went to meet with Meg. You see, in the months since Christine had left him, Erik had spent a lot of time with Meg. Tonight Erik was treating Meg to dinner in his home.
Meg returned to her dressing room and found Erik waiting for her. “Mon Dieu, mon ami! You scared me half to death!” cried Meg. “I tend to have that effect on people. You have not forgotten our plans for dinner tonight, have you?”replied Erik. “Oh, Erik, what with the opening night it had slipped my mind”. “I see.” Erik said dissapointedly. “Now do not go and act like that”, said Meg. “I will just need a few moments to change and I will be ready to go”.
Isabel decided to go and pay her new friend Meg a visit. When Isabel came into Meg’s room, she saw Meg exiting through her mirror. Isabel was very quick, and was able to make it through the mirror before it closed. Ahead of her she saw Meg following a man that she had never seen before.
Erik & Meg’s journey took a lot longer than expected because Erik had stopped many times to look back. Meg also looked back each time, but neither saw anything. When they reached Erik’s house, Meg was delighted to be able to spend some time alone with Erik. Meg, like Isabel, had fallen in love with Erik. Just as Erik and Meg were about to begin eating, Isabel came in, soaking wet.”Isabel!” both Meg & Erik said in unison. “How did you get here?” asked Meg. “A better question,” replied Isabel,”would be who is that?” she asked pointing to Erik. “Erik…” said Meg questioningly. “Erik?” asked Isabel, “This is where you live? And why have you never shown yourself to me?” asked Isabel. ”I was afraid you would leave me in the same manner that Christine did.” admitted Erik.
As their discussion together progressed, both Meg and Isabel realized how much they each loved Erik. “Erik, would you help me carry this food to the kitchen?” asked Meg. While in the kitchen, Meg decided that she should talk to Erik before it was too late to tell him how she felt. “Erik, what would you say if a woman said she loved you?” asked Meg. “It depends on who said it. It does not matter, though, for no one could ever love me.” Replied Erik. “I could”, Meg said simply. ”Meg, you could not be serious…no one…” “I love you Erik, I want to spend my life with you. I realize that now.” Meg interrupted. “Oh, Meg…”
Isabel was a very nosy person. That is why she followed Meg through the mirror. Because Isabel was so nosy, she went and listened at the kitchen door. Unfortunately, Isabel heard every word. Heartbroken, Isabel ran in. “Erik, no! I am your ange de la musique, your angel of music!” “My Angel of Music left long ago”, replied Erik stiffly. “Even so, you would rather have this ingénue than your Prima Donna?” “I gave my heart to the Prima Donna that came before you. I would have done anything for her, and she still rejected me. Do you really think that I would risk that again? Meg knows my past, and loves me in spite of it.” “You would have this little ingénue, who can not sing at all?” “Music is not complete until you can have an interpretation of it. Meg provides this for me. Did you know that when I first started to give lessons to Christine, she sang, as Meg would say, like a crock!” “Well, Erik you have made your argument, now make your choice!” cried Isabel.
“Isabel, I am sorry. I choose Meg. From the shadows, I have watched her grow up. There can be no other choice.” Erik decided. “I see. Had I known this was my fate, I would not have crossed over to the point of no return.” “I myself have said the same thing many times. Some thing I have learned, though, is that dwelling on the past only makes the pain worse.” “I shall try to remember that. I suppose that I should leave now.” “I shall escort you, for navigating these passages alone is not safe. Meg, I shall return soon. Please make yourself at home”.
When Erik and Isabel had left, Meg casually began to look around. She only entered a room if the door was ajar or open. “I do not want to violate his privacy,” thought Meg. In one room, she saw a beautiful painting of a rose. “Comment magnifique!” declared Meg. “Erik truly is a genius”.
Most of the journey back to Isabel’s dressing room was conducted in silence. “Did you have any intention of showing yourself to me?” asked Isabel. “I did not want to become attached to you, so I would not risk the heartbreak again”. When the pair reached their destination, Erik said goodbye. “I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to not attempt to navigate the cellar passages alone. You could easily get lost or caught in a trap.” “Yes, Erik” Isabel said dejectedly.
Erik returned to find Meg casually walking around. “Shall we finish our dinner now?” asked Erik. The two began eating silently, but Meg was the first to speak. “Quite an evening”. “Yes, it was.” “I meant what I said, you know.” “I am still trying to convince myself. Such a beautiful girl as yourself would not want to spend their life with a monster as hideous as me.” “Why not test that theory? Show me your face. If I show horror, you may know that you are right, but if I do not, you may know that you are good enough for my love.” “You do not know what you are asking of me, Meg…” “Then show me.” Reluctantly, Erik obliged. He was shocked, for Meg showed no change. She simply got up and went over to Erik. She bent over and kissed the scarred half of Erik’s face. She showed no repulsion, nothing but love.
A week after that opening night, Meg and Erik were having dinner together. They were talking about the next opera to be performed. “Not in this opera, but I was thinking of possibly trying out for a role in a future opera. “That would be magnifique, Meg. How well can you sing?” asked Erik. Meg sang several notes.” Not too bad, little Meg. It was far better than Christine’s voice when I first started to teach her. Might I offer some assistance so that you might be ready for your debut?” “That would be wonderful, Erik.” “Well then, it’s settled. Shall I come to collect you every morning at nine?”
Isabel became very depressed after that night. Her voice began to fail her. Her voice had never sounded this horrible! “Erik!” called Isabel. “Yes, Isabel?” “My voice, it is horrible! I cannot possibly sing tonight!” “I see. What shall we do then?” “I do not know. That is why I called for you.” “I shall see to it, young Prima Donna. You just rest”.
Erik knew what he must do. He went at once to Meg’s dressing room. “Darling Meg, whatever shall we do? Isabel has taken ill, and cannot sing. Perhaps you can take her place this evening?” “Mon ami, I could not possibly!” “Oh, but you can. You are better than you think, little Meg!”
In that night, Meg triumphed. She had an angelic voice, the kind that only those that are in love can have. Erik came for her that night to celebrate her amazing triumph. Erik had something to show Meg. “I had started composing this years ago, but had just recently taken up with it again in the past few months. Come, I wish to play it for you”. So Erik played his opera for Meg. “That was absolutely magnifique! What is the title?” “L’ Opéra de Meg” “Meg’s Opera. Oh Erik!” exclaimed Meg. “Meg, I have realized several things in these past few weeks and months.” Erik got up off the bench of his organ and knelt before Meg. “Megan Ana Giry, will you do me the honor of being my wife?” “Oh Erik, of course I will!”
Isabel was furious. “She not only gets to have Erik, she also gets my triumph! I can not take this anymore!” yelled Isabel. By now she was extremely jealous. In anger, she broke her mirror. By breaking her mirror, she found the passage behind it. Despite Erik’s warnings, she entered the Opera cellars unaccompanied.
As soon as Meg returned from Erik’s house, she ran to tell her mother of her engagement. “Oh Meg, how wonderful! When is the wedding?” “Right after the next opening night.” “So soon? What is the next opera?” “L’ Opéra de Meg”. “Oh, mon bel ange, how magnifique! I take it that you again have a part?” “Oui, mama.” “I am so happy for you. You my dear Meg, you are marrying for love!” “Then you are not angry with me for not telling you of our relationship sooner?” “My little girl is getting married! How can I be angry?” “Oh, thank you mama!”
Isabel made it safely three stories underground before she ran into problems. She was forced to make several turns and got lost. Unfortunately for her, she was on the exact opposite side of the Opera House as Erik, and he was three stories above her, besides. There was no chance of his help, despite Isabel’s cries. Eventually someone heard Isabel: the man in the green felt hat. He heard Isabel’s cries and began to head towards her. “Mlle. Prima Donna, you should not be down here.” “I know”, Isabel said simply. “Then why are you here?” asked the mysterious stranger. “I do not know.” “Shall I escort you back to your room?” “Must you?” inquired Isabel. “Oui, I must.” “Then we might as well get going”. Isabel returned to her room to find the glass of her mirror replaced. “How did he…?” She found a note on her table. “Dear Mlle. Torrel,” it read,” After this afternoon’s outburst, I have been forced to close off the tunnel behind your mirror. If this behavior continues, I shall be forced to remove you from your position as Prima Donna. Sincerely, M. le Fantome”. This was too much for Isabel. She broke down and in her sorrow left the Paris Opera House for good.
Meg’s day finally came. Two weeks after Erik’s proposal, Meg was ready for her opening night. “Oh, if only Christine were here”, thought Meg. In the past few months, Meg had thought little of her blonde friend. “I wonder what happened to Christine? I know that she left with Raul, but where? Why would she not write?” Meg asked herself. She contemplated the answers to these questions while getting ready for her opening night.
Erik was as nervous as anyone could be. Meg did not know that she would be playing opposite of her fiancée. “How surprised she will be!” thought Erik. Not only was this his first performance on the stage, he was also getting married this evening. Erik was so nervous that if anyone came sneaking up behind him, the person might be killed. The chances however, of this happening were slim, though, because no one could sneak up on Erik.
The performance went beautifully. The only incident that came close to occurring was when Meg almost called Erik’s name out of amazement. After the performance, the two stars and some of Meg’s friends and mother made their way to the church for the wedding. Erik’s only friends were Meg, Marguerite, Christine and the Daroga. Two of his friends were present, one was missing, and the other was already at the church waiting.
The wedding was going beautifully, until the minister asked if anyone had any reason that the couple should not be wed. “I do!” shouted a drunken Isabel, who had just stumbled in. “I love him, and this wench stole him from me!” “Isabel, you’re drunk. Why don’t you…” “Don’t you tell me what I am or am not, you little two faced whore!” “Isabel”, Erik said soothingly, “you are drunk. Why don’t you sit down, and we can sort this out when you have regained possession of your senses.” “You would side with her, even after betraying me! And you,” she said, pointing to Meg, “You stole Erik and my job from me!” “I stole nothing”, replied Meg, “Erik was never yours to steal, and I only took over for you because you were unable to perform.” “You… You all betrayed me! Every one of you! Why… why…” Isabel was unable to finish her sentence, for Marguerite was already leading Isabel outside. “Where are you staying?” asked Mme. Giry. “In a hotel, on Beaker Street.” “Well then, let’s go”.
The rest of the wedding went on without further interruption. Meg threw the bouquet, and little Jammes caught it. After the wedding, Meg decided that as much as she loved her triumphs, she still loved to dance more. She was even Prima Ballerina for several seasons before retiring to take care of her family. Meg and Erik had two children, Christine, and Samuel.
Christine eventually came back to the Opera House. She was given her old job back and did beautifully. True to her promise to Erik, Christine never married. Several weeks after she left, she realized that she did not love Raul at all. Raul was able to find love though. In the end Isabel and Raul married, but no one knows whether she loved Raul, or married him out of spite for Erik. Despite the hardships that every marriage endures, Meg and Erik loved each other to the end. Neither knew the future, but both knew they would face it together.