Based on Leroux ending of "The Phantom of the Opera".
The wedding took place on the most beautiful day. The trees swayed lightly in the spring breeze, the grass was green underneath the windowsill. There was nothing outwardly out of place, and Christine tried to see the superficial beauty in the world, when for the last year of her life, she was shown the inner beauty of things.
Her teacher was gone. He had died in the deep darkness of his home, without the world knowing his true genius. The darker side of her missed him, wanted him-but the lighter told her that it was better this way. Raoul loved her passionately, and there was no use dwelling on the past.
Of course, that was a lie. There was nothing she had felt she had done right in the entire situation, except love Raoul. Her mind wouldn’t let her rest about the past, from the very beginning. Was she insane like Carlotta had said and had she made the voices up, the whole ordeal? Do angels really exist, or was it a story meant to pacify a child? If there was a God in the heavens, why did he have to let Erik suffer all of his days?
Practically, love was in front of her, here and now. It seemed to her that the world only cherished things when they were gone. She was not taking the lesson Erik taught her about compassion for granted for her father wouldn’t want her to waste into nothing. Raoul’s family had treated her with such kindness, taking her in, treating her like she wasn’t a lower class, but family, and Raoul’s soon to be wife. She stared out the window from their home, watching all the women of the home and the maids fuss over her. Her Blonde hair was swept up and stray curls framed her face. Something borrowed, pearl ear bobs and a necklace, old, her locket that her father had gave her, and blue, pastel ribbons on the cuffs of her dress. The shadows in her eyes were gone, there was a light in her eyes once more, even if the light was filled with memories.
There was no mother, to put the finishing touches on her daughter as she wiped tears from her face. There was no father here to tell her one last story, or play music for her. Papa wasn’t there to walk her down the aisle this afternoon. She could almost imagine him then, crying with pride at his only child. She closed her eyes and ears to the humdrum around her, and saw her mother there, smiling quietly.
Sadly, her day dream returned back to Erik, but he was no longer there in her mind, whispering thoughts and singing. He was gone. Maybe he never belonged to her and was truly an angel of music. A fallen angel who had now been redeemed, she thought wistfully. She hoped in heaven there was beings that understood his unique heart, knew his soul. She wished that if she could not love him, that a true angel could love Erik the way he so deserved.
“Crying, child? There’s nothing to be afraid of. I was nervous my wedding day too. So many things to arrange and make sure of. Would my husband find me beautiful, or will he be disgusted ? Would my bridesmaids not like their flowers? It will be just beautiful you’ll see. Raoul will think you are the most beautiful angel he’s ever laid eyes upon.” Raoul’s Aunt Lucia rubbed her back affectionately and looked at the reflection of Christine in the glass. Surely, not a more beautiful bride could Raoul ever have. Such a beautiful quiet, and meek girl was what suited a handsome but simple man. They would travel the world, conquering whatever lay in their paths.
Christine sobbed at the mention of angels, but knew better than to say a word. Erik was a monster to the entire world, and only Raoul understood her need for solace, and closure. That is why they had waited until 3 months had passed to begin planning their special day, to let her grief subside, to let the past fully go. Raoul was the only thing left of her past, and he loved her with all he could be. She could no longer hold on to the dead as a means of living unless she planned to live. Her life would forever change this day. She would promise to love Raoul until the moment her soul passed on to the beyond, to love each other past death.
She smiled at Raoul’s pretty aunt who had Raoul’s honey colored hair, with streaks of gray. She had kept close to the family all these years, and now a widow-came to the only family she knew. Christine wished she could be as strong as Lucia. “Yes, that is just the thing. I’m so nervous, and I have no one to walk me down the isle, and the priest, I hope…oh I hope I don’t forget anything….or don’t remember to say thank you to every guest…” She fibbed, adjusting her veil and admiring the French lace, and the sweetheart neckline.
“The carriage is here!!!” Meg rushed in, maid of honor, a flash of black hair and lavender material. “Oh Christine, I can’t believe it! Not for all the world! You should see the carriage, it is decorated in all sorts of pretty ribbons! You truly look the part of a princess!!” Meg hugged her tightly and laughed, full of bubbling energy.
Christine smiled at her confidante, who was well for the first time in her life. She had always remembered Meg to be such a sickly looking little girl, but there was no more shadows behind her eyes, and she was finally putting on some weight.
“Well then, I guess we shall be on our way to the church then. Meg, will you give me my bouquet please?” Christine asked, already feeling so much better with Meg there.
“Christine, may I ask you something? Why one red rose among all the white roses?” Meg inquired, sniffing her yellow flowers appreciatively.
“It is for someone, this red rose. Someone I cared for very much, and probably always will. Now let’s go, before we are late to the church! What a scandal that would be on my wedding day!”
Meg laughed and picked up Christine’s long train as they headed down the stairs and into the carriage.
Nothing could have prepared her for the moment that Christine walked down the aisle and saw Raoul waiting for her, tears gleaming in his eyes. Her best friend had what looked to be a red handkerchief in his lapel, but on second glance, Christine knew that it was the very scarf that Raoul had rescued from the sea that fateful day so long ago. The beaten scarf was frayed, weathered, and she did not even know that Raoul had kept it. It filled her with bittersweet happiness, as she linked arms with his and waited before God, and family, to pledge their love.
A loving kiss completed their vows, and Christine felt her heart warm and she took her first steps as Raoul’s wife. Forever and Ever, amen. She stopped and kissed Raoul’s cheek. “I love you, Raoul. Now our lives can truly begin.”
He held her close as they rode away in the carriage, waving to the onlookers as they went away to their honeymoon. Christine smiled, feeling for once, that she was doing something good and beautiful in her life. She may have looked like the part of a fairy tale princess, but now she was living with the heart of one. She kissed her husband, knowing that nothing could break their pure love.
Raoul breathed in the mid morning air as he took a long walk outside the grounds of Christine’s and his future home. The garden had been properly tended, with forget-me-nots, roses, pansies, and all other varieties of flower. Everything was green and beautiful.
He thought of Christine now, and their ordeal with the Opera Ghost. How three words in one paper finalized it all. It was better this way. While he never understood the power behind the gentle kiss that Christine gave Erik, the phantom, he understood that it would be something that would never let them go.
Erik was truly a ghost now, and would forever haunt Christine‘s memory. He had seen the shadows beneath his soul mates eyes-Erik was a psychic vampire, draining all the health out of his beloved. He had left her on the verge of insanity, and Raoul tried very hard to feel compassion for such a being. He felt compassion because Christine had seen it in side of Erik.
The man had killed, even his own brother-that could not be overlooked. However, something in Christine cared very much still for him, and while Raoul didn’t know why, he tried to understand. It was a different kind of fascination altogether. Erik was the embodiment of every dark fairy tale Christine’s father had shared. Unbelievable, that such a person could exist. He pitied Erik, but doubted that any peace would come until the man had died. No one in the world except for Christine cared for Erik, and Erik obviously didn’t care for the world. Though, the Persian’s tales had enlightened to him as of why.
Raoul remembered the meeting last night. Nadir, for that was the Persian’s name, had called upon Raoul the night before his wedding. What could have been a night for celebrating of one last night of bachelorhood, was instead a night of quiet contemplation.
Nadir, a quiet man in thick robes, sighed at how much young Raoul had aged within the three months. Raoul had quietly invited him in and they sat silently in front of the parlor fire. Nadir began to explain the need to inform Raoul of when Erik had came to his home, telling him of the kiss that Christine had planted on his forehead. Raoul suppressed a inward feeling of revulsion. The man was dead, why couldn’t the past die with him?-Raoul thought silently. But Nadir, thought it necessary to tell him, and was it wise to tell Christine?
Raoul thought not. As hard as Christine had tried to make herself go down to the lair to bury Erik, she could not, and it was the cause of a dark depression. If hadn’t been for their companionship, Raoul doubted that he ever would have seen her smile once more. Nadir had kindly put his friend to rest, and that was that. Christine finally was able to smile, laugh, instead of being in constant tears. She had sunshine, family, and peace.
Nadir bid himself goodnight, and Raoul never found a moments rest until daylight shone from his window. He was alone this day, no brother to be there as his best man, only by himself. His extended family would provide for family enough, if they never had children of their own. He took one last look at the gardens, hoping that by some chance that darkness would not overwhelm all of their lives.
He watched the golden day seep within their future bedroom, thinking of the new life that would be spent inside of this grand house. He dressed, not forgetting his ‘good luck charm’-her treasured scarf, and waited on the carriage.
The nervous state of his mind was wracked with worry. The church was filled with so many, and he had a hard time concentrating as the music began. Pipe organs bothered him wholly now, and the notes were nothing less than eerie. It seemed that if he didn’t focus on who was playing it, he could almost see Erik there, playing fervently. He tried not to let it disturb him. He watched the Maid of honor, Meg, proceed down the long aisle. She looked like a young woman now, instead of a sickly child, and he noticed that a lot of male heads turned in her direction. She blushed, trying to act composed.
Christine entered the aisle alone. Her shoulders shook, her hands held on to her bouquet fiercely as she walked to the March her eyes on his. Her bouquet was beautiful, even the odd choice of the red rose in the center of all those white ones.
There was a radiance that glowed from her like soft candle light. His friend, was there to promise her life to his, and she clasped his hand to her own as tears filled her own eyes. Raoul knew there were so many reasons to filled with bittersweet memories. Christine’s father was a second one to him, and, there was a missing spot where his brother should have been.
They took their vows, rings were exchanged, even the sweetness of their kiss was filled with bliss that was tinged with sorrow. Christine planted a kiss on his cheek, her eyes staring up with quiet adoration.
Raoul loved her with all his soul. He was no longer the boy that had entered the Opera, to see his childhood friend there. His love for Christine had changed him into a man.
“I love you Raoul. Now our lives can truly begin.” Christine said, as they walked for the first time as husband and wife.
He put his arms around Christine as they left the church, looking at his beautiful wife. Their love could heal all of the past. Sadly, the thought of the Opera Ghost entered his mind as he saw the red rose in her bouquet. Her love for himself had healed him of the past…and she had done so for Erik as well. May you find peace, Erik-your tormented soul taught Christine and I more than I can ever thank you for.