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Evermore Without You

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"It's over." Erik thought to himself while he sat in his massive chair all the while downing the last drop of wine from the glass he had been holding for the past hour.

It had been two months since Christine had left him and how he had managed to survive thus far he could not explain for ever since his Christine had left to marry that boy of a Vicomte. No longer being able to see what little joy he might have had, if she had stayed with him, he felt as though life had become empty and meaningless."

"It's a good thing I'm finally dying" Erik spoke aloud his once grand and powerful voice no slightly lowered by a few decimals but still intimidating echoed throughout the large sitting room. After fifty years on this miserable, cruel planet it was finally coming to an end for 'Poor unhappy Erik.' "And how fitting", the man in the over-sized chair thought sneeringly to himself. To be born alone, live alone and now to die alone.

Looking toward his bedroom he caught sight of his bed, if one could call it that. For the piece of so called furniture where he chose to sleep when he could sleep, was really a coffin. He had acquired it some years ago when he wished for nothing more than for death to claim him. Then after a while when death refused to come he still continued this macabre practice, for after all where else should the living corpse lay his body down at night than in a box reserved for the corpses of dead men.

Resigning himself to the inevitable he rose from the chair, all the while steadying himself as he had been sick for several weeks and was growing weaker by the hour. He doubted death would pass him by this night. Walking to his room he passed the table that held his masterpiece "Don Juan Triumphant" Erik sighed as his fingers touched the pages of his opera, the opera that would have astounded all of Paris with his beloved Christine acting the lead role, singing that music he had written for her. For her, all of it had been for her, his beautiful angel. If only he hadn't been born with his accursed face. "Maybe if I had been born handsome, like her precious Vicomte she might have loved me" Erik tried to reason with himself as he picked up the finished manuscript of his opera and carried it with him into the bedroom.

As he climbed into the coffin, he still held onto his opera, intending to metaphorically take it into death with him. He settled himself against the velvet lining of the box, and his thoughts once again turned to his angel and the promise she made to him.. Once he was dead she was to return to his home for the last time and bury him. But would she come? Erik had fears that should wouldn't. "She will" a voice in his head told him "You said so yourself that she was a good honest girl" And she was. His sweet innocent angel, Erik's only regret besides destroying a good deal of that innocence was that she was not to be the last thing he would see before he died. Instead he had to content himself with a dull flame coming from a table beside his coffin. Though if he looked hard enough Erik swore he could see the image of his beautiful angel's face in the flame, smiling and laughing as she did when he use to give her lessons in her dressing room.

Erik had to almost stop himself from reaching out to the fire to touch it, as if she were really there. "Christine" Erik whispered, entranced by the image he saw in the flame "I love you so much" he continued as if talking to someone who was really there and not just a figment of his grief-stricken mind "I hope one day you will forgive your Erik for the pain he has caused you, just say you are happy and I will die in peace" The imaged smiled once again as if acknowledging his desperate final please. Erik sighed knowing himself to be really insane, his Christine wasn't here, no one was. And just as he knew would happen when he looked into the flame again the beautiful image that was there only a moment ago was gone.

It was just as well for just as the image had gone, soon he too would be gone, but to where, he could not say. If what was said in the Bible was true his soul was bound for Hell, for Erik had been what any good and proper Christian would call a sinner. The blood of many had stained his hands throughout his life, but even at this late hour, as he had done more times than he cared to admit, he still yearned for Heaven. Though in some ways he had already achieved paradise when Christine had willingly bestowed a kiss to him. Having been granted that simple pleasure that was so often denied to him, Erik could at least die happy.

As the minutes crept by and his breathing became more difficult, Erik did not give himself over to weeping or pleading for mercy to whatever gods there may be as he had seen so many others do when their time came. No, not Erik, he was too prideful for that. Instead, he was calm as if he wasn't about to enter into that final sleep but just rest for a few hours then arise in the morning. He was calm all the while he felt himself fading faster than before, all the while keeping the image of his beloved angel in his mind, and he was determined to hold onto that image until the last.

At about this time, if someone had the misfortune to find themselves on the edge of the lake that had to be crossed in order to reach the infamous Phantom's inner domain, they would have seen the outline of a fairly grand looking home. Completely shadowed in darkness save for one single candle glowing in the window and a perceived sigh of relief on the air as the candle, almost by a supernatural way, was extinguished.