5) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera.


5) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera

5 A letter for Raoul

Thar Wednesday a letter also arrived for the young Vicomte de Chagny. He opened the letter, saw the name at the bottom, and smiled for the first time that day.
Dear Raoul
Of course I remember you! How could I forget you? Meet me on Thursday at three o'clock in the Tuileries Gardens. Don't be angry with me, Raoul, please.
Christine Daae

Raoul put the letter carefully into his pocket. Angry? How could he be angry with an angel? On Thursday he was in the Tuileries Gardens by two o'clock. At ten past three he began to feel unhappy. At half past three he wanted to die, or to kill somebody. And then ... she came. She ran through the gardens to him, and in a second she was in his arms.
'Oh, Christine!' he said, again and again. 'Oh Christine!'
They walked through the gardens together and talked for a long time. They remembered their happy weeks in Brittany, four years ago.
'But why did you go away, Christine?' Raoul asked. 'Why didn't you write to me?'

For a minute or two Christine said nothing.
Then she said slowly, 'We were so young, you and I. I was just a poor singer from Norway, and you ... you were the Vicomte de Chagny. I knew I could never be your wife.'
'But I love you, Christine...'
'No, shh. Listen to me, Raoul, please. I went home to Norway, and a year later, my father died. I was very unhappy, but I came back to France, to Paris. I worked and worked at my singing, because I wanted to be an opera singer. Not just a good singer, but the best opera singer in Paris.'
'And now you are,' Raoul said. He smiled. 'All Paris is at your feet.'
Christine turned her face away and said nothing.

'Christine,' Raoul said quietly. 'I want to ask you a question. Who was the man in your dressing-room on Tuesday night? Tell me, please!'
Christine stopped and stared at him. Her face went white.
'What man?' she whispered. 'There was no man in my dressingroom on Tuesday night.'
Raoul put his hand on her arm.
'I heard him,' he said. 'I listened outside the door and heard a man's voice. Who was he?'

'Don't ask me, Raoul! There was a man's voice, yes, but there was no man in my room! It's true! Oh, Raoul, I'm so afraid. Sometimes I want to die.'
'Who is he? Tell me, Christine, please. I'm your friend, I can help you. Tell me his name!'
'I cannot tell you his name. It's a secret,' whispered Christine. 'I never see him, I only hear his voice. But he is everywhere! He sees everything, hears everything. That's why I didn't speak to you on Tuesday night. He is my music teacher, Raoul. He's a wonderful singer. I sang so well on Tuesday night because of him. I am famous because of him. He is my angel of music! And he says he loves me. How can I leave him?'