This song is from the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel”
// denotes song lyrics
//I’ll forget you
The more you stay inside of me, the weaker I grow.
I’ll forget you
Tomorrow I will turn and let you go.//
Christine sank into the chair at the vanity in her dressing room.
Tomorrow. Oh God, it was tomorrow. The last time she would ever sing on the stage of the famed Paris Opera House again. Tomorrow she would help Raoul and the others capture her teacher, her angel, the Phantom of the opera.
Once the “monster” as Raoul was so found of saying, was captured, he would whisk her away without a word to anyone. He would take her far away where they would be married and she could forget all the “horrible things” she had been through. True, Erik frightened her, but she wouldn’t consider any of it ( besides, perhaps seeing his face for the first time – and she was nearly over that by now, ) horrible.
Her head felt unusually heavy, and she let it drop into her hands. *Can I do this?* She wondered. *Can I betray him in such an awful way – just running off without even giving him my answer? Especially when I promised I would come back, even if I were to reject his plea? … No, I must not think like that. I must keep my word to Raoul. I love him don’t I? After all he’s gone through to gain me my freedom, I -must- go through with this. I -must- do as he says. I must -not- think of Erik. I must forget him if I’m to be happy with Raoul.*
//I’ll grow colder
I’ll lose myself in anything but you now
For there is nothing I can do now…but forget//
Christine sat up straighter in her chair. She -would- follow through with this. She would not let Raoul down. Perhaps her time with him had not been horrible, but he -did- frighten her. Not only that, but now she wore Raoul’s ring … Perhaps not on her finger, but it was still the same. Not everything in life was easy – she knew that just as well as anyone. This was simply one of those things that would not be easy, but had to be done. She would play her part, and when the time came, she would turn her back and leave with Raoul. She would. She had to.
//I’ll forget you
I won’t remember arms that pulled me in, soft and slow
I’ll forget you
there has to be a way to let you go!//
Against her will, her mind supplied her with that fateful day so long ago when Erik first revealed himself to her. She remembered his presence pulling her forward, softly, silently. And, somewhere at the edge of her memory, were the feelings of strong arms lifting her, caring her, holding her safe while she slept in a strange place far from anyone she knew.
//No more shadows
No dreams of leaning in the dark above you//
Christine shook her head, trying desperately to stop the thoughts that were plunging ahead, heedless of her fears. Her hands clenched into small fists as dark images – as though shrouded in shadow – of her and Erik together floated across her eyes.
//I will forget how much … I love you … anyday//
She sighed laying her head down on the vanity, using her arms as a cushion and staring at her image in the mirror without really seeing anything. It was true. She loved him. There was no way around that. She could lie to herself all she wanted, it didn’t change a thing, and she knew it full well. A soft sob escaped past her lips. “Now what?” she moaned absently. “Now what do I do?!” she asked, louder this time. “Ohhh…” she moaned again as the tears continued to stream down her cheeks and arms.
//But every time I close my eyes
You come to me again//
Closing her eyes, she let the tears fall freely. Instantly she saw him. He was there, standing before her, trying desperately to mask the pain in his eyes that was so plain to her.
//I swear I feel your touch upon my skin//
At the same time, she shivered as she was sure she felt something velvet brush against her shoulders. Erik and never come into her dressing room before – at least, not that she knew of, and she doubted he would do so now. Still, the thought of facing him now, when she was still fighting herself as to what to do – the thought frightened her terribly. She would go with him, she knew, and so she did not look to see if the caress on her shoulders had been her Phantom, or simply one of her imagination.
//You haunt me everywhere
Till I reach into the air//
Though she could not bring herself to open her eyes, she could not stop one tentative hand from reaching out slightly, unconsciously her body tensed, waiting for the final verdict as to whether anyone joined her in her dressing room or not. Nothing met her hand. Still, that didn’t mean that there was no one else with her, but she breathed more easily now. The chances were it was simply her imagination run away with her, as was it’s custom. Still….
//Trembling to think of
All the nights that might have been//
That slight caress, real or imagined, racked her body and her mind seized the chance to torture her further. It continued to supply her with images of her … with Erik … closer then they had ever been. “Oh!” she cried out, dismayed at the fact that those kinds of things were even lurking in her subconscious, let alone her conscious thoughts. She should -not- be thinking this way! Yes, she admitted that she loved Erik, but it was too late now. She had pledged herself to Raoul, both her hand and her help. She would still help him catch Erik. It would very possibly kill her to do so, but she must. And then, she would marry Raoul. So she should NOT be thinking these kinds of thoughts!
//I’ll forget you
I hear you whisper to me in the dark … still, I know//
His voice. A whisper reaching through her thoughts to tease her senses.
Christine stopped her tears with an effort and stood up. Walking to the mirror, she hit it with the side of her fist. “No! No more Erik, I have to do this. I must. Don’t you see? I -can’t- be with you. It just won’t work. I -will- do this.” She let her fist fall back to her side, turning her back to the mirror and whispered, “somehow.”
//I’ll forget you
God help me find a way to let you go
I do not want you//
“Please,” Christine whispered as she dropped to her knees, her back still to the mirror. “Please, God, help me now. Why must I be the one to do this? Why me? It all seems so incredible, this mess I’ve somehow unknowingly gotten myself into. I don’t think I can get out by myself. Please Lord. I only ask that you give me the strength to do what I must do. And please, please let me be doing the right thing.”
//And still you steal each breath I’m breathing from me
With just a touch, you overcome me
And I let you//
Once more her mind went to work. This time her memory tortured her instead of her imagination. Christine thought of all the times when she had seen Erik – white mask gleaming, black fedora tipped just right, velvet cape flowing behind each powerful stride. The site was awe-inspiring and more then a bit frightening.
Still – whenever she saw him like this, her breath would catch in her throat and she would find herself desperately trying to force her heart rate back down to a normal pace.
She thought of the few occasions when Erik had thought her attention elsewhere and had subsequently let his guard down momentarily. The look of hopeless adornation in his eyes had been on the same level of intensity as the look of pain and rage that had been there the night she tore the mask away and saw what lay beneath. She had had a much more difficult time finding her breath after that.
Gasping softly, her eyes grew wide as the thought of that soft caress across her shoulders came back to her mind. Her shoulders shook slightly with soft sobs and she looked back to the mirror. It lay silent and cold before her, yet with the promise of love and warmth beyond. That was it! Her choice was made! She knew what she would do.
//I will forget you…
When I die…//
Standing up, she walked without hesitation to the mirror, reached up and with trembling, but anxious fingers, released the counter-weight; which spun her into darkness. Fumbling with the lantern Erik had left there; she made her way swiftly down the path to her teacher, her angel, her love.
Raoul had wished her to betray Erik without a moment’s hesitation. She’d told Erik she would return to him, if nothing else, to say goodbye. Raoul had forbid that. Now the tables were turned and she repaid his kindness in like. *Forgive me Raoul, but I cannot, -will- not betray him for you.*
Her heart was light and her steps quick as she made her way down to the lake and her new life with her Angel of Music.