This was inspired partly by The Phantom of the Opera which is about a young misunderstood man who...
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“That’s ridiculous! He’s like the ugliest one in our class!” Meg Butler snorted, laughing. The small bow of her lips gave her the pretty complexion that I always wished I had. She was the pretty one in our family with her beautiful flaxen straight hair and dark brown eyes that brightened in the sunlight. Her skin has ivory white and she didn’t even have to wear makeup to look good. I, on the other hand, had uncontrollable dark curly hair and dark green eyes that were hidden behind my worn out glasses.
“Oh come on, Meg. Give him a break. He is the nicest one in our class by the way.” I laughed, blushing. I was the brains and heart of the family. My name is Evey Christine. I was adopted into the Butler family a few months ago. They had warmly welcomed me into their family, letting me share rooms with Meg, their only daughter. Meg had been excited to have a friend to always hang out with her. She was always criticizing my taste in clothes though. I wasn’t bright and flashy like her. I liked over-sized t-shirts and jeans while she wore high heels and short skirts. I was at the top of my class while she, well, wasn’t the brightest light bulb on the rack you could say. Even with our differences we managed to become the best of friends. We were having one of legendary sleepovers … again.
“Evey, he’s ugly, end of discussion.” Meg shook her head,” I would not be caught dead with that loser.” Meg was very “picky” with her guys. They had to be able to carry her bridal style, be a good kisser, and drop-dead handsome. So typically, they had to be Prince Charming. Who, if I remember correctly, doesn’t exist?
“You’re so mean, Meg.”
She shrugged then there was a short silence, which wasn’t uncommon with us. We both had a tendency to not know what to talk about. It wasn’t awkward it was just we led pretty different lives. She suddenly jumped up next to me in my bed, lying on her stomach.
“Tell me about your childhood friends. I want to know how you grew up. We spent all the last sleepover talking about mine now it’s your turn.” Meg smiled giddily.
“I grew up in a small town two hours away from here called Wichita Falls. It was a very small city compared to Fort Worth. I was born in the Red Cross hospital-“I began but Meg cut me short.
“No. Tell me about your friends. Who did you have a crush on? Tell me about your love life!”
“Well, umm… I had a small crush on the principal’s son Leo Wilson. He and I had known each other for like all of our lives. He was in my grade and always in my class. He was cute, smart, and funny. We were like best friends.” I smiled shyly looking down at the pillow. He had been the only one to actually be my friend.
“Did you ever tell him that you had a crush in him?”
“No, but he always came over to my house to hear my father play the violin and tell stories of Little Lottie, who was supposed to be me. Leo would call me his Little Lottie.” I smiled softly at the memory. It always warmed my heart to think about him.
“That’s cool.” Meg grinned. “Was he cute?”
“Drop-dead gorgeous.” I giggled, using her voice to say it.
“I do not sound like that!” Meg laughed, throwing a pillow at me. I ducked and it went sailing past me and crashed into her closet. We heard a crashing sound and looked over at it in alarm.
We jumped from the bed and ran over to see what had broken. I hope it wasn’t anything expensive because then I would feel super horrible. I groaned as the feeling already began to arise in me. What if it was something so valuable that her parents would get super mad?!
I looked down and Meg sighed in relief. Why was she sighing in relief?! There was a smashed glass box in front of us. The invisible pricks of shards reflected around the closet giving it a disco kind of environment. There were a bunch of pictures splayed across the floor. I bent down and curiously picked one up. Then I froze at what I saw.
It was a picture of a young boy with eye-length dark brown hair and light green eyes. Or at least eye. He had an eye patch covering his right eye and he had a sour look on his face, in contrast to Meg, who was smiling like a fool to the camera. She was wearing a pink tutu and pink shirt with a crown leisurely set upon her head. It must’ve been Halloween or something of the sort.
“So is this the guy YOU liked when you were younger?” I teased, holding it up for her to see the picture. Meg looked at the picture and smirked, yanking it away from my hands. “No, this is my brother Erik.”
I looked over at her in surprise. Brother? Was he in college now or something?
“He ran away, if that’s what you’re wondering.” Meg sneered as she bent down to pick up the remainder of the pictures. I quickly kneeled down next to her and began to pick them up with her. In all the photos, Erik had his eye patch or some half white mask on. He seemed to be angrier and angrier by the picture.
“Don’t you miss him? Why hasn’t Mrs. Butler done anything about this? Surely your parents could do something about this.” I handed over the small pack of pictures.
“Erik was weird. He was born with this half face that looked like it was burned. His right eye droops and all on his right side looks burnt. It’s disgusting.” Meg belched, as she threw the cards into the trash. What? How heartless was she?
I quickly snatched the pictures from the trashcan and slid them in my journal.
“Don’t you care about your brother at all?”
“He was ugly.” Meg shrugged. “You know how much I detest hideous things.”
“Meg! How can you say that?!” I exclaimed, folding my legs underneath me as I sat cross-legged down on my bed. I grabbed the glue stick from my backpack and began to paste the photos into my journal. Erik sounds interesting, with his masks and dark looks. He would be a great muse. “You don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“Well, let’s take a look at the contents. Erik had a strange fascination with sad things: Paintings, music, writing. Everything had to be dark. He was super smart but it was not normal.” Meg shook her head as she slipped under her covers and leaned towards the lamp. “Do you need it?”
“Yes, and also I think you just never took time to see what he was really like.” I nodded. “His inner self. I mean, come on, no human can really be that bad.”
“Whatever; don’t stay up too long. We have school tomorrow.” With that final comment, she turned her back towards me and her breathing began to slow down. Once I saw that she was asleep, I quietly slid out of my bed and grabbed my backpack. My sleeping schedule was different from everyone else’s. I didn’t need nor want more than 4 hours of sleep. It was 10:41 p.m. so I had like around… 2 hours to myself. Finally.
I tiptoed out of the room and weaved my way around the security routes and managed to find my way to the backyard, which in all honesty reminded me of the so called backyard in The Secret Garden. It seemed to have come out of a novel the way the garden was always, which Meg and I had designed personally. This was one of the few prides I allowed myself. It had taken months of persuasion to convince Meg to let me help in designing.
I quickly sprinted up the steps and swung open the door. Meg and I had designed it to where it looked like the awesome treehouses seen in the movies. There were couches, T.V.s, refrigerators, computers, laptops, and much more. Meg’s parents were rich!
They owned the Etrange Company, which made billions of different things that included toys, make-up, and things I couldn’t even pronounce.
I went to my desk and set my notebooks down. I always made sure it was cleaned up after using it because I just hated having a messy desk. How could I focus if I had a bunch of trash surrounding me? I wouldn’t be able to concentrate.
I opened my notebook to the next blank page. It seemed so bare and boring it was a beacon calling me to make a masterpiece on it. I picked up my pencil and began to draw.
My father, my real father, had told me I had been gifted with the main arts. I could dance decent, write pretty good, draw good, and I had a wild passion for singing. I often interchanged in between all of them. My father had told me stories about Little Lottie, the girl who was taught by the angel of music. I had often pondered upon meeting the angel. I laughed softly as I remembered how Leo and I would play act the story of Little Lottie. We were amazing actors, which ended up being a good thing and bad thing. We would sometimes go to class and pretend we were super angry at each other and absolutely everyone fell for it. They had been worried and the teacher had to get involved because we were becoming too violent verbally. In the end we admitted our little façade. There were other times that we pretended to be hopelessly in love holding hands and snuggling under the tree in the playground. All the other girls would get jealous of me and try to flirt with Leo but he always kept them at arm’s length, making them all the madder with me.
“I’m going mad.” I muttered to myself as I put my pencil down and looked down at my creation. It was just like all my other drawings that I had zoned out on. It was the legendary drawing of death in a suit. I knew I should’ve never seen Meet Joe Black at age 11. It such a great movie though; I sighed romantically, intertwining my hands.
“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. I say, fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head, and you listen to your heart. And I'm not hearing any heart. Because the truth is, honey, there's no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all. But you have to try, because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.” I quoted from memory. How wonderful would it be to have my father say something like that? I didn’t mind though. He had given me plenty of other quotes that were more meaningful than that one.
“You’re a Meet Joe Black fan too?” I heard an amused voice say above me. I froze in shock and my head shot up to meet a pair of abnormally emerald ones inches from me. I almost screamed had it not been for his hand and my sudden recollection of why those eyes seemed strangely familiar. It was… it was the Butler boy. I almost burst out laughing at my nickname.
“Don’t scream. I’m an excellent getaway and I rather highly doubt that I will get in trouble, but you… you I think aren’t supposed to be here.” He said in an amused tone. I looked at him. His raven hair was upside down so I had no idea whatsoever if his hair was straight or wavy. He had a white mask on that covered his forehead and eyes and nose. It looked like the cheap ones you could buy at dollar tree but once I looked closer I could see the intense detail put in to make it just perfect for his face. His luminous olive eyes seemed to be studying me in the exact same way I was examining him.
I nodded in response to his implied question. He slowly uncurled his fingers from my mouth then I whispered, “So are you the Butler’s son?”
“No.” He replied sharply. His voice practically hissed. “That is past. I am Erik Désavoué. I am owner to myself and I am above life but below death. I am a fantôme, a ghost that has come back to avenge itself.”
“Jeez, you’re a romanticist.” I smirked trying to hold back a laugh. All his passion quickly dissolved from his eyes and he blinked in surprise. Then he dropped down to the ground and though he tried to maintain a serious face, I saw his lips quirk up in a repressed smile.
“Pray, do tell. Whatever do you mean?”
“Passionate anger to those who have disowned you, and now in your righteous anger you have decided to take Karma and Fate’s roles upon yourself like the worthy hero.” I mocked as I held a fist chest-high. I almost blinked in surprise as I suddenly realized how comfortable I felt around him.
“How is Harry Potter any different?” Erik countermanded. “Didn’t he want to defeat Voldemort just to avenge his parents? Had he been another boy, he would not have cared so much about his role as the so-called chosen one now would he?”
My mouth fell open, giving him the privilege of having a reason to smirk. Surely he didn’t plan this? He couldn’t have! Yet... how was his speech so perfectly executed that even I am rendered speechless.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover, Evey.” Erik smiled smugly, answering the question that must have been so clearly expressed on my face. My attention snapped back onto his demeanor.
“I was never judging you. I was simply surprised and taken off-guard.”
“You contradict yourself. Why were you caught off-guard? Surely that is a sign that you thought less of me.”
“It is midnight and I’m quite exhausted from the day’s weary work.” I lie.
“Liar.” Erik smiles as he sat sown in one of the plush sofas that were stationed behind him. “You have an irregular sleeping pattern, giving you the ability to sleep less than the average human.”
“Stalker much?” I muttered as I sat down on one of the stools next to the kitchen counter. This guy could beat anyone in a conversation.
“Besides watching you and Meg talk about childhood memories and abnormalities about yourselves? No.” He gave me a wicked grin. He stood up and sat across from me.
“You were there the whole time?!” I screeched, my eyes widening in partial shock and partial embarrassment. Oh God. I’ve now been humiliated in front of the only person to ever render me speechless.
“Nah, I only came in during the part where you found her hidden photos of me. I heard what you said, and I want you to know that it meant a lot to me.” Erik replied softly, his eyes seemed to hold a puerile sparkle in them for a few seconds before he regained his aristocrat attitude. I had to hold back a laugh as I suddenly realized he had let down his cool façade to show his sincerity. I was losing my touch.
“Oh, it’s nothing. Anyone would’ve said that.” I blushed, as I momentarily took off my glasses to clean them. They weren’t really dirty; I just needed something to avert my eyes from meeting his gaze.
“No they wouldn’t. Most friends would’ve laughed it off, but you… you stuck through for what was right.” I could feel a speech coming on already.
“Erik, seriously it’s no big deal.” I insisted, placing my hands flat against the limestone counter.
“You don’t understand, Evey. You literally risked your life for the righteous, even if you did it unknowingly. Meg could’ve at any moment complained to my-her parents about your behavior and bam! It’s off to the streets with you.” Erik explained, waving his hands as gestures. His eyebrows creased together in his refilled passionate image.
“Oh, jeez. Thanks. Now I really want to defend your honor again.” I commented sarcastically.
“And as a repayment for your noble deeds-,”
“You really don’t have t-“
“I will become your Angel of Music.”