I heard a rustle behind me. I was so engrossed in my newest composition that I let it pass. I could hear the symphony in my mind's ear. The violins, violas in a fifth, the cellos providing a firm foothold for their chord, and…yes! the piccolo could flit lightly over the top. I took the feather quill in my hand as a conductor's baton, and I heard the sound, euphonious and perfect, absolutely perfect. Furiously scribbling, I wrote the chords and solo into the score I had poured my whole life into.
The gentle, almost elf-like sound of my love's voice, thinking aloud to herself, brought me out of my stupor. My heart leapt with scarcely concealed joy at her awakening. I had been so frightened when she had fainted, but my heart throbbed fast and strong when I beheld her: (h/c) sleep-tousled hair framing her still-drowsy face, and her white, gauzy dressing gown flowing gracefully behind her like the wings of a butterfly.
It was so strange and beautiful, this feeling that pounded in my blood when she was with me.
She turned towards me, her genuine, pure, sweet (e/c) eyes connecting with mine. My heart redoubled its furious rhythm and my whole body felt hot and unsteady.
Flushed and diffident, I turned my head back to what I knew was solid and concrete in my life: my music. Yes, I could be confident in that, even where I was so unsettled with this angel shining in my presence.
I heard her little feet padding softly on the ground, growing nearer and nearer to where I sat. My heart increased steadily in its gloriously painful throbbing as I could even feel the heat coming from her little form as she drew behind me.
My longing to behold my treasure overruled my fear and shyness. I turned my face toward her like a flower following the sun, my hair—dark as the eternal night I shrouded myself in--falling across the masked side of my face.
She smiled at me, curious and sweet as a newborn kitten. She looked so lovely when that look of wonder crossed her face. Curiosity burned in her eyes. It was so engrossing I hardly noticed her delicate hand coming towards my face, towards my mask.
Panic filled me as that hand came towards me. No! She cannot see my face! She could never love me if she saw that hideous visage the mask hid! All my careful and tedious plans would fall to naught and I would be left in solitude forever!
Fearful of my secret being revealed, I turned my face away from her hand and returned to my music, panic still thrilling in my veins.
"Why do you wear it?" she asked me, disappointment coloring her innocent words. Oh, that sweet, sweet little voice of hers! It set my stomach and limbs trembling, I could hardly hold my quill steady. She filled me so completely, so wholly with nervous longing.
I managed to keep my voice steady, not allowing her to hear my agitation as I faced her again, "As long as I wear this, you may think me handsome. In good time, I will allow you to remove it and see Kiku completely."
Her head cocked to the side like a bird's, curiosity's appealing light glowing in her eyes once more. "Kiku? Is that your name, Angel?"
I smiled wanly at her. "Yes. That is the name I have given myself."
I had never told another person my chosen name, not even Madame Giry. It felt nice to trust someone, to rely on _________'s confidence. My soul felt much lighter for it.
She turned away for a second, and began to walk back to the chamber I had prepared for her. Heart still aflutter with the painful ecstasy she incited within me, I felt lyrics come to my head--just word-- rather than notes and chords.
I began to scribble furiously. I had to put these feelings into some sort of permanent form, beyond my ephemeral thoughts.
'Past all thought of right, or wrong. No use resisting…' my quill moved as a sentient and separate part of my body.
That was when I felt it: her hand lightly resting upon my shoulder.
My breath snags in my throat. Her hand travels--her touch lighter than thistledown--to my hair. I feel her run her hands through it, languidly, unhurriedly, lovingly.
I begin to melt at her slow and gentle touch, my will becoming as melted wax: pliable and flowing where directed. My eyes are lulled closed by this blissful touch as I lean into her caresses, wanting more.
I am hungry for contact. I am starving for kindness.
Never before have I felt this human.
Before now, touch was something to be feared. Touch from any human was the touch of anger or disgust: a slap, a kick, a touch of hatred. Now, I thirsted for it as I have never thirsted for anything before. Oh, that I could remain like this for eternity!
Her hand creeps down to my cheek, and my whole body quivers with newly-excited longing, almost desperation. She is truly an angel from Heaven, this pure little fairy that works her sweet madness upon me now.
I feel her hand dangerously close to mask, but I don't listen to the warning bells that ring. I ignore them.
I leave myself at her mercy and kindness.
A sudden breeze hits the right side of my face as she tears my mask away and reveals the twisted, deformed face beneath.
I hear her scream, and in fury, I lash out at ______ in her infidelity.
Inside, I weep.
No one, not even an angel of God, could love a demon as hideous as me.
I am doomed forever.