In ballet slipper feet, I stepped upon the Majestic Theater's stage. Bouncing on my toes, I pirouetted in a slow circle. An off-white sheet covered the giant chandelier, and I knew when the show began, it would rise up above the awed audience.
I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera when I was seven, and it defied belief I stood here now on this stage. My first performance was precisely an hour and forty-four minutes away.
Despite my dreams of performing Christine Daaé's role, I was only a chorus girl. I would settle for Meg, though.
Spinning around, hundreds of seats flew by, and I stopped. My skirt whirled around my ankles. I closed my eyes and sang a few lines of "Think of Me."
He clapped and emerged from the shadows. "Bravo, Violet. Well done."
I held my breath. "Hello, Erik. I didn't think anyone was here yet." The Phantom was talking to me!
Erik stepped behind me.
I could feel warmth radiating from him, and I blushed. When he touched my cheek, I felt I could die. My heart skipped a beat and then sped up rapidly.
"You should be Christine," he whispered in my ear.
I sighed. "Yes." Then, I opened my eyes and found I was still alone.
"Maybe someday." I twirled again, clearing my mind of foolish dreams of finding a phantom of wealthy patron to whisk me off my feet.
That's the thing about performing The Phantom of the Opera, I suppose, he truly does get inside my mind.