"I have an announcement to make." Erik declared, gaining everyone's attention.
It was the day after the graduation. Erik and Antoinette spent the night at the Giry's and the next morning Raoul and Christine had come over to spend the day there. It was now dinnertime and everyone was seated when he called everyone to attention.
"I didn't want to say anything to anyone until I could have you all together. So not even Antoinette has heard anything about it." Erik began, sending his friend a grin as she sent him a fake offended look. "As you all know, I have been working on a musical for quite some time—"
"Oh my god! Did you finish it?!" Meg interrupted excitedly.
"Hush, Meg and he'll tell us." Mrs. Giry disciplined her younger daughter, though her tone was gentle.
Erik let his grin turn into a smile. "I not only finished it. I have sold it."
It was dead silent, Erik didn't mind it, because he enjoyed taking in all their shocked expressions. It didn't last long.
"WHAT?!" Multiple voices demanded and he laughed.
"The theatre I work at bought it. Mr. Stilgoe plans on starting the production next season." Erik explained, loving how everyone wore slackened jaws.
"Darling, this is fantastic news!" Mrs. Giry praised.
"Anything done by you is sure to be a hit!" Mr. Giry added. "We'll be the first ones to buy tickets, just you wait."
Everyone else said their congratulations to him, though Antoinette threw in a punch to his arm with hers for him not telling her about it.
"I guess I should share my news now as well." Antoinette stated once every one had quiet down again. "I got a spot for the traveling ballet group that I had auditioned for."
Praise and congrats went around again. Erik felt ecstatic that his longtime friend got the spot. He knew that they would be crazy to not have taken her. They have proven their sanity to him.
Yet, he felt a little pit in his stomach. Antoinette would be gone again, traveling the country while he stayed behind. Again. He was happy for her, no doubt about that, but he'll miss her greatly.
Something must have shown on his face, because Antoinette sent him a sad grin but she also had a glint in her eye which made Erik frown in confusion.
"But I'll be leaving behind an empty apartment." She continued her grin turning mischievous. "Plus our third roommate had moved out recently so Erik's the only one living there."
"Antoinette, where are you going with this?" Erik demanded not liking where this is going.
Antoinette grin bloomed into a smile. "Christine. Raoul. How would you like to take me and Toni's place our apartment?"
"What?!" Erik gasped, even as he heard Raoul let out a whoop.
"All right! Yeah, I'll definitely go for that!" Raoul exclaimed punching the air with his fist once.
"I love the idea." Christine stated thoughtfully, but had a frown. "But could we afford it?"
"You'll probably get a refund from the school after the semester begins, that should cover at least a few months ever semester. I recommend getting a job though, if you're serious." Antoinette recommended. "What do you think Erik?"
Erik groaned and slammed his head onto the table. "I think I'll be dead by the end of the first semester."
"Now, don't be so negative!" Antoinette sang cheerfully. "You need roommates, and what better ones then the two who love you?!"
Erik just let out another groan and refused to speak after that.
Later that night, after Christine and Raoul had left, each giving Erik a short but sweet kiss on his cheeks in goodbye, him and Antoinette laid in her bed facing each other.
Erik had his eyes close, attempting to fall asleep but Antoinette had other plans.
"Erik?" she whispered.
He hummed to let her know that he was awake but didn't open his eyes.
"Do you still think you're a monster?"
His eyes shot open at that. He tried to make out Antoinette's expression but it was too dark to see it, even at their distance.
"Where did that come from?"
He watched as Antoinette shrugged. "I guess, I've been thinking about it lately but never got the occasion to ask. With Raoul and Christine wanting to be with you after you gave them a fixed time, I feel like now was the best time to ask. They love you, as you are, how you are. And they are not the only ones. Well, maybe love you that way but—"
"I get it." Erik interrupted softly.
"So?" she probed.
Knowing she was not going to let it go until he answered he thought about it.
Always he had felt that he was a monster because of his face, one that even a mother couldn't love. But as time went by, sure he had people like Joseph Buquet think of him that way but he also had people like the Giry's, who never flinched from his appearance. Mr. Khan and Mr. Webber, and later on Mr. Stilgoe who looked behind the mask and saw genius. Toni, who had helped him grow to know himself and all the staff at the theatre he worked in who encouraged him in his creativity and scolded him out of fondness never out of malicious intents.
And then there was Christine and Raoul. Two who believe themselves in love with him. With him. Never had he thought it would be possible for one person let alone two to gain such feelings towards him. He believes in their sincerity now. He made them wait thinking that by the time it was over, they would have gotten over him. But no. Instead he told them to wait and they did.
Maybe he didn't have the love of his mother, but Erik decided that it was okay. Because he had realized that he had gained many others along his life to replace that love a hundred fold! Ones who he can return such affections and he wouldn't be rebutted for it.
Erik pictured everyone he knew cared about him in his mind.
They were his family, they were not related by any means but when has that matter? Family didn't begin and end in blood and he had found his without it. It just took him a while to realize it.
He had a home.
Deciding on his answer, Erik opened his mouth and answered his longtime friend.
"No. I am not a monster." He whispered firmly. This time, for the first time in his life, he believed it with all his heart.
Okay, so that's the end of it. Hope my readers enjoyed the ride. Since it's over I would love to hear what your thoughts. You can tell me something general or if something was your favorite part and/or chapter. Did you get mad or laugh at the character's sake? Let me know with a review.
If you like this one, I'll be happy for you to check out my other stories. I have one other completed POTO story and one that's in progress.
Thank you all for reading!