CHAPTER 1

Oh my, gosh, I thought. I couldn't help but feel every rock beneath my bare feet as I ran as fast as I could… Terrified, I knew if I got caught, it wouldn't be good. Papa was mad. Of course he was, I just warned Cosette and her father about my father. Where do I go? I thought. Suddenly, I saw the Opera Populaire come into view, and I decided to hide behind it… "Eponine!" No, not yet! Don't catch me, I silently pleaded in my head. I ran behind the Populaire, and saw Papa coming around the corner. I backed up and tried to flatten myself against the wall, but I knew it was too late. "Well, I finally caught up to ya, but you're gonna pay for that!" he yelled.

"Please Papa, don't do this!" I pleaded.

Then, I heard another voice. It sounded angry and terrifying at the same time. I didn't know whether he was here to hurt us both, just hurt Papa, or just hurt me. "Leave her alone!" it yelled. Papa spun around, looking angry.

"Who are you to tell me what to do?" he asked. That's when I saw him for the first time. He wore a black cloak and a black nice dress suit. I couldn't see his face very well, because he had a white mask hiding the right side of his face. Immediately upon seeing him, Papa froze. I knew he was scared, and (although I'd never admit it) I was too.

"Please, help me!" I pleaded with the man.

"Get away from her!" He yelled at Papa.

Papa actually started shaking, and he said "I'll get you later 'Ponine!" and left.

"Thank you," I said. He looked surprised. I didn't know why, but I also knew it wasn't my place to ask.

One thing I did want to know, however, was this: "Who are you?" I asked.

"No one knows my name, and I'd prefer to keep it that way," he said.

Confused, I responded "Why did you help me?"

"I have my own reasons for what I do, and it's not your business." He said coldly.

This man is different from anyone I've ever met. Certainly different from Marius. I thought. Marius, why did I have to think about him right now? "Well, thanks anyways." Suddenly, my curiosity got the best of me. "Why are you wearing that mask?" I asked.

"It is none of your concern," he answered. Then he grabbed my wrist and I couldn't help but gasp, and he looked at me as if he would strike me if I said anything else, and he took me to the beginning of the alleyway. "Alright," he began, running his free hand through his hair. "I suppose you won't want to go home, so go inside and ask for Madame Giry. Tell her he sent you. Then, ask about auditions. They are looking for new chorus members right now. Hopefully, you can actually sing, and I'm not making a mistake. Do not disappoint me." He said. Given no other options, I walked towards the opera house, and looked at the doors, silently reviewing what he told me in my head. Alright, here goes nothing.