Above the cellars that were under the opera house, a young ballerina named Antoinette was tossing and turning one night. She kept hearing the wind and strange sounds. Sounds that sounded like a baby crying. For an hour, this torture continued, before Antoinette gave up trying to sleep. She pulled on her slippers and her pink shawl and grabbed a candle.
"It better not be who I think it is." Antoinette sighed. She headed down to the kitchen and felt for the invisible door that she knew her friend went through. She had watched him and knew where the entrance was. If she had not known, she would have never even known that were was an outline in the wall. Stepping into the darkness, Antoinette was suddenly glad she had brought a candle. Before long, she was upon his home. When she spotted him she was in a state of shock. He was pacing around with a pink bundle in his arms. He was cooing at her, his cloak swishing every time he made a sharp turn. He bounced her a little and whispered, "Sh, it's alright, Brigitte, Erik's here." He then set the baby girl in a cradle near the fire and started to play his violin, ever so softly.
"Erik, what are you doing? I can hear the baby crying from up in the ballet dormitory!" Antoinette walked over. Erik scoffed, as Brigitte slowly quieted. Soon enough Brigitte stopped crying. A happy look was on her face. Erik smiled in triumph. Every time that she cried, he would play that exact tune and she would immediately quiet down. He had to have played it at least five times a day for the first three months that he had her. It had slimmed down to three now, four on a bad day. He put down his violin and picked up the baby and the bottle that was halfway filled with milk. He stuck it into Brigitte's mouth, as the baby drank, hungrily.
"Who is this and why do you have a baby in your home?" Antoinette demanded.
"This is Brigitte and I rescued her from dying on the streets, thank you very much." Erik scowled, as he held the precious bundle in his bony thin arms. She could tell that he seemed embarrassed. A cold hearted thirteen year old caring for a young baby girl; it made entirely no sense at all. "I can't keep her here much longer if you can hear her from above. They'll discover that I'm here. You have to take her for me. Raise her. I could never be a good Papa, anyways. She's better off having a loving mother than a devilish demon as a Papa." Erik gently thrust Brigitte into Antoinette's arms. He went to sit back in his huge chair.
"What am I suppose to tell everyone?" Antoinette demanded, bouncing Brigitte ever so slightly. Erik sat with his back towards her gazing into the bright cheery fire and replied, "Tell them you found her on the streets and give them some excuse to let her stay. She could be a prima ballerina or a prima donna when she's older for all we know. Tell some kind of believable lie. I can't keep her any longer." Antoinette noticed the hint of sadness and heartbreak in his voice.
"How long have you had her?" Antoinette asked, seeing the beautifully wood carved cradle. It had fine etches and details. It was obviously made by Erik. He had always had a talent for music, painting and working with his hands.
"About six months." Erik mumbled.
"You're thirteen and you've been taking care of a baby for six months?" Antoinette was impressed. "All right. Fine. I'll take her. But, remember Erik, you are now in my debt." She watched Erik nod. He stood and quickly opened several drawers and pulled out a velvet red bag. He stuffed several things inside, and gave it to Antoinette.
"There is one hundred-sixty francs in this bag. Give her ten francs on each of her birthdays. Tell her that her birthday is September 7th. And for you troubles, Antoinette, here is one hundred francs. Take good care of her." Erik handed Antoinette her money.
"Why September 7th?" Antoinette asked, curiously.
"That is the day I found her. Go now. Don't ever tell her about me." Erik gently pushed Antoinette towards the way back to civilization. Antoinette left Erik's home with Brigitte gurgling happily in her arms.
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