I was told to clear out of the room. Everyone who needn’t been in the room for the scene was forced out. I didn’t understand. Why was there such secrecy?
However I was curious to hear Lucy, a girl who doesn’t talk, could sing? It seemed impossible and completely confused me, but I was intrigued nonetheless.
I had just left the room and out into the blistering New York sun when my phone began to ring. Bob Dylan’s, The Times They Are A-Changin’ started to play.
“The line it is drawn, The curse it is cast, The slow one now, Will later be fast, As the present now, Will later be past, The order is, Rapidly fadin’, And the first one now, Will later be last, For the times they are a-changin”
I found this rather ironic as I looked at my caller ID to see my wife was calling…With a heavy sigh I pressed the talk button, “Hello?”
“Patrick? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for days. Why haven’t you answered me?” She was angry but this was nothing new.
“Renee I am doing a movie, you know that-”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t call me back” She snapped.
I ran a hand through my hair and sat down in the shade of a large building, “Why would I call back? So I can hear about what a lovely time you had with your, ‘friend’ last night?” I was being cruel but I was angry.
“Patrick stop acting like a child! I already have two of them”
I rolled my eyed at her comment, “Why did you call? I’m in rehearsals” Technically it wasn’t a lie.
She was silent for a minute, “Patrick…I-I want a divorce”
She might as well of slapped me in the face and tore out my heart. I stopped breathing for a moment but I knew this was inevitable. I knew it was coming. My mind immediately went to my children, “What about the boys?” I managed to choke out.
“We’ll work something out-” She began desperately but I cut her off.
“Nothing will be worked out Renee because this will ruin them! This will ruin their lives! Shit!” I buried my eyes with my free hand and groaned. I didn’t want my boys to suffer. I dreaded how they would react, would they blame themselves? Would they pick sides? What if it wasn’t my side?
“Patrick I think we’ve both known for a while now. I love you Patrick but I am not ‘in love’ with you anymore” she said and I rolled my eyes, what a cliché… “and I believe you feel the same. Am I right?”
I sighed and nodded even though she couldn’t see me and whispered, “Yes”
“It will be for the best…I know you love the boys, trust me, we will try and make it seem as nothing’s changed. But this is the right choice…we both deserve to be happy” she said firmly.
I could feel my eyes begin to swell with tears, “Renee I have to go”
“Are you alright Patrick? Is this wrong for me to ask?” she seemed concerned, but it wasn’t deep rooted and I began to wonder if she really did care…
“No just…I have to go, I have to work” I said quickly.
“Alright…we’ll talk later then. Bye Pat” She said quietly.
I sighed, about to reply but I couldn’t say those words. No I didn’t love her like a wife anymore but the thought of the heartbreak it would cause my boys was tearing me in two.
So I did not say goodbye and merely ended the call.
It took a second before I could manage to stand. I was pretty sure I was in shock. While I knew my marriage was over for a while now… to have it confirmed was such a shock. I quickly made my way back to my hotel room and locked myself in there for the rest of the day.
I felt as if I had made a deal with the devil himself.
I agreed with Andrew to sing as Emmy’s rehearsal replacement, my first mistake as I was now shaking with nervousness.
The room was now cleared except for Andrew, Joel, the filming crew and Gerard… Had it only been the first three I wouldn’t have minded so much but Gerard was there and I would be singing with him.
Oh the horror! What would he think of my singing? It was no-where near as good as Emmy? But I would be singing… in public. Around people. My palms became sweaty.
But what if we had to touch one another?! Oh god! That made my heart go into a sprint. I was not oblivious to Gerard’s physical features. While I maintained his eyes were the most appealing thing about him… his body was sculpted. And this was not something I could easily ignore.
The thought of his hands on me made shiver and become doubly nervous. And of course they would be making us sing ‘Beneath A Moonless Sky’
The fear that gripped me wasn’t just for the fact that I would be performing… but I would be making sounds. Speaking, singing to the masses. I didn’t do that.
I once again felt as if a hand gripped around my throat and was choking the life out of me, but I tried to remind myself that my fear was irrational. I was safe. I had said these words to myself many times, but it never erased my fears.
I sighed and tried to calm myself down as I pulled my hair out of its elastic, letting my brown locks fall around me like a curtain, it gave me some small amount of comfort as I felt I could hide. I tried to prepare myself. I hadn’t even spoken in front of Gerard before and now I would sing!
I felt small next to him. As if he could engulf my entire being in his embrace.
We started the scene off with myself in a chair and Gerard kneeling before me. I was curious to see who would be playing the piano as we rehearsed seeing as it was usually me… I opened my eyes from my position for a second to see Andrew sitting there with a good view of the set.
He gave me and encouraging smile. It made me calm slightly.
I could see Gerard was quite curious about this decision. As was everyone else in the room. No one knew what to expect… except for Andrew. Taking a deep breath I leaned back in the chair and closed my eyes in the ‘fainting’ position.
“Alright, positions!” Joel called out, “And three…two…one…action!”
The room became eerily silent as Andrew began playing from the specified spot.
I took in a steadying breath. I tried to tell myself not to be nervous and just enjoy it… no one would see this.
With that in mind I opened my eyes and jumped back slightly, staring at Gerard with fear and bewilderment. Taking a deep breath, I started to sing.
“So it was all an empty lie. One final lie to fool us all, to make your death our stories end. To put you’re your life beyond recall” I said looking away from him I bit my lip, as if this was difficult to say, standing up rapidly I twirled around to face him, pointing an accusing finger, letting anger infuse my voice, “How dare you try and claim me now! How dare you come invade my life!”
I stared at him with wild eyes and tried to focus on the moment and not the consequences… but Gerard remained quiet as he stared at me in absolute shock and I was brought rapidly back down to earth.
What was my line?
All coherent thoughts left my mind the second Lucy began to sing. It was the most exquisite sound I had ever heard! It far reached beyond any music artist I had ever heard!
It was almost unearthly and angelic. I could not describe such beauty in words!
I didn’t realize when the music stopped or the stares of the others behind me as they stood a gape as well. All eyes were on Lucy and that seemed to rather upset her as she shrunk back into herself looking uncomfortable.
However she only looked into my eyes as if I would yell at her for being awful when she was far from it, “Lucy…” I breathed; finally I was starting to regain myself, “That…that was…wow! I had no idea you were so…so-”
She winced and turned her face away looking at the ground.
I racked my brains for a word to accurately describe her voice… but I was left speechless! The only word that seemed to come close to her voice was angelic, but I wasn’t sure even that would suffice.
I continued to stare at her, absolutely memorized.
Andrew stood and addressed everyone with a stern expression, “Shall we continue on with rehearsals everyone?” He asked as if nothing had happened.
I cleared my throat and took position again. Lucy sung again, the lead in line to mine and I again lost myself in her voice. Whatever it was about it, brought me in deep and I found myself not merely wanting but needing to join her.
She was not playing Christine. She was Christine.
“Oh Christine, my Christine. In that time when the world thought me dead. My Christine. On that night just before you were wed…” I sung, staring into her eyes.
She turned around and went to the make shift piano, resting her hands on it with her head bent as if my words pained her. Slowly I began to approach her, “Ah, Christine! You came and found where I hid” slowly I placed my hands on the back of her shoulders, I had the strange need to be close to her and I stepped closer, feeling her body against mine was intoxicating, “Don’t you deny that you did, that long ago night…” I sung by her ear.
“That night…” She breathed and I had to close my eyes to compose myself before I continued, there was something so sensual about her voice…
I tightened my grip on her shoulders slightly, something I hoped she would write off as acting and not me needing to control myself. But I knew once she started to sing again, I would lose myself, “Once there was a night, beneath a moonless sky. Too dark to see a thing. Too dark to even try” my lips brushed the back of her ear and I closed my eyes and breathed in… the scent of her hair was intoxicating, it smelt like some exotic fruit and was driving me insane.
She stepped out of my embrace and walked across the other side of the room, over to the foot stool and I missed her presence immediately.
Placing a hand on the make-shift piano I turned to watch her out of the corner of my eye like a predator…
She had her hands on the stool as she sat, seeming to hold herself up as she confessed some horrible weakness or secret in her beautiful voice, “I stole to your side, to tell you I must go, I couldn’t see your face but sensed you even so”
I strode across the set quickly and knelt by her, I was drawn to her. The idea of her touching me, and I her sent shivers down my spine and I couldn’t help but feel slightly aroused, reaching out I placed my hand on her hip and pulled her towards me as she placed a smooth hand on the side of my face, “And I touched you…” she sung in that same sexual voice…
Between her voice and the lyrics, I was a lost cause and under her surrender.
“And I felt you-“ I closed my eyes for a moment relishing in her touch, her soft fingers caressed my cheek and I felt absolute bliss. My grip on her hips tightened as I pulled her slightly closer.
“And I heard those ravishing refrains” Our voices blended together and sent chills down my spine and I wanted more…
“The music of your pulse-“ She sang.
“The singing in your veins” I added to the dream I now wished to be true.
“And I held you-“
“And I touched you-“ My fingers ached.
“And embraced you-“
“And I felt you-“
“And with every breath and every sigh” Once again our voices met and intertwined in such a breathless sound.
“I felt no longer scared-“
“I felt no longer shy”
“At last our feeling bared. Beneath a moonless sky…”
She stood, slipping from my embrace. There was something commanding about her stance. A confidence and regal quality radiated off her. When I stood, even though I towered over her, she held her own as she stared up at me.
The world fell silent as she started to sing, her voice ringing throughout the room left me speechless. She began to walk, her head down as if she was thinking deeply.
I turned around to keep my gaze on her. I couldn’t take my eyes away from her, “And blind in the dark, as soul gazed into soul” she turned around, looking over her shoulder at me shyly, yet her voice rang with sincerity, “I looked into your heart and saw you pure and whole”
The way she stared into my eyes was hypnotizing. I never noticed before what beautiful green eyes she had.
I wondered if she felt the same. I seemed to forget where I was. Who I was! No, now I was the Phantom. She- this beautiful goddess before me -was my Christine and I would not have it any other way.
I was eager to reciprocate my feeling towards her, “Cloaked under the night with nothing to suppress, a woman and a man. No more and yet no less”
We drew closer now; we were almost in reach of one another. Only a few more steps…
“And I kissed you!” I nearly cried out as I reached out, gripping her forearms I pulled her to me.
“And caressed you!” her hands rested on my chest, she seemed hesitant… shy, I could see it in her eyes as she looked up at me through her lashes.
“And the world around us fell away. We said things in the dark, we never dared to say” There was tension beyond belief but it was not angry or nervous. It was pure-undeniable passion!
“And I caught you-“ I could feel her heated breath as we stared into one anthers eyes.
“And I kissed you-“
“And I took you-”
“And caressed you-”
“With a need too urgent to deny” my hands slid from her arms down, I racked my eyes over her body and savoured the feeling of her bare skin beneath my hands.
I could understand that need… as the need to touch her flared so strong it threatened to burn me alive, “As nothing matter then, except for you and I. Again-” I gripped her hips wantonly and she immediately gripped the material of my shirt tightly, as if over-come by a lustful memory, “-and then again, beneath a moonless sky…”
Our voices trailed away and I sighed. Taking a step back from her heated stare, something akin to hurt flashed in her eyes… as if she did not want me to go. To step away. I turned so she would no longer distract me and I could continue singing. What was happening to me?
I bowed my head for a moment and began the sad recall of ‘my’ foolish actions, “And when it was done, before the sun could rise. Ashamed of what I was-afraid to see your eyes…” I went to the make-shift piano and sat in the stool by it, placing a hand on the closed lid I sighed as my voice filled with hurt.
“I stood while you slept and whispered a goodbye and slipped into the dark, beneath a moonless sky…” My hands were now balled into fists as I recalled a painful memory.
She whirled around to face me, so she could show her anger towards me, “And I loved you! Yes I loved you!” she walked forward, stopping when she was just out of reach for me, “I’d have followed anywhere you led! I woke to swear my love” as she stared down at me the amount of hurt that filled her voice was heartbreaking, “and found you gone instead!” She was nearly crying now and my chest ached at the sight.
I had to plead with her! She had to understand how much I truly cared! How much I loved…loved her? No that cannot possibly be it is only the character! The song! Get a hold of yourself Gerry!
I nearly growled with my own annoyance, yet there was still that plead in my voice, a need for her to understand, “And I loved you!”
I reached out again, gripping her hips I pulled her to me.
“How I loved you!” she sung, her eyes closed as if in pain.
“And I left you!” I was angry-beyond words!
“Yes I loved you!” She told me once again though each time was nearly like a cold hard slap in the face.
“And I had to both of us knew why” I pleaded.
“We both knew why” She agreed somewhat reluctantly, placing a hand on my shoulder.
We stared at one another, I was unable to see anyone else, “And yet I won’t regret, from now until I die. The night I can’t forget, beneath a moonless sky…” Our voices rang out together one last time.
There was silence for a moment and all I could hear was her rapid and regard breathing.
“And now?” I was nearly shaking at this point. A mixture of fear for her answer and fear of rejection yet again, but the undeniable hope that rose in my voice took even me by surprise. What exactly was I hoping for?
She stepped back as if she had been electrocuted, “How can you talk of now?” she asked as if both shocked and horrified, “for us?” she closed her eyes for a moment as if lost in another world before she turned to me, pure anger radiated off her, “There is, no now!” she all but growled.
I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach as if my whole world had just collapsed.
Suddenly the music stopped and the lights, once again, lit the room.
Everyone was staring, which made me uncomfortable but I could not deter my eyes from Lucy’s. What had just happened?
She stared at me with an unreadable expression. For a moment, I believed she had experienced everything I had in that song. That she too might feel the same way… then Andrew spoke and she immediately turned to him.
“I’m not sure about the lyrics…” he said stepping away from the piano and looking down at a piece of paper, “do you think we should stick with the original or do the Australian one or discuss new lyrics all together?” he asked looking up at Lucy seriously.
That was it?! After a performance like that all he wanted to talk about was the lyrics?
I looked over to Joel and the camera crew who wore similar expressions of shock to myself as they stared at Lucy an Andrew.
The two of them were so casual; it was as if nothing had happened.
But something had happened. Something had changed within me. I watched as Lucy looked over the paper with Andrew, seeing her with whole new eyes…
Turning to him, she quickly signed something with her hands. Why did she do that? She could speak and chose not to? Why?
Andrew nodded in understanding, “Yeah, call Simon” he said simply before he looked up, acknowledging the others in the room, “alright everyone take five” he instructed before he turned to Lucy, “Explain to him what’s going on” he said seriously.
She nodded as she pulled out her phone, pressing a few numbers she pressed it to her ear, “Hello Simon, how are you?” she asked with a smile.
That was the first time I had ever heard her speak. I could hear her Australian accent, something I hadn’t noticed when she sung, “Yeah we’re having some lyric problems” she said.
Turning around, she walked over to the piano and began fiddling with some papers. She seemed determined not to meet mine… or anyone else’s eye. It was as if she was… embarrassed and ashamed.
What an enigma she was!
Marching over to the other side of the room, I stood by Andrew as he stared at a stack of papers. I stared at him with wide eyes; “she” I said pointing over my shoulder at Lucy, “is extraordinary!”
“I know” he said simply as he examined a paper, he said this as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Why isn’t she playing Christine?” I demanded, whether I was talking about the movie or the play I wasn’t sure.
Andrew sighed deeply and looked up at me, “I tried” he said, “when we were casting Love Never Dies in Australia, I begged her to take the role, but she wouldn’t” he said shaking his head as if still in disbelief before he turned back to his papers.
“Why wouldn’t she? She’s amazing!” I said glancing back over my shoulder at her, she was writing rapidly on a piece of paper with a smile on her face.
“She doesn’t like to speak let alone sing Gerard” said Andrew pointedly.
Suddenly, a question occurred to me; I turned back to him, “Why?” I asked. What happened to a person where they imposed a silence on themselves? What made them afraid to speak? What made them hide a voice as beautiful as hers?
Andrew sighed deeply, he gathered his papers and looked up, fixing me with a serious stare, “You were a little off on the first chorus, you need to work on that” he said sternly before he walked past me.
I frowned and watched him walk to the other side of the room and talk to Lucy. Once again I had the feeling I had touched on a sensitive topic, like when I had asked about Lucy’s Father… I wondered if the two were connected.