"All right," I panted when I got to the stage, "I may sing to-night."
"Wonderful!" Mme. Giry waved to the spotlight. "Go ahead."
I stepped up into the spotlight. It was bright, and it was hot where I stood. I didn't know how Carlotta stood to stay in it for even a minute."Andre, this is doing nothing for my nerves," I heard Firmin mutter.
"No worries, Firmin. It will be fine," Andre assured.
I didn't want to dissapoint my teacher and the people who counted on me to sing tonight, so I took a breath and began to sing. I tried to make it sound as humble as possible, but the managers and the actors and the dancers all crowded closer, trying to hear more. Only Mme. Giry stood, and she was smiling, proud of me.
Before I knew it, I was in front of the Opera audience. I wore a white dress with beautiful snowflake designs on it, my crystal necklace showing. I had white flowers in my hair, and I felt like I was flying. I felt that my Angel was smiling down on me, giving me confidence and courage.
When the Opera ended, I went back to my dressing room. Mme. Giry followed me, trying to keep the crowd of admirerers off my back.
"No! She takes no... Augh! No!!" She slammed my door behind me and hugged me. "You did very well, my dear." She handed me a red rose with a black ribbon tied on the stem. "He is pleased with you."
She left, and I was alone. I set the rose in my empty vase and straightened it out. Then, I went over to the pillar candles I lit every night for my family. I lit the wicks and kneeled on the floor in prayer.
Suddenly, I heard the Voice from above calling to me. It sang, "Brava... Brava... Bravissima..."
I smiled, glad that I wasn't alone. Then, my door opened. A man walked in. I didn't recognise him at first, but then I knew who it was.
"Little Lotte, let her mind wander!" Raoul chuckled. "Little Lotte thought, 'Am I fonder of dolls or of goblins or of shoes? Or of riddles or of frocks?"
"'Those picnics in the attic?" I added to the recital.
"'Or of chocolates?" Raoul kneeled next to me.
"'Grandfather playing the harp-" I began.
"'-As we read to each other dark stories of the North?"
"'No, what I love best,' Lotte said, 'is when I'm asleep in my bed and the Angel of Music sings songs in my head!'"
"Oh, you sang like an Angel to-night," Raoul wrapped his arms around me in a hug.
"Grandfather said, 'When I'm in Heaven, my girl, I will send the Angel of Music to you'. Well, Grandfather is gone, Raoul. ANd I have been visited by the Angel," I trembled excitedly.
"No doubt of it. And now, we go to dinner," Raoul stood up.
"No," I said. "The Angel of Music is very strict."
"But you must! Surely you must! It has been so long since I have seen you," Raoul contradicted.
"But the Angel would disapprove," I concluded.
"Listen: You must change, and I must recover my hat. I shall come for you in two minutes!" With that, he stode out of the room, closing the door behind him.
"Raoul! Oh no..." I groaned. I rushed to the door and locked it. "Things have changed, Raoul!"