“I see,” he said finally, but he had still not had adequate time to comprehend this news when Christine reentered the room with the very child in question. There was a horrible silence, and no one seemed willing to meet anyone else’s eyes. Before Elina could go to Christine herself – as she clearly wanted to – Erik crossed the room. It was their child, and if anyone would break the news to Christine, it might as well be him.. God only knew she had been through plenty of hell up until this point, mostly thanks to him. “Mon ange…” His voice was low, soothing; the sort of voice he had once used as her Angel. “The good doctor informs me that…Lovisa is blind.” Erik looked away from his wife, down at their little child, whose face he could not see, and he felt a great sorrow well up within him. He did love her, his petite ange, despite her uselessness. Was it his fault – his wickedness, his face – that she had been thus afflicted? Surely the Vicomte de Chagny’s daughter would not have to suffer this fate.
Blind. Lovisa was blind.
Christine blinked a few times, trying to get the thought in to her head. Yes, there had always been something…unusual about their child, but…but how could they possibly know? Surely, this was some mistake…a misdiagnosis perhaps? “No…” she said, shaking her head, “no…there must be some mistake?” She looked up at Erik, her eyes pleading. At that moment she was just like a child, begging to be told that it wasn’t so.
Holding Lovisa closer to her, Christine began to cry: her own child would never even know her mother’s face! Yes, perhaps she would never have to know that she looked…different from other children, but what if the day came where other children teased her? How could they possibly explain…? Not to mention that she would struggle to master all the most basic skills that children learn from a young age: walking, feeding and dressing herself…she would always require more attention and depend more on her parents for even these essential things.
This was her fault, it must be! If she hadn’t run that day, if she hadn’t bought her child in to the world when she was not ready…perhaps this would not have happened! Lovisa’s blindness was a punishment intended for her, she was sure of it.
Alrik and Elina sttod uncomfortably by the hearth, watching the scene before them. Alrik, diplomatic as ever, decided that now would be a good time for them to excuse themselves. “Erik, Christine…we will be be along tomorrow, and we can discuss your options for Lovisa then.” Tugging gently on his wife’s arm (for she clearly wanted to stay and comfort her friend!), Alrik lead Elina out of the front door and down the winding path to the village, leaving the little family in peace.