If there is a "*" You will need to read the book to understand this* if you can't find the book, e-mail me and I'll explain it…
Part II: The Man in the Man in the Mask…
Three weeks later…
This new kitten has changed my life… I would rather starve, than let my little companion go hungry one day…What can I give my only companion…No girl could ever love me…Except her…I'm sure of it…The collar!
Ayesha pranced around in a beautiful diamond collar that Erik had giver her. How fine she looked! She had lost, as Erik predicted, the sight of all her bones, but despite eating quite a lot of food every day, Ayesha was far from fat. So sleek, in fact, that when Erik had first tried the collar on her, it slipped right off onto the floor! But now she fit into it purrfectly. And she pranced around as if she was the Queen of Bangkok…
How I love my human! He lets me do exactly as I please. He was playing his lovely organ, and he stopped for a moment, I leapt up onto the bench beside him, and placed my paw onto one of the keys. He laughed and gently placed my paw back on the bench and said, "Not for you, Ayesha! I play the organ!" I put my paw on the organ and he picked me up so swiftly that I dug my claws into his arm. Then he waltzed around the room carrying me with him. He laughed again and sat heavily down on the couch with me and said, "You just wanted attention, didn't you?" When I looked down, he just smiled and said, "I'm almost done. Then I shall play with you, alright?" I purred and rubbed against him as I jumped down out of his arms, getting some of my cream-coloured fur onto his jacket.
"Ayesha!" he called, but I bound away before he could catch me. He lets me eat at the table with him. I am his only companion, and I even eat on his fine china dishes. They remind me of something…distant…there I go again with my memories…if only I could…remember… Yes…I love my human. And he loves me…
The next day…
Erik had just fallen asleep…a rare occurrence. Ayesha decided to roam the city for awhile because she slept most of the day. As she wandered around right outside of the Opera House, she felt something touch her. She whipped around and lashed out with a paw.
"Wait a minute, ma chere! Do not hurt me! I was wondering who you are and where you come from." The stranger Cat said, "I am Pierre…and you are…?"
"My name is…why should I tell you?" Ayesha said.
"Because I need to find out if you are a Jellicle,"said Pierre.
"And that would be…?"
"A certain kind of Cat, ma chere. But I must know your name. And how many of them do you have? "
"Well, since Erik gave me a new one, I suppose, I now have three… Ayesha... Mali... and… and… I can't tell you, for some reason...I'm sorry! I just…"
"Don't worry! It's is alright, ma belle! This means that you ARE a Jellicle!"
"So what if I AM a Jelli-whatever! What does that mean? Do I have special powers?"
"Non! Heheh… it means that you must attend the Jellicle Ball! And you are a kitten, so you must be taught! It is well I found you so soon!"
"When is this…ball…and where?"
"Meet me here tomorrow, about this time, and you will be gone late, so make sure your master is asleep."
"Goodbye, Ayesha, chere."
I often wonder now why my human wears the strange mask…why should he have something to hide? I don't understand…But I know now where I am remembering the gold colours from…from gold collars…something like mine… but my has diamonds…and where would I see so much gold? Ah, it still puzzles me…
Ayesha bounded into the kitchen where Erik was putting a new meal in a carved glass dish for her to try.
"It's the fashion now, my sweet. Rich ladies clamor for it…Why shouldn't my Ayesha have some? You shall have it. Here you go, chere," Erik said, placing the dainty dish on the beautifully carved black and gold table, "But I'll not be joining you, ma belle. I'm still not hungry," when she looked at him, almost reproaching, he added, "I will eat soon, ma poupee! If you had kittens, they would very well behaved from you strictness, ma petite! I shall leave you alone while you eat, chere…If you do not like it, just leave it… Please do not knock it to the floor, my little Empress!" So saying, Erik left the room.
When I finished the dish my dear little human had given me, I leapt off the chair and walked out of the tiny kitchen to the main room with the organ. Mon couer was working on his music…as always. I was tired, and I was going to take a nap in the middle of the floor. I wanted attention, but he usually never even looked at me when he was at his music. I stalked around the room for a bit, looking for a comfortable spot. His lap would have been nice, but should he forget about me (again! He's done it before…) he might jump up and there goes pretty little Ayesha, down to the floor. But my pride hurts more than the floor. No matter. At last I found my spot…A piece of his paper, fresh, and one of his last ones close by the organ, had dropped unnoticed to the floor. It would stop some of the coldness from the floor, and if he wanted it, he would have to notice me to take it. I would get my attention. But he could get the other paper in the other room. I found it and sneakily dragged it on top of the other paper. Then I stalked onto it and curled into a tight ball over it, refusing to let him take it without waking me up.
Erik wrote the last note and noticed that he had forgotten to get more paper to put near his organ. He got up, and noticed that behind him, Ayesha was laying on something in the middle of the floor. He took no notice, however, until he saw that the drawer where he kept the extra paper was open and the paper gone. "That little…," thought Erik, as he strode over to where the still small thief sat protectively on her parcel.
I know…she just wants more attention, that's all…well, I suppose it's my fault…I've given her everything she's wanted… Well I must have that paper, and if she means to fight for it, so be it!
Erik tried to gently pry Ayesha off his precious paper. Ayesha had other plans. As Erik picked her up, she held on tightly to the paper. Erik "not-so-gently" grabbed the paper out of her claws, and when she pulled it back he yanked it hard, which ripped the top sheet and put it on the table. Then he held her so that she had to look at him.
"I know you want attention, love, but you must let me have a few moments! Hey! Get back here!" Ayesha lept out of his arms and onto the table with the paper, sat on it again, and looked at him." Get off the table! Get back here! Ayesha! Fine! I shall leave you alone and purchase some more!"
Erik made as if to leave and Ayesha turned around and got off the paper and lept to the floor. She rubbed against his leg, and he said, "Ah! There, my love!" Erik nuzzeled her, and put her on a pillow on the leather couch. " You love me…I am nearly finished ma belle. Can you wait until then, chere? Bon." Erik took the paper off the table and walked over to the organ…
How beautiful and graceful he is when he walks! He is so dear to me! I would not let him go in a hundred years… I shall have to content myself with this silken pillow for now…but his lap is so much more comfortable…
Ayesha drifted in and out of sleep…
My eyes are beginning to hurt…I must take a short rest…If only I slept as well as my Ayesha…hopefully no nightmares tonight! Ah! My left hand! My arm! It hurts! It went numb! What is wrong?
The Ball! The Jellicle Ball! I had nearly forgotten! Oh when will he go to sleep? He must go soon! Oh! He almost has…
Ayesha lept into Erik's coffin, licked him good-night, and lept out again…
Ah! My sweet dame! Had she been my mother, my life would have been complete! I hope no nightmares tonight!
Erik tossed and turned as Ayesha stalked quietely and carefully out of the room. Fitfully he almost slept, but could never manage to get quite to sleep…
I can't shake these dreams…No! *SASHA! I can't...I...Help her! Someone! HELP Her! *
Erik woke up in a sweat. He shook his head a little to clear the memory of his nightmare, and realized that his face was unusually hot. He then realized he had left it on when he laid down. He fumbled with the ties at the back of his mask. When he finally got it off, he looked around, and realized that Ayesha was gone!
Where is my kitten? I fell that I…I need her! Where is my goddess? My sweet little angel? I…Oh!
Erik clutched at his chest as a pain racked through his chest, and then through his body. He groaned, and doubled over, and after a few minutes, the pain subsided a little. He breathed (he realized that he had barely been breathing when he started hurting!) but not too deeply, just in case. He gasped as the pain returned…