So my lie two weeks ago? Number 3. Never auditioned in LA for pilot season. Everything else was true. 😀
Ah. Romeo and Juliet. How I loathe that play. It’s not at all romantic. And I’ve always been really curious about why my professors and teachers all insisted it was a love story when I suspect very, very strongly it’s actually about something else altogether. BUT. I’m supposed to write an ending here, not deconstruct the illusion that there’s something romantic about two idiot teenagers committing suicide after their first few sexual encounters with one another.
Romeo studied the still, silent face of his beloved. Almost, he believed he could die just from the searing pain in his heart. But no. It kept on beating. Kept on aching. It should have been impossible with Juliet dead. His fist clenched on the vial of poison. He’d take it. Swallow it and join Juliet in death. But first.
“Let me hold you one last time,” he murmured, drawing her limp form into his arms. Cradling her against his chest, he slid down the cold stone wall of the crypt until he sat on the floor, crooning meaningless, broken words into her sweet-smelling hair. His tears wet her face.
She sighed and snuggled closer.
He gasped. “Juliet?”
“Hmm?” Her eyes opened, but her gaze didn’t quite focus on him.
Laughing while still crying, Romeo hurled the vial of poison away. He kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her hair and finally, when she lifted a hand to brush the moisture from his face, her lips. And tasted the remnants of something bitter. He drew back. She met his gaze no reservation in her eyes.
“You got my message,” she said.
“What message? Juliet. You feigned death.”
“For you,” she said, pulling free and sitting up. “You could have taken my body out into the fields for burial. I would have returned to consciousness and we could have escaped. Together.”
He blew out a trembling breath and glanced at the dark stain his shattered bottle of poison had spill across the far wall. “This is unbelievable. I thought you were dead. I meant to die, too. So we could be together.”
“Don’t you ever do that,” she demanded. “I love you. I will love you whether I live or I die. I couldn’t bear to have you destroy what I love.”
“Then live,” he said. “For I love you more than I love the shattered life that is left to me. I can offer you nothing. No security. No luxury. Nothing of what you so richly deserve – a home, a life of laughter and ease.”
“We are prisoners to hate that is older than we are,” she noted. “I, for one, am tired of it. I have been for some time, but it wasn’t until I met you and learned to be daring and to take risks that I decided I wouldn’t stand for it anymore.”
A smile grew unbidden on his face and he stroked her hair. His body trembled when she leaned into the caress. “You are my lawfully wedded wife. I want what is best for you. I fear I am not it.”
“You are,” she said. “I gladly forfeit my inheritance, for the money is tainted by the feud between our families. I will have none of it. Get us out of the city. Then we’ll go to Cinqe Terre. A friend is building an import/export business there. She wants me to draw her products so that she may show her wares in distant cities without having to travel with them. It will not be luxury. But we will not starve.”
“Work?” Romeo said. He grinned and rose. They were alive. She wanted him. More than she wanted a life of pampered comfort. “I suppose at worst we know I could become a soldier.”
She took the hand he offered. He pulled her upright. “None of that,” she chided. “You’re promising to live for me. No soldiering. Have you considered teaching dance to young noblewomen?”
He laughed. “Let’s get out of here.”