Tinman’s weekly camera-less attempt at the WordPress Photo Challenge…
She went down to the river to where they always sat, sure that she would find him there.
He was sitting on the bank gazing moodily out across the water. She kicked off her shoes and sat down beside him. They sat in silence for a while, their legs dangling into the water. She tried to slip her hand into his, but he pulled it away. Eventually she looked at him. His eyes had followed his thoughts to somewhere deep and dark, somewhere a million miles away.
“Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” she asked, softly.
“Wherefort I am,” said Romeo, “is wondering why would you take a potion that made it look as if you were dead.”
“Ok,” admitted Juliet, “it does sounds silly when you say it that way -”
“Is there a way of saying it where it doesn’t?”
“No, but Friar Lawrence thought -”
“This was Friar Lawrence’s idea? You’re taking romantic advice from a celibate cleric?”
“Well, yes. He told me that Paris would think I was dead and would leave, and we could be free to be together.”
“Good plan. We could hang out together, and whenever we met your Dad I could say ‘It’s Ok, Mr Capulet, I’m just dating your zombie daughter’. He hates me enough as it is.”
“He’s just being protective,” said Juliet. “He didn’t like any of my other boyfriends either.”
“Boyfriends?” said Romeo, staring at her. “How many have you had?”
“Four,” said Juliet. Romeo kept staring at her, till her gaze broke. “Seven,” she mumbled.
“Seven?” said Romeo, sounding so shocked that Juliet was glad she hadn’t said thirteen, which was the real figure.
“What about you?” she retorted. “I keep hearing about what a Romeo you are.”
“What’s a Romeo?” asked Romeo.
“Um, don’t know,” admitted Juliet, “but never mind that.” She looked directly into his face. “I heard you took poison,” she said.
Romeo looked embarrassed.
“How come you didn’t die?”
“I barfed it straight back up,” said Romeo. “The thing they don’t tell you about poison is that it tastes like poison.”
“Why did you take it?”
Romeo looked even more embarrassed. “Well,” he said, “I thought you were dead.”
Juliet hugged her knees in glee. “That’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.”
Romeo shrugged. “I just was so – I just couldn’t face – I just didn’t want to live if…” he said, with the eloquent brilliance of any man forced to talk about his feelings.
Juliet sighed. “Mum says we’re a pair of star-crossed lovers,” she said.
“What does that mean?”
“Not sure,” she said. “It must be something to do with you being an Aries and me being a Gemini.”
“What we are,” said Romeo, “is a pair of neurotic basket-cases.” He looked at her and the shadow of a beginning of a smile crossed his face. “I suppose we were made for each other.”
Juliet grinned to herself.
They sat in silence for a while, their legs dangling in the water. She tried to slip her hand into his. This time he took it.