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Let the Wars Begin

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After being scolded by her mother for not “acting as a true Capulet woman,” Karen sat in her bedroom thinking about her “perfect” family. Compared to other families that’s what she had. Or at least that was what she was reminded of everyday. Just because they were wealthy, her mother assumed they were the perfect family. Karen could care less about the money and knew well enough that her family was far from perfect. Their family never had fun with each other and only cared about their reputation and money.

She thought about what her mother meant about a true Capulet woman. Was a true Capulet woman supposed to be captive in her own house, wait on hand and foot for a man, and only leave the house to run errands? Karen was lonely. She was homeschooled by her mother, so she didn’t have any real friends. She could have befriended some of her neighbors but she found them snobby. Her parents definitely didn’t allow dating and if they ever did, they would have to be Capulet material.
“Karen! Let’s go!” her brother called, interrupting her thoughts. Reluctantly, Karen got up and was walking out behind her brother Braden.
When they were almost to their destination, Braden broke the silence saying, “I’m sorry about Mom.” After only getting a grunt in reply, he added, “She is just looking out for you. She wants you to do well in everything, especially cooking no matter how much you hate it.”
Karen looked up at her big brother, he was always trying to give advice or comfort her in someway. As much as he tried to understand, he would never know what she goes through while he is away at school. Always being told that she had to do this or do that. He got it easy; he was the favorite. It seemed like the boys always were. Her cousin Jacob included. No matter how much trouble he caused, it seemed that he couldn’t be touched. She on the other hand always had to be fussed at or scolded or sent to her room for doing something wrong.
As they rounded the curb, almost at the bakery, Braden noticed a fight surrounded by a group of boys and took off running. It took a minute for Karen to understand what was going on. Running to catch up with her brother, she noticed her cousin Jacob with a bloody nose, and a smaller yet tougher-looking boy on the ground breathing too hard, with a couple of scratches and bruises on his face, and something silver in his pocket.
Braden was in the middle of the two and Jacob was yelling accusations at the boy. “He stole my money! He’s a thief! He pickpocketed me and you can ask anyone here!”
“I never took your stupid money!” the boy replied.
Jacob tried to charge at the boy again, who jumped up and stuck out his fists. Once again Braden intervened trying to calm them down. “I didn’t take his money,” the boy replied again, much calmer this time.
“Well who took it then?” Jacob asked.
“I don’t know and I don’t care! I didn’t take it,” he said again.
“You’re such a poor loser! You know what? You can have the money! I got plenty more,” Jacob spat.
Turning back to the boy, Braden told him, “You’d better get out of here.” Then turning back to Karen he said, “Let’s go,” and started heading for the bakery with Jacob on his trail.
Karen hadn’t moved. She didn’t get out much, and this was kind of traumatizing for her. She felt sorry the boy. She was sorry for what her cousin had said; sorry that this boy had to deal with hotheaded rich kids like her cousin. She was surprised that Braden hadn’t helped the boy the way he tried to help everyone else.
When she noticed the crowd that had been around the fight had left, and that her brother and cousin were inside the bakery, Karen walked up and offered her hand to the boy that was still lying on the ground. He took it and helped himself up. When she looked into his eye, he looked shameful and embarrassed. She wondered was he embarrassed because of the fight, or because of what Jacob had said. “I’m sorry about my cousin.” She said
“Yea well don’t be because I don’t need your sympathy. You’re all the same. You look down on people just because you got money. You waste money when other people who need it don’t have it. Some people can’t even afford the things they need because of people like you.’
“If I was like them I would have spat on you too and not helped you up! If I was like them I would have already told them that I know you took Jacob’s money anyway because I can see the coin he marked in your pocket. If I was really like them, I would run and tell them that instead of offering to help you clean your bruises.” Then without saying another word, Karen reached into a pocket on her dress and took out napkin that she hadn’t used yet. She walked over to a public water fountain at the side of the bakery and wet the napkin. She returned to the boy, reached up to his face, and began to wipe the bruises and scratches with a wet napkin.
Before she got to the last scratch her brother Braden came running out to her screaming, “Get away from him Karen!”
Karen didn’t know what to do, she had never heard her brother use that tone with her. He had always been nice to her. She just looked at him, as he continued running. “Get away from my sister!”
“We didn’t do anything!” Karen yelled. “I just wiped his bruises.”
“Everybody knows that people like him pickpocket Karen! How do you know he didn’t steal from you! Get away from him now!” Jacob yelled.
“Hey what’s going on here?” said a round older looking man coming from the tool store across the street. “Sammy what’s wrong with you? Why you looked busted up and what’s with all this yelling you kids doing out here?” He said looking at Braden and Jacob.
“He pickpocketed us and now he’s trying to do the same thing to my cousin!” yelled Jacob.
“Dad, I did not! I didn’t touch that boy,” Sammy defended. Then turning to Jacob he said, “Your cousin came to me and touched me!”
Karen was again too shocked to defend herself and say that she was only being polite. But she didn’t have to say a word because Braden spoke up saying, “How dare you talk about my sister that way?!” Then Braden started charging toward Sammy.
The man stepped in and said, “Don’t you dare touch my boy! My boy doesn’t lie!”
Then as if things couldn’t get any more complicated two large boys came running out of the tool’s store to the man’s aid. One of them said, “You better back up boy! Or we Montagues will have to show you the hard way! Don’t worry Dad, we’ll show them. We don’t let rich folk push us around!”
That night as Karen lay in her bed, she thought about all that had happened. She still couldn’t believe that Braden and Jacob had gotten into a fist fight with the two Montague boys. She had been in such a shock that when her father had walked up from the hospital where he worked, she couldn’t do anything but run to him. After telling him everything that had happen, her father sent Jacob and Braden home, and told Mr. Montague and his boys that they would soon be hearing from his lawyer. Karen replayed the events in her head. Then, hoping that this would all end soon fell into a dreamless sleep.



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