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Dear Juliet

January 14, 2011

Dear Juliet,


I love him.


It is what my heart is telling me – racing when our eyes meet, and aching when he’s gone. Every passing day, this endless play continues. Discrete glances, tension in the air, the despicable silence.

He loved me first, Juliet. We share only one class, Spanish, and he used to sit behind me. In the beginning of the school year, he grinned and flirted, kicking my chair while attempting to make conversation with me. I blushed and stared at the floor, unsure how to act with all this attention. But he has a certain charm; maybe it’s the spirited twinkle in his eyes or the music in his laughter that became utterly enchanting to me.

We started to talk after class. Soon, it became brunch, lunch and after school. Our conversations normally began with “How was your day?” or “What did you do yesterday?” and were usually flanked with periods of awkward silence, where none of us knew what to say. I’m an exceptionally difficult person to talk to. The truth was, I’d been intimidated by him. He’s popular, incredibly smart, and funny. I never had the nerve to speak more than two-word sentences to him.

That September night, we danced under the sparkle of the disco lights in the school gym. The memories still cling to me as I play them over again. The heated flush on my cheeks, the lightheaded sensation, my arms around his neck. My friends had kept prodding him to ask me to dance; otherwise I think he wouldn’t have. Still, it was one of the best moments of my life.

You could say our relationship swept forward. He added me as a contact on Gmail. We talked even more. I discovered he had a deeper understanding of life than most of the people I knew. During our cyber conversations, he’d sometimes reflect upon the world with Dan Brown writing or references from the TIME magazine. So, I branded him with the name “grasshopper”, for his thoughtfulness and intuition. The name stuck between our regular emails.

On the day before my birthday, he signed my birthday card after the last school bell. At the very end of his “letter”, he wrote the following:

HEY! You know what!

A blank space, then the underlined words:


I think I like you.

I just sat there, dumbfounded, though I had known it all along. He stood up and left. When I got home, I tried to think of what I could’ve said. None of the responses I thought of seemed right.

After Thanksgiving break, he didn’t reply my last email. Our chats became less and less frequent. I didn’t know why, and I was too nervous to confront him. There are things you regret in life, Juliet. That was one of them.

December came, and so did the next school dance. A friend of mine would always inquire, “Did he ask you yet?” My response was a blunt “No” each time. “He’s just so slow,” my friend would sigh. I didn’t feel like going to the dance, but I went anyway, propelled by others’ pleads.

Most of the time I sat on the bleachers, watching my classmates dance to the beat of Ke$ha. Honestly, I hadn’t felt like striking a dance move or maneuvering my arms to the robot. Playing with my house keys idly, I wondered whether I could still ditch the dance. That is, until he sat down next to me.

“Hi,” he’d said.

“Hi.” I had been very, very aware of his foot touching mine.

Silence.

“You look bored.”

“Yeah.” It was a stupid answer, I know.

More silence. The DJ morphed the song into Katy Perry.

“You didn’t talk to me for two weeks,” he’d finally said. So he counted too, huh?

“Yeah.”

How stupid could I have gotten? There he was, dishing out another chance for me to talk to him. But I’d let it pass my fingertips, knowing and unknowing at the same time. He didn’t talk to me again.

And I wonder now, what I could have done. Faked an illness, broken a leg, ace a Spanish test, just so he would talk to me? No. I should have talked to him. But I’d sat back and watched, being the observer in life I am. As of now, he’s moved on and has a girlfriend, who’s pretty and smart. Maybe I am jealous of her, but I’m not looking for revenge. There’s something sweeter and better than revenge. She’s happy, he’s happy.

On the rare occasion our eyes do happen to find each other, it’s the remnants of what was there before. The story of us didn’t end the way I thought it would. And there’s the hole in my heart.

Juliet, I can’t do anything now. You can’t help me. I write to you because I can. Today, I look back on the months I had with him and see what I could have done differently. What I should have done, and I learn from my mistakes. I wish I can change all this now. But it’s too late.



He was my Romeo, and I loved him last.



Join the Discussion


This article has 8 comments. Post your own!

lovelycheese said...
Feb. 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm:

Alright, guys. Sorry for the lengthy author's note. I was feeling particularly inspired to inspire at that moment, and I wanted to write something that I could relate to.

But the main inspiration came when I read my school planner. Yup. Off to the side, it had some interesting fact thing about letters to Juliet in Verona on Valentine's Day. I had just watched the 'Letters to Juliet' film then, and boom. Inspiration, quick as that. :D

However, I think I can still relate it to Tay... (more »)

 
lovelycheese replied...
Feb. 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm :

Oh, dang. I forgot to add:

Every year, thousands of letters to Juliet rain in from all around the world to Verona, hometown of Romeo and Juliet. The letters are from the lovesick, the heartbroken, the one who needs someone to pour their heart to. Juliet's modern-day secretaries answer it. Hey, if you're gonna send a letter, let me know if you get an answer.(:

 
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FayrouzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm:
This is sweet, but kind of cliche. I don't like how its almost boring. But that's not a personal insult! You can fix it by making it better! I think you can use some better word choice. It's not a bad storyline, but I just feel like I've read this 5,000 times before. Keep writing! I'm sure you'll make it better!
 
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TimekeeperThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm:

Wow, this takes me back to my younger years, if you could even call them that. You really manage to capture all of the different steps of courtship, but I particularly liked that you included the bit at the end about accepting and moving on. I tend to lose sight of that part in my work, and instead of having something optimistic I end up with something bitter and lonely.

I could definitely see this being developed into a short novel, though it is still perfect as it stands. :D

&... (more »)

 
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Hazel-daisy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm:
i really like it, i can think of a plot that this letter would fit into for a novel or something, i know its a short story but i really think you could develop it. Maybe you could tell the story from a girl(juliet) and she receives anonymous letters about love etc and this could be one...just a thought though and i do really like it as a short story!!
 
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Pandora118 said...
Jan. 23, 2011 at 9:27 am:
This was totally awesome. You definetly possess some skill in writting.
 
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CoffeeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 22, 2011 at 11:18 am:
That was so cute! I think it was really good, and there was a perfect amount of details. I could picture all of the scenes, and I even liked knowing what music was playing. some people might find that to much information, but I liked it. and the detail of his foot touching hers was just right. :) great job.
 
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lucybrown2010This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 22, 2011 at 8:03 am:

Aw, I love this!  It has just the right amount of description and the sentences flow so smoothly.

I especially liked the part of the story when Romeo wrote a letter to Juliet-

HEY!  You know what!  I think I like you.

I thought that was super sweet.  :)

Keep writing, I thought this piece was excellent. 

 
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