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Cardinals and Tornadoes: a remake of the Romeo and Juliet Bal
Setting: Paducah Tilghman High school football stadium, mid October. After big game between Mayfield Cardinals and Tilghman Tornadoes. Stadium lights on with only a janitor under the bleachers.
[Enter Romeo from over the north side gate in blue jeans and a red Cardinal hoody with hood up over baseball cap and carrying a black duffle bag, mumbling to him self]
Romeo: God, what a game. Wonder if anyone’s still here…
[Romeo looks around and sees someone in the from row of the bleachers, her face hidden by her hoody and ducks behind the wall. Romeo looks around again as Juliet is letting her hood fall back and off]
Oh man, it’s that Juliet. I hear that’s she’s the Tornado coach’s daughter. She’s so beautiful, I can’t believe it! Heck, I can’t believe that I can’t believe I kissed her at that party….God, what was I thinking? What AM I thinking? The team would kill me if they found out I did that, or that I’m starting to like her. After all the noise I made over Rosaline, miss prissy head cheerleader, this would just take the cake.
[Looks back over at Juliet, who seems to be in deep thought about something. Romeo goes back to hiding, crouched, behind the wall]
Why did I ever like Rosaline? She’s not even that pretty. She’s mean, snarky, and isn’t even that good looking. Anyone who finds her even remotely hot is a fool. Plus I hear she’s totally jealous of Juliet. I think they’re cousins or something. Is she looking at me?
[Glances up to where she is]
No, she’s not. Should I talk to her? Nah, I’m being too bold. But she’s so amazing. From the moment I met her, I knew she was kind and sweet and funny. She’s got such beautiful, clear eyes, almost like stars. There’s something about her that’s so compelling and perfect. They way she looks when she’s deep and thought. I wish I could be like that hoody and hold her close and warm…and WOW I sound like and idiot
[Romeo gives himself a head slap.]
[Romeo jumps at the noise and stands, still hiding, looking at Juliet]
She speaks. I didn’t heard her voice since the party, the base was pumping so much. Come on, honey, say something else.
[Juliet gets up and paces]
Juliet: Why? Why does he have to be a stupid Cardinal? Why not a Pirate or a Flash or even a Rocket? Anything but a Cardinal! But what does it matter that he goes to Mayfield or that he’s captain of the football team? Just because he’s the coach’s son…
[Juliet sighs and she sits down again.]
He’s still his own person. He just wears a red jacket and not a blue. It’s like a rose; just because you calling something by the name doesn’t mean it smells the same as the actual thing. Romeo is Romeo, no matter what color he wears. If he would just get rid of the colors and the name and the reputation, I could replace it all ten times over.
[Romeo jumps up from where’s he’s hiding and runs up the short steps, making Juliet jump up. Romeo hugs Juliet and spins her around]
Romeo: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I’ll quit the team tomorrow!
Juliet: Whoa, hold up! Who are you, bird-boy and why are you hugging me?!
[Romeo sits Juliet down, taking off his hood and hat]
Romeo: It’s me, Romeo.
Juliet: Where you ease dropping on me?
Romeo: No…Yes…. Maybe?
Juliet: How did you get in here? I thought the gates were locked all around.
Romeo: What can I say? I borrowed Hermes’ shoes and flew over the gate.
Juliet: What are you doing here?
[Romeo steps closer and cups Juliet's cheek]
Romeo: I came to think and found an angel.
[Juliet steps away]
Juliet: Are you crazy? If any of the team sees you, you’re a dead man, especially in those colors.
Romeo: Let them see me. I’d brave a hundred angry football players just to see you. I’d rather die with you than live without you.
[Juliet crumbles emotionally]
Juliet: I’d never let them see you.
Romeo: You’re worth the risk, Juliet. You’re something special…
[Romeo tries to hug Juliet but Juliet pushes him away]
Juliet: Just how many times did you get hit in the head tonight? We just met right before the game, where we, for some Unearthly reason, kissed, and now you’re coming here saying that you’d die for me. I’m not stupid, Romeo. I know how men operate. If you’re serious about what you’re saying, then stop using sweet words and prove it. Don’t swear to love me because that can be proved false. It’s one thing to fall in love with someone, but to truly love them takes time.
[Romeo manages to hug Juliet again. Juliet doesn’t step away this time]
Romeo: Juliet, I swear, by that big shiny thing in the sky-
Juliet: The moon.
Romeo: Right, the moon. I swear by the moon-
Juliet: Oh don’t swear by the moon! It changes. It’s like saying your love for me will change!
Romeo: Then what shall I swear by?
Juliet: Don’t swear at all, but if you must, swear on your jersey number.
Romeo: If that’s that you want, love-
Juliet: oh don’t swear. As much as I like you, this is too sudden, too fast. We’re like a lit match soaked in gasoline. We’ll burn out as soon as we start. I think one of us should go
[Juliet turns to leave and Romeo grabs her arm]
Romeo: You know you talk a lot?
Juliet: I’m captain of the speech team, what do you expect?
Romeo: Are you just gonna leave me here, unsatisfied?
Juliet: What satisfaction could you have?
Romeo: Give me your vow
Juliet: Romeo, I already gave you my vow, you just didn’t know about it. I wish I could give it again
Romeo: Why then would you ever take it away then?
Juliet: Only to be honest and give it to you again, and still I wish but for the thing that I already have. My treasure has no boundaries, just like the sea, my love is as deep as the sea; the more I give to you, the more I have, for both my love and the sea are infinite.
[Juliet grabs Romeo by the shoulders and shakes him a little]
Juliet: I love you, you dummy, more than you can every imagine.
[Romeo grins. Juliet’s phone goes off and she answers it]
Juliet: Hello... Yes, I’m still at the stadium….Ok, I’ll be out there in a few minutes….yes, MOTHER
[Juliet hangs up]
Romeo: You got to leave?
Juliet: Yeah, that was my…um…well my governess. She says my mom’s looking all over the house for me, muttering something about a daughter who’d rather be in a cold stadium than a warm mall.
Romeo: This can’t be happening…
Juliet: Count your blessings that I’m not wearing the quarterback’s jersey. Daddy and mommy dearest want me to out with Damon Paris.
Romeo: The jerk wad that nearly dislocated my shoulder tonight?
Juliet: The one and the same.
[Romeo pulls Juliet close again]
Romeo: I’d take him on again if it meant I could have you as my own.
Juliet: If you’re so serious about me, then let me wear your jersey.
[Juliet and Romeo both jump when a car horn honks]
Juliet: Coming! Crap, I need to go.
Romeo: Did she just call you Julie?
Juliet: Yes. That’s what my friends and family call me, since they think it fits me better than such a prissy name like Juliet.
Romeo: I like your name. It’s beautiful, just like you.
[Car horn sounds again]
Juliet: I’M COMING! [To Romeo] I need to go!
Romeo: Wait! Here….
[Romeo pulls his jersey out from his duffle bag as well as a small box and hands it to Juliet]
Juliet: What’s in the box?
Romeo: My class ring. I always keep in that box during games. I want you to wear it
[Juliet hugs Romeo]
Juliet: I will wear is proudly.
Romeo: Wan I see you tomorrow?
Juliet: Wes. I’ll text you after my dad leaves for golf and Mom leaves for the spa.
Romeo: My number’s inside the box.
Juliet: Ok, I’ll see you then.
[Juliet stuffs the ring and the jersey inside a duffle bag and runs towards the gate. Romeo follows and watches Juliet climb over the gate with ease]
Juliet: Yes, Romeo?
Romeo: I love you
[Juliet smiles and blows a kiss, then tosses her own class ring over the fence. Romeo catches it]
Juliet: I love you too.
Romeo: Sleep well, beautiful!
Juliet: You too, handsome!
[Romeo excites over fence on opposite side of the field. Field lights turn off.]