Sunday, April 15, 2012


Hi, I'm new here.  So apparently we're supposed to write once a week, here's my short epistolary.  (By the way, my name is Volanta.  More on that later.)

Diary of Juliet

"Where did everything go wrong?  It started the night of the ball, you guys know the story.  We met and fell in love at first sight.  Even now, I can tell you he is absolutely gorgeous.  But what good is absolutely gorgeous if you're DEAD?!  I'm just so confused over this entire scenario it's making me crazy.  Let's start off with some cold hard facts, it helps me with my thinking.
1.  Romeo and I were in love.
2.  Romeo killed himself when he saw I was "dead".
3.  I didn't kill myself over him.
4.  And I certainly did not escape my wedding for Romeo.

Let me explain.....I thought I was in love with Romeo, but after some serious thinking I realized how young and foolish I was.  Of course, still being young and foolish, I had no desire whatsoever to marry Paris, my god, of all the men in Verona, him?

So I chose some herbs that made me look and feel dead, my body cold to the touch.  When Romeo heard that I was "dead", he ran over to the tomb and drank poison.  Oh Romeo, why are you so idiotic?  My face was still rosy and my hands still slightly warm.

The one thing I can't understand is why he would kill himself over me.  I'm nothing special or pretty or amazing to look at.  He only knew me for two days, he doesn't know anything about me at all except my name.  Just like I don't know him at all either.

I wish I could have died.  Maybe it would have stopped our families from feuding but I simply cannot kill myself over someone I don't love.  I wanted to be so many things, I wanted my life to mean something, to have some worth before I died.

Right now, they're still at it.  Fighting like cats and dogs, accusing me of Romeo's death.  Calling me a wily vixen.  Now what did I do?

Nothing.  Nothing at all.

I just don't love him or Paris.  I love someone else and forgive me Romeo.  I refuse to say sorry because I am not but if you're reading this, forgive for making you go through all of this.  If I could change your mind I would have but it's too late to apologize."

"Romeo you're alive.  I can't believe it.  You took the same poison I did and looked like you were dead.  Now both our families are literally at each other's throats, people die by the minute.

You crawled up to my balcony again, and I didn't want to hurt you.  I didn't want to tell you I wasn't in love with you anymore but I didn't want you to die because of me either.

The guilt on my chest....would kill me.

I did the only thing I could.  I closed the doors and started packing.  I was going to run away from all of this with the man I really loved, Nathaniel.  I met Nathaniel the day after you supposedly died.  It was the first time I was forced out into public with my mother, searching for potential suitors.  I escaped, running down an alley and climbing onto the roof, only to find that he was there first.

"Here, let me help you up," he said extending his hand as I stood up from the windowsill right below the roof.

"Thanks," I replied, breathing a sigh of relief as I reached ground that both of my feet were fully stable upon. I sat over the side of the roof, kicking my feet into the air as I relaxed for the first time that day, not having to put on a mask.

"Don't do that, you could get in trouble," he warned with a slight smile on his face.

"Hah," I said, "Well, I've already gotten in enough trouble, something like this won't bother me at all."

"Mind if I join?" he asked.

"Go ahead, no one's stopping you."

I breathed in and out, trying to escape from everything.  Romeo's death, Paris's death, my mother's lectures and admonishments.  I could still hear her, telling me that since Romeo died, my standings in society would increase and I could find an even better man to marry.  I looked at her, disgusted, knowing she only saw Romeo's death for me like a prize, a reward.  I carried it around me guiltily, talking to him in my head every day, either yelling at him or asking him to forgive me.

He interrupted my thoughts, "What are you thinking about?"

"Just how I am probably the worst person in the world."

"And why would that be?"

"Because someone died for me."

"Ah, you're Juliet."

"Yeah, you've heard of me huh?"

"Everybody has.  It's been all over the city....Are you all right?"  I had put my hand against my head, sighing.

"I'm fine, I'm just overwhelmed.  I never wanted this to happen, I never wanted him to die or to kill himself for me.  I don't understand why this happened, how it got all out of control..." I trailed off.

"It's going to be okay," he said, letting me rest on his shoulder.  And for the first time that day, I believed him.  I didn't think of Romeo at all.  Nathaniel just talked to me about the pettiest things and for the first time I laughed and had a little fun.

I was happy.  So I ran far away from the crowded streets of Verona, where everyone chose a side, Montagues or Capulets and I was sick and tired of it.  I wanted away.  So away I went.

I'm here now, in an inn off the side of the road, writing into you as I am about to join Nathaniel for my night's rest.  Don't worry, we're actually going to sleep.  I'm exhausted.

Romeo made everything twice as dangerous.

Nathaniel take it all away.

I love Romeo, but never the way I love Nathaniel.  Maybe you understand that someday Romeo.  I'm writing this for you, I'm a coward to hide behind my written words, but I wanted you to know.  Please, go find Rosalind again or some other girl.  But not me.

Never me again.



  1. Interesting alternative storyline. Reminds me of something else about "R&J" I also read in the last few days that brought up how both those characters were teenagers (just barely, in Juliet's case), but the emotional irrationality of their teenage behavior is never really critiqued. Juliet's admission of her own foibles in this story is refreshing, and while the feelings of guilt and self-doubt she grapples with are timeless, sometimes I think her voice sounds a little too much like a post-modern teenage girl (words like "guys" and "huh" in particular feel a bit jarring).
    I think this piece might work a little better as a letter instead of a diary entry since Juliet sounds like she is fully expecting someone else to read it. Addressing it directly to Romeo might give it some more emotional weight and specificity.
    Good start.

    1. Thanks for taking some time to comment, I really appreciate it. It kind of made my day.

  2. Eric and I are kind of on the same page on this one. It was refreshing to see a different spin on the end of Romeo and Juliet. Is it weird that I could only envision the Leo-Claire Daines version? That aside pointing out how truly silly the story really is fun. I guess that's why you typically see adults (or at least older teens) cast in those roles.

    I was confused as to Romeos fate though. It is stated that he is dead and I guess I was confused when Juliet addressed him. I'll have to read it again sometime to be able to tell you that for certain.

  3. It might seem a little jarring to have that language, and sure you should try to make it professional- but on the other hand, none of us is ever going to be speaking the same kind of English Shakespeare was. Language evolves all the time. And I think writers can write really well when they use their own voice, and that voice includes a level of modernity, even if it seems funky. After all, I bet a lot of Shakespeare's language seemed funky at the time. I like it when a writer is honest about that, sometimes, and uses it. Other times it's not so good- like when writing is just clearly full of typos and grammatical errors, for instance, but if you can still keep up, as said, a professional level, with with depth and talent, I'd be one of those who would read it and like it.

    The plot did confuse me a little too, but yes, it's nice to see that Juliet make a different decision... I guess it's certainly less "immature teenager" to decide to live! And to go with someone she loves instead of someone her parents would force her to be with.

  4. The conversation between her and Nate came off as honest and organic, and made its mark as the piece's crux. The only thing I can say that hasn't been said is that there's some confusion over who this is for... if it's written for Romeo, why is the piece start with "Diary for Juliet?" Does she intend to send this, or is it for her own sake?