I thought about Juliet some more.
I wondered what she would have done if Romeo had left her, not
because he was banished, but because he lost interest? What if
Rosalind had given him the time of day, and he'd changed
his mind? What if, instead of marrying Juliet, he'd just
I thought I knew how Juliet would feel.
She wouldn't go back to her old life, not really. She
wouldn't ever have moved on, I was sure of that. Even if
she'd lived until she was old and gray, every time she
closed her eyes, it would have been Romeo's face she saw
behind her lids. She would have accepted that, eventually. I
wondered if she would have married Paris in the end, just to
please her parents, to keep the peace. No, probably not, I
decided. But then, the story didn't say much about Paris.
He was just a stick figure – a placeholder, a threat, a
deadline to force her hand.
What if there were more to Paris?
What if Paris had been Juliet's friend? Her very best
friend? What if he was the only one she could confide in about
the whole devastating thing with Romeo? The one person who
really understood her and made her feel halfway human again?
What if he was patient and kind? What if he took care of her?
What if Juliet knew she couldn't survive without him? What
if he really loved her, and wanted her to be happy?
And... what if she loved Paris? Not like Romeo. Nothing like
that, of course. But enough that she wanted him to be happy,