Four hundred years in the making, and now at a blog near you. “Romeo and Juliet II: A Sequel.”
Verona, Italy. September 19, 1507. A fine autumn day at Casa Capulet.
Mrs. Capulet, her hair gray from worry and sadness, rinsed the final plate from the feast the night before. It was hard to get good help, so she did much of the housework herself. Besides the work kept her mind off her dear Juliet. Stubborn girl, just like her father, and that stubbornness had cost her life. Beatrice Capulet swiped away the tears forming in her eyes.
There was a tapping on the back door. She went over and opened it. There stood Juliet in a bright Italian green bodice and red skirt. Mrs. C’s face went white.
“Mama, it’s me,” Juliet said and hugged her mother.
“Mama mia.” Mrs. C was stunned. She took her daughter’s hand to make sure she wasn’t a ghost. “I thought you were dead.” Then she moved away from her daughter and looked her up and down.
“Aren’t you glad to see me?” Juliet frowned, afraid her mother was going to reject her.
“I’m not so sure.” Beatrice dropped into one of the kitchen chairs, trying to recover from the shock.
Juliet went over and sat down beside her mother, then reassured her. “Romeo and I faked our deaths to get Papa and Mr. Montague off our trail. There’s a lot you can do with some fake blood, a bit of make-up, and sleeping pills. Friar Lawrence is a very good apothecary. Had you scared, didn’t I?’
“You sure did,” she said, looking over at her daughter. Then she eyed her daughter again.”You’re not one of them undead, are you?”
Juliet laughed. “Of course not.”
“We’ve been getting reports that they’re moving into the neighbor. Them and their coffins. Can you imagine?”
“Well, I’m not undead. I’m as alive as you are.”
Mrs. C gave a sigh of relief. “Your father is going to be furious. But he’ll get over it. You’re home, and alive, and that’s all that matters. Just where have you been these last six months?”
“Mom, I have some good news and some bad news.”
“Okay.” Beatrice was still trying to get a grip on reality. It was hard to believe that her daughter was alive. She had looked so…so dead in the casket.
“Romeo and I are married now.” Juliet showed her mother the ring. It was a good two-and-a-half carats.
Beatrice looked at the diamond. “At least, he gave you a ring you can be proud of.”
“And there’s more good news. I’m pregnant.”
“You’re not,” Mrs. C exclaimed.
“Am too. Feel the baby.” Juliet took her mother’s hand and placed it on her stomach.
“”You sure don’t look like you’re pregnant. I thought you’d put on some weight but you haven’t. Did I just feel a kick? How many months are you?”
“If that don’t beat all.” Beatrice’s face went into one big smile. She was going to be a grandmama.
“We’re calling her Muffin.”
“Muffin?” Mrs. C frowned.
“No grand baby of mine is going to be called Muffin.”
”That’s what we’ve decided.”
“You run off and marry that riff-raff of a Romeo. He doesn’t have a job. He knocks you up, and now you’re going to name my grandchild Muffin. I don’t think so.” Beatrice dropped her daughter’s hand and stood up.
“Oh, Mama,” Juliet gave her that million dollar smile of hers. It was the one that wouldn’t allow her mother to turn her daughter down for anything.
“I never could figure out what you saw in that Romeo anyway.”
“I fell in love with him when I saw those marvelous legs of his. There he stood across from me on the dance floor. His short trousers and leg stockings sent me to the moon. Only Papa has better looking legs than Romeo.”
“‘Tis true. Your father does have a fine set of gams.”
Beatrice needed a drink. She went to the cupboard and pulled out a bottle of red wine and poured herself a large glass. She downed the wine in one gulp, then she poured herself another glass.
“And I knew it was true love when I called from the balcony, ‘Romeo, Romeo, whereforth art thou, Romeo?'”
“You didn’t say that?” Mrs. C was incredulous. Such fancy, smancy language. ‘Whereforth’ indeed. She hadn’t heard that kind of language since she was a teenager some twenty years before.
“I did. What else would a girl say when she’s standing on a balcony, hoping her Romeo is waiting for her. Next to the garbage dumpster too.”
“Good point. Even if he is trash, he knows he’s trash. That’s better than some of them Montagues. Always putting on the Ritz.”
“You know what he said?”
“I couldn’t guess in a hundred years. What?”
“He didn’t mess around. He told me straightaway and in such plain language too. ‘I’m down here,’ he said. None of that flowery mumbo jumbo Paris is always throwing at me.”
“But, Paris, would have been a better match for you. He’s got a job and his father is loaded. Really loaded.” Beatrice had so hoped for a good marriage for her daughter and not to some trailer trash Montague.
“I’m no Helen and Verona’s no Troy. But Romeo is my Achilles heel. And he really loves me. Romeo even called me a saint. Can you imagine?”
Mrs. C knew her daughter very well. One thing was for sure. Her daughter was no virgin when she met Romeo. “I can’t. A saint you ain’t.”
“Then he called me a church. Well, not a church, but a shrine. Do I look like a shrine?”
“You do glow. That’s because you’re pregnant. When I was pregnant with you, I glowed in the dark.”
“And I called him gentle. We were like Edward and Bella. Only he is no vampire and he doesn’t sparkle.”
“So where is your husband now?” Mrs. C sat back down. ” Taking off and leaving my little girl on her own. I can tell you one thing. Your father is going to use those handsome legs of his to catch that boy. And when he does, there’s going to be hell to pay. Abandoning my precious little Juliet when she is in the family way.”
“That’s the bad news, Mom. He didn’t abandon me. Romeo was drafted.”
“We were on our way to hide out in Rome. The Pisans caught us and drafted him. They wanted him for their Pisa Party. Something about pushing the Leaning Tower up straight. So here I am. I need a place to stay until Romeo can come for me.”
“We’ll just have to get your daddy to buy Romeo’s release. That’s the least we can do for the father of my grandchild.”
Juliet smiled. It was true. Her glow was such a glow that her mother knew her daughter would glow in the dark too.
“Yes,” Juliet said. “There’s nothing like a Muffin popping out of the oven.”