Play 0: Tragic and Tragedy

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"For what, I pray thee?"

"For your broken shin." I swatted my imaginary cape, looking both mad and high-mighty at the same time.

A loud click of the tongue echoed in the hall, sounding annoyed. "Stop! Cut! What are you doing, my dear Romeo? I told you, told you for more than seven times that you are not supposed to eye our Benvolio like that! How can you pass through the semi-finals acting like this?"

Letting an exasperated sigh softly, I countered, "Romeo's supposed to give him that look!"

"The point is, you are looking at him like he's an annoying creep!" Watanabe Satoshi, our drama club's director, hissed back, not wanting to back down on this argument.

"Hello? Benvolio's pissing Romeo off with his stupid poem thing. Anyone would get irritated!" I folded my arms impatiently.

"But not the creep part! Yes, he's annoyed." Satoshi's voice was raising second by second. "But he's the cousin of Romeo, not some insane stranger singing random lines at him!"

I threw up my arms, giving up on this argument. "Fine," I growled, rolling my eyes. "We'll do it again."

The person playing as Benvolio, Adachi Daisuke, patted my shoulder pitifully. "That's what it means to have a talent at this, huh?"

I brushed his hand away, looking as if I would strangle anyone right now. "That Satoshi...I may be a pro, but I'm not perfect." I glanced at him, and then ruffled his black hair playfully. "Don't be like me, Daisuke."

"No one can match up to you, my dear Jun-senpai." He made a huffing sound. "Ah, your fans are here to see you."

"Akamine Jun and Adachi Daisuke! Get your asses ready! Servant-san, you too!" Satoshi yelled, and we scampered to the back of the stage. "And...action!"

Daisuke and I waited for the servant to finish his part as we prepared to enter the scene. Several of my fans, who were watching below the stage, squealed softly, afraid to ruin the play.

"She's over there!"

"Oh my god, did you know that when she acts she's so charismatic...?"

I took a deep breath discreetly, closing my eyes as I entered the stage.

Daisuke, appearing to be very relaxed, said his lines, and it was my turn.

"Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that." I spoke the lines fluently, looking anywhere but Benvolio. I heard Satoshi letting out a satisfied noise below us.

"For what, I pray thee?" Daisuke asked curiously, his head tilted, and I almost believed that he really wanted to know what I meant.

"For your broken shin." Once again, I swatted my imaginary cape, as if really annoyed with him.

'Benvolio' looked astonished. "Why, Romeo, art thou mad?"

I spoke my poem as if singing a melody, and when I finished, the servant stepped up.

"God gi' god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?" The servant approached me as if in hesitation.

I smiled proudly. "Ay, mine own fortune in my misery."

Just as the servant was about to say his next lines, the school bell rang, indicating that all club activities should have already ended. I dropped my Romeo 'mask' as Daisuke sighed tiredly, excited to return home.

"Good job, Daisuke-kun. And you too, Jun." Satoshi rolled the script up as members rushed to keep the props.

I blushed, turning away. "Of course, I'm the pro here." I blurted without thinking.

Daisuke chuckled beside me, knowing too well that I was just embarrassed, but Satoshi didn't seem to notice.

"I can't wait till that day when you get rid of that arrogant attitude," he mumbled, and I let out a snort, returning to the back of the stage.

"Feels good when your crush praises you huh, Jun-senpai?" Daisuke whispered as several people passed us, yelling 'good job' to one another.

"Shut up." I nudged him hard in the ribs. He recoiled in pain, though grinning this whole time. We went to our separate ways to change back to our school uniforms.

A knock on the door startled me just as I was put on my coat. "Ah, Jun-senpai! Satoshi-senpai is looking for you." A junior peeped into my changing room.

"Where is he?"

"Upstairs, where the props are kept." She closed the door right after conveying the message.

I put on my bow as I walked out. Members of the drama club greeted me as they went, and I smiled and said goodbye. I walked up the stairs quietly, wondering why Satoshi was looking for me when a figure emerged from the shadows, half scaring me to death.

"Oh my god," I squeaked when I saw that it was the person playing as the servant just now. "You scared me."

"You ruined me," he mumbled, and for a moment I thought I heard him wrong. "How can a girl play as Romeo? Our drama club is doomed in the semi-finals." His eyes were mad, like insanely mad.

"Err..." I took a step backwards, a little afraid of what he might do.

He came closer, looking very agitated. "I want to be Romeo. I want to be the star of the play." He raised his arms to emphasize how much he desired to play as Romeo. "Instead, I got the role as a minor servant."

I gulped in difficulty. "Uh, maybe you could try for the Juilet role, you know?" I laughed hoarsely, my mouth twitching.

"Shut up!" He suddenly burst out, causing me to jump. "Shut the hell up! I don't want to hear it from you!" He charged towards me, and I backed away. Before I knew it, I was falling. Down the stairs.

No. No. No. No, this can't happen...I have to participate in the competition! I can't be hurt! I can't die--

I felt the back of my head colliding with the bottom of the stairs, and a sickening pain spread across my skull before I blacked out, my eyes in tears.

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