After weeks of looks, kisses, soft moments and an undeniable attraction between Dale and Mia the moment arrived she was waiting for. It was only three days before show time when Dale grabbed Mia after rehearsal and pulled her behind the curtain and kissed her. He tasted like Jolly Ranchers. Gravity brought her chest to his, pushing them both deeper into the folds of black curtains. This was not their first kiss, they had been kissing all week in rehearsal, but this was their first kiss as Mia and Dale. Dale whispered in her ear with hot Jolly Rancher breath if she wanted to go over Act Three Scene Five tonight at his house. Mia said “Yes! Yes! My sweet sweet Romeo.”
They barely got passed “With though be gone? It is not yet near day: it was the nightingale, and not the lark.” before they started to make love. Well, “make love” is a mighty grand term for what happens between horny teenagers in their parent’s basements. “They fumbled and awkwardly got their pants off” would be a better way to put it. Mia didn’t care. This was everything. The stars, the moon, the sun, the very air she breathed. She realized that even the great writers like Shakespeare barely scratched the surface of what love really is. A string of letters thrown together, no matter how beautiful, could never mirror what she experienced as Dale slipped inside her on his parents old couch in the basement for a majestic one minute and thirty-six seconds .
It was over. Dale turned cold, his shoulders pressed close to his head. His eyes could no longer land on hers.
“Maybe you should go.” Dale mumbled.
“I think the line is Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not be gone.”
“Right…. We’ll work on it tomorrow.”
This chilled her. She tried to reignite some warmth. She slid her hand down the pants he just pulled up. Dale grabbed her hand, perhaps too tightly, “Stop!” he eased, and then slid her hand away.
“This was a mistake. I have girlfriend.”
“What does she know about love?”
“Love?” Dale made a sound, something between a laugh and nervous gulp.
The next day before lunch, when Dale passed Mia in the hall, he barely made eye contact with her. In rehearsal the director Mr. Graham stopped the scene. “What happened? Yesterday we had Romeo and Juliet, now we have Romeo and Juliet’s first awkward date and Denny’s. Lets see some passion people!”
That night Mia was tormented by her bed sheets. A den of suffocating boa constrictors that coiled uncomfortably, strangling her. Everything that happened the night before looped in her mind. What had happened? After waiting everyday for Dale, quietly in corners of the school, meekly from the other side of the playground, he finally took her, and it was beautiful. Wasn’t it? Her mind raced and raced faster. Flickering between his hungry hands and his cold eyes. Each memories initial sweetness decayed to sour aftermath. Star-crossed lovers. That’s what they were. She knew Dale felt the same. Still in her nighty she escaped her bed of snakes. She snuck out of her house quieter than a mouse and ran towards Dale.
Mia had imagined it was supposed to be the balcony scene in reverse. Juliet professing her love to Romeo, but instead of a garden to a balcony it would be a lawn to a basement window. Mia scripted the scenario in her mind as she ran down the lonely suburban streets. She tapped on that basement window. Dale peeked out, groggy, and motioned for Mia to wait.
The next day at rehearsal Mia was nowhere to be seen. Mr. Graham and the drama dorks panicked. Christophe prayed that this might be his chance to step in as Juliet if it came to it. This would be perfect because deep down he wanted the role of Juliet from the beginning. Not only because it’s a better role than Tybalt or Romeo for that matter, but who wouldn’t want to spend an evening in the arms of Dale Hargrove. Dale was surprisingly quiet, not his usual jovial self. Like Christophe, he too hoped Mia would not show up.
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WATTY 2016 WINNER of the HQ Love Award! Strange Yarns is a ball of tangled tales. Twisted, knotted, and intertwined. Like Tales of the Crypt, the Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. Strange Yarns is not just a collection of ghastly tales, these are...