I am not Shakespeare. I am not Evanescence. I love them both very dearly and hope they will not sue me, because that might seriously undermine my liking for them (then again . . . if Shakespeare pops out of his grave to sue me, I might be a little flattered, because that would take some kind of crazy effort).
Consciousness came back to me slowly. I felt a tingling warmth in my limbs as my blood began to flow again. My head felt heavy and thick, much worse than waking from simple sleep-- the Friar had lied. The first sense I possessed was hearing. I could hear the crypt around me, the water dripping off stone walls, the hollow whistling of wind within the cavernous hollow of the tomb. Gradually, I opened my eyes, allowing my heavy eyelids to lift and reveal the dim light of the Capulet monument. First it was only light, then it faded into actual visuals of the carved ceiling above. I swiped my deadened tongue around the inside of my mouth. It was completely dry, tasting faintly of the sickly-sweet potion. I parted my parched lips and sucked in a deep breath, my lungs filling fast with the air so long vanished from within them. My chest heaved and I was lifted slightly, coughing and hacking as if I would die from such a life-giving thing.
I heard the Friar's voice. "The lady stirs," he said nervously, as if to someone else.
I pushed myself up, feeling the still-slow blood quicken with the fast motion. I sat teetering on the end of the cold, hard bier, my back aching from the uncomfortable sleep, my head swaying with lack of breath and blood. Yet still I could make out the Friar standing with Balthasar, Romeo's servant. Romeo was not there, but his man was. "Oh, comfortable Friar," I said softly. "Where is my lord?" I peered around the tomb, seeing only graves and sheets and biers-- one a bit bloody, that made my already-weak stomach heave-- Tybalt's. "I do remember well where I should be, and there I am. Where is my Romeo?"Give me a reason to believe that you're gone.
Friar Lawrence stared at me as if I were a ghost. There was a sudden clambor outside the chamber, and it made him jump. "I hear some noise," he said, eyes wide as a cornered animal. He beckoned towards me, "Lady, come from that nest of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep."I see your shadow so I know they're all wrong.
He looked up at the ceiling, but I knew he was not looking at the carvings. "Some greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents." He beckoned again, consolingly, but in great anxiety. He even came forward and seized my shoulder, pulling me, as if trying to keep me from seeing something over my left shoulder. "Come, come away."Moonlight on the soft brown earth,
I tried to pull away and see what it was he was trying to hide. His fearful countenance was making me frightened as well-- the tomb, the bodies, the noise . . . I wanted out. He pulled and pulled, trying to bring me along. Where was Romeo? Why was Balthasar here, and yet not my husband? My mind was spinning; I had still not quite woken up. It was too much. I struggled; I wanted an explanation. I wanted to know what was going on. The Friar sighed and let drop his arm from my shoulder. He pointed to what was hidden.It leads me to where you lay.
"Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead, and Paris, too." He motioned to my side. There he lay. Just beside my bier, flat on the floor, his chest still and his lips pale.They took you away from me,
He was dead.But now I'm taking you home.
I could only stand and stare, feeling as if the blood had once again stopped within my fragile body. His was equally frail, now: motionless, lifeless, gone from Romeo . . . I couldn't believe it, it couldn't be true. I tore my arm from the Friar's grip and flung myself on him.I will stay forever here with you,
I wrapped my arms around him, tilted his face up towards mine. He couldn't be gone, he couldn't be. We were going to Mantua together. I had woken up, he was here, the Friar was here, the plan had worked.My love.
His body did not yet feel dead. It was heavy, but warm. I could have sworn I still felt blood flowing through his veins.Those softly spoken words you gave me:
My husband couldn't be dead. We had been married only three days."Even in death our love goes on."
I stared into his perfect face. I knew he was gone.Some say I'm crazy for my love,
The Friar came and touched my shoulder hesitantly. "Come, I'll dispose of thee among a sisterhood of holy nuns. Stay not to question, for the watch is coming." He was panting. His soft touch changed to fearful shaking. "Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay."Oh, my love.
I stared down at the face of my Romeo, no longer even aware of his pleas and shaking. He was waiting for me, he was right here beside me.But no thoughts can hold me from your side,
I flung his hand from my shoulder. "Go, get thee hence, for I will not away!" I cried. Oh, my love.
I would not leave him, ever.They don't know you can't leave me.
The Friar took one last pitying look at me and scarpered.They don't hear you singing to me.
I pulled Romeo closer to me. He was all I had left now.I will stay forever here with you,
I pulled back from my love, surveying his body. How had died? How had we come so close and yet been thwarted? My eyes fell on the reason.My love.
"What's here? A cup closed in my true love's hand?" I felt my heart catch. "Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end."Those softly spoken words you gave me:
I lifted the cup, gingerly pulling it from his stiffening fingers. It was empty. I could not even go with him. "Oh, churl!" I whispered, feeling tears coming to my eyes. I scolded him, as if he were alive, willing him to be so. "Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after?""Even in death our love goes on."
I had to go with him. He couldn't leave for anywhere without me, not Mantua, not even the beyond. There had to be a way. "I will kiss thy lips," I choked. "Haply some poison yet doth hang on them, to make me die with a restorative."And I can't love you anymore than I do.
I pressed my lips to his, kissing him, longing to feel the push of his lips back, the movement of them beneath mine. I seemed to come close; his lips felt alive, not yet cold and dead. I wanted them to come to life beneath mine. Nothing came. I forced harder, as if I were trying to breathe life back into him, give him a piece of my soul so that he would live, or, at the very least, allow him to suck out mine for me so that he would have it and I would not have to die alone.
"Thy lips are warm," I breathed.
I drew back, still as alive as ever. I tasted no poison; I felt no killing draught. I was alone again.
"Lead, boy. Which way?" There was more noise, growing nearer, from outside the tomb. It was building; the Friar had done well to run off.
I did not have to worry about escaping.
"Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief."
I looked about Romeo for a cure, an escape. I saw his dagger, tucked into his belt. It would serve.I will stay forever here with you,
I raised the knife, trying to aim the point at my most vulnerable middle. Would it hurt when I died? Would I linger on? Could I kill myself in one stroke, one breath?My love.
Would I see Romeo when I died?
Those softly spoken words you gave me:
The knife was so sharp, so unnatural to be thrust into my human skin. I was afraid-- and yet, nothing could stop me now. This was the only choice."Even in death our love goes on."
I took one last, loving look at Romeo, determined to make him the last thing I ever saw.And I can't love you any more than I do.
"Oh, happy dagger, this is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die!"
I thrust the knife into my middle, feeling the forceful ripping my flesh and tissues. I was stabbed in the stomach; my insides constricted. I felt myself falling forward as a hot wetness issued over my hands, still clutching the knife. I held it there, held it fast, and forced my eyes into my love's face. He was so perfect in death, so peaceful, and soon I would be there at peace with him.
His face began to fade. The room began to sway. My hands fell away from the knife, and I felt my careening body softly land upon his, my warm blood spreading over him, engulfing him. My face was just beside his, and I was inches from his lips, yet too weak to kiss him once more. I could only gaze with my weakening eyes.
His face faded. Black overtook. My head snapped downward against him, and I lost to death once more.
There was nothing more to hold us back. I was finally with Romeo.We may die, but we are lovers forever.
And right here would make an awesome spot for the "Anywhere" reprise-- if you've heard it, the little minute-long addition to the song with no singing? I can see like the tomb lighting up as that fades in, and it's all connecting to the original marriage theme? I should make a music video . . .