ROMEO MUST DIE: ALTERNATE THIRD ACT

Patricia O'Day, aged twenty one, struggled to maintain independence. She managed a clothing store and was a part-time social worker in her old neighborhood. Trish never had a cause to hate or a reason to hurt, except within the last two days when young billionaire Vincent Roth caused the death of her brother Colin

Her father, Isaak O'Day was once a corrupt businessman, but she realized his heart was near to his family. On s late Tuesday evening in Oakland, California, the O'Day family was close to being completely obliterated.

At The Men's Club, during a monetary negotiation for waterfront property between Roth and Isaak, a grisly shootout resulted. Two bodyguards were killed in front of Trish's eyes, and her father was also shot. David Macendale, known as Mac, was the antagonist who started the melee after confessing to murdering Colin. Isaak lay on the floor and bled on the expensive carpet, while Trish was held down by Mac's thug.

"Oh, Lord, too much death, too much," Trish chanted.

Mac's employee hoisted Trish off the carpet, not giving her room to escape.

"Dammit, Roth! I'm gonna get those fucking deeds," Mac said after his Mexican standoff with Roth's bodyguard. He followed Roth upstairs after he hastily exited during the gunfight.

Isaak writhed on the floor and tried to see Trish. In his efforts, he saw a gun next to him. Was it loaded? Was the safety on? He had to chance it. Isaak positioned himself to see his daughter who was being held by a nondescript, underpaid henchman. Trish saw the eyes of her father, then the gun. Nothing needed to be verbalized.

Trish pushed off the thug and thrust her elbow against his gut, buying her time to flee. Isaak shot the man in the kneecap and chest, but the thug survived, pulled out a second gun. Isaak had little strength left and let loose another round into the heart, killing him.

"Daddy, please talk to me." She cried out as she knelt down and held his head up.

"This hurts like a bitch, but I've been through worse. I'll survive it.," he said with a hushed, pained tone.

Witnessing the extensive death and suffering these past few days allowed rage to grow inside of Trish. In her father's right hand was the gun. The barrel was hot but she disregarded the burn.

"Trish, stop, where are you going?" Isaak uttered, as she loosened his grip on the gun.

"I'll be back, Daddy. Mac has to pay for what he did," she stoically stated while running up the stairwell.

Minutes ago, the roof had a gun fight reminiscent of an Old West shootout. Mac fired at Roth to acquire the deeds. The ascending helicopter and automatic weapon spraying bullets made Mac's efforts difficult, but his own shots were striking the metal briefcase filled with paperwork. He ran low on ammo, but Roth was still not strong enough to withstand the bullet impact. He dropped the briefcase on the roof where Mac was.

The chopper swooped away, leaving Mac to collect the coveted deeds. Mac pulled out his gun, which was quickly kicked out of his hand. He looked up to see Han Sing, the protagonist in the whole football arena endeavor.

Han also endured a family tragedy, for his baby brother Po was also murdered because of Roth. Despite Po's shady lifestyle, Han loved him. At the moment he believed it was Mac who stole that sibling away.

"Why did you murder my brother, Mac?" Han urgently asked.

"Hey, I had nothing to do with the lynching. That Chinese shit was in-house. You have your own people to thank for that." He admitted as he lifted the unclosed briefcase.

Mac was no match for Han's skills. He desperately thrust the metallic briefcase at him. Han managed to catch it but soon faced a gun that Mac held to his head. As fast as Han was, even he believed he could not dodge a bullet.

"Sorry, Romeo, you won't get a chance to, you've gotta die." Mac said through a grin.

"Forgive me, Po," Han thought.

A loud gunshot echoed, but Han reacted to what was not aimed at him. Mac's leather coat exploded and spurted blood. Mac quickly looked disoriented and stared at the wound in his chest. They both saw Trish stood near the door, smoking gun raised.

"That's for Colin, you son of a bitch," Trish said through gritted teeth.

"Damn, that's some cold shit!" Mac aimed his weapon toward her.

Trish defended herself and fired the gun again. The bullet struck Mac in the chest and propelled him over the ledge.

She dropped the gun and profusely trembled. Han jogged over to her. Her well-being was a priority.

"It's all right, Trish. Come on, stay with me," Han calmly said.

"I've never touched a gun in my life until today." She massaged her temples

"You did what you had to do. Thank you for saving my life," he said, and gently grasped her hands. "Where is your father?"

"He's downstairs, and he's hurt," she answered. When she looked directly into his eyes, her trembling ceased.

While Maurice was her bodyguard she felt no safer. When her father pleaded to be part of her life, it assured no sanctuary. Han clasping her shaking hands was a security she had not felt in some time. Although she only met Han, she sensed his pure heart and soul on their first meeting in the cab less than two days ago. The horror she endured during these last two days was less distressing thanks to his presence.

They sprinted down the stairs to check on Isaak. The bartenders blanketed him and elevated his feet. Police and ambulances were en route, but Trish had to be certain of her father's condition. She knelt beside him and kissed his forehead.

"Like I said, I'll be fine," he weakly said.

"You'd better be, we've still got catching up to do," she said.

"Yeah, we sure do," Isaak smiled. With slightly blurred vision Isaak noticed the young Chinese man beside her and quickly assumed. "So this must be Han Sing."

"I am, sir, but don't try to talk," Han respectfully answered.

"Yeah, you're the one that's been causing all this trouble," He joked. "Let me shake your hand."

Han leaned forward and tucked his right hand into Isaak's right hand.

"You've got a firm grip, I respect that." Isaak observed, and then gave a knowing glance to Trish.

"Stay strong, Mr. O'Day. There's unfinished business I must attend to." Han said to them. Then he placed her hand on Trish's shoulder and gently squeezed.

"I heard everything Mac said. Let me help you!" she begged of Han.

"You've helped me more than you realize, Trish. Now, please, stay with your father," Han calmly said it, more for her safety and her peace of mind, rather than it sounding like an order from a police officer. He darted out of the room.

"He's way shorter than I imagined. I'm lying on the floor and he still looked like a little guy," Isaak quipped, as faint sirens were heard.

"What am I gonna do with you?" Trish lightly chuckled.

The E.M.T. and Oakland Police were on the scene immediately after Han departed. Isaak was given an intravenous drip, on the gurney in the elevator. Once, its doors parted they hurried the gurney thru and Trish followed.

"Are you in love with Han?" Isaak meekly asked her.

"Oh, Daddy, now isn't the time," she answered.

"It is so the time. I saw the look in your eyes while he left. He's going to Chu's house to avenge his brother's death."

"Wait, you knew?" Trish asked.

"Not immediately, but I investigated. I wasn't going to make it my concern, but now that Han is of your concern…"

"Oh, shit," she exclaimed.

They all passed thru the entrance toward an ambulance.

"Listen, Trish, I only wish to be a small part of your life again." He halted the E.M.T.s momentarily. "You deserve someone like Han. If you need to go to him, then go. You have my blessings."

Trish smiled. Isaak was not the dangerous man she perceived during her childhood and adulthood. For once, Isaak deferred to her, having asked for some, not all. She again kissed his forehead.

"Tell the police about Chu and be careful," Issak said while hauled into the ambulance.

The ambulance sped away. Police cars were strewn about the street and the officers tried to make sense of the upstairs melee. Trish searched for an unoccupied police officer.

"Ma'am, please stay behind the police line," a young police officer ordered.

"I'm a witness who was upstairs when all of this went down," she mentioned.

"In that case, you'll have to come with us for questioning," he answered.

"I know Po Sing's killer, Officer Higgins," she stated after reading his nameplate. "I can tell you if you to take me to his place."

"What are you talking about?" Higgins bent the words in confusion.

"I'll give you a name, you look up his address, you take us to it," was her ultimatum. "You'll get that huge collar. Hell, you'd get a more huge commendation."

"I could arrest you for withholding information." The young officer aimlessly looked around, trying to make the ends of her request meet. "All right, come on."

The two of them jogged to his squad car and he jumped into the front seat.

"Who are you claiming did it," he immediately asked.

"Chu Sing," she said, leaning through the passenger window.

"His father?" Higgins tapped in the information, and in seconds a home address popped up on the screen. "Hop in the back"

While she entered, he called out to his older partner who jogged over.

"What the hell do you want? In case you haven't noticed, this is a war zone!" The elder officer grunted out.

"I get that, but she has a lead for us, a suspect in the Sing homicide," Higgins answered.

"Is that right?" The older officer stared at Trish in the back seat. She smiled and waved at him. The gray-haired officer reluctantly hopped into the car and sighed, "Let's go."

Trish had never been a police car, although she has seen her dad in one a few times. Thankfully, she was only there to put a murderer in prison, unless Han got to him first.

They drove toward a beautiful real estate of Chu Sing, bearing lush trees and fields, and a long, tapered bridge leading to a huge, exotic mansion. A plume of smoke rose from the rear of the home. The officers contacted the standard departments: fire, E.M.T., and police backup. A short while later, five squad cars crossed the tapered bridge deeper into Chu Sing property.

"Look, my friend Han is likely to be inside. And he's one of you. Please don't shoot him." Trish said to Officer Higgins.

"We'll keep that in mind. We still can't make any promises." The elder officer noted.

Suddenly, everyone heard a single gunshot.

"No!" Trish exclaimed.

"Shots fired," rang out from all cars. Several policemen emerged from their vehicles to see flames rising from the back yard.

With weapons drawn, they entered the house. Han Sing appeared from the shadows with burned hands raised above his head.

"My name's Han Sing. I'm an unarmed Hong Kong police officer," he announced. "My father just committed suicide in his office and I may have killed a man in self-defense."

"Okay, step this way," a random officer said. All saw his cloth draped hands, and how he appeared weak with labored breathing. They searched him anyway, and once cleared, they suggested he go to the ambulance.

Han limped down a small flight of steps. Trish, from far away in the back seat, saw his beaten state.

"Please let me out, Officer Higgins. Please let me see him," Trish pleaded.

Higgins sighed, then walked around and opened her door. Trish jogged up to meet Han, who was relieved to see a friendly, caring person in front of him.

She hardly believed he stood upright, for he was bloodied, burned and broken. She inched nearer to him and gently held his scalded hands. Her smooth skin was soothing to him.

"My God, Han, what did they do to you?" She asked.

"It doesn't matter, Trish. It's over." he answered.

She placed her right hand on his face, gently caressing his cheek with her thumb.

"Are you going to be okay?" She quietly and caringly asked.

"You and Iwill be," he answered.

They did so much for each other in the past two days that seemed like years. He paused to stare into her soulful eyes. This moment slowly cured him of a soul-permeating sickness. His emotions defined the kiss he was about to give her.

They leaned inward to kiss. She ran her fingers through his short black hair, and he ran his arm across the arch of her back. Their lips met, and pressed together in a kiss that William Shakespeare himself could not imagine. It was long, pleasant, and very much needed by both of them.

They had both lost members of their family. In their periods of mourning, they found a new family of love, of understanding. It would be this kiss that began it. Even after they completed their kiss, she couldn't tear her gaze away from his handsome face.

"Let's go," Trish said.

They strolled in each other's arms to the ambulance. They did not want to let go. They did not wish the moment to end.

Love would not die. Honor would not die. They existed all along in Trish O'Day and Han Sing.

THE BEGINNING