MARCH 5th, 2010

This was the fastest year of my life, not to mention the hardest, and I'm so happy I got the chance to write this. I don't care if now it's kind of just known inside me and among my friends as the product of my whining about unrequieted and hopeless love. I don't care that it's just a stupid little fan-fiction written by a stupid little girl. It means a lot to me and I won't ever forget writing it, and the whole process.

That being said, after one full year of this being around, please enjoy 'Mercutio and Allegra'.

xoxo

Cornadopia

Spring in Verona was, in Allegra Capulet's opinion, the highlight of every year. She awoke every morning excited to start the day, while in her winter home in Paris she would never want to wake and face the dreary bitterness. The air smelled always of rain, so she did all her lessons outside, singing as she read her Latin and dreaming as she read her history, and all the while, not caring who would hear; nothing could bother her on this first day of spring, the first day back in Italy, the day of her uncle's masquerade. Nothing would bring Allegra down on this glorious, glorious day...

Nothing, yes, but not no one.

When Allegra had finished her final lesson, she stepped out of the front door and down the marble staircase, greeting a few passers-by she knew with a wave. She listened for the bells of the nearby church; twleve chimes. Twelve o'clock. Allegra scowled. If today was like the days of the past years in Verona, he would not pass by until half past.

The very thought of him made Allegra's heart pound and ache. What if he had changed? Allegra had never met him, but she knew him so well. He was carefree, rowdy, bright and funny - for the most part, quite like Allegra herself, but probably, Allegra thought, more optimistic. She had never spoken to him, because, of course, she had seen him fight with her brothers and cousins. If Theobald and Ricardo found out their sweet little sister even thought about speaking to him, a friend of the Montagues... Allegra would become a family outcast for sure. Would her cousin Juliet like her any less?

No, Allegra thought, banishing the horrible thought. Juliet is my best friend in the world!

While Allegra was deep in thought, it took her a few seconds to realize she had just heard a familiar explosion of laughter that came from a person she knew but had never spoken to.

Her heart ached even more. She looked down the street, and sure enough, he, Romeo Montague and a tall man whose name she didn't know were coming down the street, all of them laughing at something that sounded very funny. Though a few people on the street gave them the evil eye, they didn't mind at all. He didn't even notice.

Allegra breathed in, trying to calm herself, but she couldn't. Thoughts raced through her brain like a person running in a race had paced through it. Did he see her through the corner of his light blue eye? Had he ever seen her before? Did he feel how she felt, and if so, was he trying to ignore her because he was shy? No, he wasn't shy at all! Did he recognize her? Did he think she looked different than before? Allegra had been told she had looked better since last year. Her long, wavy strawberry-blonde hair (which she was famous for among the people of dark-haired Italy) was much longer now, and she had slimmed down a lot but still had a pleasing, medium-small, curvy figure. However, her skin was still fair, her height still average, her eyes still as beautiful and hazel and outlined in long, black eyelashes. Even if he had noticed the changes and that Allegra was very pretty, would a nineteen-year-old gentleman look at a fourteen-year-old girl?

Allegra had stood up before she had realized it. She knew she needed to at least get him to look at her. Now. If she did not do it now, she knew she would go crazy before she saw him again. She drew in some breath, thanked the Lord that she had been planning on going to the bookstore across the street anyway, and proceeded down the stairs and into the street, trying not to look directly at him, Mercutio. who had just said something obscene but still incredibly funny. She tried not to laugh, not to look at him. He was gorgeous, with wild light brown hair and a slightly muscular body, but as much as she wanted to, she could not to dare to look at him.

She couldn't help it. She wanted to laugh, and yet she was barely listening to what he and his friends were saying. Eventually, her head turned itself to glance at him once she had stopped near the book shop, where he and his friends were passing by. A strange looking man who resembled a penguin waddled down the street near Mercutio, and when Mercutio mimicked him, Allegra burst out laughing without being able to stop herself.

Romeo and the other gentleman stopped and grinned at Allegra as she laughed. Mercutio was in the middle of telling another joke to the tall gentleman, who prodded Mercutio in the arm and pointed at Allegra, who was still laughing uncontrollably, and Mercutio, for the first time in the history of Verona, Mercutio looked (and smiled) at Allegra Capulet.

"Uh, ciao," he said with a flabberghasted kind of grin.

Allegra was still tearing with laughter. She gave Mercutio a subtle wave and disappeared into the book shop. She stayed there until Mercutio and his friends were out of sight.