Once Upon a Promise

~ A modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet~

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The cast of characters belong to William Shakespeare only!

Cast of Characters

Montague- head of the Montague house

Lady Montague- wife of Montague

Romeo- Montague's son

Benvolio- Romeo's cousin and best friend

Mercutio- Romeo's cousin and friend

Capulet- head of the Capulet house

Lady Capulet- wife of Capulet

Juliet- Capulet's daughter

Tybalt- Juliet's cousin

Rosaline- Juliet's cousin and best friend

Prince Escalus- ruler of Verona

Paris- Juliet's tutor


The story takes place in a modern Verona, known for their advancement in technology. Two families, the Montagues and the Capulets, both head large companies that make computer software. They are head to head in battle, trying to be the leading brand of the technological world.

Act One

Two of Montague's servants spy on several Capulet servants behind bushes. They plan to make a comeback on past evil plots the Capulets did to the Montague servants.

Montague servant one (whispers): Freakin', Capulets! It's like they know we're coming!

Montague servant two (typing on keyboard): Well, it's no surprise to them really. Now shut up! I'm trying to tap into the main system.

Servants are silent until servant two receives a green light on his computer screen.

Montague servant two: Ok, ready. Now throw it.

Servant one throws an odd metal ball at the Capulet party.

Capulet servant one: What the--…. D*** Montagues! After 'em!

Montague servant two (pushes enter and puts his laptop in his bag): Go! We've got one minute!

Montague servants run away, the Capulet servants close to their heels. Capulet servant two carries the metal ball when he notices a timer counting down.

Capulet servant two: Aw, s***. Guys wait! We got to get rid of this.
Capulet servant one: Then do it! I'm getting those bloody idiots.

The servants reach the main plaza when Capulet servant one tackles Montague servant two to the ground. The two wrestle over the bag. Enter Benvolio who runs into Montague servant one. After seeing the servants fighting, he groans.

Benvolio: Crap, they're at it again. What did you do this time?

Montague servant one: Getting back at those freaks, that's what! They deserve it!

Benvolio (realizes the metal ball): Oh god, you didn't…. Stop! It's going to blow any second! Drop it!

Capulet servant two panics and throws the metal ball as far as he could. It lands next to a truck carrying gasoline….

Montague servant one: Blasted IDIOT!

Benvolio (shouts to citizens nearby): Run away from that truck! Go! Go, hurry! It's going to ---

The metal ball explodes 5 times as much as it should. Citizens scream while the truck burst into flames. Luckily the firefighters and police make their way to the scene to extinguish the fire. Enter Prince Escalus in a limo.

Prince: What's this foolishness?! Who dare disturbs the peace in my country!? Montagues and Capulets, I presume? Well? Speak up!

From the left, Montague and Lady Montague enter while from the right, Capulet and Lady Capulet enter. Shocked by the fire, all four bow to the prince, preparing to speak.

Montague: Your Grace… Please except our apology, we should be more responsible….

Capulet: Prince, we did not mean any harm. They're just servants; we need to have a tighter reign on them….

Prince: It's been the 3rd time already that you've disturbed the streets of Verona! I've almost had it! You cost me a fortune to repay everything your families have damaged!!! If both your families hadn't been major companies, you all would've been jailed. If it ever happens again, there will be major consequences.

All bow as Prince Escalus exits. Montagues and Capulets glare at each other as they gather their servants and leave.

At the Montague house. Enters Benvolio and Romeo.

Benvolio: Did you see the news, cousin? Those servants are at it again. If we keep this up, people are going to look down on us.
Romeo: Uh huh….

Benvolio: We'll be the talk of the year! It'll be all over!

Romeo: Uh huh….

Benvolio: It's gotta stop somehow….

Romeo: Uh huh….
Benvolio (sighs): Still thinking of her? It's been a week already. It's time to let go.

Romeo: If only she gave me a chance. I mean, we're perfect for each other! Both rich, smart, she's beautiful….. Rosaline…

Benvolio: But…. you're a Montague.

Romeo: If only I wasn't! She considers me as… An enemy!

Benvolio: I hate to tell you this, Romeo, but she's sort of right. The Capulets are also one of the leading companies in the world. It's kind of harsh though, that she said that to you….

Romeo: What, so I'm not allowed to be hers?

Benvolio: No, she probably just said that or something. Girls aren't always so straightforward. She probably meant to say she's not interested. So give it up!

Romeo: Who else could be as beautiful and wonderful as Rosaline then? Huh? Name one.

Benvolio: Uh… well. Hmm. Well what about that one girl who's always with her? Julie something or other.

Romeo: Huh, if she hangs around Rosaline a lot, she's bound to reject me too. Besides, she's not that pretty.

Benvolio: I really wouldn't say that…

Romeo: She's not Rosaline.

Benvolio: You're acting like a girl. Suck it up and find someone else.

Romeo: …… Leave me alone.

Benvolio: Tell you what, at tonight's party, we'll find a nice, hot girl for you, ok? Then you'll snap out of it.

Romeo: What? What party?

Benvolio: Your dad has been telling you many times already. It's the huge party where all the big corporations come together to celebrate their successes. And didn't your dad sell 10 million or so of his programs? That's something to celebrate on!

Romeo: … Oh…. I really don't care. All he ever thinks about is to out beat his rival somehow.

Benvolio: Didn't I tell you all the Capulets will be there too? That means…

Romeo (raises his head a little): Rosaline. She's going to be there! There may be a chance! Ben, help me find something to wear. I need to look my best!

Benvolio (sighs): You really are a girl… aren't you….

Capulet's house. Juliet's room. Enters Rosaline and Juliet.

Rosaline: … and so I told him "an enemy of my cousin's is an enemy of mine" and I walked away. Haha! He was shocked I tell you!

Juliet (laughs): Rose, that's horrible of you! Give the poor boy a chance.

Rosaline: Oh no, not that Montague boy. You know how they all are. Rough, rogue… and plain mean!

Juliet: Hah, whatever you say Rose….

Rosaline: Sooo how's my favorite cousin? Did those Montague boys ever try to seduce you in some way yet?

Juliet: Rose!!! Sick, of course not! I barely even see them!

Rosaline: I was just kidding. You're always so serious. As a daughter from a rich and famous company, you certainly have a boring life.

Juliet: Trust me, dear Rose. News reporters, television, I'm all sick of that. If only I can be left alone to do whatever I want for one day!

Rosaline: You're still allowed to walk around Verona, right?

Juliet: Only if there's someone else with me.

Rosaline: Oh…. That sucks. But Jules, you're far luckier than many other girls in the world!

Juliet: I guess so.

Rosaline: So…. have you seen anyone cute lately?

Juliet: Well….

Rosaline: There IS! Isn't there? Tell me! Is it that hot guy from the supermarket? Or the life guard at Verona beach? He did keep glancing at you.

Juliet: No, it's well err---… I'm not totally in love or anything. He's just really nice.

Rosaline: But he's an option. Go on then, spit it out.

Juliet: Uh... um… do you know my… tutor? He's really funny and kind….

Rosaline: Oh my god, him? Oh yes, he's major hot. He's Paris right?

Juliet: Yeah, he's fun to hang out with. And he's so smart and charming!

Rosaline: Plus, he's not a Montague. Ok, he passes. Good luck with him, ok?

Juliet: Haha thanks Rose!

Rosaline: I was afraid he was going to be a Montague or something. Promise me you'll never fall for one, ok?

Juliet: Yeah right, you could kill me first! Paris is the one for me!

Rosaline (laughing): I'm just saying that because they'll be at the party tonight. But I know you won't.

Juliet: No sweat. It's easy to avoid them. What are they going to do to me? Soak me in gasoline and blow me up?

Rosaline and Juliet burst out laughing as they find dresses to wear for the party.

A couple miles south of Verona, several men gather in an old, broken garage.

Shadow #1: Any sign o' the boss yit?

Shadow #2: Nope, 'e should be comin' any minute.

They look at the computer screen which is hooked up to the security camera. A shadowy figure emerges.

Shadow #1: Look, mate! 'E's comin!

The boss slams the back door making everyone jump.

Boss: The plan is ready. Everything's set. Did you get the truck ready?

Shadow #1: Um… about tha' boss….

Boss: You didn't get the TRUCK!?!

Shadow #2: S-s-sir, it sort 'a uh…. B-b-blew up….

Boss: How could that happen!? It's not supposed to blow up yet!

Shadow #1: N-n-n-no, it weren't us! Those M-m-montagues and C-capulets….

Boss (throws an unknown object at it echoes a thump on the wall): I DON'T CARE! Just get SOMETHING!

Shadow #1: Y-y-yes boss….
Shadow #2: We'll do wut we can….

Both men exit.

It is the night of the party. The exquisite grand hallway in the Palace of Verona is filled with guests of companies from all over the world. Juliet and Rosaline enter.

Rosaline: See anyone you know?

Juliet: Besides my parents, no.

Rosaline: Too bad Paris isn't from a mega rich company.

Juliet (sighs): Oh well…..

Tybalt enters.

Tybalt: Oh, how big can monsters get?

Rosaline: Stop that Tybalt. Go pester someone who's not part of your family?

Tybalt: Rose is being mean again. It's just a joke, isn't that right Jules?

Juliet: Uh….

Tybalt: Fine. I'd like to warn you, those Montague boys are around here somewhere. I haven't seen them around yet. They're probably hiding.

Rosaline: Or maybe not here yet?

Tybalt: You never know, Rose. I can't believe you don't have guards in this place!

Rosaline: We don't need guards. We're fine by ourselves.

Tybalt: Still… you never know, my dears. Now go off and play while I talk with the grow-ups, ok?

Tybalt exits.

Rosaline: He treats us like we're still children. He's only two years older than us!

Juliet: Whatever. Let's get something to drink.

Rosaline and Juliet go to the punch table to chat. Meanwhile, Romeo and Benvolio catch sight of them.

Romeo: Rosaline…. It's like she's a goddess. Look at the way she walks, and how soft her eyes linger….

Benvolio: Oh, cousin. Can't you ever give up? Let's get away from them before you make a fool of yourself. We're trying to find another girl, remember?

Benvolio drags Romeo away until they bump into Mercutio surrounded by many ladies.

Mercutio: Ah! How are my cousins doings? Here, everyone this is my good man Benvolio while that sad looking fella over there is Romeo.

All the ladies laugh as Benvolio drags Mercutio aside.

Benvolio (whispers): You gotta help me! Romeo is going to make a fool of himself. Introduce one of those girls to him or something!

Mercutio: No can do Benny. He's a sad little boy. The ladies are going to flock back over to me in less than a second!

Benvolio: Not any of them at all?

Mercutio: Look. The ladies love me. Now go out and take him for some fresh air or something, ok? Sorry my precious girls! I had a little business to do with my dear Benny…

Mercutio laughs and leaves with the ladies. Benvolio looks around and finds Romeo to be gone.

Benvolio: Crap, he's probably looking for Rosaline at the punch table….

Benvolio starts searching for Romeo. Meanwhile, Rosaline and Juliet are next to the string quartets.

Juliet: Ugh, Rosaline. Is it me or is it getting hot in here?

Rosaline: I don't know. I'm fine. Why don't you go outside? I'll meet you there with some punch.

Juliet: 'K. Thanks Rose.

Juliet leaves. Rosaline goes to the punch table where she grabs some punch. Benvolio appears and doesn't see her as he bumps into her, spilling punch all over her dress. Rosaline, gasps in surprise and sees Benvolio looking a bit sheepish.

Benvolio: Oh, I'm so terribly sorry! Um, I was in such a hurry, it's my fault!

Rosaline (glares at Benvolio): Well? What are you going to do, sputter yourself out for some forgiveness? Escort me to the bathroom!

Benvolio: Uh, um, oh yes certainly….

Benvolio offers his hand to Rosaline, but she refuses. They both walk together to the bathroom. Meanwhile, Juliet walks outside to breath in the fresh air.

Juliet: Ah, it's so nice out here! I feel so much better.

Romeo trudges outside, feeling sad that he couldn't find Rosaline. He catches a glimpse of Juliet.

Romeo: Oh… I'm sorry to interrupt…..

Juliet: That's ok, um… sir.

A long pause. Depressed, Romeo still doesn't recognize Juliet. Juliet, not fully aware he's a Montague yet, feels obliged to talk to him.

Juliet: Are… you ok sir? You seem a little down.

Romeo: Um, I was trying to search for someone. That's all.

Juliet: Oh. I hope you find this… err…. person.

Romeo (looking up): Well…. Thank you.

Suddenly he recognizes she was a friend to Rosaline.

Romeo: Hey, aren't you one of Rosaline's cousins?

Juliet (feeling a little uncomfortable all of a sudden): Um, yes. Why do you ask?

Romeo: Oh it's just that… I was actually trying to find Rosaline.

Juliet: Really? Oh, what would you want with my cousin?

Romeo: Err…. How is she?

Juliet: What?

Romeo: I wanted to ask her… how… she is……

Juliet: She's fine.

Long pause.

Romeo: Do you think you can hate someone because of their last name?

Juliet: What do you mean?

Romeo: Just… answer.

Juliet (a bit taken aback): Oh well, I hope not. I think you need to hate someone for who they are, not by anything else. Not like the color of their skin or, like you said, their last name.

Romeo: Oh.

Another long uncomfortable pause.

Romeo: Tell me about Rosaline.

Juliet: Oh um, well. She's my best friend. The best in the world. She could be a little outspoken, and maybe a little head-strong. But I can't help but admire her.

Romeo: Me too.

Juliet: Huh?

Romeo: I can't help admiring someone who's beautiful….

For a brief moment, they stop and stare at each other.

Juliet: Well, you'd better h-head back before you miss her…

Romeo: You're right.

Juliet: Um… s-so… see you.

Romeo: Wait! Um, your name?

Juliet: I'm Juliet. Juliet Capulet. And yours?

Romeo: Romeo. I'm Romeo. Good bye…. Juliet.

Romeo turns and walks away leaving Juliet in a daze. Meanwhile, Rosaline emerges from the restroom as Benvolio patiently waits.

Rosaline: Well, now that that's taken care of.

Benvolio: I'm so sorry.

Rosaline: Stop babbling you're sorry. It's fine! It's only a faint stain.

Benvolio: If there's anything I can do…

A song ends in the background and another starts playing.

Rosaline: Well then, if you insist you owe me a dance.

Benvolio: Oh, I'm not sure that's a good idea.

Rosaline: Really? You said anything. Don't worry I won't try to embarrass you too much… Although it might be hard.

Benvolio: It's not what you think. Actually I'm excellent at the tango. I just didn't want you to be… embarrassed.

Rosaline: Oh ho, so it's a challenge then.

Benvolio (whispers in Rosaline's ear): Ok then. I warned you.

Rosaline gives a faint flirty smile. Benvolio takes Rosaline's hands and walks to the dance floor. They dance.

Rosaline: You're pretty good.

Benvolio: You're not bad either.

Rosaline: But I can do better.

As they continue to dance, couples stop dancing as they make room for Rosaline and Benvolio. After some time, the music ends, with a couple round of applauses. Tired, they both start breathing heavily.

Rosaline: Wow, you're a very interesting dancer. I can see you like to uh… spice it up.

Benvolio: That's what the tango's all about. But, this is the first time I've been able to dance like that. You're very good as well.

Rosaline: Thanks. It's been fun.

Benvolio: My pleasure. Anything else I can do for you?

Rosaline: Well… hmmm… you can tell me who you are, like any normal boy would do.

Benvolio: Oh I'm Benvolio. …You can call me Ben if you want.

Rosaline: Whatever, Benjamin. Next time, watch your step.

Rosaline starts to walk away.

Benvolio: Wait! Um, Romeo was looking for you.

Rosaline: … Romeo?

Benvolio: Yes, my cousin, Romeo.

Rosaline (gasps): Romeo Montague!?! And you're his cousin? That means you're a Montague too!

Benvolio: Err, yes but….

Rosaline (backs away): Oh my god, what have I done? S-stay away from me! Don't even come near me! Montagues are nothing but trouble to our family. Go away!!!

Rosaline dashes away leaving Benvolio behind. She goes outside, spotting Juliet. She rushes towards her.

Juliet: There you are! Where have you been?

Rosaline: Oh it's just—the punch was spilled on my dress…

Juliet: Oh dear! Um… are you ok? Your face seems a bit red.

Rosaline: It's a Montague. I think he was trying to get to me or something.

Juliet: Who? Which one?

Rosaline: Benjamin or Ben or whatever his name is. Anyway, it was almost a disaster I tell you! He could've done something… improper!

Juliet: How can you be sure?

Rosaline: I'm just sure, ok?

Juliet: Anyway, a boy was looking for you.

Rosaline: I know, Romeo….

Juliet: How do you know him? He seems to ask quite a lot about you.

Rosaline: He was the boy I told you about! Who asked me out but I refused, like… last week! Didn't I ever tell you his name?

Juliet: No! Wait… How did you know Romeo was looking for you?

Rosaline: The Benjamin guy told me! …. And wait! Why were you talking with a Montague!?! Him and Romeo are cousins you know!

Juliet: What!?! He never told me his last name!

Rosaline: I can't believe this happened! After we promised never to talk to them…

Juliet: I'm sorry Rose. I didn't know.

Rosaline: It's ok Jules. I didn't know I was talking to a Montague either.

Juliet: … He didn't seem that bad.

Rosaline: What?

Juliet: Romeo. He didn't seem like he would do anything horrible to me. He was rather… kind.

Rosaline: Juliet Capulet! What are you saying??? You never know with those… freaks! Now promise me never to talk to them again. What if something bad happens next time? We can't get into trouble, understand?

Juliet (nods a bit sadly): Yes, I understand.

The rest of the party seems to go unperturbed. Juliet and Rosaline tried to avoid Benvolio and Romeo as much as possible. However every once in awhile, they would cross paths and end up running away. After several hours later, the party was over and everyone returned home exhausted.