I do not own Romeo and Juliet.


Plip.

I stand here, staring at the wall. My fists are clenched; my face is damp with sweat. I find it harder and harder to breathe, and my heart beats as if it will explode. There is nothing I can do. For once, I feel absolutely powerless.

Plip.

I loved them. I loved them more than anything else in the world. They were my army, my security force, the ones who made my life worth living. And now they are all gone, all thanks to her.

Plip.

My mind lingers over bittersweet images of my beloved little cousin. My only ally in the house of Montague since the death of my mother four years ago. Ah, Romeo, you idiot romantic, didn't I warn you not to lose yourself in passion? Didn't I tell you that women were nothing but trouble? Didn't I strive to keep you from making my mistakes? I thought you were smarter than me, knew you were smarter than me, and yet you made the same error I did, so many moons ago. And it destroyed you. I blame myself. I couldn't protect you. I am sorry.

Plip.

Mercutio, my friend! The eternal comedic, the quick-witted ladies man, the feisty competitive moron who could brighten anyone's day, you seemed immortal, unyielding, invulnerable to anything and everything that stood in your way. The last person I suspected to meet such a fate, and yet you are the one who destiny plunged her sword into. I should have stopped you. You saw only a game, a competition, something that you could come out the victor of. I should have tried harder when I saw where that simple duel was leading! Tybalt was in a rage, an undying anger, and I couldn't prevent him from hurting you. I am a failure.

Plip.

I think now of Tybalt, the problem child of Verona. The punk kid with a bad attitude and a good heart. All he wanted was a little respect, and we gave him that. He considered us the ultimate rivals, and worked to someday outdo us all. I liked that stupid kid, despite his anger issues. He looked up to me, though I was only a year or two older than him, and I considered him a friend. That day, he never meant to harm us, I can tell. His pride was hurt, old Capulet had stomped on his heart, and after fifteen years living with a man like that, he was bleeding hard. But I knew Tybalt; could read his face like an open book. When his sword slipped, he was horrified;and though he ran, he ran with tears running down his face, he ran away hating himself and what he had done; he ran like a coward, but he did not need to die. I mourn him, as a friend and brother, and will forever.

Plip.

I remember that night, the night at the crypt, where I followed him to the place where the girl he loved lay. He carried a bunch of flowers, her favorite kind, in one hand; the other covered his eyes, masking his tears. I had never seen Paris like this; this was Paris, the best swordsman Verona, the man who knew no sorrow, who knew no pain, the man I had always admired, who treated me as a little brother. The man who was now standing here, crying for her. I watched as he turned his sword on my cousin, who, in grief of his own, sunk his own sword deep into Paris's gut. I watched, hidden in the lilacs, wanting to call out, wanting to scream, wanting to cry, but not being able to. I couldn't will my body to do anything.

I wish I had never visited that crypt.

Plip.

Yes, they were all gone, all dead, all because of her. The girl who enchanted Paris, who enthralled Romeo, who was the cause of all my sorrow. The girl I had met two years prior, found skipping rocks on the lake after escaping from her room. The girl who mutilated my heart and played with my mind. The girl who taught the torches to burn bright. The girl who I left, like a common coward, fearing for both of our lives. The girl who fell in love with my idiot cousin, the girl who now lay dead in the crypt on top of the hill. She is the girl, the girl who destroyed them, the girl who killed them all, and the girl who, in my soul, I will always love. And I can do nothing about it.

Plip.

I hear a scream. "Benvolio!"The maid stands in the doorway, her eyes wide with terror. She screams again, rattling the pictures on the walls. I turn to her; the knife clatters from my hands and lands in the pool of blood at my feet. I wink at her before dropping to my knees and closing my eyes. I have outlasted them all. I smile.

"Juliet," I whisper. "I'm coming."