Disclaimer: I (obviously) do not own Romeo and Juliet (or any of their fantastic little pals). If I was William Shakespeare, I would be too busy swimming in my buckets of money to write fanfiction

How It All Began

"WHY? How could you do this to me, Mother?"

Juliet Capulet flung herself face-down on the bed, convulsing with tears.

"Hush," whispered her mother, sitting rigidly on the edge of the bed. "It's all for the best." The old woman began absent mindedly stroking her daughter's long hair, murmuring empty words of comfort. Violent shudders rocked through the young woman's body as dry sobs came bursting from her throat. The lady just kept stroking her hair, murmurs growing fewer and farther in between, until she fell silent.
The anguished cries echoed off the walls of the small room, competing with the harsh ticks of the clock for dominance. The minutes stretched on, spiraling on until they lost all sense of time. Still the girl showed no sign of stopping. The question she choked out again and again was simple, yet unanswered. "Why?"

The girl's sobs gradually slowed, and she stopped convulsing. There was an tangible change in the atmosphere as she wiped her face and gingerly rose into a sitting position. Her mother looked deeply in her face, bracing herself for another round of tears. Her aged face was concerned, but professionally unattached. Yet, there was something in her eyes, a deep kind of understanding sadness, a kind of understanding that comes only from personal experience. "Juliet," she whispered in a slightly condescending tone, "You must control yourself. This is not proper behavior for a young lady, especially one such as yourself."

"And what is so different about me?" Juliet exploded, causing her mother to flinch. "We are all made of flesh and bones, are we not? I am no different than the common peasants on the street! Yet here you stand, 'Don't laugh Juliet, it's unattractive,' 'Don't go in the sun Juliet, it's bad for the complexion,' 'Don't eat that Juliet, its bad for the humors.' All my life I have been plagued by your constant fretting, your thinking me delicate. No more. I have made my decision, and-"

"Be quiet you foolish girl!" snapped her mother. "You are a Capulet, born of a noble line, and you will conduct yourself in a manner appropriate to your status. You know nothing of the trouble you have caused me and your father, absolutely nothing! Your recklessness is the cause of our disgrace. Now, you will quiet yourself and listen to what I have to say to you. You are brave, there is no doubt of that, child, and you get that from me. Your father is no warrior, and he has never claimed to be one. But you have the same spark that I had when I was but a girl. You want to be free, and I have given you as many freedoms as I can, but this is where a line must be drawn. You have conducted yourself in a manner most distasteful, and by that, you have shamed our entire family. You must marry young Paris, as your father and I have previously planned. I assure you it will be a happy marriage, and Paris is a good man. This is the only way to save yourself, Juliet, and I suggest you take it."

Juliet sat silent for a second, stubbornly refusing to make eye-contact with her mother. They sat there for what seemed like an hour, Juliet plucking loose strings from her frock, and Lady Capulet lost in her own calculating thoughts. Finally, Juliet let out one long sigh of defeat. She nodded, murmuring a barely audible, "Thank you, mother," then rose and slowly walked to the ancient door leading to the hallway.

"I will ponder on what you have said in my chambers, mother. Please inform my nurse that her services will not be needed tonight, for I will retire immediately after prayers. Goodnight, mother."

"Goodnight, my Juliet." Said Lady Capulet, still seated on the bed, "I hope you will find that the decision made for you is always the right one."

But Juliet did not hear her. Her mind was already a million miles away dreaming of a place where her and her Romeo could be together without dispraising glances from every direction. She walked down one of the many frigid hallways in her father's house towards her bedroom, still lost in the memory of his arms around her. She knew full well she should feel dreadful for deceiving her mother, but after that argument, the young girl had realized that her parents would never understand her. The love she had for Romeo transcended all prejudices, decades old or no. The youngest Capulet once again lifted a shaking hand to her mouth, remembering how Romeo's lips had felt on hers.

She was soon shutting the think wooden door behind her and slipping out onto her balcony. Sighing to herself she leaned against the railing, she looked out into the coal-black night, wishing that the evening could have ended more pleasantly. Why did he have to be a Montague? Of all the young bachelors at the party, she had to fall in love with the one who was completely off limits.

'If only he was here right now...' she mused, 'We could run away together, just the two of us. No prejudices, no families to get in our way.' Smiling at the thought, she called out into the still air;

"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet…"

Just a little missing moment I always found fascinating. As much as I love and respect William Shakespeare, I was never a big fan of this character. Her characterization is awesome, but I always kinda pictured her as a whiny prepubescent little brat. She loves him after knowing him for, what? An hour? And they get married, after a few DAYS? Worst of all, she's Romeo's rebound girl after Rosaline. REBOUND. Urg. So many horrible, horrible values all wrapped up into one beautiful piece of literature. Thoughts?