Letters to Juliet

You need only the courage to follow your heart

(Claire and Lorenzo Wedding scene from Sophie's point of view)

Dear Claire, "What" and "If" are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if? I don't know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it's never too late. If it was true then, why wouldn't it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart. I don't know what a love like Juliet's feels like - love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for but I'd like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I will have the courage to seize it. And, Claire, if you didn't, I hope one day that you will. All my love, Juliet."

The words were too much for Sophie. What if…. It did haunt her, why hadn't she realised how she had felt about Charlie before, but she had been engaged to a man she cared for and respected but had finally realised she didn't love anymore and didn't share any of the same passions.

A love to cross oceans for…. she would cross oceans for Charlie but now he had Patricia she would be lucky if he would cross the street to greet her. No that was harsh, she was just bitter she was too late and maybe he hadn't liked her that much after all. He had been all politeness when he arrived and actually seemed genuinely pleased to see her. It must have been only because he realised that his grandmother was now so happy because Sophie had written her that letter. If only Sophie hadn't written that letter she wouldn't be in this emotional mess now! No she couldn't say she regretted writing the letter she would have never met the wonderful Claire …..or Charlie. She could never regret meeting Charlie, if nothing else he had taught her never to completely trust her first impressions of someone and that hey will probably have a good reason for their behaviour, but something they would never share with a stranger. But he had shared his pain with her. Charlie had also made her realise that Victor wasn't the man for her. It was better that she had found that out before she made the mistake of marrying him.

She had to leave this wedding now, she didn't want to leave him knowing now that she would never see him again but it was too painful, she had hoped so badly that he would be free, waiting with his arms open for her. But of course deep inside she knew he wouldn't stay single for long, he was a wonderful catch for any girl once you got past his protected exterior.

She rose from her chair and ran off to the room she had left her things earlier with tears in her eyes. She didn't want anyone to see her like this. She wanted to say goodbye but she didn't think that she could. As she was drying her eyes with the corner of her shawl (which was the only thing she had to hand) she heard her name being called in his soft, posh, beautiful English accent she had come to love. What did he want? How could she face him with red eyes and a broken heart? He persisted on calling so she peeked out onto the balcony and there he was looking quizzically at her.

"What are you doing up there?" he said after exclaiming that of course she would be on a balcony!

She told him she was leaving as it was too painful. Couldn't he just let her go quietly? Why was he questioning her? Maybe Claire had been looking for Sophie, and Charlie had told his Gran that he would find her? But no it was him looking for her, he should be with Patricia and not looking for her? She didn't want to cause trouble between them especially since they would not have been back together long, but suddenly she knew she had to tell him she wasn't with Victor anymore. The next thing she knew she was telling him how she felt, that she loved him, that she couldn't say anything before because she was with Victor and that it was all too late. Tears were flowing freely down her face now and dripping onto the balcony. She gazed into his eyes and he didn't look angry, he looked amazed, his eyes were shining. She was confused? He explained that Patricia was his cousin and told her the wonderful truth that he was head over heels in love with her and would come and live with her in New York if she wished it. How could everything change so quickly from agony to ecstasy in the space of a few moments? Did she really hear him correctly? Or was it just what she wanted to hear? He wanted to kiss her and he was now risking his life and limbs climbing up the balcony as if they were in Romeo and Juliet….and he was doing this for her. She was now crying tears of joy! But then suddenly he lost his footing and fell to the ground and her whole world crashed down. She ran down the steps from the balcony as quickly as she could but to her relief he was more worried if anyone had seen him fall rather than his injuries and even more interested in a passionate kiss with her which she reciprocated with pleasure. They became lost in a passionate embrace until they realised they weren't alone. Claire and Lorenzo were standing over them smiling. "Are you okay Charlie?" said Claire. "Never better" said Charlie grinning from ear to ear.

Charlie and Sophie loved each other and all was well with the world. Bobby her editor in New York wouldn't believe that there could be two happy endings to her story, it just seemed to far-fetched, but she didn't care!