Romina and Julian

Romina and Julian always hated each other. They didn’t quite know why but the feeling was strong and mutual. It started the first time they lay eyes on each other which was on the first day of school when they both started first grade. They lived next door after Romina’s family moved to their little town, and their parents became best friends. The hostility between Romina and Julian was not temporary as their parents had hoped but lasted all the way through high school. They graduated together but did not congratulate each other on that academic achievement. They instead presented each other with annoyed looks and without even inquiring about each other’s plans, they went their separate ways. A few years passed and in this world – or rather a few countries – where everybody is allowed to be whatever and whoever they want to be, both Romina and Julian, unbeknownst to each other took some radical steps towards the discovery of their true beings. The personal enlightenments saw Romina become Romeo and Julian become Juliet. They met again after many years, at the ten year high school reunion that also marked ten years since they last saw each other. This time, not knowing he was looking at the person he hated the most in his childhood years, Romeo formerly known to his classmates as Romina, saw Juliet across the dance floor and fell in love at what he thought was first sight. Juliet, with her cheekbones too delicate to ever have belonged to a boy felt Romeo’s piercing stare and turned hence locking eyes with the handsome young man she did not recognize. And just like that, on a forgettable dance floor at their ten year high school reunion, surrounded by former classmates and the sounds of Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escape, and after seeing each other for the millionth time, Romeo and Juliet fell in love at first sight. The feeling was strong and mutual, and as happens with some loves, irreversible. Their parents, who had stopped talking to their children when informed about their identity transformations, now also stopped talking to each other. The next door neighbors, once best friends, blamed each other for the ‘disgrace’ their children trusted upon them and started hating each other with the same passion they once invested in their friendship. Romeo and Juliet did not care that their families were now sworn enemies, and continued to love each other in a most poetic way.                                   I don’t know what happened after but somebody said that they were so enchanted with Italy, which they visited on their honeymoon, that they decided to settle there and become English teachers in some town whose name I’m not sure about. Could be Verona but don’t take my word for it.

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