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How Texting Saved Verona

Chapter Text

Two teen ag ers , both sim il ar in wealth,

In cha ot ic Ve ro na, the sto ry takes place

With death and blame from an cient gru dges held,

Comes mu ti ny and vi ol ence from folk,

Sprung forth from fat al plans , a young coup le,

Their fate was bloom’d love and un time ly death,

And the cen tur ies past doom ed the rest,

To a long fu ture of a great big mess,

Where pure love still in minds hold cou ples strong,

And breaks the cy cle of fight ing and death,

With rage with in fam il ies will find ends,

Like the bod ies bur ied aft er the mend,

It is now that we start the breath tak ing

Tale that brings folks to ge ther like te thers.

Chapter Text

Juliet strolled through the stone-paved street, looking through the messages on her phone. She had recently gotten a new phone (and phone number), so she was double-checking her contacts and chats to make sure she had backed up everything correctly. Juliet still blamed Tybalt for the disaster that ended with her phone in the toilet of a stranger’s house during a party. While she loved her cousin, he was too violent and hated the Montagues too much. He had gotten into yet another fight with some Montagues at a gathering they attended, which was the reason she currently had a new phone now. (“Juliet, it was about time you got a new phone anyways. There are so many new models you can get-” “-Tybalt, shut your mouth now.”)

As she was giggling at the memory of Tybalt trying to explain what had happened to her phone to her parents, her new phone dinged from an incoming message. Juliet blinked, then looked down at the message, frowning when she saw that it was from an unknown number.

 

Unknown: Hey Rosaline!

Do you remember me?

What? Juliet frowned, looking at this message. Rosaline? Her cousin? Why was this person trying to text her? She shrugged and replied back accordingly.

Juliet: I’m not Rosaline, sorry. You’ve got the wrong number.

 

Unknown: Sorry!!

My apologies! My best friend gave me this number and said it was hers.

 

Juliet: Well, it isn’t. Your friend might have given you the wrong number. Good luck finding her’s, though.

They didn’t reply after that, so she just left it at that and tucked her phone into her pocket. Briefly, she wondered what the stranger wanted with Rosaline. She shrugged and decided not to think too much about it, and just decided to leave them to suffer and find Rosaline’s number some other way. Just as she turned a corner, Tybalt came sprinting down the sidewalk and almost crashed into her. He was out of breath and sweaty, and Juliet could see bruises forming around his arms as if someone had grabbed him from behind or tackled him to the ground.

“Cuz! Guess who just bested a bunch of Montagues in another fight! Obviously, I –“

Juliet scowled. “Wait, what? Tybalt, not another fight! Don’t you guys have enough of this fighting? Why do you crave violence so much?” Juliet groaned, wondering why her cousin was so absolutely obsessed with fighting anyone he didn’t like.

“You wouldn’t believe me! These Montagues were just so dumb--even more dim-witted than the rest! In a shocking--well, considering they’re Montagues, it wasn’t really that surprising--display of idiocy, they challenged me to a duel! But then again, all Montagues are a rowdy, stupid bunch! They even had the audacity to stab one of our cousins! They even hit our servant Sampson with their car! It was absolutely bonkers out there. Some of their underlings had been running around, threatening our members, and I couldn’t just… just stand there. Benvolio, the jerk, came and tried to ‘make the peace’, as if that snob was better than any of us-” Tybalt’s face twisted in rage as he continued, “-So I was beating them up when I-“

Juliet sighed, resigning herself towards listening to her cousin rant about the horrible Montagues for a couple more hours.

***

Three weeks later, Juliet was shopping with her housemaid, as she had been outgrowing her old ones. Her maid saw a particularly gaudy faux-fur lined sequined coat and immediately grabbed it to see what it would look like. As Juliet sat down on a bench to wait, another peculiar text came in.

 

Unknown: i can’t beelievee you!

i thought you were my best friend

clearly, you have no morrals whatsoever

:((((

 

Okayyy . . . This was new. It looked like another misunderstanding. Her hand floated over her phone for a moment before she opened it up and started to text back.

 

Juliet: Wrong number again. You seem to have mixed mine up with your jokester of a friend.

 

Unknown: oh shi

yeah hahaha

 

There was a hesitating pause. Juliet leaned against the wall. She waited, frowning at her phone as she tapped her foot, annoyed.

 

Unknown: he decided to be a good friend and lock me in my room before i did something

something dumb

 

Juliet: I’m taking you didn’t see it that way?

 

Unknown: i can’t help it! love calls to me like a willow bird calls in hampshire street!

 

The only thing keeping Juliet from snorting right now in the shop were the lessons of etiquette she took as a child. But, the idea was sweet, she supposed. She tapped a reply.

 

Juliet: . . .

 

Unknown: another person who doesn’t believe in my poetic ability :((((((

 

Juliet: No!

 

She tried to think of words polite enough to not offend the other person.

 

Juliet: It was very poetic--a good try! It just wasn’t exactly understandable.

 

Before she could see his reply, her housemaid called her from the changing room. She felt a twinge of sadness at ending this amusing conversation, but she had to go.

Juliet:  I have to go now.

 

Unknown: k

can we continue talking later?

i just think it would be nice to make a new friend

and you dont seem like an ax murderer

(if you are, please say so now)

 

Juliet hesitated, wondering if it was the right decision to continue talking to a stranger. Would her parents get mad? She couldn’t continue doing this if they were truly against it! But, but, she remembered how her parents had talked about how they wished she would make new friends, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Maybe Juliet could take this little tiny chance? As long as she didn’t give him a lot of information, it would be fine. Perfectly fine. Plus, it’d be fun to have someone to text to, as she usually didn’t have the best friend she had always wished for so much.

 

Juliet: I’ll be done in a few hours! We can continue talking then. :)


Juliet put her phone away, a small smile growing on her face as she pushed away from the stone wall. She just had to wait until after this trip. She heard her housemaid call for her from the changing room and began to walk over, much happier then she had been only minutes ago. After all, something exciting was waiting for her once she got home.

Chapter Text

It had been a month since Juliet had started texting her mysterious friend, and she had found out already a few things:

  • The person was a boy (At least, that’s what he claimed and she was inclined to believe him).
  • He couldn’t capitalize to save his life and grammar wasn’t a priority (where his proper texts from when he had first talked to her went, she wasn’t sure).
  • He loved poetry; especially poems about love. Sadly, he wasn’t very talented at writing it, though even she was surprised sometimes by the sweet things he could send.

 

When she was younger, and even now, she was very sheltered by her parents. Juliet knew it was her parents’ way of showing their love, and so she didn’t mind. She only went out with her housemaid and didn’t have many friends. Finally getting to know someone her parents hadn’t introduced to give her a satisfying and warm feeling that simmered softly underneath her skin every time they texted.

Juliet was sitting that afternoon in her room, bored out of her mind. She’d already finished her studies and was left with nothing else to do that day, as she had been homeschooled all her life, and rarely left her house. Juliet never entertained the idea of sneaking out or not listening to her parents, always following her parent’s rules, no matter how bored or tired of it she got.

A ding could be heard echoing in her large room, and she hurriedly reached over from her bed to the table stand for her phone. Unsurprisingly, it was her mysterious texting buddy again.

 

PoeticLoser: and how are we today my lady

 

She smiled at his ridiculousness and replied swiftly, happy to be relieved of her boredom as she laid on her stomach, swinging her feet.

 

PrincessJulie: You are insufferable.

 

PoeticLoser: hopefully only the best kind ;)

ive been meaning to ask, but what’s with your name?

your names julie or something?

which is a lovely name btw

 

Her mind flashed DANGER ZONE’ and tried to figure out how to explain the nickname she had given herself. She didn’t want to reveal herself, for she had only met this stranger recently. While had been an amazing friend to her, she needed to be careful for fear of sullying her family’s reputation. It seemed that she had taken to long to gather her thoughts, as before she could come up with a reason, she received another message from him.

 

PoeticLoser: I apologize if I made you uncomfortable. I was merely curious as to who my online friend was. You don’t have to answer it. In fact . . .

 

Juliet let out a sigh of relief. A smile appeared on her face and she felt warm from his consideration of her feelings. And he used proper text as well! Still,  she wondered what he meant by ‘in fact’. Juliet didn’t have to wait long, for another message appeared.

 

PoeticLoser changed PrincessJules to GrammarQueen.

 

Juliet laughed out loud at that. He was ridiculous. Grinning, she replied.

 

GrammarQueen: Thank you. It means a lot to me that you would do this. :)

 

PoeticLoser: no problem

if the world lost consideration and compassion

then we will all have become monsters

only fighting to see the light of day again

 

GrammarQueen: That’s . . . actually not that bad.

 

PoeticLoser: a compliment from my lady? i have truly been blessed today

 

GrammarQueen: Dork.

 

PoeticLoser: i object! i am as charming as i am handsome

 

GrammarQueen: So . . . not at all?

 

PoeticLoser: i am hurt!!!!! princess, how could you?!?!?!

 

Juliet laughed at their exchange, enjoying her banter with this funny dork. Just as she was about to reply, though, her housemaid came in.

 

“Juliet! Come quickly! Your mother and father have called for you,” she said excitedly, currently looking very proud of Juliet.

 

Juliet raised an eyebrow, wondering what was happening and nodded. She quickly sent a text off to her friend saying she needed to go and followed her nurse to the banquet hall where her parents waited.

 

As she got closer to the doors of the banquet, she quickly checked her appearance and dusted her dress off, making sure she looked neat and acceptable. She had the feeling that whatever her parents were calling her for was something big, and she was rarely wrong about these kinds of things.

 

As she got closer to the room, she stiffened slightly. There stood a handsome stranger, leaning next to her father. She recognized the face: Paris. The famous rich heir that was shown in many magazines as the number one bachelor. She bit her lip, wondering what a fine man like him was doing at her house. Just before she entered the room, his voice echoed loudly.

 

“Lord Capulet, I must ask this of you: please give me your blessings to pursue Juliet!”

 

Juliet stopped where she was in the middle of the room, and wondered what Paris was asking about. No one had yet noticed her, and she saw her father sigh as he replied.

 

“She is too young to date. Juliet is only thirteen! Once she turns fifteen, you may ask her out. Until then, you don't have my permission to woo her.”

 

“Lord Capulet, if I may-”

 

“You may not. You are acting like those foul Montagues, but at least even loathsome Montague’s son, Romeo, is a gentleman and knows when to stop pushing,” He sighed once more. “I have had enough. Please leave.”

 

Juliet finally made her presence known, clearing her throat awkwardly as she walked in.

 

“Father!” She called, “Our nurse said you wished to see me? What do you ever need me for?” Paris began to stalk away, staring at her with a charming smile and focused eyes in a way Juliet wasn’t comfortable with. She greeted him politely as he left, before nervously turning back to her father. Her father frowned at him for a moment as he closed the door behind him, and then, he turned his eyes to her. Her mother, who had been quiet during the entire exchange, stepped forward to greet Juliet with gleaming eyes. Juliet almost felt like wilting forward. After all, her mother only looked like this when she found a way to advance their family’s social status and wealth, and it seemed her plans involved Juliet once again. But she would try to follow her mother as best as she could through this dangerous road called life. (Perhaps she was being dramatic again . . . ) She knew her parents always had her best interests in mind whenever they made a choice, and she always wanted to give back what she could to them.

 

“Juliet,” her mother started, “You see, Paris is a fine young lord with a powerful backing. It seems he has taken a fancy to you and would be a good choice should you ever decide to pursue any romantic interest.”

 

Juliet felt a little incredulous. “Marriage?!”

 

Her mother tisked, and strutted forward. She placed her hands on her shoulder, hands as strong as steel, and gazed steadily into her eyes. “Juliet, if a marriage to Paris is what you wish for, then we shall start preparing immediately!”

 

It seemed the nurse had found this as best time as many to pipe up. “Why marriage?! Juliet, this is of great honor! Oh, and you caught a handsome fellow as well!” The nurse giggled. “Oh, why I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. My husband--a great man he was--was never able to say no to me. Why, we feasted upon roasted ducks, and lambs, and cakes aplenty for weeks afterward! It dried his pockets up like a desert steaming beneath the sun, but with a family like yours and young Lord Paris’, there should be no problem! I hope Paris will be as kind--No! Kinder. He will be even kinder than my late husband. A blooming flower of elegance and gentle fragrance! Do make sure he doesn’t use that nasty Axe Deodorant; It caused my daughter’s death! Her allergies--Oh, but Susan is happy now. She was born on the same day as you, and now, she would perhaps be finding her very own Paris. Well, Paris is yours, so perhaps she would have found her own Rome or someone o--”

 

“--Nurse, I do believe--”

 

The nurse laughed cheerfully, continuing on her reminiscing. “My husband, may he rest peacefully with Susan, had always been so kind and strong. We always watched baby animal videos together, and now, whenever I see a kitten or puppy video alone, I feel like the world is empty! Oh, love, so cruel and so heartless! My heart has gone to my family, and love is both a blessing and a curse! Love goes with the people you love, and now I only have your family left to cherish. Juliet, I do love thee as my own child. Why, I raised you when your parents were gone, and I hope to see your wedding day come while I still have a breath left in me! Why, if Paris is as skilled in bed as my husband, then you will want for nothing--”

 

“Nurse!” The nurse finally paused at her Lady Capulet’s indigent yell. “I think we have had enough of your chattering today. You may leave.” Lady Capulet turned to Juliet. “Now, Juliet, my dear, what are your thoughts on marriage?”

 

Juliet thought carefully for a second, wanting to please her parents as best she could. “Well, I have never thought of it, as I find myself far too young to think of these things.”

 

Her mother seemed a little peeved at this answer, but her father finally joined in the conversation. “And you would be right to say so! You are far too young for these things, my darling daughter!” He came up and hugged her. She hugged back, feeling the warmth of her father and smiling, at ease once more. “Paris will only be able to lay eyes upon you if you allow it. If he would like to court or marry you, he must have your permission, not mine! However, if he ever bothers you, tell me immediately, and I will make sure to deal with him accordingly.”

 

“Of course, father.” Juliet smiled primly. “I hope to always make you proud of me.”

Her father laughed, eyes crinkling in deep, joyous happiness at that moment. “You truly are my favorite child!”

 

“Father,” she began. “I am your only child!” Her mother seemed to not want to interfere, only smiling gently, and Juliet felt a sense of relief deep in her veins. The biggest truth she would ever be able to tell was this; she loved her family with all her heart.

 

----------------------

 

PoeticLoser: hey your back!

 

GrammerQueen: *you’re

And yeah. My family wanted me.

 

There was a pause for a few seconds before he started to type back.

 

PoeticLoser: You okay?

 

GrammarQueen: Yeah, I just feel like qweryiolkgdsdfghjknbvvb

Someone wants to marry me and he’s way older than me. And I don’t think I want to marry him. My parents are pushing me to marry him for my own good. I don’t want to betray my family.

 

PoeticLoser: I

I could marry you instead?

 

Juliet snorted. Then promptly began to blush the color of ripe tomatoes as she typed back a reply.

 

GrammarQueen: Don’t be silly! We’ve never even met!

 

PoeticLoser: But we could.

Do you want to meet up tomorrow night? You and me, McDonalds, 6:00. We’ll eat fries and complain about our lives.

Up for it?

 

GrammarQueen: McDonald’s, really? For a first date?

 

PoeticLoser: ;))) A date? I’d be delighted, my Queen.

 

Juliet opened her mouth in surprise. I . . . She laughed out loud, feeling better already. Her eyes darkened quickly though. Her fingers froze, the words she wanted to type out gone.

 

Aren’t you interested in Rosaline? Isn't that why you tried to text her?

Instead, she drew up a smile and started texting back hesitantly.

 

GrammarQueen: McDonald’s sounds great right now. Text me the location?

 

PoeticLoser: of course!!! i’ll see you there :))

 

Juliet felt like she was practically glowing with excitement. She was ready to meet this mysterious friend, and even more ready to find out where she and Rosaline stood with him. (And perhaps, she see if he was serious about his proposal . . .)

Chapter Text

GrammarQueen: Hey, so when do you want to meet up?
And which McDonald’s?

Tybalt: ??
juliet?
what

GrammarQueen: Oh, sorry. Wrong person!
It’s fine Tybalt, ignore me.

Tybalt: but
you have no friends besides me???
juliet? are you okay? no ones thretenign you or something right?
JULIET

---------------------

Benvolio: Hey man
you okay? i’m a little concerned right now
you’ve been in a daze all day
just tell me what’s going on. i’m here to listen, not judge
please, just tell me what’s going on.
your family is worried about you
you’ve been lovesick for so long
just come outside your room and go talk to them. maybe get some fresh air and go to a mcdonalds or something

----------------

Benvolio: hey mercutio
i’m a little worried about romeo
he isn’t answering my texts
i think i might need your help to lock him in his room again
hes probably going to try to go to rosaline again

Mercutio: romeo is the bigest idoit ive ever met
almost more stupid than a capulet lol
i ws walking through the highschol and i saw him bumpig into evryone today with this digusting look on hi face
brb gonna go text im

------------------

Mercutio: yo man you better ot be thinking of going to rosaline again
dude
bruh
You’ve been in a daze all day dude
bennies getting worried
Romeo come on man
you know me
im your best dude
talk to me

Romeo: sorry been busy preparing
don’t worry about me

Mercutio: preparing for wht
romeo
gET BACK HERE
I NEED ANWSERS
------------------

Benvolio: what did you find out?

Mercutio: that we need to get a tracker on his phoene the lITTLE WEASEL
HES DOING SOMETHIGE!

Benvolio: i’ll get the handcuffs and potato sack ready

Mercutio: LETS GET HIM
HAHAHA
I LOVE BEING A BEST FRIEND LOL

Benvolio: I should be getting paid for this . . .

------------------

Tybalt: JULIET
I WANT ANSWERS

Juliet: Don’t worry Tybalt! I’m fine.

Tybalt: THAT WASNT WHAT I WNTED
I’M TRACKING YOUR PHONE RIGHT NOW! IT WILL BE ALRIGHT!!!
STAY THERE!
NO MATTER WHERE THEY TAKE YOU, I WILL FIND YOU!

Juliet: I haven’t been kidnapped!

Tybalt: JUST WHAT A KIDNAPPER WOULD SAY!!!!!!
YOU’RE DEAD, MONTAGUES!

-----------------

GrammarQueen: You there?
I’m so sorry
My cousin locked me in my house
He thought I was kidnapped. He’s just worried about me.
I can’t come out right now.
Please reply quickly!
I can’t meet up with you!
I don’t think I have service right now because Tybalt said he’d turn it off but I’m still going to try to send this!
He’s going to take my phone away.
I’m sorry

----------------

PoeticLoser: queen?
you there?
my friends locked me in my room again, thinking i would do something drastic
i lvoe them, but i did not need this
i think someone’s going to take my phone away
my parents have been thinking about it for a while
they want me to spend more time with them as a family
queen
qUEEN
QUEEN
sorry for all caps
you there?
please reply, i want to apologize!
queen?
i let you down
im sorry

---------------
43 unread messages, 25 missed calls