Romeo and Julian – A Short Story

stage lightsHe was late for rehearsal.

This normally never happened to him, but nothing had gone right that day. He’d picked up his favourite mug for a sip of coffee and found it chipped and broken down one side. He had a stain on his shirt and a tear in his pants so had to change.

Then the broom had fallen. “Company’s coming.” He whispered.

Kraig-Paul didn’t normally believe in old wives tales, bur that one had stuck with him. He remembered what his mother had said: “Pay attention when a broom falls, KP. It means that company’s on it’s way.”

He was on edge as he made his way to the theatre. The one thing his mother hadn’t been clear on was when he could expect company to arrive. Sometimes it took days, sometimes mere minutes. He looked at everyone he passed on the way, wondering if any of them could be the company he was expecting.

Arriving at the theatre, Kraig-Paul rushed back stage. His director, Ron Cameron, found him right away. “What are you doing arriving so late, KP? We’ve got a play to rehearse!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. What did I miss?”

“Nothing, we’re waiting for you. I need you to meet your new Julian.”

“My new who? Don’t you mean Juliette?” The company was doing Romeo and Juliette for an upcoming show on Valentine’s Day.

“Well, I was thinking. Everyone’s done Romeo and Juliet, they’ve been done to death, literally. So I want to do things a little bit differently. Here.”

Ron handed him a script and he flipped through it. “You’ve made Juliette into a Julian?”

“Well, darling, a gay Romeo and Juliette has never been done before! Think of how ground breaking this will be!”

Kraig-Paul flipped through the rest of the script. “You have them living at the end.”

“Of course I do, darling. If we’re going to do things differently, why not go big of go home? And the whole dying thing, so over done. I mean, we spend two hours watching them fall in love, and they both kill themselves? Not in my fairy tale.”

“You can’t mess with Shakespeare’s work.”

“Sure I can and I have. Now get on stage, we’re going to start with rehearsals for the balcony scene!”

“But that doesn’t come to part until later.”

“It’s the moment where they realise they love each other! It’s literally the moment! How better to find if you’ll have a connection with him! Now come on! Oh, and he’s really easy on the eyes. That can’t hurt.”

Following him through the backstage hallways made with walls of black curtain, Kraig-Paul wondered if Ron was drunk or stoned or a healthy mixture of both. He had done some crazy things before, but a gay Romeo and Juliet? Madness.

When he walked out on stage, he was blinded for a moment by the lights. He blinked and let his eyes adjust to them. It was always the magic moment for him, when he stepped out on to stage and the lights were shining down on him.

On a stage, anything was possible. Ghosts existed, quests were possible and magic was real. He wished magic could exist in real life, but thus far he had only found it on the stage.

“Do you want me here, Ron?”

Kraig-Paul looked to where the voice had come from and saw the shadow of a man, standing high up on the balcony that had been built. He was in shadow for the moment but Kraig-Paul could see that he was tall and broad shouldered.

“Down here please, please sweetie, we’re just going to do a reading for now.”  Ron turned to Kraig-Paul. “Now, KP, you know the script, Julian-”

“Juliette you mean?”

“Julian, KP, Julian! They’re both gay remember. Now Julian comes out on the balcony and you start your speech. It’s that simple darling.”

However at that moment, the man playing Julian started to descend from the balcony. Kraig-Paul saw strong legs descend the lattice work and broad shoulders moving underneath a white cotton peasants shirt. Kraig-Paul couldn’t help looking at his rear end as he moved downward.

Then he was down, both feet on the ground. When he turned toward them, Kraig-Paul felt his breath stop. When his Julian began to walk towards him, his heart began to race. A blush began to spread along Kraig-Paul’s cheeks and he felt light headed.

Kraig-Paul recalled the broom falling earlier that morning and the sound of it hitting the tiled kitchen seemed to reverberate through him. “Company’s coming.” He whispered.

“What’s that darling?” Ron asked. “Why, KP! You looked all flushed! Are you all right?”

“Never better.” Kraig-Paul whispered.

Then he was there, his dark brown eyes flecked with gold seeming to catch the light and hold it. “KP? I’m your Julian. It’s nice to meet you.”

Kraig-Paul said the first thing that came to mind. “Nice to meet you. I’m very happy neither of us have to die at the end.”

“Same here. We even get to kiss a few times in the script and the sex scene?” His Julian’s eyes widened and he smiled a roguish grin. “It’s pretty hot.”

Kraig-Paul’s blush deepened and he shook his Julian’s hand and thrilled at the electric charge that ran through him and he was sorry to let his hand go. “I’m sure it is.” He wanted nothing more to practice those kissing scenes as soon as possible.

“All right darlings!” Ron clapped his hands to get their attention. “If you’re both done undressing each other with your eyes, maybe we could do the balcony scene? Act two, scene two! From the top!”

Kraig-Paul didn’t know what would happen with this man, his Julian, but he knew that he would enjoy every moment of finding out. He held out his hand again to the man with the brown eyes flecked with gold.

“Ready when you are.” He said.

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