Shakespeare Wrote About Us

Shakespeare Wrote About Us
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In the beginning, we were Romeo and Juliet, exchanging promises of eternal love, caring words, kisses, saliva and other bodily fluids, feelings of joy or even exhilaration, that lost sense of belonging warming our hearts, when we walked down the street, hand in hand.

In the beginning, we were one. Two of a kind. Inseparable lovers. Fated to be together, until death’d do us part. Once we saw the film, we jumped into the screen, and forgot to jump out when the film ended.

Until reality stormed in. Until the film spit us out. Until our fragile egos broke through. We stood there, facing each other, suspicion in our eyes, a futile attempt at balance, like when walking on ice, or a stretched rope.

Then, we became two. Two of a crime. Disconnected components of the same machine. Doomed to remain broken, until repairs were performed. Breaking up every once in a while. Each of us on their own, both of us as a team. Over and over. Again and again.

Our little worlds collapsed and at the time, the whole world collapsed too. Yet we collapsed alone. We suffered in silence. Each of us hiding the pain from the other.

*

We managed to break into the film again, only our bond transformed into a minefield. We were careful not to walk on the mines, yet we failed again and again.

As soon as one of us turned around to leave, the other turned into a predator chasing after the prey. Breaking up wasn’t that hard after all. We were used to the pain, or even addicted to suffering. We enjoyed the game, as if we were children, left alone, playing with fire.

Yet we lived among ruins, in a dystopic film about a world lost, in which the protagonists kill each other in turns. Every once in a while, we crossed the bridge. The pain of falling apart felt less excruciating when we stood on the bridge. We came always in costumes, or uniforms, depending on circumstances. We sometimes came in armors, on chariots, carrying our spears and shields, pointing at each other, as if we were the worst of enemies.

*

 
We entered the bridge from different sides. We met in the middle. Only then did we lift our eyes to face each other. There came the most crucial moment. That’s when we measured our strength. Behind the masks we tried to hide, yet the sparks could not be hidden. Sparks of passion or contempt.
The battle may have seemed like a passionate dance to the unsuspecting eye. Yet the pain felt real. Covered under the mask. Suppressed under the uniform. The result remained unknown, until the end. One and one equals one or two?
And the battle went on and on. Until one of us surrendered, admitting defeat.
Then we left the bridge embraced, proud to be one again, defying arithmetic rules, against all odds.
We threw away the costumes, secretly wishing that one day, one of us would be strong enough to burn that bridge and free us.

Several explosions later, we broke up for good. Shakespeare wrote about us, only he didn’t know how to name the story, uncertain if it was a love story or a tale of power struggle.

Compared to us, Romeo and Juliet had a happy ending.

About Mileva Anastasiadou

Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist from Athens, Greece. Her work includes two books in Greek and various stories in places such as the Molotov Cocktail, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres and others.

Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist from Athens, Greece. Her work includes two books in Greek and various stories in places such as the Molotov Cocktail, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres and others.

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