This is Lilah after she learns of Cole's love of Shakespeare:
“I played Juliet in our high school’s version of the play,” I said.
“I’ll bet you tortured poor Romeo.”
“Maybe,” I grinned playfully. He had my number already.
Cole closed the book, got down on one knee and held a hand out to me. “‘But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? / It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. / Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief.’”
“‘Ay me,’” I laughed as he stood...
He handed me back the book. “Here, test me. Open it to any page and repeat a line or two of a highlighted section. I’ll tell you the play, along with the act and scene it’s from.”
I took the book with a smirk. He wasn’t the only lover of Shakespeare in the room. My advantage? My well-versed knowledge of love quotes. I did a paper in eleventh grade on famous love quotes from Sir William’s works. I almost felt bad for what I was about to do to Cole. Almost.
I held up the book, and with longing in my eyes, I quoted, “‘Did my heart love till now.’” It was an easy one to start with in an effort to bolster his courage.
“Too easy. Romeo and Juliet. Act I, Scene 5.” He smiled confidently, folding his arms after waving me on.
I turned a couple of pages and tried again. “‘This bud of love by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.’”
Cole shook his head. “Act II, Scene 2, same play.”
“Okay, let’s pick a new play.” I scanned ahead and found another highlighted passage. Oh, yeah, perfect. I looked up at Cole. He was already rolling his eyes.
“What?” I said innocently.
“Nothing. Go ahead.”
“‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?’” I laughed as he buried his face in his hand.
“As You Like It. Act III, Scene 5,” he said into his palm.
Then because I couldn’t resist the irony, I quoted, “‘I pray you, do not fall in love with me/ For I am falser than vows made in wine.’”
“Same play, same scene. Lilah, humor me and pick something from a tragedy,” he said, exasperated.
“You’re not very romantic, Cole...” I turned to Macbeth, scanning through the pages until I spotted it. “Ready?”
“Is it from one of Shakespeare’s tragedies?” he pressed.
“Yes. This play is as gruesome as Sir William gets.” I grimaced. He signaled for me to continue. The guy liked this little game way too much.
“‘A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage, to make’s love known.’” I swallowed my grin as he tossed his head back and groaned.
“What? You said a tragedy, and Macbeth is definitely that.” I set the book carefully back in the box, knowing we were done playing his little game.
“Come on, Juliet. Let’s go down to the cafeteria and get something to drink.” Then he added before I could quip, because I was about to, “And no, not poison.”
Unbelievable by Sherry Gammon Excerpt
Monday, April 15, 2013