Romeo and/or Juliet: Play as Juliet!
Haha EVERYONE wanted Juliet! Except the few that voted for Romeo, but to be fair it was pointed out to me that HE really wants Juliet too, so I supposed everyone is happy!
A word of warning: it’s a long one today! In the book, Juliet’s first few options are all side-by-side and don’t have any choices, to help share the sense that she’s trapped on her own life so you’ll both want to escape it as soon as you can. This works great in a book! It works less great when you can only read one page a day, so I’m gonna post her first few choices here until we get to a real one, and THEN we’ll decide what happens next.
PLAY AS JULIET
You are Juliet! Right now you’re sitting in your bedroom chatting with your nurse and only friend, Mrs. Angelica Nurse. YES, her last name is “Nurse” and she works as a nurse. Don’t judge, Juliet. It’s not like you haven’t capuleted a few times before.
We’ve all seen it.
ANYWAY. Your nurse, “A. Nurse,” leaves you because it’s 9 a.m. and she has things to do, among them getting this house ready for the crazy party your parents are throwing tonight. Yes, a crazy party on a Sunday! Who throws a party on a Sunday night? The rich who don’t have to work, that’s who! This includes your parents, and, assuming they die without producing any male heirs, eventually you as well!
It’s time to start your day too, Juliet. You tear through some quick stomach crunches (three reps of ten) and some pec blasts (four reps of eight), and you’re ready to start your day. So! You’re well muscled and your family’s rich. What’s for breakfast?
Haha, just kidding. Your parents have already planned out your whole day for you weeks in advance. When you get downstairs, Mom and breakfast are already waiting for you. She puts your protein shake on the counter, tells you to drink it up, and leaves.
“Yes, Mom,” you say automatically.
- Drink the protein shake
DRINK THE PROTEIN SHAKE
You reach for the protein shake and bring it to your lips. And because I’m sure you want to know what you’re drinking, let me give you the recipe!
Juliet’s Pro-Power Miracle Shake
- one pound of protein (animal flesh, basically; you get yours on standing order from the Merchant of Breakfast downtown)
- 1. Add meat to giant glass.
- 2. Pour in milk until mixture is of desired milkiness.
- 3. Shake vigorously.
- 4. Enjoy!
It’s about as good as it sounds. And it sounds great!!
You chug down breakfast quickly and efficiently, wiping your mouth with the back of a well-muscled arm, and you’re off to start your day! Time to grab this day by the horns and wrestle it into submission!!
Only, at this point your mom sticks her head in and says, “Juliet, would you be a dear and clean your room?”
“Yes Mom,” you say automatically.
- Go clean your room
GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM
You go upstairs and clean your room, Juliet, just as you were told. When you’re done you shout downstairs to your mom.
“I’m done cleaning, Mom!” you shout.
“Good girl!” she replies. “Please sit there and do your lute homework until I call for you.”
“Yes Mom,” you say automatically.
You spend several hours practicing on your lute. Yesterday your mom said that if you get good enough at it she’ll allow you to perform at one of their parties. You don’t even like the lute that much, but the idea did get you a little excited. Of course, in her next breath she said you were nowhere near good enough at lute yet and doubled the number of pieces you have to learn by the end of the week.
After a while you hear your mother calling up to you. “That’s enough, Juliet!” she shouts, probably tired of hearing the first few bars of “Minor-Key Study Piece for Intermediate Lute Students #52” over and over again. “You’ve got two hours of personal time now, but don’t leave the castle!”
“Yes Mom!” you say, super excited. Any free time you get is the best time of your day! And that’s not saying much, actually!
But enough about that sad stuff: it’s time to have some FRIGGIN’ FUN.
- Go have fun
GO HAVE FUN
So, the thing is, you’re not allowed out of the house, and everyone’s busy with prepping for the party. Even your nurse can’t talk to you right now.
You flex your way downstairs to the servants’ kitchen and ask if there’s anything you can do to help out, and while you DO help them open up a few tricky jars, it only takes half an hour at most to go through every tricky jar you can find. Soon all the jars are opened and you’re surreptitiously screwing on a few lids super tight so at least you’ll have something to do tomorrow morning.
It’s pretty boring, Juliet! I should’ve told you this sooner, but your life is pretty boring these days. All days, really. The sad fact is, it’s boring to live in a castle with your parents where nothing interesting happens and you got big into muscles because then at least you’d have something to do while standing around bored for hours (that something is building muscles).
So that’s what you do (you go work out so that you might maintain your existing muscles and maybe get better ones too), and before you know it your free time is almost over and it’s time to go back into your room.
- Finish your workout
FINISH YOUR WORKOUT
You gingerly put down the weights you were blasting and wipe down your workout equipment. Then you change out of your wet and sweaty and gross and stinky and entirely unsexy “Juliet workout tights” and into your much less sweaty and at least slightly sexier “Juliet hanging-around-the-castle tights” with your favorite red dress on top.
You’re just pulling it on when you hear Angelica calling for you. “In a minute!” you reply, but a few seconds later you can hear your mom and Angelica outside your door. Your mom is asking where you are, and Angelica is saying that she already called for you.
“I called for her already! I swear I did! I swear on my virginity at age twelve!” she says, which is kinda weird and a little bit pervy.
“That was kinda weird and a little bit pervy,” you mutter to yourself, making the final adjustments to your dress. You leave your bedroom and greet your mother and nurse waiting outside your door.
“Guys, calm down, I’m here,” you say. “What do you want?”
Your mom sends your nurse away. “Juliet and I must talk privately,” she says.
“Okay,” Angelica says, leaving.
“Wait, I just remembered, actually you’re allowed to hear our secrets,” your mom says.
“Okay,” Angelica says, returning.
“Wait, before we start,” your mom says, “POP QUIZ: how old is my only child?”
You’d like to say she’s testing your nurse, but you’re not entirely convinced your mom actually knows.
- Let Angelica answer
LET ANGELICA ANSWER
Angelica says your 17th birthday will be this July 31 (hey, that’s only a few weeks away! EXCITING) and she knows it down to the hour because her own child, Susan, was born that very same day.
SPOILER ALERT: Angelica tends to go on a bit, so I’m gonna cut this down to just the highlights because nobody’s getting paid by the word here. Brevity is the soul of wit! That’s a saying you can attribute to ME, the author of this crazy branching novel. Make sure nobody else steals it.
So! Here are the Angelica highlights:
- you were born July 31, and she knows because her own baby was born the same day
- that baby is named Susan (nice name)
- that baby is dead now (WHOAH, DANG YO)
- there was an earthquake on your birthday 14 years ago (irrelevant information, feel free to forget this right . . . now)
- you stopped breast-feeding on that very day (okay, that’s fine)
- she put wormwood on her nipple to wean you (okay, whatever, let’s move on)
- this made you mad at her breast and you and the breast had a falling-out (how are we still talking about this)
- the day before the combination earthquake/weaning, you fell while walking and bruised your face and Angelica’s husband picked you up to comfort you
- her husband is dead now too (OH WELL)
- her husband asked you if you fell forward on your face, and then asked if when you grew up you’d “fall backwards” instead
- what the heck?! That’s a sex euphemism!
- her late husband made sex jokes to a three-year-old child
- may I just reiterate, what the heck?!
- anyway, three-year-old you said “Yes!” to this question that you could not possibly understand and it was SO HILARIOUS that here we are talking about it OVER A DECADE LATER
At this point your mom (TOTALLY of her own volition and not because I’m getting tired of this myself) asks Angelica to be quiet, which she eventually does, but not before adding:
- the bruise on your head was as big as a rooster’s testicle
WOW. You want to end this here, Juliet?
- OPTION “CHANGE THE SUBJECT”: In which you ask them what they want to talk to you about
- OPTION “LEARN ROOSTER SCIENCE”: In which you say “Wait, hold on, I don’t really have the context for the rooster’s-testicle thing. How big are we talking about here?”
Vote in the comments (and I love the rhyming couplet votes, thank you for everyone who does them!) and we'll see the winning choice tomorrow!