We all come to Valentine’s Day with baggage—and not just the red, heart-shaped kind that’s full of chocolates. In honor of the holiday of lurve, I thought I would tell my favorite modern love story.
Our story begins with two unlikely lovers, pushed together by fate—and one very crowded subway car. From the moment they met, when Juliet found her face pressed into Dan Romeo’s sweaty armpit on the jolting F-Train, they behaved like two pups that had just tasted meat for the first time. They were insufferable—no!—inseparable.
Then one night Romeo and his friend Ben Volio went to meet Juliet at their favorite spot, Bar Verona, where she waited with her cousin Ty Balt—on her mother’s side—who had just moved to New York. However, when Romeo and Ben Volio arrived, a drunk dude tripped good ol’ Ben V. and Romeo, ever the good friend, stepped in to defend him. Well, one thing led to another, for you know how things go, and soon Dan Romeo could show his face at Bar Verona no mo’.
As fate would have it, the drunk gentleman in the fight was none other than Juliet’s cousin Ty. Hearing of Ty’s black eye, before his big corporate interview the next morning no less, Juliet’s family ordered her never to see that Dan Romeo again.
Given that the next day was Valentine’s, Juliet’s mother arranged a date with her friend’s son, Jeremy Paris Jr., instead. Desperate and dreading that fateful arrangement, Juliet sat in her room weeping, hoping Dan Romeo would show up, text or at the very least drunk-dial. When he did not, she imagined the worst.
She pictured him out with that two-bit ho’ Rosaline, who used to text him “Where 4 art thou Romeo?” late at night. In a fit of despair, Juliet picked up her phone and dialed 1-800-COOKIES.
When the cookies arrived, warm and gooey in their pizza box, she climbed back into her quilted tomb where she wept and ate. She took a long slow sip of milk and let the mustache sit atop her quivering upper lip.
Within minutes, she was fast asleep underneath the pizza box of cookies. A sweet escape, she felt no more pain.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Drunk Romeo! He knocked once, twice, three times to no avail. Could it be, was Juliet out on a date with that jerk Jeremy Paris Jr.? He remembered the spare key in the stairwell and opened her door, poised to await her return and take on JP Jr.
But what was this, Juliet asleep in her bed? What innocence! And yet why was her stomach so full? What frothy white mustache? The hard cookie rinds left in the box. Ah, woe! Let me join you in that sweet saving sleep!
With that, Romeo finished the rest of the cookies, licked the last of Juliet’s milk mustache, and collapsed beside her with one final “mmm.”
Just then Juliet’s phone made a buzz. Ah ha! She awoke. My Romeo?! But alas, it was JP Jr. confirming the details of the next night. Ah woe, woe to have such—what is this?! There she saw Romeo, asleep to her side. My love!
She hugged him close, but his stomach made a sound. That telltale churning. She smelled the peanut butter on his breath. Oh Romeo, to have joined her food coma a moment too soon!
She reached her hand across his chest and felt something hard. A box of Valentine’s chocolates—oh, what saving grace! With one final kiss, she ate the chocolates, every last one, and atop him she lay, stomach aching and full.
And so, I shall say, think wisely before you eat your Valentine’s Day troubles away. For never was a story of more indigestion and regret, as that of Dan Romeo and his true love, Juliet.
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