In my freshemen year, we were required to write another story, this one in the same format of Romeo and Juliet. That being of course, Romeo liking some girl, finding she hated him, then discovering a second girl, and finding she loved him just as much as he loved her. A "Love at first sight" kind of love.

"Are looks all that matter to you?"


That kind of thing, in a way.

After this, he finds out most horrendously that their families hated each other, big time. As in a feud, like the Capulets and Montagues. That was the basic plot. Everything else was free to be chosen.

I personally think mine to be a bit too gushy, too "maudlin". It held too little of the humor that makes up the other ones in my class. To be to the point, it sounded like a short story you'd read in a small magazine, instead of an essay you'd read for English. I guess that's what I was shooting for at the time...

There's another, better story written by a pair of my friends, Eric Wu and Andy Salvo. The story is called Norman and Leverne. Have fun!

Does age make the difference?

Golden sunlight filtered through the feathery clouds of the brilliant blue sky. Birds sung their smooth, flowing melodies. The green grass of the fields seemed to be especially sweet-smelling this day. Spring flowers filled the air with perfumes. And best of all, spring break was only a week away.

"What a terrible day," sighed Morely Varkinson. As if on cue, an especially dark cloud temporarily blocked out the sun, darkening the eating area for just a minute.

His dark-brown hair glinted in the sun as he turned toward the cause of his lamentations. There stood Shirley Cathera, the girl of his dreams, laughing with her friends, tossing her brilliant blond hair about, telling her friends things with her red, dark red lips...And those eyes...shining like diamonds...

Morely turned away, feeling his cheeks burn. Glancing at his small analog watch, he decided that he should eat his lunch. It was already 12:53 PM, with only 7 minutes left in the lunch period. He fumbled for his lunch, until his wandering brown eyes looked at her.

She seemed like an angel, waiting, tantalizing him. Every thought lead him back to her. Every voice seemed like her own. Every smile seemed like her own. Every gentle touch, every cheerful sound, everything, everything seemed like her.


That was the Hagora High Honk, known to us as the bell.

Morely sobered up instantly, shouldering his pack and grabbing his lunch, hoping to finish it later. The long open hallway seemed endless, its gray cement walkway hard and unyielding. His feet slapped against it, step, step, oof, tumble, CRASH!.

Rubbing his terribly banged head, he stood to in a maelstrom of books. A young girl stared at him. His eyes blurred the images together.

Then she stood up, and he thought his eyes were really knocked loose. She was tall. Or in actuality, everyone was tall compared to him. Poor Morely was only 4'10". He was supposed to grow soon, as he was 14, and in high school, but in the mean time, it was tough luck.

He regretted his height disadvantage, especially now. Being short in front of everybody you knew(and didn't know) was no honor. He turned his face upward, and as he did so, his eyes snapped into focus. Immediately, he took a step back. She had a slight tan, mousey-brown hair, hazel eyes, and... Finally he recognized her. She was Mary Peterson, the girl who played violently in hockey today. He was about to turn and run, until she spoke.

"Excuse me, I'm sorry," she said. "I was just...Well, what I mean is...Coul'dya help?" She began picking up the books which were randomly strewn about on the ground.

This was not the response Morely expected. After all, being pounded into dust by all the people he met on campus did nothing for his feelings about the people he hadn't. But for some reason, he decided to give her a chance. He began helping her with her books, putting in one heavy item after another, and quickly, everything was repacked.

"Thanks," she said.

"Welcome, " replied Morely.

"Umm, I've never met you before. What's your name?" She almost sung the words.

"Morely Varkinson." The crowd started thinning out.

"Well, G'bye!"


He hurried on, still thinking what a strange incident that was. Nevertheless, the classroom was just ahead. He yanked on the door handle, and found his seat. He sat down, caught his breath, and looked around just as the bell honked again. He relaxed. After all, there were only two more classes before the day was over, and then-his hopeful thoughts turned into wistful ones. What is freedom, without...her...

His mind drifted off, and the next two classes passed very quickly. He walked out of his class slowly, deliberately, wondering what his parents might do over vacation. They might try to visit England again. It is their homeland, after all. It was his homeland too. They all came from England, but they moved here, so his father could get a better job. England's weather was different than here, so much cooler.

Terrible. He suddenly snapped himself in the real world, narrowly avoiding another collision. He would have to focus on walking instead of daydreaming. Up ahead, he spotted many people, and the girl.

He slowly walked, almost shuffled, up to Shirley. He looked at her and nervously said, "Hellau." His English inheritance gave him a very slight English accent, and even though he worked hard for many years to clear his speech of this accent, sometimes it came out. Silently he cursed himself for this error.

"Well, like, helleau to you," she said. Her friends laughed at him. She chuckled a bit. He started again, hoping for better results. "Hello, could I...go...out with you tonight?" Her mouth formed the word "Geek", but instead she said, "Sorry, I'm busy. Going to Mary's party!" She left, and her friends tagged along, leaving Morely behind. He turned around, looking over the grassy lands that was Hagora High, and found nothing. He took one large step forward, reprimanded himself dearly, and then decided to, from that point on, look carefully at where he was heading. In two more steps he would have run him into a quite large tree. Turning about, he saw Mary coming after him.

"Hello," she said, "Do you know about my party?"

"Actually I don't," I replied.

"Well, I'm almost 16! It's a birthday party. I have an extra invitation, and you're the last person I know, so here you go!" She dropped the invitation in his open hands. "Bye!"


Walking home was a slow process, but not a long process. Fifteen minutes passed, and he arrived home, greeted his family, and then went upstairs to his room. The invitation was quite simple: It stated that it was like a ticket, so bring it with you, and that the party was tonight, at 8:00.

Morely decided to go, and see Shirley. Another wistful thought swept through his mind. But first he had to get his parents' permission. So with a light step he trotted downstairs to his parents and asked/fibbed, "Can I go to a friend's house; it's a close, dear friend of mine."

"Wait," his parents said in unison.

"Dear, just leave us the number and we'll call you when it's time to come back,"said Mrs. Varkinson.

"Thanks, mom." Morely scribbled a number on a nearby scratchpad and bolted for the door.

"You're wel...come..." Mrs. Varkinson said, but he was already gone.

"But dear!" cried Mr. Varkinson.

"No use worrying, he's gone, we'll call him when it's time."

Morely looked at the fall-colored house. It was a one-story house, with three windows and a door. As he opened it, music blasted him from inside. Bracing his ears, he headed toward the light inside...

The boombox was as loud as ever. He scanned the room for Shirley, but could not find her. Terribly disappointed, he decided there was nothing there for him, and started to turn back toward the exit. Just then Mary walked up to him, and yanked his arm to the center of the room.

"Okay, everybody's here! We can do stuff together now!" cried Mary.

"Well, let's play pictionary." said one girl.

Everyone grumbled.

"That's a really old game," said another ,"Why don't we try...twister?"

Everyone sighed.

"There's too many. With one twister mat and twenty people, we'd be one big pile,"said Mary.

"Why don't we play...spin the bottle!" shouted a voice Morely recognized as Shirley's.

Five girls cheered. No one else said anything.

"Then I guess it's settled," said Shirley, in a commanding voice, "You go first, Mary."

They sat down in a circle, and Mary spun the bottle hard. It twirled, and twirled, and slowed to point at...Morely.

"N-n-n-no that's not right, spin it again, Mary," said Morely.

The crowd booed at this idea.

"Well, I guess...," said Mary.

The crowd shouted "Get on with it!"

"Fine, fine," muttered Morely.

They came closer, and closer, and closing their eyes, they kissed.

"Oooooohhhh" said the other people. They watched in awe. They stared in wonder. They just looked. Just then, the door opened. Two figures entered.

Mary and Morely parted, staring at each other both smiling for a second, and then they stared at the door. There stood Mary's two parents. Mr. Peterson also stared at Morely, and asked him a question.

"Is your last name... Varkinson?"

"Umm. Yes. Is that important?" replied Morely.

"Everyone out, party over!" ordered Mr.Peterson.

"Now now, dear,"attempted Mrs. Peterson.

"OUT," he shouted.

Children raced for the door. Morely raced through the door, too, before Mr. Peterson could stop him.

That night, he could not forget her. He could not forget the feel, of those...tender... and those bright jewels...and his one most secret He couldn't sleep. Minutes passed. Finally, he decided to see her. He jumped out of bed, and dressed silently. He tiptoed down the stairs, straining his eyes in a valiant attempt not to smash into anything. Finally he made it to the door. Opening it slowly, he prayed it would not creak. It didn't. Silently he left the house, closing the door behind him.

Mary's house was not as bright after the party. There was one light upstairs, and three figures inside. Morely crept closer, dodging the many green shrubs. Looking up, he could see that the window was higher up than one would expect from a one-story house. Perhaps he misjudged it. He searched about for something to let him see better, and found the perfect aid. A large, old, gnarled tree grew close to the window. It was only a matter of some climbing.

He arrived at the edge of a limb facing the window just to see two figures leave the room. He was glad that he was carefully hidden from his perch. Mary's parents did seem awfully angry that he was at the party and-he couldn't even think about it straight-kissed her. Just then the window opened, and Mary poked her head outside.

"Oh why me. Why oh why oh meeeee. He is just so....oh what to do." Mary's voice was as clear, but soft, as ever. Morely had to strain to hear it. "Oh bright star...oh what am I talking about. Much of nonsense...and still. No one should laugh at me but myself. Oh bright star, the first star I see tonight, grant me the wish I wish tonight. I...I wish that Morely Varkinson would love me as much as I love him." Her cheeks filled with color. Morely decided it was time to speak.

"Mary! It's me!"

"Morely!" she cried.

"Shhhhhhh. Parents." He pointed at the rest of the house.

"Okay. Did you...did you hear what I said?"

"All of it."

"Umm... I was...uhh...practicing."

"And I'm an elephant. Be honest, Mary. I heard it and I feel the same way."

"You do? Oh. That's different. But...My parents. They don't like you."


"Well, they said a loooong time ago, your dad hurt my dad. They got into a long complicated story about companies and construction, and an accident. They blame everything on your family, and your part of the family."

"Well, umm, I could...just...not be part of my family."

"Yeah, what a solution," she said, rather sarcastically,"But then you'd get no support, no money, food, housing, inheritance, nothing."


"What are we going to do about our parents?"

"Umm, ignore them? Or at least yours. They seem quite hostile."

"So they are. But what about us?"

They thought for a long time about that.

"What about a promise," said Mary.

"Like what?"

"Promise to stay with me forever."

"Okay." Morely said it with assurance. "I promise to stay with you forever."

"And I promise to stay with you forever."

Just then, a light shined from another window.

"Oh no," said Mary,"It's my parents! Quick....Uh....The park, noon. Go!" She hurried to get into bed.

"What's that,"cried someone from the other light source.

Morely attempted to vanish into nonexistence, but to no avail.

"I bet it's that Varkinson kid," shouted a voice easily identifiable as Mr.Peterson. "I'll show him! Just lemme get my shotgun.

"Sh-sh-shotgun!" screamed Morely, "You didn't say your parents had a shotgun!"

"I didn't? Oops. Anyways, he doesn't use it that much. Just on things he really doesn't like. Anyways, he wouldn't really shoot y-"

"Just go to sleep while I try to figure a way out of this mess."

Morely climbed slowly down the tree, hearing small, soft thumps. At first they seemed like his heartbeats, but then he realized it was Mr. Peterson's footsteps. Morely dropped the last few feet, and raced towards his house, checking behind to see if he was spotted. That was a big mistake. Tripping over the edge of the shrub, he flew, head over heels, landing hard on his back just behind the shrub. The front door banged open, and Mr.Peterson checked the yard with his flashlight, a large, immensely destructive grey shotgun in his other hand. He looked very ready to use it. Tense moments passed. Finally, Mr. Peterson was satisfied and the door closed. Morely got up and sprinted for his house. When he arrived, he looked at himself, and found his clothes to be almost shredded into pieces like a shattered window. In his room, he found the perfect hiding place. He stuffed his clothes in the closet and would say it was moths.

The next day, he entered the park, and wandered about restlessly for a few minutes. And then came Mary, walking calmly, deliberately. He almost sprinted the whole distance, at least a good 500 yards. Morely's confidence surged for a moment.

"Why didn't you TELL me your parents had a SHOTGUN?!?"

"I...I didn't think it important. And think about it. It's not too romantic to say 'You know, my parents have a shotgun.'"


"You know, why don't we get married. We love each other, right?"

"What? We are in high school. Remember? And our parents? Mine would kill me! Dad has his longtime grudge against your dad. He explained it, at least three times now, but it still doesn't make sense."

"Oh. Yeah. Well, then what? "

They stood in silence for a while, and then Morely looked at the children playing in the park. He pointed at them, and Mary looked too. For a long time they stared at them, swinging up and down, riding on the slides, and whirling about on the merry-go-round.

Finally, Morely said "You know, we can let things go on sort of like they used to."

"And just forget about it? About how we...about last night? What about our promise?"

"We can still keep our promise, but for now we'll just be friends. After all, there's always the future, and for now, we can be kids again, and have no worries. We wouldn't even have to make our parents mad. They won't care, and I'm sure that they'll see it's useless to fight. After we do a little helping. And when we're all grown up, we'll be together, forever. It'll be okay. Okay?"

"That's okay to me. But before we become kids again, just one last time..."

They kissed for a very long time.