Okay. I’ll admit it. I love Romeo and Juliet. It’s a timeless classic. I’m a sucker for any love story filled with passion and pain. Love at first sight, young love, first love. All that. I’m a romantic at heart. There is something beautiful in the upsweep of first falling in love or falling in love fast, spontaneously, unexpectedly. The “creek after thaw” as Linda Pastan writes in her poem, “Love Poem.” That.
Perhaps that is why I had Natalie and Michael fall so quickly in love in the Natalie’s Edge series. They are both sort of lost. Unfulfilled. Knowing they’re missing out and yet not fully knowing. The sparks fly. The passion fuels. The lust explodes. And the love grows. But it doesn’t do so without pain. Without obstacles. Without some heartache. It’s fun to read, especially if it’s a romance, because romance, by definition, means a happy ending. But perhaps why Romeo and Juliet remains so universal and timeless is because it doesn’t fall into the constraints of romance. We all know: There is no happy ending in Romeo and Juliet.
And what about real life? What happens when you fall so fast for someone that it’s completely inexplicable? Unexpected? When something you always thought was mere fantasy, an illusion of the romance novel, now becomes real? It happens to you. You feel it. It happens within a blink of the eye. You know it’s real. Your body tells you it’s real. The constant thrumming of your heart, your body. The pitter-patter of pulsing excitement. The longing you feel when you’re not with or talking to that person.
And worse, what if it’s forbidden? Not acceptable? The wrong time at the wrong place. Is there going to be a happy ending? Probably not. As soon as it starts, it’s almost certain to end. That kind of feeling. That kind of passion. It takes its toll, doesn’t it? And now you find yourself in a sort of Romeo and Juliet of your very own. And it hurts. And it’s out of your control. And it’s no longer fun because you’re not reading it, you’re living it. You then ask yourself: Wait. Is this love or lust? Obsession? Infatuation? How do you know for sure?
Have you been in a love-at-first sight type of situation? Your own Romeo and Juliet? Do you live by the motto: Better to have lost at love than to have never loved at all? I have been there. Am there. And I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm on. Is the pain worth it?
I’m still trying to figure that out. Would love to hear your stories! Share.