Capulet's Orchard. JULIET appears at the balcony.
"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?"
Ay, 'tis perfect, now cease your obsessing and press send.
JULIET, exhaling, presseth SEND on her iPhone.
O, what damned impulse, 'twas too forward! Jesu, what haste?
I would that I could unsend that foul and wretched message!
Thou good, and sweet, and ever courteous girl, a thousand times no!
Thou dost desire to hook up with him, nay?
My wise and doting nurse, if the word hath ever any meaning, yes!
Then play the game you must, dear lamb!
I pray thee, hold thy peace.
JULIET (to her phone)
But what devil art thou, that does torment me thus?
This torture should be roar'd in dismal hell.
Now, by my maidenhead, your move, 'twas heavensent.
'Twas flirty, 'twas fun, 'twas kind of a "fuck you."
Ay, but such vile custom! What if he doth not respond?
O, he'll respond.
Alas, I am beholden to your sage and prudent word.
JULIET looks at her phone.
How now! Such cruel and hellish fate!
His "Read" receipt doth burn mine eyes like coals!
Fear not, my sweet! In faith, lay it by a while.
But oh, what now! Those three divine grey dots! He types!
I'll wait with bated breath- for naught! His dots, like vapor, gone!
Zounds! Zounds! What fool, what vile hussy am I?
My shame needs balm. Ay, I'll quell it with another text.
Nay, girl. Come now, be not too eager.
See, now is when you text Paris.
Paris? But dear Nurse, I love him not,
And if love be mine aim, there's but one who-
O, just do it, Julez.
Playeth the field. He's hot.
Nay, but Romeo, sweet Romeo!
Mine heart said to text within but thirty-six hours of that party,
But your counsel bid me stay!
Ay, and look now, what buzz.
JULIET (picking up her phone)
A text! From Romeo!
"Haha oh word whats up"
Alas! What news is this? Such subtext twists mine reason!
Two "ha's"? What meaning's there? Doth he hate me?
Hate you, no! Ope thine eye! Your Romeo, he's down.
Now, hold thy tongue for forty-five minutes, at barest minimum.
O, my sweet joy! Sweet ecstasy!
Nurse, if thou swear'st of his love, then profess it in return I must!
My life were better ended than delayed! And words, what are words?
I'll send my heart, emoji'd, with a pig snout, to be cute.
My light, my Romeo, my love!
Hold up, maiden, "love?" Ay, let us cool down a bit.
You madeth out, what, once?
Ay, love's union sealed with a kiss!
How silver-sweet his lover's words,
Like softest music to attending ears!
Well, fair Juliet, I entreat you, bide thy time.
Then send an inside joke of sorts,
Of stand-offish tone, that still engages. OK?
But now, what's that buzz?
Ay, a text! Before mine response! A gift from Jove!
"Juliet! Juliet! Juliet!
It is my lady, O it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!"
What now, come again?!
"Shit sry wrong person, plz ignore"
O, sweet heav'n's might! 'Tis yours, 'tis certain.
Ay, the ball doth be in your court, but still,
Hold off, for his nerves be your advantage, and-
Juliet, release that phone! I implore you, rest your rash and nimble fingers!
Forgive me, dear Nurse, but resist I could not!
My love! My life! Your word, 'twas true!
O Nurse, my gratitude is boundless, surpassed only by my affection!
And now toward Romeo I go with light'ning haste!
To text no more, but sext in love's embrace!
Well if young love I would by error hinder,
Then here alone I'll drink Merlot, and Tinder.
Illustrated by Nathan Yaffe.