Of all the days in her life, Juliet had never known of another instance in which she felt more joy than she did at the moment. In just a few short hours she would soon come face to face with the person who's made her life feel so complete ever since they encountered on another on such a random occurrence. She wasn't one for social media but he made her laugh unlike any other so she felt it was inevitable that she'd give him a chance.
And ever since then she'd been unable to let another person occupy her mind.
That is why it was so imperative that she chose the perfect outfit to wear. A number of clothes were messily spread across the floor as none of them felt right. No matter how many times she scrambled through the selection, she just wasn't satisfied.
But once her tiresome eyes fell upon a lone dress that hung in her closet, it was undoubtedly the perfect choice. The long sleeve fit and flare dress would be snug against her waist and the way it would swing at her every turn seemed like utter perfection. And the spotless white color would only make her feel like an absolute angel. Once she pulled the dress on in her haste, all had finally felt right and she’d never felt so beautiful.
“This is it.” She said aloud to no one in particular.
So she found herself surprised when a voice spoke in return.
“Stunning.” A familiar voice added.
She turned to see her older sister leaning in the doorway.
“You mean it?”
“Of course. Ready to head out? I’m sure you are in a hurry to see lover boy.”
“You may mock me, but I am very eager to see him. My heart literally feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest at the very thought of being able to be in his arms. It means everything to me, Rosaline.”
“I understand. I just don’t want you to get hurt. That is all.”
“He would never.” She quickly retorted.
“People lie, Juliet. And it is far too easy to do so over the internet.”
“We did more than that. We texted, talked on the phone for hours, fell asleep together on video calls, and I have every letter he’s ever written to me. Does my happiness really bother you that much?”
“How could you say that? I want nothing more than for you to be happy. The world doesn’t feel right when you aren’t. All I want is for you to be careful and not get your hopes up. It’s just you and me now and I just want to make sure you don’t get hurt.”
“I won’t. Trust me on this. He is my perfect match. I feel it in every one of my bones. It doesn’t make sense, I know that. But it just feels so right. If I hurt then I hurt. But I would rather face a broken heart any day than live a life without ever taking a chance on love.”
Her worried sister could only sigh as she relented to the stubborn girl. She only hoped that she’d soon be proven wrong.
“Are you ready?” She asked again.
“Just a moment. Wait for me in the car? I’ll be just a minute.” Is all she said.
“Right. Don’t forget to grab the bag of snacks from the kitchen. Be quick.”
Once she was left alone she stepped into a pair of comfortable flats and ran a brush through her thick waves. Her dark hair ran just past her shoulders and once smooth she did her best attempt and hurriedly ran her fingers through the smooth locks and in just a few minutes fashioned a near-perfect waterfall style.
And just as she finished, her phone rang and once she saw the name that read clear on the screen she answered in a heartbeat.
“Henry. Is everything okay?”
“Yeah. I just wanted to hear your voice. I can’t wait to see you.” His smooth voice said over the line.
“Neither can I. Can you believe it’s been a year already? I feel like it was only yesterday that we first came across one another.”
“And soon we’ll be able to actually see each other.”
“What exactly do you have planned?”
“It’s a surprise.”
“No hint for me?”
“Alright. Think of the answer as a puzzle of some sort. I will give you a few clues to think over for the journey and you will arrive to see it all come together. Sound good?”
“Good. The first clue is the song I sent the week after we started talking. The second clue is your favorite painting. The third clue is your favorite activity.”
“I see. Well as much as I’d love to stay and chat, I do have a very important person I should see to meeting very soon.” Juliet said as she thought over the few clues.
“Of course. I’m actually facing the same dilemma as well.”
“Such a shame.” She laughed.
“I guess this is it. I love you.”
He said the last phrase so fast and hung up the phone before he even gave her the chance to respond or react. It was a first for either of them and he simply hung up the phone all too fast. But with no time to think over it, Juliet ensured that she had all of her personal belongings together and stopped by the kitchen before ultimately meeting a still patient Rosaline outside.
“Let’s get this show on the ro-”
“He said he loved me,” Juliet confessed aloud.
“Wait a minute. Henry said he loved you? Today?”
“Yeah. He said it so fast I could hardly even think of a response before he hung up.”
“And how does that make you feel?”
“Ecstatic. I mean, I still can’t even put my exact thoughts into words.”
“Well, we have an hour-long car ride ahead of us so get to thinking.”
And so with a countless amount of thoughts on her mind, she simply reclined in the comfortable seat and settled in for the drive. She knew it wouldn’t take long. Luckily he only stayed just a few towns over so she decided to focus on the scenery that passed by in an attempt to calm her nerves.
Where she was from there was no shortage of nature that she’d find herself getting lost in. She couldn’t count the times she would sneak out of her window and night and walk over to the meadow nearby and just lie amongst the most colorful flowers. It was often that she would fall asleep after trying to count every star she could see in the clear night sky. It somehow made her feel almost at peace.
Her parents would read her just about every story they could recount about the stars. In most tales, she learned that they were the spirits of those who had died. So she felt almost sure that they were up there looking right back at her. It was the main reason she’d loved Van Gogh’s Starry Night so much.
“Juliet. Can we talk?” Her sister asked, disrupting her busy train of thought.
“Sure. What’s up?”
“I just wanted to apologize for earlier. While I was only trying to keep you safe, I realized how insensitive I was and how I belittled your own feelings. I trust you to make your own decisions, but I would die before ever allowing yourself to get hurt. You’re my baby sister. Your happiness means the world to me.”
“So you should be happy to know that Henry is a big part of it. You’d love him if you knew him the way I did.”
“Then tell me.”
“What?” She asked.
“Tell me what made you fall for him. Perhaps this could also allow you to consider your own feelings toward him and if you love him the same way he loves you.”
“We met on some site for people who like to read. There was a story of two lovers, a rich heiress and a servant who’d served her family all his life. She was to be wed to another heir that would be beneficial for their families businesses but neither of them truly loved one another. All she ever wanted was someone who saw her for more than what the world thought she should be.”
“She never found that until the servant. He’d loved her since he met her but he never said a word. He pushed his own happiness aside so she could continue to be with someone who could give her the world on a silver platter. But no one loved her the way he did. He knew everything about her. He remembered her favorite stories, her favorite music, he even memorized her favorite food and would serve it to her in a heartbeat when he knew she was upset. See no one could read her quite like him either. He also knew that she loved dancing more than anything.”
“Like you.” Rosaline chimed in.
“Yup. Over time I started to see myself in her. So, of course, I commented something along the lines of wanting a copy of the book purchased so I could flip through the pages. You know how I love the feel of a good book in my hand.”
“And out of nowhere, this kind stranger bought it for me. He wanted nothing more in return than to see me the same way the poor servant saw his heiress. I didn’t believe him until months had passed and he never strayed from me. This was someone who knew the worst about me yet he cared about me even then. Even in the times where I didn’t even care for myself.”
“Juliet.” Rosaline tentatively said.
It was the first she’d ever heard of her sister being anything but her contagiously happy self.
“I’m fine now. But I wouldn’t be without him. He makes me laugh till I cry and forget what I was ever upset about. I can’t remember the last time someone’s ever thought so highly of me. I truly don’t know what I would do without him, Rosaline.”
She finished her story with a soft smile on her face and found herself surprised when she felt a stray tear fall upon her cheek.
“You love him.” Her sister noted.
“I do. I really do.”
“Then let’s hurry to your lover boy. Where are we meeting him again?”
“It’s a roller rink near a supermarket. I think we just passed the market.”
“Think it’s this colorful building here?”
Rosaline slowed near the eerily vacant building where there wasn’t a car in sight. There were faint designs painted outside the dark building but no lights to signify any service inside.
“Let’s check inside, just in case.”
“Juliet, this doesn’t seem right.”
“Please. Just let me take a look.”
“Alright. In and out, okay?”
But the hopeful girl had already hurried out the car and burst into the quiet property having already thrown caution into the wind. Not far behind her was the logical Rosaline who’s eyes had fallen on something that let her know it was best to leave the happy girl to the discovery she’d soon find inside.
It was creepy inside. The building was surely empty with a wide rink in a center that was brightened by a dim light that shone above on the ceiling. Still, Juliet kept on and tried to find some sign of Henry inside.
But she stilled when she heard swift footsteps around her. She picked up more than one person and nearly ran until she heard the beginning of a song all too familiar to her ears. It was a ballad of star crossed lovers that reminded her in every bit of her story.
“May I have this dance?” A voice asked from behind her.
Juliet nearly tripped over her own feet in her haste to be in his arms to dance with him.
“I brought some skates as well. Ready?”
All she had to do was nod and in an instant, he was kneeling before her and slid the comfortable skates on her feet. Once she was ready he took her hands in his and slowly led her to the spotless floor. He wrapped his arm snug around her waist and held her hand in his and moved effortlessly to the song.
“You did all this for me?”
“And that’s not all.”
Then the lights were gone and once she looked up there she saw a roof of artificial stars near identical to the balls of gas that lit the very sky.
“Let me apologize for what I said earlier. I had just finished getting everything together and I was excited, exhausted, and very inconsiderate of your own feelings. I should never ha-”
His words were cut short by the soft lips pressed against his own. And it worked all too well. The small gesture had just about cleared his mind of every thought he’d ever had up until then. And it lasted all too short. He smiled against her lips just before she pulled herself away to finish her earlier thought.
“I love you too, idiot.”
“You kissed me.” He uttered with a growing smile.
“I think I’ve loved you for a while now. But I was afraid you wouldn’t feel the same way or that there was no way we could be together. You’re too far from me and I thought it would be too much.”
“I would follow you anywhere. Say the word and I’ll follow you for the rest of my life. My heart is yours, Juliet. I can’t imagine loving anyone else.”
“Good. Because neither can I. Seems like you’re stuck with me.” The beaming girl giggled.
“Does that mean I’ll get more kisses like that from now on?”
He pressed forward until there was only a sliver of space between their wanting lips.
“Then, by all means, do it again.”
And so she did. Soon her hand left his and she eased it into his hair and tilted her head up as she lost herself in him. And kissing him was like nothing she’d ever dreamed of. Every time his tongue had found hers, she felt shivers crawl down every inch of her spine. And when his teeth lightly pulled at her lip she felt like she’d lost all the breath in her lungs.
But it didn’t matter to either of them. While her sister stood in the shadows watching the two, they simply basked in the presence of their own once in a lifetime love that they’d been so lucky to find. He was her soulmate and she was his. And for that, they’d travel the world to find each other again.