One: Scene One
I was my parents’ Valentine, born February 14, 1978 at a
political protest rally in Washington, D.C. There were two of us:
myself and my fraternal twin sister Juliet, who never hesitates to
remind me that she is the elder of us two.
Anyhow, our mother Gwen is what you might refer to as a
Shakespeare buff. She has read every play, every sonnet, seen
every movie, and even owns her own Shakespearean playhouse.
(Appropriately coined “The Rose,” after the infamous original
in Stratford Upon Avon.) So, as a result, we were both named after
tragic Shakespearean heroines: My sister, Juliet, and I, Ophelia.
Along with my twin, I also was blessed with three other
siblings. My brother Quinn is twenty-three, two years older than
me, and has recently been attending college in Seattle to become a
lawyer like my father. A smooth ladies man, he has always been
great looking, another characteristic he inherited from our
there is Reese, my wild sixteen-year-old brother who is the poster
child for any one of those teenage angst shows. He's into sports
and girls; a favorite pastime of many boys his age, it seems.
but not least, is my sister Viola. She was another victim of my
mother’s Shakespeare fetish, named after the heroine in his
comedic play, Twelfth Night. Precocious and beautiful, she is
always sticking her nose where it didn’t belong.
currently attend Westchester Academy, on a writing scholarship.
Presently a junior, here I sit, writing this for my Advanced
Creative Writing Course.
puts down her pen and glances up. Professor Chandler is delved
into a stack of papers from yesterday’s writing assignment and
she almost hates to interrupt him. But this is just too much.
sorry, I just can't do this,” she says, looking directly at him.
Professor Chris Chandler sets his papers aside from his
Advanced Creative Writing Course and diverts his attention to
an amused look in his eyes, he asks her, “Oh? And why not?”
this is ludicrous. With all due respect sir, I stopped writing
these kinds of papers when I made the transition from middle
school to high school. This is about one step above the inane
‘What I Did on My Summer Vacation’ writing assignment. As a
junior in college, I feel I need a more invigorating writing
experience,” she explains and folds her hands together, keenly
awaiting his response.
diminutive smile plays at the corner of his mouth. Ophelia was a
returning student of his-one of his best, no doubt-and he was used
to the challenges she posed for him. In an evocative sort of way,
he almost welcomed them.
Brady, it is the first week of the new term. I didn’t feel it
would be beneficial for you to jump right into something profound
until we were all comfortable with one another and settled in.”
leans back in her chair, kicking both feet up on the wooden desk.
She places her hands casually behind her head and says, “I
don’t know about the rest of you, but I am pretty damn comfy!”
gets a few snickers and laughs from around the room and Prof
Chandler himself almost allows a chuckle to escape. But he's used
to this now, the Ophelia Brady Diatribe. He isn’t entirely sure
what caused these sudden outbursts, but they are few and far
between. At least they are well though out and intelligent, he
it's appears you have a good head start so far,” he tells her,
gesturing towards her paper. “Why stop now? Do you really think
it would insult your intelligence, just this once?” he asks her
with a small smile.
is an insult to my creative genius, not my intelligence,” she
corrects him, but picks up her pen. “I'll make you a deal.”
raises one eyebrow in curiosity. “Oh?”
will write this trite manifesto of yours if you let me pick the
writing assignment for tomorrow.”
chuckles softly. “You so soon forget that I am the teacher and
you are the student. Negotiation isn’t part of this
relationship,” he reminds her and stands up.
he continues, “This class is for you-and when I say you, I mean
each and every one of you-and if you all agree to let Ophelia pick
the lesson for tomorrow, then I shall humbly step down from my
lectern and turn the classroom over to her for a day,” he says
and winks at Ophelia, who smiles broadly.
without further adieu, can I please see a show of hands for all
those in favor of Miss Brady leading the classroom tomorrow,” he
says and all but one hand goes up.
it looks like you have a challenger,” he tells Ophelia as he
looks toward the back of the classroom. She follows his gaze and
her eyes fall on the odd man out, Mark Deveraux.
she exclaims, laughing. “You are my boyfriend, my significant
other. You are supposed to be jumping out of seat with enthusiasm
for me,” she jokes.
stands up and looks at the professor. “If I may…” he starts
and the Prof nods. Mark goes on “I felt it would be a conflict
of interest, since I am romantically involved with the person in
question,” he explains and has to bite his tongue to suppress
conflict of interest you say,” Professor Chandler asks, rubbing
his chin. Ophelia adds under her breath “I'll show you a
conflict of interest.”
then another student glances at the clock. “Professor, class is
over,” she informs him.
it is,” he responds as he glances at his watch. “From now on,
everyone call me Chris. And don’t forget your papers tomorrow,
we will all go over them together!” he calls out as everyone
scrambles to get their books.
turns back to Ophelia and Mark. “Well then Ophelia, I will see
you here tomorrow thirty minutes early.”
if I am to teach your lesson, then you will need to arrive early
to give yourself ample time to prepare the materials for me. Until
then, you two enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon together,”
he says and grabs his briefcase, leaving the classroom.
he is gone, Mark leans over and kisses her. “So then teach, what
are you doing for the rest of the afternoon?” he teases.
now, I'm not your teacher. I'm merely providing enriching
materials for him to instruct,” she retorts, returning his
kisses eagerly. “Actually, I was going to ask you to come with
Emma, Nick, and I out to dinner. We were thinking along the lines
of a double date.”
smiles at her, slipping his hands around her waist. “You don’t
have to ask me twice,” he tells her and leans back in to steal
another kiss when he is interrupted.
you two, hope I'm not interrupting.”
looks past Mark to see Emma Johannsen, her best friend since
birth. They grew up together because their parents used to be
close, and they have been inseparable ever since the day they were
placed in the same playpen.
Emmers,” she says to her friend. “Aren’t you supposed to be
“Actually, we were let out early today because our Prof
went home sick. It's ok, I am really not too upset over missing
Medical Terminology,” she jokes. “But I just thought I would
come over here and see if you had talked to Mark about tonight,”
she says and looks over, as if noticing Mark for the first time.
Mark,” she says.
sweetness,” he says back. “And yes, Id love to come. You're
paying right?” he asks.
Emma says dryly and punches him playfully in the arm. “Ophelia,
really, you must tell me where you find these guys, they are such
charmers,” she quips sarcastically.
laughs,” Yeah he is a regular Don Juan alright, aren’t you
babe?” she asks him.
me count ze wayz,” he sings in a thick Spanish accent as he
kisses her neck, making her giggle.
rolls her eyes and laughs. “ANYWAYS,” she begins, “I need to
go find Nick. I heard that Delilah is actually trying out for a
part in the same play as him. Yeah, like that shallow strumpet has
any interest whatsoever in acting,” she says.
eyes narrow. Delilah Richards, resident bitch. That girl is the
Queen of Everything, or so she would love to think. But that
little pipe dream went out the window after high school when all
her little groupies went off to different colleges. She has always
held this odd vendetta against Ophelia and Emma because they never
bought into her phony act. So, with nothing better to do, she has
been chasing after their boyfriends.
worry about Delilah. She even thinks about going near Nick, she is
going to have to deal with me,” Ophelia says and tosses her long
red hair over her shoulders.
can't help laughing as he gets an interesting visual. “You know,
I can just see it now.”
just shakes her head. “Well, I hope it doesn’t come down to
that. But anyways, I was thinking we could invite Juliet and Jason
tonight as well.”
thinks about it for a moment. “We could. I don’t know if Jules
and Jason are officially together though.” But they are perfect
for one another, she thinks. Juliet, the beautiful blond
cheerleader and Jason Corbett, the stud jock riding on a football
maybe not. But it could never hurt to ask. And if you think of
about Jack and Ashleigh?” Mark asks, jumping into the
conversation. “If we invited them, that would be just about the
entire gang, with the exception of Peter.”
almost cringes. Jack Taylor is not someone she is too thrilled
about spending dinner with, let alone the entire night. She has
known him almost her entire life and she can’t remember a time
when she ever really liked him. It’s not that he is a jerk; in
fact he is one of the sweetest people you ever meet; too sweet
sometimes. But he is also Ophelia’s other best friend and that
slightly threatens Emma.
I’ll call Jack when we get back,” Ophelia says before Emma can
Emma says distantly and then hugs her friend. “Still picking us
up at six right? I’ll be at Nick’s until then.”
six. The four of us can ride in Mark’s bad ass ride,” she
says, referring to the 99 Chevy Blazer his parents bought him as
an early graduation present. It’s navy blue and fully equipped;
Ophelia loves riding in it.
snickers “Yeah but I feel bad for whoever has to ride with Jack.
I wont even get in a car with him,” she says dryly.
doubt,” Mark says and laughs. “Anyhow, Phee and I are gonna go
do a few things but we will see you and Nick at six.”
later guys,” she says and smiles as she turns, walking out of
looks at him with a puzzled look on her face. “What things do we
have to do that I don’t know about?”
in good time, love,” he says and takes her hand affectionately
in his as they walk out of the classroom and into the beautiful
few scenes coming soon!
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