Romeo and John

By Trenton

Once upon a time, there were two young lovers in Verona, Italy. There sad story has captured the hearts of us all. These lovers names were Romeo and Juliet. More recently in Verona lived two more young lovers. Their love was just as great, but not as many people were captured by this story. These lovers names were Romeo and John.

To some Romeo and John were a match made in Heaven, but to others they were a match damned to hell. Not many people will argue, though, if you were to say that their hearts belonged together. As opposite as there personalities were they were as complimentary to each other as two personalities could be. Romeo loved to make people laugh, and John loved hearing a good joke. John loved being romantic, and Romeo loved receiving his romance. Now, here is the tragic tale of Romeo and John.

Romeo Hering had told his parents he was gay at an early age. The Herings were open minded people and accepted this quickly. They even took it a step farther and became activists. Romeo's family consisted of himself, his parents -- Edward and Elizabeth, and his slightly older brother -- Raymond.

John Episcopo had never even considered telling his parents of his sexuality, because they were closed minded Roman-Catholics. His father, Vincent, had been arrested in his late teenage years for gay bashing. John's mother, Rhea, was simply appalled at the thought of gay people. John's family included himself, his parents, and his brother (two minutes younger) -- Michael.

Romeo's parents were concerned, because he had been walking around the estate, dressed in black, with a depressed attitude. He had been doing this for several days. His brother, Raymond, told his parents he'd find out what was wrong. Romeo told him that his boyfriend had dumped him.

Raymond tried to convince Romeo to go with him to the local night club, Mercutio's, that night. Romeo was still very depressed and tried to convince Raymond that he should stay home. Raymond more or less dragged Romeo to Mercutio's that night.

Many hours passed, and Romeo just sat at a table and sipped at a Coke. He, finally, got up to go to the bathroom (no surprise considering how much Coke he'd drank). On the way out of the men's room he saw the most gorgeous boy he'd seen in his 14 years. He stood there for what felt like an eternity, gazing into the boy's deep blue eyes. The boy stared right back at him with the same full hearted, light headed, gaze. Finally, the boy said "Hi, my name's John." Romeo quickly, nervously introduced himself. The two talked for the rest of the evening. They decided they'd find a place to meet later. John told Romeo he'd send his good friend Sara to find out where to meet him. They arranged a place and time for Sara to meet him. They walked outside and exchanged good-bye's. When they were sure nobody was looking, they exchanged a kiss.

They were deeply in love. It is a shame that one was an Episcopo and the other was a Hering. The Herings and Episcopos had been feuding ever since they found out what each others views on gays were. Many deaths had resulted in there pointless feuding.

Romeo had just closed up at the gas station he worked at on weekends. He sat outside on upside-down trash can waiting for Sara to get there. She finally arrived. He told Sara to have John meet him at a small church, were a priest owed Romeo a favor. They would have a wedding ceremony there (they were underage, but they just wanted to get married symbolically).

Romeo and John arrived at the church at about the same time. The priest, Henry Lawrence, was happy to do Romeo the favor. At the end of the ceremony Romeo gave John a ring on a rope necklace to symbolize there union. John, unprepared for this, gave Romeo a picture of his family he carried in his wallet and said "My family is, now, your family." The grooms kissed to seal the deal. The two spent several hours together in a small abandoned shed for their honeymoon, then went home for dinner. They promised to meet each other at a small Cafe they new the next day at one o'clock.

On the way home Romeo came across Raymond and John's brother, Michael. They both had out knives and looked ready to kill each other. Romeo tried to convince them not to fight, both were confused by this, and ignored his request. Romeo then snatched Raymond's knife so he couldn't hurt anyone. Michael then placed the blade of his knife in Raymond's chest. As Romeo saw his brother there, speechless on the cold, hard sidewalk the blood quickly ran to his head. In a fit of rage he clenched Raymond's knife and drove it between Michael's third and fourth ribs. Michael just gave a cold, startled stare into Romeo's eyes, and fell to the sidewalk. Romeo's rage driven, rigid eyes, quickly fell limp and watery when he realized what he'd done. He turned and dropped to his knees. He buried his face into Raymond chest. The taste of his brother's blood and his own tears filled Romeo's mouth. Everything went black.

Romeo, disoriented, opened his eyes. There was a solid concrete ceiling above him. His back was sore from the hard cot he found himself on. He slowly sat up to reveal to his eyes three walls of solid concrete and one wall of vertical bars. He realized he was in some sort of jail. He heard footsteps coming down the corridor that laid on the other side of the barred wall. Soon his parents, accompanied by a guard, came into view. At that moment, everybody but the guard fell into tears.

There was complete silence in the car on the way home. Romeo's parents had to dip deep into there savings account to bail him out. They were, also, devastated at the loss of Raymond. They all went to bed early, the moment they got home, in hopes of dealing with everything in the morning.

Romeo was the first one up the next morning. He was on his nerves end and had a huge knot in his stomach. He decided he'd get the paper off the porch and read it to calm him a little. As he picked up the paper he let out a gasp of disbelief. The front page headline read, "BOY SLASHES OWN NECK WHEN BRO IS KILLED." On the page also sat a picture of John. Romeo ran into the kitchen. He slashed his own neck with an eight inch chef's knife.

The saddest thing is that if Romeo would have read the article he'd see that his parents quickly got him to the hospital, and he was going to make it.

John sat up in his hospital bed. He'd been given his own room so that he could be by himself to grieve for his brother. He decided he'd watch some TV to try to relax. The news was on. The top story was about a boy who was "disturbed" by something he saw in the paper and took his own life. They then showed Romeo's picture.

John's parents walked into their son's room to see a horrible sight. His IV had been ripped from his arm. He died of excessive blood loss.''

So ends the sad story of Romeo and John.

©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.