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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

We live among you, but you have no idea we even exist.

You can’t see us, hear us, feel us. Well…there are exceptions that leave you scratching your head, like that time you swore you set down the cup on the table, only to find it sitting on the shelf in the bathroom …did you really leave it there?

Of course your mind eventually convinces you otherwise.

It amuses us to play tricks on you. Our solitary lives are endless, often spent in the company of the same people for hundreds and thousands of years. But …can we really call them people? What makes a man? His destiny? His relationships with others? His clothes and his home? His car? His ability to leave something behind? If only you could see the world through my eyes. It would really make you reconsider things.

I…no, I can’t reveal it. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself. For one moment, let go of all of those rational thoughts that are clouding your congested mind. You stopped believing in magic somewhere in the first or second grade, right? Strange, that you’ve found yourself here – in my virtual confessional, just as intangible as I am. At least for you 🙂

I myself have provided my fair share of mischief. I love to try on dresses in your hottest boutiques. Sometimes they disappear from the store, as you’re left scratching your head and wondering where the hell they went! Well yes, that was me 🙂 Even better – I love to take your cars for joy rides. I just love sports cars. And I absolutely prefer luxury hotels, especially the historical hotels that remind me of my own era. I’m just a bit more than 400 years old now. My personal upkeep must be quite a chore, right? Believe me, anti-aging cream and a wheelchair are of no use to me.

I look just like any other girl you’d come across on the street. A bit under 20 years old, with long, thick dark hair, a normal face in the crowd. Hazel eyes and fair skin. My name is Julia. Just in case you hadn’t seen it on the cover of my virtual diary. I decided to record my journey here, because I’m running out of ideas for ways to end this several hundred-year-long carousel ride.

I’m searching for him.

I’ve been searching for him for so long already. I’m weary from this search, and I swear I’ve given up a hundred times only to start again. Whether I like it or not, I’m simply stuck here. And I can’t rest until I find him. At this point, I don’t think it’s just me, but the curse that’s keeping me here…

Believe me, I’ve searched everywhere. In all the places we used to visit together. Naturally, I started back in my hometown of Verona. From there I continued throughout all of Italy. All its breathtaking sites and cities… even in tears, I never get tired of the beauty of the Roman panorama. And then came the other countries. France, England, Spain, Austria … countless lives spent under monarchies, democracies, and totalitarian regimes… until I got here. In the 21st century. In the unlikeliest of places, a country you could never imagine.

Slovakia.

Such a strange little country. For a long time, I didn’t know how to feel about it. But it has such beautiful manors. I love them so much! There are literally hundreds of these castles, the land is rich with them. As if God created all these gorgeous Baroque, Rococo, and Art Nouveau jewels in one breath and then forgot about them. All of this for lucky little Slovakia. And I’ve been here for some time now, roaming the country – because of some clues that were revealed to me here.

What if I told you that someone was helping me? I don’t know who they are, but some time after beginning this immortal life, I started to find places tied together by these mysterious links. They always had something written on them that would direct me to the next point in my search. Sometimes it seemed like I was hot on the trail, while at other times they would lead me to a dead end. Every time I think I’ve found him, it turns out to a huge mistake. He’s been missing for hundreds of years already. Or is it me that’s staying just out of reach? I can’t tell, because both of us have forgotten what the other looks like! A terrible curse was placed on us. If we were both dead, maybe things would be easier. Just a tragic memento in the history of a great story. But this story has a very different ending indeed…

You all know the story. When someone asks you to name the world’s most famous lovers, surely our names immediately come to mind. We were supposedly naive, sweet and deluded. Too young. The truth lies somewhere else. But more on that later. The reality is that we’re still here. Me. I’m looking for him, and he’s looking for me. Well… at least I hope so. For 400 years, an ageless body harbors an aging soul. I’ve born witness to so many foreign fates. So many broken hearts and conversely, happy endings. Sometimes I like to observe weddings in secret. They remind me of the past, when we went off in secret, just the two of us, when the priest uttered those binding words to us.

And then it all fell apart. Today, I have no idea what he looks like. I can only remember his touch, his smell, and the richness of his voice. His embrace, which made the world around us come to a stop. The moment our lips join and turned our blood to fire, little goosebumps appearing on our skin…

What would you do if you forgot your true love’s face? If you knew he’s somewhere out there, but you couldn’t find him? Tell me. Tell me, because I haven’t been able to figure it out for several centuries. Imagine living the life of an ordinary, modern girl who’s desperately longing to go back in time to put on those old, impossible dresses, and let your heart beat fast beneath the mask I was wearing when I first met him.

So now you know. Yes, I am looking for Romeo. And yes, my name is Juliet Capulet.

We live among you, but you have no idea we even exist.

You can’t see us, hear us, feel us. And yet here we are. We were created on sheets of paper, but we live forever thanks to our never-ending stories. We were brought to life in them. We’re the characters from your books. And when our stories end, we live quite ordinary lives here among you. In the space between heaven and earth, in a sphere full of spirits, angels, demons and us characters. Ever thought about having lunch with Hermione Granger? I know what it’s like 🙂 And no, I’m not just teasing you.

Actually, I have to go now, because… this is so strange! I told you that you no one can see us? Um… just someone tapped me on the shoulder!!!

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Julia

Julia

Yes, the should-have-been-dead-for-centuries Shakespeare character. Cursed and traveling the world over searching for her Romeo.

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