The short story “Mistress of Once Lover,” is my interpretation of Rosaline’s thoughts on Romeo based on the primary plotline of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. The central idea is about regrets, where Rosaline mourns her decision of leaving Romeo.

I wrote in first person point of view to decrease the complexity of the shift from past tense to present tense. The first paragraph is written in the present tense and then gradually shifted to past tense after the phrase “It feels.” This is where Rosaline reminisces about her last encounter with Romeo, followed by a background story, an introductory to her internal conflict about Romeo, characterization, and setting. I included personification, such as “heart flutters” and “welcoming the unwanted visitor”, personifying darkness as the unwanted visitor in Rosaline’s life. Following this section, there’s a change setting and a shift to present tense. I used “déjà vu” to foreshadow the misadventures Rosaline will encounter when she attempts to reconnect her and Romeo’s love by going to the masquerade, where she finds herself seeing Romeo kiss the hand of Juliet.

In this piece, I portrayed the protagonist, Rosaline, as a character who grew up in a strict and high profile family, who molded her to become a confident character. Creating this as Rosaline’s background allows her reaction of disbelief in seeing Romeo choose Juliet over her, more appropriate and understandable.

The ways I connected this short story to the original play, were by using phrases written by Shakespeare, such as “frowning night” and “Romeo, o Romeo”, borrowed from a shared dialogue between Romeo and Juliet, but in this case, it’s from the thoughts of Rosaline. I also included foreshadowing and used dichotomies as motifs—light vs. dark, such as “lightening the dense atmosphere.”

In the end, I used multiple rhetorical questions and finished it with ellipses to present Rosaline’s incredulity and derangement, which further displays the impact Romeo had on her character development.


Mistress of Once Lover

                  “Rosaline! Rosaline!” the muted calls ring in my ear.

I stare blankly at the winking chandelier while sprawling over my velvet duvet. It feels as if it was yesterday at twilight when the piercing whispers dissolved my quiet evening. I sat up at once, adjusted my nightgown and glided towards the balcony. I remember gazing down arduously upon the dimmed garden, only to see Romeo reveal himself under the oak tree. Not again, I had thought. He gallantly ascended over the balcony of which I stood on and greeted me with a kiss. His presence fatigued my winsome, nevertheless, even after he left that night, the aura of security and assurance he carried, lingered, lightening the dense atmosphere of this prison of a home.

Since a young age, my sisters and I lived under the stringent rules of our mother. My every movement were taught to precisely articulate the family’s power. Every second of the day, whenever visible to an outsider, our mother perpetually told us to show poise.

Romeo allowed me to feel the real sense of being notable, a significant disparity from the shallow acts of my mother. I’d jilt and disappear, but his heart remained faithful. A sense of déjà vu washed over when he departed, welcoming the unwanted visitor back into my life. The hollowness Romeo left behind devours my enduring poise. I once believed he would stay evermore; not once had the thought of Romeo forsake me for another damsel trespassed my unwavering mind.

I cannot endure the emptiness any longer. I refresh my beauty with the charm and elegance Romeo had once fallen in love with to the masquerade ball. My heart drums in my ears; at every pulse, I feel the frame I built up gradually shatter. I pause in front of the gold-rimmed mirror. Maybe I should turn back before I make a fool out of myself…but what if Romeo still loves me? These ambiguous thoughts go back and forth in my mind as I tried to wipe off the bewildered expression I wore with serene. I know his love is unfazed. He told me himself that he would love me for eternity, and be the guiding star during my darkest nights. I recollect my grace and saunter towards the main room, with my classic pair of red stilettos clicking on the polished marble floor. I survey the grand hall for my dear Romeo with assurance. I spot him in the corner. Inspecting his stance, I regain a sense of familiarity. When his glance falls in my direction, my heart flutters as a smile creeps onto my face. As quickly the aura of hope rushed over, it departed. My vision blurred once I realized our he was never looking at me. His soften gaze fixates towards the youthful girl with silky blonde locks.

The frowning night drew near. A muted hum rings in my ears, as everything freezes as I see my lover kiss the hands of his formidable foe. Incredulity rushes in. It wasn’t long before since the twilight of our last encounter. I reminisce about our enchanting memories I know I must omit, but my mind circles back around to Romeo. Had I not meant anything to you? Could I be forsaken so soon? How could you abandon me? Do I not compare to Juliet? Have I lost my grace? O Romeo, why Romeo?…