By Millie Muthoni
I have always been fascinated by young love. You know, like with teens and high schoolers. I know most of you will say that what we felt back then was not love. That it was just hormones. That we were just messing around each other and being stupid. That we were young and did not know what love is. Well, it’s a free world. You have a right to your own opinion. But I strongly believe that no one person can tell you what love should or should not look like. Even though I know for a fact that love looks a lot like food.
Anyway, as I was saying, young love,
Teens in love have not gone through multiple lovers who played a game of soccer with their hearts leaving them all jaded, bitter and emotionally closed off in the name of not wanting to make the same mistakes again. Teens still see love the way it was meant to be; pure, innocent, naïve, simple and easy. Especially the easy part. So I sometimes like that I have high schoolers who talk to me about their love lives. You’d be surprised just how much perspective they can give you regarding your own relationships. Not necessarily the romantic ones. So here is a story of one particular couple that I was lucky enough to watch their story grow from the very first day.
Hey, are you there? Please be there,
Her text came. He was playing Call of Duty. Apparently there is a mobile version. He rarely cuts himself off while playing a game for anyone but for her, anything.
Hey love, I’m here. Talk to me.
It took him five minutes to compose that message. He is still so nervous and flustered even in text, it is adorable. I mean, at some point, while he was still trying to come up with a reply, he literally typed ‘hi’ about five times. He had his thumbs frozen above the keyboard not sure which keys should be pressed and in what order.
What followed was all that ‘I miss you so much’ and how Corona was really putting a boulder in their relationship but they know that this is how they make their relationship stronger. Seriously, just look at the optimism in all that. Half the things they told each other y’all would have dismissed as sweet nothings and chocha. Forgetting that chocha is the sugar of life.
They talked about how their days have been and get this, from the texts, they seemed genuinely interested in what is going on in each other’s lives. They feed on the details. When was the last time someone asked you how your day was and you didn’t give a nonchalant “It was okay,”? But something I especially like about these two is, they have knack for turning some pretty bad situations around. I’ll give you an example; she vented how there was no water at their house. Something about the tanks being clogged up, something like that. So now they have to bring down the tanks to wash them. He made her see how they can make a water splashing sort of amusement park out of that complete with swimming in the tanks and what not. I can’t be the only one who had to take a minute to marvel at the genius simplicity in this.
I’m a theatre geek and as you’ve probably guessed my favourite play is Romeo and Juliet. So as I was snooping on his phone to read their messages (Yes, I’m nosy and curious and cross the privacy line alot. Sue me), I just got a Romeo and Juliet vibe from these two. I imagine this is how the play would have gone if it were in the 21ST century, with teenagers as the characters and COVID19 as the hinderance to their love instead of the good old family feud. Although she does have an older brother who for some reason, I see him as Capulet in all of this. Oh, in case you were wondering, I am Shakespeare in all of this. I’m the one who writes the story.
So here’s why I’m getting the Romeo and Juliet vibe;
In the play, Shakespeare questions how real Romeo’s love is given he was in love with another woman at the beginning of the play. In my version, let’s call them Cameo and Hariet, I was questioning Hariet’s love given she really questioned Cameo’s intentions with her at the very beginning. She was just a little too cynical. Or is it that our generation was way too trusting and just stupid?
In the original version, it is Juliet who is courageous and completely trusts Romeo. With these two, Cameo is the trusting one. I feel like I should say something to him regarding this. But then I risk ruining the outcome of the story or impose my jaded and unfeeling opinions on him. I learnt the hard way that teens can be a little too impressionable. So I have to be extremely cautious of what I say, how I say it and when I say it.
For Romeo and Juliet, it is their families that don’t want them together. With Cameo and Hariet, COVID doesn’t want them together. And in this version, neither Hariet nor Cameo have to commit suicide because COVID has that covered for them.
Granted, they are just kids and have no idea what the real world looks like. But this is Romeo and Juliet on a miniature level, what do you expect? It’s been three months of their long distance thing and what they have will put to shame most adult relationships, let alone long distance ones. Now I don’t believe in giving relationship advice. Neither do I believe in taking it. So what you do with what you read, well, that is entirely up to you. But I will make sure that you people keep up with Cameo and Hariet.