Exit doors for the lovelorn

28th March 2008 at 00:00
A life in the year of Emily Shark

"Romeo and Juliet have cross stars. That's why they die."

Oh, Kelly. How on earth am I going to mark this?

"They do some stupid things, but they have bad luck too."

Well, that's true. Bad luck, plus the Italian postal system. And what of the letter that never reaches Romeo?

"The friar should have sent two letters, just in case. It would still of gone wrong though, because of the cross stars."

Yup - stay on good terms with your stars, if you can.

"The ending is sad, but happy too because they die together."

Bless your romantic soul, Kelly. What mark can I give for that?

"Emily, sorry to startle you, I hope this isn't a bad time ... ".

"Jon! No, please, feel free, go ahead. I'm quite happy to be interrupted."

Mr Gorgeous! The hot shock of that voice never fades. It shouldn't be allowed in a school. And you've had a haircut! Nice, not so floppy. That pawable fringe has gone, but it shows more of that beautiful neck ...

"Well, first I wanted to say thanks for what you wrote about me."

"Er ... ".

"In that exercise the head made us do about a month ago. I've never been called 'a marvellously cheering presence in the staffroom' before."

"Oh, well, I meant it. Very good of you to thank me."

Shark! I know you're trying to stay calm, but there is no need to start talking like Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter.

"That's why I was touched; I know you mean what you say. And that's why I thought I should tell you ... ".

What, what? You're dying? Engaged?

"I'm leaving. Well, it hasn't been finalised, but it's looking very likely. And I wanted to say how much I've enjoyed working with you, too."


"Well! That's ... very nice of you, Jon. And I wish you all the best. When are you going?"

That's right, Shark, stay cool. You can howl at the stars when he's gone.

"End of the summer term, probably."

"Of course, yes. Well. I'll miss you."

"We can keep in touch, can't we? It would be a pity not to."


"Right. I'll let you get on now. Just ... didn't want you to hear rumours. You know what this place is like."

"Yes, of course. Thanks, Jon."

Chin up, Shark. He did say "keep in touch". That's much more hopeful than "stay in touch". People only use "stay" if they're not that bothered. "Stay" is like a paper cup and a piece of string: not very effective. "Keep in touch", well now, that means something.

But those eyes, and those sexy but comforting shoulders ... They can't be replaced by an email. He did say it hadn't been finalised ... Oh, I can't think about this now. Kelly, help me out here.

"Juliet is really worried, so just before Romeo goes away she asks him: 'O, think'st thou we shall ever meet again?'"

More from Emily in a fortnight.

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