Optimist, idealist, romantic? How can I describe my soul in a word, or even a collection of words and get you to understand me – c’est pas possible. But I touched people like notes drifting dreamily from the strings of a harp, never quite sure if I was for real. A dreamer? Certainly, everything I liked, I dreamt it would happen to me, every man I met, I dreamt of a life between us – little children with rust coloured hair and his greeny brown eyes. My capacity to dream would have delighted millions if it could be harnessed. I was the one who would believe in anything if it was beautiful enough – faeries, elves … God. Who cares whether or not it could be scientifically proven, it captured my imagination, filled me with gut-wrenching emotion and inspired goodness, kindness and most importantly love. My idea of love was that of faery-tales – I was waiting for my prince to come and literally sweep me off my feet. I wanted that love that made me faint with the sheer power of it. Love that cut all my ties to this world – human or material and reattached them to one person, like a shift in gravity. I wanted to no longer be held to the world, but to love itself. People laughed when I told them what I was waiting for – themselves content with just affection. But God promised me love, he said love was stronger than death, that his love for me would hold me even when I couldn’t hold myself, that it would keep me alive when I no longer had that power. I was so happy as I was… Now, I feel like people are shaking me, trying to tell me that I am in fact in one of my own dreams, that I must wake up to life as it is. Is it really just a dream? And if so do I really want to wake up? The question that has plagued philosophers – Nozick’s experience machine – in my naivety I said that we should always face the truth, never plug ourselves in. But if there are no faeries, if there is no God and most importantly if love is, as David Buss described it, just a psychological strategy developed for our reproductive success, do I really want to wake? I feel like I’m on the brink of a change, teetering on the edge, about to fall and I don’t know which way. If this is really just an illusion, I will try so hard to keep my eyes shut. Yet the stark reality is seeping in like a poison – I feel it working already. I am a character wandering, desperately seeking my author to write the next page. How can I live in this other world devoid of angels’ rays? J’ai peur. And so, dear Juliet, I write to you, as many have done before me, to beg that you inspire my belief of true love, a love that I would, as you did, gladly fall on my sword for. Yours is the greatest love story – please help me see that I too will, one day, feel love and be loved.
Sarah Alexandra George
(Winning entry of ‘Dear Juliet’ writing competition 2011)