They grew up in neighbouring blocks, in the stone-built houses left when the rich folk deserted the Old Town for the New, exchanged crumbling laurel swags and ballustrades for reinforced concrete and steel.
They went to the same school, though never met. She was bright enough, not brilliant but hardworking, while he spent the school day picking pockets, shoplifting, in juvenile court.
As she whispered with her friends over boy band singers, he was getting his first gang tattoo – a dagger on his right cheekbone, a symbol of belonging.
Then one day, she was walking along Rose Street, he coming the other way, trousers hanging low, body hunched as if the world had climbed on his narrow shoulders. His face was slim, brows in a tight frown. The kind of boy the nervous cross the street to avoid.
On impulse, she smiled
And his world opened.
The title comes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act One, Scene One.