And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this.

The young Polonius was heartsick. For months he had been pining for Calpurnia. Well, he called her his Calpurnia, though that was not her name. He met her at University while preparing for his role as Caesar there. She was charmed by him. He was an excellent talker. He knew things and liked to share them. He was funny too, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident. He asked if he could escort her out and she agreed. He would plan elaborate outings, meticulously planned and orchestrated. He even arranged the occasionally chance meeting of friends who would speak well of him to his Calpurnia.
He started calling her his Calpurnia not long into their courtship. She found it amusing though she didn’t understand the reference. At least she hadn’t until she came to see him play his Caesar and she found she did not LIKE Calpurnia and that she did not LIKE the idea of being a politician’s wife, even in jest. And she could tell he relished the role. She could see that he WAS ambitious and that he would ignore his wife’s wisdom and plunge straight into a political blood bath.
The next time he came to call, she refused him. And the time after that and the time after that. By the time he understood what was happening, his Caesar had closed and he was back to finishing his studies and they all seemed meaningless without his Calpurnia. He would stand below her window and shout Roman poetry. He would stand where she walked and he would cry as she passed by.
He was surly to everyone. He stopped going to class. Eventually, he holed up in his rooms and shouted at anyone who came in. Usually, he spoke to them as if they were characters from Julius Caesar. He called his teacher a cobbler and his landlord a senator.
It all turned around, though, when his friend came by with his sister. She’d been warned of his affliction and she found it interesting so when he saw her and said, “Is that my Calpurnia?”
She smiled, held out her hand and said, “Caesar. I never stood on ceremonies.”
And her took her hand and kissed it.
When she blushed, he suddenly knew himself again and found that he wanted nothing more than to know her, too and not as Calpurnia but whomever she happened to truly be.


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