They gazed forlornly across the barricade at one another, a modern-day Pyramus and Thisbe, their parents being none other than the bumbling North and the intractable South. There would be no bridge across the great divide for them -no sweet, triumphant kiss in the middle at the very end, where they twirled to the sound of music only they could hear.
That sort of nonsense only happened in movies, and Thisbe seriously doubted Pyramus could lift her, much less twirl her around while locked in a kiss.
From the basket nestled at her feet she produced a large bottle of life water, wondering momentarily as she shoved it through if it would fit through the small seam they’d created between their two worlds -but it did fit, and she heard Pyramus on the other side sigh with gratitude and happiness. He couldn’t believe she’d managed it, but she had. His Thisbe -she was so amazing, so absolutely, utterly amazing.
Pyramus uncorked the golden bottle -just a small taste was rumored to be equivalent to a full day of festive meals, the sort of meals that were themselves just myths and rumors to him. If Thisbe had brought nothing but a sliver of bread -even that would have been magic to him.
As Pyramus took his drink from the forbidden bottle, Thisbe reached back into the basket at her feet.
In her hand this time was a gun. With a practiced ease, she trained the barrel of the gun directly into the middle of the small seam that split the worlds between them... ...and slowly depressed the trigger.
Abruptly, Thisbe dropped the gun. She wouldn’t do this -not with a gun, anyway. If she ever had the chance, she’d do it up close, with a knife, so she could watch his eyes close as his life beat out in her hands.
She closed her eyes, waiting, but the answering shot never came. Cautiously, she opened her eyes into the seam. Pyramus’ eyes were locked on her, but his gun was at his feet. For a long moment, neither of them breathed.
Finally, he held up his hand, turned his palm, and beckoned to her without saying a word - “come.”
Thisbe’s hand, seemingly of its own volition, lifted from her side and reached through the seam between them, toward Pyramus and his outstretched hand.
For a brief, agonizing moment, their fingertips touched...
...but, ultimately, she went her way, and he went his.