Ross Butler─Reggie Mantle / Julia Barretto
Reggie waits. And it’s a surprise, because Mantle the Magnificent never waits. Patience does not spring out the tips of his callous fingers, as it brings out the horrible essence of his spoiled childhood. He throws and snarls and snaps at help and rips off expensive designer clothing.
But for this one living, breathing human specimen, he waits.
He waits because when Reggie is six and Midge Klump is five and a half, they watch as her father slowly deteriorate under the dim fluorescent lighting and with the monotonous beating that haunts his ears until he’s sick to the stomach. She doesn’t cry, because she’s Midge. Instead, she throws out dolls and plays with cars and bullies Reggie more often out of boredom. Reggie waits outside her house every afternoon for a week straight until he finally realizes that some people grieve in different, obscured ways that don’t include tears.
He waits because Midge is there
over and under. Down the ice cream parlor where her dad used to take them all the time. Over at 7-Eleven with her back turned against the crude magazines, sipping in iced coffee with her nose in a dog-eared Sherlock Holmes paperback. Midge Klump
hidden among literature, statistic formulas, and plate tectonic theories. She’s a pretty princess and an Alan Turing and a four-time pageant state winner. She’s there for him even if she doesn’t mean to
as if it’s the universe actually proclaiming that it’s her. It’s fucking her. He waits because Midge is always, always right, even when he knows she is downright wrong.
He waits when she’s fifteen and he’s sixteen because he’s a pompous jock and she’s an ignorant mathlete; and they are so close, yet so far away. He always notices her the millisecond she steps in fifth period Biology, because he’s Reggie. And she won’t notice the moon-lit beams he screams through his arrogant and bombastic facade, because she’s Midge.
He waits because when they stop talking after sixth grade and he sees her less, less, less and she never asks him anymore if he wants a bite out of her mom’s specialty lasagna because he’s too busy with drunken teenage monstrosity every Friday night
he learns that Midge doesn’t wait. Not anymore.
They bicker like balanced swings, ready for a comeback when Reggie fingers her name in anger against the horror stricken playbook besides Moose’ name, and he swears he feels like his soul has been crushed a thousand times. He glares at her over Moose’ oblivious head in the lab, hardened and jealous, simultaneously pushing back any thoughts of how pretty she obviously is. He wants to kiss her everywhere, from her hairline to her lips, to the rose-like scar she got when she fell down from her Bratz bike when she was six. He wants to trace the crevices of her skin, to whisper nostalgia of something he’s never touched before.
In the beginning of sophomore year, after Jason Blossom dies, his thoughts are a tornado and he’s actually thinking of acquiring a dog when Midge Klump appears within his view the first time after his best friend vanished from the depths of Sweetwater River. She’s tiny and clumsy and at the same time hard around the edges despite her pink sweater and glitter lip gloss.
He waits because she passes him after he rowdily calls out Wednesday Addams, who bumps into his shoulder like some thin bamboo. She’s so little compared to Reggie. She glances over, doesn’t slip out a smile, and perceives his presence as if he isn’t there at all. And that’s when Reggie thinks they are too far to strike close again. He waits because he thinks they live too many distances apart.
One day, he thinks, they won’t act like two beings who’d pretend to remain oblivious. They’ll be whole again
─ two lovers in their most private domain. And when that day happens, they will be laughing over this as if it is stale popcorn from the midnight drive-in and it’s Saturday all over again and there are no parents or expectations or the future to worry about.
It will be one heck of a story to tell her of things that should have been, moments that could have been theirs
their high school life like a huge chunk of skipped episodes in a shitty teen drama. Reggie will tell her a story about a boy who waited and a girl who didn’t, and why that didn’t really matter in the end.
Reggie will tell her. Maybe tomorrow, or the morning after that, or in twenty years; who knows?
Below the cut are 215+ faceclaims of colour who are, or could pass as, teenagers that you could use to make your high school roleplays more diverse! Organised by ethnicity, gender and age, with their specific ethnicity listed.
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