Romaine Anne-Marie Germaine
As a sixteen year old Chinese-American senior, she is now a slightly older, more jilted version of herself and grown closer to accepting the truth. While her understanding of the nature of her feelings has changed, she still carries a torch for Rosaline with a faint hint of hope. Many times she attempts to transgress the more hopelessly romantic behaviors of her Junior self, and yet she still holds on to the past rather desperately, to the point that it is evident she should get off of this path soon or will suffer greatly.
Having begun to fail her mother's expectations, she has developed a dependence on food and a newfound hate for herself.
Last visited in Blue World, she is well-meaning and fairly intelligent, however her mother's treatment has somewhat ruined her first crush for her. While normally a people-pleaser type and confident scholar, she is also perpetually unsatisfied with herself and can lash out spontaneously due to pent up anger. Having already collapsed twice due to exhaustion, there is no doubt that her senior self is playing with fire and testing the limits of human endurance.
Barely any older than her Senior self, yet has already suffered the full brunt of the consequences of her habits through a violent crash and burn. Though she no longer understands the meaning of her feelings, she has come to shift her priorities and now possesses a laundry list long enough to eclipse the hole in her heart that not long ago preoccupied her entire existence.
A fellow Senior at St. Jameson High School. In her spare time, she enjoys reading psychological thrillers, taking long hikes, and is a speed demon when driving.
An underclassman of Romaine's who is actually a little older than her. At some point during Junior year, went through some sort of heartbreak which she tried to help him through. As a result, thinks of her with fondness.
A classmate of Romaine who bugs her to no end about her age and inability to speak Chinese. Also is Julien's older brother and polar opposite.
An older classmate of Romaine's who she admires for her strong spirit and work ethic. A little at odds with Jacques due to differing political views, but she nonetheless knows everyone's name and does a stellar job at whatever she puts her mind to, whether it be a twenty-page thesis on economics or a theatric role.
A part-French friend of Romaine's who has a big heart and offers even bigger bear hugs.
Nobody can quite remember her last name as it is in German, but she is a good friend and can hold her own when it comes to performance arts.
Jörgen de Boer
A Dutch friend of Romaine's. Physically, he is two years older. Mentally, he far exceeds her immaturity.
A Hawaiian-Filipino friend of Jörgen, equally obnoxious.
Mrs. Lai Di Germaine
Romaine's mother, who seems to have never forgiven her for deciding to return to Junior Year instead of enrolling in a class suitable for her physical age level.
Daniel Louis Germaine
Romaine's seemingly perfect older brother, the paragon of success.
Romaine's Fast Pitch Coach, former APUSH teacher, and current Physics teacher. A wise and good-humored older man who was likely born around 3000 BC or earlier, he enjoys explaining the marvels of science to bemused students with the enthusiasm and offbeat humor of Bill Nye the Science Guy.
A Junior who is the captain of St. Jameson's Fast Pitch team, she seems to be gifted with athletic, academic, and artistic prowess and has started to take more control of the team.
Rapper name is "K-Money." Only African American girl on the softball team, and capable catcher. She has injured her back a few times because of Romaine but does not appear to hold any ill will against her.
Renee "Rey" Reyes
Partially Filipino and Hawaiian American, she appears to get along most with Romaine, and will likely replace her at third base. Can appreciate a good blueberry French toast.
A pretty and kind classmate of Romaine's who has both a kind heart and the ability to draw incredible eyebrows.
(Sophomore Romaine Germaine is walking around, minding her business. She is holding a chocolate bar and eating bits of it, though something about her face, her hunched posture, and her slow gait gives off a deeply melancholy impression. Although she has barely hit thirteen, this girl seems to be struggling with some deep, unhappy loneliness.
Just then, something completely unexpected and thrilling happens.
A voice calls out; "Heads up!" causing her to jump and cover her face with her hands.
Out of nowhere, a beautiful taller girl wearing athletic clothing and glasses sprints onstage and throws herself in front of Romaine, just in time to catch a flying softball. It lands into her baseball glove with a loud, powerful smack, letting Romaine know exactly what it could have done to her face if this girl hadn't appeared in time. Romaine lets out an audible gasp from shock and relief, and the girl turns around to face her.)
Sophomore Rosaline: So sorry about that! Are you ok?
Sophomore Romaine: I...I...yes, I'm fine... (She stares up at the face of this willowy, gorgeous girl who is her savior.)
Soohomore Rosaline: You sure? It didn't hit you anywhere, right? Sorry for bumping into all so suddenly, I-
Sophomore Romaine: Oh no, no, it's fine! I'm fine.
Sophomore Rosaline: Be careful when walking round here, understood?
Casey: (Walking onstage, she too is wearing athletic clothes and has her hair tied up in a ponytail.) Over here, Rosa!
(Rosaline obliges and throws her back the ball with ease. A voice offstage then calls for Casey to throw the ball to her next. Casey dashes offstage after the voice.
Just then, Mr. Flaherty appears onstage and walks up to Romaine. He too is wearing shiny athletic shorts, a worn-out t-shirt, and a goofily oversized pair of reflective sunglasses.)
Mr. Flaherty: Rosie, nice catch! Good thing you arrived in the nick of time, huh?
Rosaline: (Modestly) I guess so.
Mr. Flaherty: Well, no doubt that if you hadn't been there to cut its trajectory short, that ball would've hit poor Romaine in the face and where would we be now? (Romaine laughs awkwardly.) By the way, are you alright there? That ball didn't hit you anywhere, did it?
Romaine: (Taking a deep breath) No, I'm good.
Mr. Flaherty: Well that's good to know. Wouldn't want you to get hit in the head right before you've even started your Junior year, you know. You'll need that brainpower! (Romaine laughs again, a little stiffly. She seems to be still in shock of what has and is happening to her.) So, is everything good then?
Romaine: (Giving a thumbs-up) Yes, sir.
Mr. Flaherty: Very well then. Rosa, you may get back to practice.
(Rosaline nods and runs offstage. There is a pause as Romaine stares after her, entranced. Then...)
Romaine: ...So uh, are you still looking for new players, by any chance?
End Opening Scene.
(The Germaines are outside of St. Jameson High School. Inside is a makeshift stage with curtains drawn, and a crowd of eager parents and students stands between them.)
Mr. Germaine: That was a nice family dinner, huh? It's nice to see Mrs. Yang and Connie every now and then.
Mrs. Germaine: Yes. It's good to know that Eva Poon is doing well enough to come for dim sum. You know, her son-
Mrs. Germaine: (Ignoring her) I heard from Amy Ling that he's actually a transgender-
Romaine: (Irritated) Mom, it's Christmas, we're not supposed to judge people-
Mrs. Germaine: Judging people? What makes you think I'm judging? I'm just telling your father-
Romaine: (Covering her face with her hands) It doesn't matter. I'm going in.
Mrs. Germaine: I'm just trying to have a conversation with your father about dim sum, why are you getting so angry? (Turning back to her husband) You know, when I look at Mrs. Yang, I can't help but feel sorry for her.
Romaine: (Frowning) I thought Mrs. Yang was the one who helped donate money when you were in the ER last summer.
Mrs. Germaine: Yes, she did! It's not like I have anything against her, oh no, I really do appreciate Mrs. Yang! (Her voice gets lower) But she is so fat. I hope I never end up like her! No wonder her husband left her all those years ago for a twenty year old accountant-
Mrs. Germaine: What? (Romaine turns around) So sensitive. You didn't even say hello to Gor Gor, did you?
Romaine: (Whipping around and looking even more indignant) Yes, I did say hi to Gorgor, thanks. Why?
Mrs. Germaine: (Pursing lips) Aiyah! Why are you so angry towards your mother on Christmas? I'm just saying, you haven't seen Daniel in so long, you didn't-
Romaine: (Exasperated) I already email him, Mom, and I talked to him, and gave him a present that I made for him by myself, and I asked him about his wellbeing and his room mate and-
Mrs. Germaine: Geez! Calm down! (Frowning) I was just asking. You know, I miss Daniel so much. (Pause) He is such a good boy, he never asks for anything, and he made it all by himself. I'm glad he decided to go to university - I think he could really make it big.
Romaine: (Bitterly) And me?
Mrs. Germaine: Your time will come too, sweetie. When you are older. Not right now - no way I'm sending you to college at sixteen, sweetie. You just gotta stick to your word and put up with school, even if you don't think it's fun being in freshman year again, it's supposed to be school and you're supposed to work hard-
Romaine: I meant do you think I will be as successful as him?
Mrs. Germaine: (Noncomittally) If you put your heart to it and stick to it, if you really try to act like a mature and responsible person-
Romaine: (Annoyed) I'm not mature and responsible?
Mrs. Germaine: Well, see, you're being so sensitive. All I'm saying is-
Romaine: Never mind... (She covers her face in her hands and freezes in place).
Mr. Germaine: Those pork buns were good. Better than the ones we get at Costco. I really liked the duck - I'm sure Dad would love to have some if he could.
Mrs. Germaine: Yes, these char siu bao were fresh, not microwaved. I've had better duck, though, to be honest.
(Quietly Romaine runs away from them and into the crowd. Tears are running down her face.
Around her, the parents and students chatter to each other, taking no notice of her.)
Romaine: (Grunting) Why did I think this would be a good idea...
(The parents continue to chatter, walking around her. Nobody calls her name.)
Romaine: (Looking appropriately impulsive) I don't even belong here anymore-
(She makes to leave, when suddenly a tall girl dressed up in a chic Kate Spade-version of the traditional ugly Christmas sweater with pink bows and a poodle embossed upon it walks up to her)
Romaine: (Shocked) Oh my God, Janice!
(Romaine tries to wipe away her tears and speak clearly, but the more she does, the more she starts wailing uncontrollably and sniffing. Janice tries her best to accomodate her. It is clear that they have not seen each other in a while and are mostly casual classmates, but the two girls seem to somewhat approve of each other and try their best to make a connection.)
Romaine: I-I'm so sorry, I'm a mess...
Janice: It's okay... (She hesitantly embraces the younger girl)
Romaine: I just...miss you guys so much and I don't know where I want to be anymore and I really want to see you guys and I don't want to stay in freshman year at the public school anymore but I can't leave because I know my mom is going to hate me but I don't know where else I'm supposed to go-
Janice: (Not sure what to do, she just awkwardly pats Romaine on the back as if she is dealing with a small child) I'm sorry...it's going to be okay...
Romaine: (Taking one last sniff and wiping the last tears) I'm sorry. That was a lot. I didn't mean to do that.
Janice: No, it's fine, really.
Romaine: I guess you're in the play?
Janice: ...Yes. Yes, I am.
Romaine: Okay...it's good to see you again, I...
Janice: Okay. So, Ron is going to kill me if I don't get back in time, but-
Romaine: (Forcefully making a smile) No, no, it's fine, go on ahead. I'm just, uh, awfully glad to be back. (She hiccups and tries to wipe her nose on her sleeve) I was...thinking of throwing a glitter bomb at you guys or something...but I know it'd be hard to clean up...
Janice: (Smiling slightly) Oh, Romaine. (She walks away and goes behind the curtain.
Silently, Romaine settles down into a chair in front of the makeshift stage. Her face has returned to its tired, settled look. She looks around, growing more and more morose, as parents chatter and begin to pick seats. As she turns, however, she finds herself face to face with a familiar, former underclassman.)
Romaine: Hey! You're... (She blinks) I'm sorry, I'm bad with names. Are you...you're Jacques' little brother, right?
Julien: Yes, actually, I am. You're...his classmate, right? I think your name is Romaine, right?
Romaine: Yes, that's it. (Looking down) I apologize for not remembering your name...
Julien: It's fine, I'm Julien. (He awkwardly extends a hand and, with the same amount of awkwardness, Romaine takes it and shakes it.) But I thought he said you're not in his class anymore? Are you not a Junior anymore?
Romaine: (Embarrassed) Okay, well, you see...I'm two years younger than the rest of the class, so my mom sent me to a public school to redo freshman year instead.
(It takes a few seconds for this out of the blue revelation to sink in. Then Julien stirs back to life.)
Julien: Wait...your mom did what?
(Romaine clearly regrets spilling all her deep dark secrets to this boy she has only known as an underclassman.)
Romaine: You know what, just uh, don't worry too much about it. It's just some weird thing that uh, yeah, my family's pretty weird-
Julien: ...So you're like, fifteen?
Romaine: (Looking down on ground and sighing) Yeah. Despite what Jacques may have told you, no, I am not twelve anymore, that was freshman year and...just cause I'm repeating freshman year doesn't mean...graaaaargh.
Julien: (Grinning) So you're the one Jacques was always joking about being like, seven years old? Who gets annoyed because you're younger than everyone else in the Junior class?
Romaine: (Raising an eyebrow) Excuse me!
Julien: When is your birthday?
Romaine: (Taken slightly aback) Um...next December?
Julien: I'm older than you.
Romaine: What! You can't be serious. (Julien continues to smirk at her) When is your birthday, then?
Julien: Okay, well, actually the birthday doesn't matter. I'm sixteen.
Romaine: (Appalled) What!
Julien: (Nodding at her) Oh yes.
Romaine: Well, I never. (She crosses her arms and pretends to be indignant) Did you inherit your brother's tendency to know just what will get on peoples' nerves?
Julien: (Laughing) Well actually, no, I don't tease people as much as he does. I'm the nice one, you see.
Romaine: (Suspiciously) Are you sure about that?
Julien: (Laughing more) Yes, I am.
(Just then, the Germaines come in and settle down in a chair row. The lights dim and both Romaine and Julien fall silent.
In front of the stage, various high school students run around doing some sort of surreal, esoteric performance art while dressed in reindeer antlers and ugly Christmas sweaters.
A spotlight comes down on Janice, standing in the front of the stage, singing Blue Christmas. She is doing her best, although her voice is slightly offkey and her smile looks very forced. Her backup singers wince slightly but continue on for the sake of the show.
And behind them is Rosaline on the drums.
Watching with surprise, Julien turns to Romaine, whose face lights up as she gasps.)
Janice: You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white. But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas...
(Janice's voice could not be more off. Even her backup singers seem to give up with this last note. There is a visible cringe going across the audience, and yet, Romaine only seems to glow with more happiness as she watches Rosaline finish her drumming. Julien watches with amazement, his eyes going between Romaine's euphoric face to the short-haired girl wearing glasses who is playing the drums while looking somewhat bored.
Finally, Rosaline stands up and gets backstage. The students run about, rearranging themselves, and Janice walks with purpose in front of them.)
Julien: Have you...seen this play before?
Romaine: (Breathless, for no apparent reason) Yes.
Janice: (Loudly and firmly, with the voice and presentation of an elected ASB Secretary, Class Representative, and all-around strong-minded feminist) Behold, for I am the angel Gabriel, here to speak with Mary, the Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Some may think that the Immaculate Conception refers to the birth of her son that I will presently inform her about, but actually, it is a misconception. The Immaculate Conception is a term referring to Mary's birth itself, whereupon she was brought to earth without Original Sin! But I digress. (Clearing her throat) Mary, do you hear me?
Rosaline: (Kneeling before her) Oh, my. An angel has appeared before me. (The audience laughs at her unusually calm take on Mary's reaction. It's pretty clear that she just joined because there were not enough actors this year.)
Janice: (Unaffected) Behold! (Her voice fades out as she continues to make declarations to Rosaline, who is wearing a cloth on her head to hide her short hair and responding with unusual serenity and henceforth putting a completely different mood to Mary's lines. The audience laughs a little at Rosaline's performance.)
Julien: You know, they do the same play every year...
Romaine: (Frowning resolutely, fixed on Rosaline and being the only person to cheer for her every line) Yes.
Julien: Okay then.
(The three kings come out and offer Rosaline and her "baby" their gifts, and golden glitter descends upon them as a finale. The parents give their obligatory applause, and their faces and the performers' lifeless performances both show that they are used to seeing this every year. Romaine alone claps overly enthusiastically, even wiping her right eye and smiling bittersweetly. Julien's curiosity is piqued. He opens his mouth to say something to her, but without another word, Romaine stands up and walks away.
Various students are now picking up the jazz band instruments, play props, and chairs and bustling off with them, yelling instructions to one another. After some negotiation, Rosaline picks up a mop and quickly cleans up the glitter, then takes out a bottle of sanitizer and begins to cleanse herself of the nasty scintillating particles.)
(Rosaline has two seconds to turn before she is violently tackled by the shorter girl.
Behind them, Julien's jaw drops.)