I always read people’s posts about their headcanon and their OTPs and the lovely little worlds they build for those OTPs. I have a confession to make. I have an OTP in my head that has never been on any television show or movie or book or even music.
Call me crazy, but whenever I’m all tucked into bed, I think about two people who have been in my head for years. Yes, years.
When I was twelve years old, I was daydreaming, as per the usual state of my existence. As I listened to *NSYNC’s latest album–Celebrity, which was not exactly up to par with No Strings Attached, but that’s irrelevant to the story–I started creating two characters whose love story would fit the song I was listening to, “Tell Me Tell Me Baby.” I know I know, that song was a pop music masterpiece. I named them Jenni and Ryan.
Within days, I’d thought about them so much that I had a whole little story written out about how they’d met at a performing arts school in New York City, fallen in love, broken up, met again in London and ended up together. I had magazine cutouts of models who I thought fit their physical appearances, I had profiles and resumes, I had a world mapped out.
Ten years later, Jenni and Ryan are still in my head. Whenever I’m bored or lonely or stuck for ideas, I end up thinking about them. I know exactly how and where they first met (Pennington Academy in the Upper East Side, Ryan’s half-sister Katie introduced them), how long they dated the first time around (about four years, give or take a few months), why they broke up (Ryan is unappreciative) and how they got together (that’s a secret). I know their favourite colours, books, movies. I know who can cook (Jenni), who loves to clean (Ryan), who still keeps a stuffed animal by the bed (Ryan) and who can skate really well (both of them). I know them better than I know myself.
I think now’s the time to admit that I’m a writer. I studied writing in university and I’ve been doing it ever since I was a little girl. I’ve written stories about magic, the occult, the ordinary and the depressing. I’ve written about serial killers and nuns. But in the 17 years that I’ve spent writing, none of my characters ever got under my skin the way Jenni and Ryan did. It’s been ten years since I first invented them and they still come out to play, sparking new ideas for their lives.
Why do I bring this up now, when I’ve kept the secret for so long? I haven’t thought about Jenni and Ryan in a few months. I’ve written very little, just a drabble or a one-shot here and there, maybe a few paragraphs of the novels I’m working on. I’m beginning to realize that maybe my twelve-year-old self might have been onto something when she started daydreaming about a boy and girl who fell in love on the stage. The 22-year-old Angel is cynical and flighty, looking for a foundation to build on. Maybe I need Jenni and Ryan and their story more than I need encouragement, because it’s the one I first wrote and the one I first believed in.
So no, I’m not going to feel embarrassed about my daydreams or my passion for writing, because if you could only see the Ryan in my head, you’d want him around too.