Gone

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News spread fast about Jason and Polly's death on the 4th of the July.
You descended from your room the minute it hit twitter, thinking it must be some senior prank, it has got to be. This is Riverdale for Christ sake nothing bad is supposed to happen. Then as you arrived to the living room your parents sat there in front of the TV with the latest headline of the couple's death. They turned to you with sad looks upon their faces because of your schoolmates. You couldn't process it as your phone rang and pulled you out of your thoughts. It was Kevin one of your friends.
"(Y/N) have you heard the news?"
"About Jason and Polly?" your voice shaked.
"Yes, my dad found them, they were supposed to run away together to god knows where and then-" you stopped listening.
You couldn't process it that well, all that ran through your head was your best friend Reggie. How he must be feeling. They were like brothers. You only knew the Blossoms because of Reggie.
"Sorry Kev, gotta go" you hung up.
Before you knew it, you made your way to Reggie's house as his parents let you in and you showed yourself to his room.
A knock on the door and no answer.
"I'm coming in Reg" you did your special knock not expecting an answer.
There lied Reggie on the floor of is room staring somberly at the roof with crappy painted starry sky you guys had done back in middle school. You get close to him, lie down and hold his hand in yours.
There is a silence as you both stare at the roof, it's one of those you can hear if a pin drops silence, but also as if you two are the only ones left in the world and its as quiet as you never thought it be. You're rubbing your thumb against his hand. You don't mind the silence, you just want to be there for your best friend.
"I heard the news from Cheryl" he breaks the silence "she was sobbing, but wanted me to hear from her which is super nice of her, sometimes I wish people knew that side of her."
You felt he wasn't done speaking, so you left him to continue.
"I- I can't for the life of me get myself to cry, it's like I'm broken. I feel sad, but—" He pauses as if he's going to continue but doesn't as he sits up and you follow suit, hands still holding.
"Hey, you're not broken. It's a hard thing to lose someone, it's okay if you're not processing it well" you gave him a small smile.
Although you felt something else was up with him. Because as you saw Reggies exterior, he was a big sweetheart inside. And then it clicked, what he said about Cheryl and other not seeing her as sweet as she can be. He wasn't being himself. The Reggie sitting next to you, didn't look like the Reggie you came to know all these years. You may be his best friend, but Jasons and Reggies relationship was one of the greatest bromances to have ever been on this earth.
"There's something you're not telling me Reg" you held his hand tighter.
"I'm scared (Y/N)" he speaks, but you can hear he's holding back his tears.
"They're going to catch whatever asshole did this. It's going to be okay." You didn't know, but that's what they say in movies and it seemed appropriate.
"No its not, he's gone." He sniffled to stop a tear from falling and you were catching on.
"You can cry Reggie, you can let it out." You made a mental note to want to punch the person who made him and any guy think they weren't allowed to cry.
"That's just the thing though (Y/N/N), if I start crying, I don't think I'll stop." And just like that the waterworks began and he looked so defeated as you pulled him into a hug. Maybe it wouldn't make a difference because of the situation, but a good hug is better than nothing.
You would hug him as much as he needed it.
He sobbed on your shoulder. You've known Reggie all your life, and you knew his scent like the back of hand. As weird as it was, you caught on as your nose tried to detect the unfamiliar smell that was coming off the rugged guy you had grown very fond of. That's when you caught up and looked around to see around his room the best you could as you were still in his embrace.
"Reggie?" you said softly not wanting to ruin the moment you guys were having.
"Yeah?" He sniffled.
"Have you been drinking?" you implied as he removed himself from your embrace.
"What? No of course not. Why—" He sounded offended.
"Reg, it's okay. I'm your friend I'm not judging. Just thought you hated beer." You tried to speak to him.
"Why are you here?" he seemed so bothered now as he decided to open another beer can.
"What do you mean?" you tried to get close to him.
"WHY ARE YOU HERE? WHY? IM NOT SPECIAL!" he slurred.
"You're my best friend, I care about you—, you're special to me" you confessed, but no more that would express you had a crush on him for a while.
He just stood there, beer can in one and shocked of what you just said as tears fell from your eyes.
"It should have been me" he spoke under his breath as though you shouldn't have heard that and he turned around.
"What? You didn't just say that Mantle" you breathed mad at his new revelation.
"It's true, Jason was somebody, the quarterback, his family is like royalty here, he—" you cut him off.
"Yeah, and you Reggie Mantle are MY hero. You protect me everywhere we go, you were my best friend, I don't know about you Reg, but I wasn't lying to you when I told you, you were special to me." you hoped he would turn around and face you after all you just kept confessing afraid that you might have freaked him out, after all he just lost one of his friends.
The air in the room felt so heavy and it felt like you had lost Reggie and as much as you wanted to be there for him, he felt so distant so you walked towards the door about to turn the doorknob.
"Don't go" he requested.
"Do you remember the day we met?" you smiled as you walked towards his bed.
Reggie stayed in his corner he had been there for a while, you stayed quiet a bit after that. If he needed you to just be there, you were willing to be just be there as you had promised.
The silence was killing you, it may have been okay when you first stepped in, but now all you wanted was for Reggie to be okay. He was still in his corner playing with the beer can, he hadn't drank any since he told you to stay.
You decided to go up to him, you were right behind him as you removed the beer from his hand and he finally turned around as pulled him into a hug.
"Hugs are more my thing Mantle" you spoke against is chest.
"How is it that I was a little bitch to you and you're hugging me?"
"What are best friends for?" you smiled up at him.
"I don't know how I would handle this without you (Y/N/N)"
"You don't give yourself enough credit Reginald" you pulled him towards his bed as you both sat down and he put his arm around your shoulder.
"I don't give myself enough credit, I'm your hero? Why do you care?"
"I asked you if you remember the day we met" was your answer.
"You moved here when you were 9" was his answer.
"I had no friends, Archie and them had their own little clique, I wasn't allowed near the Southside. My mom took me to the old park near Sweetwater River. I was all alone when Chuck started to bother me and then out of nowhere you come out and we hung out by the old bridge."
"Is that why I'm your hero?" he smiled and man did you miss that smile at this point "He pushed me in the river after that, I was drowning" he chuckled.
"There's something you don't know about that day Reggie" you smiled back at him.
"What?" he looked at you confused now.
"I had no idea how to swim, when I jumped in the River and my mom was too busy to notice" you declared.
"But you jumped in and saved me" he reasoned.
"That's why you're my hero Mantle the Magnificent. If it weren't for you drowning I wouldn't have been brave enough to jump in."
It was silent for a bit until you heard a shocked Reggie yell your name.
"(Y/N)!"
"What?!"
"I can't believe you did that? You could've been hurt!"
"And if I didn't do anything, something could have happened to you and you had just saved me, I wasn't going to let anything happen to my only friend, plus I learned how to swim that day." You said calmly as he just stared at you "You've made me brave every day since."
"I'm glad my drowning helped" he sassed as you playfully pushed him away "I had actually forgotten you saved me that day" he reached down and intertwined your hands. The notion surprised you, not like you guys hadn't been holding hands a few moments before but the contact was more intimate than before and it made your heart flutter.
"(Y/N)?"
"Yeah?"
"Jason's gone" he looked down at his knees.
"I know, I'm sorry" you gave him a small kiss on his cheek.
"He's not gonna talk to me about football anymore or tell me to fix my play, he's not going to bug me about my big crush on you."
"I— what?" you turned to him oblivious about his feelings towards you.
Your hands still holding onto each other, afraid to letting go.
"If it wasn't obvious enough I like you too" you declared softly.
"You do?" he gave you a smug smirk.
"Yeah" you giggled.
"Really?" he kept on.
"Oh would you just kiss me, you're ruining the moment Mantle."
Your lips touched and in that moment it felt like nothing bad could happen in the world. It was perfect full of passion yet soft.
That night you stayed over, both of your parents understood the reason, and you hadn't told them you guys were now officially dating.
It was about 4am the moon was shining brightly, you were curled up next to Reggie. Your eyes closed as you heard his voice.
"Hey Jason, obviously I've never done this, but just wanted to give you a life update. Honestly you might already know because you're now up in heaven. I finally got my girl, sorry I couldn't protect you, but I'm going to make sure nothing happens to her." He kissed your forehead and went back to sleep as you slept with the biggest smile on your face that night. Forehead kisses were so underrated.

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