Nini and Ricky, known as Rini to fans of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, have had a complex relationship.
Nini and Ricky began dating their sophomore year of high school, breaking up in the summer. In celebration of their one-year anniversary, Nini expressed her love for Ricky by writing the song, “I Think I Kinda, You Know,” and posting it on Instagram for the world to see. Ricky could not reciprocate these feelings of love back to Nini; therefore, he insists they take a break when Nini goes to theater camp.
While away at theater camp for the summer, Nini begins a relationship with E.J, upsetting Ricky. Ricky decides to audition for Troy Bolton, telling Nini that he has always believed in them.
For the production of Beauty and the Beast, Nini has written another powerful song titled “The Rose Song.” The song tackles a woman’s worth and love in relationships. She sings, “You love me, but for all the wrong reasons.” She elaborates that she is sick of the pedestal she gets put on by her lover. She does not need a man to tell her she is beautiful because she already knows this to be true. In an empowering message, belts out, “I am more than what I am to you.”
Nini also shuts down the sky-high standards she is subjected to by her lover when she is told that she is “perfect.” This does not exist; this idealized image is harmful. Nini poses the rose metaphor when she says that she has thorns in her petals too. She will not be confined or defined by her lover’s point of view.
In another powerful lyric, Nini sings that he has watched her wither, but now he will watch her bloom. Nini will no longer live her life or be held back from anyone or anything; she will begin to live life on her own terms and continue to grow through what she goes through.
Fans of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series have often wondered the burning question: Will Nini and Ricky stay together? The two of them work really well together when writing music, but “The Rose Song” shows Nini is ready to break away from the co-dependency of their relationship. She wants to be her own person, involved in her own music.