He stood on the podium with the spotlight shining brightly over him. The entire hall was quiet, watching as he fumbled with the crown in his hands.
He looked at her, his eyes locking with her’s before she looked away. The tears above her lashes told him everything he needed to know. Yet they wouldn’t stop him from what he was about to do.
A Hot And Cold Night
The hall’s air, hot on that cold spring night, burned through him. “A round of applause for your homecoming king,” the announcer called, and everyone clapped again.
What would his friends think of him if he didn’t do this? He was among the most popular kids in school, after all. He had a reputation to uphold.
It’s His Fault
His fingers tightened around the crown. A homecoming king who was about to hand over his crown because of the girl he was matched with. He would surely end up on the news.
Would people think badly of him if he did this? He was the one who insisted she joins him at this event. But would that stop him?
A Heavy Crown
He took a deep breath and lifted the shiny crown above his head. But he couldn’t bring himself to lower it despite everything within him telling him to do so.
The announcer leaned into the microphone, ready to call the girl’s name. The words didn’t even leave his mouth before the boy stepped off the podium. There was no going back now.
Brent had always dreamed of being crowned homecoming king. He’d hoped to receive this illustrious honor alongside a girl he loved.
He was popular in school and adored by everyone, from teachers to students and the non-teaching staff. But what he’d do to that girl on that fateful night would show everyone who he truly was.
The girl in question, Chelsea, was a quiet and composed lady. She and Brent met in their senior year, starting as classmates before becoming close friends.
Brent had already made a name for himself as the best linebacker on the football team, while Chelsey had just transferred into their school from a neighboring city. Their lives were about to change.
Seeing Her For The First Time
Brent’s life took a different turn the day he laid his eyes on Chelsey for the first time. He found himself drawn to her quiet demeanor, wishing they could be friends.
But Chelsey was in a world of her own. She didn’t give him the kind of attention he hoped she would. She was also hard to predict, which made Brent want to know her even more.
He approached Chelsey on lunch break, asking if he could borrow a biology textbook. She didn’t answer him right away, only looking around at the three or so girls giggling behind him as they talked in hushed tones.
Brent didn’t mind the girls. He was used to the attention. But it was clear that Chelsey did mind. She scowled at the girls before digging into her backpack. Brent couldn’t have guessed what she was about to pull out.
Chelsey fished a text-to-speech device from her bag. Brent didn’t know the gadget, but he would long before homecoming week.
Chelsey pressed the device a few times, and it began talking, mechanically informing him that she didn’t have the book he was asking for. She wished him a good day and walked away. But as she disappeared into the sea of students leaving their classes, something unknown birthed within Brent.
Brent couldn’t explain what had just happened. But a warm feeling danced within his chest. Chelsey had conversed with him using a machine instead of her mouth.
Afterward, she’d walked away from him, unlike many girls at school. Brent couldn’t stop smiling. Although the whole exchange was confusing, he found it quite interesting. He wanted to know more about Chelsey and the gadget she’d used to speak to him.
It’s Pursuit Time!
Brent’s pursuit of Chelsey began. She ignored him at every turn, keeping quiet or blatantly walking off when he tried to talk to her. But Brent had never been one to give up so easily.
The more cold shoulders Chelsey gave him, the bolder he got with his antics. He found himself drawn to her and would give anything to hold even one conversation with her. He started looking into her life but discovered something that crushed his soul.
She Is Wonderful!
Brent found out that Chelsey had a form of cerebral palsy that hindered her from talking. The machine she’d taken out of her bag was her primary way of verbal communication.
The discovery rewrote how he viewed her. He saw her as a very spirited individual who wasn’t afraid to face the world despite the hand fate dealt her. His interest and adoration for her developed into something more.
Giving Her Space
Brent’s new perspective made him give Chelsey the space she needed. But soon enough, their science teacher pared them for a project, sparking a friendship that had been long overdue.
Brent and Chelsey soon began spending time together, and each of those seconds was heaven to Brent. He had never met anyone as intriguing as Chelsey, and he would never do anything to hurt her. He didn’t know he’d be forced to do that at homecoming.
Homecoming month was right around the corner, and Brent was beyond himself with joy and anticipation. But he’d discovered that Chelsey wanted nothing to do with the event because she’d had bad experiences with it at her old school.
But Brent had always dreamt of being homecoming king. With his popularity, snagging the crown would be easy. But he needed a queen to stand by his side. Only one person could satisfy this need.
Brent found himself at a crossroads. He wanted Chelsey to be his homecoming queen but knew she didn’t want anything to do with the event. He spent the next week convincing her to attend, saying it would mean a lot to him.
Chelsey had a good heart. Wanting to see her friend happy, she agreed to his request. But she added that they wouldn’t be attending the event as a couple but as friends. She had no clue what would happen on that fateful night.
Homecoming King And Queen
Chelsey had said yes to attending the event. If she’d agreed to that, she wouldn’t be opposed to running for homecoming queen alongside Brent as king. At least, that’s what Brent thought.
He went to the organizing committee and submitted his and Chelsey’s names for homecoming king and queen. If only he knew how it would all end.
A Hidden Truth
Everything was going great for Brent until he heard a rumor about Chelsey. One of his friends told him they’d seen Chelsey with another boy after school.
Brent had never been the jealous type before. He didn’t think of Chelsey as a romantic partner but as a good friend. But the news shattered his spirit, making him wonder: did he have feelings for Chelsey, or was this something else entirely?
Ignore The Rumor
Brent decided to ignore the rumor. But as the days went by, more information seemed to find its way to his doorstep. His friends reported that Chelsey frequented cinemas and restaurants in town with her new guy friend.
The pressure was piling on, and knowing he couldn’t have a homecoming queen who wanted another boy, Brent decided to take the matter head-on.
I Want Her
He approached Chelsey to ask about her new friend. Just looking at her listen to him attentively made him realize the truth. He wanted more from her than just mere friendship.
She completed him in many ways, always made him want to be a better version of himself, and made him smile. She made him focus more in class and put in more effort on the field. And now she had another boy in her life?
Talking To Her
Brent aired out his issue, and Chelsey listened as she always did when something was rubbing him the wrong way. But she didn’t deny any of the rumors, only asking if Brent could hang out with her after school.
She wanted to go to the movies and would love it if Brent met her mystery friend. Her smile was as contagious as ever, and Brent found himself mirroring the beautiful gesture. If only he knew what awaited him at the movies.
School couldn’t end fast enough for Brent. He rushed home, showered, changed, and drove straight to the movies. He was drenched in sweat as he pondered what Chelsey’s friend would be like.
He didn’t mind if the boy was more handsome than him, only praying that he had no romantic claws dug into Chelsey’s skin. But he would be heartbroken by evening.
Brent pulled into the movies and rushed inside. But as he turned the corner, his eyes landed on Chelsey and her friend. Brent stopped in his tracks as he watched them.
The boy was tall, with black curly hair cascading down his back. He was the first to see Brent, informing Chelsey, who waved him over. The terrible end was here.
Chelsey introduced her friend as Adrian, her best friend from her old school. She explained how they grew up together, stating that she owed him so much for always making her feel loved and appreciated.
But that wasn’t half of it. Adrian also had a form of cerebral palsy like Chelsey, although he could talk. His parents were switching him over to Brent’s school, and Chelsey was helping him acclimate to their town.
Brent spent the afternoon with Chelsey and Adrian. He saw how much Chelsey laughed at Adrian’s jokes and wished he’d said the things Adrian said before he did.
Jealousy burnt through him so much that he had to excuse himself. Feigning sickness, he bid Chelsey and Adrian goodbye and drove home. But the day wasn’t over yet.
His phone rang some minutes after nightfall. It was Chelsey, and she wanted to know if he was feeling better. She asked Brent if he needed her to come over to take care of him. How often had they done that when the other person was sad or under the weather?
Brent assured her he was fine, saying he’d be better by morning. But Chelsey added that his health wasn’t the only reason she was calling.
Chelsey’s second reason was that Adrian had asked her to homecoming. She was bubbling with excitement as she divulged the details to Brent.
If he’d felt jealous before, now Brent was distraught. An overwhelming sadness shadowed him, and he spent the night locked in his room. He kept to himself for the rest of the week, avoiding everyone as best as he could. He’d have his revenge on homecoming night.
Planning His Revenge
Brent wanted Chelsey to go with him to homecoming night. But now Adrian had taken his spot. Brent’s lips curled as he remembered he’d submitted his and Chelsey’s name for homecoming king and queen.
If she were going to break his heart like this, he would do the same to her and Adrian. He contacted one of his friends, who was a part of the homecoming organizing committee and asked about the poll. The news he’d receive would leave him grinning throughout the day.
Brent’s friend informed him that voting had already concluded. Brent and Chelsey were leading with over forty percent of the total votes. Brent laughed as he heard the news. Revenge had never been sweeter.
Homecoming night came faster than he could blink. He stood on the podium dressed with the king’s crown shining in his hands. In the crowd, his eyes connected with Chelsey and Adrian.
I Stand Alone
Brent watched Chelsey, who must’ve known what would happen next. She was fighting back her tears, clutching onto Adrian’s hand as she waited for the announcer to call her name.
Time seemed to slow as the announcer called out her name, and Brent could see the sadness and shock that flashed in her eyes. Regret and guilt flared through him for what he’d done. There was only one way to fix this.
Treat Her Right
Brent took the homecoming queen’s crown and walked down the steps. He crowned Chelsey before placing the homecoming king’s crown on Adrian’s head and presenting them as homecoming king and queen.
He could handle heartbreak but couldn’t stomach the idea of Chelsey shading a tear because of his actions. He would be happy for her if she were happy with Adrian. Dusting Adrian’s shoulders, he whispered into his ear, “Treat her right, my friend.”
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.