A boy sat in despair at school until the biggest bully in their class sat beside him. Something remarkable happened between them, and they both received a standing ovation at the prom after shocking their classmates.

 

“Hey, what are you doing here? Are you crying?” Alex asked Roy in an almost mocking tone. Usually, Roy would just shut up and wait for Alex to get his jokes out and laugh at him. He was the biggest bully in their grade, and everyone was afraid to stand up to him.

However, things were different now for Roy. He didn’t have the patience and was not afraid anymore. “Go away, Alex. I really don’t need your bullying. I’m dealing with heavy stuff,” Roy scoffed, shaking his head.

They were outside on the quad. The class had already started, and Roy didn’t have the strength to go. But he didn’t think Alex would be there. He expected the bully to continue mocking him, as he could obviously see Roy’s red face and tearful eyes.

“Charlie, walk away right now,” Alex warned, and his tone got the attention of others. Their heads turned to the boys’ table, expecting an epic fight right before their prom.
However, Alex sat down. “What’s going on?” he asked, now sounding genuine.

“Hmmm…,” Roy started, confused by the bully’s new attitude. “My parents died a week ago, and no one cares. My ‘friends’ didn’t come to the funeral. I live with my grandparents now, and I hate everything.”

Roy started to cry once again and expected Alex to start mocking him. But he didn’t. “I know what that’s like,” the bully answered.

“What?” Roy scoffed.

“Why do you think I am the way I am? I’m not a monster… but I just can’t stop… bullying eases the pain,” Alex said. Slowly. Carefully.

“What pain?” Roy asked, curious. No one knew anything about Alex’s past. He had been a bully since their freshman year.

“I live with my grandparents too. Except, I didn’t have a dad, and my mother ran away. I don’t know where,” he answered, looking down. But his hand went to Roy’s back to pat him. “So, I know what that’s like.”

Roy’s mouth tightened at those words. He didn’t know anyone else at the school who had lived through something like that, and he never expected to feel a connection to Alex, of all people. His own friends did not comfort or support him. But the bully everyone feared was right there. Roy’s perception of the world changed that day. And Alex’s attitude did too.

“I want to show you something,” Roy told Alex.

Months had passed since their emotional moment at the quad bench, and they had become great friends. To everyone’s surprise, Alex had stopped being awful to people, and Roy liked his company more than anyone else in the world.

He brought his friend to his grandparent’s house, and they went into the garage. “Oh, wow. Is that your grandpa’s old car?” Alex asked, laughing at the piece of junk that Roy showed him.

“Actually, yes,” Roy replied, not dissuaded by Alex’s words. He was right. It was a mess. “My grandpa gave it to my dad years ago. He was planning to sell it, but my dad apparently told him that he wanted to restore it. He never did, and now it’s mine.”

“Well… I don’t know. Maybe, you could get a couple of hundred dollars for it. But not much else,” Alex shrugged.

“I want to restore it. I remember my dad telling me he wanted to fix it so I could ride it to prom one day. I want to fix it and go to prom in it. Will you help me?” Roy asked, looking towards his friend eagerly.

Alex sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “I’ll help you. But it’s going to cost you a LOT. And those idiots are going to mock it, even if we do a great job repairing it,” the teenager commented.

 

 

“I don’t care what anyone else at that school thinks. This is for my dad, and Grandpa promised to help, too,” Roy countered, smiling.

“I think my Granddad can help us too,” Alex grinned back, and they got to work.

They had to take part-time jobs at a local pizza place to buy all the needed parts, and they watched YouTube videos about repairing vintage cars. Their grandfathers helped as much as possible, and the teenagers even talked to local mechanics who were nice enough to give them some suggestions.

The whole experience bonded them, and Alex became Roy’s best friend. But Alex never imagined what his friend would do for him years later.

***

“I love this car,” Roy said while driving it in his tux. “I feel like James Bond.”

Alex laughed heartily. A year had passed since they started to fix the car, and now, they were driving it to prom. Neither of them had dates, but they weren’t exactly friendly to most people in their grade. Roy had learned that the people he considered friends were not good for him, and Alex never cared about friendships until Roy. They had each other and planned to enjoy that night no matter what.

However, as soon as they parked in the driveway, some kids turned to Roy’s car and started laughing.

“Hey, Roy! Where did you get that garbage? I can’t believe it can move!” some jock mocked them as they got out. The girls around him laughed, and Alex started to get angry, but Roy grabbed his shoulder, shook his head, and they walked toward the building.

“Yeah, Charlie. At least I have a car that I fixed myself like a real man, not a car my mommy got me!” Roy shot back, and Charlie shut his mouth. Everyone walked into the building, and Roy expected the issue to be over.

However, Charlie brought a few of his friends to Alex and Roy’s table, and they started mocking them again.

“Charlie, walk away right now,” Alex warned, and his tone got the attention of others. Their heads turned to the boys’ table, expecting an epic fight right before their prom.

But Roy didn’t want anything bad to happen at their prom. Alex was no longer seen as the school bully; they hadn’t had problems in a long time. Instead, he went to the stage, grabbed the microphone, and the music stopped. Everyone turned to him.

“Hey, everybody! You can mock my car all you want, but it belonged to my dad. He wanted to restore it so that I could drive it to prom. It was his dream, and I just achieved it with my friend, Alex. So, Charlie here and his friends can mock it for being old, unlike his brand-new Jeep, but he won’t put me down. Let’s enjoy this prom!” Roy yelled. “Oh, and if anyone needs a fix, we’re now car experts. We can give you a great deal! Peace out!”

Roy dropped the mic as rock stars did, and everyone stood up, clapping and cheering at his words. Charlie and his friends walked away from their table, and Alex laughed when Roy returned to his seat.

“You’re an idiot,” his friend commented.

“Yeah,” Roy agreed, and they laughed.

The rest of their prom was fantastic, and let’s say that some girls were impressed with the car. It was a great night…

***

Years later, Roy used the inheritance he received after his parents’ passing to open an auto repair shop with Alex – who could only contribute with a few savings, but Roy didn’t care. They were equals.

Soon, they gathered a steady clientele, earning a great deal of money. They took business classes at the local community college to learn how to maintain and grow their company, and they did. Their grandparents were so proud of them.

 

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