The Loner's Gift

The room was suddenly illuminated, revealing to Claudia all of the guests I had invited, which included all of her friends, her parents, relatives… all of that. After her initial surprise wore off and she realized that I led her into the building for her actual party, she got out of her wheelchair and kissed me in front of everyone watching, which of course caused a cheer to rise from the crowd.

 There were dozens of presents, deserts and such lined up on tables. Her eyes were wide open in happiness and disbelief. She opened and closed her mouth a few times, searching for the right words, but since they didn’t come, she kissed me again.

 “Oh my God” she said breathlessly when she glanced around the room again. Her parents emerged from the huge mass of people and approached us.

 “Happy birthday!” they shouted, hugging their daughter. They chatted for a bit while I walked over to another important individual that had made it to the event. Of course, it would be hard to not bring him. He was, after all, my wingman. 

“Thanks for telling me about this place” I thanked Daniel, who had known this community building for a while, having used it for his own purposes before when he lived in the neighborhood previously.

 “Well, let’s not forget that this was your whole idea in the first place” he responded with a grin. He looked over my shoulder and turned me around. “Looks like I should leave you two lovebirds alone for a while, huh?” he said, patting me on the back. “I’ll be around”.

 Claudia raised her eyebrows. “You and Daniel being nice to each other? What world am I living in?”

 I laughed at her joke. “Things are returning to normal, gradually. I wouldn’t be able to hate him forever anyways. You can’t do that to people like him, people you’ve known for forever”. I met Daniel’s eye for a second. He had only left talking to me because he was getting prepared. Today was when I was going to ask Claudia to the prom, and he was just getting ready to play his role.

 “I can’t believe it though… you did this. You organized all of this, for me?” Claudia said, still shocked from seeing the party before her.

 I remembered how much she loved Disney, and though my references were rusty, I tried to pay homage to one of her favorites. “You know, people do crazy things… when they’re in love”.

 “Hercules” she said, catching it right off the bat with a smile.

 She stood up and kissed me again. It felt like it was an hour that we stood in this wonderful embrace as the world continued around us. When we broke apart, I figured Daniel was ready by now.

 “Want to head out for a second?” I asked her. “There’s a lot of people in here. It’s getting all loud…”

 “Sure” she said, settling back into her wheelchair and letting me lead her outside. Everybody noticed this, and everybody knew what was going to happen. It was time for the second surprise of the day for my girlfriend, the love of my life. Everything should be in place.

 I opened the doors wide, and then I led Claudia outside and down towards the parking lot. She looked back curiously, but I didn’t smile, shrug, or do anything that could give me away and make the surprise not as… surprise-y.

 Suddenly, a man jumped out from the building! Claudia gasped, and she held on to me tightly. It was the inner city… thugs were always around. This one was dressed like a gang member, holding a gun in his hands.

 Acting quickly, I knocked the weapon out of the assailant’s hands and sent a punch at his face. As the figure reeled from the blow, I followed up with a roundhouse kicked, then I shoved the attacker back into the bushes he must have been hiding in.

 Claudia stood up, amazed, and that’s when I said:

 “By the way, want to go to Prom with me?”

 She gasped, looked shocked, then it turned into a laugh. The gang member came out of the bushes and revealed himself to be Daniel, wearing a huge grin on his face.

 “Yes” she breathed, running over and hugging me, which turned into a kiss. Everyone from the party rushed out, and soon enough we were surrounded by cheering people. But we didn’t care; we were going to Prom now. We were moving forward.

 I glanced towards Daniel, remembering that he was going to be doing this Friday.

The End

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