It was early, the next morning, and when Tommy DaSilva should've been in his room, waking up peacefully, he was instead in an interrogation room in a police station, holding an ice pack on his head, to soothe the pangs of pain.
“Let's resume, Thomas,” the officer said, toying with his empty cup of coffee. “You declare you were attacked on the streets last night, while you were waiting for a friend to go to the... movies, is that right?”
“Aren't you a little young to be out this late?”
“I'm a big boy, sir, my parents trust me on that.”
“Whatever... anyway, you declare you were knocked unconscious, and that's why you were found this morning sleeping in a dumpster. Didn't your friend look for you? Did he ever show up?”
“She... and, well, I don't know...”
“So she stands you up and you get mugged... quite a lousy night, right, son? Can you identify your attacker?”
“No... the guy punched me from behind, and he was fast, you know... couldn't see anything.”
“Now, another thing that's bugging me, son: the guy throws you in a dumpster, doesn't steal anything, and spray paints this... what does it mean?”
Tommy's blood froze as he looked at the picture the officer was showing him: on the bin, a message was painted in black. It said: APOLOGIZE TO SALLY.
“So,” the cop said, “who's Sally?”
The next day, in the auditorium.
“Sal!” Mina called out, excited. “Is it true you had to testify at the police station? Was there, like, the interrogation room with the one-way mirror and stuff?”
“No,” she giggled. “They were nice, actually. Tommy was set up and beat up by a guy, and apparently it was for me... they wanted to know if I had, like, an older brother, or a boyfriend...”
“Mina, you know I'm an only child and have no boyfriend, I don't know what happened!”
Their conversation was cut short by the apparition of Cass. The bully barely looked at her, she looked mighty pissed, and she had a black eye.
“Phone,” she said coldly while giving her back her stuff she had stolen, “and cash. There you go.”
“Why are you giving this all back?” She asked. “And who gave you this black eye?”
“Your fucking guardian angel!” She roared in anger. “Now just don't talk to me again.”
And she disappeared, leaving Sally so confused she had to be reminded by the headmaster that it was time for her to go up on stage and deliver her candidate speech again. She didn't really want to. After what happened the previous time, she didn't really feel like going for a second round, but she couldn't give up. There were still people who wanted to vote for her.
“Err, excuse me,” a male voice echoed in the loudspeakers, and Sally looked up in surprise to see Tommy on stage with the microphone. What the hell was he doing? “Hello everyone, my name's Tommy DaSilva, I guess you all know me already... anyway, I won't be long, just wanted to say before Sally Lomax here does her speech...” he took a deep breath. “That I have never slept with her. We may have flirted a bit, but it didn't go any further, and, well, I lied to everyone because I wanted to protect my reputation. And, well, what a reputation this speech is gonna give me now, right?” He laughed nervously. “So, I'm sorry Sal, I'm sorry everyone, and... well, she's a great girl, so everyone vote for Sally Lomax!”
He left the stage under a storm of mock applause and wolf whistles. Sally smiled as she came up, and she winked at him and whispered a thank you. He had just publicly humiliated himself, but he knew he could deal with it. He had done the right thing, after all. With renewed confidence, Sally delivered her speech again, and it went on perfectly.