Prince Michael was biting his nails nervously. Queen Nora grabbed his hand, “Stop that.”
“Mom, I don’t want to go to a boarding school.” Michael said.
“It’s been decided.” His mother replied.
“You never asked me. Why can’t I decide how the hell I want to live? I want to live a normal life.”
“You got in a fight after only one month of starting high school. It was wrong of us to let you attend a regular high school. Roswell High will help you adopt the right routines and keep the right company. We have attended this school for generations. Even though Max is the crown prince, you still have responsibilities. And remember, being a prince is not a punishment, but a privilege.”
“We’re ready for you now.” One of the reporters said. Michael and his older brother Max, who is dressed in his military uniform, and their parents went to the next room and sat down in front of the cameras.
“Please begin whenever you’re ready.” A reporter told Prince Michael.
“I would like to start by saying that nobody is more disappointed in me than my family and especially myself. This past year has been difficult for me. Since my confirmation last summer, I’ve been given a more official role as prince. This has come with added pressure which has resulted in me acting irresponsibly. And I apologize for this and assure you that it will not happen again. I would also like to inform you that my parents and I have decided that I will enroll at Roswell High Boarding School to continue my education there”
Max drives Michael to his new school and their bodyguards follow them in a separate car behind them. When they arrive, the headmistress and the entire staff line up to welcome them. Princess Isobel, their cousin who is a senior at this school has also come out. She is beyond excited to have Michael there.
The headmistress shakes their hand. “It’s a pleasure to see the crown prince again.”
“Great to see you, too.” Max replies.
Isobel gives Max a hug. And then turns to Michael. “Michael, long time no see.”
A photographer takes pictures of them talking to the staff. After they’re done meeting the staff and taking pictures, the headmistress takes them to the church. “The school choir has prepared a welcoming song for you.” She says.
When they get to the church, everyone is already seated and waiting for them. They sit in the front, Michael sits between Max and Isobel. The choir come in and start singing. And Michael is stunned at how amazing their solo singer sounds. He observes him closely, and for the first time in a while, Michael smiles. “Who is he?” Michael asks Isobel. “He’s Alex Manes. He’s a freshman like you. He’s in your class.”
“What do you mean you couldn’t get alcohol? I thought you could get anything.” Isobel said furiously.
“The police were going to search the school. I couldn’t risk getting caught with it.” Kyle said. “And now my contact is out of town.”
Isobel is glaring at him. Kyle points to Alex across the yard. “My friend Alex knows someone who works at that local bar, the wild pony. Why don’t you ask him?”
Max and Michael go to Michael’s room. “I’m so jealous. I had to share a room until my senior year.” Max said.
“I can’t take three years here, Max.”
“Just do what Isobel tells you to do. It’s not just about you. Everything you do reflects back on our family. It’s not that hard. You have to be able to keep up appearances.”
Max gets up to leave “We’ll see each other soon.”
Isobel waits for Alex in the yard, “Hi. I’m Isobel. It’s a pleasure”
Alex looks at her for a second “Is this a prank?”
“No. I just wanted to say hi. I don’t believe we’ve met.”
“Ok. I’ve been going here for over a month, but sure.”
“I need your help with something. Do you know someone who sells booze?”
“Don’t you have a local booze dealer?”
“My regular contact is out of town. I’m having a party for Prince Michael. So if you can fix me up with booze, I might make an extreme exception and invite you. Here’s two Hundred dollars. Thank you.”
Just as Liz is walking up to them, Isobel hands Alex the money and walks away. “What did she want?” Liz asks her friend. Alex tells her everything.
“Do you think Prince Max is going to be there?” Liz asked excitedly. She has always wanted to meet Max.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, you’re gonna have to get the booze. We need to go to that party!”
“Fine. I’ll ask if Maria can get us something.”
They get to Kyle’s car who’s waiting for them. “Will you come over for dinner tonight? My mom is making spaghetti.” Alex asks Liz and Kyle as they get in the car.
At the dinner table, Flint wwa helping their mom set the table when Alex, Liz and Kyle joined them.
“We got invited to a party!” Liz said excitedly.
“Sounds great.” Alex's mom said, then went back to the kitchen to get the salad.
Flint asked them “Really?”
“We’re not exactly invited. But if I can get booze, I can go and maybe I can bring Liz too. It’s supposed to be seniors only.”
Flint doesn’t go to the same school as Alex, Liz and Kyle. They won a scholarship because they are really smart and passed the entrance exam to the elite boarding school. Flint, who is currently a junior, and Maria, who is a freshman like Alex, Liz and Kyle, had also taken the exam but they didn’t do well; and there were a limited number of scholarships so they didn’t get in. They go to a normal school in town. And the older Manes boys, Clay and Greg, are in the military.
Maria opens the door to find Alex on her doorstep. She smiles. "Alex, you've been avoiding me."
"What? No. I've just been busy. The school gives us so much work to do. Can I come in?"
"Yes. Of course."
They go to the living room. Maria's homework is all over the dining table. "So what's up?" Maria asks her childhood friend.
Alex tells her everything from the prince joining their school to the party that princess Isobel is throwing. "So can you ask your mom to get us some champagne? I have the money for it."
"She won't give us alcohol. You know my mom. But I can take it. Every couple of days I help her out with cleaning the bar. I'll just take some champagne bottles and put the money in the register. My mom is not the only person working there. She won't find out. But I want to come to the party too."
"Fine. You get us alcohol, I'll take you to the party."
“I got you the booze. But I need to bring some of my friends.” Alex tells Isobel in the school hall.
“Okay. Great. See you at the party.”
When Alex, Kyle, Liz and Maria get to the party, Liz immediately starts looking for Prince Max and gets disappointed when she finds out Max isn’t at the party. Alex and Kyle take her to the dance floor to cheer her up. Maria goes to get herself a drink.
Alex and Liz dance to the songs for what feels like forever, then Liz tells Alex that she wants to go look for Maria. After a few minutes of looking around, she finds Maria outside puking. “Maria are you ok?”
“Yeah. I guess I shouldn’t have had that third drink.” She throws up again.
“All right. Let’s get you home.”
Back at the dance floor, Michael notices Alex. He’s been noticing Alex at their classes too but now that he has some liquid courage, he decides to talk to him.
“How are you doing?”
Michael just looks at him dumbfounded. It’s like he’s forgotten how to use words.
Alex just smiles at him. “I gotta go.”
Michael goes after him. “Hey, wait. Wait! I was about to go outside. Do you wanna come with?”
They go outside and sit under a tree. The cool breeze feels good on Michael’s skin.
"I liked your song. You have a good voice."
"Do you like it here?"
"Yeah. What about you?"
Alex smiled and Michael found he couldn't look away from his beautiful face. Maybe this school wasn’t so bad after all.