I look at the back of His Majesty’s blond head and laugh silently. We share a driving instructor and based of the tight-knit brow that makes the old man’s face crumble, I would say that I’m better at driving than him.
I have known Alfred for years. The last time I saw him, he had handed me a letter and after that I only heard of him and his escapades.
Ten years later, and His Majesty has to drive me home. There’s a lot of snow on the ground and the ice makes it more difficult to drive. It has to be hard for him. He has only just returned from Africa. I don’t know where exactly his parents sent him, or if the rumours are true, but they supposedly sent him to a military school in Africa for being his horrible self.
He insisted on being addressed with his title among other things. The last monarch this country had, went into exile more than a hundred years ago.
I had only been eight years old and he had been in the year above me. I was short, shy and seemingly unimportant. Something about that had moved him to royally punch me in the face.
His Majesty Alfred, the Prince of a country that hasn’t existed for a hundred years, twenty-eight in line to a throne that has been lost to war, and the least favourite child of three, had punched me in the face when he had just been eight years old.
And right now, he is driving me home in a broken blue BMW because our driving instructor is forcing him to.
My driving instructor keeps talking about his little white dog when he stops.
“You two are the same age”, he notes and smiles as if that means anything.
“He’s two years older than me”, I say from the back seat. Alfred says nothing. He keeps his eyes on the road. And I’m grateful for that. He punched me in the face. I don’t need him to get me into a car accident as well.
“How do you know that”, Henry says. He’s a good instructor, but his car is always covered in white hair and just like glitter, it clings to everything.
“We went to school together.” He punched me in the face.
“I don’t remember you.” Alas, Alfred does speak.
I would like to ask him if he remembers punching me in the face, and if he remembers an angry blonde woman, my mother, forcing him to write an apology letter. But I don’t. I want to tell him that his older sister is a lot nicer than him and that I like her better – mainly because she ignored him for a week after the incident. But I don’t.
My instructor likes me, and I seek the approval of everyone, so I choose not to jeopardise that.
I don’t live too far from the driving school and in no time, I am dropped off.
It’s strange how I have an obsession with him remembering me. I guess the punchee is more likely to remember being punched than the puncher is likely to remember punching someone.
Is he my Regina George? You could say that one time Alfred punched me in the face. It was awesome.
To remember that and tell that story. I don’t think I liked being punched. I was eight, so I don’t remember the pain. But I do tell the story at every party. A box-office hit.
Ann Doe is an internationally-published writer whose short stories have been published in various online magazines. She is currently studying English as a foreign language, History and Civics for her teacher training.