When Texas teens Anahi Alvarez and Naomi Martinez were nominated for homecoming queen at Grand Prairie High School, they made a secret, selfless pact.
In a touching show of friendship, the two seniors decided that if either one of them won, she would give up the crown to a classmate who had been the victim of a cruel prank.
The pair of would-be queens hatched their heartwarming plan weeks earlier, when a group of mean kids tricked fellow senior Lillian Skinner into believing she had been nominated for homecoming court.
Alvarez and Martinez, who have been pals with Skinner since 7th grade choir, said the prank set off their protective instincts.
“She's one of the nicest people I’ve ever met," Martinez said of Skinner in an interview with NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Alvarez agreed, describing the sweet-natured 17-year-old as “an amazing girl,” adding, "We need people in this world like Lilly."
And so a royal oath was formed. “We were like, ‘No matter what, no backing down. If one of us wins, we’re giving Lillian the crown,’” Martinez said.
At last week’s homecoming game, Alvarez won the title, only for a surprise announcement to call out: “Lillian Skinner, please step up and receive this honor!” As the crown was placed on her head, Skinner was in shock.
“I was like, wow, really? Wow,” she later recalled with a grin. Giving her arm a poke, she marveled, "It’s like a dream or something!”
Alvarez said she has no regrets over her split-second reign.
“I always say, ‘Lilly won. I just ran in her place, in her position,’” she said. “When they ask me, ‘Were you homecoming queen?' I say, 'No. I say Lilly’s homecoming queen.'”