Hegena, ever the social butterfly, arranged her own very grand casino-themed birthday party, inviting all her classmates to indulge in an evening of glamour and fortune. For Hege, this event was not just another party; it was his arena to shine.
Hege, went thrifting and found the perfect tuxedo, strolling into the party as a stylish bag of nerves. His heart was set on impressing Hegena and reclaiming his rightful place by her side. That night, Hege took a seat across from Hendrix at the poker table. The stakes were high, and so were Hege’s hopes. With his life savings pushed to the middle of the table, this bold all-or-nothing gesture meant Hege was all in both heart and mind. He needed this win, and so the risk seemed worthwhile, given the opportunity of proving to Hegena he was more than just a background character in her life.

Hendrix, the ever so charming antagonist, gazed at Hege with a grin as he took his seat at the table. The game began and Hege played his hands full of strategy and boldness for someone who had everything to gain. Hege held his own. His confidence grew as he accumulated nods of respect from those surrounding the table, including Hegena. Yet, unbeknownst to Hege and the other players, Hendrix had planted one of his chads at the table, tasked with a subtle yet deceitful role of manipulating the game. Through a series of cunning signals, Hege remained oblivious to the deceit across the table, enabling Hendrix to manipulate the game with shocking precision.
In total horror, Hegena caught a glimpse of Hendrix's cruel tactics, as the dreadful truth lay before her. During the final hand, while Hege sat blissfully unaware, Hendrix made his pre-calculated move, a move of poker collusion. Hege’s dreams of finally proving himself crashed in front of him, his savings wiped, and his heart shattered under the weight of double betrayal - not only by his rival but indirectly by his beloved Hegena who he assumed to be a pawn in Hendrix’s master plan to humiliate him.

Hegena, witnessing the unfair defeat, felt a mix of guilt and disillusionment. The image of Hendrix she held so dear crumbled before her eyes. Her heart ached at the realisation that Hendrix’s invitation for Hege was a cruel trick, exposing her own foolish trust.
Hege made a desperate flee for the exit, as the overwhelming sense of insignificance completely surrounded him. This wasn’t the life Hege wanted to lead. Hege wanted to live with boldness and courage, to lead a life his parents would be proud of. As Hege reflected on his early childhood as baby Hege, he remembered his mom telling him, son, why are you trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out?

With fire in his belly, Hege marched back into the room with unwavering conviction. The room was completely silent as Hege stood up on the stage and addressed a room full of familiar strangers. Hege made the following vow...
“For too long I’ve stayed silent. In the face of betrayal tonight, I choose to no longer stand with fear of being dismissed. I’m choosing to stand with courage and promise. I strive to be a beacon of hope for all of you out there that are underdogs, those who have been left behind and forgotten and those that were made to feel so insignificant by the Hendrix’s in this world. I refuse to be defined by your mockery and shame.

Tonight, well tonight, I’m rising above … I want to champion the voices of those that have been silent for too long. I want to form a nation that can be united by our shared experiences and resilience. Together, we will somehow form the path to success, but embarking on this journey will mean leading with courage and integrity, a decision which I’m no longer afraid to grab by the spikes.

For those of you who dare to dream, and those that want to be successful and bold, come authentically. If we’re going to the moon and beyond, I want you all there with me..."