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Written by AKOGWU JOSEPH CHINONSO…

“National spelling bee.” Thelda said calmly.

Stella’s eyes lit up, “Spelling bee?” She gasped, “You’re wonderful mum.”

“You’re more wonderful my darling.”

“Thank you mum.” She embraced her mum again, “Where_” A knock came on the door.

“Who’s that?” Thelda asked.

“Morgan.” A voice sounded. Morgan was Thelda’s chief guard; a strongly built and dark-skinned man, with an intimidating height and deep-seated confidence, in his early thirties. He looked more of a wrestler than a guard.

“Come in.” Thelda signaled.

He opened the door and walked in briskly, “Someone from housekeeping is here to change the toiletries.”

“Let him in.” She said and dismissed Morgan with a wave of her hand.

A lady, about the same age with Stella came in immediately with some items in a basket. She greeted Thelda with a bow and went into the en suite bathroom. In some minutes, she was out of the room and closed the door behind her.

“Where’s the spelling bee holding?” Stella demanded.

“University of Nigeria Nsukka.”

“I can’t wait to be there.” She said happily.

“You’ll enjoy it.” Thelda said and they turned off the light and went to bed.

Seven O’clock the next morning, Thelda and her daughter were seated in the limousine, heading     to Nsukka. They stopped over at Shoprite for breakfast and the guards kept close watch on them. In fifteen minutes, they were already done with the breakfast and had gone back to the car. After about an hour and half drive, the driver reached the campus gate. In the next ten minutes, he applied the brakes in front of Princess Alexandria Auditorium, the venue for the national spelling bee. The time was 9:00AM. A guard opened the door and Thelda got out. She stepped aside for Stella and waited until she was out. Stella gazed around,

“This school is very beautiful. I’ll like to have my university education here.” She glanced up at her mum and she was smiling.

“We shall discuss that with your dad when we get back.” Thelda said and slipped her fingers in hers, and they entwined as they walked up the slope passage that led to the door. Two guards hurried ahead of them.

Princess Alexandria Auditorium of the University of Nigeria Nsukka is a household name in the campus. The large hall serves as venue for symposiums, colloquium, receptions and events of the sort.

The hall was almost filled to the brim when they got in. The master of ceremonies recognized them immediately they stepped in, “Ladies and gentlemen,” his voice echoed in the microphone, “it’s my pleasure to welcome the first lady of the Federal Republic of Genna and her beautiful daughter to this unique occasion.” The hall went wild with thunderous cheers from the audience and finally died down after about ten minutes. An usher walked them to the stage and showed them seats among other dignitaries who immediately started exchanging pleasantries with them.

How’s your husband?

Is this your daughter?

You’ve a beautiful daughter.

How’s Genna?

The current happenings in your country are purely miracle.

Your husband is really making Africa proud.

How’s the family?

Hope you had a nice trip?

To Be Continued…

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