Short Story |The Beauty Queen

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It all started when she accompanied her departmental executives to visit a government official. While waiting in the expansive visitors room she was accosted by a man who claimed to be the organiser of the Most beautiful girl in Igbo land pageant. He introduced himself to her as Hon Richard Nweke and told her about the pageant, after discussing at length she took a flyer from him.

On their way, Back to school. Henry the departmental president just couldn’t hide his curiosity
“Vicky, who was that big man you were discussing with?” he asked grinning from ear to ear.

“Oh, Hon Richard, he wants me to pick the form for the Most beautiful girl in Igbo land” she replied giving him the flyer she was holding.

“So,  are you going to pick the form?” asked Ij the departmental treasurer.

“I think so,  I have always dreamt about being a beauty queen” answered Vicky.

“After she visited her boyfriend’s sister who won a beauty pageant , owns a car and lives in a tastefully furnished apartment she started dreaming of being a beauty queen” teased Ikechukwu the departmental Secretary, making everyone to laugh.

Some days later, during the departmental meeting,  Vicky announced to the students present that she had picked the form to contest and would be going to camp next week. Her announcement was met with frenzy, the students were so excited and her level mates couldn’t help being proud of her. It took Henry’s loud banging on the table to calm them. After the meeting everyone one dispersed and the news spread round the school like wildfire. People wanted to know about Vicky, if she was beautiful and smart enough to win the crown. Her instagram page which she had on private was besieged with friendship requests, her Facebook page wasn’t left out, a lot of stalkers were already leaving comments on her pictures, most of them agreeing that she was good enough to win, some questioned if she was intelligent enough to answer questions and If she’s fluent in Igbo language.

Her course mates rallied round distributing flyers and inviting people. Her boyfriend Emeka wasn’t left out, he made a lot of calls telling his friends and begging them to make sure they attended. He added a bit of swag to his walking step, earned a lot of admiration from his friends who wished their girlfriends were contesting. He was having a time of his life, it was almost as if Vicky had already won.

On the D-day, the turn out from the department and friends was impressive. They were dressed in their best event going outfits. Emeka was in his element, a smile fixed on his round bearded face which he decided to stop shaving after his girlfriend announced her interest in the contest. He has seen a lot of beard gang hash tags and concluded that beards would make him look dapper for his girl. Team Vicky was so upbeat that when ever she made an appearance, they would cheer and clap so hard and loud with Emeka cheering the loudest. The high point of the event was during the question and answer session, the judges and organisers made it so clear to the contestants the deciding factor would be in fluency of Igbo language. That meant that every answer must be in Igbo language, no mixing of Igbo with English in what is called Engli-Igbo in local lingo, anyone who does that was going to lose. Vicky answered her questions correctly and spoke Igbo language so fluently, with every question she answers her team rejoices. Nothing to eat or drink was shared in that Hall but they didn’t seem to care, pangs of hunger was replaced with bouts of excitement. At the end Vicky was announced the winner and everybody went crazy with happiness. Emeka did a victory dance and high fived with friends. It was indeed a colourful night.

Following her win, Vicky’s status changed, her popularity rose and she became an instant celebrity. For sometime she maintained her good relationship with her friends and course mates, but gradually things started going downhill. She was already making a lot of high level friends and contacts whom she was hanging out a lot with. Her course mates she usually studied with and hung out with started feeling left out and even cheated.

On one hot afternoon some of them gathered under the gmelina tree in front of their class room block.

“Vicky’s attitude is still very surprising, if a prophet had prophesied to me before now that she would start looking down on even me I would have called the prophet a prophet of doom” lamented Henry holding a stack of photocopied lecture notes.

Ikechukwu chortled as if he had heard an old joke and said “am not surprised my guy what do you suppose will happen now her level has changed, to still follow you about as fly follows feaces. I learnt my lesson after Ejike’s election to become the SUG president, now he treats us his classmates like outcasts in his kingdom.

“Haba, you guys do not really expect her to still be entering the campus shuttle with us or loitering around the class room blocks, she has been busy with meetings and courtesy visits, she needs sponsors for her pet project and there is no way our department can give her the money to fund that project so you people should calm down, she will come around” said Cynthia.

Cynthia has been lobbying for weeks to become Vicky’s PA, so being in her good books she believes would atleast help her case.

“Am just thinking of those days in 200 level when I got to really know Vicky, she was a serious student always early for classes and sat in front, she was the one that actually made me to change, I was a perpetual late Comer to lectures, so early in the morning she would knock at my door to get ready for school, My grades improved so much, but now it’s a different story she hardly attends lectures I just pray she doesn’t have spill over this last semester in school said Ij.

Vicky had a burning desire to become famous as a beauty queen, she already had some contacts who promised to give her roles to act in their movies. Her graduation wouldn’t be a problem she told herself,  all she had to do was save enough money to settle anyone who would stand in her way when the time comes. Marriage and relationship proposals almost felt like walking down a street and  finding all manner of men of different shapes and sizes beckoning to her to accept their rings and their promises of making her their Khaleesi. All she had to do on instagram was to post a picture on a Monday and say how is Tuesday treating you my fans and  her page would be swarmed with comments praising her intelligence and beauty, a lot of them praying to be like her and making her their crush. Life doesn’t get any better than this. Oh no!  money wasn’t a problem any longer, all she had to do was tell a small lie or write a big proposal on her pet project and her bank account would be lined with money . Her boyfriend Emeka had a hard time coming to terms with the current situation, this wasn’t what he bargained for, he thought after the win that things would still be great between them. He would have the honor of being by her side where ever she went. Unfortunately Vicky had become a brand new girl in a brand new life and the world at her feet.

P. S: Hey guys, it’s a new year. I know most of you must have outlined your new year resolutions. Well, one of my new year resolution is to write more. But how can I do that If I am not encouraged, I need your encouragement very much. So guys, that means I need your feedback, when you read please like, comment or share, it goes a long way. Also I need your criticism because that would help me to grow and improve on my skills. If you enjoyed my post please let me know. If you didn’t, also let me know. Thanks and don’t forget I love you.

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