"Hope Johnson. 12 years old. Marina Middle School."
"Thank you. You may begin. Spell, Substantial".
"Please give substantial information."
"Ok. Thank you. S-U-B-S-T-A-N-T-I-A-L"
"Thank you. Sit down in chair, 72."
I looked out the window, and the world was growing dark. I figured the Spelling Bee would only be until Sunset, but I was wrong.
My mom was waving. I mouthed, No.
No, not now, Stop waving.
She nodded. She understood.
"Hope Johnson. Second word."
I walked to the microphone.
"Please spell, International."
"Thank you, chair 34."
Lower down the scale. Hope I can get to 1st.
My palms sweated. I had waited for this day, this day that I thought would never, ever come.
Who ever heard of a black girl in a SPELLING bee? I had asked myself.
No one. That's who. I had been given easy words. Why? 'Cause I'm black. No other reason.
"End of Day 1. Contestants, please leave stage."
I ran downstage. Whew. What a 2 hours. What a 2 hours.
This story contains words later which might offend others. This book is about Hope's courage and self-esteem and I need to play around with words. I will try to use words that are not offensive.