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Pride and Joy

I hurried out of the train station and began the short walk towards the school. I could not remember the last time I had left work during the day to go to Ayomide’s school. It was rare for me not to be in back to back meetings so her father generally dealt with school matters. Central London looked different at this time of day, the afternoon sun lighting it with an exuberance that neither the lazy rays of morning or evening could match. According to my assistant, the teacher had said something about Ayomide being in trouble. They needed a parent to come in to discuss her punishment. This was the first time that Ayomide had ever gotten in trouble at school. 

I was paying a small fortune to have my child educated, yet I knew that there was so much that her school could not teach her. I eventually got to the school gates, announced myself via the intercom and the receptionist buzzed me in. As I opened the door to the corridor leading to the headmistress’ office I saw her. Ayomide was sitting on a small bench. She looked sad, scared even. Pride welled up inside me. Whatever she had done, it had somehow involved breaking a rule. The school claimed that it was an independent school cultivating independent thinkers. Yet, following rules and colouring within the lines could not produce a world-changer. Ayomide was now in unfamiliar territory. On the cusp of a life where she could chart her own course. I bent down to give my little rule-breaker a hug, took her hand and knocked gently on the headmistress’ door.

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