Nabeel was in the lead, holding a thin string that connected to the camel.
When Cleopatra had said that Emma would die of thirst out in the desert, she wasn’t joking. The hot temperature had formed beads of sweat at the top of everyone’s foreheads.
Thankfully, the clan was almost to their destination, and in the distance, Emma spotted a great big wall that surrounded a city inside.
Nabeel took a key from his baggy pocket, and twisted it in the lock of the towering doors. They swung open with ease, and a man beside the door nodded in approval at Nabeel. Nabeel led the two girls inside, and Queen Cleopatra slipped off the camel.
Emma jumped off. “Thank you, Nabeel!” Emma called.
“That will be Mr. Nabeel to you,” Cleopatra yelled back.
Emma smiled. “Ok, yes you’re Royal Highness. Mr. Nabeel.” Nabeel bowed with grace, then walked the camel to a nearby feeding trough. “Good-bye!” Emma yelled. Nabeel waved.
Cleopatra smiled at her young companion. “Would you like to see my home?” she asked. Emma’s eyes widened.
“Would I? Uh-huh!” Cleopatra guided Emma along the bustling streets of the city. The queen wove this way and that to avoid the crowd, ignoring people’s calls as she went. Emma walked slower, taking in the sights and sounds.
Finally, Cleopatra stopped in front of her home, which was a castle with huge, beautiful doors. Emma stared in amazement. “Oh, no, no. You’re looking at the wrong thing,” Cleopatra said with a smile. She threw open the doors to the castle to show a beautiful, still pool of water.
Decorated columns lined the water, along with plants, which poked out from behind. Emma couldn’t believe what she saw.
“Do you go swimming in that?” She asked with envy.
Cleopatra laughed. “Isn’t that what swimming pools are for?” The queen dipped her toe in the water. “You can join me if you want,”
Emma grinned. “You mean it?” Cleopatra nodded. “Thanks! Wait till I tell Mrs. Cocker!”
Emma walked to the end of the pool and cannon-balled into the water. A wave washed over the giant pool area. Emma popped above water. Cleopatra was smiling at her. “What was that jump called? I really liked it.”
Emma pushed her wet hair up into a ponytail. “Oh, that? It’s called a cannon ball. I really like doing it.” There was a pleasant silence before Emma continued. “Uh, by the way, my teacher…you had one, right- gave me an assignment about Egypt. Can I ask you some questions about yourself?”
Cleopatra seemed used to kids asking her questions. “Yes, Child.”
“My first question is, where is your favorite place to hang out? You know, like, in the pool, at your friend’s house, etc.”
Cleopatra stared at her. “Where are you from?” she asked with concern.
I can’t ask her about T.V., fashion, or magazines. So what should I ask?!
Things were going to be a lot harder than Emma thought.