ɢʀᴀᴅᴜᴀᴛɪᴏɴ I4

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The loud buzzing of my phone reverberates through my room. Talia's name flashes on the screen.

Talia: I'm heading by your place soon :) Be ready!

Me: Okay! See you soon!

I almost forgot about graduation. The day has finally arrived, and to say I'm ready for the next chapter of my life would be an understatement. I'm ecstatic! I'm jumping for joy! I hop out of bed, a smile on my face, and get ready.

I diffuse my hair instead of leaving them in the usual braids. Putting on the red dress Talia picked out for me, I throw on some mascara and call it quits.

Staring back at the person in the mirror, I barely recognize myself. I look cute for once. I feed Ghost before dashing to meet her.

Speaking of Talia, I still haven't told her about that weird invitation. Who would believe me anyway, since Aurelia is probably not even an actual place?

"Hey girly! Today is finally the day!" I chirp, closing the car door.

"I know I am beyond excited! You look super cute!"

"And you look super cute. Yellow is your color!" I squeal.

Our school finally comes into view. I enjoy the beautiful colored trees for what might be the last time. Different varieties of flowers lead the way to the main entrance. The usual group of kids that crowd the school is now replaced with the few parents passing by.

"Hello, Natalia. Hello Freya." our teacher greets us as we approach the entrance. "Wear your cap and gown and go find your spot in line as we rehearsed. Graduation will start soon."

The graduation music finally starts and we enter the auditorium one by one. It's a big auditorium filled with people. They placed enormous bouquets of flowers in the front corners of the stage.

The nerves hit me listening to the principal deliver his speech. Graduating high school is huge! Talia already knows what she's going to do with her life, and I'm just a hot mess. Hopefully, Talia and I don't drift apart. My heart won't be able to handle that.

I take a deep breath. The valedictorian is saying her speech. How we should be proud of ourselves and our achievements. I couldn't even tell you who had their speech after that. I swear, it's been hours of people talking. Diploma time has officially arrived.

Natalia Hope Marshall. She stands up, and she gets handed her diploma. Shouts and applause fill the room, her family the loudest.

Freya Smoak. My eyes scan the auditorium for at least one of my family members. I know they said they were busy, but I secretly hoped that they were all lies. That at least one of them showed up. I take a deep breath and walk onto the stage.

"Congratulations!" says my homeroom teacher, as she hands me my diploma with one hand and then shakes my hand with the other.

"Whoooo!" I hear Talia shout. They didn't come. My excitement is gone and all that's left is disappointment. I take a deep breath, not knowing why always get my hopes up. Deep down, I knew they wouldn't come. My family won't ever change. The sooner I realize it, the better off I will be. I find my spot once again and have a seat.

After what felt like forever, the last person's name was finally called. We are finally high school graduates. Graduation caps go flying, including my own. Everyone heads out to meet their family. I spot Talia's mom handing her flowers and a balloon.

"Hey, Freya! Did you find your mom?" she asks, running towards me.

"They didn't come," I state. I try to put on a brave face, not wanting to admit how much it bothers me that they actually didn't show up.

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