Gen IV Chapter 22 - Graduation

“Look at you all smug” Sari said with a sly grin, walking in to see Aerie already eying her candles. The last day of school was over in a flash and neither Aerie nor Claire wanted a big celebration. “Claire!” shouted Iris, “come downstairs hun, it's your birthday too you know!”

Though the cheering started there was still a little tension. Claire had been in her room and refused to come down ever since she found out Ezra wouldn't be able to make it to the party. He had a mandatory college entry exam and rescheduling was not an option.

Amidst the celebration Lilith stopped and eyed Iris, as happy as she was for her daughter Aerie she simply could not forget the fact that her other daughter was upstairs with a hurt heart on her birthday.

After blowing out her candles Aerie rushed up the stairs. After the sound of a (very) brief quarrel the two girls came downstairs as Claire was nearly being dragged by her sister. “Blow em' out and stuff your face, you'll feel better!” teased Aerie.

Laughing at the thought Claire let out a sigh before nodding and making a wish. For a moment she stared at Iris silently letting her mom know not to worry too much. The candles were then blown out and Iris led the girls upstairs soon after.

“Seriously!?” Mumbled Aerie as she stepped out of her closet to a bright flash from Iris' camera. “Of course” she replied with a smirk, “my babies are grown women now..” Her voice trailed off a moment before her eyes scanned Aerie. “Why so much black?” Aerie shook her head waving it off, “are we really going to discuss fashion now?

A few minutes later both girls stood just long enough for Iris to take a picture, and headed downstairs to finish the party shortly after.

The following morning was bright and sunny, this of course did not agree with Aerie as she tossed and turned. “Damn it... Maybe I should be a scientist, I could create something to black out the sun.” After a shower to help wake her up she headed downstairs. “Claire! Might as well get up!” she called as she raided the fridge.

“You know I've been up before you!” the voice from upstairs replied. Aerie laughed a bit to herself as she ate the salad. “Yeah I know” she though to herself, “you've been up since 5am trying to make yourself look perfect for your boyfriend.” Aerie shook her head in jest as she continued to enjoy her salad.

Upstairs in the bathroom Claire was far from as carefree as her sister. “Oh come on!” she whispered to herself, “just need to touch up... Oh blast it! Come on! I only graduate with him once, I want everything to be perfect.”

As Aerie slipped on her cap & gown the doorbell rang. “Your boyfriend's here!” She called upstairs as she let him in. “Why do you give your sister such a hard time?” laughed Iris as she followed Aerie outside, “Ezra's a nice young man with a good head on his shoulders.”

“Oh come on mom, you're practically skipping around like a school girl. You're really enjoying this aren't you?” Aerie looked back to see a large smile on Iris' face, “you bet I am, my girls are graduating today! And it's my job as principal to do it! I'm the proudest mother in the district right now.”

Back inside Claire stood in the kitchen, her gown on the table, rubbing the back of her neck out of nervousness. She felt two familiar hands slowly wrap around her waist, the familiar smell of aftershave that she enjoyed drifting close as his voice brushed her ears softly. “What's the matter love? You seem tense.”

Nodding softly she took a deep breath, feeling his hands slide off as gently as they had come as he stood next to her. She closed her eyes and stretched, feeling his gaze upon her. “It's the big day, I just want everything to be perfect.” “As long as you're around everything will be better than perfect.”

A smile spread across his face as Claire let out a soft laugh. “That's better” he whispered as he placed a soft kiss on her cheek. “I'm sure your mother and Aerie are waiting for you, I'll meet you there. Let's go graduate.”

After sliding on her cap & gown she waved as Ezra drove off before joining Aerie & Iris. As they drove to the school not a word was spoken, as they all had many things on their minds.

As they all stepped out of the car Iris kissed them both on their foreheads, though she had to stand on her tip-toes to do it. “I have to go prepare with the rest of the staff” she said with a smile, though her voice was shaky. “You two make me so proud...” With a nod she turned on one heel and strode into the faculty entrance.

Both Aerie and Claire headed for the graduate entrance when they both stopped in their tracks. A familiar yet chilling gaze meeting them.

“Congratulations, girls” congratulated Jodi with a smile, “it pleases me to see my granddaughters graduate today.” “Thanks grandma Jodi” they replied in unison. “Go ahead girls, and know we're proud of you.” They turned to see their Grandfather just behind them, smiling before giving Jodi a cold look.

“Do you enjoy startling them?” he said with a laugh. Aerie and Claire stepped inside as their grandparents headed to the stands arm in arm filling the hall with laughter.

Two hours later the ceremony ended and Salvatore was the first to leave in silence. Ezra followed closely behind him, “she didn't get it?” he thought to himself. “I was sure Claire would have gotten Valedictorian..”

Aerie stepped out shortly after, “how the hell did I end up with valedictorian? I didn't want to do some fancy speech, ugh..”

She stared at the diploma with a large grin, “but most likely to get arrested? At least they got one award right for me!” she cheered.

“Most likely to succeed! YES!!” cheered Claire as she tossed her diploma in the air.

After ditching her robes and diploma in her bedroom, Aerie made sure to spend some time chatting with Sari while doing laundry. She was unable to attend graduation since her accelerated college courses already had her enrolled at the Bridgeport Journalism University.

That night Aerie and Lilith headed toward the appointment. “You owe me 20 $imoleans if you tap out” joked Lilith as they approached the parking lot. “20 $imoleans my ass, it's not going to happen. You know I've wanted one since our sophmore year.”

“Ms. Ryuzaki?” “That's me” answered Aerie with a smile. “Lead the way, time to make me bleed a little.” The artist laughed as they headed for the chair.

As the artist began her work Aerie looked over at Lilith. “One down, seven to go.” “You serious!?” choked Lilith as she fought to swallow the chips. “Just giving you a hard time” laughed Aerie, I don't know how many I want. One's good for now.”

The next morning Aerie sat anxiously, “hurry up and just inhale the cake Lilith, it's driving me crazy.” “Is it that bad?” she laughed, “YES. It is!”

“Did you go senile or something after graduation?” asked Aerie, “I can't believe you step outside in public looking like this. No no, I've got you covered. I bought a couple outfits that didn't really fit me, they should fit you just fine.”

“That's because of those damn weapons you keep in your bra” joked Lilith, “you've been armed & dangerous with those twin towers since Junior year.” “Bullshit” laughed Aerie, “Don't feed me that BS” laughed Lilith, “I trust your judgment when it comes to clothes, but you're not touching my hair.” “Deal.”

Eyes followed Aerie and Lilith as they entered the club, “you know them?” asked one woman to the other. “Nah, just reminiscing, I remember when I could hit the bar that hard and walk away without a care in the world.”

“Another one? Damn Aerie slow down a bit would ya?” Laughed Lilith, “I don't want to have to drag you home. “It's fine! Cheered Aerie, C'mon 3.. 2.. 1.. GO!” “Wait, what are you-” Lilith cut off her words as Aerie tilted her head back, letting the drink slide down her throat effortlessly.

“Damn it Lilith, you're no fun” Aerie said while making her best pouty face. Fine, let's go up stairs then. Taking Lilith in hand she gave the bouncer to the VIP section a nod and headed up with Lilith in tow. “Are you serious?” asked Lilith as she watched Aerie take a seat at a bubble hooka. “What?” Asked Aerie, “it was made legal this year, don't tell me you don't do this either?” Laughed Aerie as a burp escaped her mouth. “Well that was ladylike” laughed Lilith as Aerie covered her mouth trying to look innocent.

“You're really not going to join me?” Asked Aerie, her smile disappearing as she soon realized Lilith wasn't going to sit down. Lilith let out a long sigh, “damn it Aerie it's not like that...” Aerie's eyes saddened as she took another hit. “Aerie, it's really not like that, it's just that one of us has to drive you home; and I really don't want you to be doing the driving. I'm just looking out for you that's all.”

Seeing Aerie's fallen mood Lilith helped her up and drove her home. The next morning Claire headed downstairs to the smell of apple pancakes. “Smells great mom, Aerie still asleep?” Iris nodded with an “Mhmm” and continued cooking. “No telling how late she was out last night Claire, I'm sure she'll be sleeping for a while.”

Claire soon found herself planning a lunch with Ezra, they were both attending local colleges in Neverglade and she was all too happy to know they wouldn't be far from each other.

Iris sat down to work on her next book, though still nameless she was sure it would come to her before she finished it.

As the doorbell rang Aerie raised a hand as she walked by Iris. “I'm already up, I got it.” As she headed for the door she noticed a fairly expensive car in the driveway. “The hell?” she thought as she turned the knob.

Her eyes widened as she stared straight ahead into the dark brown eyes, her mouth opened to say something but nothing came out. Thoroughly shocked she stood motionless as her ears heard the familiar voice that she hadn't heard in ages. “Hello Aerie.”

Until next chapter.


  1. This is so weird, I swear I left a comment yesterday. It's a good thing I came back to check.

    This was another great chapter, the girls grew up to become beautiful YA. I can't wait to see what the future holds for them.

  2. Thanks, your comments (and all comments) are always welcomed and appreciated. You won't have to wait long, I'm already working on the next couple chapters. Potentially a double release! ;)

  3. Finally all caught up! I love this generation. The girls are like opposite sides of a coin. Excited to see what they do in their adult life.

  4. Hello & thank you! I know there was a lot of reading involved catching up and I appreciate you taking the time to read them. The girls are quite different, yet their love for each other and their family is the "glue" that keeps them smiling. :)

  5. Great chapter. Happy Birthday, and Gradutaion day! They have grown to beautiful youn women. Looking forward to the next.

  6. great chapter Tai!, i am trying to catch up, i am not a very fast reader =d

    1. Thanks Rach! I'm glad you enjoyed it. You'll get all caught up sooner or later. :)


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