Gen IV Chapter 43 - Bittersweet


As the weekend came to a close Aerie was out of bed and showered much earlier than usual. That was not the only thing unusual for her, she was in a much better mood than expected. As she peeked in Calypso's room to see the tot stirring she stepped in and picked her up, kissing her on the forehead. After some morning tickles & giggles Aerie headed out with Calypso. “Let's go make sure your sister's up.”



As Aerie knocked lightly she and Calypso opened the already partially opened door. “Time to get up sleepyhead, it's your first day of-” Seeing Meilin's face caused Aerie to stop herself mid-sentence. “Why the sad face sweety?” Meilin simply shook her head, “I'm fine mom, I just..” “Just what?” Pressed Aerie, feeling concerned. Just as she was about to set Calypso down and approach her daughter, Meilin stood up. “I just don't want to go to school, there's going to be a lot of people there right?”

Aerie let out a small sigh, “maybe, there will be a lot of kids your age for you to play with. You should be happy, think of all the friends you can make!” She saw a small smile on the corner of her daughters mouth for a brief moment before it faded. “If they like me” Meilin muttered under her breath, though Aerie heard her anyway. “Of course they will like you, you're smart, fun and pretty.” Aerie gave her the best encouraging smile she could muster. “Thanks mom” Meilin said with a crooked smile, “I'll get dressed.”



Aerie was feeding Calypso from her high chair when she saw Meilin headed downsairs through the archway. A pained smile spread across her face when she saw her daughters distraught face. “Cheer up sweety, I promise you'll have fun. Just smile and be yourself ok?” “Ok mom.” Aerie hugged her tightly, this was Meilin's first day at this school, and Aerie could understand why she was nervous.



“You just give them that pretty smile of yours and have fun ok?” She nodded as Aerie gave her a kiss on the cheek and watched her leave. “She's not excited at all...” Worried Aerie as she watched her daughter walk to the bus as if it were a punishment. Hearing Calypso's calls for her snapped her out of it, and she left to the kitchen to set her down after watching Meilin board the bus.



With Meilin at school and Calypso taking a nap Aerie had called and invited Allaine over. They had practically spent time together nearly every day since they had met. Whether it be in person or over the phone. “I'm just worried you know?” gestured Aerie as she finished explaining her daughters outlook toward school. “I wasn't anything like that, for some reason she prefers to be off by herself, and she gets really nervous when around large groups of people.  Whenever I try to ask her if anything's wrong she just gives me the usual I'm ok excuse, but I know better, it's all over her face.”



“I'm sure she'll be fine Aerie, I'm not a pediatrician or children doctor, but looking back at my childhood I can tell you I was the same way. Of course with green skin could you blame me? School was terrible for me, what little girl looks forward to being teased, bullied, and called everything in the book?” Aerie's pained expression worried Allaine, a reassuring smile on her face as she placed a hand on Aerie's shoulder. “What I'm saying is she'll be fine. Really, she's a smart kid with a heart of gold.” Aerie nodded, “I know, I'm just worried I guess.” “You're supposed to worry, you wouldn't be a parent if you weren't worried after seeing your little girl depressed like that.”



A short while later Allaine's pager went off “duty calls” she said with a shrug as she headed to the door. “Call me tomorrow? I'll show you a great recipe for gingersnap cookies.” “Sounds good” replied Aerie as Allaine headed out the front door and off to the hospital.

Almost as if on queue she heard Calypso calling from upstairs, “she doesn't even need the baby monitor” Aerie laughed to herself, “this girls got my loudness that's for sure.” She headed up and dressed her. Putting her hair up in little buns. “Mama pway!” cheered Calypso. “Ok ok” agreed Aerie as they headed downstairs, playing with her for a good half hour before the peg-blocks stole her attention.



Thankful for the distraction Aerie headed toward the kitchen. “I wish I had that much energy” Aerie thought to herself as she prepared some grilled cheese sandwiches. Constantly looking at the clock as she eagerly awaited Meilin's return from her first day of school.



Aerie nearly had a heart attack when she received a call from the school, thinking something terrible had happened. The placed a hand on her chest and took a sigh of relief to discover Meilin asked them to call her so she could ask if she could go to the library after school. Delighted that everything was ok, and even more so, the fact her daughter actually wanted to go somewhere other than her bedroom. Aerie agreed without hesitation.

Once at the library Meilin headed to the children section, the colorful seats and bookshelves giving it away. She found an empty table away from the few other kids there and started her homework. She liked the library, it was quiet here, and she could just be alone in her own little world.



As the day came to a close and both girls asleep upstairs Aerie once again resorted to some minor hacking. Her phone interview for a secretary position at a local firm was promising until she discovered they wanted someone with experience. Feeling a little depressed, she hacked for a few hours to take her mind off things until sleep beckoned her.



Aerie received another shock a few days later when a little girl called asking if Meilin was home. Beside herself with happiness and relief she called Meilin downstairs and secretly listened in on her daughters conversation from the couch in the living room. Discovering the girls name was Maggie, and hearing her daughter laugh almost brought her to tears. “I told you you'd make friends” she said to herself.

A few days later as the weekend approached Aerie was dumbfounded for a moment when Meilin asked if she could go over to Maggie's house to play. Aerie agreed so quickly she didn't even think to ask where the girl lived. She was just happy to see her daughter being more social. “Just call me when you get there ok?” Meilin nodded as she took off out the door, calling 10 minutes later. “She must live pretty close” thought Aerie to herself, “that's nice.”



What Aerie didn't know was the circumstances that caused the two girls to meet. Maggie was one of the very few people in Valenwood that shared the rarity of having green skin, and was the only one at the school who had it. She was a prime target for being picked on and bullied, and with Meilin's tendency to be quiet and very soft-spoken, preferring the company of books over people. It didn't take long for her to be thought of as another weird one.

Meilin sat down next to her, who was sitting alone in the back corner of the cafeteria, much to Maggie's surprise. When the girls took out their lunches and realized they shared the same favorite dessert, their small talk blossomed. Maggie was nice, she didn't look at her strangely, and she liked being with her. That was all Meilin needed, and for Maggie, Meilin was much of the same; and she never made fun of her or bullied her. The two girls became friends before they knew it.



Back at home Aerie was spending more time with Calypso, who was getting the hang of walking. “Slow down there speedy” Aerie laughed, let's stick to walking first! Though Calypso continued to try and take her steps faster, often falling as she seemed to be trying to run.



As the next school week kicked off Meilin had come straight home after school. It threw Aerie off a little since she usually spent some time at the library first. “No library today sweety?” “No mom.” Her short, abrupt answer triggered a red flag with Aerie; but even more so was the fact her usually quiet voice was much quieter, almost a whisper. And it was shaky.

She stared in Meilin's direction for a long moment, contemplating if she should say something. Her thoughts were interrupted as Calypso called her, wanting out of the high chair. Meilin's eyes were misty, she really did want to be at the library, but some of the kids from school were there. The ones who called the names, the ones who pulled the hair when the teacher wasn't looking. The ones who were mean, and even meaner to her friend. She was glad they didn't see her, and she left before they could.




4 comments:

  1. Aww. Well, I am very glad that Meilin has a friend, but sad to see that there are bullies there targeting her.
    Also glad to see that Aerie and her neighbor talk often. They seem to be settling okay aside the school issues.
    Calypso looks soooo much like Aerie! Happy to see her learning to walk.

    I know that her mom is going to want to help, once she realizes that Meilin is not happy at school. I wonder if she will be able to.

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    Replies
    1. Meilin and Maggie get along well, and everything is settling smoothly aside from the school issues. Aerie can see something is wrong, she just doesn't know what. And being a single parent she doesn't really know how to approach the situation just yet.

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  2. Oh man, I just wanted to hug Mei and Maggie in this chapter. They are just little girls, they shouldn't have to deal with discrimination and bullies.

    On the other hand I was so happy Mei and Maggie became friends, they have a lot in common, I just wish the little monsters in their school can stop being little monsters.

    Calypso is so adorable, I just love how you make normal game play a part of your story.

    I'm so waiting for the next chapter, you don't know how excited I get when I see an update from you.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, it's sad that such a thing exists in elementary school, they're too young and shouldn't have to deal with thins like that. They really do have a lot in common, including a trait! It's a sad fact that schools usually have "those" kids, the bullies and such.

      I love Calypso too, she really is a little bundle of energy, always on the go! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it, and you won't have to wait long for the next one. Literally, I intended to release two chapters today and I just opened blogger to publish the second when I saw your comment. Lol.

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