I scan the audience desperately hoping to see my parents’ faces. I feel sick to my stomach at the fact they’re not here.
“Meredith Lyons. Graduating with a 4.0 and full honors.” I walk across the stage and receive my diploma from the principal. In a flash, I am officially a high school graduate. As I am leaving the stage I finally catch sight of my sister Lucy clapping wildly, a glowing smile on her face. My heart drops at the sight of the empty chairs beside her.
They aren’t here.
I bite my lip and close my eyes, fighting back the tears. I need them here, but I feel sick imagining what would keep them from being here. I take a deep breath and plop down on my chair. Sherry Matthews flashes me a glance, brows furrowed as she takes the seat beside me. I don’t want her pity. I saw her throw up on the playground in first grade, went with my Mom to take her and flowers when her grandfather passed away in middle school.
I give her a smile, and attempt to shove the disappointment away. I hang my head, I know I shouldn’t be this negative in the first place; it’s not like anything can be done to change things. Sherry is just trying to acknowledge my pain. I should be grateful that Lucy is here for me, even when my parents can’t be. I take another breath to calm the tempest of emotions washing over me. Instead, I focus on watching my classmates taking their turns walking across the stage.