Full story description:
It can be tough remembering who we are when we forget the memories of our past...
Annabeth has always been a sweet girl, despite the way she's been treated. In a world of mishaps her kind heart has been tormented and her mind twisted. So when she decides to forget the boy she loved as a child as a way to heal her broken heart, her life starts to turn upside down. She now deals with social anxiety, an evil step mother, a neglecting father and the treacherous place called Goode High School.
Her kindness is her blessing but also her curse...
It's not so easy walking through those halls when you're the nerdy shy girl, terrified of speaking to anyone and making it your life's goal to be invisible.
But when she finds herself growing closer to Goode's most popular student, the famous Percy Jackson, her life is changed forever. She now deals with constant flashbacks of a mysterious boy she clearly used to know as a child and they've all seemed to coincidently come around the moment she met Percy.
Despite her developing feelings for this heart throb and the way he makes her smile even through the darkest of times, she must keep them secret and avoid him at all costs. If anyone knew she was falling in love with him, her invisibility cloak would be torn apart forever.
The only one to tame his untameable heart...
But Percy has a dark secret and when being close to him puts her own life in danger, Annabeth must decide, on top of trying to find herself, whether this boy is worth risking everything for...
Hey readers! It's A.W.G here, tackling the fanfiction world of Percy Jackson again. It's been a while. Some of you may know me as the author of Kisses in the Rain which I took down, unfortunately, but if you're new, welcome!
This story as been my baby for over 2 years and I've poured my heart and soul into it. So if you're into tones of PERCABETH mush, cliche drama, passionate make out scenes and fluffy cuteness! You've come to the right place :)
I admit, this chapter is a long one and it takes a while to kick off but I promise if you stick with it, you won't regret it! This story will take you on a roller coaster of emotional girly sighs and giggles and give you Percabeth obssessive disorder.
Don't argue with me, it's a thing okay because I have it! ;)
Just a few pointers before you can dive in:
1) I am ENGLISH! That means I spell things the English way! I know the majority of people on here are from the USA (and I love you guys) but please don't knock me for spelling things differently. For example, I spell colour this way ;)
2) I like to include song tributes in some scenes to create the mood. This doesn't mean you have to listen to them but they were the songs I wrote the scenes to and it gives you an incite as to what was going through my head at the time.
3) I don't own the PJO characters, obviously, but I've personalised them a little to the story.
4) This fanfic involves some swearing, a little violence and minor sexual references.
- I will let you know at the beginning of each chapter if it's particularly violent or sweary.
So now we got that out of the way...
May your choices reflect you hopes, not your fears.
— Nelson Mandela
You can never really appreciate a moment until it becomes a memory. At least that's what I've learnt. Sure you might be thankful in the moment but it's not until the present becomes the past and the future becomes a road that not even the sanest of people would go down, that you wish you could just go back and be there again. It's in the end that we all tend to look back, I think. But it was only just the beginning.
They call me Annabeth, I guess. I don't know who 'they' is though. I can't really remember the last person I had a real conversation with. 16 years I've been here, but it feels longer. Course, you can't really blame me, I attend Goode High School which is probably one of the most prestigious schools in New York for sports but definitely not for a nice welcoming atmosphere. Like any cliché school, Goode is your average hellhole where anyone who isn't anyone probably cries on a daily basis.
I'm trying though. I'm really trying. I've never been a quitter really, or someone that sulks in the corner when life doesn't go to plan. 'Carry on through and finish what you started' as Atticus would say. Patient and appreciating; that's what I've always been taught to be. Quiet, for sure, but kind as well. I've never been one to argue or complain. My mother used to tell me that I hardly ever cried when I was younger and on my first night in this world, I slept soundly like...well like a baby. I never threw tantrums or argued with her, I hadn't really been brought up that way and I'd loved her too much.
It's not that I was shy back then or afraid of getting my point of view across because it was the complete opposite. I was very strong as a child. Smart, strong and brave but never callous. Always gentle and respectful. People used to call me the 'golden child', of course that's all changed now. The old Annabeth has gone. Sometimes I'd like to think it's other people's fault but really I can only blame myself. Blame myself for being weak and letting people influence me more and more. The thing about being a weak minded person is that people begin to get a satisfaction out of controlling you.
Nowadays, you could say that I'm your everyday nerdy shy girl with social anxiety and outstanding grades. I'm not usually the one to talk about myself though, I find the topic 'me' uncomfortable. I'm more of the sit in the background so hopefully no one notices me, type of girl. I am literally invisible in that school.
Don't get me wrong, I like it this way and it's better this way because then I don't have to worry about silly things like friends and relationships and all that drama. It's just me and my books and that's the way it's always been. That's the way it always will be.
I'm different you see, I don't even fit into my own family anymore, let alone High School. I'm 'inhumanly' smart for my age apparently, according to the therapist I'd visited a few years back for my social anxiety. I've done an IQ test, scoring 180 but I didn't believe it for a second. I mean, Einstein's IQ is like 160 and there is no way I could be smarter than a genius like him.
You'd think it's a gift to have this much knowledge inside one's head but at times it can be strange, overwhelming and sometimes it makes me feel like an alien—like I don't belong.
I've skipped a grade, so now I'm a senior instead of a junior, and I've been doing online college since the age of 12. I was originally going to go straight to university after my sophomore year but for some reason my father wanted me to finish High School. Maybe he just doesn't want to pay for my college tuition. That wouldn't really surprise me anymore. Not since the split.
My family is originally from England but we moved to New York for my mother's work. My dad, Frederick Chase, is a workaholic who's never home and hardly pays attention to me even when he is home. He used to though…once upon a time. I only see him once or twice a year really. My parents split when I was 6 and I lived with my mother for a few years but when I was 10 I was carted off to live with my dad. The few years I spent with my mother were some of the best years of my life, it had really affected me when I was taken from her. Something to do with Social Services thinking she wasn't fit to look after me because she was so busy with work all the time.
My mother built her own architecture company when she was just 19 years old. 'Athena Associates' started out small and now it's gone global. It's probably the most famous architecture firm in the world. Practically every college graduate wants to go there if they studied architecture, it's like the go-to place for it. If you can get a job at Athena Associates you can get a job anywhere.
Someday, I hope I can work for her and maybe even take over the company. Someday. But in reality, she's probably forgotten all about me. I haven't spoken to her in almost 3 years. I know where she is, I know her home and work address but still I won't go see her. I figured she wouldn't want me to. It's like she never even loved me. I wonder if she even remembers me.
My relationship with my dad is different now too. I think I'm just a sad reminder of my mother for him because we look so alike. We had been really close once but when I moved in after the 'split', he hated looking after me. He used to leave the room when I cried and most of the time he'd just tell Helen, his new wife, to look after me and she was never nice.
I was always asking when I could see my mother again. I guess a little girl was too much for him to handle. It came to the point where he used his work as an excuse to avoid me. Sometimes I can't even picture his face. I have to look at old family photos just to remember what his long-lost smile looks like. I missed it, it used to be the cause of my own smile once upon a time.
It's no wonder my family don't pay attention to me though, I wouldn't describe myself as anything special or significant, apart from my grades there's nothing remotely interesting about me. I wouldn't say I was pretty but I wouldn't say I was ugly either. I'm just average — average light blonde, long, wavy hair, boring grey eyes, average height, average lightly tanned skin, average everything. I'm just your every day average geek. They should call me Average Annabeth.
You hardly notice me because I'm always hiding behind a book or homework paper that's not due in for weeks but I'll be doing it the day it was set anyway. I even use glasses to hide behind, though I have perfect eyesight. They're just a pair of plain black square glasses; the kind that look fashionable on models but not on me. I guess you could say that's another thing people tease me about when they actually notice I'm there.
I suppose sometimes I just want to give up, go crawl under my covers and sleep it all away but I never do, I'll never put myself on that level. I'll always stay strong. I swear. I never tell anyone this because I know they won't understand. Who would I tell anyway? There's no one to tell.
I'm okay though. I'm used to being alone I guess. It's not the loneliness that gets to me the most. No, the worst thing is being forgotten by someone you can't forget...
Little Miss Invisible
Tuesday 1st September
So I was taking my usual hour-long route to school on foot, except this time I would be heading to the Senior form room, where the most popular people in school hang out. Oh Gods. Please help me!
I was wearing a light beige-grey off the shoulder woolly jumper with white skinny jeans ripped at the knees and nude sneakers with white laces. The sweater was ever so slightly too big for me so it hung over my hands and waist. It was one of those cozy jumpers, perfect for snuggling up in and scrunching the ends in your fists for warmth. It wasn't the go-to outfit for the school really, the go-to outfit for girls was probably denim shorts and a crop top, maybe even high heels. My glasses rested on my nose and I had my plain white lace rucksack carrying all my books, over my shoulder as I trudged along the wet pavement, covered in puddles.
When I reached the entrance to Goode High, I kept my head down and quickly walked into school to avoid any confrontation in the car park. Ignoring the nervous butterflies in my stomach, I weaved my way through the noisy crowded corridors, to find my new locker. It was your usual survival of the fittest playground, with Chad Molesky and his friends bullying freshman, Sophia Mason sneaking off with her bestie to go smoke pot in the janitor's cupboard, couples dramatically making out against lockers and so forth.
My locker, unfortunately, was not in a quiet spot and very much surrounded by students. I had to squeeze my way through to actually get to it. I hid my face behind the door as I shoved my books inside and took the ones I needed.
So now that you've seen that, you've probably realized just how much of a nobody I am. Even though I know who everyone is in this school, I bet you none of the students could even tell you my name. It's this skill, if you like, that I've always had. I'm good at analyzing numbers and words but I'm also good at analyzing people. I can almost tell what they are feeling or thinking just by looking at them and being the quiet nerd in the background has its perks. You'd be surprised as to just how much gossip you hear when no one notices you.
Song Tribute: [Kill The Band – Junkie XL]
Suddenly, the noise in the corridor died down a bit and filled with whispers as they walked in. The populars, the superiors, the pretty girls, whatever you want to call them, every school has them. They were fashionably late as usual and waltzing down the corridor like they owned the place. It was all like some cliché chick flick movie. Cringe.
Half the girls in the corridor had jealous looks in their eyes mixed with fear, the other half of them had respect and admiration. However, most of the boys just looked like your everyday hormonal teenager as they stared at their butts and muttered trash, with their friends, under their breaths.
My eyes landed on Piper McLean first, standing further back in the arrow formation. She was pretty and a fairly smart senior with a cute Pocahontas sort of style going on, with feathers weaved into her shoulder-length light brown hair. She was supposedly from a Cherokee bloodline which I guess is where she got the Pocahontas style from. Unlike the other three girls, she was more of a tomboy. Head of the drama club and captain of the girl's soccer team. She was the kinda girl who looks really cute but also gives off the vibe that she could snap your neck if you disrespected her. She was feisty and people liked that, even I liked that. Her dad was the famous actor, Tristan McLean and she was dating Jason Grace, probably the third most popular guy in school, so it was no surprise that she'd found her way into the popular group. She was nice though, and her smile was to die for.
Reyna stood near the back too. She's probably one of the tough girls of the group and her towering height contributed to that. Captain of the volleyball team and student body president, she practically runs this school. Even the most popular girl in school sort of bows down to her sometimes, unwillingly might I add but more on her later. She has a pretty but intimidating look with a lean, muscular build, intense brown eyes and a long, dark brown, glossy braid hanging over her left shoulder. She had a stern expression, making her look like such a badass as she walked through the school hallway. I'm sure most guys would find that attractive if they were brave enough but she'd never let any of them get within arm's length. She is very intelligent and one of the smartest people in the school. Hopefully, she'll never find out that I'm the one who keeps getting a couple of marks higher than her in our midterms because I'm scared of what she'll do to me.
Thalia was standing beside Piper. Now she was one to challenge Reyna. She was the other tough girl of the group with a sort of Goth-chic style going on. Her electric blue eyes were shocking and intense compared to her thick black pixie cut. She was the dark, mysterious, slightly scary girl in the group. The one you'd find late at night smoking weed in the blindspots of New York City. The one you'd find arguing with a teacher in class or sitting outside the principal's office for the third time in one day. Something about her was interesting though like you instantly wanted to get to know her, no matter how scary she looked. I always laughed silently as she yelled at the boys who hit on her. No one, and I mean no one, could mess with her. I think even Drew is scared of her sometimes.
Who's Drew you may ask? Well. Wouldn't we all like to know? If you can picture any power-hungry, egoistic but unfathomably beautiful girl, then you can picture Drew Tanaka.
Song Tribute: [I Own It – Nacey, Angel Haze]
I watched her walk in, all proud like she could do anything she wanted here, anything at all and no one would stop her. She was the leader of the clique, as I like to call it, and was in front, as usual, flanked by her possy. She had perfect medium length, glossy black hair with flawless porcelain coloured skin. She was skinny, with curves in all the right places, and her face was perfect; long and thick eyelashes, straight nose, full lips, expertly shaped eyebrows, high cheekbones, perfect make-up - the whole package.
Everything about her was perfect apart from the fact that she was downright evil. Now I'm talking Underworld, Hades kind of evil. She spends her life trying to ruin everyone else's in this school. It's like she enjoys watching the people around her suffer and anyone who gets in the way of her popularity, love interests or whatever, is practically signing their death warranty already.
Her heels, which gave her a towering height, clicked on the floor and I swear a few girls backed up a little. She had recently broken up with her college boyfriend and was, no doubt, planning on sinking her teeth into the all-famous Percy Jackson. She'd been wanting to do that for quite some time now, especially since they'd hooked up a few months back. More on him later, but for now, I'll just tell you that Percy is the tall, dark stranger that the universe warned you about.
She had started attending Goode High sophomore year and within a week or so she had turned the place upside down. I'm talking a tone of prejudice views and stereotypes, bullying, fighting, drama, the whole thing. She had turned Goode High School into a hellhole where people come to die.
Her eyes scanned the corridor, daring anyone to question her superiority. She walked in the middle, slightly in front of the others, just to reiterate the fact that she was above everyone, even her friends. Her two best girlfriends stood either side of her; to her right was Rachel, probably the co-leader of the group and Drew's most favoured clique member, even though they fought all the time like toddlers, probably because they both like Percy; the most popular guy in school...by far.
To be honest, there probably isn't a girl in this entire school who doesn't like him, even the ones with boyfriends like him. I'm pretty sure there are a few guys here who like him too. It was weird really because it seemed that I was the only one here who realised how arrogant and irresponsible the guy could be sometimes. And it was a shame really because deep down I didn't think he was a total jerk but then again I've always been known to try and forgive even the worst of people. Take Drew for example, she's always been horrible to me and anyone she dislikes but I still don't think she's a bad person. After all, she's human like me and we all have had different experiences that have shaped who we are.
As I was saying, sometimes you'd hear 'catfight!' in the corridor and everyone would rush to see Drew and Rachel yelling and pulling on each other's hair, it was ridiculous. You see why I avoid these things?
But other than that, they were both really good friends. Along with Calypso, they did anything and everything together. The three of them were all part of the cheerleading squad, Drew being the head cheerleader and they all attended a gymnastics and yoga club outside of school.
Anyway, Rachel was just as pretty but, like Drew, she covered herself in make-up so I didn't know how much of that was real. She had fiery red straightened hair that went on forever and intense emerald green eyes. It was a shame; before Drew had her wrapped around her finger she was so nice. She had beautiful, seriously frizzy, curly red hair and her face was dotted with little freckles, which she had mostly covered up with powder and foundation now. I remember a Rachel who would prance around in paint-splattered overalls, ranting on about how great art was. That was a long time ago.
She used to date Percy. They were like the number one Goode couple for like a year running or something, their pictures were up on the wall in the school corridor under the 'cutest couple of the week' display. Don't ask me how the students managed to get permission to do that, I have no idea. Anyway, Rachel started acting like Drew and I guess Percy didn't really like who she was turning into. Now it's more of an on and off kinda thing.
Percy was never the lovey-dovey type anyway. I was pretty sure, and he made it quite clear, that he was just in it for the game or the sex. At least, that's what he made it out to be. He was a total player, anyone could see that. When he wasn't with Rachel (and he'd morph into some weird, faithful boyfriend with her) he was pulling and playing 24/7. The girls adored him.
Her skin was also a porcelain colour and she was skinnier than Drew but slightly less curvy. She was just as tall in her heels and skin-tight green dress and just as dumb, they both got C's and D's, however they managed to pass classes with male teachers. No surprise there.
Calypso stood to Drew's right. She was also really pretty with long silky caramel hair and a cute girly style but she was an emotional wreck. She falls in love with practically every guy she meets and they end up breaking her heart in some way. She's nice but a little dumb. She follows Drew around like a little puppy and copies her to a T, meaning her nice personality becomes not so nice when she's around Drew. She's probably the quiet one in the group, to be honest.
So basically the group was split into two. Drew, Rachel and Calypso were best friends and Reyna, Thalia and Piper were best friends. They were all joined together through their boyfriends slash guy friends to form some sort of frenemy relationship.
They all walked down the corridor, more like strutted, gaining a few wolf whistles and a few guys coming up to them asking for their numbers. None successfully. They went to stand by a few of the popular guys; Jason, Beckendorf, Leo, Travis and Connor across the corridor from my locker. Connor and Leo instantly began flirting with them like idiots as Jason and Piper kissed a bit. They were really cute together, I admit.
After Percy and Rachel's relationship had started being an on and off kind of thing, instead of a full on occupation, which is what it used to be, Jason and Piper had both taken the title of Goode High's cutest couple from them and their pictures were already up on the wall.
Thalia and Reyna leant against the lockers chatting with each other and mocking the others as they flirted with each other. I just kept my head down and prayed that Drew wouldn't start mocking me again but it was hard to keep my head down when a certain someone walked through the entrance at the end of the corridor.
Okay, what I said about him earlier, being arrogant, irresponsible and all that, doesn't prevent me from acknowledging the fact that this guy was still incredibly good looking. No amount of snide comments, snarky attitudes towards teachers or stupid actions from him were ever going to stop me from thinking that. I'm not sure it would, or even could, stop anyone from thinking that.
Song Tribute: [Daydreamin' – Ariana Grande]
His thick black hair was a little longer than usual but still short and it had a sexy messy surfer look to it. Summer had been good to him, as usual, this year; he was even more tanned and muscular than before but he wasn't oversized, he was lean with the right kind of muscle. How it was possible for him to get any hotter than last year, I have no idea but he managed it. My Gods, he managed it. Dam you could have cut your finger on that jawline.
He ran his fingers through his hair as he pushed the doors open and walked into the busy corridor. Now, the atmosphere did change when the girl clique got here but that was nothing compared to how it changed when he got here. Sure there were the other popular guys but none of them even came close to Percy. He was just from another planet. Girls sighed and eyed him as he walked past. He nodded to a few guys and winked at a few lucky girls, one of them fainted, not even kidding, one wink and she was out.
It was hard not to look at his biceps as they swung casually when he walked. He just made everything seem so effortless. Talk about a guy being out of your league, Percy was just from a different hierarchy. A higher hierarchy that only included the hottest, sexiest people in the world and his name was right at the very top above Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum. I'm not even kidding, he is that gorgeous.
He was wearing navy blue jeans with a dark brown belt and a black Imagine Dragons T-shirt with rolled sleeves. He was holding his black leather biker jacket slung over his shoulder, yes he owns a motorbike. Usually, I would have found that incredibly stupid and reckless but with Percy, I couldn't describe it as anything other than hot. The same thing applies to the fact that he has a trident tattoo on his right forearm. I'd heard he had more tattoos but I could never see from a distance. He had his black Aviators on and his signature smirk, the cute one, the one that said High School is such a joke, why am I even here? and yes, I really am this good looking. His black converses were muddy and scuffed but even they looked good on him.
At that moment, Chad Molesky started pushing a girl up against a locker and yelling at her a few metres in front of Percy. They were both juniors. The girl was called Hannah I think. She was a small, dainty little thing with short blonde hair and a cute baby face. I would call her pretty but cute was more suitable for her appearance.
Percy casually took off his Aviators and grabbed the back of Chad's jacket, pulling him away from Hannah and slinging him against the white lockers on the other side of the wall. Whispers filled the corridor and although it wasn't silent, you could tell everyone was watching.
"Back off Percy! This is none of your business." Chad frowned but his voice wavered a little. I could tell that Percy was the last person on the planet that he'd want to challenge.
"Well, I'm making it my business." Percy said coldly but calmly. His voice didn't waver, it was steady and cool like he did this sort of thing all the time. "Walk away, bro. Just walk away." Percy said seriously, his voice was rough but sexy. His eyes bore into Sam's, daring him to disobey.
Chad huffed in defeat, then sighed, keeping his eyes on the floor before storming down the corridor without another word. He passed me and I could tell he was angry and frustrated but when Percy told you to do something, you did it. That's just how it is.
"You okay, Hannah?" Percy asked casually, turning to a shocked Hannah, who was probably surprised that he even knew her name. She barely managed to give him a nod as her breaths came out in ragged gasps. She smiled at him giddily and he gave her a nod, then he carried on walking down the corridor like nothing had happened.
So now that you've witnessed that, you'll understand when I tell you that Percy just runs this school. Granted, you could argue that Drew ran the school because Percy was more of the laid back kinda type. He didn't really exploit his ability to control things due to his popularity, he left that to the people who actually cared—meaning Drew. No, he was more interested in sports, getting drunk at parties and hitting on girls, rather than coming up with evil, mastermind plans to wrap everyone in school around his finger. Though he most certainly possessed the power to do so. Percy's too lazy to become an evil mastermind in my opinion.
That said, even with Drew's immense control over the Goode students, one word from Percy and she'd shut up. One move on his part and the whole table would turn. Percy was the wild card. Anything and everything was based around him. He was the first guy to lead Goode High into the state championship for swimming, basketball and football. Within a year he was already captain for all three teams, the Sharks, NY Wolves etc, and bringing home a win for the teams in every single competition. In this school, Percy was practically royalty and everyone worshipped him. Everyone, except me.
"Ay Perce!" Grover, the second most popular guy in school, said, calling him over. He had black curly hair but it was closely shaven to his head. He was of mixed race with dark skin and had a chavy style, one which often consisted of trousers hanging halfway down his waist. They'd both been friends forever, you rarely caught them apart and trouble followed them wherever they went.
"G-man!" He replied casually, like that whole face off hadn't just gone down. "How was your summer bro?"
"Sick! Dude the chicks in L.A are like insane. I'm talking 'double-d' insane." He grinned. Percy gave him a low five as the other guys sniggered. I rolled my eyes at that, starting to go through my folder to check I had everything.
"Grover, you are disgusting." Piper sighed.
Some girls walked past, eyeing Percy and giggling. He gave one of them a smile and she covered her mouth giggling as her friends' jaws dropped to the floor and they pulled her away jealously. I rolled my eyes at that too.
"Could you at least try to not dazzle any more girls this year, Percy? The 'Jackson effect' is seriously getting old." Piper rolled her eyes with crossed arms and he snorted pulling her into a hug. She cracked a smile and eventually hugged him back.
"You couldn't get a girl even if you tried, Goat Boy, so keep it in your pants." Thalia rolled her eyes at Grover, sniggering with Reyna.
Okay, long story short, during one of Percy's massive house parties, Grover got wasted and was caught making out with a tree wearing a goat onesie by Connor and Travis Stoll. The next thing you know, they were filming the whole thing and it went viral.
"Daaammm I love it when she talks dirty to me." Grover grinned making the others all laugh. Thalia's face, however, was far from humorous.
"Bro, you should not have said that." Beckendorf smirked as the others all stepped back a little. Beckendorf was a big guy with dark skin and large muscles, larger than Percy's. They were different in a sense that when you looked at Percy you'd think point guard, swimmer, quarterback and so on but when you looked at Beckendorf you'd instantly think linebacker, wrestler and so on. He looked tough but he was a real sweetheart. He worked at his dad's garage shop and Percy and Jason often work there part time too. I thought it was the only mature thing about Percy.
Grover came onto Thalia. "You and me baby, let's go." He teased.
"Get off me!" She yelled, pushing him off her forcefully.
Percy stepped between them before she could punch him in the face. "Thalia Grace." He frowned, holding her shoulders. "Is this how you greet your cousin after our first summer apart? By beating up my best friend." He gave her that famous cheeky grin of his.
"Beat me up? I don't think so." Grover scoffed.
"Face it, bro, Thales could easily take you." Percy smirked. Thalia huffed and shrugged a sniggering Percy off but she seemed pretty pleased about what he'd said about her being able to beat Grover up easily.
"So...how was your summer, Percy?" Drew asked in a seductive voice as she slid between him and Grover. Percy and Rachel shared a look before they both looked away quickly and he turned back to Drew. I wondered what that was all about.
"It was cool." He shrugged leisurely.
"Let me guess you spent the whole summer surfing and swimming." She giggled pathetically.
He smirked. "You know me." He shrugged.
"Lies!" Leo smirked.
"Ooo Perce is chattin' shit! He—is—chattin'—shit!" Jason sniggered, his blue eyes lighting up with excitement. His blonde hair was neatly cropped and perfect and he was muscular like Percy but not as tall. He was handsome but when it came to Percy, there was absolutely no competition, whatsoever.
"Come on Perce, details." Grover grinned, shaking Percy's shoulders as the guys all swarmed around him grinning. The girls all just stood back and watched the events in front of them happen on their own. Piper had one eyebrow raised the whole time, Thalia was scoffing at everything they said, Reyna was just on her phone acting like she couldn't care less while Rachel was standing next to Calypso as they whispered to one another and listened in on the guy's conversation.
"How many chicks did you get with? Do any of them have hot friends?" Grover joked.
An irritated Drew staggered away from them, scowling at Grover. They'd never really liked one another because Drew used to bully Percy in Middle School apparently. It's ironic really, I mean, she spent her whole life mocking him but once he hit puberty it was like BAM a slap to the face and she was just like 'holy sh**! He's hot!' Not my words by the way, hers.
Percy sniggered. "Guys, guys, seriously, stop."
"Man, I don't know how you do it." Leo frowned a flash of jealousy flickered across his deep brown eyes, that had orange flecks glimmering in them like fire. Leo was a crazy looking boy with tanned skin and wild, long curly brown hair which always looked messy. He always had an insane grin on his face, one that would freak you out a little because you knew he was planning something crazy. He looked quite young for his age, to be honest, but maybe that's just because he acts so childishly.
"Have you not seen this face?" Grover joked, smushing Percy's jaw in his hand and slinging his other arm over his shoulders. "Who could resist such an adorable little face?" He said in a baby voice.
Percy rolled his eyes. "You finished?" Grover snorted, letting him go and the other guys all tried to stop sniggering.
Percy held his face as if to adjust it before slinging his leather jacket on and pulling up the collar in a really, really sexy way. I think I'm melting. I leant against the lockers pathetically and then suddenly realised what I was doing. My eyes flew open and I buried my head in my folder again, shocked as to what had just happened. I couldn't believe it. I didn't even mean for it to happen it just kinda did...naturally. I know he's good looking but he may as well not have a brain at all. I don't have time for swooning over a guy like that. What is wrong with me?
"Nah man—" he smirked, "—it's all in the charm." He grinned slinging his arm over Leo's shoulders. Leo rolled his eyes. I smiled for a moment, thanking him mentally for saying something that made me disapprove of him again. I say 'disapprove' because I don't really hate or dislike people. I always see the good qualities in people but if you asked me, Percy had more bad than good in him.
Suddenly, there was a loud 'bang' from the Chemistry lab and Mr Johnson, the chemistry teacher, came out with ash all over his face and his hair sticking out on edge like he'd just been electrocuted. The whole corridor burst out laughing.
"STOOOOOLLS!" He cried.
All the populars burst out laughing while Connor and Travis Stoll were practically crying with laughter.
"Nice." Percy smirked, giving them both a low five. No doubt he'd been involved in that too. See! See what I mean! He is arrogant and because of this he can be so idiotically stupid sometimes. I thought it made him reckless but, in a way, I also thought it made him seem adorable, like a little puppy who just wants to play but instead destroys your living room. So you can't really be mad at him. He's just too cute. Wait. What?
Urgh! Why am I still staring at them? I quickly shut my locker and turned to leave but during the process I accidently caught Percy's gaze, for the first time. I had never actually looked into his eyes before, I'd always been too nervous, probably because of our different popularity levels.
I had heard girls talking about his eyes, some claimed they were blue, some claimed they were green and some just said they were dazzling. But no description could do Percy's eyes justice. They were both dazzling and mesmerising.
His eyes were blue. Not the ordinary sky blue, or the colour of that warm wool sweater that you put on when the air gets that chill – comfortable, warm, familiar, or even the little flowers that spring up by the side of the road. His eyes were a bluey green like the sea, crystal clear blue – shimmering and crashing and churning. Looking into his eyes you could hear the waves falling against the shore, see the foam flying into the air.
That's it! That's what colour they were. Sea green. I suppose it's only fitting for surfer boy and swim captain to have eyes the colour of the sea.
The whole world swirled around me and a moving image flashed across my eyes like the flicker of a long lost memory.
A little girl was running along a tall wooden pier, reaching far out to sea. She looked around 8 or 9 years old maybe. Her long blonde hair was flowing out behind her in the wind like gold sails. She was wearing a pretty white summer dress and little pink shoes that made subtle tapping sounds as she made her way across the platform.
The waves were crashing up against the wooden beams stabilizing the platform and I recognised the scenery around her. It was clearly somewhere in New York because I could see the Empire State Building in the background and other skyline features.
Suddenly, I heard a creaking sound and my mind focused back onto the image. The little girl stood bravely at the very edge of the pier, looking down at the crashing waves below her. I couldn't see her face but any normal girl would have been terrified. But this girl...this girl was different, the waves didn't frighten her, they seemed to draw her in. The way she held herself was with such strength and confidence; it made me think she could conquer the entire world.
Another creak came from the beams underneath her and suddenly they began to crack and the platform swayed gently in the wind but the girl didn't notice, she was still focused on the waves below her. I wanted to cry out—to warn her—but suddenly, the front beams gave way and a deafening 'SNAP' filled my ears. A piercing scream escaped the little girl's mouth as the front part of the pier began tumbling into the stormy sea below. With all her might, she ran and leapt into the air, barely managing to grip the other part of the pier which hadn't collapsed.
I could see her attempting to pull herself up but she wasn't strong enough so she just hung there, desperately, screaming out for help. Tears began streaming down her face and her arms began shaking as rain drops fell from the grey clouds hollering above her. Sea-spray spewed up from underneath her and spat on her tiny legs as she shivered in the cold. Her grip began to loosen and her fingers were slipping from the edge of the rain-soaked pier.
She cried out again, realising she was just seconds from plunging into the dangerously powerful waves below her. In the blink of an eye, her little fingers suddenly parted with the platform and a small gasp escaped her mouth as her eyes widened with shock. She fell.
At that moment, she came to a sudden, jolting stop and she looked up to see a boy above her, gripping her arm. He looked only a few years older than her, possibly 9 or 10 but I couldn't see his face. He was a scrawny little thing, short and skinny with lightly tanned skin.
"Take my hand!" He cried, reaching his other hand out towards her. Desperately, she reached and grabbed his hand so he could pull her up. He struggled a little but was eventually able to haul her small figure up and onto the broken platform.
She looked awful now, her pretty white dress was ripped and drenched in rain water and her knee was badly scraped. She carefully observed the gash on her knee and tapped it with a shaking fingertip. "Th-thank you" She stuttered to the boy kneeling in front of her. "Y-you saved my life." She was still shaking but she managed a smile. Her voice was a sweet elegant one and she pronounced every letter perfectly. It made me think she had a posh upbringing. Definitely English.
"My name is Annabeth."
Wait...Annabeth...that's me. That little girl is me!
Though the scene rose many questions, I had the weirdest feeling in the back of my mind—I remembered this. Somewhere deep down inside me, I recognised this whole situation. Just ever so slightly though, I couldn't remember it vividly but I got a sensation, like déjà vu, all of a sudden. It's like seeing a toy you played with as a child, one you'd forgotten you even used to own but once you saw it again you remembered it instantly.
It was at that moment that I realised this must have been the time my mother was looking after me. She would have been the one teaching me to talk properly, like a lady. She would have been the one to buy me all these expensive lady-like dresses.
"Come on, we better get that checked out." The boy said, pointing at her knee and helping her up. His voice was more casual and American like. He began to turn.
"Wait! You didn't tell me your name." The vision blurred out but I saw him turn back to her. Then it was over.
I blinked in shock. What...the hell...was that?
Percy's head began to tilt in a cute dog-like fashion as though he was trying to figure something out. And for a moment, I forgot everything I thought about this guy and just gazed at him. I watched as his eyes widened and then quickly narrowed in what looked like surprise. But it was more than that. When Percy's eyes held mine, my breath caught in my throat. I recognized him from somewhere. But I would have remembered meeting someone like him. I would have remembered feeling so absolutely shaken up as I did right now.
I realised our eyes were still locking when he flashed me a smile. This was different though. When he smiled at girls, other than Piper and his best friends that were girls, it was a flirtatious smile but this one...it wasn't like that. He wasn't flirting with me, it was like, all of a sudden, he was so utterly and completely happy to see me, he almost couldn't help smiling. Like he couldn't contain the excitement of seeing me. And that. That left me stunned and confused.
A jet of warmth shot through me and I had to grip my bag for support. I felt my lips slowly pull up into a smile back at him. I couldn't believe it; the most popular guy in school was actually smiling at me when most guys wouldn't give me the time of day. But what was even more unbelievable was that I actually smiled back at him after everything I'd previously been saying about him. None of that even seemed to matter anymore.
Suddenly, his eyes widened again. Anger flashed across them as he frowned at me. His mouth opened as if to say something but then it clamped shut again and he turned away from me, focusing back on his friends without giving me a second glance. And there we go. Jerk-Percy is back again. I gasped, dropping my eyes instantly; feeling embarrassed, like I'd just stepped out of line. I stood there motionless for a few moments, trying to work out what the hell had just happened.
Suddenly, I saw Drew staring at me, her eyes burned into my skin like lasers. Clearly, she was not happy with me staring at her meat. What was hers, was hers and that was that. I swiftly dropped my head, to look at the floor and sped down the corridor towards the form room. I did not want to mess with her. I'd had enough trouble with her in the past and only just managed to make her forget me again but being in the same year as her now...it was going to be a whole lot harder.
Before I ducked into the form room, I dared to glance back. His face was blank, but there was no mistaking it—he was watching me go.
The form room was fairly empty, only a few students were hanging out, sitting on top of the desks and messing around. Connor and Travis Stoll, the school mischief makers were throwing a football to each other and climbing all over the furniture. They were identical twins but I seem to remember that Travis was the older brother. They both had light brown hair, blue eyes and were tall.
"Go long!" Travis shouted and Connor ran to the edge of the room before leaping for the ball whistling through the air like a dart.
I slowly made my way across the room, trying not to catch anyone's attention, to a small corner by a large window. It had two large white sofas sitting next to each other at right angles and a coffee table in the middle. I dumped my bag on the table and flicked through the pages of my book. It was the last book in the Mortal Instruments series and I was ever so desperate to find out how the story would end.
It wasn't long before I forgot about everyone and everything around me. I love that moment when you open a book and just sink into it. You can escape from the world and become part of a story that's way more interesting than yours will ever be. I've always said reading is like dreaming but with your eyes open.
For a split second, I took my glasses off to wipe the lenses...big mistake.
"So!" I heard a voice call out. "You must be Annabeth, the girl who skipped a year, right?" I looked up to see Connor and Travis both standing in front of me. I'm pretty sure my face looked like I'd just seen a ghost. I mean, two of the most popular boys in school had just come up to me and started a conversation...they started a conversation with me—Annabeth; the geekiest girl in school.
Maybe I'm just hearing and seeing things. This cannot happen! I can't have people talking to me. My life's goal is to go unnoticed. I don't want people to notice me because once they do...it can all only go downhill from there. I guess you could say I was kind of an introvert. Pfft, kind of an introvert? Biggest understatement of the year!
The second I looked up at them, I knew I had made a mistake. Their eyes widened as they met mine and I knew it was because of the creepy grey colour embedded into my iris. That's why I wear glasses you see, they seem to dull the startling greyness. Not many people had seen my eyes directly but every time someone did it was like they'd seen a ghost or their eyes were being blinded or something. I don't know, it just made me feel inhuman, so I did my best to hide them.
Quickly, I slid my glasses back on and stared at the floor in embarrassment. My throat went dry and my words were stuck inside like caged birds. I hadn't noticed I'd been clenching my book so tightly until I saw that my knuckles were almost white.
To prevent myself from humiliation, I just nodded instead. That way they wouldn't think I was a total psycho. They both sat either side of me and I awkwardly kept my eyes on my book. My heart was pounding in my chest. I was not used to being this close to an actual human being. I mean, people had stayed away from me my whole life. I guess my body and my mind had no idea how to react.
"What you reading?" Travis asked. Great, a question, I'll have to say something now. I swallowed and tried to speak but I couldn't. I couldn't form a single sentence or even a word. It's like my mouth refused to even open, it had been zipped up, locked and the key had been thrown far away.
Realising I was getting nowhere in managing to talk, I decided to close my book and show him the cover instead. "Oh! Katie loves that series, she literally won't stop ranting on about it." Travis laughed, looking off into the distance affectionately. Katie was a pretty junior, on the cheerleading squad and I could tell he had strong feelings for her.
I found myself smiling. I'd never really liked any of the populars. Not because they were all horrible people, even though some were, no it was because I'd never really approved of people being separated into groups in high school. I'd never understood why some people were just so invincible while others were just in the background. It just didn't seem fair. Like nothing could tear them down.
But Connor and Travis were different than I expected. From all I'd heard and seen they didn't seem like the people I would tend to like. I mean, they mess around and they never study. In fact, they spend their lives trying to get out of having to do exams even if it means setting off a tone of fireworks in the exam room...yeah that happened. They're too reckless and stupid for their own good, it's like they want to get themselves killed. But sitting with them now, I realised maybe they weren't all that bad. Maybe they were actually quite polite, nice even.
Travis flashed me a cheeky grin and Connor cleared his throat. "So tell me, Beth—" Before I could stop myself, my eyes were widening and I shook my head violently at him with gasp. "What?" He frowned with confusion, almost hurt.
"Um..." was all I could say. What is wrong with you? Talk like a normal human being! How hard can it be? "Please don't call me that...it's just Annabeth." I replied, smiling to reassure him that it was okay.
I did it! Maybe it was only a few words but impressive, nonetheless.
He nodded and smiled. "Okay...Annabeth...what's your story?"
"I'm guessing smart, probably online college." Travis noted.
"Early graduation was a given, but something kept you here." Connor frowned as if trying to work out my life right here, right now. "Possibly money trouble, or problems at home. That would explain the shyness."
"Lack of encouragement leads to lack of confidence." Travis nodded and I just sat there staring at the two of them in disbelief as they conferred with each other about my life and they were shockingly accurate. The Stolls were smarter than I thought, much smarter. Sitting with them now I began to think that they could seriously be criminal masterminds with insane computer hacking skills and ways of finding out information about anyone, anywhere, at any time.
"Boyfriend?" Travis suddenly asked, I'd zoned out a little and apparently they'd moved on from the topic about my lack of confidence.
"Obviously." Connor smirked. "She's too pretty not to have one."
Ha! Now that's where you're wrong! I—wait, what?
Did he just call me...pretty?
Suddenly, the form room doors opened and more students began flooding in, followed by the populars. They all sat near the back, only a few metres away from us and began laughing and chatting with each other. Drew was boasting about a party she went to at the weekend and the others were pretending to be interested.
I can honestly say I had never been so glad to have the room fill with so many people because it was a distraction for Connor and Travis from me. Maybe they'd go and talk to the populars and leave me to my book. I wouldn't have to talk anymore and wouldn't have to make a fool of myself.
"Heads up, Connor!" A guy called out, I turned to see that it was Percy. I saw a pair of keys fly through the air and Connor shot up to catch them. They jingled in his hands and a huge grin was plastered to his face. "A deal is a deal. You get one hour on Blackjack and I mean one hour."
He said it with such seriousness and authority it was clear to me why he was so popular. With that tone of voice, people wouldn't even want to not listen to him.
"Sweet!" Connor and Travis cried.
"And quit torturing the bookworm with your flirting, Connor, it's embarrassing." Percy added.
I could've sworn I saw Connor blush but I was too busy frowning at Percy. I wanted to blurt out 'I have a name, you know!' but the words wouldn't leave my mouth.
Percy held my gaze for a moment. Then he smirked with a superciliousness about him and I felt a hot burning sensation in my chest. My fingers tightened around my book and my teeth clenched together. I didn't quite understand it at first. I'd never felt anything like this towards anyone ever but when I looked into his daring eyes and snarky smile, I felt beyond frustrated.
Then as if nothing had happened, he turned and walked back over to his friends, who were more than happy to see him. The Stolls had already begun messing around and making jokes to make them all laugh.
It was weird to think I had never even looked into Percy's eyes, let alone he looked into mine and said my name out loud. But one day as a senior and I had already witnessed all of that and more. I stared blankly at the words on my page for a few moments, unable to take anything in. What just happened?
"What is she doing here?" Drew hissed to her friends, gesturing to me. I kept my eyes on my book but my heart skipped a beat as I felt eyes on me. A gut-wrenching feeling formed in my stomach and I actually felt a little sick. I knew it! I knew if I moved into her year she'd start bullying me again. I knew this was all a bad idea! I bit my lip nervously and tried to read my book. I tried to block out their voices but it was no use, I couldn't stop myself from listening in.
"I heard she skipped a year." Piper whispered.
"Yeah, Annabeth's like the school genius...uh sorry Reyna." Thalia shrugged.
"Pfft! I'll be the judge of that!" Drew scoffed. "Clearly she's just a nerd with no fashion sense and no social life. I wouldn't be surprised if she's still a virgin." Now any normal person would have got up by now and begun defending themselves but I was not normal and there was no way I was brave enough to stand up to Drew.
Rachel nodded and Calypso shrugged as if to say, 'she has a point' but I knew it was just peer pressure. Calypso wasn't really into bullying but she was into pleasing Drew. In a way, I thought she was the worst out of the three of them because of that. She had no back bone. No nerve. And someone who can be easily manipulated into being a monster is someone I'd be terrified to hang around.
"Well if you ask me, the girl is kinda hot...even with glasses." Grover said, gaining a death glare from Drew.
"She'd be a right handful, you can just tell." Percy smirked, I swear he doesn't know how to do anything else with his face.
What is that supposed to mean?
"How?" Grover frowned.
"Trust me, bro, she ain't worth your time. She ain't worth anyone's time." I tried to deny it but his words did sting. How he could say those things about me without even knowing me, just proved that my original 'jerk-Percy Jackson' theory was right.
"She seems really nice though." Piper cut in.
"Shut up Piper! No one cares what you think!" Drew yelled.
"Lay off Drew!" Beckendorf retorted.
"Chill out Drew! She hasn't done anything to you!" Jason stepped in, trying to be the hero as usual because Percy clearly wasn't going to do it. He usually was the person to step up but in this case, he had no intention of sticking up for me. That's just who he was; the cool, mysterious, bad boy, heart throb but apparently also a huge jerk.
"Please, she was practically drooling over Percy earlier. That girl needs boundaries and someone to tell her what's what!" Drew replied with serious authority and I literally had a heart attack. Okay, I was not drooling over him. I don't even particularly like the guy. Percy properly cracked up at that which gave me a gut-wrenching feeling of embarrassment in my stomach.
I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't bare people staring at me, feeling sorry for me or judging me. I just couldn't. It felt uncomfortable, abnormal even, to have so many people actually notice me, look at me and even talk about me. I stuffed my book into my bag and stood up. Then I swiftly walked past them and out the room, keeping my head down and refusing to look anyone in the eye. Lately, I had gotten quite good at navigating around these long corridors, only looking at my feet.
No one said anything. No one stood up for me and no one insulted me any further. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad about that or both. I suppose I was grateful that nothing had gotten physical.
Relief flowed over me and my shoulders relaxed as I left that horrible room behind. I was alone walking in the empty corridors. I didn't care if I was going to be early to maths, I was just happy to be away from all those people.
Maybe, this would all blow over and they'd forget about me, I thought but I knew it was all false hope. They had already noticed me, they had all seen through my invisibility cloak and as I said before; things can only get worse now. It's all downhill from here...
I sat at the very back of the maths room, early as usual and took out my books. The room began to fill up with students and Miss Kelly walked in telling everyone to settle down. I busied myself with arranging my stationary on my desk and pulling out my notes.
"Sorry we're late Miss." A soft voice, spoke up. It was a sweet charming voice that had a mesmerising touch to it. I looked up to see Piper standing beside Thalia and Percy, smiling up at Miss Kelly. Miss Kelly smiled warmly at Piper before glaring at Thalia and Percy.
"Take your seats" She replied through gritted teeth as her eyes burned through Percy's. When he turned I could see he was trying not to smirk. He rolled his eyes and sat beside Grover across the room from me and a few rows in front. Piper and Thalia took the last empty seats which were the ones beside and in front of me. Great...
The lesson began and I tried to pay attention for as long as I could but after a while, my mind just went elsewhere. It tended to do that. I was definitely a day dreamer and an overthinker. When something came to mind, I'd over analyse it and go into far too much detail than needed. I just couldn't really understand why Percy would be so cold towards me. Yes, he was big headed and a bit of a show off but I wouldn't classify him as a bully. It was the only mature thing about him. He was supposed to be the good guy, the one that sticks up for the under-dogs but in my case, he definitely became the bully. All I could ask now was why.
A few minutes into the lesson Thalia turned around to face me, resting an arm on the edge of my desk as she leant forward. My heart stopped. She was grinning widely and her electric blue eyes were lit up with excitement. "So you're the new girl, huh?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Actually Thalia, she's been here since the 9th grade." Piper said, rolling her eyes. Wait, she actually knows that? I thought no one knew about me.
"Whatever." Thalia waved her hand in the air as if to show her she couldn't care any less. "It's Annabeth, right?"
I froze. Why were all the populars suddenly talking to me? I've attracted enough attention today from talking to Connor and Travis, I can't add Thalia and Piper to the list.
"Uh...Earth to Annabeth..." Thalia said, waving her hand in front of my face. I shook myself awake and managed a smile.
"Uh...y-yes..." Nice! I'm sure the stuttering sounded completely normal."It's Anna—" I said and then my voice broke off and my words were swallowed up in my throat.
"Anna." Piper smiled.
"Annabeth." I corrected her, mentally cursing myself for being so stupid. "It's Annabeth." I was breathless now, even after saying so little. I don't think I was used to talking this much to stranger-like people.
"Cool. I'm Thalia and this is Piper." Thalia grinned, using her head to gesture at Piper. It wasn't like I needed the introduction. I mean, they're like the most popular girls in school, everyone knows who they are.
"Hey." Piper gave me a warm smile and a little wave. God she had such a stunning smile. She could have lit up all the lights in New York with that smile. Flashes of colours flickered across her eyes. She had blue eyes and then brown and then green, they were ever changing, like the seasons.
I found myself smiling back and I suddenly lost most of my shyness. It was something about Piper—the aura she had, it just made you feel calm and relaxed, like nothing bad was going to happen.
"Hey." I replied.
"Listen...I'm sorry about what Drew said earlier, she doesn't know what she's talking about." Piper smiled comfortingly.
"Oh please! She knows exactly what she's talking about." Thalia scoffed.
"Thalia, turn around and stop disrupting the class!" Miss Kelly called from the front, glaring at Thalia who reluctantly turned around with a huff. "Stop frowning Thalia! I will not settle for this attitude of yours this year." Miss Kelly added.
"This is my normal face." Thalia said bluntly, crossing her arms over her chest and gaining a few sniggers from the class.
"Settle down!" Miss Kelly said banging a ruler on her desk.
"What are you gonna do? Send me to the principal's office?" Thalia scoffed.
"Don't make me." Miss Kelly warned before turning around and writing on the board. She was completely unaware of an irritated Thalia flipping her off from behind, even when the whole class started sniggering again.
Thalia turned back around to face me and Piper like she hadn't just been told off and threatened to be sent to the principal's office. If Miss Kelly had said that to me, not that I ever would get told off for talking, I would have been scared to death. I probably would have been silent for the rest of the day just out of fear—so basically I'd do the same thing I do everyday...
"Drew doesn't like competition. She's just trying to make you scared of her so you're no longer a threat." Thalia started.
"What do you mean?" Piper asked for me.
"Well, I think she sees you as a threat in some way." Thalia said to me.
"M-me...a threat." I stuttered in disbelief.
"She is unbelievable. Someone needs to set her straight. I'm sick and tired of playing her games." Piper sighed.
"Oh my God the day someone stands up to Drew or humiliates her will just be the best day ever. I would legit celebrate that day every year and call it the day Drew's reign came to an end and it would be a custom to go around saying fuck Drew or ding dong the bitch is dead." Thalia smirked.
Piper burst out laughing and I giggled a little, still nervous of even having them speak to me. Yes Thalia was mean and scary but she was hilarious as well. Miss Kelly turned and gave us all a warning look. I swear that's the first time I've had a warning look given to me by a teacher.
"Yeah but no one will. Percy's the only one who has any authority over her but he's too nice to do something like that." Piper whispered, trying not to get Miss Kelly's attention but Percy heard his name. He turned around giving us all a suspicious look. I looked away, probably looking a little flushed and Piper just waved him off.
Thalia shrugged. "Well if it doesn't happen soon, I'll set her royal snobbyness straight myself."
"You call her that too?" I squeaked. They both sniggered and nodded.
"You and me both sister." Thalia replied. "I apologosie for my cousin as well by the way. I was actually at how he reacted. He usually doesn't mock people like that. "
"I know it was weird." Piper said. "Nothing like him."
I had also been confused about this but I was more confused as to why they were including me, Annabeth Chase, in their conversation. It was literally the weirdest day of my life. I wanted to say that I agreed because he was giving me a weird look earlier but I didn't have the courage and the moment passed because they were already talking about something else.
"You should stand up to her though." Piper said.
"Yeah, in front of the whole school. Make a statement." Thalia grinned.
"W-what?" I stammered, heart pounding so loudly I couldn't hear my own breathing. Maybe that was because I wasn't, breathing I mean.
"Annabeth, perhaps you'd like to come up and solve this equation since you feel you can chat so freely in my lesson." Miss Kelly called, making my head shoot towards the front again. My heart skipped a beat.
Great! I had spent my whole life trying to avoid attention but I had annoyed the most popular girl in school, talked to two of the most popular girls and boys in school and now everyone's going to be staring at me and realising how much of a geek I really am.
With a gulp I slowly stood up and walked to the front, glancing back at Thalia briefly. She was giving me a thumbs-up and grinning wildly. I would have rolled my eyes at her but I was too terrified right now.
"Teacher's pet." Percy muttered under his breath with a cough. The whole class sniggered which didn't make things easier. I scrunched my eyes shut, taking a deep breath and resisting the urge to look at him.
After what seemed like forever having to walk past all the school desks with judging students sitting behind them in their seats, I reached the board and picked up the chalk in Miss Kelly's hands with shaky fingers.
The equation in front of me was seriously advanced maths, I could feel everyone's judging eyes on me and I could tell they all thought I wouldn't be able to do it. In reality, maths came naturally to me; it was like a language I was fluent in and the equation on the board seemed as simple as two plus two. But did I really want to do this in front of everyone? Maybe I could just pretend I didn't know how to do it.
I gave Miss Kelly a desperate look. She had always liked me because I was her best student maybe I could pull a few strings.
"Come on Annabeth, I know you can do it." She smiled reassuringly.
I sighed and turned back to the board, taking a few subtle deep breathes. It felt like my heart was going to leap out of my chest, it was beating so hard. Calm down for God's sake! It's just a simple maths equation in front of a large portion of the senior year students and most of the populars...no biggy...
I felt faint, the board was blurring in front of me and my heart was pounding so hard in my chest that I could feel it. It hurt. My mouth was dry and I was almost certain, this time, that I was not breathing. I think I'm gonna faint.
Determined not to, I shook my head and blinked my eyes at the board. Luckily I came to and could see the equation in front of me. It took me only a few seconds to scan my eyes across the numbers and work out the answer in my head. My eyes flicked back to Miss Kelly, I was practically begging her not to make me do this. Urgh what's the big deal? You're already up here and everyone's already staring at you, you may as well just right the answer to this stupid equation.
"Before we die of old age, blondie." Percy blurted, making me flinch. He'd called me by just about everything except my name today. The laughing and sniggering came soon after, followed by a few other insensitive comments.
The longer I waited, frozen in place, the more sniggers I heard and it was just awful. Miss Kelly frowned with confusion and her eyes were worried looking. She knew I was shy and uncomfortable around people but this was just a whole new level. I was so terrified I could barely lift my hand up to the board.
When I realised there was no way Miss Kelly was going to let me sit back down without writing the answer I reluctantly stepped closer to the board and lifted the tip of the chalk to where the equals sign was. I slowly began writing the first number with a shaky hand before picking up speed until I was writing it a fast as possible. Anything to make me sit down quicker seemed like a good idea right now. The sniggers stopped instantly and everything was silent apart from the constant tapping of the chalk on the board.
The answer took up 4 long lines on the chalk board and to anyone who didn't understand maths it would have seemed like a complete mess. It would probably hurt their eyes to even look at.
I slowly placed the chalk back onto the board and looked at Miss Kelly shyly. Her eyes drifted across my answer and she smiled admiringly. "Very good Annabeth, take a seat."
I sighed with relief and slowly turned back to the class hoping my face wasn't bright red or green even. Nearly every student was gawping at me with their jaws all the way down to the floor. I caught a glimpse of Percy and the weird thing was… he was actually smiling. It was a cute, half smile—kinda remiscing. He shook his head gently as though he was remembering something amusing.
I slowly sat back down, in complete shock as a few people were still staring at me. I dropped my head and hid my face with my hair in embarrassment.
"Well that was fucking amazing!" Thalia cried turning towards me.
"Language, Thalia!" Miss Kelly called with anger.
Thalia rolled her eyes and whispered "Well that was simply amazing." She mocked in a posh voice. I couldn't help but smile a little. "I knew you were smart but I didn't know you were that smart." I met her eyes as I slowly lifted my head up. Fortunately most of the students had all turned back to the front and forgotten all about me already. Her eyes weren't judging or jealous or angry...they were sincere and almost admiring. I managed a small shy smile.
"Seriously Annabeth how did you do that?" Piper whispered.
I shrugged modestly. I wasn't the type of person who liked boasting about my achievements.
"Oh quit being modest." Thalia rolled her eyes and shoved my shoulder playfully. I couldn't help but smile at her. Everything just felt easy with Piper and Thalia like my social anxiety was beginning to disappear. I hadn't realised how much I'd been missing out with human interaction. It made me feel warm inside. It was...nice.
Suddenly the bell went and students began frantically packing up their bags and rushing out the class room.
"See you around Annabeth." Thalia grinned at me, gesturing for Piper to follow her.
Piper gave me a bright smile. "It was nice chatting, hope we can do it again some time." She said before they both walked out leaving me standing in a frozen state. What did they mean? Did they want to talk to me again? Did they want to be friends? The most popular girls in school actually liked me...what?
I slowly pulled my back pack over my shoulder and weaved my way through the small desks. Each one was only just big enough to hold one student's stuff. I was about to walk out the classroom when Miss Kelly called after me.
"Annabeth...could I talk to you for a minute?" She said softly, packing up some papers into a file.
I slowly walked over to stand at the other side of her desk and fiddled with the end of my sleeves nervously. Was she going to tell me off for talking? Was she going to talk to the principal?
"Is everything okay at school?" She asked softly.
"Um...yes..." I said with confusion. Miss Kelly had always been worried about me being alone. She just didn't understand that I was okay being on my own.
She nodded. "I see you were talking to Thalia and Piper."
"I'm really sorry, it—it won't happen again." I blurted out frantically. Praying this wasn't going to go in my permanent record.
"Annabeth, calm down, it's okay. It was simply an observation. I think it's nice that you're talking to them." She smiled.
"What do you mean?" See, I had problems talking with teenagers but I could easily talk to teachers which was so unfair.
"I think it will be good for you to...have some friends." I frowned at her. "It's not a bad thing to need company Annabeth. I know you may think you disagree but deep down no one wants to be alone." Miss Kelly said cautiously, not wanting to offend me, although she was doing a pretty bad job at it.
"I'm really okay Miss Kelly." I said not looking in her eyes.
"Annabeth—" She started but I had already begun to walk out.
"I'm fine, but thank you for the concern!" I called back before stepping out into the corridor and leaving her behind.
God I really hated it when people felt sorry for me. Why can't people just understand that I'm fine! Yes my mother abandoned me and left me with my dad who hates me and neglects me. Yes I live with Helen the alcoholic who cheats on my dad with a revolving door of guys and doesn't care about me at all. She won't even buy decent food for me, which is why I don't eat a huge amount. It's not that she can't afford it, she just doesn't want to waste money on me. Well, at least she does buy food but only for her and I get the left over's, which is usually salad with a tiny bit of chicken or something.
Yes I'm a nerd with no friends and I used to get bullied constantly until I made myself invisible so practically everyone in school forgot I even existed but I'm fine! I am fine! So why can't people just leave me alone?
It was period 5, the last lesson before lunch. I swiftly made my way through the busy corridors to the Ancient Greek room, keeping my head down and sticking to the very edge of the corridor. This school was so huge, honestly if you didn't know your way around you could easily get lost in this maze.
I was early as usual, so I could pick whatever seat I wanted. I went to the very back and sat in the far left corner and got out my sketchbook. I went over my designs until students started coming into the room and Mr Walker began preparing papers on his desk and setting up the small TV.
Jason sat two seats away from me behind Piper who was sitting next to Thalia. Neither of them noticed me which I guess is a good thing. The three of them were joking and laughing together. It was cute to see how close Jason and Thalia were, them being brother and sister and all. Though Thalia wouldn't let it on, it was clear she cared about her baby brother a lot.
"Hey." Charlie Bennet, a senior here at Goode High, smiled at me as he took the seat between me and Jason. Wait is he talking to me? I frowned at him with confusion but he carried on like it meant nothing. "I'm Charlie, nice to meet you." He held out his hand and I stared at it in disbelief. What is happening? "Okay..." He said pulling his hand away and casually leaning back in his chair but he kept his eyes on me. "I haven't noticed you around school before, did you just join?" He asked, trying to start up a conversation. I slowly shook my head not able to form words in my mouth.
"Huh...weird." He said to himself. "You know a beautiful girl like yourself shouldn't be all alone like this..." He said casually before leaning into me and whispering "wanna go somewhere?" My heart skipped a beat and I froze. He began to slide his hand over my thigh as he eyed me greedily. My eyes widened with shock and my lip began quivering with fear. What is wrong with him? Who would just randomly come up to a stranger and say that?
I frantically snatched his hand away. "Charlie stop it!" I hissed.
He smirked and leant in a little closer. "Come on. I'm just having a little fun."
I tried to push him away subtly not wanting to catch anyone's attention, this was embarrassing enough. "Get off of me!"
Suddenly a loud thud came from Charlie's desk. I looked up to see Percy Jackson, glaring at Charlie furiously. My heart dropped. He had thrown his bag on the table and was standing in front of a cowering Charlie.
"Scram." He said menacingly and Charlie scrambled to get on his feet and run off to find another seat. Of course, that was Percy's seat, what was I thinking? Jason was obviously gonna sit next to one of the populars, why didn't I think of that? Now I have to sit next to...the most popular guy in school.
He sat down casually, leaning back in his chair before turning to me. My heart jumped from the nerves all of a sudden. "You should learn to stick up for yourself." He said bluntly.
'Easy for you to say', is what I wanted to say but instead I just stared at him like an idiot. He smirked at my expression. "You don't talk much, do you?" I bit my lip nervously in the full knowledge that I was making a complete idiot out of myself. I swear I'm an intelligent person, was all I wanted to scream at him but nothing came out.
"Uumm…" My lips were chapped now from how hard I was chewing them.
He raised an eyebrow as if I was a complete moron and nodded his head slowly. "Riiight. Um, great talking to you, I guess?" He said but it came out as more of a question as if talking to me had been the weirdest, most awkward moment in his life. I wanted to apologise but I'd already blown it because he was turning away.
I wanted to slap myself but before I could mope, he was turning back to me swiftly and I caught my breath. I half expected him to yell at me for some reason. "One more thing." He said suddenly. "Have we met before? Like outside of school." He seemed really confused.
I didn't even know why he was talking to me. Percy Jackson, the hottest guy in school, is taking time out of his day to talk to me; the girl who's definitely not the hottest girl in school. I managed to shake my head slowly, knowing that words would fail me. He frowned even more before turning to his friends without a second glance. I blinked. What just happened? One thing I do know: the most popular guy in school does not like me, at all.
Why did that hurt? Like it hurt a lot. Why didn't he like me? What had I done? How do I make it up to him? Whoa. Hold up...you can't be serious. Make it up to him? You can't even talk to Connor and Travis, let alone Percy frickin' Jackson. Besides, you're supposed to be disapproving of the guy anyway. He's a player and a jerk. That's all. But he could be so nice sometimes and I always see the good in pe—no! Nope! Nope! Nope!
"Sup Perce." Jason grinned and Percy gave him a nod before he got lost in conversation with him, Thalia and Piper.
Suddenly, that's when it hit me full force; the smell of the ocean and men's cologne drifting off him like a dream. It was so intoxicating that I almost felt a little light headed. He smelt so unbelievably amazing, I could barely come to terms with it.
The way he sat was so casual, he was leaning back in his chair with one arm resting lazily on the table and the other was resting on the back of the chair as he faced Jason. I forbade myself to stare at his tanned muscular arms which were on full view because he wasn't wearing his leather jacket anymore, just the imagine dragons T-shirt.
I sat frozen in my seat, trying to get rid of the skin-crawling feeling I had where Charlie placed his hands on me. It was so sickening I actually shuddered. The lesson started but I couldn't pay attention, I was too busy thinking about what happened with Charlie and that I was sitting next to Percy frickin' Jackson right now.
"Get out your exercise books please." Mr. Walker called from the front.
I opened my book to a clean page and got out a pen before facing the front again.
"What is it Percy?" He sighed. I hadn't noticed Percy putting his hand up until now.
"I don't have my book sir." Percy said casually. Jason, Thalia and Piper began sniggering.
"Where is it?" Mr. Walker grumbled.
"What's it doing there?"
"Having more fun than me." Percy grumbled, making the whole class laugh.
"Okay that's enough! Work on paper today Percy, but do not forget it tomorrow, am I clear?"
"Crystal." Percy said, smiling sarcastically and a few sniggers filled the room. Even though he was nothing like me and you'd think I'd hate people who don't take school seriously, I actually found his laid back attitude attractive, hot even. It was like, all of a sudden, I liked his sarcasm and snide comments; they made me giggle...mentally of course.
Every moment sitting next to him was cringier than the last. I worried about whether my hair was messy or whether I smelt bad or whether my clothes looked stupid or whether I was changing position to often. It was all completely pathetic and not like me at all.
How could one boy make me act like this? A boy I know nothing about by the way, other than the stuff I've heard from others. I cursed myself for acting so ridiculously and forced myself to pay attention to Mr. Walker rambling on.
Half way through the lesson Charlie, who was sitting across the room, a few rows in front, turned to face me. He grinned at me and gave me a wink. It made my stomach knot in disgust.
Suddenly, I heard paper ripping and from the corner of my eye, I saw Percy frantically writing something on a piece of paper. A frown was plastered to his face and I could see he was holding back his anger. He scrunched it up into a ball and threw it across the room. I watched it fly through the air and land perfectly onto someone's desk. And that someone was Charlie Bennet.
With confusion he looked at the random piece of paper that had landed on his desk, looking around to see who it was from but Percy made no move to tell him. He slowly unwrapped it and looked at the writing. Shock and then fear flashed across his face and he stuffed the paper into his pocket frantically.
Curiosity got the best of me and I desperately wanted to know what Percy had written. Charlie didn't turn to face me once after that, his eyes didn't even move from the board where Mr Walker was writing Ancient Greek scriptures.
"Okay, so I'm going to show you a film and some sheets should be going around now with some questions I want you to answer while watching it." Mr Walker said turning off the lights.
I watched as the sheets were being passed around and tried to ignore the irritated feeling in my mind. I mean, I was missing the beginning of the film because they were purposefully passing it around so slowly. One kid didn't even realise he had the papers on his desk until we were like 5 minutes in.
Eventually, it reached Percy's desk and that's when I realised he was going to pass them to me. I'd have to take them from his hand. Maybe I could just pretend I didn't notice and he'd put them on my desk. Oh my Gods what is wrong with you? You're gonna spend this lesson worrying about petty things like that? He's just a boy...an incredibly hot boy...wait what?
Percy handed me the papers leisurely. He was still facing the front, he didn't even bother to look at me. Well it's not like I mean anything to him so yeah... He looked almost troubled for just moment but I wasn't gonna say anything to him.
I slowly reached out to take the papers and at that dreadful moment something worse happened. My phone went off and I let go of the papers in shock. They fell and began to scatter around mine and Percy's desk. My heart dropped.
I wished I was invisible for real at that moment. Mr Walker was never very lenient with people using phones in class. What if he told the principal? What if it went in my résumé? I frantically dug into my bag to turn it off, praying that no one could hear it over the film. A few heads turned towards me as my papers rustled in my bag. I started panting a little as I got more and more frustrated.
Suddenly my fingers landed on my phone and I yanked it out. The ringing got even louder as I brought it out into the open.
"Who's phone is that? Phone's are strictly forbidden in class!" Mr. Walker shouted.
I would have turned it off immediately but the moment I looked at the name on the screen, I froze. Why was he calling me? After all this time, with not one phone call or email, he suddenly wants to talk to me? Maybe something happened. Maybe he wants to be part of my life again. Maybe he really does miss me.
"Dad..." I whispered, staring at the phone in disbelief.
"Whose is it?" Mr. Walker shouted even louder and suddenly my phone was snatched out of my hand.
"It's mine sir." Percy said hanging the phone up casually. He ignored the confused looks he got from Piper, Jason and Thalia. Mr. Walker had paused the movie and turned the lights back on by now.
I couldn't speak, I couldn't move. I couldn't even think straight, I was so shocked and confused. All I could do was feel completely and utterly stunned that this guy, the guy I'd always thought to be arrogant and inconsiderate, was going out of his way to cover for me. To protect me.
"Dude what are you doing?" Jason whispered beside him but Percy waved him off.
"This is the 25th time I've caught you on your phone in class Jackson." Mr. Walker frowned, walking over to stand in front of Percy's desk.
I felt scared even witnessing this. Why would Percy even be willing to go through this for a geek like me? For a nobody like me? I thought he didn't like me.
"Actually it's the 26th…sir." Percy smirked making the whole class snigger.
"You have no idea how much trouble you're in Jackson." Mr. Walker growled.
"Let me guess, I have to hand my phone in, then you'll send me to the principal's, he'll call my mom to let her know I'm a disruptive student again and it'll go in my file along with all the other 'disruptive' things I've done." Percy raised an eyebrow, making speech marks with his finger when he said 'disruptive'. The whole class began sniggering and Jason snorted beside him, trying to stop himself from laughing. Clearly, this had happened a lot, like a lot a lot.
"Is there really any point sir? It's just a phone. There's no reason to send Percy to the principal's office for this stupid reason again." Thalia butted in, turning in her chair to look at a red faced Mr. Walker.
"Turn around Thalia." He grumbled. "Phone." Mr. Walker said holding out his hand to Percy. Percy rolled his eyes and handed it to him reluctantly, he didn't glance at me once.
Mr. Walker eyed the phone in his hand before razing his eyebrow at Percy. "This is your phone?" He asked incredulously.
"Yep." Percy replied, popping the 'p'.
"It's pink..." Mr. Walker raised an eyebrow.
I felt so embarrassed. Do you think, he'll think I'm cheap with an iPhone 5s when he has the latest iPhone? Do you think, he'll think I'm such a girl with a pink case? Truth is, I hated that case but it was the only one I had.
"Pink's really in now sir." Percy smirked. The whole class sniggered again.
"Don't play games with me Jackson, whose phone is this?" I desperately wanted to own up, I just couldn't form the words and the guilt was killing me.
"Have you got a thing against pink phones sir?" Percy frowned acting shocked. "That's phone-ist."
Mr. Walker sighed through the sniggers going around the classroom. "I'm sure you don't need directions to the principal's office Jackson." He said bluntly, staring down at Percy. He liked being taller than Percy because when he was standing he was a lot shorter than him. As well as being God-givingly muscular and well built, Percy was a tall guy, definitely a little over 6 foot.
"What, like you don't need directions to the strip club down town?" Percy muttered under his breath. The whole class burst out laughing and I swear Mr. Walker turned into a tomato.
"The principal's office now!" He growled.
I felt incredibly guilty for this whole situation. Percy was going to get into serious trouble because of me. I mean, yes, he was making it worse for himself with the attitude and it wasn't like he'd never been to the principal's office before, so I had more to lose than he did but it felt wrong to let him do this. Especially when he didn't owe me anything, I hadn't done anything for him. I couldn't just let him take the fall for me.
Percy smirked, standing up and giving a sniggering Jason a low five before leisurely grabbing his stuff.
"Wait!" I blurted out, utterly shocked that I had just spoken in front of the entire class and now they were all staring at me. I was about to confess when I met Percy's eyes. He glared at me shaking his head subtly. I frowned at him hopelessly, almost begging him not to do this but he frowned back at me and didn't drop his glare. Eventually, I gave in with a sigh.
"Is there something you wanted to say Annabeth?" Mr Walker asked suddenly, his voice a little calmer since I was his favourite student.
"Um...no sir..." I murmured.
"Are you sure?"
"Well then...you can go now Jackson." He said beginning to walk back to his desk.
Percy's eyes met mine again briefly. I tried to read them but it was impossible, it was the first time I had struggled to read someone's thoughts and feelings ever. I'd always been rather good at that but there was something about Percy; something different, something mysterious. He was a total mystery to me.
He frowned at me for a second, then he swiftly turned away and walked out the class room without a second glance.
I was speechless, tongue-tied, frozen in place. Anything that could happen to someone in shock was happening to me right now. I was so still it felt like I wasn't even breathing. What had just happened? Why would Percy, the most popular guy in school, waste his time looking out for me; the least popular girl in school? Seriously this day was getting weirder and more interesting by the minute.
The bell rang after what felt like forever and I began packing up my stuff. I could see Thalia and Piper were sneaking glances at me. They looked as if they were debating about coming over to me. So before they could decide, I rushed out of the classroom. I wasn't in the mood for talking about what had just happened. I didn't know myself what had just happened let alone why it had.
I went so quickly, I stumbled straight into someone. Fortunately, I didn't trip and fall on my face. Unfortunately, the person I stumbled into was Charlie Bennet. A frown appeared on his face as he turned to see who had just hit him. When his eyes landed on me, he frowned again but it disappeared as quickly as it came. A look of horror crossed his eyes and he stumbled away from me and ran down the corridor. As he ran a small scrunched up piece of paper fell from his pocket to the floor, a few metres away.
Confusion crossed my mind and I wondered what was wrong with him and whether I'd had anything to do with his unusual behaviour. One minute he's all over me the next he's practically sprinting away from me...
The corridor was empty and I slowly moved towards the scrunched up piece of paper and bent down to pick it up. This must be what Percy wrote in class. Did I want to know what he wrote? I mean Charlie did seem pretty terrified...maybe it's best to let it be.
My curiosity got the best of me however and I hid around a corner as the other students exited the class room. Slowly, I pulled the scrunched up piece of paper open and peered at the messy writing smeared across it:
Stay away from her or I'll become your worst nightmare!
HUGE thank you to everyone who managed to make it this far! I'm you're biggest fan :)
I know that was one flippin big chapter. I promise future chapters won't be as long!
Also, I apologise for the close fitted format, I'm afraid this site does that automatically no matter how many times I try to press enter to create space. It's a real pain!
This was just a taster chapter, I'm still not sure if I want to upload the whole story. It's just been my personal project for so long, I don't know if I'm ready to share it. If I get a good reaction to this little snippet though, I might be persuaded otherwise...
So please leave a review, even if it's just a little one. People of all ages (accept if you're underage), opinions and genders are welcome in this fandom! Let me know what you think of the chapter, the characters, literally anything.
I know I have a lot to work on and I can't please everybody :((
Depending on the response I get, I might post the next chapter over the next few days and I warn you, this one has some major PERCABETH in it.
P.S I'll tell you now, this story does have a few cliches but it isn't one of those 'they meet and it's love at first sight' kinda stories. It's a progressive relationship, they really build as characters throughout it. It has tension and the wait is totally worth it. Personally, I think the whole build up to a couple is better than when they're actually together. It's the most exciting, frustrating part anyway. ;)
I hope to see you all again soon and that you're all having a wonderful summer holiday!
Lots of love,