I can never thank you guys enough for all the incredible suggestions and ideas you've left in your reviews or PMed to me. I can assure you right now that each and every review and comment has been taken to heart and into consideration for this story. :)
After a writer's block and a lot of time to think, a lot of people have helped me come up with something just in-between "getting caught" or "escaping", which has a little bit of everything.
Now, I think it's my turn to apologize for how longs it has been. This story was published in 2008 and it's what now? Almost 2011? No words can explain how incredibly sorry I am for long time period passing without an update for this story. In these past years, however, I haven't forgotten about this story and all your reviews kept me on my toes.
I absolutely love you if you are on this page right now, reading through my hopeless apology, and if you still remember this story. Over the months, the original first chapter has been edited tremendously, so I hope you re-read the first chapter if you already haven't.
Also, thanks to Miz636 for the editing.
I'll stop ranting now and let you get to the actual reason you clicked on this fic. ^_^
As always I hope you enjoy and that the length of this makes up for some of the wait.
Please remember this is set shortly after BOTL.
Dedicated to all the people who are still here and have stayed with this story; you've inspired me to continue. I'm so sorry for the wait.
I lowered the book from my eyes slowly, feeling like all the emotion I'd ever go through in my life had just happened to me all at once during the few minutes I held Annabeth diary to my eyes.
I couldn't believe what I had just read. I couldn't believe a word.
My whole body felt stiff and frozen in spot, my heart beat ringing in my ears. I didn't know what I would have done standing there with the diary in my hands, but I didn't have much more time to act as the quiet footsteps and chatter of campers sounded right outside the walls of the cabin.
I felt like someone had jerked me violently back into reality, and I realized where I was. I stood inside the Athena Cabin, holding Annabeth's most personal property in my arms, while the campers were all heading back inside after the camp fire.
At that moment, all I could think about was losing my chance. I thought about what Annabeth had written about Athena and Poseidon and the rules. It wasn't fair.
I remembered Annabeth's words. The words she had written for Luke, and all the other things she had always run away from.
Standing there, knowing I only had minutes left before someone walked in, I rushed forward. I realized that if I didn't act now, I would never have the guts to bring up the topic of Annabeth's diary later on. Everything would stay the same and things we both needed to say would remain locked up inside of us forever just like they were now. Heroes never had a happy ending. That's what I had spent the last five years of my life at camp hearing, and it wasn't fair anymore.
Feeling like my legs were turning into Jell-O and like a thousand little needles were prickling through my finger tips, my eyes shot at Annabeth's side table, where a plain plastic ball point pen sat on top of a stack of blueprints.
With shaking hands and my heart pounding harder than it ever had, I did something that I knew I would murder myself for later on. It was harder than having to face the Minotaur when my mom was in danger, harder than stepping up to sacrifice myself to Hades in order to save my friends, harder than asking Annabeth to get out safely at Mt. St. Helens while I prepared to face my death… I could go on, but you get the idea. What I did was probably the scariest thing I would have to face.
With shaking hands, I acted in the split second I had left.
Clear voices could be heard just outside now, and I was running out of time.
I grabbed the ball point pen from the table, and directly in the center of a brand new page of the Diary, I scribbled down four words in sloppy handwriting. I had written: We need to talk.
With thoughts racing, I didn't have time to second-guess myself. I shoved the Diary back under the pillow and dashed out of the cabin.
The few campers walking up the steps to the cabin stopped in their tracks to stare at me as I came out the door, probably looking like I had just witnessed a murder, and disappeared straight into my own cabin.
I thanked the gods that I hadn't run into Annabeth on the way. I don't know what I would have done if I had had to face her.
My head was spinning, and my heart felt like it was banging on my rib cage. I closed the door behind me, knowing that four words were left scribbled onto Annabeth's diary for her to find.
It wasn't until next morning that my brain stopped throbbing enough to allow me to think. I hadn't slept much at all through the night; there were too many thoughts, too many worries.
I felt like Annabeth's words from the pages were repeating over and over in my head. I could hear her voice narrating her own words. "No matter how hard I'm trying to avoid him; it's like faith is trying to prove that I can't live without him. I need him."
I leaned back against the wall, not caring how hard my head hit the wall behind me. "I wasn't ready to hear what he had to say. I don't know if I'll ever be ready," she had written. "I miss things being so easy when I was around him. Everything is complicated now, and I don't have anyone but myself to blame."
The morning sun of winter peaked through my window blinding my eyes, and I leaned forward in my bunk, taking a deep breath. I felt the most vulnerable I had ever felt in my life, but I found myself thinking that if I actually had the nerve to write inside Annabeth's diary, I should have the nerve to live up to the words I had jotted down.
Annabeth and I needed to talk. We couldn't keep running away from it anymore, and there were things she needed to hear.
As I left my cabin, I realized exactly how early it was. Most of the campers seemed to be asleep peacefully in their cabins, enjoying their winter break at camp just like I was supposed to be doing.
But instead, I walked through camp with a war taking place inside of my head. Part of me couldn't take the suspense anymore – I wanted to face Annabeth and tell her I was sorry – while the other part of me was too chicken to face what was coming next.
I didn't know which part of me would win out in the end, but it wasn't like I had much of a choice because there she was.
Annabeth stood tall and straight, staring out at the motionless lake in front of her. I wasn't surprised that she was up and awake so early, and I couldn't help but feel all the memories rush back through me.
She looked exactly like she had that night on Half Blood hill, the night she had walked away, leaving everything unsaid and unheard. Her back was to me, her hair tied up in a pony tail, and I couldn't see her face.
I wanted to turn around and walk the other way, but I knew it was now or never. I prepared myself to face whatever I had coming. I was hoping Annabeth wouldn't kill me before I could get a word out, but I couldn't blame her if she tried. After all, I had done pretty much the lowest thing anyone could do: I had invaded her most personal property.
I would have been surprised if Annabeth even looked at me.
With my stomach turning, I stepped forward. Annabeth didn't hear me coming up behind her, and it was pretty clear that she was in deep thought. I could imagine her mind contemplating a million thoughts as she stared out across the surface of the lake.
"Annabeth," I said.
She didn't hear me, and I realized that I had only whispered the name.
I swallowed hard. "Annabeth."
Annabeth turned her head immediately, startled. She took a second, but when she realized it was me, she took a deep breath. "Oh, it's just you."
It occurred to me right then and there that Annabeth probably had no idea who had written those four words. Either that or she hadn't even seen it yet.
I was hoping for a feeling of relief, but instead guilt was what hit me.
A part of me almost wanted to face Annabeth's wrath for what I had done; I deserved it. Knowing that I had intruded in on Annabeth's most personal and deepest thoughts and gotten away with it made me feel like the biggest jerk on the face of the planet.
I zoned back into what Annabeth was saying, trying to rid my mind of all the thoughts I had racing around inside about what I had read last night or about our last conversation on Half Blood hill.
"I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see you yesterday," Annabeth was saying. She crossed her arms over her chest, turning her head to stare out towards the trees outside of camp. They were iced over in snow. She whispered, "I've been busy."
"Don't worry about it," I told her. "It's alright."
Annabeth shook her head. "No, Percy. It's not." She turned to look me in the eyes. "I know that the last time we talked… I just kind of left. And I know I haven't been good with replying to any of your phone calls or emails these past few weeks." She looked frustrated with herself, and something was making my heart sink deeper and deeper. "It's just that… a lot has been happening lately, and I want you to know that -"
"It's not your fault," I cut Annabeth off. Normally, I would have been surprised to hear Annabeth coming anywhere close to an apology. But this time, I felt like I could hear my conscience screaming at me. The guilt inside me multiplied, and I felt like I could have exploded.
For a second, Annabeth looked grateful. She gave me a half hearted smile.
"What's been happening?" I asked.
"You said a lot has been happening lately," I reminded her.
Annabeth sighed. "It's nothing." But, I could see the tension returning to her face. Under her breath I could her mumble, "You'd think camp is the only safe place sometimes, but it's where anyone can betray you."
I felt like a fist closed around my heart, and I knew Annabeth had seen the words written in her diary. She didn't know whose handwriting the words belonged to, but whoever it is was, they had betrayed her, and there was no other way to put it.
"What do you mean?" I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.
Frustration came to Annabeth's face as she let out a deep breath, and I had a feeling she was just beginning to spill. "Last night was the only night I was careless enough to leave all of my stuff unlocked when I left for the camp fire. Someone must have gotten in and went through all of my things," she told me. Then she glanced at me and added, "You know… things like Daedalus' laptop and all of my blueprints. There was some really confidential information in all of that."
"Any idea of who it could be?" I asked, feeling worse than I already did.
"It could be anyone," Annabeth said. "One of my brothers… someone from the Aphrodite cabin trying to be cute." She clenched her fingers into her shoulder. "But, it doesn't matter," she breathed, colleting herself. "I'll deal with it later. What are you doing up so early anyway, Seaweed Brain?"
And there it was again, the feeling of guilt drowning me until I was sure that I was under the surface. I couldn't take lying to Annabeth and knowing that if I didn't speak now, everything that I had feared about our silence would stay the same.
With all the courage I had left, my throat felt like it was on fire and my heart sat on the edge of a cliff. "Annabeth," I said, preparing to speak four words. "We need to talk."
I kept staring at Annabeth afterwards, waiting for a reaction. Her gray eyes seemed to stare blankly back at me in confusion until something hit her like a blow of harsh wind. Her eyes widened in a complete look of disbelief. The look of betrayal seemed to fill her face.
"I'm sorry," I started immediately. "I didn't mean to, Annabeth, I was just -"
Annabeth uncrossed her arms, shoving me back before I could finish. Ferocity flickered across her expressions, and I knew she was beyond mad.
"It was you?" she said in complete disbelief. "How could you do that, Percy?
"I'm sorry -" I tried saying again, but Annabeth wasn't listening.
"I can't believe you would - I can't believe you would read -" she was too angry to finish her sentence. "Just get away from here, Percy!"
After some colorful language towards me from Annabeth's side, and me trying to squeeze in apologies in my defense, I finally got her to listen. I caught hold of her arm before she yanked it away, but she stopped to look at me for a split second.
I knew that no amount of sorry could ever forgive what I had done, but in a hopeless attempt I tried to tell Annabeth what was really on my mind. "It's not like I did it on purpose," I explained. "It wasn't like I just found your diary and decided to start reading it, Annabeth. I swear. I was just-"
"I can't believe you," she mumbled through her teeth, turning her head away from me. She looked nothing but betrayed and hurt, and I knew that I would never be able to forget the look that was in Annabeth eyes right then.
She wasn't looking at me, but she wasn't trying to leave anymore and it was better than nothing.
Annabeth swallowed. Her voice was completely emotionless when she spoke. "What did you read?"
I found myself quiet in silence, realizing that there was no way to get around that question. I took a breath. "You wrote that you didn't want it to be like this anymore."
Annabeth glanced at me. Silence cutting through both of us.
"I know nothing's been the same since last summer after our quest from the Labyrinth," I said, in a hopeless attempt to make her listen. "We can fix it, Annabeth. The rules you were talking about - it doesn't have to be that way."
I couldn't tell if Annabeth face was red from anger or from the thought of me reading her words. "You weren't supposed to read that," Annabeth spat, "any of it."
"It was the truth, though." I said. "Right?"
"It doesn't matter, Percy! You had no right to touch it. I never thought you'd drop so low as to go through my stuff."
"I'm sorry," I repeated in a short breath.
"Are you?" Annabeth said staring at me, her eyes burning fire. "Because if you're sorry then you'll do something for me: forget everything. Forget anything I wrote. You didn't read it, alright? It never happened. "
"Why are you doing this?" I said, feeling the same anger of how unfair things were flicker inside my chest.
"Doing what?" Her voice cut through the air, cracking, and I could hear every last hint of pain behind it.
"Doing this. You're running away, Annabeth," I said. "Last night, I read exactly what you feel, what you're scared of. I'm not going to lie and say I've never thought about it either."
Annabeth's body was frozen, and she continued staring out in the other direction. I wasn't sure what she was thinking, but I stepped close enough to see her eyes glossed over from everything that was going on.
"I-I need you too." I said, feeling my heart heavy and remembering Annabeth's words from the pages. "Please don't do this. Don't run away from us."
"Percy, just stop," Annabeth was saying, but I had stepped even closer now.
"You wrote that you didn't regret kissing me on Mt. St. Helens," I said, reciting her words as I remembered them from the diary. "You said you don't want it to be like this, everything that happened with Rachel and Luke, and then on Half Blood Hill. You said you're not ready to hear what I need to say, but guess what, Annabeth?" I told her. "I'm ready to say it."
Annabeth looked at me hesitantly. At that second, even I didn't know who I was anymore. I didn't know where everything was coming from. I sure as Hades had never planned on confessing all of this, but I felt like I was fed up and it was all spilling out now.
I reached forward, not knowing if it was the force drawing me closer to Annabeth or the fear that she would leave the scene with everything unsaid once again. I expected her to yank away from my touch, but she stood her ground. My fingers touched her arm.
I didn't know what Annabeth was thinking, but as she stared at me, her eyes turned hard. She swallowed. "You read some stupid letters and words on paper, Percy. This doesn't mean you know my every thought. You don't know what I'm going through."
"Then tell me," I said.
But, Annabeth wasn't listening. She continued, "You read that I need you, and that you saved my life a million times, and now you know that I'm grateful for all of it. This doesn't change anything."
I really tried to understand what Annabeth was saying, and it made me angrier. She was running away from all of it. I thought about our parents and Luke and Rachel, and felt all my frustration stirring up again.
"It changes everything," I argued. "I just need to hear one thing, Annabeth. One thing and then you can leave."
Annabeth stiffened, backing up. It was clear that she wasn't in the mood to answer any questions, but I held her arm. As she tried to pull away, my fingers slipped down her arm, and I gripped her wrist.
"Just let go, Percy," Annabeth said sharply. "This isn't getting anywhere. Just forget what you read -"
"I can't. If you're asking me to forget some of the most important things I've ever found out in my life, I can't do that."
Annabeth stared ahead, and I knew she was trying hard to avoid my gaze. She kept trying to pull away, but something told me that she definitely wasn't giving it her all. My fingers remained wrapped around her wrist.
"What is it?" Annabeth said, stopping to look at me. Her eyes were fierce, but I could hear the weakness in her voice. "What do you want to know?"
"I need to know if it was true," I told her. "What you wrote. You said, 'No matter how hard I'm trying to avoid him; it's like faith is trying to prove that I can't live without him.'" I was reciting the words as they were written directly on the page.
Annabeth's eyes seem to widen in surprise. I continued, "You said, 'I think I'm starting to-'"
Annabeth's eyes met mine. Green shot through gray, and I felt like the whole world did a flip inside my stomach. I thought about Annabeth. I thought about everything we had been through, and it was like I could see our whole future flash forward in her eyes.
"Starting to what, Annabeth?" I said, realizing I had only whispered it.
For a second, all the pain, all the hurt, and all the anger disappeared from Annabeth's eyes. It seemed like she had remembered exactly what she was feeling when she wrote those exact words down onto paper to be preserved forever. As she stared back at me, I had the feeling that the past and the future slipped away from us. We were living in the moment, and she opened her mouth to speak. "I think I'm starting to fall for him."
Wind rustled through the trees outside of camp, and I kept staring at Annabeth. I had the feeling in my stomach like something was unwrapping itself over and over. At that second, all I could really think about was what Annabeth had said, and I realized right then that it finally felt right.
Annabeth's eyes were locked with mine, and my stomach was doing a million summersaults. Without really thinking, I said exactly what I knew was the truth; I found myself saying, "I've already fallen for her."
I couldn't tell you exactly what happened next because my entire world seemed to stop when she hugged me.
All I could remember was her eyes widening, a look of pure fulfillment dancing in gray sparkles, before her arms were around my neck, and I was holding onto her.
Annabeth pulled away to look at my face. I didn't know how we had gone from arguing, betrayal in Annabeth's eyes, to her in my arms, but I knew more than ever that it felt right. Her eyes seemed to be asking me a million questions, and I asked the only one thing that was important to me at the moment. I asked, "What does this mean?"
I didn't know what I would have done if Annabeth had tried to run away from all of it again. I couldn't take being apart from her, not after all we had just been through.
There was a look in Annabeth's eyes that said more than words could ever mean. Behind all the fear – the fear of what this would change, what our parents would think, what this meant for the future – there was a look that let me know that she never wanted things to go back to the way were, the way they were when our words were unsaid.
With her in my arms, I thought the moment was too good to last, and I was right because Annabeth gently pushed me back.
"This doesn't mean I forgive you for reading through my personal records, Percy," she said. I knew she was dead serious, but I had the feeling that she seemed to be realizing exactly where I had been coming from for the first time. For a second, it was like she suddenly realized exactly where her words on the pages had gotten us, and she softened. "Just never read it again, Seaweed Brain," Annabeth mumbled, "or I swear I'll kill you."
It was a threat good enough to last a lifetime. I found myself smiling next, and as I hugged her, camp was slowly forgotten behind us. At that moment, nothing really mattered anymore.
It didn't matter that dawn was peaking though the sky as the rest of the campers were slowly waking up, or that snow sat on the ground just feet away from the borders. For a second, even the little book that started off blank seemed to be forgotten as it lay in cabin six, tucked delicately underneath layers of cotton comforters and a softly stuffed pillow on top of Annabeth's bunk.
As the days went by, Annabeth's threat remained because I never got to see sight of her diary again.
Not that it bothered me as there were no more secrets to be kept between us. There was nothing to hide and nothing to run away from anymore; all we could do now was hold on.
Pages after pages filled with letters and writing in the diary until she probably reached the last entry, recording words onto the paper that I would never see.
As I end my journey of recording all the moments in my life worth remembering, I realize that I am complete. All the things that I needed to preserve about my life so that I could step back at fix them have been solved. Solved by one person. One name that comes to the lips. Percy.
He was the one. The one who had all of my answers.
As my last note in this Diary, before I close the cover, I want to confess something; the one thing I would never have the mind-frame to confess if his eyes hadn't witnessed the writing on the previous pages. I want to confess one last thing: I fell for Percy Jackson, son of the sea god, and I fell hard.
Love, yours truly,
A story started on September 9th, 2008 comes to an end on the last Monday of 2010. I hope you enjoyed.
Please review, because that would absolutely make this year complete for me. ^_^
I hope you all have a great New Year!