Chapter 1 - Good News or Bad News?
Tired from the swimming team's practice, I walked home. My hair was still wet as I unlocked the front door. Mom didn't pick me up from school today…that was not normal. I went in and noticed three large duffel bags on the floor. Mom and Paul were going to Montauk for…a month…?
"I'm home. Mom?"
"I'm in the kitchen. Come in here, will you."
I dropped my bag on the floor and went in the kitchen. Mom set the kettle down on the stove and had a cup of hot chocolate. I went over and kissed her cheek.
"Percy, would you get the pack of marshmallows in the cupboard?" Mom asked.
I got the pack of blue marshmallows and gave it to her. She got five marshmallows and put them all in the cup.
"Thanks, Mom." I said as I got the cup.
"Uhm, Percy, that's not for you. It's for our visitor."
I looked at her, still holding the cup of hot chocolate, and raised an eyebrow. Mom put her hands on her waist and nodded. I put the mug down and started for the living room.
"Percy, don't you want to meet our guest?"
"Hmm, one of Paul's friend? No, you'd give him coffee. I give up. Who is it?"
"I'm not telling you."
I walked to the living room and sat on the couch. Mom always did that to me. I was about to turn the TV on when I heard a click and footsteps. I didn't mind it and didn't even care who it was…except when I heard her voice.
"Here you go dear. With marshmallows, Percy loves it that way. I thought you would too." Mom said.
"Thank you, Mrs. Jackson. The marshmallows are great. Percy still loves blue, eh. Tell me more about him…"
I couldn't quite point out who owns that voice. "Why don't you talk to him?" Mom asked.
"Uhm, Percy's home?" She sounded nervous.
"Yeah! He's there on the couch."
I stood up and walked to the kitchen where Mom and the visitor were staying. Then I looked up to see who she really was. Looking up was a mistake because I couldn't look away from her. She had long golden hair that was curled like a princess's. She had stormy gray eyes that just couldn't look me straight in the eyes. She had a figure of an athlete. She wore a green shirt, jeans and sneakers. I couldn't help but think that those features were familiar.
"Uhm…hey, Percy." She greeted me with a small, timid smile and eyes that couldn't decide whether to look at my eyes or the floor. But when she finally decided to look at my eyes, I realized her eyes were the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen.
Who are you? I thought.
"…Annabeth?" I wondered out loud.
I was in my room with an untouched book on my lap and eyes that stared off into space. She is moving in with us. Annabeth is moving in with us. Annabeth Chase is moving in with us. My childhood best friend is moving in with us. No matter how many times I said it, it still didn't sound very comforting. Childhood best friend. I actually miss having her as my best friend.
Eleven years ago.
"Percy? Wake up."
"I wasn't asleep, Annabeth."
"Oh really? You drool when you sleep."
I immediately wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.
"Hah! So you were asleep!"
"No. I was not!"
"Yes. You were."
"No, I was day dreaming."
"On finally getting an A in a test?"
"Ha-ha. C'mon, let's go." I stood up and got my bag.
Mom would be waiting for me outside, talking with Annabeth's mom. I looked at Annabeth, who had a grin on her face, and smiled. That means only one thing. First one to the waiting area wins.
I ran as fast as I could. I was about to win when suddenly I fell down on the floor. There was someone on top of me. Annabeth was laughing and so was I. Her hair was like a curtain that enveloped me in my own world. Our laughter continued but she quickly stood up and ran. I did the same but she was already in the waiting area.
"I win!" Annabeth announced.
"You cheated!" I complained.
"Nuh-uh! It's not my fault that you were still on the floor."
"This is not over, Chase."
"It's never over."
Then our parents called us. We went over. Annabeth told our mom about our race a while ago. Our moms just laughed and told us to say goodbye to each other. I went to Annabeth and we did our secret handshake and said goodbye to each other.
I always had a small crush on Annabeth but never told her. We have been best friends ever since we met on the first day of school. We promised each other that no matter what happens we would always be best friends.
Ten years ago.
I was playing with Luke in the monkey bars when I heard Clarisse laugh. I looked over only to see Annabeth with sand on the face.
Luke, Clarisse, Chris, Rachel, Calypso and Ethan were the cool people. Annabeth and I were never cool enough. Annabeth always had a crush on Luke, I never trusted him ever since the ant accident. The ant accident, which was when he told me that the earth was shaking. He told me to put my hand on the ground so I could feel it. I did what he said. At first the earth was really shaking then suddenly my hand started to hurt. I looked down and saw a thousand ants on my hand. He just laughed at me. My hand was swollen for, maybe, a week.
Why was I playing with him? When I found out that Annabeth liked him, I tried being friends with him, to find out why Annabeth likes this jerk and follow him so she would like me instead of him. It seemed so easy but in order to be friends with Luke, I have to be friends with the other cool people. Annabeth always hated the cool people except Luke.
Luke was laughing along with the cool people. The bell rang and the cool kids were walking back to the room. I jumped down and looked at Annabeth. She was looking at me too.
"Percy?" Annabeth asked. It sounded like she was hurt that I was just staring at her, the same time hopeful that I took time to look at her and think about helping her.
The same thing happened last year. Last year, I was not friends with Luke or any cool person. I never liked any of them. When I saw Clarisse push Annabeth into the sand box, I ran to Annabeth. They all just laughed. I kneeled in front of her, brushing sand from her face. The bell rang and other people left, leaving me and Annabeth alone in the playground. She asked me why I was helping her. I told her that that's what best friends are for.
"Percy." Luke called me.
I was torn between following Luke or helping Annabeth. My "best friend" or my best friend. I did the thing that until now I still regret. I went with Luke and left Annabeth there alone with sand on her face.
The next day was Annabeth's birthday, her special day. I was excited to give the perfect gift for her.
I entered the room and was surprised to see that Annabeth wasn't there. She was never late. Maybe all the surprises for her at home kept her running late. I waited and waited for her the whole day. But she never came. I gave her a week because maybe she was sick. She still didn't come. Then the weeks I gave her became months. Months became years.
She never came back.
The reason why I became friends with the cool people was forgotten.
The promise, that I hoped that will never be broken, was broken.
I lost my best friend.
Five years ago.
I'm eleven years old. Five years without seeing Annabeth or talking to Annabeth was torture. I just lost my best friend because of my stupid reasons. I still had the gift I was planning to give her. I never stopped looking for her. I looked for Chase in the phonebook and tried calling every single one. I googled her name and her parent's name. I asked Mom. All of them led me nowhere. Their answers were, "Nope, there's no Annabeth Chase here.", "No results found." or "I don't know too, Percy."
I wasn't as happy and outgoing as before. My grades got lower. I only had one friend, Grover. I was losing my focus.
Was it time to give up?
Two years ago.
I was getting better. Grades got higher. Have a couple of friends. Part of the school's swimming team. But I couldn't shake the feeling that someone should be here. Annabeth. Every time I think of her, a knife goes through my heart. In a day, I probably have a thousand knives piercing through my heart. Memories of her were burned at the back of my head.
I missed her so much.
A while ago.
"Percy. Can you help Annabeth with her bags?" Mom asked.
"Uhm, sure. Where is she going?"
"She's moving in with us."
My heart stopped beating for a while.
"Eh?" That was all I could say.
"Yup. Tomorrow, you will bring her to school. She's going to be a junior at Goode High School. Paul said the school head already said yes. She'll have the same subjects with you so you could guide her."
"Good, cause I don't take no for an answer. Now go help Annabeth."
I went to the living room, got two duffel bags and went to the guest room, where Annabeth will be staying. Once all her things were there in the room, she sat on the bed and looked at me.
Yep. Still the same stormy gray eyes.
"Uhm, thank you for helping me, Percy." She told me.
"No problem, Annabeth."
I looked at her straight in the eyes and smiled at her. I went to my room and sat on my bed, trying to do my homework so I could get my mind off things.
I looked down at my book. I only did half of my homework. In thirty minutes. The homework was done. I reached for my Math book and went to the page where the homework was. I groaned and closed the book. Then there was a knock on the door. Annabeth's head poked in.
"Uhm, it's dinner." She said, "Ooh, math! I love math! Having problems? I could help you…I mean if you want me to."
"Uh, it's fine, you don't have to."
"Oh no, it's fine. I insist that I help you…after dinner."
"After dinner." I repeated then smiled at her. She smiled.
Maybe I didn't lose my best friend at all.
Is this a chance for me to figure out what happened and fix everything?