Disclaimer: I do not own PJO

I stood to the side. Ryan, being the oldest, stood by Dad while Will, who was younger than Ryan by fifteen minutes, stood at Mom's side. My dress could not be less comfortable. If I wasn't standing up completely straight, I was suffocating. It was worth the suffering, though. My parents were getting recognized again for their amazing feats, even so long after they had done them.

I flashed my Mom a thumbs up when she glanced over. To be honest, I was less than convinced I was necessary to the ceremony. Maybe I was there to reassure my family, but they didn't need reassurance. Maybe I was there to see Chris.

I was there because it was required, for reasons beyond my comprehension.

Chris stood at his dad's side, leaving me to stand with his mom and his younger sister. We had a table, but it seemed Mrs. di Angelo was having the same problem with sitting in her dress: she couldn't unless absolutely necessary.

I think he got most of his looks from her. Her hair was bright red, obviously dyed. I presume it was naturally blonde, which would make his hair color make sense. Her skin was a little on the dark side, probably from her father. I've heard he has beautiful cocoa skin. Chris' skin wasn't as dark, but his flesh held more pigment than his fathers did. A lot more, actually. Looking at the two of them, you could tell they were related, but barely.

"I've heard you are an artist, no?" Mrs. di Angelo said with a smile, bringing the champagne glass to her cherry red lips. I couldn't help but notice her lipstick matched her hair color.

"A little bit, yeah," I answered, returning the smile.

"Momma, I'm bored," Jenna complained. Being only seven, her dress allowed her the luxury of being able to sit. Mine was tighter than a guitar string.

"I know, my love," Mrs. di Angelo murmured. "But the gods move at their own speed, and we must respect that." Jenna huffed at that. I smiled down at her.

Chris had told me a little about his sister. She had been born schizophrenic, seeing things that just didn't exist. I didn't know much about it, like what exactly she saw, but the fact he had told me that much meant a lot.

You probably wouldn't know that by looking at her. She seemed like an average seven year old. Nothing about her appearance suggested she was any different than I was. Not that I was anything close to normal.

It almost hurt me to think about. This girl had to live with being the offspring of two demigods, but then she had to add schizophrenia to the list of things that separated her from mortal society. Many people probably don't even believe it when they hear it, because it's technically not possible. The disease can only develop after the age of five. Being born with it is not only unheard of, but it is generally accepted as impossible.

She examined me with untrusting eyes, something I had been expecting. I returned the gaze, and after a while she ignored me. That gave me time to talk with Mrs. di Angelo a little more. She was a therapist, I learned, for people who could see the dead. It seemed appropriate, I suppose.

"You know, I work with clients who just need someone to talk to, as well," she said, staring me in the eye. I knew what she was doing. Over the years I had been shoved in quite a few shrinks' offices. She was trying to read my expression, to gauge how much her comment affected me. Obviously she had heard a few of the Jacksons' secrets.

I managed to keep my face normal, a smile on my lips again. "That's cool. I don't think I could ever do that."

I had too many of my own problems to deal with.

(A/N) So, here's a little bit of Mona's POV. There was a little you were supposed to get from this chapter. Implied stuff, really.

Thanks to everyone who's reviewed and favorite and followed. I can't explain how much it means to me. Writing is one of my only true passions, and I'm happy I've found a way to share it with the world.

Also, a very special thanks to JadeDragon220, who's inspired me to keep writing. For a while I was considering dropping everything. And while I'm pretty sure this will be my last story on FanFiction, I'm going to try really, really hard to continue this project. I have a few ideas on where it's going, so thanks to Jade for unintentionally convincing me to bring this story to you for a little while longer.

Love you guys.

~Cherry Punch