Did anyone see The Vow? I did. It sort of sucked in my opinion, but ya know. Broken Percabeth, because it struck me that these beautiful people never got to have their first Valentines Day together. UNFOR-FREAKING-GIVABLE. Rick Riordan, you must really hate everything that brings you such incredible riches and success. I would've thought Aphrodite would've intervened. SHAME ON THE LOVE GODDESS.
"Oh my god," Alyssa gushed, "We should go now!"
"Absolutely!" Sadie squealed, bobbing her perfect curls vigorously. "Let's go... I think there's a showing in a half hour."
Annabeth rolled her eyes. Sometimes she felt a little bit envious of how easy they had it; just two typical, ignorant teenage girls. She'd come to love them for their blind loyalty and innocence, but they distinctly reminded her of hamsters on crack periodically. She adjusted her body to lean into the light better and struggled to concentrate on her calculus homework.
"You wanna come, Annabeth?" Alyssa asked, reaching down to grab her purse. She pulled out a mirror and checked her makeup, which was already, of course, flawless. Jealously churned in Annabeth's stomach. she never would've admitted it, but at that moment, she would've paid anything to be that beautiful with not a drop of ichor in her veins. No ichor, no boyfriend, no worries...
"What movie are you going to see?"
"The Vow," Sadie cut in, clasping her hands together excitedly.
Annabeth bit her lip. "Sounds like a cheesy chick-flick."
Both girls turned to stare at her condescendingly, and Annabeth knew they must've been lecturing her on it for weeks, but honestly, she had better things to do than keep track of the latest romance movie. Better things like building the Argo II. And calculus homework.
Alyssa tapped her manicured fingers on the screen of her iPhone. "Honestly, you can't be female and not know."
"Annabeth doesn't like romance, remember?" Sadie teased in a drawl.
Alyssa scrolled down with her thumb and giggled, bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Half hour! We gotta leave now. You coming or what?"
Annabeth opened her mouth to politely decline, but was cut off by Sadie's disappointed expression. For some reason, it hurt to let her down. She'd been so sweet to Annabeth, taking her under her wing and offering her helpful romance advice... well, it would've been helpful had Annabeth been just another high school girl. But she appreciated the gesture. "What's... what's it about?"
"Oh..." Alyssa placed a hand over her heart in exaggerated sadness. "It's so sad, really. This couple gets into a car accident and—"
"One of them dies," Annabeth finished cynically. She had yet to hear about a movie Sadie and Alyssa were excited about that someone didn't die. Nicholas Sparks had to been a son of Aphrodite, because his books certainly followed the goddess's views on tragic love.
"No, actually," Alyssa corrected. "She—well, I'll let it be a surprise. Come!"
Both girls held out their arms to help Annabeth off Sadie's bed, which was now covered in architectural scrawls from when Annabeth's mind had wandered earlier. She extended her arms to be linked with the other two girls', allowing herself to be tugged out to Sadie's car. Her mind strongly rebelled against getting into the passenger seat—Sadie could get pulled over for drunk driving when she was stone cold sober—but she figured driving with Percy was probably a lot more dangerous.
She regretted her decision two previews in. She could literally feel her IQ dropping from watching too many truly vomit-inducing advertisements for raunchy romantic comedies. Even more sickening was the amount of couples face sucking. Annabeth wished she'd brought her calc books. Alyssa and Sadie were so transfixed they wouldn't have noticed.
Finally, the movie started. Annabeth could tell by the way Sadie's grip cut off the circulation in her arm, and when the nauseating sounds from the couple sitting on her right halted. She sighed and leaned on the arm rest, placing her chin in the palm of her hand. A couple left the movies. Snow everywhere. Bad car accident, like Alyssa had enlightened earlier. Annabeth stared up at the screen disapprovingly, aching to be curled up next to Percy on his couch, watching something that would actually stimulate her mind, even though he always managed to win her attention anyway. She turned away from the scene; eyes stinging. She mentally cursed, because obviously the effects of the disgusting things she'd been putting in her mind for the last half-hour where already starting to settle in.
Annabeth took a shaky breath and tried her best to concentrate on the movie broadcasted before her on the enormous screen and forget the simple fact that it was Valentines Day, for gods sakes, and she should be able to spend it with her boyfriend. It was stupid how she allowed a mortal holiday that was totally commercialized for money and had nothing to do with love make her so miserable, but in all fairness, you cannot expect a girl missing her boyfriend not to break down just a little when there's PDA around every corner.
"Here it comes," Sadie whispered to Annabeth, gripping her arm even tighter. The whole theater seemed to hold their breath as the previously comatose Rachel McAdams (she couldn't remember the character's name) opened her eyes. She didn't recognize her husband.
Annabeth's chest constricted as a chorus of female voices erupted into gasps and whimpers and coos. She turned to look at Sadie, whose eyes were also filling with tears, but for a completely different reason. She knew it was illogical to feel betrayed. There was no way Sadie could have known what she'd been through the last few months, and Annabeth had no right to hold her accountable. Sadie's watery eyes met Annabeth's own, clearly surprised to see how emotional she was over the "cheesy chick-flick." So sad, she mouthed, and brushed away her mascara tracks. Annabeth nodded numbly.
She gritted her teeth. There was no way she was going to lose it over something as simple as this. She'd been keeping in her tears, only allowing herself that one sobbing session after Jason's fabulous news delivery in late December. Her mind seized out on the little details, like Channing Tatum did a very poor portrayal of someone whose world ultimately just came crashing down on top of him, and Rachel McAdams really should have more scars on her face. Picking on it helped her to see that it was really just a movie, and she shouldn't let it get to her. She stubbornly grabbed another handful of popcorn, even though it reminded her somewhat of cardboard soaked in butter.
Only another twenty minutes passed before the colors on the screen started to blur together. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a few deep breaths, but the walls of the movie theater seemed to be folding in on top of her. She stood up quickly, almost knocking the soda out of the cup holder, but Sadie caught it. The girl grabbed her arm again, silently questioning her.
"Bathroom," Annabeth murmured. Sadie nodded and released her. She'd had full intentions to find herself a quite bathroom stall to pull herself together, but she barely managed to get out of the pitch black theater. She slid down the wall of the narrow walkway that led outside to the hallway and let everything out, a wave of sobs that scared even herself. A few people stopped and peered in, but scurried away quickly when they caught sight of the blonde crying pathetically on the grimy carpeted floor.
Her façade crumpled and shattered. Then again, maybe the impression of the strong girl who still had hope left Annabeth had worked so hard to project was only fooling herself, because she definitely was not that girl. Or maybe her life was just destined to constantly spiral out of control. But what could she do?
And that was just it: nothing. She could do nothing. Just like she had nothing anymore.