A Fish Out of Water- Chapter 2

-Annabeth-

“Annabeth, get up! I won’t say it again.” Frederick Chase yelled. Annabeth Chase

slowly raised her head and gazed at the bright numbers on her alarm clock. 6:07.

She mentally groaned, and knew that she had 3 more minutes before the shrill

beeping of the alarm clock went off again. She sat up slowly, stretching and

wiping the sleep out of her eyes.

“I’m up!” She loudly replied, then yawned, “I’m up.” The second time was too

quiet for anyone else to hear, that one was Annabeth talking to herself, a habit

she had.

Annabeth was usually a great one for getting up as soon as her alarm

clock went off, but today was different. It was after all, the first day of school. But

in no time, she would be back into her normal routine.

As she slowly raised herself out of bed, she gazed out of her window at the sun

rising. The brilliant yellow and orangey colour landing on the ground, covering

everything she laid her eyes on. Annabeth stared for a minute, pondering the last

time that she’d seen a sunrise, and one this beautiful at that. Plenty of sunsets,

but never sunrises.

“Annabeth-” Frederick Chase walked in briskly, already dressed in his smart

shirt and trousers, a tie hanging over his shoulder. He was balding, but still had

enough blonde hair left on his head to hide it reasonably well, and had kind

brown eyes. “-oh, you’re up. Well then…” He said, expectantly, “Get showered and

dressed.” Then gave Annabeth a look, one that she knew all too well. He was in a

rush today, and she didn’t want to make his day anymore stressful. Her father

was the Vice President of a major New York University, and Annabeth knew that

it took its toll on her father; since accepting the offer 6 years ago he seemed to

have aged 12.

Annabeth groggily made her way to the bathroom, passing her brother’s room on

the way. Her twin brothers, Bobby and Matthew, were still sleeping. Then, once

in the bathroom, Annabeth stripped down and entered the shower.

The second the hot water hit her body she knew that it had been worth getting

out of bed this morning. The shower was pure bliss. Water trickled over the

curves of her body and dampened her curly blonde hair. This was the perfect

way to start her morning. For Annabeth, the shower was a retreat, a sanctuary, a

place where no one could interrupt her or bother her. It was relaxing beyond

anything else in the world. Sometimes she would use the time to think, and

sometimes she would use the time to escape her thoughts, to turn off her brain

and just relish the feeling of the hot water.

But all good things must come to an end, and roughly 15 minutes later, Annabeth

finished up in the shower, before getting out and wiping the mist from the

mirror. Then she grabbed a towel and began to dry off, starting with her legs, and

slowly working her way up to her hair. If Annabeth was being honest with

herself, as she stared into the mirror, she loved her luscious blonde curls.

Everyone saw those curls and immediately thought of Annabeth, which she

loved. But also looking into the mirror, she saw a feature that she didn’t care for

so much, her striking grey eyes, something that she had inherited from her

mother. There were times when she looked at herself and thought that her eyes

looked quite nice, but more often than not, she felt that they were dull, colourless

and unexciting.

As she re-entered her room and started to pull out clothes, she thought about the

day ahead of her, and then about her friends. She couldn’t wait to see Thalia

again, who had been away for nearly two months during the holidays. Annabeth

herself had been in Italy for a month, staying with her Aunt and Uncle. Thalia was

Annabeth’s best friend, had been since Kindergarten, and despite their extremely

different personalities, they saw each other as sisters. While Thalia was into

punk style and dark colours, Annabeth loved expensive designer clothes. But like

all best friends, they didn’t let these differences get in the way of their friendship.

It had been so long since Annabeth had seen her; she almost couldn’t contain her

excitement.

Then she thought about the other people she would see. She was, after all,

extremely popular and she knew it, so she had no doubt a lot of people would be

glad to see her again. Her mind wandered to her other friends. Silena

Beauregard, one of the only girls Annabeth would admit to being less attractive

than, was a stunningly beautiful, fun-loving party girl, who always had a

pointless fashion tip to give you. Like Thalia, Annabeth had been friends with

Silena since Elementary School. Piper McLean, the youngest girl, not only in their

group, but their year, who at times looked so much like Silena that anyone who

didn’t know them would swear they were sisters, was the quiet one in the group.

Rachel Dare, the arty one was also the biggest troublemaker, although Thalia

gave her stiff competition. And finally, Katie Gardener, who was, to the teachers

at Goode anyway, the quietest, most humble, down to earth, and just gosh darn

wonderful girl in the world, however, Annabeth knew different. Katie had a mean

streak, and was not a person you wanted to be on the wrong side of. That’s what

Annabeth loved about her.

A sly smirk crept across Annabeth’s face as recalled some good memories. Her

and her friends were pretty much untouchable in school, as witless teachers

fawned over them, praising them at every turn, and other students were far too

scared to even approach them. They ruled the school, and they knew it. Annabeth

couldn’t wait to see them all again. Of course, they weren’t the only people she

was looking foreword to seeing. There was also Luke, her boyfriend. The smirk

on her face became a smile, as she thought about seeing him, not that she hadn’t

seen him in the holidays. No, in fact, Annabeth had seen quite a bit of Luke in the

holidays. The smile on her face grew as she recalled one time when they had had

his house all to themselves and-

“NO I GET TO USE IT FIRST!” Her brothers arguing over who got to use the

bathroom first broke her train of thought from that particularly nice memory.

With them now awake, Annabeth took one last quick glance in the mirror at her

choice of clothes, a pair of designer jeans that hugged her waist, and a simple t-

shirt that was low cut enough for her liking, but not so low cut that her parents

would throw a fit and make her change. Then again, she highly doubted that

they’d notice this morning.

As she made her way into the large, expensive modern kitchen, the smell of fresh

coffee hit her nose. She instantly walked over to the coffee maker and poured

herself a cup. There was nothing like a pleasant cup of coffee to start your day;

that was Annabeth’s motto, or one of them anyway. Then, she walked over to the

fruit bowl and picked up an apple. Just as she took a large, crunchy bite, in

walked her mother, Athena Chase.

“Hey mom.” Annabeth said, tentatively. She was never sure what kind of mood

her mother would be in. “Sleep well last night?”

It took Athena a few seconds to acknowledge that Annabeth had even talked.

“Well.” She replied, curtly. Annabeth sighed. I guess she’s in one of those moods

today, she thought to herself.

Athena Chase was one of America’s leading architects. Her big business meant

big money for the Chase household, but it also meant that she was around less.

Combine that with the fact that Frederick Chase never took a day off, it meant

that Annabeth pretty much lived by herself half the time, well, apart from her

brothers, of course. Athena was a tall, elegant woman, with long flowing black

hair, which was pulled into a ponytail today, and the same piercing grey eyes

that Annabeth had. Annabeth felt that they looked much more intimidating on

her mother.

Just then, Athena turned to face Annabeth, those grey eyes making contact with

Annabeth’s. Athena always looked like she was about to start a staring contest

with you, and not one she would lose either.

“Are you ready for school?” Athena asked. There was very little interest in her

voice.

“Uh, yeah…” Annabeth answered. “Yeah everything’s… everything’s ready.” Why

did she get so nervous around her mother? It was as if she was afraid of messing

up in front of her. Maybe she thought that if she was perfect, her mother’s eyes

would show an emotion other than boredom or frustration, or maybe her glare

would be slightly less intense.

“Annabeth, this is your final year of school. That means you must work harder

than you’ve ever worked before.” Athena said, matter-of-factly.

“But mom, I already work-” Annabeth was cut off.

“Harder than you’ve ever worked before.” She repeated, slower this time. “It’s for

your own future, your own benefit.” Annabeth wanted to scream out loud. She

already worked harder than anyone else, just attempting to live up to her

mother’s high expectations. She never pushed Bobby and Matthew like this.

“Honey, lay off a bit, eh?” Frederick walked into the room. “It’s her first day of the

year. She knows how important this year is, don’t you Annie?” He turned to

Annabeth, with his eyebrows raised. Annabeth nodded slightly.

“Good girl, now come and give your dad a hug” He held out his arms, and

Annabeth got up and embraced him. She had always been more of a daddy’s girl,

and Frederick Chase was the best father she could’ve asked for. She just wished

he wasn’t always working so much. She missed the times they used to spend

together, just the two of them.

“No matter what happens this year, we’ll always love you Annie, you know that

right?” He softly whispered in her ear, loud enough so only she could hear it.

“I know.” Annabeth wasn’t so sure she believed her own words though. She

didn’t even want to imagine her mother’s reaction if she didn’t get the best

possible grades this year.

“Ok, I’m off. Bye boys!” Frederick shouted up the stairs. When they replied, he

turned to Annabeth. “Bye Annie,” as he kissed her forehead. “Have a great day.”

Just as he was about to turn around and out of the door, Annabeth called out “I

love you dad.”

“Love you too.” He said without hesitation, then closed the door and left for

work.

“I’m off too,” Athena marched towards the door “remember what I said.” She

didn’t even look at Annabeth as she walked past her.

“Love you mom…” Annabeth said, timidly, as if she was scared of the reply.

“Me too” Athena responded, emotionlessly, before she walked out of the door.

Silence engulfed the room. Annabeth was left on her own, with an empty cup of

coffee and a half eaten apple. She pondered her mother’s reply. ‘Me too.’

Annabeth had always assured herself that her mother did love her, but had a

hard time showing it. But that reply, the detached, blank reply had made her

think twice. At least she had replied, she hadn’t walked out without saying a

word. But a nagging voice at the back of her head told Annabeth that her mother

hadn’t actually said the words. Annabeth tried to recall the last time her mother

had even said that she loved her. ‘Surely, it goes without saying a mother loves

her daughter, right?’ Annabeth questioned, asking no one in particular. Suddenly,

she felt a tear on her cheek. She furiously wiped it away, Annabeth Chase does

not cry. Annabeth Chase does not need anyone else’s approval. And on that

thought she walked out of the house, grabbing her bag on the way. Before she

knew it she was in her car, on the way to school.

As Annabeth’s red Porsche pulled up to the school car park, she checked herself

in the mirror one last time, before she got out, locked the car and made her way

to the gate of the school. She walked with a confidence that was the complete

opposite of the Annabeth who had been craving her mother’s approval 25

minutes ago. She was early. She always liked to be early to school. She enjoyed a

few minutes peace before her friends showed up. It was nothing against them; it

was just something Annabeth enjoyed.

She made her way to her locker, and as she opened it up, she looked inside at the

pictures she had up in there. They were lots of pictures of her with Thalia and

Silena, ranging from their time at Elementary School all the way up to last year,

as well as pictures with the other girls. Then, of course, there were pictures of

her and Luke. After putting her books in her locker, she shut the door, and as if

on cue, her friends turned the corner. As soon as Annabeth saw Thalia, she broke

into a smile, one that Thalia matched.

“Annabeth!” Thalia practically shouted as she wrapped her best friend in a hug.

“Thals, you look amazing.” Annabeth exclaimed, “I see that the Caribbean sun

was kind to you.” Underneath her punk clothes, Thalia was definitely a shade or

two darker than she had been in June, when Annabeth last saw her.

“I could say the same about you.” Thalia replied. “How was Italy?”

“Ooh, yeah, how was Italy Annabeth? Meet anyone… interesting?” Silena chipped

in, suggestively.

“Good to see you too Silena.” Annabeth said, sarcastically.

“Yeah, whatever, seriously though, did you meet any boys?” Silena could be very

persistent when gossip was involved.

“I have a boyfriend.” Annabeth reminded her.  “Besides, I don’t kiss and tell.” She

added cheekily.

“Oh you so did.” Katie Gardener voiced. By now, Katie, Rachel and Piper had all

turned up, and were swapping holiday stories.

“Seriously Annie, what was his name?” Silena was like a dog with a bone now.

Just as Annabeth was about to answer, she saw Luke out of the corner of her eye,

and decided against giving Silena details. After all, what Luke didn’t know

wouldn’t hurt him, right?

“Hello Miss Chase, how are you today?” Luke asked, attempting to be funny. For

as talented and good looking as Luke was, he did not have a good sense of

humour. The only time Annabeth laughed at Luke’s jokes was when they were so

bad it was literally laughable.

“Not too bad Mr. Castellan, yourself?” Deciding to indulge him in his bad joke.

“I’m good. How was Italy?” He asked as he wrapped his arms around her waist

from behind. Annabeth had seen Luke a lot before she went away, but not at all

since she got back a week ago.

“Oh, y’know, fun. I had a good time, met some great people.” Annabeth grinned as

she recalled her previous conversation with Silena. Silena herself was trying to

hide her laugh from Luke, and Thalia was just looking at him as if he was the

dumbest person in the world. But Luke apparently, was oblivious to this, as he

said-

“Well I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, you deserved break.”

“Yeah, I did, didn’t I?” As she gave Silena a sly wink that Luke couldn’t see. At

that, Silena couldn’t hold her laughter in anymore, which made all of them laugh

too. Well, everyone except Luke, who was looking very confused.

“What’s so funny?” He asked.

“Nothing, babe, nothing.” Annabeth said reassuringly. “Come on girls, we have to

get to Class. Maths with Mrs. Dodds first thing.” She added in a sarcastic tone. She

heard Silena groan. Just as they were about to walk off, she felt Luke pull at her

arm lightly.

“Can we talk for a minute? He asked.

“Sure, guys, I’ll catch up with you.” As the girls made their way to class, Annabeth

moved closer to Luke. “So what do you want to talk about then?” She asked

quietly.

“I missed you.” That was all he said. He moved his face closer to hers, but she

moved away, smiling.

“Luke, we’ll be late for class.” She joked with him. She could feel his hands

moving further down her back until they reached the hem of her shirt. “Luke?…”

Annabeth was enjoying the attention, but she really didn’t want to be late for

Mrs. Dodds class.

“What?” He asked innocently, “I said I missed you…” And then he pressed his lips

to hers. After about five seconds, Annabeth pulled away, still smiling. Luke’s

hands were now lower than her shirt.

“I missed you too, but I really can’t be late for class.” She said, unwinding herself

from his arms. “I’ll see you at Lunch, yeah?”

“Ok.” Luke sounded disappointed, and looked it too as he trudged off to his class.

With that, Annabeth walked briskly down the corridor, and entered Mrs. Dodds’

classroom. She was just in time. She found a seat in between Silena and Rachel,

the only one of her friends in this class, and pulled out her textbook.

Mrs. Dodds walked in, looking as miserable as ever. She was small, 50 something

and always had a scowl on her face.

“Ok class, turn to page four of the textbooks and answer questions one to eight in

silence.” She emphasized the last two words. It was well known in the school that

Mrs. Dodds classroom was as quiet as a morgue.

Annabeth was halfway through question six, further than anyone else, when the

door opened. Suddenly, the sound of pens on paper stopped, as everyone looked

up to see a tall, relatively well built boy standing in the doorway, with messy

black hair, and sea green eyes.

“And who, may I ask, are you and why are you late?” Mrs. Dodds sounded

annoyed, as usual.

“I was with the Principal,” he responded, looking uncomfortable. Everyone in the

room was watching this exchange. “I’m the new kid, Percy Jackson.”


Read the next chapter here

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