“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
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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.”
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