Annabeth pulled her new, blue blouse over her head. She was getting ready for her date with Percy tonight. She knew his favorite color was blue and it was his birthday as well as their anniversary, so she wanted to please him.
She was hurriedly pinning up her curly, blonde hair when her phone rang. She picked it up and looked at the caller ID. Seaweed Brain.
She pressed talk and answered, "Hey"
"Hi," answered a voice back, but it wasn't Percy. "Is this Annabeth?"
"Yes," she answered. "Paul? Is that you?"
"Yea," he replied, "it is."
Annabeth thought he sounded…weird. "Is everything okay?" she asked.
"Annabeth, you'd better come quickly," he said and she paled. What had happened? What could be so bad that Paul had to tell her, calling from Percy's phone? "It's Percy," he continued. "He's in the hospital. There was a bad car accident."
Annabeth dropped the phone and it cracked against the floor. She sank to the ground, her back against the wall and put her face in her hands.
She sat there for a few minutes. A car accident? On his birthday? Did he ever get a break from bad things happening to him? Silent tears rolled down her cheek as she stood up and brushed herself off. Paul had told her to go to the hospital, and that is exactly what she was going to do.
When she arrived at the lobby, she headed to the desk where a nice-looking old woman was working.
"Can I help you with something?" the lady asked when Annabeth reached the desk. The woman looked up and saw Annabeth's distressed face. Her eyes were red and blotchy from crying and her hair was a mess. She looked like she was holding it all in for the sake of the woman at the desk.
"Oh honey," the nice lady said, coming around to the front of the desk, and Annabeth read the name Darcy on her name tag. "What's the matter?" she asked putting her arm around Annabeth's shoulder and leading her to a chair.
Annabeth inhaled deeply as she sat down and Darcy sat next to her. "It's my boyfriend." She finally managed to get out. "He's been in a car crash."
A look of recognition crossed Darcy's face. "I saw them bring him in a couple of minutes ago, I think they brought him to level 2. He would be in the west wing."
"Thank you," Annabeth said and wearily stood up.
"Come back down if you need anything, alright?" Darcy asked and Annabeth nodded her head, a little smile playing on her lips. Then she walked over to the elevator and headed up to level 2.
When the elevator doors dinged open, Annabeth found herself on a busy floor. Doctors and nurses were rushing around, there was an occasional gurney lining the hallways and nobody paid much attention to her as she walked down the west wing.
She finally spotted Sally and Paul sitting outside the room at the far end of the hall and she rushed down to them. They looked up as she neared and Sally stood up to give her a big hug.
"Oh, Annabeth," was all she said as the two of them embraced. Annabeth sat down next to them and Paul told her the story of how he was walking home when he had seen the accident scene. Sally then updated her on Percy's condition.
"He's in pretty bad shape," she said tearfully and Annabeth closed her eyes. "The doctors are stitching him up right now, because there were a lot of cuts, and he broke his leg and wrist." Sally took a deep breath and continued. "He also has a major concussion, and the doctors don't know how it is going to affect his brain yet."
The three of them sat in silence.
They stayed like that for a while until a doctor came out of Percy's room. He consulted his clipboard and cleared his throat. They all looked at him.
"I have some bad news," he said, and a tear ran down Annabeth's cheek. Sally squeezed her hand. "I'm afraid that Mr. Jackson is in a coma," he said. "But you can go in and see him now, just be cautious, he needs to rest.
The doctor left, walking down the hall and Percy's parents and girlfriend slowly stood up. Annabeth quietly opened the door and made her way to the bed on the opposite side of the room where she saw a figure, covered him bruises and scraped and hooked up to a machine.
She slowly crossed the room and sat in the chair next to the bed. There he was, laying peacefully, his chest slowly rising up and down, visible through the white sheets. The hand closest to Annabeth had a cast around it, and his face and arms were covered in cuts. The worst one was a deep gash across his forehead that had a bandage wrapped around it.
Annabeth tried hard not to cry, but it didn't work. She took his hand between hers and tears splashed in the cast.
'Why?' she thought. 'Why this? I don't know what's worse: not knowing where you were or if you were even alive for 8 months, or seeing you like this, in such a terrible state. After all those monsters, after all those battles, this is how you might die? By the hand of a drunk mortal. Do the Fates hate us? Our life had been hell, yet you still survived. Now the Fates drive you into s car crash, on your birthday, on our anniversary. And now you're in a coma.'