Impossible To Like You: Chapter 17
"Mom, what's this black part of the hotdog?"
"It was just burnt, honey, that's nothing."
"But, Mom, it looks scary."
"C'mon, Matt' – you a scared kitty?"
"No, I'm not!"
"Oh, then, why don't you eat it?"
"I . . . I . . ."
Bobby laughed, "You are a scared kitty!"
"Well, if you're not, why don't you eat it?"
"That's because it isn't mine."
"Do you want to trade then?"
"Too late," There's the sound of a fork hitting plates twice. "I already did!"
"Hey! Give me my fork back!"
"No way!" Matthew mimicked Bobby's voice.
"Frederick – will you please?" There's an annoyed clang of a spatula hitting a bowl.
"Boys, stop annoying your mother." By the sound of Dad's monotonous voice, he's too distracted by the newspaper.
A typical breakfast in the Chase household.
That's what instantly flashed in my mind when Dad, repentantly, said that they are to leave tomorrow to go to San Francisco – just when I was about to take my first bite of my cheeseburger.
My initial reaction – what?!
But, out came – "Oh."
We're in McDonald's, just as we left school. We're here to celebrate, and we were celebrating. But, of course, they had to announce that, which slightly broke our joyful atmosphere. I supposed Mom and Dad were talking about telling me this during the graduation, because, before Dad said it, they casted a meaningful glance at each other. I guessed Matthew and Bobby listened into their conversation earlier, as, now, they've become silent.
"Annabeth, we'd really love to stay with you here – if you want we will," Mom said reassuringly.
Dad nodded in agreement, "We really would."
I shook my head – I know what they're saying was true and sincere; I can clearly see it in their eyes; but, I know that they truly want to go back home. That's what I want too. But, there's the necessary practise and training for the Scuffle of the Swimmers competition on July, and I can't go back here to New York, then, go return to San Francisco all the time. Transportation is expensive, and Dad's car's being used. Although we all know at least one of my parents could stay with me, they can't – Mom has rather lots of errands to do from June to August when she's in San Francisco, as that's where she really works, and Dad has to take care of Bobby and Matthew while she's gone (as she is most of the time). There really would be some complex complications.
"No, it's alright, I can live," I replied, managing a smile.
"A-are you sure, sweetheart?" Mom frowned.
I nodded, "Positive." I took my bite, and the cheeseburger was delicious.
I didn't regret the decision.
Not when we came home.
Not when the night came and we all fell asleep.
Not when the next day arrived.
Not when they had began packing up at two-thirty in the afternoon.
Not when they were finished by three o'clock in the afternoon.
Not when they were ready.
I'm leaning on the doorframe of the front door, watching Dad and my brothers place their bags at the car's trunk, as Mom approached me.
"Well," she said, once I was within earshot. She inhaled, then . . . "Remember, when you leave the house, unplug all plugged devices, and turn off all lights. When you're hungry, there's a lot of microwavable food in the refrigerator – there's also water there; I made them extra cold for the summer. All of your clothes have been washed, and folded in your closet. For your dirty ones, you can just put them in the laundry basket, and every Sunday, there's going to be a woman visiting you to take them – she's going to wash them for you, her name is Candace–"Candace works at a laundry place? "–also, whenever she comes on Sunday, your clothes would be clean by then. If ever you need more money, ring us up and I'll force your father to come here and bring them to you. Don't worry about us, you should worry more about your competition – never mind; don't; it might give you the jitters, so, just do your best on the day, alright? No fret, sweetie, we'll be there at the front seats, or wherever it would be held, which means we will be supporting you – but, do not focus on us or whoever is there, focus on what you are going to do, okay? But, what is always is important is when you have fun and when you do your best–" I couldn't help it; my mother talks too much – I cut her off by throwing myself onto her, hugging her tightly, as she embraced me back firmly, although she was shocked at first.
I don't care if I had a hard time breathing with the all the tightness. I would actually allow myself to die here, in my mother's arms, although I wouldn't want her blamed for my death. It's just her. The sensation of her warm arms around me gives the feeling of security. Her sweet scent – the smell of perfume, of powder, of whatever the scent a mother has – gives the feeling of being at home. Safe, secured and loved.
I don't want to let go.
But, I had to, because, I heard my mother sniff.
I looked up into her eyes, and saw that it was getting wet; the tears were gathering. I smiled and wiped one, which had managed to escape her eye. "It's alright, Mom. Everything will be fine," I assured her.
She chuckled, "I should be the one reassuring you."
"Yeah," I said in agreement, smiling. "But, Mom, just . . . when you get home, call me, okay? And if possible, send me emails daily or twice or thrice a week, so, I would know how things are, and I can update you about the competition."
She bit her lip, probably fighting back the tears as she nodded. "We will, we will, Annabeth. I promise."
I grinned, "I promise too."
We hugged again, my head on her shoulder, when I heard her say quietly, "I love you."
"I love you too."
We separated, before she kissed me on the forehead, turned around, and approached the car.
Bobby, Matthew and Dad had already said their farewells; that's why all I had to do now was to watch them get inside the vehicle, drove out of the driveway and went their path towards San Francisco.
I don't know how long I stood there, watching, but, I know I watched until they disappeared from my vision and the sun had finally set. I don't even how it was possible.
I gathered all my strength and finally separated myself from the doorframe. I stepped inside the house before closing and locking the door behind me. I looked around the place, and realized how silent and lonely it had become, without the clanging clatter of Mother's utensils in the kitchen as she cooked, the loud noise of the television as my brothers watch, and the sound of papers being shifted and ball pens writing on documents as my father worked on the coffee table in the living room, unaffected by the clamour around him – just lacking of their presences.
I exhaled through my nostrils, and for the next few hours, I ate my dinner, took a bath, changed into my PJs, and watched random channels in the television in the living room, which actually took a lot of power, because the lonesomeness is still there and won't disappear.
Mom finally called and it really brightened my day, literally, as the lonesomeness seemed to have disappeared (momentarily), although they were only gone for several hours, yet, for me, it felt like days. She kept talking, and I only listened to the sound of her sweet, motherly voice. I treasured the conversation like a pirate would cherish gold. But, I knew the call had to end, and it did. She said her farewell, and I love you, as I spoke mine, before I finally had the will to put the phone down.
Realizing I left the television on, I turned it off through the remote and stood up, stretching bit. I ascended the stairs and went to my room. I opened the door, and closed it behind me once I stepped in. I didn't bother to turn on the light switch, and just threw myself on my bed, because the aloneness was back, sucking all the strength and life out of me, and I feel like I couldn't do anything. It's like it gave a pair of a thousand ton dumbbells on both of shoulders, and I have no muscle to raise it and take it away. I am powerless. I have never felt this before, especially how painful it is. I realized how far my family actually is, and wonder where they could possibly be now. I glanced at the clock on the bedside table – 9:15PM.
I miss them so much.
I looked up and saw a pair of vivid green lights hidden within the darkness of the other room past my window. It blinked. I realized they were actually a pair of eyes. They're like floating balls of luminosity in the shadows, flashlights, maybe.
There's a squeak, and a figure came out of the dark, the one who carries those bright eyes, as it stepped out of its window and stood at the metal fire escape: Perseus. Of course, who else?
He blinked, is it okay if I . . .
I didn't think before I acted and I didn't wonder how I could understand what he was trying to say through eye contact, but I nodded, even though I'm not sure if he could see me.
I didn't know here I got the power to stand, raise my window open and return to my bed, sitting down, but I did.
I watched as he jumped through the fire escape and landing safely into my room. He sat on the window pane, and we just stared at each other.
I realized it wasn't a question, but I nodded at his statement as though it was.
"You?" I couldn't help asking, my voice low.
He shook his head, "They're here; Mom's asleep, Paul's awake, checking some papers."
I bobbed my head slightly in acknowledgement of his response.
"Why are you here?" I asked in a whisper after a short silence.
"I saw your eyes," he replied, his voice registered low. "I read them."
I'm the kind of person to argue with that kind of sentence, but, I really do not have energy to do so. However, it doesn't stop my curiosity. "How?"
He shrugged, "Your eyes are usually fierce, stormy, like you're calculating a million things at the same time. But, this time, though, it was different. They weren't like that. They were . . . less stormy, dark, tired, scared, weak, and lonely," he says. "Like you're desperate for something . . . someone."
I can't believe he can describe eyes like that – especially how accurate the description is, as I've realized that I am tired, I am scared, I am weak, I am lonely and I am desperate for companionship. But, of course, I'll never admit that or that he's right.
I just stayed silent and stared.
"Will you stay?"
I, under no circumstances, thought I'd ask for it, just like how soft and low my voice was as I spoke, but, I was so desperate. It was a necessity. It needed to be fulfilled. (But, I tell you, that's faaar away from any sexual longing.)
I expected him to crack a grin and mock me, with how not me I am, like how I'm being so weak and vulnerable right now, which I admit, I am.
But he didn't.
He just nodded.
I lay down on my bed, watching him stand and close the window behind him. As he turned around, his shadow loomed over me, reminding of that day of the try-outs for the swimmers, when he helped me rise from the water . . .
I closed my eyes momentarily – I haven't forgotten the feeling of his arms around me. It never disappeared. The warmth it has, contrasting to its mightiness, although it holds me so tenderly and cautiously, it's like it's thinking I'm this fragile object, needed to be held very carefully. Even though I would consider that as very offensive and insulting, I actually find it pleasant.
But I'll never say that.
Like I'll never say that I'd like to feel it again.
"Where do you want me?" he asks in a whisper.
Beside me, I thought without a thought process – and I immediately ignored it – thinking instead, what the hell is wrong with me?
I threw him a pillow and a folded blanket playfully and pointed at the floor.
He rolled his eyes (I could actually see that) and positioned the blanket on the floor, placing the pillow on top. He laid on it, situating his head on the pillow, and fixating his gaze on mine, as I watched him.
There, I realized that the atmosphere in my room – in my whole house – had changed. The loneliness seemed to have lessened, I felt much better, much . . . happier. And it's all because I have someone with me.
I realized, the whole day, I still didn't regret my decision to allow my parents to go, especially how I heard how happy Mother was when she called, and I let a small smile play on my lips.
"Good night, Annie."
I wanted to respond, but, my eyes had already closed, my arm fell at the edge of the bed, my fingers nearly touching the carpeted flooring, and the blanket of sleep had already captured me.
I don't know if I was already dreaming, or if it was real, but I felt fingers (I think they were fingers), only the tip of them, brush against mine and I was instantly filled with warmth . . .
Good night, Perseus.
A/N: Sorry, everyone for the late update! A lot has really been going on in school – contests, dramas, projects. Sigh. Oh, high school. /:
Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this one! It's a bit of a filler, and with some fluff (I think it was fluff . . . isn't it?). Of course, the OOCness, that's got to be expected, right? This is an alternative universe, so, yeah . . . but, still sorry. I apologize if Annabeth seems to be exaggerating. It's just that feeling of loneliness . . . I felt it before, that's why I might have overstated it a bit; really sorry about that. Hahaha. xD
EDIT: HOMG. GUYS. I AM SO SORRY. I FORGOT TO REPLY TO THE GUEST REVIEWS! D: Anyway, here it is!
anon101: Anon, thank you so much for your support - especially, your reviews! I enjoy them, even though they're short and said in simple words. (:
Bobby: Just wait for all 'em bickering, questions and love triangles! :D Thank you so much, Bobby!
envelope123: Really? Is she that mean? ): Sorry, I didn't mean to. I'll try to soften her up. Tell me the actions that showed her meanness; I'll lessen them. (: But, thank you very much!
The Dauntless: Hahaha, well, I'll think of a good epilogue for this story. Hey! Don't cry! D: It still has a bit of a long way to go before finally ending! :D I'm not sure if I'm still going to write another story like this. I have an idea for a one-shot, but, yeah, not multi-chapters. xD GAH. I guess all we need is patience when it comes to new releases. /: I'm superbly excited to get my copy of the Mark of Athena! 3 HOOOMG. SERIOUSLY. I AM GOING TO-[insert gsfhasfhafshfhfh here]-! I haven't heard of that book. I'll check it out! :D I suppose, you've heard of the book called, "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" and "Before I Fall"? OH GOSH. I love those books! Simply written, but the story and lesson is so deeeeeeeeep, bruh. Lmao, thank you so much, Dauntless, for staying with me! 8D
Guest: Thank you, G. I shall continue updating. (:
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Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. Just the story.