HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND NEW YEAR EVERYONE I MISSED YOU ALL TO DEATH
So, here's the deal with this chapter: I've had this written for like 4 months and I wanted to continue it and make it longer but I had writer's block on how to extend it so eh imma just give it to you now as a belated holiday/2015 present :):):)
Everyone in the class glanced from the history teacher to the loud speaker, thanking the Lord for a break from this excruciatingly boring lecture. At all my time at Goode I'd never heard a single announcement over the loudspeaker, but I was more than happy to hear something other than the teacher's monotone voice go on and on.
"SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. DURING THAT BLOCK STUDENTS ARE TO REPORT TO THEIR CABINS AND USE THE GIVEN TIME WISELY."
I sat up straight, the words flipping a switch in my brain. Glancing to my left, Annabeth and I locked eyes; we both knew exactly what this was about. Since Mr. Sedel couldn't punish me for "breaking the rules," he had cancelled the class all together.
"ALSO THE SCHOOL WOULD LIKE TO REMIND THE STUDENT BODY THE POLICY ON USING ABILITIES: UNLESS YOU ARE INSTRUCTED BY A TEACHER OR ADMINISTRATOR TO DO SO, STUDENTS ARE BANNED FROM USING THEIRS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION."
The moment the loudspeaker turned off, the class erupted into low chatter. Confusion and excitement bounced around the room, making the space feel smaller and smaller. I kept my mouth shut, and so did Annabeth beside me. We had caused this. In the back of my mind I felt like this was Mr. Sedel's payback, to prove his authority to us.
I'd caused trouble at every other school I'd gone to; I had to do something to get kicked out off all 10, but this was different. I had wanted to leave those schools, so by getting expelled I had won the battle between the school and I. But deep in the back of my mind I knew I had lost this battle; I had shown Mr. Sedel up, and now he had shown me who was boss.
I could tell Annabeth felt the same way next to me. She had her hands ringing together in her lap and those gray eyes had stopped swirling; she probably had never done as much as I had done at my previous schools, but I doubted she'd never made trouble before. I mean, we both skipped math class together. They had been to the island many times before I came here, so she wasn't exactly perfectly in line with the rules either.
The bell rung, like heaven to my ears, and everyone shot out of their seats and practically ran out of the classroom to the hallway. I stood normally and gathered my books before standing and waiting for Annabeth. She was just a beat behind me, and when we locked eyes a message exchanged between the two of us: we needed to tell everyone else what we had done.
That afternoon I stood at my locker, sloppily shoving books inside. My next class was Social and Environmental, and I had spent the entire last period pondering what the heck I was going to do during it. I was going to be alone in my cabin; my head was spinning too much to both sleep or do homework, and that was pretty much all I did while I was in there.
In my moment of deep thought, someone slammed themselves into the locker next to mine, creating a bang that echoed through the halls. Almost dropping my books everywhere, I jumped and turned to my attacker, coming face to face with a smirking Thalia.
"You got plans for Social and Environmental?" she asked, wiggling her eyebrows at me.
"Um... No?" I answered, not sure where she was going with this.
"Good!" she exclaimed, slamming my locker door shut for me, "Because we've all got a date to my cabin!"
She grabbed my shoulder and proceeded to drag me through the crowded halls, bulldozing through half the freshman population, "Your girlfriend tells me you two have some explaining to do."
"You did what?!" Thalia exclaimed, trying to jump to her feet while Juniper desperately tried to hold her down. A mixture of frustration and bewilderment filled her words.
All six of us sat in a circle on the floor of Thalia's cabin, just as we used to do all the time. Everyone had already been there when Thalia and I arrived, so I had to switch places with Nico to be in a spot next to Annabeth; she claimed it would be easier for us to escape together before they murdered us after our story was told. The sky was dark that day and looked as though it was going to rain later on, so the bedside lamp was the only light illuminating our friends' astonished faces as they gaped at Annabeth and I.
"Not only did you lie to Mr. Sedel," Nico challenged, "but you blamed yourselves on behalf of Chiron's mistake AND questioned Mr. Sedel's authority?" he stared at us like we were insane, "What part of 'he controls the Legacies' do you not understand?!"
Next to me Annabeth tossed her curls over her shoulder nervously.
"It was a little reckless, " she admitted, "and a little unthought-out, but we had to think of it in a split second and Mr. Sedel was surprisingly aggressive about it-"
"-but why didn't you let Chiron take the blame?" Juniper interrupted, her voice soft, "He got us into this mess; he's breaking the rules. Why take the fault yourself?"
I swallowed, taking a moment to digest that question, "I'm not really sure, "I answered truthfully, "But Chiron's doing something for us that no one else in Goode would do. We all know going to a school with abilities then forgetting all about them is absolutely wrong, " I paused, "So... I mean we kinda owed him something."
I turned and met eyes with Annabeth. She had a small but proud smile on her face that reassured me I had said the right thing.
The cabin was silent, absorbing what I had said and the odd situation before us. The cabin was silent, absorbing what I had said and the odd situation before us. I had screwed things up, again, and now I had dragged us all into it. We were already confused out of our minds; the Legacies, Goode, Mr. Sedel, the files… it was all too much to keep straight in our brains. Now, adding on, no more Social and environmental. Mr. Sedel is surprisingly aggressive about authority. Chiron's letting us use our abilities against school rules. I reached up and pressed my fingers to my temple, as if I had a headache. It was all too much for me to fathom.
I registered in the back of my mind someone saying something, but my brain was too overloaded to decipher it. Someone said something else, and then another answered. A laugh broke out, unexpected, but warming the room nicely.
I looked up at my friends, slowly starting to register what was happening. There were smiles, a lighthearted conversation flowing nicely through the room. Something welled up inside my chest, and emotions I couldn't put into words, but it felt amazing. This interaction, it almost felt… normal. This was what we used to do, all the time. This is what friends do: hang out and talk and be happy, not try to uncover the school's deepest, darkest secrets.
I listened in to the conversation, realizing it was about Grover's addiction to enchiladas.
I laughed along with them. This was what friends were for.
The beach had a particular dead silence to it that day. Even under the circumstances we were in, nature continued to do what it always did; waves licked the shore, leaves rustled in the wind, and birds and crickets and such cried their never ceasing cries to each other, but a different kind of silence filled the air.
All of us in Combat had made our way down to the beach, despite what was announced over the loudspeaker, and sat in the exact same spots, exactly like we had the last few days.
But, this time, no one spoke a word.
The announcement hung in the air a sneeze in church. If there was ever a doubt that what we were doing wasn't completely against the rules, it was completely crushed. It was utterly obvious that not only we were breaking the rules, but Chiron was forcing us break the rules, and it was clear on the classmate's faces that they were conflicted.
After the last class had ended Grover asked me if I wanted to walk down with him, but I had declined and told him I'd meet him there. I needed to talk to Annabeth; I was having doubts that we should've even come. I had this bad feeling churning in the pit of my stomach ever since I had left the infirmary. I felt someone was watching my every move wherever I went, no matter how many times I assured myself I wasn't. It was like a nasty aftertaste, always in the back of my mind and getting worse the longer I went on.
I went to Annabeth and told her; she had been slightly skeptical at first, agreeing with me it might be risky, but she decided that we should go to support our classmates. If they were even there, they were breaking the rules too, and we didn't want them to think we got scared and bailed on them.
But as I looked at the faces of my friends on that beach, they did look scared. Some skeptical, some worried, but they all had the same questions hanging over their heads: should we be doing this? All we could do was look at each other, the ground, the air, staring into space trying to deal with the mixed emotions and guilt pounding again and again on our judgment.
I was so engrossed in my own mind I almost didn't notice Chiron walk past me, his soft footsteps almost drowned out by the questions screaming in my head. I watched him as he walked past us, as he always did and go to the front of the circle. By just looking at his face, I knew that he was completely aware of what was happening to us. He still was tall and broad and gruff, but as he looked down at his conflicted students, something flashed in the back of his eyes: understanding.
Instead of taking a seat in front of us so he could teach or lecture us or even give an explanation of what was going on, he took a good, long hard look at each of his students and seemed to analyze the situation before him. By this time my classmates had started to notice him, some even looking at him as if waiting for him to give instructions, to guide them in the right direction, to do something to help them figure this situation out.
Without a word, he ignored the eyes on him pleading for guidance and walked to the edge of our little semi-circle. The moment I realized what he was doing every assumption I had ever made about him was thrown right back in my face.
He sat down on the sand right beside me, putting himself at our level, and stared right back at us.
I understood his gesture immediately; all I could do was stare at his face. He was in the exact same situation as us, had the exact same questions, and was unable to do as much as we were. He had just dropped his authority right before our eyes, and in that moment he was one of us. Just another person that had messed up and almost been caught.
The silence on the beach was almost deafening; the tension, emotions, and confusion screamed at each and every one of us, demanding to be the front of attention. We all stared at Chiron, and Chiron stared back.
In that moment, an unspoken pledge was sealed between the class: we went into this together and we were getting out of it together. There was no other direction than forward, no other options than to be loyal. We were thrown into Chiron's idea of a "team" and that's what we were going to be. No regrets, no questions asked.
Something flashed in the back of Chiron's eyes, grabbing the class's attention. He stared at each of us individually, taking in the suspense of our undivided attention. A smile formed on his lips.
"So, are we ready?"
I couldn't help a smile from forming on my face as the tension on the beach disappeared and was replaced with an oddly humorous feeling of safety. As I glanced around my classmates were smiling too, nodding to Chiron. Something welled up inside my chest: love, family, a place to belong. It felt amazing inside of me, something I hadn't felt since I had first met my friends. Everything in Goode had been off for the last few weeks, but something was finally right. This felt right to me. It was wonderful.
I one swift, brisk movement Chiron was on his feet, the rest of the class following his actions.
"Well, " he began, putting out his hand to me, "Let's get to it then."
I took it with a smile and he pulled me to my feet, immediately moving to help other students.
I looked over at Annabeth, locking eyes with her. She smiled back at me and gave a small laugh, as if she was unable to believe what had just happened between us. I laughed back, unable to keep the warm feeling inside of me and laid my hand on her back, planting a quick kiss on her forehead.
"You all improved drastically yesterday, " Chiron began once everyone was to his or her feet, "But we had some difficulties, but these were just because your abilities aren't 'in shape'. The best way to do that is to just keep practicing them, over and over, "he motioned to the space surrounding us, "Just try to do them as much as you can, starting slow then excelling at a steady pace. Try to help each other out."
I felt a hum in my stomach, like my ability was fighting to get out.
I felt Annabeth nudge me on the shoulder, motioning towards the river, "You're probably going to need some water today."
Another vibration coursed through my gut, a little more violently this time. Was that may ability…
Could abilities get excited?
I turned to look down at Annabeth, who was looking up at me and reading my face with a slightly concerned gaze.
"Uh, are you ready or what?" she asked, motioning to the black river in front of us.
Keeping my gaze on the river, I shook my head, "I think this may be a day for reflexes."
Yeah, it's not my best chapter and kinda a crappy ending, I know, but hey it's a little something to start your 2015!
Also, I've decided to do some majorly needed renovation on this story (FINALLY), because I started writing this story when I was much younger, and for the past few years I couldn't even make myself read the first few (16) chapters without cringing so much my face started hurting. SO, I just wanted to say that if you ever read some of my past chapters or author's notes and wanted to facepalm yourself in embarrassment for me, I'm 900% right there with you bro. So, stay tuned for a few changes here and there (entire chapters redone) and be on alert for new updates. Thanks!
ALSO, if you want to stay tuned with my story and other writing that I do, the best place to go is MY TUMBLR which is posted at the top of my profile. Yay for tumblr.
And lastly, this chapter may have not been the action-packed chapter that I usually write, but it's for a reason. I've gotten people telling me that they feel like I've strayed blindly from previous topics they still want to know about (Legacies, Daedalus, the Island) but i promise you 10,000% everything I write is for a reason and will be tied back in at the appropriate time!
Not to mention the next few chapters will be filled with action and plot twists and that fun stuff that makes a reader's heart flatline with emotions ;)
Have a super duper beautiful day and shoot a review if you can!