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The whole world was spinning at top speed, for what seemed to be a minute. Then it suddenly stopped. I opened my eyes slowly, and immediately regretted it. A sharp dagger like pain erupted in my temples. I quickly closed my eyes. The pain receded.
Then a shocking thought hit me. Where was I . . . and I realized the most terrifying thought of all- Who am I? My eyes shot open again, but I ignored the throbbing pain. That is when I took in my surroundings. I was in an enclosed space that looked like the inside of a tent. The ‘ceiling’ and ‘walls’ were a camouflage green and it was barely tall enough for someone to stand up. There were three other bunks, or beds, just like the one I was sitting on. It was hard and cold, like I hadn’t been there for very long. The tent was vacant of any people. I was wearing a white tank top and camouflage pants.
This is creepy, I thought, I wake up in a random tent having no idea who I even am. Wearily I stood up and made my way to the tent flap. I lifted the flap to see a camp with tents much like mine. It was dark outside with snow on the ground and a thick layering of trees enclosing the campsite.
“Look who decided to show,” a boy with curly blonde hair said, “Now the party can start. Right Ken?” He was shorter and had a mischievous smile that gave me the impression he was a troublemaker. I knew someone who looked like that. Wait, what? There were two other boys standing by him.
The boy Ken, who had blonde hair and blue eyes said “You got that right Craig! Percy tomorrow is free day. We can go to the town and meet some girls.” He smiled knowingly, as if it was an inside joke we both shared.
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” I replied. “I don’t know you. I don’t know where I am. I don’t even remember who I am.”
The two boys, who had talked earlier, Ken and Craig, both started to crack up. “Nice one Percy!” But the other looked at me mysteriously, as if he had never seen me before. He seemed to make a momentary decision.
“Guys he is serious. Maybe he got a fever or hit his head.” He suggested.
The others looked at me strange like I was going insane. “Yah, maybe Bobby.”
Bobby had light brown hair and was pretty strong looking. His eyes were memorizing, I think they were hazel and they had sparks in them.
Craig decided to help me out a bit “We are your best buddies Ken, Bobby, and I. We are in a military camp for troublemakers. You’re name is Percy. You are the strongest person in the camp and the ladies love you. Anything ring a bell?”
I was even more confused “Not really.”
Ken tried “You and I have a lot of fun impressing the ladies. They love us, and we are the perfect pair. We both got the looks. I got the pickup lines; you have the broad shoulders, muscles, and a stinkin’ 6 pack. You have the personality they love, with the jokes and all. No? Nothing? Common, we are the perfect chick magnet duo.”
“Nope, I got nothing.” I simply stated.
We decided to call it a night and headed back to our tent. Craig and Ken talked for a while, making a few jokes. Bobby looked at me as though he didn’t trust me. I decided that he at least didn’t recognize me. I stood up and sat next to him on his bed.
“Bobby, you seem to know a little bit about what is going on. Do you know me?” I asked attentively.
“I have never seen you before in my life. You have a strong aura, though. Your whole being radiates power. No wonder you have a way with the mist.” He debated. I felt relieved; at least I was not the only one going crazy.
“You don’t know anything about me then, right?” I cautiously inquired.
“I know you are no ordinary mortal. For one thing, you didn’t ask what the Mist was.” He said warily.
Without thinking I said “Isn’t that like a veil that hides, or at least deforms, what happens in the real world from mortals?” the moment it was out I regretted it. Bobby looked at me as if I was dangerous.
“Yah, that is exactly what it is.” He said.
Then he called for lights out.
I stayed up for a while, sitting in the pitch dark. I was never afraid of the dark, but this time was different. The blackness was suffocating and I felt so alone and confused. This was all bewildering. What was going on? I tried to pull some memories of my past out of my brain, anything. Images, names, events, anything! All I got was a major headache, and a pair of eyes. Beautiful eyes. They were a silver gray that seemed to be staring right into my soul. My heart started pounding a little faster. Was this important to my past? I slowly fell into a shallow but dreamless sleep.
This has to be the worst week of my life. That is how long it has been since I discovered he was gone: Eight days, six hours, and about 20 minutes. I had never felt so emotionally and physically drained. But I was not going to give up. I was never going to give up on finding Percy. He was too special to Camp . . . too special to me. Everyone would say that is because he is my ‘boyfriend,’ but I don’t think boyfriend is the right word. There are the junior high relationships where couples walk down the hall holding hands in awkward silence and never really go on dates. They are ‘together’ for a week then they break up. Shallow guys, girls, and immature relationships. If Percy was like that, I wouldn’t have fallen for him, and man I had fallen hard. We had something, something so special and unique. I thought we had built something permanent, but now he is gone, vanished. He had promised me, and he had broken that promise. If I can’t trust him, who can I trust?
Today camp was busy with the planning and building of Argo II. The Hephaestus cabin was amazing, and slowly they would work off their curse. I had been helping with the more detailed designs on the ship, adding my own flair of architecture to the boat. I worked furiously hard, and nonstop. I had not stopped for anything, not even lunch. I couldn’t bear to go to the pavilion to see the empty Poseidon table with no friendly smile to greet me.
I was in my cabin, working on Daedalus’ laptop, looking at maps of California. You can guess what for. I don’t have the heart to tell you.
I glanced up from the laptop and noticed various things Percy had given me. There were pictures of us smiling, arm in arm at various locations. One was at the Empire State Building, another at our favorite beach site. I looked over at the light pink sea shell Percy had given to me. I picked it up and stroked it slowly. I could almost envision him here. He had a faint smell of sea salt and cologne. I imagined his eyes, gorgeous and stunning sea green eyes. They had a way of staring right into my soul, making my heart run a marathon. In these peaceful thoughts, I slowly drifted to sleep.
My dreams were, as usual, torturous and full of Percy.
It was the day he gave me the sea shell. We were at the beach, our favorite spot, where few people went. We were walking on the warm soft sand hand locked in hand. He was gently caressing my hand with his fingers reassuringly. We were comfortably talking and laughing. I missed his humor. He led me to the roaring water and willed it to calm to a constant and slow tide. We ran our feet through the cool water.
His smile vanished “Annabeth,” he said seriously, “I have been thinking a lot-” (I smiled at that image) “-about what you said a while ago about building something permanent, something to last forever. Do you think we can build something permanent?” The tide rushed soothingly past my knee and my heart soared out of its place.
“You never know,” I teasingly answered, “Something may happen. I might find someone smarter than you and fall for him. Or some crazy god could come and kill me.”
An emotion flashed in his eyes that I had rarely seen on his face. It was fear. He was scared of losing me.
Then he grinned at me in his sly, mischievous, and teasing smile. Suddenly a fountain of water burst up under my feet. I shot high into the air riding on a fountain of water. The flow suddenly stopped and I free fell to the waves. Before I hit the water Percy caught me in his arms and held me tight and close.
He looked at me fiercely with his intense and beautiful sea green eyes and said “I don’t know what I would do without you. You mean more than the world to me, wise girl.” He slowly pulled me closer, leaned in, eyes fluttering closed. He kissed me softer than angel’s wings, softer than a summer’s breeze. It took my breath away. Fountains of water exploded around us, making me laugh inwardly, just like those cheesy love movies.
He leaned back and met my eyes serenely. He said “And don’t you ever forget it. I will never do anything to hurt you. I will never leave you. I promise.”
“I believe you.” The thing was- I did believe him. How stupid of me to believe him on something as dangerous as that. I should have known! He was the most powerful demigod in the world, perhaps even in all of history! Something was bound to happen. I had been blind to that. And if I find him, when I find him, I would punch him- For breaking that promise.
He set me down into the water, though I didn’t realize my feet were on the ground. I had floated to heaven, excuse me, Olympus, and wasn’t coming back down. One look at Percy told me he was taking the same trip.
I decided to take full opportunity of his moment of weakness. I pulled out my dagger and swiped teasingly at his arm, having it bounce harmlessly off. He came out of his ‘love trance’ with a smile. But not before I tackled him into the water.
“Never let your guard down, Seaweed Brain.” I smirked. We came to a silent truce that I had won, and he took my hand and together we dove into the waves.
Before I knew it we had an air bubble around our heads, and he was leading me through the deep chasm of ocean. He had an arm around my back, keeping me close to his warm body. Effortlessly he willed the water to push us through the wonderland of coral. Percy spotted a gorgeous light pink sea shell and handed it to me. It was the same shell that I kept now, months later, as a reminder that this day was real. Percy wasn’t a dream, and that he loved me.