Chapter 11 - CUPCAKES

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During Chemistry, Annabeth kept her head down, her headphones in, music blasting. She was hurting too much to try talking to Percy when he sat beside her. Her stomach was a bubbling and boiling cauldron of hurt, tears, anger, and screams. She wanted to ask him why he changed his mind, but at the same time, she didn't want to care. She wanted to ignore him like she ignored everyone else, but at the same time, she still wanted to kiss him. She wanted to trust him, listen to him, laugh with him. She didn't want to be hurt by him. But she had trusted him, listened to him, laughed with him. Where did that get her? He forgot about her and sat with the people who had tried to kill her. She'd been hurt by him.

"Annabeth." She heard him say. She sucked in a breath, closing her eyes. It'd been a couple weeks since the day at the beach, but it hadn't even been 30 minutes since she saw him sitting with the people who hurt her every day. "Annabeth, talk to me, please, what's wrong?"

She ignored him, pulling out the homework they'd had from Friday. She held it out to Mr Vulcan as he passed them, trying hard to ignore the confused look he shot her when she continued to ignore Percy. She didn't want to be questioned. She didn't want to be the bad guy. She just wanted to be left alone.

When Percy pulled her headphone out of her ear, she snapped. "Will you just leave me alone!? Or can you not take a hint!?" He looked shocked, as if he couldn't think of a reason she would yell at him. As if he couldn't think of anything he had done that would end with her telling him off for trying to talk to her. As if he hadn't just sat with Drew and her friends. As if he hadn't laughed and joked with them.

She put her headphone back in and turned her volume up to max, taking the worksheet from the teacher when he handed it to her and working on it. She had it done long before anyone else, which meant she had nothing to do. Annabeth laid her head on her arms, eyes closed, music still playing in her ears, deafeningly loud. Tears slipped out of her eyes, and she tried her hardest to keep her shoulders from shaking. When the bell rang, she was out of there faster than anyone thought possible.

During gym, Annabeth sat on the bleachers during basketball, claiming she was on her period and that she was cramping. Hedge believed her and gave in, letting her sit out for the day as long as she ran laps after school on Friday. She had no problem with that, she just didn't want to talk to Percy. He got out, though, rolling his ankle, and he sat next to her, clearly deciding to take that chance to talk to her.

"Annabeth, what happened?" She glared at the ground, feeling like she might throw up. "Annabeth, please talk to me! What did I do!?"

"Don't act like you don't know, Percy."

"Wise Girl-"

"Don't. It's Annabeth. My name is Annabeth."

"I know. I always call you Wise Girl..."

"I don't care. You should have thought of that before sitting with Drew's friends."

"That's what this is about, Annabeth-"

"Stop. Just leave me alone. Why act like you care? I already know the truth, Percy." She looked at him, tears in her eyes. She felt her stomach revolt in anger and sadness. "You don't care about me. You can stop pretending, already. The jig is up. Just leave me alone."

She moved away from him, curling up in a ball, hiding her face. Someone sat next to her again, and she growled. "Percy, will you leave me the hell-"

"You alright?" She glanced up to see the gentle gaze of a girl with darkly tanned skin and choppy brown hair. Her eyes were like kaleidascopes of color. She was beautiful. Annabeth immediately feared that this girl was someone from Drew's clique. "I'm Piper. Piper McLean."

She smiled at Annabeth, and Annabeth took a second to mentally note the lack of makeup on her face. She was beautiful, but in a different way from Drew and the other cheerleaders. She didn't try to fake it with makeup. She was just naturally beautiful. "I... I'm Annabeth Chase." Her voice cracked slightly, and she cringed internally. If it wasn't obvious before that she was about to cry, then it definitely was now.

Piper frowned. "You okay? What happened?"

"Nothing, it's... It's stupid." Annabeth shook her head, wiping her eyes before the tears could fall. "I... I thought he was my friend. The only one I've had in years, and today... He sat with the same people who pushed me off the roof of the school."

"Does he know that they're the ones who did it?" She frowned, after her eyes widened in alarm from the announcement that someone had tried to kill her.

Annabeth nodded. "Drew and the cheerleaders. They've hated me since I met them in elementary school, and have proceeded to treat me like I don't deserve to live ever since."  She sniffled softly. "I shouldn't be so upset about it, but... I really thought he'd be the one person who would treat me like I belong. Now... Now, I'm not so sure..."

"I can be that person." Piper smiled. "I'm new here. Moved from Florida a couple weeks ago. I think I saw you at the beach in Montuak, with the same guy you were just talking too..."

"Yeah... I hadn't wanted to go home, so he took me to the beach."

"Ya know, just seeing you two together... I could've sworn you were more than just friends. Especially when he looked like he was going to kiss you." Annabeth sniffled.

"I'd kind of hoped he had... I still do... I mean, I haven't exactly been very subtle about my crush on him... He's probably just that oblivious..." Annabeth mumbled softly. A voice came from behind her, and Annabeth's bubbling stomach turned to ice.

"Ha! You remember how your last crush ended, Annie. You claimed rape against the guy." Annabeth sunk into herself, her shoulders shaking with tears. Piper turned to the person behind Annabeth.

"What the hell is your problem? Mind your own business."

"It is my business. The guy was my boyfriend. A few months later, and she pushed him down the stairs at the old football field. She killed him." Maisie snapped.

Annabeth turned to Maisie, feeling her pain and anger form words in her mouth. "Your boyfriend decided to rape me, Maisie. Then he tried it again that day. I didn't push him! I broke away from him and he tripped!" She stepped up the steps to the other girl, who was a couple inches shorter than Annabeth. "You just can't accept that your boyfriend is a pervert who decided he wanted someone else- Then took what he wanted when that other person didn't want to give it to him."

Annabeth had never been slapped before, but it hurt. It was a hard enough hit to send her down the bleachers. She fell, unable to stop, hitting her head on every step, a scream coming from her lips. When she hit the gym floor, she felt broken, hurt, bloody. Silence had filled the room. She had her eyes closed, scared to see. Then the silence became laughter. Loud laughter that made Annabeth want to curl up and die. She heard three voices yelling over the laughter.

"GET OUT OF MY WAY, CUPCAKES! EVERYONE GET CHANGED!"

"Annabeth! Oh, my gods, Annabeth!"

"Annabeth! Annabeth, come on, look at me, Wise Girl. Look at me please! Please!"

She whimpered in pain as someone rolled her over, a pair of strong arms holding her tightly. The arms squeezed her tightly, enough pressure to make Annabeth black out, unable to hold onto consciousness any longer.


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