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I Breakaway is the fifteenth chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on July 22, 2016.

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Chapter

Annabeth's POV

I’m not sure who loves music more: Jasmine or her mom, Sarah.

Whenever I go over to Jasmine’s house, they’re always listening, and sometimes singing to it while doing whatever it is they’re doing: cleaning, chores, driving in the car, or just listening in general.

It was annoying sometimes, but they always looked like they were having fun, like that’s how a mom and daughter were like. Something that I’ll probably never really know.

I went over to Jasmine’s house one day, and her dad, Zak, let me in. “Hi, Annabeth.”

“Hi,” I said.

“You looking for Jasmine?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“She’s downstairs with her mom in the music room.”

“Ok.”

I walked down the stairs and into the second room on the right.

Jasmine and Sarah were sitting on the couch. Sarah was holding her guitar and playing a little tune, when they saw me.

“Annabeth, come here,” Jasmine said. “Mommy’s going to play a new song she wrote.”

“You write a lot of new songs,” I said, walking over to them and sitting on the couch next to Jasmine.

“Yes,” Sarah agreed. “But I have a lot of inspiration. Do you want to hear this one?”

We nodded. “Yes.”

Sarah played her guitar and began the song:

Grew up in a small town

And when the rain would fall down
I’d just stare out my window
Dreaming of what could be
And if I’d end up happy
I would pray

Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I prayed I could break away

I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes ’til I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget all the ones that I love
I’ll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

Wanna feel the warm breeze
Sleep under a palm tree
Feel the rush of the ocean
Get on board a fast train
Travel on a jet plane far away
And breakaway
I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes ’til I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget all the ones that I love
I’ll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

Buildings with a hundred floors
Swinging ’round revolving doors
Maybe I don’t know where they’ll take me
But gotta keep moving on, moving on
Fly away, breakaway

I’ll spread my wings
And I’ll learn how to fly
Though it’s not easy to tell you goodbye
I gotta take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget the place I come from
I gotta take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change

And breakaway, breakaway, breakaway

After hearing Sarah sing her new song, I really thought about it.

Breakaway. Hmm.

“That was a great song, Mommy,” Jasmine said. “But all your songs are great.”

Sarah smiled. “Thank you, Jasmine.”

“You’re welcome, Mommy.”

“What inspired you to write this one?” I asked.

“Well, a lot of people have dreams to be something someday,” Sarah replied. “And sometimes, to achieve those dreams, they need to leave home and usually stay away for a long time before finally returning. If we didn’t have the powers that we have I would probably have to do that to achieve my dream of becoming a singer. You know, breakaway.”

Breakaway.

“Yeah.”


It was Thanksgiving Day, and me, my dad, Savanna, and Bobby and Matthew went over to my uncle Randolph’s big house in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate, and Magnus and Aunt Natalie came too. Jasmine was having Thanksgiving at her grandparents house, and her whole family was going to be with her.

That makes me kind of glad that I have a much smaller family than hers.

I don’t see my aunt and uncle or Magnus that much, mostly because they live in a different state, and my dad and my aunt and uncle always seem to argue about something that neither me nor Magnus could understand. But we did spend holidays together, like Thanksgiving.

Most of the day was ok, watching something on the History channel about how Thanksgiving was made, and then eating dinner with the usual kind of food you eat: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, and of course, turkey.

During dinner, though, and after, my dad, Uncle Randolph, and Aunt Natalie were arguing about something that me or Magnus didn’t understand, again, and we didn’t stay to find out. We quickly and quietly left the room and hid upstairs in Uncle Randolph’s library.

We found some dominoes on one of the shelves that we always played with when this happened and took them and poured them out onto the floor. Instead of playing actual dominoes, we stacked them together to make buildings.

“You’re lucky you live with your momma,” I told Magnus.

“Yeah,” he agreed.

I stacked another domino on my miniature house, not really paying attention to what I was building. “I’m going to run away.”

“You are?”

I nodded. “Yeah. I’ve been thinking about it for two days, and I think I already would’ve left if Jasmine wasn’t my friend.”

“She’s not going to like that.”

“I know. That’s why I can’t tell her, and you can’t either.”

“I won’t.”

My dad appeared in the doorway. His fists were clenched. His grim expression was at odds with the smiling reindeer on his sweater.

“Annabeth, we’re leaving,” he said.

I knew we would be.

I looked at Magnus. “Be safe, Magnus.”

With a flick of my finger, I knocked over my domino house. Then we left.

My dad didn’t tell me what he and Uncle Randolph and Aunt Natalie were arguing about, and I didn’t ask.

I wondered if I would ever see Magnus again.


It happened so quickly.

It was dark and I could barely see anything.

I was at home. It was night time, and I was asleep in my bed when I woke up suddenly, feeling like something was wrong. My room felt warmer than usual. I sat up on my bed and looked around my room. Then it happened. Small black things were crawling all over the floor, the walls, the bed, and onto me.

I knew what they were and I started shaking.

They were biting me, spitting me with webs. I screamed really loudly, louder than I ever have before.

“Daddy!” I called. “Daddy!”

I knew it was no use because my dad works at nights, as he always seemed to be away doing.

Unfortunately, Savanna didn’t, and she’s the one that came into my room.

The small black things crawled all the way into the closet and hid in there.

“What are you screaming about?” Savanna demanded.

“Spiders!” I said. “A lot of them.”

She looked around the room, but couldn’t see them at all. “Where?”

“In the closet.”

She shook her head. Then I heard Bobby and Matthew crying in the room next to mine.

“Great,” Savanna said. “You woke up your baby brothers.”

“They’re not my brothers,” I argued.

She glared at me, which was almost as scary as the spiders. “Go to sleep now. And no more screaming.”

“I want to call my daddy,” I said.

“No. You will not bother him with this nonsense.”

“But—”

“No buts. No more talk of spiders. You’re a big girl now.”

And that was it. Savanna left the room without another word and closed the door behind her. If I wasn’t so scared right now, I’d be mad.

After Savanna was gone, the spiders came back out of the closet and continued to bite and spit webs at me.

You’re not going to defeat our mother, little chosen one,” many voices said that sounded like they were angry, buzzing together. “You will not save the statue and your life. She will eat you before you could even try.

Were the spiders talking to me? How could they do that?

It didn’t matter. What they said didn’t make any sense to me at all. And I was too scared to ask. I just hid under the covers for the rest of the night and hoped that this would end soon.


The next morning wasn’t much better.

I somehow had fallen back to sleep, and when I woke up, I was completely covered in bites and spider webs. The spiders were gone, which was the only thing I was glad about.

I got out of bed and got dressed for school, but then something weird happened. After I was dressed, I looked down at myself and all the red marks on my skin were gone. I was still covered in spider webs, but all of the bites were gone like they were never there.

How could that be possible?

I left my room and headed to the kitchen. My dad and Savanna were there and they sounded like they were arguing.

“I don’t mind being the bad cop,” I heard Savanna tell him, and I knew she was talking about me. “But she was screaming all night. I barely got any sleep and the same for the boys.”

“I’m sure that Annabeth had a nightmare,” Dad said. “She wouldn’t—” He stopped when he noticed me listening from the hallway. “Annabeth, come here.”

I did.

When Savanna saw the spider webs on me, she snorted. “That’s some clever trick. But that’s not going to fool me.”

Dad kneeled down next to me and touched the spider webs. “These look real. Annabeth, what happened to you?”

I told him everything about last night, but Savanna didn’t believe me.

“Do you expect us to believe that the spiders talked to you?” she asked.

That made me mad. “It’s the truth!”

“Go get ready for school, Annabeth,” Dad said. “You’re going to miss the bus.”

“You don’t believe me.”

“We’ll talk about this later. Now go.”

I did what he told me to. I went back to my room and wiped all the spider webs off me, then I grabbed my backpack and left my house to wait for the bus.


Jasmine was waiting for me in the very back seat of the school bus when I got on, like she always does.

I must have looked scared, because when I sat down next to Jasmine, she looked worried.

“Are you ok?” she asked me. “You’re shaking.”

“I’m fine,” I said.

“You’re lying. Tell me what’s wrong.”

I didn’t want to, but I knew she’d keep bugging me if I didn’t tell her what happened to me last night. So I did.

“There were a lot of spiders?” she asked when I finished.

I nodded.

“Wow. And the bites are all gone?”

I nodded again.

“How?”

I shook my head.

“Ok.”

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me,” I snapped.

Jasmine looked at me, surprised. “What?”

“You don’t believe me.”

“Yes I do.”

“No, you don’t. You’re just like my dad and Savanna. They don’t believe me either.”

“Annabeth, I’m not your daddy or your step-mommy! I believe you because you’re my best friend, and best friends believe each other no matter how crazy they sound!”

Everyone on the bus turned to look at us. Jasmine was mad, and she quite scared me when she was.

She always gets this mad at me when I say stuff like this to her that I want to say to my dad, which is why I didn’t want to tell her. She understands why, but she hates it too. And so do I, because it’s not fair to her, especially since she and her family are the only ones that believe and care about me. But I couldn’t help it.

“I’m sorry, Jasmine,” I said. “My dad doesn’t believe me and—”

“And you think I don’t believe you either just because he doesn’t,” she finished.

I nodded.

Jasmine wasn’t mad anymore and put her arm around me. “I know. But I will always believe you, Annabeth, even if your daddy doesn’t.”

“I know,” I responded.

“Ok. So the spiders talked to you?”

I nodded. “What they said to me didn’t make any sense. Can you talk to spiders?”

She shook her head. “I can talk to animals. Spiders are bugs, not animals. So no, I can’t talk to them. I don’t like them, anyway.”

“Me neither. But what can I do about it?”

“We can ask my grandma. She’s smart, and my mommy always goes to her when she needs help.”

“Ok.”


After school, Jasmine and I went to her grandma’s house, and her mom came with us, along with Komodo. (I think he likes her too much.)

“Hi, Grandma,” Jasmine said when we got inside the house and she saw her.

“Hi, guys,” her grandma, Raylee, replied.

Nick and Emily were with her, along with Pikachu and the animals.

“Mom, Jasmine and Annabeth want to tell you something,” Sarah said.

“Ok,” she said. “What?”

Jasmine looked at me. “Annabeth?”

I took a deep breath and told everyone there what happened to be last night.

“Ok,” Raylee said when I was done. “So you don’t know what the spiders were talking about?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Do you think they’ll come back?”

“I don’t know. But I hope not.”

“How can spiders talk?” Emily asked.

“Bugs can talk like animals, Emily,” Raylee replied. “You just can’t understand them as easily.”

“You can talk to bugs?” Jasmine asked.

She nodded. “With my powers, yes. Though I try not to talk to them, because most bugs scare the hell out of me. Especially spiders.”

“Yeah,” Nick agreed. “And also butterflies.”

Raylee glared at him.

“You’re afraid of butterflies?” Jasmine asked. “But they’re nice.”

“I know,” Raylee replied. “I like them. There was just one time when I was a little girl like you, and I went to this store that had a lot of butterflies at the enclosed entrance and they wouldn’t stop landing on me, which scared the hell out of me. But it didn’t traumatize me with the fear of butterflies forever.”

“What store was it? I want to go there.”

“I don’t know. It was a very long time ago. I doubt it still exists today. Anyway, back on you, Annabeth. Those spiders told you about some crap that you don’t understand. I don’t understand what they told you either. What about you, Nick?”

He shook his head. “No. But it does sound interesting. And I think you’re right: they will come back to her.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “Beats me. It’s hard to tell what spiders are thinking unless you’re in their presence. But I bet they will come back to Annabeth. And since they came to her only at night, then they’ll probably come at night again.”

“Great,” I said sarcastically.

But I began shaking. Jasmine noticed, of course.

“Can I stay with Annabeth tonight?” she asked her mom.

“Well, you’ll have to ask her parents if it’s ok,” Sarah replied. “But if you want to, you can.”

“Yay.”

I smiled.

I smiled. At least Jasmine would be with me tonight.


Unfortunately, Nick was right: the spiders did come back as soon as Jasmine and I went to bed. It was like we were in a scary movie, but it was real.

The spiders climbed all over us, bit us so many times, and said the same thing to me like they did last night. We screamed non-stop. Well, not really.

Savanna came in at one point, the spiders hiding in the closet again, and she wasn’t very happy. I could hear Bobby and Matthew in the next room, crying.

Savanna kept being the bad cop, but Jasmine wasn’t going to let her.

“Maybe if you weren’t a meany bitch, you would believe us,” she said.

I like Jasmine as my friend even more now. Savanna didn’t.

“Excuse me?” she said.

“You’re a meany bitch!” Jasmine repeated. “You don’t believe anything we say just because we’re children, and that’s wrong.”

“It’s also wrong for children to disrespect adults.”

“Not if they deserve it, and you do.”

“Your parents have really taught you well.”

“So have yours.”

Savanna glared at her. “This is the last time that you will ever spend the night here.”

“That’s what you think,” Jasmine responded.

“Go to sleep.”

Savanna slammed the door quite hard, leaving me and Jasmine alone in the dark. The spiders came back, but I was smiling for a moment.

“That was brave, Jasmine,” I said.

“Thank you,” she said. “My mommy told me to say stuff like that when people are being unfair. Now let’s try to fight off these spiders.”

We did no fighting, just screaming. We hid under the covers of my bed, holding each other, and eventually falling asleep from fright.


The next morning, we were covered in bites and spider webs, but, like yesterday, the bites disappeared after we got dressed, leaving us only covered in spider webs.

“How is that possible?” Jasmine asked.

I shook my head. “I don’t know. Did you hear them talk to me?”

She nodded. “What’s a chosen one, and who’s their mother, and what statue?”

“I don’t know. Let’s just go to school.”

We skipped breakfast because I really didn’t want to talk to my dad since he doesn’t believe anything I say, and much less, Savanna, whom Jasmine obviously doesn’t like as much as me.

They glared at each other while we passed her in the kitchen to get outside.

“I want to stab her with my sword,” Jasmine said.

“I know,” I agreed. “Come on.”


After school that day, Jasmine and I stayed at her house to try and forget what happened last night. Her family didn’t even know what to say about it, and wanted to help me, but couldn’t.

Then my dad called me home, and I had to go. Jasmine wanted to come with me, but I wasn’t going to let her risk it with Savanna, so I just went home alone.

My dad wanted to talk to me in my room when I got there. “Annabeth, you say you’ve been seeing spiders at night. Are you sure?”

“Yes, Daddy,” I replied. “There are a lot of them, and they keep talking to me about something.”

“They talk to you?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“What do they say to you?”

I was mad at the way he said that.

“I’m not lying,” I said.

“I never said you were,” Dad replied.

“No. But you think I am.”

“No I don’t.”

“Now you’re lying. Jasmine was with me last night. She believes me. You should too.”

“Annabeth, I looked all over your room. There is no sign that spiders were ever in it.”

“Seeing isn’t always believing, Daddy. Jasmine believed me before she even saw them herself.”

“I don’t think you should be friends with her anymore.”

I stared at him. “What? But she’s my best friend.”

“She’s a bad influence. Her and her family,” Dad said. “You saw how she was to Savanna last night. I don’t want you near her anymore.”

“Savanna deserved it, Daddy. Jasmine is the only friend I have and is the only one that cares about me.”

“I care about you.”

“No you don’t. You’ve never cared about me. But she has.”

“My decision is final. I don’t want you around that girl or her family again.”

“I hate you!”

I ran out of the room, tears stinging my eyes. Not many people mean that when they say it, but I did.

I went to my room and slammed the door behind me and stayed there all night. Or most of the night.

I was thinking about the song Sarah sang yesterday: Trying hard to reach out, but when I try to speak out, felt like no one could hear me.

When I heard that, I felt like it was talking about me.

Wanted to belong here, but something felt so wrong here.

The spiders were back, but I wasn’t going to be tortured by them another night.

My dad wants me to stop being friends with Jasmine? No. Him saying that was the last straw.

I could breakaway. And that’s what I’m going to do.

I left my room, not even bothering to get dressed. Mostly because the spiders were all over everything. I even stepped on a few on the way out, which was eww, and I tried not to scream. After leaving my room, the spiders didn’t follow, which was ok with me.

I grabbed a hammer from my dad’s toolbox, feeling like I might need it, and I went outside. It was dark and everyone was asleep, so I got out unnoticed. Then I ran.

I came to the bridge that went across the river and stopped. I looked at the opposite side of it. The park, where I’ve always gone through to get to Jasmine’s house. I thought about going there now, but decided not to.

I looked down at the friendship bracelet on my wrist that Jasmine made me when we were five.

Your my best friend, forever and always, she wrote on it.

I remembered the pact we made that day: If we ever take it off, that means we’re not best friends anymore.

I didn’t want to, but I held my hammer at it.

I’m sorry, Jasmine, I thought. But I can’t stay here anymore. I need to breakaway. I’m glad you were my best friend. I’ll miss you. I’m sorry. Goodbye.

I doubt she’ll ever hear that, but I had to think it.

I broke off the bracelet with tears in my eyes and dropped it on the ground. Then I ran, as far and as fast as I could. I didn’t look back because I was afraid that I would go back if I did.

But I wondered if I would ever see Jasmine again, and how much she’ll hate me for what I’ve done to her.


Well, this is certainly the longest chapter so far, and for what happened in here, it should be. Annabeth has finally run away, but what about Jasmine? Here's a few ideas:

A. Annabeth never sees Jasmine again until years later after all of her quests with Percy and somehow their paths cross once again after a long time apart.

B. Jasmine searches for Annabeth, determined to find her, and won't stop until she does.

Or

C. Something completely different, like maybe Jasmine meeting Percy either before or after his first time at Camp Half-Blood, he tells Jasmine about it and especially about Annabeth, realizing that her best friend is alive and well, but doesn't tell him, keeping it to herself and Percy keeping Jasmine a secret from Annabeth and everyone else at Camp Half-Blood.

What do you guys think is going to happen next? Will it be A., B., C., or can you come up with something else? And what is the name of the song that Sarah sang, and who sings it?

Also, I don't believe that the spiders actually talked to Annabeth in the books, I just thought I'd have them talk to her in this story, to warn her what, or who, is in her future.

Please review here.

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Trivia

  • Annabeth runs away.

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