“Are you sure you guys have to leave for the whole weekend?” I asked Winter as I sprawled across her bed.
“Sorry kiddo, your grandma and I need to go to this meeting, you know we have to help keep the human government and the wolves out. They need all the adult witches they can get and your grandma and I are running the whole thing.” Winter explained as she fixed up her face in the mirror.
“Can I come with you? Maybe I could help.” I wanted to do anything I could to get out of the house for the weekend, the thought of being home while Artemis and her friends had a party sounded like hell.
“I wish you could, Thena, but it’s just for adults. If anything were to happen we wouldn’t want the kids getting hurt.”
“Yea, I get it. I’m just not looking forward to spending the weekend alone with Artemis.” I sighed. It was no secret that my sister and I didn’t get along.
“I know, and I’m sorry. You could always stay upstairs with Sebastian. You guys can have the game room, the gym and the library to yourselves.” She suggested.
“Yea that’s true, I guess I’m worried about what she’ll try to do to me without anyone watching us.”
“Call us if anything goes down, we’ll come home as soon as possible. Also, call us if she throws a party, I know that girl and I know she’ll try.”
“I will.” I lied, I knew if I snitched on my sister I’d be getting my fair share of stitches. Also, the cutest guy in school was coming to her party. Even though I knew I had absolutely no chance with him, I at least wanted to get a glance at him.
“Good, I trust you and Sebastian. Artemis and Zeus on the other hand, well they’ve been trouble lately.” That was a bit of an understatement, if you ask me.
Winter walked over and sat in the reading chair across from me. “So, how’ve things been?” She asked.
“Good.” I responded curtly. I knew she was worried, I didn’t have any friends other than Sebastian and I spent most of my time at the library here or the public one. My grandma wasn’t really around much either, she was always working to make sure we had a good life.
“That’s good, but if you ever need anything your grandma and I are here for you.”
“Thanks, Winter.” I smiled at her.
“Well,” She stood up, after realizing I wasn’t going to open up to her. “I’m gonna go get your grandma, we’ll be out of here in a few. We’ll come say goodbye.” She turned on her heel and headed out of her bedroom.
I sighed and pulled myself off her bed. My weekend of hell was about to begin, and I needed to find cover before shit hit the fan.
Sebastian, Dexter and I holed up in my room in front of the TV. We could feel the vibrations from the music downstairs pulsating through the floor. We were tense, the party was just starting, it was just Artemis and her friends so far, but they were already getting rowdy. We were hoping they would be too focused on each other to come up here and bother us.
“Hey, Thena, can I ask you something?” Neither of us were paying attention to the movie, so I didn’t mind his interruption.
“Do you think Artemis is right?” He bit his nail nervously.
“Y’know, how she’s always telling her friends I’m retarded. Is she right? Am I?” Sebastian was autistic and had ADHD, but that did not give my sister the right to use slurs against him.
“She is not right, not at all. She’s an ignorant, terrible person. Never listen to her.” I was trying to stay calm, I didn’t want him to misinterpret my anger as anger towards him. I hated her, and how she could make my amazing best friend doubt himself.
“Okay.” He avoided eye contact and started to pet Dex.
“Why do you ask? Did someone say something?”
“No, I was just thinking. You always take what she says personally. I thought maybe I was missing something, like maybe she was right about me.” He explained. My heart broke, I never knew that he noticed I took what she said to heart.
“If I stop believing what she says, will you too?” I offered. It would be hard for me not to, but I had to try for him.
“Ok, I promise.” He looked up at me and smiled, then continued to pet Dex.
After we finished our movie, Sebastian decided to go to bed. Since everyone else was downstairs partying, I decided to work out in the home gym. I was down to a hundred pounds, and my goal was ninety. I wanted to look good in a dress for Homecoming, which was coming up soon. Not that I’d get asked, but I could still go stag.
Halfway through my workout, the gym door opened from behind me.
“Hey, this floor is off limits.” I called out, assuming it was one of Artemis’s annoying friends.
“Oh, sorry. You just have such a nice house, I thought I’d take a break from the party to explore a little.” A familiar voice responded from behind me. Richie Fernandez, the hottest guy in school. Also, the cousin of Artemis’s boyfriend, Anson.
“Oh, it’s ok. I can see why you’d need a break, it seems like parties can be a little overwhelming.” I took a deep, shaky breath as I turned off the treadmill. He was so cute, I didn’t have a chance with him but I still didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of him.
“Have you never been to a party before?” He asked, and I realized I probably seemed like a huge loser.
“Well, not really. Artemis has had a few parties before, but I’ve never actually been a part of them. We’re not exactly besties.” I admitted.
“She can be hard to get along with.” He chuckled. “Your name’s Athena, right?”
“Yea. Yours is Richie?” I asked, and he nodded. “Well it’s nice to meet you, I’ve seen you around school but we’ve never actually spoken.”
“Well that’ll have to change, you seem very sweet, Athena.” He flashed a smile, making my heart skip a beat.
“I’ll see you around, have a good night.” He smiled again and walked out with a wave. I stood there a few seconds, trying to process what happened. I couldn’t believe that someone like him would want to talk to me.
“Really, Richie Fernandez?” Sebastian scratched his head early the next Monday after the party. I didn’t tell him until now, because I didn’t want Artemis or Zeus to find out.
“Yea, he talked to me, and he wasn’t mean at all. I still don’t believe it.”
“Do you think he likes you?”
“I don’t think so, he was probably just being nice. I mean, why would he go for me when there are so many pretty girls at this school?” I gestured over to Artemis’s group.
“You’re pretty, Athena.”
“Thank you, but not like them.”
“I think so. Maybe he wants to ask you to homecoming.” He smiled.
“I really doubt that, Seb.”
“Oh gosh, he’s here.” I said as Richie walked into the school. Sebastian started to turn around but I stopped him. “Don’t look, he’ll know we’re talking about him.”
“Oh, ok. That makes sense.” He chuckled.
“Oh god, he’s coming over here.” I took a deep breath as I noticed him heading in our direction.
“Uh, hey Athena.” Richie smiled his famous smile at me as he approached.
“Hey Richie, how was the rest of your weekend?” I asked.
“Good, thanks for asking. I was wondering if I could talk to you?” He looked over at Sebastian, as if cueing him to leave.
“Hey Seb? Why don’t you head to class, I’ll talk to you during lunch,okay?”
“Oh, okay. See you then.” He understood that we needed a minute alone. He walked off to class and gave me a smile and a wink before heading up the stairs.
“He’s your uncle, right?” Richie asked when Sebastian was out of sight.
“Yea, but he’s only a few years older than me, so I consider him more of a brother than an uncle.”
“Oh, cool.” He moved into the space where Sebastian was standing only a few moments earlier.
“So, I wanted to ask you something.” My heart almost stopped, what could he possibly want to ask me?
“W-what is it?”
“Well I don’t have a date for homecoming yet, and I was wondering if you would be mine?”
I’m pretty sure this time my heart actually did stop. Was I dreaming? This couldn’t be real. Why me, of all the girls in the school? Why would the cutest guy in school choose me?
After a few seconds, I realized I hadn’t given him an answer. “Y-yes! I’d love too.” I responded, maybe a little too enthusiastically.
“Awesome, I’ll pick you up that night at seven.”
“Sounds great. I can’t wait.” I smiled nervously at him.
“Me too, it’ll be fun.” He winked at me, then headed off for his morning class. As he walked away, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.