66. Some time to chill

“I believe you,” I said truthfully, and something lifted from my chest like I needed to say this for years. “I guess the signs were always there, but I just ignored them…refused to pay attention to them. It was easier this way. Father is a force that a kid could not go against.”

By the way Annabeth looked at me, I could see the relief and joy my words created. She leaned forward from her place on the sofa and kneeled in front of me to hug me, squeezing tight, incapable of showing her deep emotions in any other way. I responded by snuggling in with her and trying not to become a crybaby.

“Oh, Alice! My sweet girl…you have grown so wise. Of course, you could not fight Robert--even I couldn’t back then.” She cried again in the hair behind my shoulder.

“Did h

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