After Haymich and I come up with a plan. We agree that the conversation never happened. I walked to my room and fell asleep. I should be having trouble sleeping, seeing that I’m going to die in a few weeks. But, for some reason I felt a peace, I was able to sleep well knowing that I had a plan. When I wake in the morning, I sit up and say, “Open blinds”.
The sheet covering the windows start to pull across, I quickly learn that this is a mistake.
The light is beaming in my eyes. I squint waiting for my eyes to adjust. When they finally do, I put my boots on and get dressed in a pair of black “jeans” I think they call it, and a grey tee-shirt. I walk though corridors and I arrive at the breakfast room. Sitting at the table Haymich is drinking some sort of sprit, and I KNOW our conversation is truly forgotten.
“Morning loverboy”. He teases.
“That’s what my brother called me”. I give a weak smile and sit down. Maybe he hasn’t.
I notice the food on the table, and I realize I actually have an appetite this morning.
I pick up a bread role and put it on my plate. The waiter comes and pours some sort of, brown liquid into my cup. At first I think its coffee, but realize that the aroma is not the same.
“What is this?” I ask the waiter. She looks at Haymich desperately.
“Hot chocolate”. Haymich answers. The woman smiles and lifts the cup up, and gestures to taste it. I oblige. I bring the liquid to my lips, the hot liquid fills my mouth, and the sweet chocolate goes down my throat. She looks at me waiting for my reaction.
“It’s delicious”. I say, she smiles, and refills my cup. She a nice lady, about 40, and has blond hair. Oddly enough she has no make-up on. All he other people who come from the capitol have, strange colored hair, weird shaped eyelashes. There usually bursting with different colors, on there face and body’s. She’s normal. She could have come from district 12, if you didn’t know better. I take another bite of my bread, and then sip the chocolate. The combination is quite good. Katniss enters the hall, wearing the same outfit as last night, a green top with black pants, and of course that mockingjay pin. Se looks so beautiful..oh no I’m blushing, hope she doesn’t notice. She doesn’t seem to, she nods hello, and sits down. She is poured the hot chocolate and stares at it the same way I did.
“They call it hot chocolate, it’s good”. I say.
She looks unsure, and then takes a sip.
It’s the first time she’s ever trusted me. Its not much, but its something.
We sit there eating lots of the food. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with Haymich. He sits there knocking back drink by drink, and growing drunk by the second.
By the look on katniss’s face, she agrees with me.
“So your supposed to give us advice?” Katniss says unimpressed. It’s clear it wasn’t a question, but a statement.
“Here’s some advice, stay alive”. He remarks.
He was being unnecessarily rude, and he pushed me into action.
“That’s very funny”. I say sarcastically. He’s taunting me and it works.
I grip the bottle out of his hand and smash it on the floor. I kick my chair back and slam my hands on the table. I move my face to his, and stare into his eyes.
“Only not to us”. I say strongly
He look’s at me, and I see the corners of his mouth inching up and his fist rise and punch me in the jaw. I jolt to the floor. My face is stinging, a feeling I’m very used to.
He reaches for a new glass, when katniss thrusts over and stabs the table with the butter knife. Just barely missing his fingers lodging it between his hand and the table.
He sits back, and squints. He returns to his normal self and says.
“Well what’s this? Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?”
I get up from the floor and pick up some ice from the wine tin.
“No, let the bruise show. The audience will think you’ve mixed it up with another tribute, before you’ve even gotten to the arena”. He says
With the ice still in my hand I say
“But that’s against the rules”.
“Only if they catch you. That bruise will say you’ve fought, and you weren’t caught. Even better”. He says optimistically
I put the ice back, and he turns his attention to katniss.
“Can you hit anything with that knife other then the table.” he asks
Katniss yanks the knife out of the table and throws it at the wall, lodging it between two pieces of wood. It’s quite impressive.
He stares at both of us for a moment.
“Stand over here, both of you”. He requests. We are obedient.
He looks at us, poking and prodding, testing out muscles and skills.
When finally he says. “Well you’re not completely hopeless. Seem fit. Once the stylist’s get hold of you, you’ll be attractive enough”. “Alright, I’ll make a deal with you. You don’t interfere with my drinking, and I’ll stay sober enough to help you”. He pauses for a moment and goes on “but you have to do exactly as I say”?
Well, it’s not ideal, but it’s something. Katniss and I look at each other and nod.
“Fine”. I say answering for her.
“So help us”. Katniss blurts out. “When we get to the arena, what’s the best strategy at the cornucopia for someone-“.
“One thing a time”. Haymich interrupts. “In a few minutes we’ll be pulling into the station. You’ll be put in the hands of the stylists. Your not going to like what they do to you, but no mater what it is don’t resist”. He finishes
“But-” katniss say’s.
“No buts don’t resist”. He cuts in
He grabs his grog and leaves the room without another word.
Katniss looks slightly embarrassed by being humbled by Haymich.
We stand there for what seems like a lifetime in silence.
After her mother’s meltdown, katniss had to provide for her family. Her family had to rely fully on her, the only person she’s ever trusted since her dads death is gale. So I understand why trusting people, isn’t her strong point.
I remember when I was a kid, my brothers used to play a game with me. They would tie a blind fold over my eyes, and would lead me around out street. Lance always used to run me into things. Make me fall down stairs. Weave though thin air, which I though was trees.
But Oryan was always good. He would actually lead me. I remember once we played it for hours, and one time he lead me to the front of katniss’s house. When he took the blind fold off. I was almost blinded by the light a first. But once I realized we were at katniss’s house, I was quick to leave. I asked Oryan why he took me here. I remember his response.
“Because its time you stop blindly trusting that she will come to you”.
The game was originally designed by our ancestors, as a trust exercise.
It worked. I always trusted my brother. I’m going to miss him. I Already do.
The train begins to slow and come to a halt. Both katniss and I run to the window.
The capital is a beautiful sight. The sun gleaming through the skyscrapers. There are bright lights everywhere. There’s a mist covering the top of the buildings.
I’m not sure if it’s as beautiful as we think it is. Or it’s just that we have nothing close to this in out poor district 12.
There are strange people standing, waiting for us. Like I described before, there is an array of bright colors, bobbing up and down. There are 100’s possibly 100s of people here waiting for us. I begin to entertain the people. I wave, smile and do little skits.
The people are loving it, katniss however obviously feels different. She’s looking at me with a puzzled expression. “Who knows? One of them could be rich”. I say with a shrug.
Entertaining the people is pat of Haymich’s plan. I think katniss is quickly catching on.