The peace keepers escort katniss and I to the justice building. Its very fancy, the most fancy in the whole of district 12. I’ve been here a few times. Sometimes the peacekeepers like there bread delivered, and when they call for us, its my job to bring it here.
I dont like this building much, sure is beautiful. It has gold painted door frames. Red velvet couches. The floor is made of white marble. And its filled with expensive paintings from the capitol. But I don’t feel at home here. It feels…..sterile.
They place me in a room with a few wooden seats, a jug of water with a few glasses, plus one of those red velvet couches. In the back of the room there is a full length mirror. I stare at my reflection for a while, I wan to remember this. Me.
I Will stay this way, and they will not change me. They WILL NOT change me.
“you have one hour”. Grunts the peacekeeper.
My father walks in the room and then my mother.
I’ve always been close to my dad. I remember the first day of school. I was walking down the hallway, holding my dads hand. He pointed out katniss and said, “do you see that girl over there?” “ I was in love with her mother”.
I remember looking so high to his face and whispering “why didn’t you marry her?”
“because she married a man who worked in the coal mines”.
I remember my confusion.
“why would she choose a coal miner over you?”
My father bent down and said. “ because when he sings the birds stop to listen”.
His eyes closed, like recalling a memory close to mind.
Later I heard katniss sing a lullaby, and from that moment on I loved her. And now we will have to fight to the death. We’ve never spoken, the only contact we’ve had was, that one rainy day, when I threw the burnt bread to her…why didn’t I give it to her? Maybe that’s why she’s never spoken to me.
Dad sits down next to me I could tell he was choking back tears. So was I. he hugged me softly. This made me feel like a child again. His strong arms holding me, I always felt safe.
I considered his to be the last time I was under his protection.
Has his firm grip grew even tighter. And tear rolled down my cheek leaving a pathway on my skin. My mother scoffed.
She’s not one for attention, or affection. But I like to think she will miss me.
Dad seemed to ignore mum. He pulled back from my arms. And though sobs he looked at me with his clear crystal blue eyes, And said “I love you son”.
I smile, I know he will miss me, as I will him. I look at my father and give him a reassuring nod, when his attention turns to the door.
I Turn around and my brothers are standing at the door. Both weeping.
I’ve always been close to my brothers. Oryan, is 17, and lance is 18.
Lance had is name in the reaping ball 23 times, so we thought out of us all he was going to be picked. I’m glad he wasn’t though.
Orayn took all the abuse he could from mum instead of me. Lance wasn’t around much. He was usually stealing liquor, or going out with girls. Its was mostly Orayn and I who got the abuse. Lance has always been he good son. He was treated well from mum. but dad seemed to favor us two. We were often a united force Oryan and I. I Remember one time he woke me up in the middle of the night. I was 13, and he took me to the hole in the fence. The same one katniss uses to hunt. He took me though the trees and to a pond. I remember feeling so bad like an outlaw. We sat down next to the creak and he said “ feel like a rebel?”.
“ yeah.”. he laughed at my reaction. We stayed there for an hour talking about our dreams. And at one point he said “look at this!”. He showed me a bunch of flowers.
I recognized the flowers, they were katnisses. They taught us about them in school.
“ that’s a girl in our school isn’t it?”. He asked
“ yeah, her father named her after them”.
“ are you two friends?”. He asked again.
“no…she’s never spoken to me”. I say trying to hide my disappointment.. he’s always seen though me.
“ ohhh someone has a crush ok katniss huh?” he says in a teasing manor.
“no” I say getting angry.
“ yes you do you have a crush on her”. He says through giggles.
I roll on to him and pin his neck to the ground with my forearm. “its not just a crush”. I Say though gritted teeth.
I still remember his facial expression. He was shocked. After a moment of examining my expression. He grabs my fist and roles over and pins my arms to my side. i grabbed his knees with my fingers, I was just in reach and flip him over. I hold his shirt and raise my fist in direct line of his nose.
“you really do don’t you”? he said in a hushed voice
I lower my fist, and let go of his tee-shirt. And give him my arm, to help him get up.
When he rises to he rises to his feet, and shakes my hand.
He smirks. “ seems you have some fight in ya boy”. He says in a proud manor.
I Refrain myself from smileing, to keep up my tough guy act, I say “wed better go”. I turn away from him and walk to the woods, hiding a huge grin.
I stand up from the soft red velvet, and he looks at me, trying to choke back the tears, I old my arms out, and he excepts my embrace. We hold each other tightly. My big brother. I allowed him to cry. And I glance at he door, covered in gold. Lance is obviously drunk. We all notice his pattern. Or instance, when his best friend died in the mine explosion. He arrived home after drinking his cares away. He had throw up all over him, he’s hair was be covered in dirt or mud. He was a mess, it was my job to clean him up. This became a reoccurring pattern. In a way I feel happy, that he considers this a big enough event to drink himself away. He’s upset, I summon him to the hug. We all stand there holding on.
After sometime we sit down and begin to talk all 4 of us. But mum is still in the back round, looking out the window, or examining her nails, even twirling her hair.
“ 15 minutes left”. The peacekeeper speaks.
We all stand up, the three forms a bee line, with me in the in front.
Lance is first “don’t give up”. He says choking back tears. We hug goodbye and I watch him leave he gold door one last time.
Next is Oryan. “ you still have some fight in ya boy”. He says with a smirk. Hes referring to he night we ran away. He hugs me goodbye whispering in my ear “good luck lover boy”. It amazes me, even though all the tears on his face, and mine. He still manages to make me smile. He turns away leaving though the gold door.
And then there’s dad. He hugs me, tighter then he ever has. I feel his jaw, on my back, I whisper in his ear, “take care of prim for me?”.
He lets go and looks a me with a reassuring nod.
He leaves me with one word of wisdom “ survive”.
And then his gone.
I stare at the floor for a moment and turn to mum. “goodbye mum”. I say awkwardly my with my head hanging low.
She stares at me coldly. To my surprise the opened her mouth, about to say something but walks past me nudging my shoulder instead. I don’t turn around but I do hear her utter the words “you know district 12 my finally have a victor.”
She’s not referring to me
“You have ten minuets” I hear the peacekeeper say.
Who has ten minutes?
I see Delly, although I hardly recognize her without her beaming smile. Her head is pointed to the floor. Her yellowish her glaring back at the sun. She looks up at me. And her red puffy eyes stand out on her pale skin. I hold my arms out and he doesn’t hesitate to embrace. I hold her while her whole body simulates crying.
“hey its okay yellow”. I say warmly. That’s what I call her, the first time we meet I looking at her hair. And that’s where yellow what born.
“ No. no its not okay” she says though sobs.
“Come on, your going to get my favorite dress shirt all wet”. I say
“Shut up” she says trying to hold back the smile.
“what will I do without you” she says.
“eat” I say sarcastically. I’ve known Delly for so long, we have always made fun of hey weight. And she always made fun of the crack in my voice. And of course my love for katniss.
“Try will you?” she asks.
“You know I cant do that dell, I cant kill katniss.” she says
“Okay but keep your dignity when you die okay? I’d hate for it to be a mess when they have to pick you up?” She says playing part in my game.
“Will do”. I reply.
We sand there holding each other for what seem like mere seconds. But I know it was longer then that.
“I love you Peeta.” She says softly not taking her eyes off me
“You too sis.” I reply. I try to hold back the tears but the dam that has kept them in is overflowing. I single tear snowballs down my cheek. Delly wipes her finger on my face pausing the tear.
She kneels down to my feet and lifts up pants and pulls down my sock, she then attaches a woven black thread with brown cross patterns, on my ankle.
I recognize this band. When we were kids we I made this in art class. I gave it to her and I still ember her words “I’m not a guy, I like bright colors, where would I use that.”
I replied “fine I’ll wear it myself.”
“no no no no, your too young, it wont suit you right.” She said smiling.
“fine, you give this to me when you think I’m ready then”.
“fine I will”.
She stands back up. And whispers in my ear. “Your ready”.
And with that she leaves.
I turn around and I see gale standing at the old door way.
He sees the shock on my face.
“ Can I sit?”. He asks.
“Yeah sure”. I reply. I show him to the velvet couch.
We both sit.
“You nervous”? he asks
This is the first time we’ve talked since we were children. His mother and mine, used to bake together. But when his dad died, he spent all his extra time hunting with katniss. So we haven talked in a long time.
“Yeah….is katniss?”. I reply
“yes, but she’s mostly worried about how her family will do while she’s gone”. He replies
“So she plans on coming back?”. I ask
“Yeah”. He reply’s
“Well don’t worry my father will make sure prim is fed while she’s gone”.
He look’s down with a nod.
“Take care of her best you can huh?” he says.
“Of course”. I reply
“Good luck out there.” He says. I reply with a nod we both stand up, he shakes my hand and turns to the door. But not before stopping and whipping he’s head around.
“do you still love her?”.
I look at him with surprise
“How do you know that”?
“Easy, you look at her the same way I do”. With that, he leaves.