Author: Girl With The Dandelion PM
Just like my father, I will lose the girl I love. Peeta's POV of the day before the first reaping, all the way until he is up on stage with Katniss.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Peeta M. - Words: 1,412 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 3 - Published: 02-07-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7816335
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
When I am handed my grain and I begin to walk away I search for the first child behind me in line. It is a little girl. I know she is only 12, or at least around that age, because I have seen her in school. I hand her my grain and oil. "Keep this. Don't worry about signing up." She just stares at me for a second, and then her eyes drop down to the foods I am handing her. She looks back at me.
"I can't take this from you." I nod my head and push it towards her. "Yes you can. Take it."
I wait for her to touch the grain lightly, still so unsure. "Go home," I whisper. Before she takes it, she reaches forward and grabs me in the tightest hug. "Thank you," she whispers. She handles the bundle as though it were a precious gem and carefully walks away.
This is my fourth year signing up for tesserae. I do this to save the girl I love. I enter my name each year to save her. Because if Gale Hawthorne were called up onto that stage, I'm terrified she would break. I may not talk to her, and I certainly don't know her well enough to say that, but it's just something I can't help but feel. Tomorrow is the day of the reaping and while I hope I am not called, I would prefer it be me rather than Gale.
There is nothing for me in District 12; nothing but Katniss Everdeen, and she is with Gale. Even if they aren't actually together, something tells me they will be. One day. So I hope rather than Effie Trinket calling his name, it is mine she calls. I hope the entire nation hears my name leave her lips rather than his. I couldn't sit by and watch that. I couldn't sit by and watch Gale die, knowing Katniss was also watching. If it is his name that is called, I will volunteer.
This may seem hasty and foolish, especially considering I'd be doing this for a girl who doesn't know I exist. But for one brief moment in our lives, she did. She knew who I was. She caught me looking at her the day after the bread. She looked at me. She looked away too. But she looked at me, and then she did the most absurd thing. She smiled and picked a dandelion. Something about her doing that was just so unexpected. I had never taken Katniss for the flower type of girl. She was just so strong and brave. It was such an innocent thing to do; pick a dandelion. It was something I had seen girls who knew nothing of the hardships she had to face on a daily basis do. It was something I never thought Katniss would do. And she did it with a smile. I knew right then, I would never stop protecting her. I would make sure she was always safe. The girl who picked the dandelion.
I comb back my hair at my mother's command. I put on my nicest clothes. I am prepared to look my best should I have to make my way to the stage. I can hear my brother in the next room, hardly able to breathe. He gets so nervous every year. His name is in there only 5 times. Mine is in there I do believe 20 times, however, no one in my household knows this. In fact, no one really knows much about me. My father I think is more insightful than he lets on. I know he's always kind to the Everdeen family. It could very well be because of the past he has with Mrs. Everdeen, but he is also kind to the Hawthorne family. I've seen him give me sideways glances when he sells to Gale or Katniss. He always gives them a better deal than anyone else. He knows. If not about the tesserae, at least about how I feel for her. For Katniss Everdeen.
My father is the only one I would regret leaving behind. I would miss my brothers, but to be honest, we are not that close. We think very differently. I am most like my father. I do not think I would be the person I am today without him. He taught me kindness; he taught me how to be a good person. I will miss my brothers, but I will regret leaving my father. He would be trapped in a house full of self-centered people. My mother is insane. I love her, I do, but she is insane. She hardly has a heart at all. I definitely learned to love because of my father.
And just like my father, I would lose the girl I love. Although I suppose I cannot lose what I never had.
I anxiously watch Effie Trinket. Every year, she is assigned to the poorest District of them all, and yet every year she acts as though it is an honor. To someone Capitol bred, I suppose it is. Being assigned to take part in any aspect of the Hunger Games is supposed to be an honor. I am nauseated by this fact.
How could anyone perceive this as an honor? We, children, are forced to kill or be killed. We are forced to take the lives of other children. We are forced to make decisions that no one on this earth should ever be forced to even think about, let alone carry forth. I hate the Capitol.
I hold my breath when Effie reaches into the bowl with all of the girls' names. This is the worst part. It has been for four years now. This is the part I can hardly handle. And now Katniss' younger sister is in the bowl. The chances of Katniss herself going into the arena has strengthened. I silently beg Effie to not pull an Everdeen name out of the bowl.
"Primrose Everdeen." The odds are not in my favor. I ready myself to volunteer for the male tribute. I am not letting her sister go into that arena defenseless. I refuse. I already know I will seem absolutely crazy, volunteering for a girl who should mean nothing to me, but I can't let it happen. If Gale going in would break Katniss, Prim going in would destroy her.
I do not have any more time to process what has happened when the situation gets so much worse. I can hear her call for her sister. "I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!" I am now definitely going into the arena. Especially if they call Gale. She would lose her mind if she had to kill him. I watch her walk onto the stage. I watch Gale carry Prim away. I watch all of these things. I continue to stare at her, impatiently waiting for whoever is selected next so that I may take his place. I hardly hear the next name Effie calls out. I open my mouth, about to volunteer when I realize. It's me. She called me. Good.
I walk to the stage, feeling a little triumphant. I will be able to fight for her. I will be able to keep protecting her. She will be the victor. She has to be. I have already resolved to not win. I will lose no matter what it takes. We shake hands, and I can't help but squeeze hers. It is the first time I have ever touched her and I can't help but try to let her know. I want her to know more than anything, that I will protect her. I will protect my girl with the dandelion.
Author's Note: I didn't realize how difficult it is to write from Peeta's perspective! Anyway, this story, Peeta's story, has been screaming at me to write it and so I finally caved and did. Now, I am still writing Absolutely Real, but this was just a little break.
I don't think I did Peeta any justice. His character is just so complex, while being completely simple at the same time. It's very difficult to write as an oxymoron, no matter how completely perfect he may be. All the awards to Suzanne Collins for that btdubs.