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With each little twinge. I wonder is this it? And then my stomach fills up with butterflies. I'm fearful. I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm ready. I'm ready?
The dark haired beauty stirs on my chest, yawning but never opening her eyes. I smile over how precious she is. Dark wisps of hair cover her crown. Dark hair like mine. Which led to Peeta nicknaming her the dark haired beauty. She's only a few hours old and already I've studied every feature of my beauty. I want to forever remember this stage. The stage filled with newborn snuggles and sweet kisses. The first moments of her life to remember for years to come. To remember her tiny hands and feet that barely cover the size of my palm. Her tiny fingers and toes. The tiny fingers that grasped her daddy's finger hard. Locking it in place. Locking the two of them together. The first moments of bonding he'll forever cherish.
She's only hours old and I haven't dared move her from my chest, scared that I'll upset her and not be able to comfort her. She's moved once for a minute while she was weighed, measured and examined to make sure she was healthy before she came back to my chest, swaddled and placed to my breast to nurse. She cried while she left my arms but my breast comforted her to the quite state on my chest.
Our dark haired beauty is the perfect addition to our recovering world. The world no longer filled with destruction, hunger and fears of certain death but a world filled with dandelions. Those dandelions that represented rebirth. The bright yellow flowers of spring. The bright yellow flower that gave me hope all those years ago when Peeta saved my family from death. The bright yellow flowers that began to cover the meadow, flowering into the new season and hinting at the pink squishy newborn that would soon grace us with her presence. The baby brought upon the new season. The snow had melted a few days earlier, the air begun to warm and the flowers in the meadow starting to flower for the arrival of my dandelion. A symbol of hope and good things. The simple dandelion.
I walked through the meadow. Walking was supposed to bring upon labour and I was more than ready to be in labour. Each time the baby stirred I was consumed with fear. Fear that would consume me and destroy me like those years before. Fear that I wouldn't be good enough for this baby. This baby that took 15 years to agree to have. The 15 years of nightmares I had over having children always resulted in the beings being taken, just like everything else I loved. Fear evaded the nightmares and I never took pleasure in the good dreams of watching my future children play in the meadow. Those dreams always ended too abruptly and I didn't want to disappoint Peeta if my nightmares came true and our children were taken away.
On our 14th year of growing back together I had a week of good dreams, filled with the children Peeta always painted, playing in the meadow. The children were happy and not fearful of the world Peeta and I had experienced. The children were happy in every painting he created and they filled my dreams bringing me happiness. We had arrived back from visiting Annie and her son and like always she questioned if we were considering it and instead of saying no I just shrugged my shoulders and slightly smiled, our arrival home I finally told him a simple yes knowing he had given up asking me and we sat up talking despite our tiredness and spoke about when we would start trying and never once shared a fear about our plans. Little would I know within 6 weeks of agreeing I'd be sitting on my bathroom floor holding five positive tests in my hand having thought it'd take us months to conceive, I thought it was a fluke but the doctor confirmed the next week I had just reached four weeks and to be prepared for an early March baby, a Spring baby as well. It was probably a good thing we conceived so soon because I would have most likely taken back my yes and gone and had my quarterly shot and disappointed Peeta yet again.
No every kick or every time it rolled over I froze, certain new death was upon me and wonder if I chose the right path. I hadn't got used to the idea of growing a child inside of me, 9 long months had passed and I still froze in fear. It was a weird concept being an incubator for another life. Every choice I made affected the unborn child. That's why Peeta banned me from going into the woods alone. He was fearful for me being outsmarted by an animal and not having anyone to protect me. I stopped going to the woods when I could only just see the tops of my toes and when my balance started to go and when the snow started to fall hinting at the final stretch of pregnancy before our baby arrived. I was then confined to the house, reading countless, boring books. I added to the book that will help our children understand and be brave. Knitted clothing for the baby. I talked baby names with Effie over cups of tea which kept me from going crazy on my good days, despite my lack of conversation starters, she though entertained me about Haymitch and her life, their geese and their two children aged 10 and 6, who they had adopted and were teaching to be braver each day. If Effie, Haymitch or their children weren't around I took to sleeping all day as I began to tire more easily each day that passed, I wondered the town when I was restless, helped Peeta at the bakery or when he taught art at the school on Thursdays or just spending days in bed, unable to move after a bad night.
This walk though was needed after 3 long months of being cooped up in the house counting down the days until the baby come. There was hardly any snow on the ground and the ground beneath my boots slushed as I walked to the meadow, getting fresh air and trying to bring on labour, the soft ground relieving some of the pressure in my swallow ankles. Three weeks ago I had experienced Braxton hicks, thinking it was the real thing. I called upon my doula late that evening and kept Peeta up for nothing. I felt like an idiot but Rosie assured me plenty of first time mothers mistook false labour for real labour. Slight twinges had come and gone the last few weeks but nothing has come of it. It would pass in a few hours and mostly I just slept them off.
I was officially three days passed my due date and I was ready for it to be over with. I couldn't see my feet and tie my shoes. Sleep was hard to come by and every time I'd try to get comfortable I'd need to pee or the baby would be stirring inside of me. I'd become grouchier and moodier the last couple of weeks with the lack of sleep and the restlessness or not being in the woods. Haymitch had made sure to stay as far away from me until the baby came even missing the Friday night dinners both our families shared, instead hiding at home while his family sat at our dinner table. Peeta dismissed me from helping him at the bakery and the school because of my mood and made sure I stay home and rest. I took my frustration out on him more times than I should have but I was ready to move into the next stage and he understood the frustration I was experiencing.
Rosie and my mother had suggested ways to bring upon labour and Peeta and I had made sure we'd try them a few days before my due date in hopes of speeding it up. My mother had repeatedly told me that they had their own idea. Babies would come when they were ready, they wouldn't listen to their mother's or doctors. They were happy doing their own thing. I was just carrying a stubborn baby, who was too comfortable to leave. My mother said that I was the same, I was a week late and had my mother in labour for 30 hours. She hinted that it'd be a mini me the way things were and to get ready for a stubborn baby. I rolled my eyes at that thought and wondered why she'd say such a thing. Rosie told me my belly hadn't dropped which was a good indication of when the baby would be arriving and only on my due date had she told me I had finally dropped but give it a couple of days yet before the baby would be here. She just suggested the techniques and told me to be prepared to hold out for a little while yet.
So my walk brought me to the meadow. Spring was in the air, the birds were nesting and singing and the flowers were once again growing on the mass-grave. I felt a slight twinge in my back placed my hands to my back riding out the uncomfortable twinges I had been experiencing since I woke. I continued on walking, the golden yellowed furred dog right beside me, zig-zagging in front of me, sniffing the new flowers and smells that spring brought. The dog had been an early birthday gift from Peeta six years ago. He bought her from The Capitol, with Effie and Haymitch delivering her after months of scouting for the perfect companion. Effie and Haymitch also bought home their adopted children who they'd spent 6 months trying to adopt. The dog, or Bess as I called her became a substitute child for the last few years and showed Peeta and I what it took to raise something. The dog was an important lesson and I think she helped me agree to have a baby. Loving something else wasn't so bad and could be done.
Bess stopped and turned to look at me, her tongue hanging from her mouth and her tail wagging in excitement. I threw a stick for her to chase and we continued on walking. Bess was the perfect companion for therapy for Peeta and I. Always by our side, watching over us or curled at our feet after a long day. The months when my stomach popped and grew she found pleasure in resting her head on my belly and curling beside me on the days we stayed inside the house.
She had come back with the stick in her mouth and held it for me in her mouth, understanding how hard it was for me to bend over. She seemed to understand me more than myself most days. I threw the stick and followed her trail before finding a perfect place to sit on a fallen tree. I was exhausted after that walk and needed to rest my feet, especially with the cramps and twinges. It was just after 1 and I knew Peeta didn't finish until 4 today. Monday's were his busiest days and he worked 13 hour shifts to make up for no trade on Sundays and prepare for the week with ordering supplies and picking up stock from the early train that arrived.
I still remembering telling Haymitch about the baby, he basically put it as Peeta's bun was in the oven. For the years after grew back together, Haymitch would ask if a bun was cooking. It'd been a running joke for 15 years now and I knew the minute he'd meet the baby he'd say the bun was finally cooked.
Bess trotted back and sat at my feet, gazing upon the meadow and letting the warmth hit her golden coat and take in the new sounds, smells and sights. I patted her head and felt another slight twinge and exhaled as the pain finished and I knew it was time to head back.
"Come on Bess, time to head back."
The dog walked proudly beside me not protesting to go back. She went everywhere I went and was happy to be in my presence all the time. She walked ahead of me as we came to the start of the meadow and she sniffed the ground stopping and turning back towards me, tail wagging.
I then noticed what she had found. This time I bent over, not caring about my lack of gravity and I pulled the yellow flower from the ground. This was the first flower for the season. I lifted the flower to investigate. A more painful twinge came to my back and the baby grumbled inside of me.
Rebirth. The yellow dandelions in the spring.
I dropped my hands to my stomach and smiled.
My little dandelion was on its way.
I lift my hand and softly trace the flushed baby skin with the first dandelion I picked for the season. 27 hours later I lay with the newborn snoozing on my bare chest, her head placed fitting against my left breast, her ear pressed to the lulling of my heartbeat. Listening to her familiar lullaby for those months growing inside of me. My heartbeat and songs could only settle her. Her daddy reminding me that even she had stopped to hear me sing, just like the birds did.
She didn't stir as I kissed her for the thousandth time and lay the dandelion on her back. I looked across at Peeta and smiled at his sleeping form. His arm was wrapped around my swollen belly were the baby's feet stopped, tightly holing me to him as he slept. I looked back to our daughter and she looked exactly like her daddy in a peaceful snooze. The long labour must have tired both of them. Peeta especially since he hadn't slept for 40 hours. Having worked a full day and then finding me clutching the couch as the twinge turned into the first aching cramp that was enough to take my breath away and bring the start of labour and 25 hours of gritting, bracing and clutching.
He never once left my side, his hands were on my back the minute he walked through the door and found me clutching the couch. He didn't rest one minute, even as I laboured late into night and into the new day. He clutched my hand as the contractions grew together, rubbed my back where it hurt and whispers sweet nothings while I dozed and rested like Rosie suggested I do. He was right by my side for 25 hours. He sponged down the sweat from my brow, pushed the stray hair that had fallen from my braid behind my ear and fed me ice chips. He climbed in behind me in the bath, rubbing my back as I let the water do wonders to my aching body. He never made an excuse to leave, never slept when I dozed instead he opted to rub my back and kiss my forehead and spoke to the baby who was fighting its way stubbornly out of my body. Even when I threw up on him, he didn't leave my side. He simply kissed me, removed his soiled shirt and returned to comforting me. Even when I cursed him for getting me pregnant he laughed, kissed me and asked me to remind him about that when we were holding the baby.
I watched his eyes, taking everything in. Taking a mental picture of the whole labour so he could express these things in his drawings and paintings later on. He wasn't missing a thing and even remained behind me, my back pressed to his chest as it came time to push, our fingers entwined, grasping and clutching for physical support. I insisted he watch where Rosie was.
"I'm happy right here."
When I felt the baby descending, I reached our hands in between my legs and we got a first feel our baby's crown. The first touch of our first baby. Our hands remained there and we felt our baby slip from my legs and into our hands as we brought the screaming infant to my bare chest with tears falling from my eyes at the sight of our first baby. A girl. She squirmed and screamed in shock of the new world. Our little dandelion. Our little bird. Our little bun. Our own little mockingjay.
That moment she entered the world, everything fell silent. Even the birds stopped their afternoon sing-song to listen. The sounds of new life brought silence to the whole of District 12. It was the sounds they'd been hoping to hear for years and they finally heard the most anticipated baby of the century.
The pain of being in a long labour was gone. Pushed aside because pain didn't matter right now. My mother was right, nothing beats the feeling of holding your child for the first time. The world seems perfect. There's no pain. No fear. No hunger or death. It's just you and your baby in this magical cocoon.
The moment she stopped squirming on my chest and gazed upon the two people she'd love the most in the world. My heart stopped and my tears fell harder. The years I had experienced hunger, pain and fear simply turned to those yellow dandelions. My past didn't matter. Only she did. She looked to her Mom and Dad, deadly silent. Inquisitive of the new world and the sounds of our voices cooing to her. She memorized the first sight post-womb. I gasped when I noticed the blue of her eyes. Her baby blue eyes she inherited from her father. I was joyful she had his eyes. Another trait she inherited from her daddy.
I had memorized every little detail of her in those few short hours, so had Peeta. I wanted to remember everything about her so I could tell my mother when I phoned. I wanted to be able to tell people exactly what my daughter looked like and remember it for years to come, when she grew into the beautiful young woman.
She had dark wisps of hair upon her crown. Dark hair like mine. She had little ears that replicated sea shells. Like the ones Peeta and I collected when we visited Annie and her son years ago. She had her daddy's beautiful eyes. Beautiful eyes that would make anyone fall to her feet. Long eyelashes that brushed the top of her full, chubby cheeks and tickled my chest. A perfect button nose that Peeta insisted was like mine along with a perfect pout. Little lips that made a perfect pout while she slept, Peeta joking she scowled just like me. Her fingers were perfect and tiny, balled against my chest with her right thumb pressed firmly in her mouth. The other first wrapped firmly around her father's finger. She hadn't let it go for nearly an hour. Her skin was still flushed, no longer the faint blue when she lay on my chest. We wouldn't know for a while if she carried olive skin from the Seam or merchant pale skin. She had chubby little legs and tiny feet that were smaller than my palm. Ten little toes that would be perfect for walking, dancing and hunting. The one thing we found together was the faint birthmark on the bottom of her right foot.
A birthmark the shape of a bird. A mockingjay.
She was a constant reminder of our painful years growing up and growing back together. The reminder of the love I have for Peeta. The war we survived and the dandelions that grow now. The fire I had once to fight for a better life and the fairness of no longer being a pawn in their game. The fight of survival and every good deed I had seen someone do. Also everything I had done for people. She represented growth. The growth between Peeta and I and the unforeseeable things we can share together and help comfort the nightmares we both have.
I was scared of bringing a child into the world. I was scared I would be a terrible mother. I was scared I was too messed up and damaged to love and grow a child. I was scared for the safety of the child during one of Peeta's episodes or one of my moments.
But he reminded me how good I was at taking care of my Prim. How motherly I acted with Rue during the games. How kind I was with the other children of the district who visited the bakery on their way home from school. How much my strong maternal instincts showed when babies came to the bakery on their mother's hips and how comforting I was to the children of friends.
He reminded me that I was perfectly fine. That I wasn't too messed up. What I had endured in my lifetime wouldn't damage my raising of a child. It'd just remind me how wonderful life could be amongst the destruction. How I needed something good to come from the bad and be reminded how wonderful it was to love.
But now I felt a whole lot of overwhelming emotions from after these last few hours with my own child finally here.
My love has stretched to welcome this little stranger into my heart and my life. I can happily say how much I love this baby and I've only just met her. It's an overwhelming love, much like Peeta's and mine. That hole in my chest feels a little more whole now. I never was a true believer in true love but seeing my baby, I found myself stumbling again. Stumbling into this true love feeling. Like when I realised how much I loved Peeta, how my heart raced, my stomach filled my butterflies and my mind went crazy. The need to be with him fuelled this fire inside of me. My baby has me falling in love all over again.
Fear also evades my emotions but fear is a big part of parenthood. My mother told me this. She was fearful the day she became a mother and hasn't stopped fearing the worst is yet to come. The games were a big part of those fears and the poverty that we were raised in. Fearful that we wouldn't wake to see another day. Afraid to send your own into the games to fight to the death. Fearful that you'd outlive your own children.
My mother has experienced all those fears. She hasn't escaped them either. She's lost a husband, watched her daughter go through the Games twice, lead the rebellion, risking her own life to protect the thousands living in Panem, then being told her youngest daughter was blown to bits. She lost hope years before I went through the Games and her ray of sunshine, Prim was here one day and gone the next.
I understood what those fears felt like right now and I appreciated my mother for everything she has done. I've been a mother for a few hours and I understand that love mother's talk about. The fear they feel every day. Even when their children are safe and well, they are fearful every waking minute.
My mother lost the love of her life and I almost lost mine. Countless times. I wouldn't survive without Peeta right beside me now.
Peeta, never once told me he was scared to have a baby. Never once did he share his doubts over us raising a child. Our nightmares and terrors scaring the child. Those dark days when we didn't leave our bed would affect our parenting. He believed we'd be able to pull through, maybe the love of the baby would help ease away the pain we felt. That our nightmares would drift into dreams and those episodes would become less frequent with a distraction.
But I knew that the baby just brought upon more nightmares, involving our baby. I was experiencing those mother fears long before I could see the bump grow and feel her move about. I was told I was a mother when I expressed those doubts but it wasn't easy for the remaining weeks of pregnancy.
Peeta helped me though. When I woke from a nightmare, he'd be there, he touch my belly and remind me of the dandelions in the meadow and the freedom our baby would have to sing, dance and laugh. How it'd always have a full belly, a home and a lot of love.
"What if I don't love the baby?"
"At first, you might not. It may be scary, the prospect of becoming a parent but it becomes clear when you first hold your baby, look them in the eyes, hear them cry and kiss their forehead. You may feel broken now but the baby will glue you back together and you'll find that fire inside. You'll fall in love again and understand what unconditional love is. Don't doubt not loving the baby, worry about smothering them with too much love."
He always had a way with words but tonight, I found him speechless for the first time I had known him.
I smiled at him sleeping peacefully beside me. His blond curls in a mess over his eyes. His body still and calm. No nightmares or terrors had overtaken him tonight and I knew he was experiencing a peaceful dream. All the years we had shared a bed, this was the first time he looked undisturbed. I ran my hand softly through his curls and smiled remembering when he saved me from hunger when I was a young girl. Throwing me that bread to save my mother and sister from another night of starvation.
If I believed in fate, that day would have hinted at my future. To where I lay now. The bread thrown to save my life. To the toasting we had done years prior. When I told him my love for him was real. Fate had it that that boy would save my life. That I would save his life. That we found we couldn't live without each other.
I wondered what would have happened if we were never reaped. If I would have noticed him, gotten to know him and stumble into my first true love. I liked to hope I would, I'd like to think that I would understand that I needed more in my life, more than just the woods and Prim. That I'd need someone who had the ability to make my heart flutter in my chest every time I saw him. I wondered if I'd let my guard down and let him in despite my protests about marriage and family before I was reaped.
I liked to think things would be perfect if the war never happened. If we hadn't experienced what it was like to be a tribute and kill other children who were just as scared as you were.
Those things happened and life seemed perfect right now. Even if we weren't stable to have and raise a family. Nothing mattered in this moment. The world was closed off to us. Our past didn't exist. Death hadn't happened so much in our lives. We were happy. We were new parents in this little bubble of excitement and lack of worry.
My stomach growled, bringing me back into life. I knew I need to keep my strength up now since I had just accepted a full-time job. A job needing my undivided attention 24 hours a day. Slipping behind on meals would tire me easily and I knew that I would need a lot of energy to keep me going with the many feedings, diaper changes, sleepless nights and the demand of loving the baby along with Peeta.
I looked to Peeta and could see him stirring beside me.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."
"You didn't." He says sleepily with a smile. "You feeling alright?"
"I'm brilliant. I think I've memorised her features already." I say looking back down to the baby.
"She's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen." He says lightly rubbing the baby's back before lifting the dandelion I left to bring it to my hair, tucking it behind my ear. "And you're more beautiful than ever."
I find myself smiling wider. This is the most I've smiled in my whole life. My cheeks flushed at his words and his lips meant mine, touching so softly and delicately.
"I've been such a hog, would you like to hold her?"
He nods his head, his eyes going bright. The sun was setting in the distance and the room was filling with his favourite colour.
I tried my best not to jostle her as I moved her up off of my chest so Peeta could grab her and hold his daughter for the first time. He settled the baby in his arms. She briefly opened her eyes with a scowl on her face at the disturbance but the butterfly kiss to her forehead and the sound of his heart settled her again and she made no fuss about being in her father's arms.
I knew that from that moment, she'd be daddy's little girl. She'd get away with anything. They'd share butterfly kisses, communicate with beautiful words and paintings and share a bond like no other. She'd take care of him just like my dad took care of me and bonded with his passions.
My heart throbbed at the two of them and I knew I had made a great decision. Even if it was still early, this was what we needed. Another person to love. Something to help us heal and grow stronger.
I slipped from the bed, grabbing a silk robe that was nearby and headed to the bathroom to freshen up. My hair was all over the place, my eyes had dark circles starting to form, my skin all sticky with sweat, tears the vernix and blood. I sponged my body down and found the hinting pain of delivering present in my belly and thighs but it wasn't anything that I couldn't handle. I'd survived a war. Childbirth was nothing.
I left the bathroom feeling refreshed and found Peeta standing by the opened window with the baby in his arms, swaddled tightly in a yellow blanket and I could make out that he was talking to her, showing her the world outside or his favourite colour. Sunset orange.
I snaked my arms around his waist and rested my head in between his shoulder blades and smiled. He was warm and exactly what I needed now. Just him and our little girl.
"The sunset is beautiful tonight." He says softly. "I think it's hinting at the little beauty we have."
I felt him turn around to face me and he dropped a kiss to my forehead. Murmuring that he loved me.
She rested her sleepy head on the picnic blanket in the meadow under the big willow tree. Her lips smacked together around her thumb that found its way into her mouth. Nothing disturbed her. It was peaceful here. The birds carried on my song while the breezed danced around her. The daisies danced in the wind around her. She was protected. She was safe. She was happy.
I ran my hand over her head, smiling at how peaceful she looked. Her dark hair had started to curl as she got bigger. She was only a year old but she looked exactly like me. She was my mini me and tried to copy me and would go wherever I would. Bess watched her from the blanket as I stood and picked the daisies as the dandelions hadn't grown yet. I was hoping to find one to tie the year together but no yellow flowers had appeared.
Today we came to the meadow for a tea party and to see the flowers of spring and sing songs. The meadow song was her favourite, especially when the birds sang it to her. She thought it was amazing that they would sing it just like Mama did.
When she woke from her rest under the willow tree she smiled at me and reached her hand out to me. I'd been watching her for the two hours she slept, watching over her to make sure nothing hurt her. I kissed her outreached hand and pulled her to my chest, hugging her. This was the only thing that calmed me down.
"Let's go and see Daddy." I tell her, knowing that Peeta would be waiting for us with her birthday treat.
I sat her on the ground as I folded up the blanket shoving it into my bag. The tea pots and kettle were also put into the bag with the snacks and drinks for us. She had gotten the hang of walking just the last few days and insisted she walk which slowed the trip down but brought great joy at her growing up.
Today though she reached up to be carried and I swooped her into my arms and carried her on my hip. Bess set off ahead of us and we followed her to the entrance of the meadow. She giggled as I tickled her with the daisy in my hand and babbled on.
It wasn't until we caught up to Bess when I realised the first dandelion had appeared and in the same place as last year. I stopped and dropped to my knees, setting her on the ground.
"Look baby, dandelion." I say pointing to it.
"Oooh." She says smacking her lips together to make the noise.
"Pick it baby." I coax her and in between her fingers she grips the stem and pulls the flower from the ground and pulls it closer to examine it. "Good job."
She hands it to me quickly and I roll the stem between my fingers sending the flower dancing.
"Dada." She says pointing to the flower.
"We'll show Daddy." I say lifting her up and carrying her the rest of the way home placing butterfly kisses on her temple.
She's content in my arms until we sight the house. She wiggles in my arms at seeing Peeta out the front talking to Effie and Haymitch and I set her down on the ground, handing her the dandelion.
I watch as she heads towards him, Bess walking protectively beside her.
"Dada. Dada. Dada." She calls as she heads towards him.
Peeta turns, looks at his daughter and bends down to accept her into his arms as her pace quickens and she falls in his arms.
"Hello Bird." He says kissing the top of her head.
"Ook." She says holding out the first dandelion, looking a little banged up after the hug.
"Oh that's lovely." He says taking it from her. "But I think it looks better right here." He says placing it behind her ear just like he did to me last year after she was born. "Now you look beautiful."
It was hard to think just 12 months ago this little girl had just entered the world. I sat kissing the tiny baby on my chest and studying her features. Today, she was picking flowers, walking, talking and having her first treat. Where had the time gone? I didn't regret those hours of holding her in my arms when she slept, tracing her cheeks with my finger, staring into her eyes as she stared back at me. Those newborn cuddles weren't a waste of time. It was me bonding with my little girl, understanding her and capturing her into my brain for the years to come like now when she wasn't that tiny baby and growing too quickly.
I smiled at my family and fell to the ground beside them. "Happy birthday my dark haired beauty." I say kissing her cheek and revealing the cupcake that Peeta had made for her treat. It was the shape of a flower.
The bright yellow frosting that meant rebirth. Strength and love.