The Aftermath

I could feel myself waking up. What, was the torture going to continue? Any more poison or weapons headed my way? My eyes popped open and I realized there was a ceiling above me. I tugged against my restraints. I was in a hospital of some kind. Then, my blood turned to ice. I was in the recovery room in the Capitol. I had won the 222nd Hunger Games. I continued to tug and yank. I could hear my heart meter going off. I had to get out of here! Why was I tied down? Nurses rushed in and held me down. Then I saw one of them stick something in me. I felt myself fading away again. Damn Capitol…

I woke up again and realized my restraints were gone. As I sat up, I realized I had been out for a really long time. My back ached and I was really drowsy. The food by my bed was cold, but I ate it mechanically. I needed something, anything in my body. How could I be alive? I walked around, in search of a mirror. Nothing. Then my stylist, Metis, came bursting in. I hugged him, relieved that he wasn't some creepy nurse. We walked off to a room and my prep team was there. I knew that we were getting ready for the big interview.

They primped and prodded me, my stylist shouting commands all the time. There wasn't time for small talk; I had to be ready as soon as possible. Once I had been soaked, yanked, and every other torturous thing possible, my stylist whipped out a beautiful gold dress. It sparkled and was just…stunning.

"You're a victor now. Better start looking like one," Metis shouted.

I robotically inserted myself into my dress. Metis then pulled out a mirror and the first thing I noticed was my eyes. What had they done? My eyes were now the deep blue of the ocean.

"Sorry, Memory. We thought it would accent your hair better…" I just nodded to them. What's done is done. Plus, and I would never admit this, I really did like my eyes this color, instead of boring brown. My red hair was curled to perfection and glinted in the light. In actual sunlight, it would look like it was on fire. The dress, the dress only highlighted my new found beauty. Did they give me some medication or had the treatments done the trick? I looked actually stunning! No longer was I boring Memory Summit, I was a dazzling victor. I miss that boring girl. I miss the girl who would just spew random facts. The Capitol killed her, too.

I reached down inside myself, to find some kind of emotion. There was none. I was still empty. I wasn't sad, I wasn't mad, I was just empty. I grabbed my stylist into a huge hug. I felt nothing, but even I could be grateful that somebody seemed to care for me, even if they showed it in an odd way. The guards came and "escorted" me to the launch room. I was a victor now, couldn't we be done with this game? I reached my pad and found Felix. I ran to him and gave him a huge hug. He may have never sent me anything, but he knew I didn't need it.

They went up one by one. I heard the applause for everyone. Then when I hit the stage, they went insane. They screamed and chanted my name. They loved me, even though they didn't know me. How insane is that? I headed to my "throne" and gave Europa a hug. She seemed genuinely happy to see me. Of course, it could be all an act. Then President Raven comes out and shakes my hand. She sets the crown on my head and gives me a huge smile. But her eyes… they're as black as her soul… I sit down and hope for the torture to end soon. It won't.

They start the video off with the Reapings. I see part of Aidan's reaping and then all of Memory's. I knew what they were going for this year. The girl who lost it all, but won anyways. They showed Memory on her chariot, proud and happy. They showed her entire interview, where she looked as if she was on fire. They showed her first entering into the Cornucopia. They showed her running away. They then showed Aidan and Avery running off in the other direction.

They show her trying to scavenge for survival. They show Aidan's departure from Avery. They show Avery's death. They show Aidan's travel through the forest. They show Misty killing Cherry. They show her and Derek fighting. It seems like an eternity before she kills him. I watch as Aidan comes to her rescue. I see her full recuperation. I see how much they loved each other. They flash to clips of Sophia, Misty, and Taylor and Jessie every now and then. They were the others that made it to the end.

I see Aidan and Memory on the beach. I see how in love they were. I see their first kiss. I see the many kisses that follow that. I see Aidan's death and how heartbroken she is. I tear up at this. So much pain…then I see Memory change. She isn't Memory anymore, but something else. I think I'm going to call her Luna. I don't know why, but she seems like a Luna to me. I see Luna kill Amy. I see Luna play with Iris, and then eventually kill her. I see Luna trick Sophia into Memory's old cave.

I see Luna play with Sophia. I see Sophia play back. Then the creature comes and I see myself. The empty, logical girl that is in this vessel now. This is the new Memory. I see myself run and hide. I see myself kill the creature and protect Sophia. I see myself escape the cave. Then there is a dramatic good bye to Aidan, through the spreading of his ashes. Sophia and I fight. Sophia dies. I wake up and head to the Cornucopia. I capture Jessie and am then shocked into depression by Taylor.

I see Jessie die. We chase Misty. I get hurt. I pass out. Then I see how the rest ends. Memory and Taylor's battle. Taylor getting poisoned while Misty is bleeding out. I wake up again. Taylor should have won. That would have been the fair thing. Life's not fair, though. I will actually miss her just as much as Aidan. I never knew her, but she was so kind to me. She made me compassionate again. Taylor was the girl that I hope will live forever in our hearts. I would tell the people that someday.

Then it ends with me closing my eyes and whispering Aidan's name as I slip off into unconsciousness. By now, I am in tears again. I just want the torture to end. I answer when spoken to and the questions are very simple. Then Europa brings up Aidan and I perk up.

"What was that?" I asked.

"Do you still miss Aidan?" she asked again. Anger boiled up inside me.

"Do I still miss him?" I hiss, "Apparently you've never lost someone! I will forever miss him! I will never stop missing him! He was one of the most important things to me. If I chopped off your hand, would you always miss it?" By now I was standing and screeching at her. Europa looked quite frightened, but I didn't care.

"Losing Aidan was like losing a vital part of my body. Killing each one of those tributes was like losing a limb. Watching tributes die was like another organ in my body failing, so don't ask if I still miss anyone. Just…don't." I sit back down. The rest of the interview is full of small talk and laughter on Europa's part.

I walk off the stage and run back to the prep room. No one is in there so it's safe to cry. They're angry tears, but they're tears just the same. I get pissed off and start shoving things over. Chairs, mirrors, tables. Then Felix comes in and grabs me. I try to shake him off but he holds firm. I feel my throat contract and a noise that sounds like I'm choking. I collapse into his arms and begin to sob. I sob for my dead tributes, I sob because I won, I sob because I'm alive. He holds me and strokes my hair.

I sleep peacefully that night. I dream of Aidan, Taylor, Jessie, and I playing hide and seek in a field. I don't know why we play hide and seek, but it's fun. I wake the next morning, rested. We board the train and we head off towards home. I cry some more, but mostly just stare into the distance. I just want to go home. We stop and I get ready to depart. I walk off the train and the cameras are there, ready. Kyliee comes and tackle hugs me. I hug her back and laugh. I thought I would never see her again… Then my sister Evangeline comes and I hug her too. Both of them are in tears but I can't muster them up. I'm done crying. I see my parents in the distance but don't acknowledge them. They weren't ever there for me, so I won't be there for them. Simple. I walk to the Victor's Village, where I'll be neighbors with Felix. My sister is already moved in, thank God!

I walk inside and slam the door. I just want them to go. They finally do leave and Evangeline and I chat. It's not very long, since I am exhausted. I fall asleep and don't wake up for some time. Then I fall into a robotic way of life. I get up, eat breakfast, go for a walk, talk to my sister, hang out with Kyliee, eat some more, read a book, eat dinner, take a shower, and go to bed. This goes on for some time. I hear whispers from people. They are worried about me, but I don't care. Did they think I would come back perky and laughing?

Evangeline tries to get me to open up. I shut her out. Kyliee tries to distract me and get me to laugh. I think more and stay stolid. I feel myself slipping under. I wonder why I'm alive. My dreams turn into nightmares. I can't find my friends anymore. They have hidden and can't be found. The times I do find them, they are dead. Then finally I get my waking call. It's time to start the Victory Tour.

I get up and dress in a simple white dress. I smile for the cameras and board the train. Time to get it over with.

I first head for District Twelve. It isn't that bad. I never knew the tributes. I dress in a grey dress that sparkles like diamonds. I see Meli's family. They seem sad, but not mad. They knew they were going to lose him. Aspen's family is a different story. They are holding a baby girl and I can tell they are heartbroken. Aspen had a little sister…one she will never know. I tell them I'm sorry for their loss.

Then there comes District Eleven. This is worse. I maliciously killed Amy. I wear a dress that is sky blue, but it's very simple. I first see Darren's family. So many siblings… then Amy. They give me this look that says what I did was unforgivable. I can live with that. What Luna did was just terrible. I tell them Amy was a great person and that I apologize immensely.

District Ten is pretty bad. Iris's family gives me the death glare, but they don't seem as mad. They seem a bit more sympathetic. Maybe they knew she would want them to be that way. Tallen's family seems reserved. My white dress is beautiful, but behind it is an ugly soul. I tell them no one could rival Iris' pure heart.

District Nine isn't bad at all. I wear a forest green dress and the families seem okay. Alexander's seem sad, but not overly angry. Cherry's seem completely indifferent. I tell them Cherry was a great competitor and Alexander didn't deserve to die.

District Eight is the worst. This is Aidan's hometown. I reach the stage in a long, swirling black dress. I glance at Avery's family first. They are all crying their eyes out. I feel for them. Then I see Aidan's family. His parents don't seem overly sad, but his sister seems so innocent and sad. So I do something I've never seen a tribute do. I walk down to their platform. I tell Avery's family I'm sorry for their loss, but my main objective is Aidan's sister. I rush over to her and hug her. She cries and I tell her how much her brother loved her. How much I loved him and would in turn always love her. I then hug his parents and tell them to take care of her.

Then, District Seven is hard. I almost killed Jessie and I completely murdered Derek. Yes, it was in self defense, but they might not see it that way. Derek's family seem on the brink of tears, but strong. Jessie's father is beside himself with grief. I tell them I'm sorry and that I wish they didn't have had to die. My brown dress mixes in with the forest floor.

District Six is a breeze. I wear a beautiful yellow dress that makes me appear like some ancient sun goddess. Misty doesn't have anyone standing in her family circle. No wonder she wanted to win. Wesley's family seems sad, but they seem to have moved on. Good, that's the healthy thing to do. Except humans don't usually pick the healthy way. We pick the painful way.

Then I have District Four to deal with. My biggest rival's home. I wear an ocean blue dress and enter the stage. The crowd seems pretty riled up. I look over at the families. Seel's seems heartbroken and Sophia's seems depressed. I apologize for their losses, but I tell them how great a competitor Sophia was. How she was my greatest rival.

District Three is almost as hard as District Eight. Taylor could have won. All she had to do was kill me. She could have outlasted Misty. I apologize in my orange dress for the families loss. I apologize for their daughter's kindness. I apologize that I'm standing here and she isn't. As I walk off stage, I see Taylor's family sobbing. Then, my arm gets pulled. A boy comes up to me and whispers thank you. His face is pained, and I can tell he has been so injured he will never move on. Who was that? It must have been someone important to Taylor.

District Two is easy. I hated both of these tributes. I am dressed in purple and briskly apologize. I do the same thing for District One. Neither of them deserves my sympathy, nor do they want it. Then, I am in the Capitol and it's beyond my wildest dreams. The party is fantastic. I wear a beautiful red dress that swirls when I dance. The other parties are nothing compared to this. I am the belle of the ball. Everyone wants to dance and talk to me.

I laugh and pretend to be happy for the cameras. When will this newfound torture end? When the party is over, I board the train again and fall asleep. I have a nightmare that Amy kills me again. We finally get back home and I couldn't be happier. Finally, this will all be over. After the Harvest festival, anyways. I hug Kyliee and Evangeline. I did miss them a lot. Over the next few days I get ready for the party in my honor. I wear a gorgeous new red dress with sapphire accessories. I have never looked so stunning. Before I have to leave for the party, I step outside.

I need another break. I start to walk. I missed home. I never want to leave. As I step out into the streets, I spot something. A small child reading a book. I smile. That's just like how I was. After a few minutes, the child looks up. I gasp. He looks just like Aidan. He has his brown eyes. His mousy brown hair. Even his stupid grin. I start to breathe shallowly. This can't be happening. This kid couldn't be any more than eight. Then he comes up to hug me. I hug him back, unthinkingly. He grabs his book, flashes me another smile, and runs off. I have the urge to chase him down, but instead I fall to the ground. That kid…I might never see him again…unless he is reaped…no, he can't get reaped…

Then I mourn. I let out all that I'd been holding in for the last half year. I let out all my anger, sadness, confusion, and fear. I let out the coldness I've built up inside me. I begin to feel again. I cry, laugh, shout, and cry some more. I get up and head back to the house. I redo my make up and meet my best friend and sister for the party. As we walk, I talk again. I can feel again. I see them exchange confused looks. I tell them the percentage of confusion most people feel a day. As I walk into my party, I realize something. I have to mentor forever. I have to be there for those kids. I have to help them win. I can't just sit back here and let them die. I also realize that I will never fall in love again. Yes, I may flirt and have little flings, but I can't let myself fall in love again. I can't bear the thought of losing a child to these games. Of mentoring him or her through the games. Of watching him or her die.

I am Memory Summit. I am fifteen years old. I won the Hunger Games, but lost myself. I watched betrayal after betrayal. I closed myself off. Now, I'm back. I can feel again and will help others survive. I will not let the deaths of Aidan, Taylor, Jessie, Sophia, and even Misty go unrewarded. I will help others survive. One day, this will all change. I get to help in the best way I can, the only way I can. Keeping some kid alive who could change this world for the better. I gaze up into the starry sky. Aidan, I'm going to live for the both of us. I will always love you, and I will live for both of us…

Wow, it's finally over I want to thank all my readers for reading and reviewing. I want to thank my beta for dealing with my crap. Well, this is the end of this story. It's happy, but sad too. I am doing a sequel, the 223rd Hunger Games if you want to go read it .

Wow I don't want it to end, but it will so for that last time, review and have a great week!