An idea I had. The Main character's name I got from Angles On the Moon, so credit goes to her for his name. It's of the drabble-ish kind. Hope you like it.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games
I smoothly caress the warm bread in my hands, fresh from the oven. I take in the warm and familiar scents. I carefully lay the loaf on the counter, when I hear the telltale ring of the bell signaling a customer. My head snaps up, finding the familiar face of Nadine. She comes to the Bakery everyday, but all it does is just annoy me.
"Hey there, Hearth." She says in a sweet tone that does not sound natural on her. She runs her hand through her blonde curls. She bats her eyes and stares at me.
"Hi." I say, taking out another loaf of bread.
"Oh, is this for me? My, what a surprise!" She sings.
"Not really, Nadine. You ordered those and told me you were coming to pick them up." I say through gritted teeth. She sighs, her face looking sad.
"Hearth, why have you not taken a liking to me? I am quite beautiful." She says, batting her eyes.
"Because, I know what you do to the other girls at school. You taunt, tease, and bully them. That's why." I say, never meeting her blue eyes. Eyes just like mine.
"Well." She says, storming out the door, leaving to bread behind. I sigh.
"Aw, baby brother's got girl problems." A familiar and gruff voice says behind me. I whip around to see my older brother with a sarcastic grin on his face.
"Shut up, Farley." I say, rolling my eyes.
"Are you going to make the run over to the Calo's?" M y dad asks, entering the room, a bag of flour slung over his shoulder. When we didn't respond, he asked again, "Farley, are you going to do the run over to the Calo's?"
"No." I said quickly. "I will."
"Why?" my brother taunted. "Because Maybelline will be there?"
My face grows hot as I think of the girl form the Apothecary. "No." I say sheepishly. My brother laughs, and I do my best to ignore him.
"It doesn't matter who does it, as long as it gets done." my dad orders.
I take the bread in my arms, set it on a plate, and cover it with a white cloth to keep the warmth trapped. I rush out the door to avoid my brother's sneering face, and my dad's silly smile. I walk down to familiar path, enjoying to sunlight bouncing off my pale skin. Soon, I find myself in front of the Apothecary. I brace myself and knock on the door. Mrs. Calo answers, giving me a smile, and ushering me in. I walk into the familiar house and place to bread loaves on the table. I look around and find the room empty.
"Where's Maybelline?" I ask, trying to sound board.
"Oh, she's out with Maysilee and Aaliyah." I recognize the name of the twins form the candy shop.
"Oh," I mutter. "Alright, thank you." I say.
"No, thank you, Hearth." Mrs. Calo says while cleaning herbs.
I sigh, and exit through the door. While closing to door behind me, my head looking down, I bump into someone. "Sorry." I say without looking up.
"Don't worry about it, Hearth." A beautiful voice chimes. My head snaps up, and I'm looking into the cobalt gaze of Maybelline. I catch my breath, and try not to blush. She giggles, and my heart melts. "I'll see you at school, Hearth." I nod, and hurry on my way, never looking back.
A hand slaps down on my table, giving my lunch a little bounce. I look up and see Maysilee Donner giving me the death-stare. "Can I talk to you, Hearth?" she asks. I've never communicated with Maysilee before, so I don't know what brought this on. I get up slowly, sending a look full of terror to my friends, before I am dragged off. I follow her behind a corner, where she whips around like lightning.
"Do you like Maybelline?" She asks suddenly.
"What?" Is all I can say. Her face brightens up.
"I knew it!" she sequels. "Aw, your so cute." She says. She then returns to her death-stare.
"Please, it couldn't be more obvious. You were totally gaga over her. Your eyes her all big and googley." She laughs. I feel my face heat up. "But don't worry, she doesn't know. She doesn't realize how many boys swoon over her. She only has eyes for one…." She trails off, covering her mouth with her hand. "I didn't say that." She tells me.
"And you don't know that I liker her." I say right back at her.
"Deal." We shake hands.
I didn't mean for Maysilee to become my best friend, but it sort of just happened. She would come to the Bakery and joke around with me. We didn't just talk about Maybelline, though I admit we did bring up that subject a lot, we also talked about other stuff too. Like bread and lollies. Cakes and gumdrops.
One day, Maysilee decides to accompany me on the run to the Calo's. We joke and laugh, but soon she hushes me. I raise my eyebrows in confusion, but then I heard it. The soft tune of a mockingjay. In response, a human voice answers in song. The voice is compelling and beautiful. Maysilee sneaks forward, peering behind a corner. I set the bread down and follow her. To my great surprise I find one of the Seam boys. Everything is silent, that is until I slip, fall into Maysilee, and cause a commotion of sorts. I jump up, retrieve the bread, and continue on with Maysilee as if nothing happened. Once we are sure we are out of the Seam boy's range of hearing, we laugh. My sides hurt by the time I reach the Calo's house. We enter, and there is Maybelline, looking like a goddess, laughing at her dinning table with Aaliyah. They look up, there gaze drifting from me to Maysilee. I set down the loaves of bread, blushing madly, when I hear Aaliyah's whisper directed to Maybelline.
"I think he likes you."
I feel the color drain out of my face, and when I look at Maybelline, she is blushing wildly.
I leave the house in a hurry.
The day of the Quarter Quell has finally come. The cursed twist this year, is that the tributes will be doubled. I fear for myself. My brother, Farley, is safe, recently turning nineteen. But I was sixteen, and still very eligible for the Games. I trudge to the Town Center, a mere ten yards from my front door. I slip into the section that holds the males that are sixteen. The mayor drabbles on, and then the escort appears, happily pulling names out of the glass bowls. The first is a girl that I do not recognize, but I can tell she is form the Seam. Then the escort's hand dives back into the bowl for a second name.
"Maysilee Donner." Through the shock and the silence, I can hear Maybelline and Aaliyah cry. Maysilee, my friend, the only one that didn't tease me about Maybelline, the only one that could make me smile after a particularly hard day. Then another boy from the Seam is called. Then there's a name I recognize.
"Haymitch Abernathy." The silent Seam boy from my year walks up onto stage. He stands beside Maysilee, looking past the crowd at nothing we can see.
I watch the 50th Annual Hunger Games with my brother. Maysilee has stayed alive long, and an alliance with Haymitch a couple days back. As a shot of them walking appears, my dad orders me to make the Calo run. I take the loaves of bread, and walk the usual path to the Calo's house. I step in and find that family, along with Maysilee's family, squished into the family room, their eyes never leaving the screen. I watch with them, the bread still in my hands. I see Haymitch on the ledge of a cliff as a rock sails out of the sky and lands in his hand. He laughs when at the same time a scream pierces the air. Haymitch whips around, and runs back through a hole in an incredibly thick hedge. He sprints the where a girl withers in pain. As he reaches her, a candy pink bird skewers her neck. Maysilee. Haymitch holds her hand while she dies. The cannon goes off, while simultaneously the plate of bread I was holding falls to the ground. The weeping families whip around and see me. Mrs. Calo stands up and picks up the bread, while my eyesight gets blurry with tears. I look at Maybelline and see tears streaming down her cheeks. She tightly holds Aaliyah. I don't even look back as I race out the door.
I furiously kneed the dough. The symbolic dough. The dough that means marriage. All of my hate goes into the wedding bread. Once it is done baking, the bell rings. I look up and see Maybelline, and once again my heart melts. It's been three years since I've last been in her house, three years since Haymitch Abernathy won the 50th Annual Hunger Games. Most District 12 girls get married at the age of nineteen, so I don't see why it was so much of a problem for me. Then her fiancé follows her into the Bakery for the first time. I recognize him as the Seam boy Maysilee and I heard singing that one-day. I pass to them the wedding bread with sad eyes. They walk out of the Bakery, arms linked, him whistling a tune. I guess I should be happy, but all I can feel is sadness.
Many years have passed, and I have been blessed with three sons, all bearing blonde curls and deep blue eyes. I have a beautiful wife, Nadine, but that is all I can compliment her on. Her beauty. My youngest, and I have to say, the one that is most like me, has turned five, and today is the first day of school for him.
I take the hand of my eager son, and we walk to the streets to the school, him admiring everything we see. When we reach the school grounds, I see them across the field. A little girl in a red dress, grasping the hand of a sturdy Seam man. While we were waiting to line up, I whisper to my son.
"See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner." I say grimly.
"A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?" He said, searching my eyes.
"Because when he sings . . . even the birds stop to listen." I explain remembering that day with Maysilee.
When I go to pick up Peeta, he sings the whole way home, occasionally stopping, his hand cupped around his ear.
"What are you doing son?" I ask.
"I'm trying to see if the birds stop to listen when I sing, just like they did when she sang today." He explains, once again cupping his ear.
"Who?" though I already know the answer.
"That girl you pointed out."
Once we are home, I set Peeta on the counter, and turn to the oven. I kneed bread, and bake cookies.
"Daddy, Katniss was so pretty." Peeta says, swinging his legs.
"Who son?" I ask.
"Daddy, the girl." He says like I should know. "She was even prettier that momma." He says.
I chuckle. "Don't let your mother catch you saying that." I stare at my son, knowing that he's a goner, just like I was.
I sit outside the door, the Peacekeepers guarding the entrance. The door opens, and comes Maybelline and her young daughter. They are both crying, and don't see me. They just walk the other way, mourning.
I enter the room cautiously. I sit awkwardly on the edge of one of the plush chairs. She studies me with her father's eyes. While she looks just liker her father, she radiates the calm energy of her mother. I pull out a white paper package from the pocket in my jacket and I hold it out for her. She takes it, and peers inside to see the cookies I've baked.
"Thank you," she says. I stay silent. "I had some of your bread this morning. My friend Gale gave you a squirrel for it." I nod, remembering the trade with the Seam boy. "Not your best trade." She says, but I just shrug. It doesn't matter.
We just sit in silence, until the Peacekeepers come for me. I rise and cough, clearing my throat. "I'll keep an eye on the little girl." The one that looks like Maybelline. "Make sure she's eating."
They usher me out of the room. I only hope she does well. She should, what with the strength of her father, and the heart of her mother.