This is it! Wish me luck, everyone! It's going to be a little short, and most likely FAST, so apologies if you don't like it.
My GOD. Please, if you know what's good for you, go to YouTube and search Let Me Take You There by the Plain White T's. Really. Your heart will never be the same.
"I know a place where we can hide out
And turn our hearts inside out,
No one would know who we are…
Let me take you there"
The next day I woke in Gale's arms as I had the last. They kept away my nightmares, oddly enough, but when I realized what that day was, I wondered why I hadn't had bad dreams. This was my last day in District 2.
Trying not to be too incredibly upset, I scooted out of bed and shuffled over to the closet as Gale woke.
He rolled out of bed and squinted at me through his dark eyelashes as I began taking all of my belongings from his room. We hadn't discussed my stay after yesterday's picnic. There was nothing to discuss. But the quicker I left the better, so I didn't have time to change my mind.
After shoving all of my stuff into a bag and setting it on the couch, Gale and I met in the kitchen to work on breakfast.
"What time are you thinking of…of leaving?" Gale asked while stirring bitter-smelling coffee.
Unable to think too deeply of that subject, I just shrugged and took a bite of porridge.
"Are you going to talk to me at all today?"
It wasn't a mean question, nor particularly resentful.
I let out a loud sigh and rubbed my eyes. "Yes, Gale. I am. I just have nothing to say."
Silence for a minute.
That kind of startled me. I put down my spoon and furrowed my brows at Gale through my loose hair. "I thought we were going to walk to the station together. I'll say goodbye then."
I had to admit, things were a little stiff between us. Even after the talk we had yesterday… Especially after the talk, my feelings for him had changed drastically. Not like you'd think, though. Things went from me not knowing how I felt to really not knowing how I felt and questioning whether or not I loved him.
I loved Peeta.
But he was dead.
Did that matter? Would he care if I loved someone else so soon after his death? Though what we had was special and beautiful, maybe Gale was better for me than Peeta was.
After breakfast, I zipped up my jacket and put on my hat, and as we walked outside (a backpack slung over my shoulders), I realized it had begun raining again. It did that a lot, I realized, letting cold water shower down from the sky, drenching everything in sight.
The second I stepped off of the porch the rain plastered my hair to my forehead and dragged my clothes downwards with its weight.
"Are you going to be okay?" Gale asked, speaking loudly over the sound of shattering water droplets. "In the rain, I mean. I have an umbrella inside if you n—"
"I'm alright," I reassured him, and slung my bag over my shoulder again to slog onwards down the road.
That mile seemed like the longest mile of my life. Through the rain, everything around me a monotone grey to fit the mood, side-by-side with Gale, who looked like he wanted nothing more than for me to stay. It hurt so badly.
As we walked, I recapped in my head the ten days we'd spent together. I saw Gale's smile every time I showed some sign of hope, however rare. I saw him biting his lip whenever he reached out to touch my face.
Swallowing with an attempt to quell the pain rising in my chest, I glanced over at Gale. When he caught me staring and looked back, a small, sad smile reached his lips and he held it for just a second before we stopped at the booth selling train tickets.
"Destination?" quipped the knobby boy holding tickets.
Still fighting sorrow, I spoke past the lump in my throat. "District Twelve," I said quietly, and the boy nodded his head, giving me the tiny slip of paper.
"Train leaves in fifteen minutes," He shook rain out of his hair. "Only one ticket, miss?"
"Yes, thank you."
Feeling my eyes stinging—and not because of the rain—I stuffed the paper into my pocket.
It was impossible to look Gale in the eyes. I knew that he was holding back pleads for me to stay. I was ready to plead myself, but I did my best to not change my mind. I can't stay, I told myself. It's not even an option.
"I'm boarding early," I told Gale, voice full of tears and upset. "I-I'll see you another day."
Gale frowned deeply and shook his head, obvious grief in those begging gray eyes. "Please…Please, Katniss. Just a little longer."
I shook my head wildly. "I can't. I'm sorry."
I couldn't bear to see his face anymore, so I hiked the pack up between my shoulder blades and left, clapping my hand over my mouth so my sobs could be muffled.
The train was dry and warm, but stuffy. People shuffled by, mumbling amongst themselves. They paid no attention to me, surprisingly, but the second the door closed behind me I felt lonely. Warmth from the cab was nice, but nothing compared to having a pair of arms around you. Was I selfish for wanting to stay? Was I selfish for wanting, because I only missed him for my own purposes? I didn't know if I loved him, but I did at the same time.
If I tried, could I?
The train let out a hiss that sounded a little like the rain and I lurched a little as it began chugging forwards slowly. Out of the window I saw Gale, a black, blurry form way down the road. Drenched in rain and shoulders hunched, the tiny figure turned and began growing smaller as we parted.
Between one second of watching him and setting my backpack on the ground, he was there talking to me and holding me again. Immediately, I regretted my decision.
How come I was leaving him? No one wanted me back at home. My family had given up, the primroses were dying, Haymitch took Peeta's death as a reason to drink himself into even more of an oblivion. No one was waiting for me. Except Gale.
H was there for me, he helped me.
He stood by my side when I cried.
He didn't stay angry at me when I had a meltdown.
He tucked me in at night when I was lonely.
He let me sleep in his bed with him when I was lonely.
He held my hand when I wanted him to, and respected my space when I didn't.
He loved me for who I was and not who I hated myself for being.
That in itself was reason enough to stay. After being so broken, I was practically unlovable, but somehow this man continued. He'd never given up on me.
Yet I'd given up on him.
Faster than I thought possible, I slammed open the sliding doors form the train and sprinted down the aisles. My legs pumped back and forth as I crashed into people, stumbling past, not bothering to even mutter an apology.
I ran into a train attendant bolting up a door on the side and I shoved him away.
"Miss, you can't exit when the train is moving. Y—" he started to say, but I kicked the door open and stumbled out.
Thankfully, the train wasn't moving too fast when I got out. I tripped and tumbled into a puddle, soaking what little of my body that hadn't been soaked already. Furiously swiping the water from my eyes, I stood and began stumbling back in the direction of the platform fifty feet away. My feet made slapping sounds against the pavement as I stumbled.
By then, I could barely see Gale. Rain poured like static on a TV screen, making visibility very limited, but I ran as fast as I ever had. My heart leapt into my throat and my head was screaming "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" but my mouth was yelling, "GALE!"
The blurry, near-invisible figure of Gale paused and turned right as I launched myself into his arms.
Our wet bodies collided almost painfully. My arms went around Gale's shoulders and the momentum swung me into the air as Gale's put his arms around me as well.
"Katniss, you're missing your train," was the first thing he said when we finally staggered apart, drenched and shivering.
"I know. I don't care. I-I—" Words filled my mouth, trying to roll off of my tongue but none of them would actually come out. What to say? I jumped out of a moving train and ran into his arms. What had I really been thinking?
Gale put both his hands on my shoulders. "What are doing?"
"Staying," I said before I could really think about it, but then I clamped my mouth shut. And then the words flooded. "I haven't been fair. I'm sorry. You've been so wonderful and I-I've been terrible and I have no one left except…except you."
There was silence except for the sizzle of rain around us. Rivulets of water ran down our faces and hair and clothes. Every part of me was soaked, but I didn't care.
Gale furrowed his brows for a split second, looked away, and then looked into my eyes again. "…I've got no one except you, too."
I was unable to say anything else. Rain mixed in with my tears as they washed down my face. Standing there, eyes locked with the grey of Gale's, I could only imagine what life would be like without him: lonely, painful, silent, exhausting. Here with him, no matter how cold and wet we were, I only felt appreciation for his friendship.
When I lifted my head near his, I didn't really mean for it to happen, but he closed the last few inches between us by gently pressing his lips against mine. It lasted for only a second, but that was all it took.
"Come on," he wrapped his hand around mine and pulled me towards the other direction, towards his road. "Let's get you into dry clothing."
I knew that it would take a long time to reciprocate his love the way he did, but I would try.
Maybe I would heal.
Maybe I wouldn't.
Either way, I had my best friend back, and that was all I wanted right then.
Ten days wasn't long enough to fall in love, anyone knew that. But it was enough to realize what I had and to realize what I'd be without it.
I'd be nothing without Gale and we both knew it.
I loved Peeta, but his time passed. I'd start anew with fresh feelings and an open mind. I'd never forget him, and that was okay, but hopefully those memories would someday would only be memories, and no root for pain. I knew him, and I knew he'd just want me to be happy.
I wasn't going to be happy for a long while, but I could try.
And try I did.
The first day I was shattered.
The second day, he tried to mend me.
The third day I sat with him, healing.
The fourth day I cried over the scar.
The fifth day I went to sleep with him.
The sixth I found his arms after a nightmare.
The seventh day I hold his hand.
The eighth day I let him kiss me on the forehead.
The ninth he makes me laugh.
And on the tenth day, I was ready to start again.
TA-DAAA! I don't finish stories often, but this…this impressed me. I'm very proud of myself.
Did you guys like it? I know I rushed at the end, but WHO CARES? Gale and Katniss are finally together!
Now, being Team Peeta 90%, this was incredibly hard to finish (especially after my story Hourglass), but I did it! So yay!
Who loves me enough to review? Do you?