CHAPTER 17

Stupid. What was I thinking? The moment Vick proved my intuition over Gale noticing my pin, I then realize how much of a mark that has been for Katniss on screen. A few times it was even focused on, as a way to show her token. Still, how can no one notice? Does anyone even remember? I think back to when my father was angry over me giving the pin to Katniss as a gift, how worried he was; knowing how much danger I've placed her in. It hasn't been talked about for years, and this alone is proof that it's not remembered. The first rebellion against the Capital, the true mark for freedom. The last of its kind.

"Madge!"

I glance back to see whose following me. Gale. This is not the time, I'm too agitated; having been blinded by the love I have towards my friend. My legs take longer strides. I didn't even notice the determination Gale had until he jolted me back to face him.

"Hey I'm sorry for what happened back there but..." I watch as his lips move knowing there's words flowing past, but they're faded for me. I'm again back to the memory of handing Katniss the pin, then the dream. I can still feel the flames engulf my hand; the thought still brings shivers to me. I try to think of something else, which brought me back to Gale, and I begin to hear what's being said. "...honey, Bees, Pollen, Bread, Strawberries..." I blink a few times to focus better, why is he saying a list of food?

"Gale, what are you talking about?" I ask.

"Welcome back Undersee, I thought I was going to have to throw a bucket of water on you next." I'm confused again and he notices. "Undersee," He snaps his fingers in front of me, I push his hand away. "What's going on, you're in a whole other world."

I sigh, "I'm sorry, I just have allot on my mind."

"I can see that." he says.

I shake my head. I know he still believes the whole incident with his mother is what's bugging me, but it's not. I can't understand why it bothers me so, him not asking about the pin, acknowledging how it's no longer with me, but with Katniss. I can't understand these sudden emotions flowing through me; I can only conclude it must be exhaustion. Not only physically, but mentally as well. My attention is suddenly drawn elsewhere, the surroundings of what the crew have changed throughout the Square.

"The town actually looks decent," I say.

"It's abnormal." Gale spats looking disgusted at the change.

The Square looks more clean, the walls have been sprayed down from dirt and old cob webs that once were attached to the walls of the buildings. A few were even repainted only to be dirtied up again and then sprayed down like the rest, to look as close to blending. The streets were cleaned up from unwanted clutter and raked to look more presentable for when or if the interviews are to begin. The large screen still flashes back to Katniss knocked unconscious now and again with that District 11 girl reapplying these certain leaves to her wounds. I'm surprised from a sudden growling sound next to me.

Gale places his hand over his stomach and I knew admittedly what he needed, "Have you ever had a Crape before?"

"I haven't had one of those in years," Gale says.

I smile in response and we head back to my home. I'm unease with returning to the house so soon, with strangers now living with me, but it's all I have. Once we make it to the kitchen door, I try to open it as quiet as possible to not startle the cook, she's a bit malicious when she wants to be. So far I've stayed clear as best I could when she's in the kitchen. So far her moods have simmered when ever she's away from her post to an almost caring woman. Lucky for us, she's nowhere to be seen, which means she's either upstairs in her room or went out to the Square to shop. Either way, she's not around and that's to my liking at the moment.

"How are the newcomers fitting in?" Gale grabs a couple of plates from our cupboards as I pull some mixing's out of the pantry.

"Can't really say, it hasn't been long enough to tell," I say. "For starters, be happy Cook's not here, or we wouldn't be able to eat."

"That bad huh?"

"It hasn't been two days yet, and they both act as if they've been here since, before I was even conceived." I begin to stuff fruit inside the crape's with more force then attended. "Oh, Madge you look more like your mother with every passing day." I say in a high pitch voice, as similar as I could to the Cook's. "Miss Undersee, must I remind you music, should not be played around such late hours." My voice went as deep as possible for our, "butler". I could still recall the anger I felt the moment he shut the lid to my piano forte on me.

"You play the piano?" Gale surprised me from his question. From all I mentioned he asked about the piano. "When I was last here, I saw it sitting in the other room. I'll admit, I thought it was for show."

"It calms me when I need it too." I reply finishing up the Crapes and handing him his.

"Will you show me?" He asked.

We head into the sitting room. After placing my plate down on top of my forte, I take a seat and open the lid to show the beautiful 88 keys before me. Gale then leans against the forte and watches with wonder as I position my hands.

I sigh nervously, "I don't know what to play."

"How do you usually get started?" He asked.

"I think of my day, and let it come to me." I reply, still frozen in place.

"Well then," He says, and then pushes a key down. "I guess it starts with a pebble."

I smile at his metaphor, and suddenly my memory returns to that morning when I first opened my eyes to see a pebble hit my window. How I rushed to see the connection, finding Gale outside waving for me to follow him. The excitement I felt seeing him, knowing a surprise was about to take place. I felt my fingers glide across the keys, but my mind wasn't focused on the music, but of my emotions I felt, the excitement, thrill - I didn't want it to end. The danger and adrenaline I had felt when crossing the fence, the adoration I felt when seeing the beauty surrounding us in the wilderness, and the majestic aura of the sky's gracious gift this morning. I felt it all as it flowed through my veins and spilled onto the keys. I almost didn't want it to end, but my heart was content, and I opened my eyes after the last stroke.

I look to Gale and see his smile, a smile he's done so well to keep hidden from me for years. I almost want to look away, a slight tingle in my cheeks as heat slowly rush to them; but I don't. Gale was the first to look away, back to the keys.

He then takes a seat beside me, "Who taught you how to play?"

"My dad," I say. "He was amazing."

"Was?" He asks while hitting a few keys with his finger.

"He doesn't play much anymore. It's hurts his hands."

"To be honest, I pictured your mom teaching you." he says.

A smile creeps onto my lips. "She wasn't good at instruments, but she made up for it with her imagination."

We both are startled from the front door. I get up to see who it was but froze from the image before me.

"Madge?"

"Mom?"