I can hear our four young children play in our yard, there giggles and shouts let me know that they are all ok. I smile listening to our oldest son explain the rules of the game to his siblings, by the silence I can tell that they're hanging on his every word. I glance out the kitchen window and laugh silently at how they watch their brother's every move; the evening air is getting chilly and I call them inside for dinner by ringing the bell by the backdoor.
It's ignored of course I shake my head and look to the clock; Gale should be home from work soon. I set our table and call the children again this time stepping out so that they know they have to come inside. My youngest smiles and hangs onto my legs until I scoop her into my arms. My children follow me inside excited for dinner, I laugh as they fight each other for the sink in the downstairs bathroom to wash up. The youngest one still not tall enough to reach the sink and her older brother has to lift her; I smile at how easily my children look after each other.
I move back to the kitchen and hear Gale walk into through the front door, I smile even after all these years I can't hide the butterflies that fill my stomach whenever I hear or see him. Our children run down the hall excited to see their father, they're still at that age where their father and I are still heroes and can do no wrong.
I dry my hands on the towel and watch Gale as he listens to all four of the kids chat about their day. He looks at me and beams proudly at his family. It took Gale years to even talk me into moving to District 2 and starting one with him, but in the end I couldn't separate myself from him. His hand brushed my face and he kissed me quickly on the lips, causing a shock to travel down my lips to my heart making it flutter.
We sit around the dinner table, Gale strapping the youngest into her booster chair next to him. He tells us about his day at work, he had made it far in the military but now works for the government so he can stay close to us.
Hazelle called, she wants us to visit before Vic's wedding. I sign slowly so that my children can understand.
I watch their faces concentrate and I repeat my signs slower so that they can catch up. My oldest, who is Gale's twin translates for his siblings and then beams when Gale praises him. I smile and brush his hair back; all my children had gained Gale's thick hair although their colors range from dark brown to blonde. The lightest being on my oldest daughter, she has golden brown locks that fall effortlessly in waves.
She speaks lightly to us telling us about the latest birds that have hatched in our bird avery, most of them being meadow larks as a tribute to my late friend. She has a thing for those birds, especially the two pigeons that Gale had found for her. She smiles up at me and I feel a pang because she looks so much like my side of the family that it hurts, I smile tucking her bangs behind her ear. Her voice is soft like my mother's and I had been, of course she would never know that because of what I am.
Our children understand that I don't talk but don't know the details yet since they are all still so young. They know that their father is important because during the anniversary of the war we are bombarded with cameras and Gale's life after the war is featured every year along with the Mockingjay, but we don't mention our burned ties with her. We leave her alone and she leaves us alone, her name almost being taboo here.
Gale clears the table making me rest since I had cooked. He tucks me in front of the fire with my youngest and kisses the tops of our head before recruiting the rest of the kids to help with clean up. I smile listening to the fun that their having with just washing the dishes, I hear the water splash around and know that their probably making more of a mess so I stand and sigh and tucking my daughters hair behind her ears before checking on the progress of the cleanup crew. I sigh and lean against the wall looking at the soapy mess on the floor and cupboards. I hum for Gale's attention and raise my eyebrows at the mess.
"Sorry Thisbe" he smiles teasingly and I smile at how young he seems.
Gale. I sign tapping my foot and pointing at the mess. I'm not cleaning this.
He chuckles and splashes some soapy water at me. I laugh and join in on the fun which soon ends when my youngest son cries from the suds in his eyes. I smile at him and pull him into my arms, brushing his thick brown hair back. I bring him upstairs and am followed by the rest of my tired children; I dry them and get them ready for bed.
I can sense Gale standing in the doorway to the bathroom as we do our bathroom routine. My children brush their teeth, standing from tallest to shortest. I smile loving every bit of them; Gale's arm slips around my waist and together we watch the four beautiful people we created. Each of them having such different personality's but still being as close as possible.
Gale scoops up our younger boy and leads our oldest son to the room down the hall. I can hear them silently whispering to each other, begging their father to let them stay up later. My youngest daughter is ridiculously tired and can barely stand up, leaning on her older sister for support. I smile lifting her up gently, almost instantly she falls asleep in my arms. I hold my other daughter's hand and we make it to the other bedroom across from their brothers.
I hum a lullaby lightly as I tuck them into their matching beds. My youngest hangs onto me and begs me to stay with her until she falls asleep, scared of the monsters that invade her dreams. I can't blame because I still have those dreams as well; thrashing around until Gale wakes me and I walk the short distance down the hall to make sure my children haven't been taken away from me in the night and forced to see the same dangers and fears that their father and I had faced.
When my daughters do finally fall asleep I, I sneak out silently slipping into my sons room to check on them. Gale's still sitting in the blue chair by the closet guarding my lightly sleeping sons from the monsters that are found inside. He follows me down the hall the two of us tired, but happy with our lives. We ready for bed silently, not wanting to make any noises that would wake our children from their sleep.
We crawl into our bed, facing each other and I study every detail of his face. I know every scar, mark, and flaw that makes up his features but I still find myself studying him not wanting to miss anything. His hand slips to the back of my neck and he pulls me closer to him, I push my face into his chest breathing in his familiar scent. We don't say anything because everything between us has already been said, we don't need to communicate to each other how much love there is between us because we already know. Those ties have held us together all these wonderful years of life. So instead I feel his hand push my hair out of my face; a gesture that I'm so used to but still sends shocks through my bones.
"Goodnight This-be" he whispers into the darkness. I smile tracing his jawline with my fingers lightly.
Goodnight Gale. I sign back and it's almost like we're teenagers again back in 13, only this time though are ties are tied tight.
A very big thank you for those who have followed Thisbe's story. I honestly can't express my happiness of all the followers and comments filled with feedback that made me want to continue. I'm still not sure if Thisbe and Gale's story is over, a sequel of some type might be in the workings. Again, thank you all so much and I can tell you that there will be something posted in the future, if it continues on with Thisbe and Gale then I hope the readers here will follow with their story but if not I hope you all still continue to support me with my writings. Thank you all so much.