iI could see her. She sits in a wide green meadow, head thrown back in happy laughter. The sun glints on her blond hair as the breeze teases it. I must have made some noise. Her head turns and bright blue eyes fix upon me. A wide smile breaks out and she waves to me. Jumping to her feet she begins to move towards me.
Suddenly a dark shadow falls over the meadow. We both look up and there are silver balloons drifting slowly from the sky. Her sparkling laughter rings out once more and she reaches for the closest balloon. Even as her fingers brush across it, my heart seizes in my chest in a knowing fear. The balloons explode. The meadow disappears in a flash of red hot flames./i
I scream her name even as I find myself sitting up in bed. Tears roll down my cheeks and I stare blindly at the empty doorway, almost expecting to see her run in…for the nightmare to be over. She doesn't come. Instead of her tiny frame and soft voice, a strong arm anchors me to a broad chest, and a gentle masculine voice reaches my ears.
I shift so I can peer into Peeta's worried blue eyes. Tonight it would be my nightmares that kept us from sleep. I lift a hand, brushing back a lock of hair from his face. One side of his mouth lifts in a comforting smile as he captures my hand in his. He rubs his thumb over my palm as our gazes remained locked.
"You want to tell me about it?" He asks quietly, not pushing, but leaving the door open for me to decide.
I take a deep breath and my eyes drift shut. "I don't know."
He gives a small sigh. "Lay down while you decide."
With my own small huff of amusement, I do as he says. As I nestle against his side, I find myself focusing on the similarities between them. Some are superficial: both blond, both blue-eyes; while others run deeper: both of them want to heal others, help others. I realize I am still thinking of her in the present. I force myself to stop and a small sob chokes me.
"What?" he asks quietly. "What is it?"
"She's gone," I answer him in a whisper. "She's really gone. I feel like someone has taken half my soul. I don't have a sister anymore."
His arms tighten around me, and my tears dampen his chest
"Oh, Katniss, you'll always be a sister; you'll always have a sister." He stops me when I try to speak. "No, you listen for a minute. Yes, Prim is gone." He pauses to run a hand down my hair when I choke back another cry. "She's gone and you'll always miss her, but she's still your sister."
"She can't be!" I cry out, trying to pull away. "She's not here!"
"You just can't see her," he says as he refuses to let me go. "I don't know what happens when we die; I don't know what's next, but I refuse to believe all of the light, all of the joy that made Prim who she was would just vanish into nothingness. I have to believe she's somewhere; somewhere happy."
I hold my breath for a moment before raising my head to meet his eyes. "Do you really think so?"
His eyes filled with tenderness as they locked on mine. "Yes, I do. I know she's somewhere right now…probably with Rue and your father."
"And still my sister," I say, more statement than question even though I still can't let go of my doubts.
"Still your sister," he affirms, letting me burrow back against his side.
I release a deep, cleansing breath and my eyes begin to get drowsy as the tension seeps out of me. "Still my sister."
I can imagine Peeta's smile as his tender voice follows me into sleep. "Still your sister…your sister always."