Already Dead

Cato
June 17 began Summer Training Camp. Camp was usually fun. I got to spend time away from my family and more time with my sword. But this year, camp was a different experience. I spent more time with this new girl than with my short gleaming silver weapon.

Clove

Camp sucked. My mother was a nurse. My father was a miner. So why do I have to be a fighter? I got thrown into this hell hole called Summer Training Camp where I have to learn to handle weapons and fight other kids. At my school in the Second Town, we don't learn any of this. If you wanted to become a fighter, you go to the Main Town. That's where the Academy of Victors is. The name explained it all.
But then again, I guess you can say camp was alright. I didn't make friends but I got my own person stalker. It's a long long story.

Cato
It's not that I liked her or anything. She needed help, she was new. I was just being nice. Seven year olds don't mix in well with others at Camp. Usually you start at eight. But she was really good and smart. So the older kids bullied her and I just watched. I admit, I felt bad about it. So I went out to the lake that evening and caught her crying. I told her I was sorry for not helping her. I told her my name was Cato and that I came from the Main Town. "I don't care. Leave me alone," she told me. I continued annoying her until she gave me her name. "Clove," she spat at me. Then Clove punched me hard on my jaw and left.

Clove
Cato tried to talk to me every time I was free. Which was pretty much always. At meal times I sat alone but then the idiot would come and sit with me. I think his friends gave him a hard time for sitting with the gloomy new girl. But I have to admit, he made me feel welcomed.

Cato
My friends didn't like that I was hanging out with Clove. They said she was creepy because she always had on a blank face and her dark hair over her eyes. The older kids that I was friends with said something about hooking up with someone too young for me. I didn't understand. Only 10.
I thought she was nice even though she liked to push me away. I noticed Clove is really good at throwing knives.

Clove
Camp ended today. I was happy to go home.

Cato
I went to see Clove this morning before I left but she was already gone.


Cato

It's been 4 months since Summer Training Camp. I kind of missed her. I hoped she will come back next year.

Clove
I missed him. He followed me around everywhere and said he was looking out for me which was annoying but I missed him.


Cato

Today started another 2 and half months in Camp. I looked for Clove all day but I couldn't find her. Maybe she really does hate me. I just wanted to be her friend. During the last year I have tried to work out a way to talk to her. But she's not here.

Clove

It's like a game. Catch me if you can, Cato.

Cato

So she was here after all. She showed up in my weapons class and just threw a knife across the room. It missed the target completely but caught everyone's attention. The instructor introduced everyone to her. He said her previous year at the camp had been for catching up. He said she was going to be joining our level. An eight year old with a group of eleven year olds, ok yeah, she's good.

Clove

Lessons in the fourth level are hard. I'm only 8, I'm meant to be in the first level. But I'm a selective student and mother said it's an honour. So I have to attend. Cato looks out for me, though. It's nice.

Cato

I tried to help her. I tried to talk to her. But she wouldn't listen. I know she's struggling.

Clove

I'm going to quit. But I'm not going to give up.

Cato

It was the last day of Camp today. "I'll be training at home with my dad. He'll help me and I will get better. I will be back before you know it. So promise me you'll remember me? You're the only friend I have here," Clove said. I promised her that I'll remember her. I asked her how long she would be gone for. "A while," she replied.

Clove

I think I will miss Cato a lot. He was really nice to me; he was a true friend when I didn't want one.


Cato

It's been three years since I last saw Clove. I still remember her. But barely.

Clove

I'm moving today. I might see Cato. I haven't forgotten him, I just don't remember well.

Cato

I've been to three Reapings. I'm 14 now. I want to join the Academy of Victors. I want to go to the Games one day.

Clove

I'm ready. Three years of private training and today was the day. But I thought the Academy was going to be easy. It wasn't.

Cato

I bumped into Clove at school today. The biggest shock of my life. It was really weird too. We just stared at each other in the hallways. I just couldn't believe it. And after three years, Clove had changed so much. She was taller, she looked bigger, healthier and really pretty.

Clove

Things aren't so hard now that I let Cato help me. We practised after school and snuck off during any breaks we could find. He remembered to remember me.


Cato

It was Clove's first reaping today. She masked her emotions well. But I could see right through her.

Clove

I was scared of being Reaped. I don't want to leave just yet. Everything was beginning to feel right and make sense. I don't want to die yet.


Cato

I thought we were only friends. I didn't know Clove would feel that way.

Clove

Betrayed. That was the first thing I felt. And for a 13 year old, that's a big thing. And I could not have imagined what I saw when I pushed open the door of the storage room. Her hands all over his back. His hands running down her arms. I dropped all the knives I was holding in my hands. I cut open one of my toes. Why did I wear flip flops today? But I just turned and ran.

Cato

I really could not explain to my friends why I had a black eye and a red throbbing bruise on my jaw. I wasn't going to tell them a girl, three years younger than me, had bashed the shit out of me. Yeah, that's what Clove did. I chased her all the way to top of the school, that's 6 flights of stairs, and got kicked across the face. At first I couldn't really understand why she was crying and screaming at me.

Clove

I overreacted.

Cato

I apologized and tried to give her a hug but she would not stop trying to hit me. When I noticed her foot was bleeding, I picked her up and carried her over my shoulder to the infirmary. It was hard trying to walk with a girl kicking at your face. But she calmed down after I fell down the stairs. She just laughed at me, got up, and left me.

Clove

He deserved it.


Cato

Clove didn't talk to me for 2 months straight.

Clove

On his birthday, I told him I was sorry.

Cato

I told her it was okay to feel that way.

Clove

I had no idea what the fuck he was trying to say. Seriously.

Cato

We hugged and got back on track. "Best friends, nothing more, right?" Clove asked. I nodded. Yeah, right.

Clove

I'm too young for him. We're just friends.


Cato

"I know it's wrong and I know you told me that we should just stay friends. But I just can't do it anymore, Clove. I can't just go around pretending that there's nothing going on here. That I don't feel anything. I do feel something and I know you do too. You're younger than me and most people would say it's wrong for me to feel like this. But I don't care what other people think. No one has ever made me feel this way. And I need you to know before something happens. I'm in love with you, Clove. And I'm sorry that I am."

Clove

"You don't have to be sorry. In a world like this one, we grow up quickly. We learn things most kids along, long, long time ago don't. I'm only 14, yeah I get it. And you're right, people will judge. But I don't care either. I love you too, Cato. There's no denying it."

Cato

We kissed. I could feel her warmth all over my body.

Clove

I like the storage room now.

Cato

We kept it a secret. No one needs to know.

Clove

We still do the same things, before school, during school and after school but now things are less awkward and a whole lot more fun.


Cato

It's been a year. Everything feels perfect.

Clove

Our secrets are now rumours, but we don't care. We're happy together and Cato said that's all that matters.

Cato

She was reaped. Perfect forever after, shattered.

Clove

His hand was the first to shoot into the air. The fastest volunteer I have ever seen.

Cato

I have to protect her. Whether we are together or not, it doesn't matter. Clove is my best friend, she has to come home.

Clove

We talked about it immediately. On the train, in my room. We don't care about the escort, the mentors. Hell, we've been training for this our whole lives.

Cato

We argued. She doesn't want to go home without me. But she has to. There's only one Victor.

Clove

I have to protect him. I have no one else. And he can do it; I don't want to hold him back.


Cato

The Capitol was stupid. All those stories they told us about it was all rubbish. The Capitol is just a piece of stone junk. District Two made the stone but the Capitol transformed it into shit. Clove was taken away from me. They have to prepare us for that parade. My costume was hideous.

Clove

I literally fell to the ground laughing when I saw Cato. And I thought I looked bad. But his arms were quite… ok, you know what I mean.

Cato

The week gets worse. Training can't even be called training. The other tributes were just annoying. Taking my knife, thinking they're so good. Yeah, wait until I kill you all.

Clove

Training was a big fat laugh. They had trouble pulling out the knives I threw at the targets. Pathetic, really. Cato sliced up over a dozen dummies. Yeah, we had fun. District 1, our soon to be allies are alright. Marvel is, actually. Blondie just needs a knife down her throat.

Cato

Private training came along and I breezed through it. Scored a 10, too easy.

Clove

Pulled a 10. But some bitch from 12 got an 11. And Cato broke a table.

Cato

Interviews with blue headed freak were fun. I got to tell the audience what I'm capable of and also I got tell the other tributes to watch out for me. Well, not in so many words. But District 12 better really watch it. Clove looked beautiful tonight.

Clove

Cato looked seriously hot. District 12 better give it a rest. Twirling and confessing love? Only idiots do that.

Cato

Clove came into my room tonight. We discussed the Games and how tomorrow would work out. "You know how Lover Boy from 12 confessed his love to that bitch, right?" Clove said. I told her we shouldn't do the same. "I know. Because it wouldn't be believable with our age difference and everything but you could… with someone else," she whispered. I looked at her. I sternly told her no. I will never be with anyone else and especially not in front of her. "Go to Blondie. I'm sure she would be interested. Who wouldn't? It could get us sponsors." I still said no.

Clove

After hours of arguing I had finally convinced him to put up the act of being interested in Blondie. Glimmer, I should say. "But I will only show interest. And nothing else. No kissing, touching or anything like that," he said. It felt good that he said that. That he cared so much. "I still love you though. No one else, ever," Cato said softly and kissed me. I kissed him back and the lights went out.


Cato

The Games begun. Killing felt… different. Not what I had expected.

Clove

The days went on slowly. Watching Cato flirting with Glimmer was hard. Lover Boy joined us too.

Cato

After a few days, we finally caught up with District 12. That was my first goal. Next is to kill her. She proved to be better than I had given her credit for. So we camped out under that tree.

Clove

Glimmer slept next to Cato. I slept with my knife in hand. That bitch make a move, that bitch loose an eye.

Cato

Fuck, tracker jackers.

Clove

It's been a few days since Glimmer died. But Cato and I kept out distance. We talked little and minded our own business. It was certainly hard.

Cato

Now the supplies are gone. That fucking bitch will pay. With her life.

Clove

We separated today. After the explosion. There were no supplies left to share so Marvel left. Which meant it we had to separate too. Cato told me to stay back a bit. As soon as Marvel was out of sight, he hugged me. The first time I touched him since that night in the Capitol. "Please be careful, Clove." I will not cry.

Cato

I don't want to leave her. I said I would protect her. But I don't know how. "I love you, Cato." She whispered into my chest. No one would have been able to hear that. I would have kissed her but Clove ducked out under my arm and ran off, grabbing one of the surviving back packs and took it with her.

Clove

I had made it quite far into the woods when the announcement was made. About having two Victors. I pretended to ignore it and I moved on. I wanted to find Cato but it was too late.

Cato

A feast was announced. I thought it was best if I went. I know Clove would go too. She's not the type of person to back out of something like this.

Clove

I went to the feast. I got the bag, I got District 12. But I was too caught up in trying to kill her that I forgot the most important lesson I learned in school. Watch your back. The boy from 11 came and I wasn't ready. He grabbed me and threw me. I couldn't do anything. I just called for Cato. Not because I wanted him to come and save me, no, he was probably too far away. Cato was the last person I remembered and thought of before the darkness took me away.


Cato

I am twisted. I am bad. I am all types of wrong. I will never ever forgive myself for it. I was too far away, I wasn't fast enough. I heard her, I did. I shouldn't have left her in the first place. I sat next to her, I carried her lifeless body in my arms, I closed her eyelids, I pressed her to my chest. She deserved to be remembered. There was nothing I could do, though. And it was the first time in years that I cried. But Clove was already dead. And so was I.


Cato

I killed Thresh for Clove. Just for Clove. And then I sat there screaming at the sky. I don't want to kill anymore. I just want to be at peace. Clove bought be peace, I just want to be with her again.


Cato

"Go on. Shoot. Then we both go down and you win. Go on. I'm dead anyway. I've always been dead right? I didn't know that 'till now. Is that what you want! Huh? ...I can still do this. One more kill. It's the one thing I know how to do. To bring pride to my district. Not that it matters…"


Cato

The pain was unbearable. I tried to resist and I tried to find peace. But I just wanted it to be over. So I could leave this place. And maybe I could find Clove again.

As the arrow sailed towards me I wished that none of this had happened. Then I remembered Clove and how she once asked me to remember her. I hoped she remembered me when she died. Because I will always remember her, and I'll never forget her.