First of all, I wanna start by apologizing for the length of this chapter. I know that it is shorter than what I got you guys used to, and I'm very sorry for that ... I just ... I don't know. I'll try to make it up to you next chapter!
Also, I kind of feel ... insecure about that chapter, and I hope that I will not disappoint you.
This cannot be happening, I keep telling myself. There has to be some other explanation. Like the Capitol has pushed the button even though no one died. But I know that it isn't true. Deep down, I just know that someone died, and I'm afraid it might be the one that I wanted to stay alive because it was wrong to think like that. And at the same time, I'm afraid that the survivor might be the one I wanted dead because it was also wrong to think that way.
Rykeir's body's on Elven's. And there is blood. So much blood. Too much blood. None of them is moving. I feel like I can suddenly move, and the whole information is just rushing through my entire body as I'm wondering who won the deadly fight. This isn't happening, I keep thinking, I keep hoping, as I make it to the boys' bodies. The gong has been heard. So one of them is dead because I can still hear Piper—I'm almost sure that it's her—whining, and I have this feeling—although I might be mistaken—that Liam is safe. They have to be safe because the Capitol wouldn't want be to rush trying to save them if someone's still alive under that sea of blood.
It's like I can't even think. I can't think of anything else than, Please, let Elven be all right.
As I get closer, I notice Rykeir's sword. Judging by the amount of blood on it, it's what killed whoever died. No. This is a goddamn nightmare. It has to be. No. Everything … It was supposed to be all right! What did I do? I killed him! All of this is my own fault. I never should have dragged him along with my crazy ideas. I never even should have crossed his path. If I had stick to the plan, if I had done what I had to do, I wouldn't feel like this right now. I wouldn't feel like my entire world is about to collapse. Not because I'm about to die, not because I will die, not because I got Reaped, but because he might be dead.
That's not what I wanted to do! I didn't want to kill him. No. Things shouldn't have … I shake my head as I try to take one step closer, but it's just too hard. I don't want to find out who died. But it's only a matter of time before the Capitol shows the entire world in the sky who did pass away unless they're just enjoying seeing me like this, and they'll just wait for me to find out myself. That sounds a lot like them. I take a deep breath, knowing that the faster I do it, the faster it'll be over.
All I have to do to touch them is to kneel down. I do. I have never felt so taken aback before. I feel like I'm about to see something that I would never be ready to. All I can hear is the sound of my own heart beating as if I had just been running a marathon.
And then, as I'm down on my knees, trying to find out who has died, a hand suddenly grabs mine. I let out a little scream of panic, getting up in a hurry, and I stay still, dumfounded as I realize who has made it … but barely. Rykeir's sword has killed one of them, but Elven's—well my—trident is about to kill the other one.
"Jessy," he whispers with difficulty. I now see the way he winces, and how the smallest movement seems to be hurting him like hell. I kneel down again, taking his hand between mine, angry at myself for the previous reaction that I had. Of course he's not going to hurt me.
"It's okay," I murmur. "It's okay. I'm right here."
He doesn't ask me if he'll die; I think that he knows, and I don't mention that fact. His face is already all white, as if all the blood in his body is being drained … which is probably the case. I try to push Rykeir's body away, but I realize that by doing so, it only hurts Elven more, so I stop.
Then, I look up. "Can't you do anything?" I yell, talking to the sponsors. "You haven't given me a lot. All I'm asking for is something to heal him. Please. I'm begging you." But I know that it's not going to work. The District 4 sponsors aren't interested in saving another tribute. And they have lost all interest in me a long time ago. "If you can't, maybe District Twelve can," I say. They should be the ones trying to save him. I shouldn't.
But nothing happens. And it should only be a matter of seconds, but too many have gone by already. It is too late. No one is going to save him … maybe because they have already realized that he cannot be saved. I don't realize that I am crying until Elven painfully sheds the tears away.
"Don't … cry." He coughs, and there is blood coming out of his mouth. He only has minutes left, if I'm lucky and I am wasting them, crying and … just not doing the right thing as usual. I don't even know what to do or what I'm supposed to say. Is he waiting for forgiveness? Is he waiting for me to tell him that … I have cared about him? What is he expecting from me? I don't want him to … I don't want him to leave. I don't want him to leave me. But I don't want to tell him that, I don't want him to acknowledge how much he actually did change me. But maybe that's what he needs, maybe that's what he's waiting for. But I cannot. I've never said it to anyone. And I won't say it to him.
"I … I'm sorry," I say, and judging by the look in his eyes, I know that he's understood that I am not only apologizing for not saving him, for not keeping him safe. He knows that I'm apologizing for everything else.
"D-Don't be," he manages to say. I see how hard he tries to look at me, but it's like he can't even focus on anything. I know how hard he's fighting right now, fighting against Death who's so close to him, who's already maybe holding him in his arms. I already lost him.
I lean down on him and kiss his lips even though they're covered with blood. I'm not even sure he had the strength to kiss back the way he wanted to. Then, I try to get lost in his eyes, to remember everything that he made me feel because I have the feeling that I will lose it when he'll be gone, that everything that I have grown into learning with him won't matter anymore, that it won't change anything else. It's done. It's over. I will never be able to be who I was with him if he's not there to keep me company, to keep me in what seems to be the right path now. If he dies, if he leaves me alone here, I am doomed—not that I wasn't before, but it will be worse. What did the paper say, already? That we couldn't make it without each other. Does that mean that I have to … give my life for him? I don't even know why I'm thinking of this. It seems useless to do so because there would be no hesitation if I had a decision like that to make, and I really have no idea where that feeling comes from because somehow, I feel like it's wrong to believe that.
"I …" Elven tries to say.
"Shhh," I whisper. "Don't try to talk. It'll kill you." But it's not the right thing to say, obviously. He's dead anyway.
But he doesn't listen to me, and he keeps trying. "I … I … I do … I do ..." And he doesn't have to say anything else even though I know that there are more words to his sentence, but he cannot finish it. I know exactly what he's trying to say, but he cannot manage to say it all. Maybe our motives are different, but it is the same. We can't say it. "D-d-do you … ?"
I nod quickly, never taking my eyes off him. "Yeah, I do."
I see the way he tries to smile, the way it really does hurt him to do so, but he doesn't give up. I lean down on him, kissing his lips another time. They're still warm, but barely. I kiss his cheek, softly, and I run a hand through his hair. I feel like if he had the strength to, he would cry, but I only see the tears in his eyes, but none of them are streaming down his face. Maybe he's holding them back for me. Maybe. Then, I hear him trying to whisper something in my ear.
"P... Piper," he murmurs. "M-make sure … sh-she's all right."
And as he says the words, I feel this huge wave of anger flooding into my entire body. Piper. Is that really all that he can think about? He might feel something for me, but it will never be as strong. He would never save me if he had to make a decision while I thought that I could give up on my life for him, to save him. He wouldn't do the same for me. And maybe it's disappointment, but something does break my heart. I can almost hear it cracking in my chest, and all I want to do is just push Elven away, run and never come back, never think of him again, just be over with all this shit, and be done.
"P-Promise me," he says.
I look at him, fire raging in my eyes as I stay silent. But in his eyes, I see that he doesn't really need to hear me say anything aloud. He doesn't truly want me to say anything because if I promise him, he knows that it means that I won't make it. And if I say that I won't promise anything, it means that she will die, that maybe I will kill her. And I feel like he doesn't want to hear any of those answers. He wants to hear a third one, but I don't know what that is. And even if I did have an idea, I wouldn't say it out loud. I couldn't even manage it out. And I don't want to bullshit him. Not now.
"I … I b-believe … in you." He's still looking at me, but I feel like his attention is slowly drawn to something else, that he can't focus on anything else than … maybe the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I should be screaming, that I should be begging him to say, promising him everything he wants to hear, but I don't do anything. I gave him everything that I could, and he's taken everything from me, seeing through my lies and through my acting. I can't let him know that I'm not being true to him right now, at this precise moment. But the fact that … he does believe in me … what does that even mean? It's like he's ripping my heart now that he's broken it. I don't want to be told what to do; I don't want him to pressure me into doing something, but … with that, he might just have. I realize now that despite the fact that I can't express how he changed me and what I would do for him, I might be willing to actually do it. But it doesn't feel right, so I don't know if it's coming from me or from him or from the potion we drank not even a week ago.
I don't look away from his face. I want to be the last thing that he sees. And I need to see him go. I don't know why, but I just do. Even if I wanted to get up right now, I couldn't. It's like my entire body is frozen beside his, unable to move, unable to act on its own. There's nothing that I can do to change what will happen for Elven. And I need to be a witness of that. And that's why I stay, on my knees, next to him, holding his hand, caressing his hair and never taking my eyes off him.
And then, I hear the gong, and I know that it is over. Everything that we ever talked about, everything that we ever felt together, everything is gone. It's over.
I hope that you don't hate me ... !
HungerGamesLoverr: I didn't want either of them to die either ... And I couldn't make up my mind so ... that kind of explains why I did what I did. Hahaha, I hope the update was soon enough for you. I can't believe that it's almost over. Thank you for reviewing and hearing me complain about everything. xx
Margot: Thank you for reviewing! And I sure hope that I did a good job doing a cliffhanger! That was the whole point!
Tom: Hey, you should know that you don't make that much mistakes! and thank you for the review, I sure hope that you weren't disappointed when you read who actually died.
Absolutly Adorkable: I hope that you don't feel like murdering me right now. Thank you for the review, and I loved yours! xx
CloveandtheMockingjay: Awww, thank you SOO much for your review! It was really nice of you to say so! And the end is closer than we all think, I believe. Thank you again! And I hope that chapter didn't make you want to stop reading.
Julia: Hey, buddy! Wow, I'm kind of happy that you like Jessyka, even though she's kind of not ... meant to be loved because obviously, she doesn't even know how to. And yeah, exactly my thoughts when I created that character! Thanks for the review. It's always just such a pleasure to see that you've read, reviewed and liked the chapter!
inlovewithpeeta: You can review anytime, hahahahaha. I'm just glad that you do! Yes, I will try to have it published and who knows, maybe someone will translate it if it's good enough. Rykeir was kind of an ... let's just say that I hadn't planned for him to be there, but I had to make someone to whom Jessyka would relate. She couldn't just ... go the easy way or just drop her revenge-y idea. (I'm not saying that she dropped it, by the way, and I'm not saying that she didn't drop it)! Haha, I kind of like to reply to people who have reviewed because it is true; every single review and reader is important to me, and I want to ... I don't know, maybe try to have some sort of contact with them, just to let you all know that this story would be nothing without all the feedback that you give me, and all the ... "love" that I feel towards this fanfiction. It's really appreciated, you have no idea. Your first fanfiction doesn't have to be epic, you know. Just ... just say what you think should've been said, what you would have wanted them to do and I'm sure that it will be very good. But keep me posted. And about the fanfiction that I recommanded earlier, I won't beta her story. I know you're a Peeta fan, and total respect from me, but I am not and that's why I don't actually want to write about him or about Katniss. Wow, that was a long answer to your review but ... yeah, I hope that you liked the chapter!
You have actually no idea how anxious I am at this moment, wondering if I'm making a mistake with this chapter, if I should have done it differently or ... wow, it's killing me, too. I cannot wait to hear what you guys thought!