I know last chapter was ... big, but wait to see this one. I really hope that you will like it! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! xx
As soon as the gong is heard, I let go of Elven's hand. I take one good look at him, at how … peaceful he seems to be, and I close my eyes for a second. I need to hurry now before the bodies are taken away. I need to take back what's mine. I need my trident back. I need to get this entire thing done. I am so done. I want to be through with all this shit. I need to be. I have to.
I don't care that I will probably rip someone's body. I just grab the trident, and I start pulling towards me like never before. Eventually, it comes out. It's all bloody. I barely have the time to take a step back that their bodies are taken away from me. I look at them until I can't see them anymore. In a few hours, it'll be my turn.
Piper's shriek is heard once again, and I start headed toward that direction. She's with Liam; there's no possible doubt about this in my mind. Rykeir wouldn't have separated them. I don't know why; I just have the feeling that he didn't.
The path until there is easy. And if it's easy, it only means that things will get even tougher later. They're keeping the good part of the show for the end. It's a pity that I'm part of it. I never should have lasted this long.
And I finally see them. Rykeir has been a goddamn genius on this one. He was ahead of me … long ahead. So he just knew that I would not be able to stick to the plan I had in mind when I came into the Games. He knew that I would fail him, and this is my punishment. This is his revenge. Payback's a bitch.
"Jess!" Liam shouts when he sees me.
I don't exactly know how Rykeir has managed to do this, but it's … brilliant. Liam's tied up to Piper with a rope around her neck and around his hips. The rope rounds a tree and they both are tied up to another tree which basically means that they cannot escape. There's a weapon, I think it's the one I used for fishing, pointing at Liam's heart. From far away, I thought that they couldn't move, but they do move. There is something—I don't know what—that forces Piper to take some step forward, and I haven't noticed how hard she's fighting against it until I'm very close to them. It's because every step she takes, the weapon moves closer to Liam's chest. It means that … if she's too close to him, he's going to die.
I have no time to think about what to do. All I need to do is cut her head off. I think that Liam has read my mind because he stops me when I raise the trident up in the air—still dripping—he shakes his head no. "Don't kill her," he says.
"Why shouldn't I?" I feel like the whole rage is back, but it's not the same kind of anger. I am not angry with her. I'm upset with the goddamn world. "I kill her, and it's over. You win. You go home. Isn't it what you want?"
Liam stays silent, but I know that he disagrees and agrees at the same time.
"Please," Piper moans. "Please."
I turn to face her. "I don't remember asking you a question. So, shut up. No one's asked for your opinion. If it's needed, you will know."
I turn back to Liam. He's wincing, and that's when I notice that the weapon has touched his skin and is slowly—but surely—starting to enter his flesh. If I don't do something, it will be too late. There is no time to think or to even listen to Piper. I won't listen to her again. I won't.
"Liam," I say. "Please. Let me help you."
"You think you're helping me by becoming a monster?" he snaps. "You think that I want to be saved by you? Hell, I'd rather die than watch you act like a Career." His words hit me harder than a slap in the face.
I bite my lips, and I cock my head to the side, and by doing that, I cross Piper's eyes. I haven't quite noticed before, but she's been crying. I think that when she heard the gong, she might have suspected that her brother had passed away, but there was still hope in her that the gong was for Rykeir—or for me. But when she's heard another one … the hope started to fade away. And when she finally did see me coming to them, she knew that her brother had died. She knew that there was no hope for her anymore of being an happy family again—not that there was any kind of hope before. But she never got to say good-bye to him. He never told her that he'd always love her, that he'd always be with her even if he's not physically around. That's what I thought the scene would have looked like if I had seen it. But she'll never get it. She'll never get to tell him good-bye. She will never have one last moment with him … because I stole that from her.
And then, the truth his me full speed. Everything that I have tried so hard to deny is now right in front of me, and I cannot pretend that I haven't seen it, because I do. It's the only thing that I'm able to look at right now. I am such a selfish bitch. Piper's mother might have taken away my dad, but I took away her brother. I am responsible for his death, and there is no one else to blame than me. And I did lead him straight to his death. All of this is because of me. While … Piper hasn't technically done anything. She's just collateral damage. She's just collateral damage to my father's death and to her brother's. And I'm no more collateral damage. Maybe I have never been such thing. Maybe everything that I always thought was true was just something that I had made up in my mind. Maybe none of what I believe in is true. Maybe it's just a bunch of lies that I have told myself, trying to keep me sane, trying to be the hero I thought my father would have wanted me to be, that I thought everyone expected me to become. I am no hero. I'm the villain. I am the bad guy who hasn't even realized it until now, until it's too late, until there is no coming back. I will never be able to take back what I did to her. I broke her forever. What if she turns out to be just like me? What if her heart darkens even more than my own? What if she becomes the monster that Liam sees in me? How could I have gone this low? How could I have become exactly what I swore to destroy? I have become Katniss. I have become the same than her. I did all the mistake in the world that I could do, and I let someone else pay the price for them. And I refused to see it, but now that I did … I couldn't deny it anymore. I couldn't tell Liam to go fuck himself because he was right! All along. He was right. And so was Elven. They were all right. Rykeir and I were wrong. It wasn't about revenge. It was about forgiveness. I have been blinded by all my emotions, by everything that I believed I had to feel, so badly that I had trouble seeing things clearly now. It's like there was some kind of veil in front of my eyes, preventing me from seeing things the way everyone did. It was because I had some kind of point of view on the whole thing, but still. It felt like I could see everything so clearly, some kind of brightness that I had never seen before.
Killing Elven was wrong. Only wanting to kill him was. Damn, I am such a selfish little brat. I only thought of me, of myself, of … of my goddamn feelings, which I am not even sure of anymore. I'm not sure of anything. Everything seems to be wrong, and nothing seems to be right. I don't believe in anything anymore. I don't even think that I have the right to take a decision like this now. I don't … I don't have the right to take away someone else's life. Who am I to decide something like this? I'm no one, and certainly not God, if he even exists. So I'm not the one who should decide whether or not Piper has to live. But if I don't do anything, Liam will die. And … maybe this is selfish of me, again, but he's my family, in a way. He's the brother that I never knew I had, the one I always wanted. If only I had known that he existed before all of this, maybe I wouldn't have ended up like that. But that's a lot of ifs, and there's no way for me to know how I would have turned to be if I had spent more time with him.
And it's ending right now. If they both die, I win. But I didn't want to win. I still don't. I can't go back to my District and face them all after everything that I did. I cannot go home. It's not even home anymore, just the place where I grew old and up. It has no other meaning for me, although it should since my own mother lives back there. But she's better off without me. She's better off without the huge disappointment that I am to her, to everyone back in District Four. And again, this is selfish of me. Because I'd be willing not to go back home because I cannot face them, I couldn't shake the shame, and everything that will fall on my shoulders if I ever win. My mother needs someone, but that someone isn't me. She needs someone who will be able to take care of herself. I can't deal with her. I can't be there for her when she needs me. I can't be that person for her. And I feel bad about thinking like that, but there is no other way. I don't see any other option. If I go back to her, I would have won the Games, but I would have lost myself. I have already lost myself anyway. I did, long ago, so long ago that I don't even remember what it feels like to be me, the real me, the one that I was meant to be. But none of this matters now, right? None of this matters because that's not what everyone will remember. They'll just remember that I had this crazy idea of vendetta, but that I was too much of a coward to accomplish it, that I fell for the boy I wanted to kill, and that now, I can't even make a decision, that I'd rather have the Capitol decide for me than choosing a side right now. But I will have gladly picked one if Liam hadn't said anything. But he has, and it just changed everything. I don't want him to see me like a monster. I didn't mean to be a monster. I just … I don't even know what I wanted, not anymore. So, I guess that this is it.
I turn my head, looking at Piper. I am tired, and I must look exhausted. I have given up on life. I have given up on seeing my mother again, on being peaceful again. I have caved in. Winning means losing. Either way, I'm going to lose. I'd rather completely lose. And that's what I'll do. I think I owe this to my District; I owe this to Liam, too, and to Piper, perhaps.
"Do you know what your brother told me before he died?"
She shakes her head no. Of course she doesn't. "He asked me to make sure that you were all right. He asked me to save you." I pause, gazing at her, but her face doesn't change a bit. She was already crying. "And you know what that means, right? It means that he asked me to die for you." That's just my own interpretation, but deep down, I know that's what he asked of me. That's what he wanted me to do. To die for his sister. I understand why, but I don't know why he'd do such thing. It's a miracle she made it so far. By asking me to save his sister, he's also asked me to deal with my own brother. I'm not sure that he realized everything that it implied, but if he did … I'd rather not think of this.
"He made me promise," I continue. "Well, he asked me to promise that I would do everything I could to keep you safe. But I didn't say anything." Piper's head shoots straight up, and I see in her eyes that she's scared. She's so damn afraid of me, of what I will do. I still haven't let go of the trident although it's not pointing at anyone right now. She knows that it could only be a matter of seconds before I make up my mind. "And his last words were, 'I believe in you,' " I state. If he really did believe in me, he wouldn't have asked me this. "He only said that to have some sort of hold over me." I realize now that my voice is full of bitterness, but it has nothing to do with everything that I was before. It's another kind of bitterness, and I still can't understand what kind, and why.
Piper opens her mouth to speak, and I see how brave she tries to look, but I just know that she's so afraid right now; I can see her lower lip shaking. "And do you … intend to keep that promise?" There. She wants to know if she'll die. She wants to know if she's doomed. She's always been. Hasn't she gotten it already? Hasn't she understood that we are all doomed? Hasn't she understood that things will never ever be the same?
"I never promised anything," I say. And there is no threat in my voice. My tone doesn't betray me by giving away what I am planning to do because truly, I don't even know myself. But I guess that these words have been misinterpreted.
I don't even have time to take my eyes off Piper that I hear Liam moaning in pain. The first thing that I know is that my trident is being taken away from me. I don't even have the time to realize what is happening before I feel something sinking in my body. I try to look down, but my knees aren't keeping me up anymore, and I fall to the ground. That's when I understand. I have been stabbed … by my own weapon, by my trident, by the only thing related to my father that I had left. I could have gotten up, and try to fight, but I don't. If my father's weapon is going to be the death of me, it's like he's telling me—wherever he is—that it has to stop, that I have done enough damages. And I can't stop the tears from streaming down my face as I finally realize who has done this to me.
The last thing that I see is Liam's face, wincing in pain, the weapon almost piercing his own heart, mouthing, "I'm so sorry, sister."
Absolutly Adorkable: Wow, thank you for the beautiful review. And I think I meant that I liked your review! I don't know how I did dare to kill Elven ... but I did. I hope you're not disappointed with that chapter! Believe me, killing him wasn't easy !
CloveandtheMockingjay: Hi! Thanks for the review, and hopefully you'll keep reading until the end! Thank you for being such a loyal reader and reviewer!
inlovewithpeeta:I surely don't want to kill you by making you wait, but I had myself a hard time trying to figure out what would happen next, but I think I got it. And you shall see :) And thank you for the cheer-up review. I think I needed that!
Julia:Aww, thank you, mate! If you're sad that the end is very near, I am even sadder. There are a lot of heartbreaking decisions to make! Thanks so much for the support, and I hope you liked that chapter as well!
Okay, so ... don't worry, this isn't the end. Not yet. There's still a story to tell. xxxx