A/N: Hey! It's been so long since I actually updated a story on fanfiction ^_^ if you've read my profile you would know that I said updates would start again in September, but… I couldn't help but update this one. School is starting soon, but without the pressure of gymnastics, updates for this story should come quicker. At least twice a week. Broken and Just A Dream I think I will be starting again in September. This is only going to be about 10-13 chapters, so odds are I might be able to finish this before September. I tend to write 1,000-2,000 chapters, but for this story I think I'll be changing that to at least 1,000 to 3,000. Either way, this story will get finished. You guys have my word :D
And now I'll stop ranting and let you read the chapter. =} P.S. it's between 1,000-2,000 words, but the next one will be a bit longer.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games, no matter how much I wish I did.
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind."
She watches as the color drains from Peeta Mellark's face as he sees his older brother climb the stairs, slowly, yet steadily. Everything he was thinking, everything he was imagining, is now gone. This day will forever haunt him, as will the upcoming weeks as he will be forced to watch his older brother fight to the death with twenty-three other innocent children. Katniss Everdeen cannot imagine what is racing through his mind right now, cannot imagine the pain, the grief that will come when his brother finally dies. The only thing she knows now is that in several weeks Peeta Mellark's life will never be the same.
His blue eyes, once full of depth, are now clouded, his face expressionless. She catches them exchanging glances as Effie Trinket asks for volunteers, notices Peeta's hand rising slowly, then stopping, all at once. Rosen shoots him a warning glance, and she knows right then that he will not let his younger brother throw his life away so easily. Peeta Mellark's hand retreats back to his side in defeat, and suddenly, as if noticing he held her attention, meets her gaze.
They stand there, motionless, for what feels like eternity. Images race through her mind, each of which involve the boy whose brother was chosen for the games.
Each of which involve the boy who saved her life.
And just like that, both turn away.
It is then that Katniss Everdeen realizes that she has forgotten how to breathe.
The two tributes shake hands, the female tribute being a seventeen year old girl from the Seam. There is a vague familiarity about this girl, but Katniss cannot seem to recall the reason why. Perhaps they shared a class together at school, or even bumped into each other in the hallway. But as the anthem plays, the memory begins to surface. It is only when they shake hands that her suspicions are confirmed. He tenses only the slightest bit, as if cautious, as if he has held her hand before. The images all come back at once.
They were together before, Katniss realizes. Others may not notice the pain in her eyes, the way he holds her hand for just a second too long before letting go. But she is no fool. It was a secret, one that they swore would never be told. A secret that was not hers to share, but burned in the back of her mind.
It had been last year during the fall, the days where the leaves were changing colors, when the weather had begun to become slightly cooler. Katniss had already been running late to class when she heard voices coming from the empty room down the hall. Curiosity had gotten the best of her, and before she knew it herself Katniss was eavesdropping in on their conversation. She did not arrive in time to hear it all, just bits and pieces of their argument about a relationship that was already crumbling down. She watched as tears ran down the girl's face, the way he was able to comfort her all by just putting his arms around her.
He was a merchant, she was from the Seam. It was a relationship that would not last. It was one that just wasn't meant to be. But it did not stop them from trying. They were in love, and that was something that would never change.
"I love you," was the last thing he told her before walking away.
"I'll love you until I die," was the last thing she told him before he left her in the dust.
She may have not been an expert at love, but if there was one thing Katniss Everdeen knew, it was that people from the Seam always kept their word.
And that was what had scared her the most.
"Katniss," Prim tugged at her sleeve impatiently, a gesture she had done since she was a toddler to gain attention from her older sister. "Katniss, are you okay?"
"I'm okay," she says, managing a smile that did not quite reach her eyes. Neither girl was convinced. "I'm okay."
She watches as Peeta's family enter the Justice Building, none of them acknowledging the others. She cannot help but wonder what if it had been Peeta that was chosen. Would she have gone to say goodbye, to thank him for what he had done for her, for her family? Would she have been at the edge of her seat as she watched him fight for his life, perhaps even going as far as to cry when the realization hit that he would not be returning? They were both questions she did not want to imagine, let alone answer.
And yet it would take not only her mind, but also her heart, to figure out why.
A/N: I know it was short, and I'm sorry for that. But the next chapter will be longer, I wrote it this short because I have a lot in store for next chapter. If anyone would be interested in betaing or making a cover for this story, PM. I tried twice and both times the covers have come out horrible D: Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome. Review please! It would be so awesome if you did! =D