I slowly stepped onto the tribute train after Cato. I kept my winner's face on. Confidence was key, at least for the press. Obviously I wouldn't win on confidence alone, but I figured it would play a pretty big role in it.
At first, the train looked normal. A tiny little metal compartment, leading to a larger one. Nothing special. Then Cato stepped out of the way and I could see the rest of the compartment. It was fully furnished with red velvet chairs and glass tables with gold in them. There was even a few things that I had only seen in the Justice Building recently, I think they were called chandeliers. The little pieces of glass or crystal attached to them sparkled in the sun. Marie-Ellian started to say something about the food, we weren't supposed to eat too much of it or something. I wasn't listening though, I was too focused on the fancy objects in the train. I looked at everything. I didn't care if I looked stupid. I had never seen anything like this before, maybe this was how the people from District One lived. They did make all the luxury items after all.
"Clove! Come sit!" Marie-Ellian advised. I looked up from a small glass contraption I was fiddling with. Embarrassed, I set it loudly back onto the table and walked over to where Cato and our escort were sitting.
"When will we be there?" Cato asked Marie-Ellian.
"Oh, don't worry hun! We'll be there before any of the other tributes. We should be arriving early tomorrow morning." She smiled and took a sip of the bubbly drink she had been holding.
"What about our mentors? They're here, right?" I asked demandingly. I wanted to discuss strategy, even though it was pretty straight forward for career districts anyway.
"Would you like me to go get them?" The funny looking Capitol woman asked, raising her eyebrows and standing up. I nodded yes in response. She smiled sweetly and started to walk off into a different car. I looked to Cato, who look pretty un amused.
"Don't tell me you don't think all this is amazing." I said looking to him. He looked up from the point on the wall he had been staring at and turned to me. He looked a little surprised. I guess he would be, it was the first thing I had said to him in a couple weeks.
"Well what's the point of it all? It's all useless." He went back to whatever he had been staring at. I slouched back down in my chair.
"Don't be a downer Cato. We might as well enjoy it while we can." I said, a little angry now in his attitude. I really had no right to be though, I was probably the main reason for it.
"I'll have lots of time to enjoy it next year. And the year after that." He said a little more quietly now. Did he really just say that? To me of all people! Not just his district partner, but his best friend. It hurt, in a way I couldn't explain. It felt as if my heart had fell. He was telling me I wasn't good enough to win the Games. We both knew why we had been chosen to do these Games, and it wasn't because we couldn't win. I bet if I really tried, I could do it all on my own too. I didn't need him, I wasn't even sure I wanted him anymore.
I didn't have anything to say back to that. I just didn't know how to reply to that. I stood up and walked out of the car. Not really knowing where I was going, hoping I would just stumble into Marie-Ellian and she'd tell me to my room. Leaving him probably made me look weak, but I couldn't care less. I didn't want to be in the same room as him. I thought we had something once, but each day it just seems as if he's trying to erase every trace of evidence that it ever even happened. I would remember though, for as long as I live. Which may not be too much longer.
Just as I'd hopped, I found Marie-Ellian along with Enobaria and Simon. I assumed they must have been chosen to be our mentors.
"Oh, Clove! I found you!" Marie-Ellian laughed. I smiled awkwardly and introduced myself to Enobaria and Simon. I shook their hands and then asked Marie-Ellian where my room was. She lead me there and told me to be at the dinner car for six o'clock. I fell into the bed, letting it absorb me. It was much bigger than the one I was used to sleeping on at the Training Center. I noticed a TV screen in the corner and decided to turn it on. The announcers, Claudius Templeton and Ceaser Flickerman, were about to start showing the reapings. I sat back on the bed and got comfortable. This would probably be useful in the future.
They started with District One, as usual. A blonde girl, probably 18, volunteered. I already hated her. She didn't seem like the type that would train. Next a boy called Marvel volunteered. He was more believable to me than the other girl. They cut and the announcers said a few of their opinions before going to the next district. District Two. My home. I watched and I felt like it was happening all over again, the morning we spent getting ready, the long walk onto the stage, and saying my name loud and clear to Marie-Ellian. It was hard to think it all happened a couple hours ago. I saw Marie-Ellian go towards the boys dish, and of course I knew what was coming. I could feel my eyes start to water, fighting tears.
What are you doing Clove? You DON'T cry. Maybe it was all that happened in the past few weeks. How Cato had changed from the person I used to know. I looked across the room. I was still the only one, so I let a few tears slip before putting myself back together to watch the rest of the reapings. I had to stop acting like this. No more stupid emotions, they would get in the way of winning. I had less than a day to figure myself out and put myself back together before we made it to the Capitol.
I tried to watch the rest of the reapings, although it wasn't very amusing. Pretty average people from each district, easy kills. One boy stood out to me, he was huge, and from District 11. He was probably 18. Maybe we could ask him to be part of our pack. Although, he'd probably reject the request since he was from 11. Also because his partner happened to be a twelve year old.
The last person to stand out to me was a girl from District 12. She was about 16, maybe 17. She had volunteered for her sister, but just from taking a look at her, I assumed we could be able to kill her in the bloodbath. Her district partner as well.
I should have a pretty easy games.
I knew it was coming close to six o'clock, so I gathered myself to go to dinner. I didn't particularly want to go out and sit with Cato for an hour, but I had to properly meet my mentors again and talk strategy. I washed my face and walked out of my room, and into the dinning car. When I entered the room filled with deep purple chairs this time, I noticed that everyone was already seated around the table except for Marie-Ellian and I.
"Oh good, you're here Clove!" Marie-Ellian says cheerfully. After saying this, everyone turned around to look at me. I awkwardly stood there, not knowing what to do.
"Well come on then! We don't bite.. our tributes that is." Enobaria said showing off her sharpened teeth. Not wanting to draw any more attention to myself, I walked towards the table and sat down in the only available spot, other than where Marie-Ellian just sat, which was next to Enobaria.
"I assume you watched the reapings Clove?" Marie-Ellian asked me as she started to cut into her food.
"Oh yes! It looks pretty average to me, although the two from Four don't look very strong. I don't know if they'll make it in with us."
"They might have some special talent Clove. Don't jump to conclusions, I bet when they watched our reaping they thought you wouldn't make it past the bloodbath. I mean, look how short you are." Cato told me, not looking up from his food. At this I dropped my knife and fork down on the table and stood up.
"Why are you acting like this Cato! What happened? We used to be friends! Now all you do is tell me I'm not good enough. I could in these games on my own, with my eyes closed even! You and I both know that. So stop acting like I'm nothing! I know I mean something! Especially to you!" I stormed out of the dining car and back to my room on the train. I couldn't stand Cato being like this. It wasn't fair. I did nothing but support him, even when we found out we'd both be volunteering. I ignored Marie-Ellian's voice outside my door telling me to come back to diner. I told her I'd try harder tomorrow. I'd been through too much today to put up with the new Cato. Somehow I guess I'd have to learn to get used to it though, if he was going to be like that in the games.