My head is throbbing when I'm conscious again. I look around slowly, uncertain of where I am. The last thing I remember is gesturing for Katniss to shoot an arrow into me, so the Peacekeepers or whoever it really was that grabbed me wouldn't be able to do anything to me. She didn't, though. Damn her.
No one's around now. I'm in an apartment that appears to be completely empty except for me and a couple pieces of furniture here and there. With a grunt, I'm able to push myself to my feet. My head is spinning but I don't appear to be wounded. How long has it been, though? No way to tell from in here.
I trudge over to the door, every step seeming oddly heavy to me. The doorknob turns easily in my hand and then the door is open, swinging back and forth on its hinges. The large gap in the street is still there, much to my dismay, but both sides of it are completely empty. Shaking my head, I wander along one side in the direction that Katniss was heading.
Occasional bodies line the road, from Capitol citizens to Peacekeepers to rebels. It causes my stomach to churn though that's the kind of thing I've always been able to keep off the expression of my face. I only give the bodies a quick glance over to see if I know them before I move on, not wanting to waste too much time.
I'm jogging now. Something flashes in the corner of my eye and I come to a stop, my heart dropping. I gaze at the girl lying in a pool of her own blood, with a dark brown braid wadded up beneath her head. She looks nothing like Katniss, but still...the hair.
I shake my head and start jogging again, trying to keep out the image of Katniss's face on the dead girl's body. Finally, I believe I've found my destination: Snow's mansion. There's crowds of people around here, some shooting each other, others trying to hide, others surrendering to their enemies. I'm looking for one person and one person alone, though.
There she is.
Even when not burning, the girl on fire seems to stand out in a crowd. I push through a few groups of people, occasionally pushing a gun out of someone's hand or shoving them away from me. I'm almost to her now, only a few yards away. Then I notice that she's staring towards the yard of the mansion, seemingly in shock.
I pay a few glances that way, uncertain of what she's seeing at first. Groups of children are out in the yard, undoubtedly Capitol children. Nothing too strange about that. Snow using children to protect him-...Oh, no.
Tiny parachutes are dropping now. They're familiar; too damn familiar. I turn my head so I don't have to see the first explosions, but I hear them loud and clear. And can imagine the damage done.
I still don't look that way once the first wave is over. I'm heading towards where Katniss was standing again, but now she's not there. I blink rapidly and begin searching for her, my eyes narrowed.
There she is. Running...towards the yard?
"Katniss! Katniss, what are you doing!" I'm running after her now, but I'm a ways behind her. The second wave of parachutes is dropping now. More people have joined the scene, I notice...Medics? From the rebels? Why would...
Oh, no. Oh, no no no. That's not her. That can't be her. Not Prim. Can't be Prim.
But it IS her. She's crouching down beside a wounded Capitol child, her blonde hair in braids and that small little duck tail of hers obvious. Katniss is running towards her sister.
"NO! Katniss! You can't save-," the second waves go off. I'm closer this time, so my ears start ringing and I have to stumble back a few feet. But that doesn't keep me away for long.
I'm running as fast as I can now, towards Katniss. She's lying on her side. The damage...The damage is bad. Most of her clothes have been burned away and the visible areas of her skin are completely demolished. I kneel down, tears stinging my eyes.
"Catnip...You're a fool..," I whisper, reaching my hand out. That's when I notice it: her chest is moving. She's alive. I don't know how, but she's alive. That's enough for me. I start looking around for someone, anyone, to help her out.
A few rebel medics notice me calling out and waving my hands rather wildly, and run over to do a damage assessment. They practically shove me out of the way, and I don't retaliate. I'm still a little numb; a little in shock.
I rise to my feet and brush my pants off, staggering away from Katniss and the rebels towards the yard in front of the mansion. I'm not sure I'll like what I'll find, but I have to see for myself. I don't know why, I just do.
Dozens and dozens, maybe hundreds, of children and medics are wounded or killed. I don't recognize any of them. Not one. Most are just charred bodies. I think I find Prim, but it's not her. It's one of the lucky ones who was only injured, thanks to a group of others being between them and the closest explosion.
After walking all over the yard several times, I finally realize the truth: Prim is among the charred bodies. The unrecognizable ones. I drop to my knees between two groups of the bodies, tears stinging my eyes again. Katniss will never forgive me. I'LL never forgive me. Never.
My head falls down into my hands and I start to sob. I've never cried quite so hard, I don't think. My entire body is jerking with the force of my sobs, and my hands become soaked with my own tears.
"Prim...Prim..," I whisper repeatedly to myself, doubling over. Her cute blonde locks, her innocent face, her lovely blue eyes, her sweet, sweet spirit, haunt me. They're haunting the backs of my eyelids. They're floating through my mind, causing me such torture I've never known. A million whips to my back could never equal the pain I feel right now.
I don't know what to do any more. I don't know what I would ever say to Katniss. I don't know what I'd do to justify anything. If I were her, I'd hate me too. I'm the one who made those explosions. I'm the one who indirectly killed her sister. I did that. There's no forgiving me.
Finally, I'm able to stop sobbing. The pain is still there though. I crawl forward and extend my hand, placing it against the shoulder of the nearest charred body that looks to be around Prim's size. I might as well say it to the one person who may somehow forgive me. Maybe, just maybe, she's somewhere watching this. And I know she'd forgive me.
"I'm sorry, Prim."