Chapter 16: Uniquely Whole

The door opened. The peacekeeper that marched me into the cell was standing there. "Mrs. Tesla. Your hands, please." He slapped some healing cream over them. "Come this way." He walked briskly down the hallways of the basement. I was feeling weak from not eating since this morning and my most recent ordeal. However, I willed myself to keep pace with him. I will see Beetee again. Just a few more steps. We took an elevator up to the ground floor where we entered a room painted navy blue. A bright yellow couch was along one wall, and a mirror above a dresser was along another wall.

"Get these on!" Eustacia said frantically shoving gloves that matched my dress into my hands. "We're almost two minutes late!" She squealed at the peacekeeper. "You should've have gotten her sooner!" She ran a brush through my hair tsking the whole time.

"It's ok, Eustacia." I said as I gratefully slipped my hands in the gloves. They were coated on the inside with healing cream. Eustacia took me by the elbow and opened the door. I was on a stage above a large dinning room filled with Capitalites that were cheering and screaming. I waved and smiled at them.

"Greetings, citizens of the Capital of Panem!" President Snow said. "I present to you, Wiress Carpenter: Victor of the 54th Hunger Games!" He looked at me intensely. I stared out with a confident expression on my face as he put a small circle of gold on my head. The crowd went wild. Eustacia took my elbow and we walked down the center aisle of the tables, stopping as we greeted people.

The rest of the evening was a blur. I could feel myself slipping back in to my own world, but all the Capitalites cared about was whether I smiled and waved at them. After a few more hours, Eustacia took me from the mansion to the train that would take us back to Three for good. She released my arm when we got to a familiar looking door. "Off you go. You have a good night, Wiress." She said smiling.

The most wonderful sight waited for me on the other side of the door. Beetee was sitting on the bed. He had been arranging his pens in his pocket protector for the umptenth time per his usual nervous habit when I opened the door. His face instantly went from intense worry to intense elation when his eyes met mine.

"WIRESS!" In two bounds, I was several inches off the floor as he wrapped his arms around me and twirled me around. We landed less than gracefully on the bed. "You're ok – You fought them, honey - you won their games again!" He murmured as he peppered my face with kisses.

"You –" I paused tracing his face with my hands.

"They trapped me in here watching their security camera feed." Beetee explained. He took off my gloves and examined my hands. "You're so strong, Wiress, never forget that."

"I'm strong because of you, Beetee." I whispered. "You put me back together – not the same as I was before –" I paused looking into his eyes. "But – you – complete the rest."

"You do too, Wiress." Beetee whispered. "I was broken after my games. You made me whole again." Before I drifted off to sleep much much later in the night, I smiled feeling my heart beat perfectly in sync with Beetee's. The Capital had broken us down individually, but together, we were joined together to make a uniquely beautiful whole.