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I whip around at the sound of a snapping twig, bow and arrow ready to go. I smile when I see who it is.
"So close Aspen." I say, walking towards him and punching him lightly on the shoulder.
"I know, I'll get you next time Jules." he says lightly.
"So, what's up?" I ask, picking up my bag.
Today wasn't really a gathering day. I just needed to get out of the house.
"Mom sent me to fetch you for dinner." he tells me. I smile, as I always do when I hear Aspen refer to my parents as his own.
About a year after the rebellion Haymitch adopted him. He spends so much time around my family he's practically my brother.
We walk back to the house in silence, in addition to Aspen being around us a lot, Haymitch is also.
I love Haymitch like family too. Since both of my parents' parents are dead, Haymitch is as close to a grandfather as I have.
We reach home in a few silent minuets.
I reach the house and take off my shoes before entering. I don't like tracking dirt on the floors, Aspen just waltz in like he lives there, which he practically does.
"Mother, I'm home." I call.
"I'm in the kitchen." My mother calls back.
"Ah, so glad to know she knows her place." Aspen says quietly. I laugh and slap him on the arm lightly.
"What?" he asks, "You know that was funny?"
We both walk into the kitchen to see Haymitch and my mother sitting at the table and my father taking cinnamon rolls out of the oven.
"Oh! Yummy-num-nums!" Aspen exclaims and hops up on the counter and sticks his finger in the cream cheese icing my dad had just made.
"Get of my counter!" my dad says light-heartily laughing and slapping him with the dish towel in his hand.
So, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm the Mockingjay's daughter. Juliet Ever-Rose Everdeen-Mellark. My parents must have been high on flour or something while naming me. My, mother, Katniss Everdeen-Mellark. Head of the rebellion that brought down the old Capitol. And may father, Peeta Mellark, Strong and steady and sure, right beside her. A lot of people think it must be amazing being who I am. I guess, I mean, it gets me a lot of attention. But I don't like attention. So I guess it's not so amazing.
I sit down and begin on dinner. I look at my plate and smile. Dad has to make my food separately. Ironically enough, I'm a vegetarian. Once my parents finally told me about the Hunger Games, and the Rebellion. The thought of anything innocent dying made me sick.
So archery is more of a hobby passed down from my mother than anything else. My mom, dad, and Haymitch and Aspen all make small talk for a few minuets.
I let my mind wonder to the school work I have waiting upstairs. I have an essay due next week and I haven't even picked a topic yet. I run over a few possible choices in my head before Haymitch pulls me out of my reverie.
"So, Julie, what do you want for your birthday?"
Right. That was coming up. I had forgotten it was in just two days. Other kids at school made a big deal about their birthdays, usually reminding everybody, everyday, for a month in advance. "Uh, I don't know. I guess some books." I tell him.
My dad laughed quietly.
"You sure kid? You don't want anything like a bike, or a dog? Something a normal kid would want?"
I laugh slightly.
Haymitch is always asking me to be a "normal" kid.
"No thank you." I tell him.
"Oh, that reminds me. We have a surprise for you!" My dad says.
I look up instantly. My dad knows I don't like surprises. I don't like the uncertainty of it all.
"We're going to go to District 4 for your birthday! Doesn't that sound nice? We could go see Finnick and Annie and Dylan."
I relax a little. Besides Aspen, Dylan is my only friend. I don't really relate well to children my age. And dad knows I like the marine life at the beaches. My mother can tell I'm still a little uncertain about it all, so she jumps in.
"Yeah, it'll be great. We haven't seen them in at least two years."
It's true. We haven't and I do miss them. Especially Annie. Her quiet demeanor is comforting.
"Uh, yeah, sure. Why not." I say, finally giving in. my mother and father smile.
"Good. We're leaving tomorrow. We've already talked to your teachers and they gave us all your work. You can do it while you're down there." My dad tells me.
I smile slightly. My dad knows me. He knows I like to get thing done on time.
"Uh, thanks." I tell him.
Dinner passes quietly after that. I let my mind wonder back to my essay.
After dinner is over and Aspen and Haymitch have headed home I go upstairs into my room. Another subject of light-hearted ridicule from Haymitch. Not for the reason you would think, (it being messy.) No, my room was unbelievably clean and organized. I don't like clutter or out of place things.
I sit down at my desk and do my math homework. After I finish, I take an shower and go get ready to go to bed.
I lay in bed and thing about the next few upcoming days. I guess I was excited to go to District 4. I missed everybody there. I guess this wouldn't be so bad. I liked taking the train. I know my dad only meant well. Oh well. No need to dwell on things.
I roll over and fall asleep almost instantly.