I sit there, watching the black log in the fireplace glow with orange and red embers. An image of the costume Cinna made for me flashes in my head along with a picture of his smiling face. It only reminds me of how I failed to protect so many others…my sister included.
I know I can't just sit here forever, but I have no reason not to. No one I love is here with me. Except Haymitch, but he has his drink and he's been just fine for the last 25 years why won't he be okay for the next 20?
My life feels like a grey fog has swallowed up everything around me giving everything a grey tint. Or maybe that's just the coal dust that seems to settle on everything. Oh stop fooling yourself. You know that it's not the coal dust. Pfft. Coal dust. I tell myself. The grey makes my food tasteless and bland, but I would never ever tell that to Greasy Sae. She does way too much for me already. The grey squeezes my heart in an attempt to kill it at the thought of people doing things for me and never being able to repay them.
I hate myself for sitting here like my mother did so long ago when my father died, but she had children who were young and starving.
Excuses, excuses. Tisk, Tisk. Katniss I thought you knew better. A nagging voice in my head says.
The door opens and I'm not too surprised to see Greasy Sae with a pot of warm soup.
"You know Katniss. I could really use some fresh meat." She comments. I just grunt in response. "I'm sure Peeta would like some too." He's been here for 2 weeks and I still can't talk to him.
I look at her in her grey seam eyes and say: "Don't bring him into this. I'm too exhausted to deal with him right now. So please, just don't." She nods her head and mutters something incoherent under her breath.
That night when she leaves, I curl up on the sofa in the formal living room and cover myself with a knitted blanket I'm sure my mother made sometime in the past.
I'm in a stretch of barren earth. The sky is all grey and the ground is all grey as well. A slow grey fog slinks on the ground around my ankles. In the distance I see dark grey silhouettes. All of them silent and look as if they slink along the ground never lifting their feet. Slowly like they need build up, they start to moan and shriek. Their shrill voices ring through the air. I try to run, but my feet stay planted.
"Help!" I call out to the grey world. No one comes. The silhouettes get closer, their voices louder. I can now make out a few features on some of their faces. I see Prim and Rue. Prim is holding a match and Rue is holding a spear. I see Finnick and Cinna. Finnick is holding a small mutt by the collar and Cinna has got on spiked gloves his fists raised. Thousands of other people are there. Some with guns and some more like Prim have matches. Some even have arrows. My heart drops when I see Peeta amongst them. He has a needle and what I can only guess is tracker jacker poison in it. He is he first one to come face-to-face with me. He has stopped screaming just long enough to jab the needle into my arm and push the plunger down. He has eye contact with me the whole time.
Next are Prim and the other people with matches some up to me. All the matches light at once. The matches hit me. Prim still doesn't break eye contact with me.
I wake with a start and end up falling off the couch and onto the floor face first. Hard. I roll over with a groan and rub my face with my hand.
I'm drenched in cold sweat. I stretch and get up to look out the window. Greasy Sae should be here any minute. I decide to clean up the living room.
Folding the blanket and setting it on the end of the couch I finish in record time.
The door opens and Greasy Sae walks in and trailing behind her is Peeta. Great. Just great.
"Morning Katinss." Peeta says in his amazingly charming voice.
"Morning." I mumble out.
"How'd you sleep?" he asks in the same voice.
I contemplate telling him the truth. Why not? I mean I won't be able to keep it from him long considering the dark circles under my eyes and the constant yawning. "Terrible. You?"
"Same." He rolls his eyes nodding. "Nightmares?"
"Yeah." I look down. Wow. This is so easy. I mean of course he cold lash out and attack me at any moment, but I've done some pretty bad things in the past so if he tries to kill me we're even. I sit down and motion for Peeta to join me. "So what have you been up too?"
He shrugs one shoulder. "I've been delivering bread to people while my bakery goes up. I still paint a little and I help with the rebuilding. What you been up too?"
"Nothing that's what. I go hunting sometimes, but I mostly stay here." I pause. "How is the rebuilding going anyway?" Greasy Sae brings us the food then leaves the house after me both mutter a small thank-you to her.
"It's going great. People are coming back and it's good because we need the man power." He pauses. "What are you doing today?" He asks as he shoves a fork full of food into his mouth.
"Nothing. I could come and help with the rebuilding. I'm pretty strong." I say shrugging one shoulder like it's nothing.
"Bet I'm stronger."
I laugh. "I bet you are."
"Friends?" Peeta sticks out his hand. I grab and shake.