If I die young, bury me in satin

lay me down on a bed of roses

sink me in the river at dawn

send me away with the words of a love song

Being forgotten has always been my biggest fear. Oh, I know what you're thinking. You probably think because my name is Clove it means I can't be scared. If you even remember my name. Well, I was scared. My life was going to be ended in one blow. So the truth is; I was terrified. My killer's eyes had just a spark of sadness. Maybe he realized that we're all capable of fear. We're all just a bunch of scared kids who will do anything to live. Or maybe he realized that the small girl he has in his grasp really isn't too much bigger than the one he is trying to avenge. The look right before death is the same for everyone. Isn't that funny?

Lord, make me a rainbow I'll shine down on my mother

she'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors,

life ain't always what you think it ought to be

ain't even gray but she buries her baby

My older sister was the only motherly figure I'd ever known. She was ten years older, so I guess that's enough. My father was never the parental type. My sister and I were shipped off to the training academy when most girls were still in pigtails. I remember we both trained so hard, determined for approval from someone. We would never earn his. Well, my sister missed her chance to volunteer. My father never let her forget that. It was just one second too late. But isn't that always the case? I still can see all those nights full of sobbing and pleading, only to begin a morning with her black and blue. Sometimes, if the alcohol he drank got the best of him, he would remind me why I don't have a mother. I kicked too hard or something. There was too much blood. The only fact I can really get from it is; I started life just like I ended it. A killer.

The sharp knife of a short life

well, I've had just enough time

Those knives gave me a sense of something I'd never known. For once, I could be in control. Not like at home, where nothing I could do would keep him from hurting her. Not like when the training center closed for the night and my sister and I would have nothing to eat. When I first hit the target with my first lightweight knife I knew I had power. And it was power over something that really mattered. Only I could choose between life and death. One small blade would be all it took. Kills became numbers. As they grew higher, it meant I could win. I could make sure I would never be hungry again. My sister would never go sleep with another bruise. So throwing knives was about more than controlling when others would die. They controlled my own life as well. What have I had enough time to do? I've had plenty of time to see death. I've had time to know what it feels like to be truly hungry. But I've also had enough time to prove myself as someone more than the small, underfed girl who plays with knives. You wouldn't know, but I've also had time to fall in love.

And I'll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom.

I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger.

I've never known the loving' of a man,

but it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand

It is true to say I've never been in love with a man. We were just kids. We still are. I was ten years old when I first met him. I had been moved up to a class with mostly thirteen year olds and he was the biggest. One of the boys teased me a lot, calling me names that made my face turn red with shame. He told me I couldn't survive a second in the Games. So I challenge him to some hand-to-hand. He turned to laugh to one of his buddies, so I took advantage of his back turned and flipped him. I held my knife at his throat and whispered "kill" like we're supposed to. He sprinted away and so did everyone else, but that big kid with the blond hair stayed. "You're okay" was all he said. We became sparring partners. I learned that his name was Cato and he laughed when I told him mine. He thought I was lucky to have around whenever he practiced with swords or spear throwing so he called me "Clover." He never did miss his target when I was around. We became those two kids who always had a serious look on our face and stayed at the Center long after dark. We were the two "mysterious ones." It was a mystery in itself how we came to be so close, the tiny dark haired girl who doesn't say a single word in training besides "kill" and the arrogant muscular giant who boast about anything and everything. But only he could bring out my sarcastic sense of humor and only I could get him to really truly laugh. The night I told him I was going to volunteer I told him everything, like how I just wanted to prove my father wrong. I couldn't take another day. He held my hand and we both cried. Careers never cry, you think. Well, he said he would volunteer too. He would protect me until the end. And he would let me win.

There's a boy here in town, says he'll love me forever,

who would have known forever could be severed

by the sharp knife of a short life

well I've had just enough time

He slipped away. Like so many other times, I lost control. I don't know what sealed the deal for him. The deal that he made with himself to win. It could have been the spotlight he got at the interviews or the parade. Maybe after he got such a high training score he figured he could really do this. I knew as soon as we entered the arena that I wanted to go back. Why was I here? I couldn't trust the one person who had complete control. Still, I went on with the plan. I didn't even question him when he let Lover Boy join the alliance, which meant I was protecting the weakling. I didn't even think twice when he practically let Fire Girl walk away, leaving us with one less member. Never mind, that idiot Shimmer or whatever was making Cato into some trap for sponsors with her. Cato and I could never be the "lovers." Not when I was so much younger, and not as pretty besides. That was how she thought. As if. Now I know he was purposely letting the competition get away unharmed. The more tributes there are left, the less likely he'll be the one who has to kill me. He was right. Something changed, though. He was no longer brutal Cato. As he held me in his arms, he was weak. I told him to kill them all. For us. For the forever that was severed.

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls.

What I never did is done.

Thresh killed me because I told Fire Girl "we" killed Rue. Why did I say that? What is "we"? There never was a "we." I just wanted to have power in that moment. I wanted to feel like I could have offed every tribute here if I wanted to. I learned something from all of this. Words can kill as easily as a knife. My lie is what got me here. His words still echo. "Did you kill her?" "No, please, no, no! Cato! Cato!" I just lost it. I called his name because I had nothing else to hang on to. I knew it was hopeless, but I wanted him to know that I was still here. I wanted him to know that unlike him, I hadn't left yet. And as much as I spent my whole life trying to prove otherwise, I needed someone else.

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar

they're worth so much more after I'm a goner

and maybe then you'll hear the words that I've been singing

funny when you're dead how people start listening

Honestly, what could one girl ever amount to? It's not like anyone ever listened to me when I was alive. After all, Careers don't really think at all, right? He listened. He knew. How can I forget the last night we spent together before I lost him, on the train ride, when he heard my muffled cries behind the wall? The look on his face was a mask of emotions, from pity to sadness to confusion. "Why are you crying Clover?" His voice sounded so soft. Why was I crying? Was it because even with him at my side, I could still never get home? Was it because I was thinking of the way Cato's hand first felt and the little flutter I got in my stomach whenever he was around and now all those moments could be gone forever? So I poured everything out to him. Like how I was always a killer and I'm just sick of it. I'm sick of hearing that word "kill." I sobbed and sobbed and I just lost control again. But it felt good. It felt good because he was there to help me get it back. It sure is funny, because Fire Girl's listening to me. I know I personally haunt her nightmares. Good. I mean so much more to her dead then I ever did alive. Lover Boy remembers me. He painted me once, I saw him. I was arranging my knives in the picture. Fire Girl didn't pay much mind, though. I bring back painful memories. Am I no longer the brutal assassin? Has she realizes that I was only fourteen? Have I become, not someone who takes the lives of others, but in turn someone whose own life couldn't be saved by her? I will never know. I won't soon be forgotten, though.

If I die young, bury me in satin

lay me down on a bed of roses

sink me in a river at dawn

send me away with the words of a love song

I often wonder what's become of my sister, or my father, or all the rest of the people I've ever known. Do they think of me often? Do pleasant memories of a rare smile or a shimmering dress on television come to mind? Do they have proud memories of a tribute with a glare of stone during the Parade, or a confident smirk at training or the high score she got in return? Or are they nightmares of an insane girl who could never be loved taking out any competition with a flick of her wrist and an expressionless face; the kind of nightmares that still manage to creep on you in the middle of the day. Just like everything else, they will fade. My name will be nothing but a whisper carried by the wind, until the day it disappears forever.

The ballad of a dove

go with peace and love

gather up your tears and put them in your pocket

save them for a time when you're really gonna need them.

I can assure you no one covered me in flowers or sang to me softly so that I might go peacefully. Sometimes I find myself wishing that would have happened. Maybe then my name could mean more. But what's done is done. All that happened was a vicious boy kneeling down at my side, begging me to stay. I didn't, obviously. I betrayed him. After all those times he listened to me, when he first asked me to pay him some mind, I didn't listen the one time it counted. Oh, he didn't cry though, and neither did I. I had cried twice in my life as far as I knew and that was enough. Crying is a sign of weakness. We were strong until the end. Not like it mattered.

The sharp knife of a short life

well, I've had just enough time.

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls.

Our "forever" was severed. Who knows what kinds of lives we could have led? But there is no more "us." Maybe there never even was. I could say I hate the Capital for that, for tearing us apart with their twisted Games. I could say I hate Thresh for taking me away from the one thing I've ever loved. I could say I hate Fire Girl and Lover Boy, who prevented Cato and me from playing the "lovers" angle, even though anyone could see they never felt for each other. And I could say I hate Cato, for never telling me if I was ever more than just a piece in his own little games and for not ever saying those three little words that would let me know there was an "us." Yes, I could say I died with hate for them all weighing down my heart. But that would be a lie.

You see, the only person I've ever really hated is myself.