Ziva David had not exactly spent her life in the spotlight. Though she was a bright girl and neither shy nor timid, she, like all too many other citizens of District 12, had simply managed to get through life underneath the radar.
Though it was known she was not among the poorest in the District, Ziva could often be found somewhere along the Seam. Many silently questioned the girl's presence but mostly ignored it. Live and let live, they supposed. It was the least they could do. She walked through the colourless, sad streets early morning or late evening mostly. When she was not walking, she sometimes passed through the limp wires of the District boundary fences and climbed a tree, seeking the sun's warmth or perhaps air that did not wreak so much of damp and dirty District 12. She was seen also on occasion at the Hob, though did more browsing than ever buying or selling. She'd smell every spice on offer, and examine all of the day's kills in the forest, drawing the seller in, as if intending to name a price but simply twisting a curl between her fingers, turning on her heels and walking away.
From the places she put herself in, people assumed she was crazy, or an attention seeker. But few knew the true reasons why she was hardly ever at home. Ziva's father Eli was the Mayor's assistant. Well, he used to be. His wife, the mother of Ziva and her two siblings, nineteen year old Ari and ten year old Tali, had passed away just over a year ago, and Eli had spiralled into a fit of despair and depression, and later lost his job, sending the family into a similar financial state to those who resided along District 12's Seam.
Ziva had witnessed on multiple occasions that the nature of her parents' relationship could be…well, violent, so she was initially surprised at her father's extreme reaction to her death. After all, she had died from pneumonia. They had all known it was coming. Maybe he felt guilty for the way he treated her for so many years.
Rivka never once even thought about leaving him, no matter how Ziva tried to convince her that it was for the better. She'd stammer and fumble whenever Tali asked her about the fresh bruise forming on her cheek. When Ziva asked, she'd tell her that it was her fault; she deserved it, and she was lucky to have such a forgiving man in her life. Ziva wanted to scream at her mother for being so stupid sometimes. She swore she would never give in to her father's tyrannic ways. She swore one day she would get out, and take Tali with her.
She stayed away from the house as much as possible. Ari was hardly ever home, and Tali was much quieter and more reserved than she was (Ziva supposed that she was this way because she hadn't been old enough to understand the full implications of her mother's death). Ziva, of the three of them, was the most likely to set off a spark with Eli. She feared she might lose it at any moment. The more she was away, the less likely she was to provoke Eli, and if he got angry at her for staying out, she would be the one to be punished. Of course, Ari was the favourite, and a grown man – Eli would never lay a hand on him. And Tali was the baby, Eli's precious little princess.
She just figured maybe her family was safer without her.