Dear Katniss,

I was trying to protect you, god, I was just trying to lead them away from you. I just wanted to get you out of the arena alive; I knew I wasn't going to win so it had to be you. I just wanted to protect you. It hurts me so much to know that you only thought of me as the enemy before you died. Because I'm not, I'm the opposite of your enemy, Katniss.

I don't know if you ever noticed me, but I watched you walk home from school every day. God, now I sound creepy. I guess I was just a stupid little boy in love. Don't we all go through that faze?

You are the most beautiful, strong, brave, trustworthy, and real person I have ever met in my entire life, and I will never go through anything worse than watching you die in front of my eyes. I was trying to lead them away from you, and I swear I thought Cato was going to fall when he started climbing up the tree to get you. Then we could have just waited you out or something, and you could have escaped.

But you and I, we're from District 12. And we don't understand the Careers. They're stronger than we think. And he made it up. God. The spark in your eyes, it just completely went out. I saw the spark at the reaping. At the parade. At the interviews. The night before the Games, just talking to you. Seeing it go out from your eyes was so hard and it was all I could do not to break down.

I still don't exactly know how I managed to win. It was obvious the rule change was made to benefit Cato and Clove, and I escaped a ways into the alliance, and then I hid in a cave until it was just the three of us left. Then they came and hunted me. Clove was easier to take down, when she tackled me I managed to plunge a knife I didn't know I was holding into her ribcage.

Cato was obviously weakened by her death. Maybe we weren't the only "star crossed lovers" in the arena. I knew it was going to be me against him, but all I could see behind my eyelids was him killing you and I knew I had to avenge your death. I guess you predicted it right. My strength did come in handy when someone came after me with a knife.

I can't stop thinking about what it would have been like if you had been by my side when they announced the rule change. We could have won together. I wouldn't be this lonely, all by myself, all the time. Except when I have clients; but I don't count that as companionship.

I see you everywhere back in District 12. I see you whenever I see the woods, or when I see Gale, or Prim. Prim's doing okay. Okay in the sense that she's accepted what happened. She's not over it. She'll never be over it. Neither will anyone. Especially me.

I still work in the bakery whenever I'm home. It takes my mind off things. And it looks like I'll be mentoring next year, something I'm not looking forward to. It would be so much better if you were here with me.

I miss you more than you could imagine and I wish you could have known the real me.

I love you.

Love,

Peeta