Gale Hawthorn woke with a start from the nightmare he had been having. This was not uncommon, as he had been having nightmares since he was thirteen. Ever since has father had died in the mines of District 12, that most men from the Seam ended up working once they where past reaping age. The same mines he would be made to work in once he was able.
Gale had remained outside the mine entrance for hours, long after survivors had come up and weeping families had left. The snow that had reached his knee had chilled though his worn boots, but still he waited, hoping for a miracle that his father would come back. He could see the sky began to light up before he let a single tear fall down his cheek.
But at twenty years old this was not what woke him, but a girl. A girl with long dark hair that had been keep in a braid, who walked though the woods beside him so silently that sometimes he wondered if she floated rather then walked.
Yes, the Girl on Fire haunted his dream. She went through his memories like a ghost, looking exactly the same, never aging a day past sixteen in his mind, but always unreachable. He longed for the days before she was the Girl on Fire. When she was Catnip, when she was his and he was hers.
He wonderers if she even knew if she had his heart, that he could spend hours just being with her.
She had been gone two years now. Two years of loneliness even though he was surrounded by people, his family, coworkers, same that he might have gone as far as calling them friends. It was painful going into the woods now, every turn he found a memory of her as clear as if it had happened the day before. He could still hear her laughter ringing through the trees as if the mockingjays themselves where singing. Maybe they where, she had one of those voices that he couldn't help but fall in love with.
But she was gone and as much as it pained him to accept it she wasn't coming back to him. She braved the arena for her sister, fighting for her life only to eventually lose. She now lived only in his dreams, the family she had left behind had fallen to sickness only months after she had died at the hands of the Capitol.
He had tried to move on, make peace with the fact that she was gone. But he had failed, just like he had failed to take care of her family, to keep her sister safe. He had failed Catnip. He would do anything to go back in time and change everything, but he couldn't.
Because she was gone and he was broken.