I stared at the main screen and my own screen as the blood and life flowed out of my son and his district partner. Two cannons went off, but they were drowned out by a scream of pain and grief that was unreal and made my blood run cold. Wiress's knees gave way as she sank to the floor of the mentors' control room. The terrible grief laden screams continued as her face contorted in agony. Her screams gave way to wailing. I knelt down and wrapped my arms around her. "Our son -" I whispered before a tidal wave of sorrow hit me. "My son - Our son - Galileo - our son - Galileo! GALILEO!" Wiress continued wailing. Two Avoxes with tears silently streaming out of their eyes helped us to our feet helped us stumble out of the mentor room.
Somehow we found ourselves sitting on the floor in the living room of our district suite still clinging to each other. I looked around. Galileo and Emma had sat on the couch to watch their scores. Galileo had picked Emma up off the floor the first night and carried her to the hospital wing of the training center. Wiress would stop the two exactly two steps away from the elevator to straighten their shirts or tuck a lock of hair behind an ear before they went to training. Looking at the dining room table, I remember how he would shovel down his food after a full day of training. Galileo was everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
"Son - Son - Son -" Wiress gasped in between her tears. "Our son -" She gasped before wailing again.
"I know - oh honey - I know - Galileo - our son - oh honey - " I whispered before wrapping her tighter in a hug. We clung to each other in a vain attempt to cover the giant gaping hole that was in both of us. Galieo was a part of both of us, formed from our love, and the Capitol had torn him away. The room was dark and cold when our tears were replaced with dry heaving sobs. Wiress fell asleep in my arms. I sat on the floor and let the memories flood into my mind.
Wiress and I had smiled the first time we felt him move inside her. He was easy for her to deliver, and he was curious almost to a fault as a baby prying the covers off the electrical sockets and sticking anything he could in the holes. He was balanced on Wiress' hip as she and I were assembling a machine when he said his first words: "Mama Dada wire." He carried his pencil and first calculator in one of my old pocket protectors his first day of school. He won third place in a science fair at age eight even though most children didn't enter until they were ten. Wiress cried in joy, singing and hugging him when he received his acceptance letter to the Engineering Academy. She cried for an hour the morning of his first reaping. He spent that summer building bookshelves with me for his room. He co-patented a product with Wiress at age fourteen. His first crush was Tina Brookhower at age fifteen. They kissed unashamedly in the middle of the street and she was reaped an hour later. He cried for hours in Wiress and my room once we got home and Tina was laid to rest. He finished his junior year at the top of his class and was reaped a week later. Three days later, he was unofficially married to Emma Tungsten. This was only ten days later. I looked out at the multicolored buildings of the Capitol. Hundreds of seventeen year old boys were asleep in plush comfortable beds. In District Three, Cord, Derek, and the other seniors were probably asleep knowing they lost a classmate. As I held Wiress in my arms, I realized that our son would never see the sunrise of the next day.
We didn't say a word on the train back to District Three. We lay on the couch feeling like drained batteries unable to connect to an energy source. Tears continued to stream down Wiress' face and mine as well. The principal and Galileo's teacher from the Engineering Academy met us at the train station. They embraced us and we didn't need words to say anything else. They walked with us back to our house. Opening the door to Galileo's room was the hardest. Wiress saw Galieo's pajamas on the floor and a sock hanging off the edge of his hamper as he always threw them in that general area. She gathered his pajamas in a ball and held the bundle like she had held him as a newborn. I joined her on the floor with my arms around her and the pajama bundle as a fresh wave of tears hit us.
Wiress put her hand over mine before we wrapped the wire around the two thin wooden boxes. Two metal staples held the wire in place. This was the wire I had put around my son's neck when he pledged his short life to Emma. "We are gathered here to remember Galileo Tesla and Emma Tungsten. Two youth full of hope and promise that were taken from us suddenly." The vital records magistrate said solemnly. "Yet they no longer see light through shades of grey, but are in a place full of sunlight and peace." I held Wiress against me as she wept. Numerous hands touched our shoulders as I shook with sobs. The program manager of the Community Home was there as well as a friend of Emma's. We watched the two coffins being lowered into the ground. We raised our hands in the district symbol as the magistrate lifted two lit ligh bulbs into the air before someone else pierced the glass with a sharp metal spike extinguishing the light. The shards were tossed on the coffins before they were obscured by shovel fulls of greyish soot-saturated soil.
With each scrape of the shovel on the ground, we knew that we would join the rebellion. We would do whatever it takes to end the Hunger Games. We would fight for our son. We would end the reign of Snow and break the cycle of oppression in Panem. We would fight or we would join Galileo trying.