Epilogue Part Two Be Mine and Mine Alone
I awake quickly on the eve of my marriage. I wish to have only solitude. Johanna and Madge come to call but I send them away without speaking or seeing them.
I know I must try and reconcile with my family but how I do this I am not sure. I simply watch the rain pound hard against the window panes.
They say rain before your wedding brings good luck to the bride. I will need all the luck in the world, but not for my marriage. A marriage founded upon love has the strongest of foundations and can never be torn down.
I am afraid and feel so alone. I feel so helpless, I evaluate my different options.
How I could say things that make sense. How I could make them understand.
Suddenly I realize something, life has no script. I cannot account for every encounter or every word I will utter in this life.
I cannot pick and choose which moments I shall live.
So I run from my confinement.
I run through the downpour and into town to my Aunt's home.
"Katniss dear, what are you-"
"Where does my mother stay?"
"What? Katniss you're soaked to the bone come in please."
"Where does my mother stay? This is urgent, please" I beg her.
"She is here"
"Do not lie to me, if you have heard to grievous tale of my family and you are covering for my mother... Please"
"...North of here but two blocks away."
"Thank you" I whisper and run, I run right by the bakery where my soon to be husband must have seen me run through the rain like a mad man.
I run to the inn and upon my entrance a few glances greet me. "Excuse me does the Everdeen family lodge here?" I ask.
"Yes, down that hallway there and to your left. The last room." A woman handing bowels of soup to people says.
"Thank you" I say and run down the hall and knock on the door I was told to.
The door opens slowly, "Kat?"
"Prim" I sigh, I realize then I haven't seen my sister since Rues pressing.
"Mother" Prim turns around and leaves the door.
"Katniss what are you doing here? Your father shunned you. And why are you soaked to the bone child?"
"Oh mama I've learned everything! I must end this cycle. father will understand wont he?"
She looks at me with tired eyes, "Oh Katniss, your father he lies on his death-bed."
My eyes grow. "No,"
"Yes, The doctor says he will not last the night. His heart could not take all he had tried."
"I must see him and ask for forgiveness."
"You will do no such thing you'll catch cold right in front of him." She takes me into the small room. It has a stove and a few chairs around a table.
Prim eyes me suspiciously.
"Primrose fetch me the spare blanket dear." Prim doesn't move. "Primrose Candice! Do as your mother says!"
Prim scurries off to a store closet where she finds another blanket. She hands it to mother but scowls slightly at me.
"Now tell me child what is it you have learned?" I told her briefly of the never-ending cycle and feud between fathers and sons, how father went to university. I told her the grandfather sold slaves, I told her that I needed to end it.
"Mama, let me see him please." I beg. "I must do what you have taught me."
"What is that my child?" Mother asks. I am dry now but her hands are still much warmer than my arm.
"To forgive." I say. "That is what the colonies have taught me. You must forgive, you must forgive those you hate and those you love. They must be pardoned because God pardons us. Forgiveness it the only way to end this feud."
Mother looks at me and then at Prim, "My daughter, you have learned by the book. Your sister learned by life." She smiles before speaking again, "Sometimes rules must be broken to achieve a greater out come."
"May I see him?" I plead.
"Yes, my child. Go, show him god's mercy."
I stand quickly and enter my father's chamber.
"Papa?" I ask. He looks so tired, "Papa?" I sit on the edge of his bed.
"What are you doing here?" He asks with venom in his tone.
"I've... I've come to tell you. I know. Everything"
"So you've come to grovel at my feet for forgiveness?"
"No. I've come for forgiveness but also to pardon you of your sins. You lied to us Papa. You told Mama you had no education that you had nothing." I wrap my arms around him, "I love you Papa. And I whole heartedly forgive you."
"What is this?"
"You raised me to believe two things Papa. To love with all my heart, and to follow God's will. God wishes us all to forgive." I want to cry as I say the next few words, "Forgive us our trespass as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I have said these words so often that their meaning has been lost. But Papa, I now see that we must forgive all people."
I look at him, it is clear he is dying, "Katniss, my child." He says this and I brighten, "You have found God."
"Yes Papa I have."
"And yet you would still chose the boy would you not?"
My heart sinks, "One cannot choose between loves where their hearts lie. My heart has always been his, but I shall always have your blood in me Papa." I hope for the best, "There is an ever-present fire Papa."
"Is this union pure in light and love?"
"I have seen you grow Katniss. To let go my child over a boy is absurd."
"Papa, I love him. And I love you. I love Prim and Mama. But he was the husband God made me to be a wife for, I know it!"
He looks at me with sad glazing eyes, "No Katniss... He... Was made... For you" He smiles lightly.
"Papa" I smile back. "Do you forgive me Papa?" He nods and I bury my face into his chest. "I love you"
I don't need to look up to know he's dead. I can feel his arms, which had wrapped around me with his last bit of life, go limp. I know my Papa is gone.
Mama walks in as I sit up. She begins to cry quietly.
"Mama, he was content." I say and wrap my arms around her.
"My husband." She whispers.
"Mama, do not weep for he has met God. He was forgiven and did forgive." I say, though I cry as well. My Papa is no longer mine and that is more than just heartbreaking it's almost too much to bear.
My wedding was pushed back a week out of respect for my father. The funeral was held on Saturday instead. Some say that when death comes to a family you are supposed to fee like your life has ended with theirs. But it has not.
Truthfully my heart did not shatter beyond repair. I was not broken and a weeping mess at the funeral.
I was firm and silent, knowing he was there was hard. Knowing my Papa was present in a form no one could see would have been too much to bear, had my Peeta not been by my side.
I feel like he was waiting for me to cry, like he was waiting to take me in his arms and hush me.
I never did, I think I shocked him most when I smiled at the coffin instead of weeping. I did this because I knew he enjoyed rule breaking and by doing this I was breaking the rules of mourning.
The ceremony was dark as it always was meant to be. But I found comfort in it. Gale called it closure. I call it hope.
It is now the eve of my wedding, and as I lay in my bed I ponder what has happened. How drastically my life has changed and will change in a matter of moments.
In a flash I had been born to the world. In a matter of moments I opened my eyes to see. It took seconds for my heart to be stolen by my Peeta. Love it turns out is not so hard to come by.
In minutes I went from sleeping to being thrown into a cell. In a split second I went from kneeling to being mistreated by judge Snow. In a sudden change I was no longer burning at the stake but stood in a cloud of smoke.
It took a year for my love to propose, and it took a second for me to agree. Seconds for my father to rip away my dreams. And seconds for him to leave me forever.
I begin to pray because that is the only thing I can think to be proper.
Tomorrow will take but ten minutes for me to become a bride. And then What do I have? Well, the rest of my life.
The day of the wedding I wake before the sun. My maid washes me and styles my hair to look like a bride.
"You're beautiful mistress."
Mother and Prim come over before Johanna, Madge, and Annie.
"Mama" I greet her with a hug.
"My child." She says affectionately before pulling away, "I must show you something"
I notice Prim hold something in her hands. Mother takes it and opens it up. It's a wedding dress, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. "My child when you were young your father and I told our friend, Cinna, that you were in love with the baker's son. He laughed and said he would make a dress so sinful the church would take wooden stakes to it."
I laugh with my mother. "He spent ten years on this dress. I think it be only fair of you to wear it."
My hand runs along the silk and beading, "Oh Mama." I sigh.
The two of them slip the dress on me. It's so light, and form fitted that colonists would really take wooden stakes to it.
I examine the fabric as it rests on me. It's too beautiful for someone like me to wear. I look in the mirror and think to myself, I look worthy to marry the most pure man.
Johanna, Annie, and Madge show up together. They fawn over me, talking about how exciting it is to have a proper wedding.
We heckle Annie slightly, referring to her as the purest girl, is so much more inappropriate now that she's with child.
We laugh and it almost seems like nothing will change. Though at ten o'clock when the ceremony begins, I will no longer be an Everdeen girl.
Grandfather enters my bed chambers and escorts all of us out to the carriage.
Now I'm nervous. Now I'm deeply afraid of what's to come.
"Katniss, "I hear Madge say as she takes hold of my hand, "Are you ready?" She smiles.
I can't help but smile back and sigh. In fact that's all I can do until Johanna laughs at me.
"Come on brainless. Speak! It's your wedding day!"
"I know that very well Johanna, I didn't think I was going shopping!" We all laugh at this. And for a time I am sincerely grateful to have all of these loving amazing people in my life.
Soon I can see the church and my heart tries to beat out of my chest.
Mother puts her hands on my shoulders. "Come now," She says offering a smile, "My little girl is getting married."
She kisses my cheeks as tradition says. I step out of the carriage and each of my bridal party kisses my cheeks. I am afraid, but I am allowed to be.
My friends walk in front of me, and soon it s my turn to walk in. Behind my veil I can still see him standing there. My Peeta stands so proudly. I feel my worries melt away as he lays eyes on me.
I blush out of instinct. I know I've reached him when his hand brushes my hip. I allow my gaze to shift slightly to him. He's smiling and so am I.
The ceremony begins I hardly hear the words this man utters. I don't need to, I've proclaimed my love to my husband. I glance to the side, the seat next to my mother on the aisle is left open. For my Papa.
"You may now kiss the bride." The final words sealing Peeta as mine. We've never kissed, and though we have gone much farther than most unwed couples, I must say kissing is frightening.
He lifts my veil over my head and takes me in his arms. Our lips meet and my heart beats faster. The ever-present fire flares up in my stomach.
His lips are soft and warm, I cannot think of anything other than how wonderful he is. How I've just married the man I have always loved.
He is mine and I am his.
A year has past since my marriage to My Peeta. Grandfather passed six months ago, he was content with this. He requested to be buried next to Papa.
Peeta and I live very contently in Grandfather's estate. Though everything is now under my name and I am the one who receives grandfather's pension.
Peeta still works at the bakery here, he's grown to be close friends with the owner and their children.
Mother lives with us and has taken to gathering herbs in the surrounding wilderness to sell in town.
Prim now goes to school, which she enjoys more than any of us expected.
Annie and Finnick visit often, Finnick has used his charm well and has gotten a job in Parliament when he graduates.
Johanna hasn't changed at all. She's still profane and enjoys getting laughs from everyone.
Madge and Gale have been doing well. Gale Spends less time on the seas now, he's created a grand fortune selling and now he's hired another man to go and trade for him.
Haymitch is still around, we still enjoy a good banter. He still drinks but I would not have expected that to change.
And so that only leaves me. Well, I spend my days reading and having tea with my friends. At night I am invited to many parties. However some days I prefer to stay at home with my husband.
I have spent much time riding through the hills surrounding my estate. I tend to talk to many business men in town when I go, considering I am a dignified woman in their eyes.
As it also seems, I'm expecting my first child. I haven't told a soul but tonight I fully plan to.
My husband has come home early today, I want him to know first.
I run down the stairs as he enters our home. I run into his arms, he smells like warm bread and sweet cinnamon, "Hello darling." He laughs wrapping me in his arms.
"Welcome home love" I kiss him. As always the fire in my stomach flares inside me, though of course that may be our child.
He begins to walk back up the stairs with his arm still around my hip, "And what have I done to deserve such a greeting?" He asks.
"Something wonderful" I say as we reach the sitting room.
"Oh?" He asks amused.
"Yes" I say as we take a seat. He kisses me again before I straighten myself.
"What have I done?" He smiles.
"Lived" I say and he laughs.
"Is that all?" He asks, "Because if so I would like another kiss" So I kiss him before speaking.
"That's not all love."
"What is it darling?" He smiles.
"I'm with child" I say. His eyes grow exponentially.
"You're what?" He asks with happiness in his tone.
"I'm having our child." I say again, "My love we're having a baby."
His arms engulf me in an embrace. "Oh darling!"
"Peeta" I sigh into his chest. When he pulls me back his eye gleam in excitement.
He kisses me again. I can't help but remember how I used to be a child and I used be so in love with him, how this was my dream.
Maybe dreams do come true some times.
I had the most beautiful little boy. His eye were my Papa's. But other wise he looks just like his father.
Everyone loves my son to pieces but no one loves him more than I. My little boy is perfect.
Peeta is, just as I expected, a great father. He comes home and holds our child until I fear his arms will fall of, or our son cries in hunger.
The servants of the estate love having a little one to make small giggling noises.
Mother adores the little one, and I fear she'd spoil him rotten given the chance.
Madge is expecting her second child now and loves for our boys to play together.
Even though my little boy is but meager months old, I still see fire in his eyes. The Everdeen fire has been passed down I suppose.
My little boy has reached the milestone of his first birthday. According to tradition we are to wait a year before naming our child, His name is Mathew. My little boy has so much love in his life, and he brings so much joy to all of us. I know now just how thankful I am to live here where everyone can love openly and no one will convict them of harboring the devil.
It has been a prosperous two years for me. My friends have grown up into well-adjusted twenty year olds. My present to Peeta for his birthday is another baby. Everyone is just as excited for this one, including Mathew who is now three. Prim is close to graduating now. She'll be old enough for courtships now.
Any potential suitors may not have Papa to worry about, but they have something much worse. Mama, and my Peeta. Prim claims they'll scare all her suitors away in a teasing manner. However Peeta glares playfully and says, "A man should love you so much nothing can scare him away."
To which I reply, "Not even the flames of a stake and the risk of being convicted of witchcraft."
I had another little boy who we've named Eric. Annie had a little girl soon after the birth of my son. Her oldest little girl enjoys being a big sister a little too much sometimes, but all the same we are doing well this year.
It has been six years and nothing to report. That's not entirely true, I had a little girl actually two years ago, We've named her Samantha. I guess that I've been too busy living. Maybe I've out grown narrating my own life. Or maybe nothing is worth the narrative anymore.
That's not true, I know that. However, it seems that my time of trial has passed. God has tried me in a ways I never expected. My faith never swayed.
Once your faith has been proven god remains with you I suppose. I know a few things now. I have three healthy children, The boy of my dreams as my husband, and the best friends, family, and faith I could have asked for.
I can honestly say I don't fear my past any longer. America no longer haunts my nightmares. Life took its course, I've grown and matured well.
What I have learned is this, Though times are hard and your world is upside down, do not fight it. Live through it, see what wonders God has in store for you and you'll see no matter what, everything will be okay if not immediately someday soon enough.
*Tear* That is it. I'm so sad by this but I'm so very proud of it as well. Thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for giving me the courage to write this all the way through. And thank you for being amazing.