I feel my heart bounce up to my throat as the train rumbles to a halt in District Four. I killed both of their tributes without thinking about it.
Francine leads me to the stage and I can't bring myself to look at the grieving families. "I killed Tiran and Jemi. I didn't get a good vibe from Tiran and he underestimated me. I guess it made me annoyed. Jemi, on the other hand, was a worthy opponent. My last thought before I blacked out at the end of the games was: 'Now it's only a matter of who bleeds out first' and that was Jemi."
I give the rest of the speech Francine wrote and leave the stage. Francine leads me to the town square and I find my seat with three other victors- Finnick Odair, Mags White, and Lucan Revlar.
"So, Johanna, do you like District Four?" Lucan asks cautiously.
"It smells like fish," I mutter.
"Pass the bread," Finnick says in a seductive tone even though there is nothing sexual about that statement.
I hand it to him. "Thanks for killing Tiran," he tells me. "I hated mentoring that asshole. Jemi was annoying too."
"He really was an ass," I take a bite of my fish and it tastes awful.
"I liked Jemi," I can hardly make out anything Mags says. "But she was too cocky."
We continue the rest of the dinner like this until Finnick says, "Johanna, will you come walk with me on the beach?"
He grabs my wrist and pulls me to a nice, sandy part of the coast. "What is this?" I ask him. "Are you trying to rape me or something? 'Cause I don't consent to that but if you want a one-night-stand, well, after what I've been through these past few months, I'd be okay with that. Of course, Francine is watching me like a hawk, so it might be difficult."
Finnick laughs. "No, I don't want to rape you or have a one-night-stand. I just wanted to talk. What are you doing for your talent?"
"Gymnastics," I inform him and he pauses for a moment.
"I'll get back to you on that one-night-stand idea." I chuckle softly as he says that. "So, can I get a sneak preview of your gymnastics?"
"Sure," I take off my shoes and do three back handsprings in a row and then a back flip. I take a bow.
"Bravo," Finnick claps his hands. I slide my shoes back on and sit down on the sand.
"It's really beautiful, you know?" I tell him. "Despite the fishy smell."
"District Four?" he sits next to me.
"Yeah," I smile at him. "The ocean is beautiful. I wish I knew how to swim."
"Come on," he grabs my hand and pulls me up. "I'm going to teach you."
He tugs his shirt off, slips off him dress-pants, and kicks away his shoes before running into the ocean. "You coming?" he calls to me.
"Are you being serious?" I ask him and he nods.
I shrug my shoulders and take off my dress and shoes. I've never been very . . . self conscious.
I dip my toe in the water and instantly pull it back out. "It's fucking cold!" I screech.
He steps up to me, grabs my waist, and throws me in. "What's wrong with you!?" I ask but I'm laughing. I haven't had this much fun in a long time.
"Now, do this," he instructs. He moves his arms in a way I don't know how to describe but manage to mimic.
"Lift your feet up and kick with them but keep moving your arms," he orders and I do it.
"I'm doing it!" I smile and swim a bit farther out. "This is amazing!"
"I know," Finnick splashes me and I splash him back. We get into a splash-war, and- what must be an hour later- we crawl out of the ocean.
"Thanks," I tell him, as we lie on the sand, trying to dry off.
"No problem," he smiles, "I had a good time teaching you."
"It freezing. Is there a blanket or towel we can use?" I ask.
"No," he frowns. "But sometimes you dry off faster if you sit on a rock. There's a bunch of them a couple minutes from here."
I pick up my stuff and we walk down the beach until we reach them. "This is really relaxing," I tell Finnick. "You're so lucky you live here. District Seven sucks."
"District Four isn't a paradise but I like it alot," he informs me.
"I still love District Seven though," I whisper. "It's my home."
"I know the feeling."
"Do you have any family?" I ask him.
"I have a big brother," he sits up and looks at the sea. "My parents died in a boating accident when I was ten. They're bodies were never recovered. What about you?"
"I had a normal family. But I said no when Snow asked me to be a prostitute. So know my mom, dad, and sister are dead. My ten-year-old brother is back in District Seven with a friend who probably hates me now. I'm worried as hell." I bring my knees up to my chest and wipe a tear from my eye.
Finnick brings his knees up to his chest too and whispers, "It's horrible you know. Getting called to the Capitol to sleep with a ton of different women. I've lost all self respect for myself. Last year, I lost my virginity, to a woman I didn't love. A woman who wasn't even . . . real. I feel like a piece of trash. No matter how hard you try to wash it all off it doesn't work. I'm bought and sold more often than anyone, and I'm sixteen-years-old. Sometimes I wonder if I should've just let him kill my brother. I have no self worth."
"Oh, Finnick," I put my arm around his shoulders. "If only we could've died in the games. It would be so much easier."
He nods. "We should get dressed and head back but . . . here's my phone number. If you ever need someone to talk to . . . I'm here."
"Here's mine," I write it on his hand. As we walk back, one word repeats in my head over and over again- ally.
Okay, so just before I wrote this I reread the part in Mockingjay where Finnick tells Panem how he worked as a manwhore and I'm just so fucking emotional right now! I'm swearing and like on the verge of tears! I always cry four places in the series: When Finnick confesses he's a manwhore, when Finnick dies, the epilogue in Mockingjay, and when Johanna says there's no one left she loves. Why does Suzanne Collins do this to us?! I love her but it just makes me so fucking emotional! So, please fucking review and hopefully I can get out of my crying fit. Also, last chapter I got a ton of new followers and favorites so thank you all sooo much!