Rhett Evers, 16
My eyes open to a clean sparkling white room and for a moment I panic, it was just a dream, I am still in the Arena. Sitting up to look around startled when I don't see my backpack I begin to feel the difference. My skin and hair feel clean, I am warm, and my back is relieved of the soreness of sleeping on the hard floor.
And most surprising of all, I am on a bed.
Looking down to the white-sheeted bed I hear my heart beat increase as the beeping sound on the heart monitor grows louder. Letting out a sigh I want to curl back in the sheets and just go to sleep but I want out.
Getting up from the bed I see my skin smooth and rid of all the cuts and injuries that once covered my legs, and not just the ones from the Arena. All of the scars. I run my fingers through my pin-straight hair. It feels so clean. A thing I didn't think I would ever be able to describe myself with again.
Then the memories of all of the death rush back through my head and I sit back down defeated. Taking a deep breath I get up once again only to feel a tug from my nose. Groaning I mentally yell at myself for not seeing the tube running from my nose to some machine. Well I sure as hell am not keeping this thing attached to me. It bothers me. At least it can distract me from the memories that keep trying to push back into my thoughts.
Ripping the tubes out I expect it to be difficult or for it to refuse but after a sound they come out easy enough. Cringing I place it on the bed and walk to the door. This place reminds me of the Arena. I hate it even if it has rid me of all the scars that contain fragments of painful memories.
Reaching for the doorknob it suddenly turns and I rush back to the bed hitting the mattress as soon as the door opens.
"Dad!" I shout rushing forward on my bare feet to wrap my arms around my father in a tight hug.
"The Doctor said I won't be able to mentor next year, too much stress, but he said I would be able to mentor Eight's newest Victor for her Victory tour." He says and I look up at him.
Tears beginning appearing. I am crying, in front of my father. I don't cry in front of others. Well I didn't cry in front of others, everything feels so different now.
Sitting back on the bed I wait for him to tell me the plan, to make me feel at ease when I just can't manage to.
"Your Interview will be tonight, your stylist is coming soon to get you into your dress." My father says and I nod.
Part of me just wants him to stay with me and comfort me like I am a five year old again scared of the dark and another part doesn't want him to look at me. I don't want him to look at him after all that I have been through. My family saw it all. I know now Roman's death was a result of our discussions. They were just much too rebellious for their liking. Roman had too much sense and spoke too freely about it. It cost him his life. For my ignorance I get to survive.
"Rhett!" A voice shrieks. I see the three of my Prep Team standing at the door smiling all cheery.
"We are so happy you won, we like totally knew you could." One says. I don't even remember their names. I am surprised I even remember my stylist.
"Yeah we need to get you ready for tonight, not that you don't already look fabulous!" The third says and they tug at my arm as I still stand in my hospital gown (which lucky me this one actually has a back to it) they lead me outside into the hallway. Nurses roam and of course this is a physical hospital, not a mental one.
Yet still I can think about as they drag me through the halls all eyes following me I can only think of the Arena. One second normal, next a bloody hallway with filled with twenty three bodies.
I nervously squirm in my seat trying to get use the uncomfortable itch the dress causes on my back. A tight upper part and then a puffy bottom ending a few inches above my knees and the dress is a sparkling pearl color. My hair even pulls at my skull uncomfortable, my stylist puller it back tightly to make some sort of fancy looking bun.
I watch as they begin showing the Reapings. The Reaping have much more meaning now. The people seem so much more alive now. Yet to the rest of the world they are deader now than ever.
I squirm more as the show the Chariot rides. I beg myself not to allow myself to cry. I beg myself to sit tall and stop acting so affected from this all. I want to feel and act numb just to get through this all. I don't know how I will get through this if I don't begin to just space out. It is a grim idea but I just don't have a choice.
Finally the part I dreaded, the Bloodbath. Unlike the other things they show the whole thing up to when I was on my feet running away from the Careers. I take a deep breath. My first kill. My hair still was long there, that was the moment everything took a turn for the worse. At least for the Final Showdown my hair was short and messy. I probably look barely recognizable.
But everyone knows it was me, I will always know it is me.
I assume back in the Arena I might have been curious how deaths happened; now I could care less. I just wanted to go back to sleep and far away from her.
Death by death. Roman's death nearly kills me. Right up to the moment I stand in the room full of dead, the last one standing.
Caesar turns to me as the screen goes black. "Rhett I was so excited to get a chance to ask you a few questions." He says. I give a rather pitiful smile. I don't need Sponsors any more but that doesn't mean I don't have something to loose.
"I was hoping I would get a chance to talk to you again." I say back. My words are weak and have no punch. Not to mention everything I have been saying is a lie.
What has happened to me? Where did I loose myself?
Rhett Evers, 17
Letting out a shriek I give a sob wrapping my arms around myself. I feel two skinny arms wrap around me. Giving a few sobs I try to stay quiet enough to not wake up my brother. After two months he decided to move to another room down the hall and not the one right next to mine.
"It is okay Rhett." Athena says. I turn around looking into my sister's eyes. She looks like a miniature version of me. She has stayed in my room often. Tributes go in to go insane from the Hunger Games and then there families have to watch it. In that time Athena has grown. Talon was always mature but…'
Naturally I was given the house right next to my parents. When moving in I brought my sister and brother with me. My brother now an adult keeps us under control. Usually we just end up going back with the parents for dinner. But I am glad for living away from my mother. When she came back she didn't congratulate me and take back her words saying she was wrong. I never yelled at her or anything. I didn't need to. I won, I prove myself. I didn't need to torment my mother for it. Especially now that part of me understands her. She really has gotten better. Seeing two of her loved ones go through the Games changes you. I say that in hope that she loves me. I would once say she didn't but I know now she does.
Trying to not wake Talon doesn't do much effort. Talon opens the door and I sit up along with Athena.
"Hey," Talon says and sits on the end of the bed. I glance towards the clock. Midnight. "Want to talk about it?" He asks.
Usually I do. While I hate to trouble my family, it just takes the chip off my shoulder. This time I shake my head. It wasn't really a nightmare like usual. It was joyful. Well at first. It started out with Roman and I's conversation then all of a sudden he was just being torn apart by some mutt. Though in reality I didn't even see Roman be slaughtered. I just saw his body shortly afterwards.
"No it is fine, I am sorry they are getting better…"
"It is fine." Athena says with a thin smile to comfort me. What has become of me? Thank god for the two of them, but now my twelve-year-old sister has to comfort her seventeen-year-old sister. Being Victor was supposed to allow me an escape. I guess that is just a lie though. From the moment we are announced tributes the idea of escape is just gone. You go in and die or get out and our haunted by it for every single day of your life. Escape was never an option, and it never will be.
A/N- So that is a wrap! And yes to those who weren't around for the last story I always end in cheesy endings where the Victor says something around the title of the next story. Thank you all for reading and being amazing and sticking with me to the end!