"I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!" I woke up screaming again. Ever since the Reaping, I haven't been able to sleep through the night; all that runs through my mind when I close my eyes is the horrible moment when Effie Trinket called out in that horrible voice of her's, 'Primrose Everdeen'. That was it, my life was over after that, I couldn't justify Prim being sent to the Games. I know I'm going to die in the arena, and somehow, I'm okay with it. I know I can't compete with the Careers, they've been training for this ever since they could walk. And then there's Peeta Mellark…
"Katniss? Are you alright?" I sigh, silently cursing myself for waking Peeta up again, and open the door.
"I'm okay Peeta, I'm sorry I woke you up."
"I couldn't sleep anyway Katniss, it's okay."
"Why not?" I couldn't imagine that he was upset at the thought of losing his family, they never appreciated the things he could do, and besides baking and his family, he has next to nothing to live for. I guess I am the same way.
"I have a lot on my mind with the interviews tomorrow... uh, I mean later today I guess. Caesar Flickerman will try to help me out, but I still need to gain sponsors." He looks genuinely worried, and I laugh.
"Peeta, the Capitol is going to eat you up. You're easy to like." I look at the ground and quickly think of something to say to fill the silence before the meaning of my words gets through to Peeta, or even more so, because I don't want to know what they mean myself. "We should probably try to get back to sleep… see you in the morning."
"You're right. Goodnight Katniss."
"Goodnight Peeta." I closed the door and locked it quickly. I climbed back into the bed, but I didn't sleep anymore that night.
Effie Trinket came to my door to early that morning. I didn't want to get up, I wasn't ready to deal with Cinna and my prep team trying to turn me into something I'm not. I got up anyway and took a quick shower before breakfast. When I got to the dinning room, Portia was just escorting Peeta out, and Haymitch sat alone at the table.
"Nice of you to join us, sweetheart." I rolled my eyes and sat down, filling my plate with food. Haymitch continued, "What's your angle going to be during the interview?"
"I don't know. What's Peeta's strategy?"
"Peeta's strategy is Peeta's strategy. I asked what your's is going to be."
"I guess I'm just going to be myself." I wasn't in the mood for Haymitch's pep talks, and cruel words. It was a long time before he gave up on me and released me to my own defenses. I couldn't wait until Cinna came to get me after that. Cinna had decided that I was going to run with the whole 'girl on fire thing' and had me in a very glamorous, long, red gown. The millions of crystals on it glittered like fire, and Cinna explained that he'd give me a signal during my interview to have me spin around. He wouldn't tell me what would happen, but I could only hope it wouldn't be life threatening.
"Katniss Everdeen, come on out here." Caesar Flickerman motioned for me to join him on the stage, I walked out carefully and took my spot next to him. "So, Katniss, tell me, what's it like to be known as 'the girl on fire'?"
"Well, I haven't really given much thought to it to be honest with you."
"What did you think of actually being on fire?"
"I was terrified at first, but it wasn't that bad in the end." I noticed Cinna give me the signal, and I twirled around. The audience loved it. Caesar ate it up.
"My, my Katniss! Cinna certainly knows how to make a statement! That dress is stunning. I do have one more question for you though. What did you say to your sister, after you volunteered to take her place?"
"I told her I'd try to win. For her."
"I bet you will my dear, I bet you will." He patted my hand then, stood with me and raised my arm high. "Let's hear it for Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire!" And with that my interview was over. Peeta went out next and I listened as Caesar asked him questions about baking, the Reaping, and his idea of the Capitol. Then Caesar asked him if he had a lover back home… and just as Peeta confessed his love for me on national television all over the country of Panem, I realized that I loved him too.