"Stupid girl! You'll never win the Games." My brother has never scared me, so when he yells I stand my ground.

He and I share the same fiery hair and amber eyes, but that is where the similarities stop. I chose to bury my grief by spending every waking moment with the scholars at the school and the power plants, while he chose to sit in the tavern, drink, and gamble after our parents died. Eventually it was me supporting the two of us and Tara with the money I earned working nights at the power plant.

I'm not happy that he came to see me, and his words don't bother me. I'd like to think my very obvious indifference to his comments tells him as much, but he keeps going.

"You're going to go into the Arena and die just like all the others. And where will that leave me? With no money and looking after the little girl, that's where!" At least he's hissing this time, not shouting. And evidently he has enough intelligence left to see that if I don't come back, there won't be anyone bringing home wages.

"Be a man, Curran! Quit hanging out with all those idiots in the tavern and get a job – she's counting on you!" My words do nothing but enrage him further. I'm fully expecting him to slap me across the face when the door opens and the Peacekeeper announces that my brother has to leave.

I'm sure a better sister than I would be sad to see her last family member walk away from an unresolved fight, considering she could be dead in a week. However, I'm not that girl, and I feel nothing when the door slams behind him.