We watch the scene solemnly. The boy from Two and the one from Eleven.
For the last two weeks I've kept my fist balled, willing the boy from Eleven to win this. He was the underdog. The anomaly of such a terrible game. At first I'd wanted his District partner to win, the small girl who looked so much like my sister. But the Career from One stole her. The little girl who shrunk into the Earth and died so terribly alone, the cameras zooming in on her face…
I couldn't watch after this, leaving school early after telling the instructor that my stomach didn't feel good.
But her District partner avenged her, hunting down the monster that killed her and ending him for good.
My heart leapt at the sight and I couldn't help but admire him at that moment. He didn't have to hunt down such a wicked monster, he was safe in the wheat field he hid in.
But now, now the one person I've ever rooted for in such a vile game is on his last stand. The boy from One might look like a decent human being beside the despicable excuse of a person that now hovers over Thresh. The screen is split, giving a view of the Capitol freaks that chant his name over and over. Begging him to end the underdog and to become their Victor. No doubt he will.
The room is dead silent as most of us cram onto the old couch and the others stand around it, none of us daring to speak a word.
Prim buries herself into my shoulder, wrapping her arms around me. I feel her tears beginning to soak into my shirt, her lips quiver as the sobs begin. My hands rest on the back of her head as I rock her slowly, I want to look away. I won't though. Can't. My eyes are glued to the screen and nothing will pull me away. Thresh is done. Over. The bone sticking from his thigh was the end of him. His murderer stands above him, joyful in his new found victory.
Why won't he just kill him?
Despite how disgusted I feel, I still cannot look away. I feel a duty to Thresh, to see him to his end. It still hurts to watch though.
The newest Victor of the Games steps over the final tribute and my heart leaps. Fear overcomes me and it's as if I'm there. How terrible it must be to come so close to winning? Within arm's reach and then mocked when it's no longer yours. I feel hate, anger, resentment. I hate the District Two boy. I hate him for everything he represents and I hate him for representing everything terrible and wrong with our society.
For a flicker of a moment there is something that comes with this wave of emotion. If he is everything that is wrong with the Capitol, then isn't he the solution? If somebody like him pulled away, said no, wouldn't this be over? Could it?
But as he raises his sword, holds it for a fraction of a second, and then embeds it into Thresh's skull, I know that it wouldn't matter if he took a stand.
There will always be a game like this. There will always be Tributes and there will always be Victors.
The sound of the Capitol screaming fills the living room, the goons that chant his name. President Snow's face is the focal point for a moment. The bastard has the nerve to look pleased.
The hovercraft appears in the arena as he grabs onto the ladder and is pulled away. They'll collect Thresh later. For now though, he is the last person on the planet that matters to them.
Prim hold onto me tighter as I give her a quick squeeze. Hazelle lets out a breath as she hands Posy to Gale. "Well that's that then."
Caesar Flickerman appears on the screen, reminding us of the recap and the interview to come in the next week. Both mandatory of course.
The T.V. is turned off and I continue to stare at the black screen. Prim and Posy are both crying, their muffled sobs the only sound as my mother quietly excuses herself to get dinner started.
He was a monster. The worst kind too, the kind that embraced all that is evil, welcomed it with a smile and latched onto it as though it were his savior. Who knows, maybe it was?
It was not my place to question these things, he was a Career. One of many in fact.
In about six months he would stand on the stage in our district and then he would disappear into a faded image of all past Victors and I would never have to think of this particular Career.
Still, something bothers me about him. He's the creature in my forest who stalks its prey, follows it for miles and learns everything about it before finally making its move.
I would never meet Cato. I would never speak to him. I would never have to deal with him. He was off to bigger and better things.
And yet, when I lean over and gently deposit Prim onto the other side of the couch and see Gale's eyes, grey and full of hate, I know that somehow Cato had already stepped into my world.