She never could bring herself to regret that decision. Yeah, it's why her whole family is dead. But she doesn't regret it. Not when she sees how miserable Finnick is, in love with a girl back home but spending more and more time in the Capitol playing slave to the desires of its brightly colored women.
To keep herself from feeling something that resembles regret, she tries not to think about them. It's easier that way. But sometimes, in her weaker moments, it all comes rushing back.
She never knew her own mother, but she still doesn't like spending time around Katniss's. It brings back memories that shouldn't be there, because they never existed. It still bothers her, the way Katniss just brushes her mother aside. The poor girl is so caught up in herself, that she doesn't see the way that her mother wants to care. She wants to be the mother that most other teenage girls have.
Sometimes Johanna wants that, too. She'd never tell anyone, not even Finnick, but she doesn't stop herself from thinking it.
The only memories she might have had of her mother would have come from her father. But he never gave anything away, so she's left with nothing. Nothing but memories of her father, a man who should have been a victor. A man who would have been right at home in the training halls of Districts One and Two. A man who raised a killer.
Shouted orders, backhanded slaps across the face, harsh criticisms. Pushing her so hard she wonders how she didn't break. The memories she has aren't kind. They aren't warm and fuzzy. They aren't the kind of memories that she imagines many people have of their fathers. But her father wasn't warm and fuzzy. He was hard and cold, so it makes sense that her memories would be the same.
They thought he was safe. Everyone thinks they're safe when they turn nineteen, but her brother wasn't, and he's dead because of her. She doubts he blames her, though. It would have been hard on him, watching her be so miserable. Watching her be used.
He was her best friend. The memories she has of him are bright and saturated. Veiled threats, traded insults, good-natured sparring. The bond between siblings, the bond she'll never feel again. Finnick is the closes she's come to feeling that again, but Finnick doesn't really count because he's just as broken as she is.
As much as she wants to deny it, Finnick is the closest thing she has to family now. The other Victors too, but mostly just Finnick. He's one of the closest to her in age, not counting the siblings from One. Who cares about those vain, Capitol-loving idiots anyway? But sometimes she gets the impression they don't like life in the big city as much as they would have everyone believe. She hates it too, and makes no secret of it. Finnick is the only one in the Capitol whom she feels any sort of kinship for.
Sometimes she wonders if she would have made a move on him, had she not known about Annie. Sometimes she wonders why he ever confided that bit of information in the first place. But really, if there was no Annie and Finnick, would there have been a Johanna and Finnick? She doesn't think so. She can't bring herself to think of him, not like that.
He's the closest thing she's come to a friend since she won the Games and lost every friend she had before. He's the closest thing she's come to family. And maybe that doesn't even go far enough. As much time as she spends thinking and saying that she has no family, that they're all dead, she knows that isn't really true. Her blood family is dead, but she has a new family now. Sort of.
Katniss, for starters. As much as she wants to hate the girl, as annoying as she is, she's not as bad as she used to be. Johanna's never had a sister, but she imagines this is what it must be like, or at least similar.
Annie, too, is like a sister. Only she isn't the annoying one that's impossible to get along with. That honor belongs solely to Lover Girl. Annie is more like the baby of the family that everyone loves and wants to protect. Sort of like Katniss and Prim, but without the volunteering part. That's the one thing she absolutely will not do.
Even though he's always drunk or, on the rare occasions of sobriety, just as annoying as Katniss, Haymitch isn't so bad either. He's grown on her, at least.
As much as she likes all of them, none can hold a candle to what Finnick means to her. It may be purely platonic, but it isn't any weaker for it. As much as she'll never acknowledge it, Finnick really is like her brother. The most important person in her life, by a long shot.
She doesn't love them, not even Finnick. She doesn't know if she's capable of love, after everything she's been through. But they are her family, however broken all of them are. And even if she had the chance to go back and change it so that she never went into the Games in the first place, she wouldn't have it any other way.