A/N: i am so so so sorry that it's been sooo long since i updated, i had regional one weekend, then state the next, then an acro meet the following weekend. that and we had to read an 800 page novel in my english class which sucked. also in this past while i got grounded from the computer for my not too great of grades, not my fault the teacher lost like 4 of my papers and penalized ME for it. i hate that crazy teacher. anywho, enough of my rant, please enjoy the district 9 reapings. oh, and again, sorry!
Sweat drips down my face and onto the floor but I keep going. I can't help but want more for my dancing but yet my body doesn't give any more. Rehearsals for fall show have already begun and I worry I won't be prepared for the lead role. Madame Langdon says I will most certainly have the lead but I don't agree. Damian Franco has a better chance at the lead because he is stronger and faster, more eye appealing with the favorite Arden Jesllyn- for the female lead role. Most importantly however I worry he's better at dancing and performing in general. But I keep my head held high in class. I keep my eyes focused in my pointe as I turn through the piqué pirouettes. When my last pas de chat has a good three feet higher extension compared to Damian's I think of it as a sign of grace.
After class I walk out with Damian joking around. Even in the spirit of competitive dancing vying for the best rolls and the same spots, Damian and me are still the best of friends. Being the only two serious boy dancers in our year Damian and I take all the lead roles but still fight for the best. We both want to get into the company in the capitol but the capitol is unpredictable. So every day we fight to have the larger leap, the longer extension and to be the better one.
Dancing is a world made for only a few. The grace it takes hides the fact that no matter how high your jump is or how long your extension reaches, not everyone lands. But Damian and me don't worry about the competition outside of the studio. We joke around like regular teenage boys laughing at the girls crying about the rain but still I have this weird feeling with Damian. I know he's gay; he came out of the closet two years ago. His parents support that he likes boys. He hasn't had a boyfriend yet but I know it's soon to come. After all, our hormones are supposed to be raging at this age. I haven't told him yet but I think I'm gay too. Whenever I'm around him there's this feeling of flurries going around in my stomach like it can't take the nerves that pulsate through me whenever he's in the same room. That and I've never really liked girls. But I keep quiet on our walk home. I say goodbye like on any other day, even though it isn't like any normal day. Today is the reaping. I'm prepared for the worst but I hope for the best. And after a shower filled with long strains of thinking I'm ready to face my fears.
At breakfast this morning dad is sitting hand-in-hand with Stella our evil stepmom. I feel like I live in a Cinderella story but I have one stepsister rather than two and my dad is still alive. The evil stepmother works however. I've come to realize that Stella is an evil stepmother but Addie isn't an evil stepsister. She is just a little girl stuck with a horrible mom and we can't really change that now can we? I get the feeling that Stella detests Addie. The poor girl only ever gets grief from her mom. I've always wondered why she puts up with Stella, the lady is a true b****.
But Addie doesn't annoy me nearly as much as her ridiculous mother. Each morning Stella's tactics make me want to puke up my breakfast but I remain calm for father's sake because he's been there for everything and he does everything for us even if Stella is a psychopath with anger issues. I see that Azure and Addie are already up and dressed. They are talking quietly among each other. I see that Stella has bought Addie and Azure matching dresses. Even though they're the same age they're not twins so I want to scream that they don't need to dress the same. Even if they were twins, I would find a reason to scream at Stella cause she's just frustrating. Stella has given them these white bubbly, puffy dresses with Azure having a bright blue cardigan wrapped around her shoulders. And Addie's is just the same but with a very vibrant golden yellow that is very blinding. I am disgusted by the sheer timeliness of it all. I don't want Azure's identity intermingled with Addie. Azure already has to fight for father's attention; she doesn't need any more competition. But I bite down my tongue as I walk in. I know the fight that will ensue isn't worth it on this already tense morning. I look down to my choice of dress instead.
I had decided on much less flamboyant attire. My favorite color being turquoise I picked this turquoise dress with these beads that run down the top in a swirly pattern. It's breathtaking in the sunlight, and all the beads capture the light in the right way. But I can already tell that Stella doesn't like my dress once I stepped into the kitchen. She gives these still staring eyes that won't give up on my face. I flash my tongue at her face and take my seat at the table. But I already know I'm going to pay.
When I heard Brogan climb from the depths of our bathroom, I finally claw my way from my bed. I gave Brogan first chance when he returned from the dance studio this morning. He came in, his white t-shirt thoroughly soaked, and his milky brown hair collected in clumps around his head. It seemed like a better choice for him to go first. Besides, I'm dreading today, it's my last reaping, but it's also Logan's first. These past years I have only been able to tolerate having Brogan in the reaping with me because I always knew deep down, if it came to it, I'd volunteer for him. But now, with Logan entering this year, and Kylie the following year, it's too difficult to think about. Even with Logan being a pain in the butt, I still love her. And even with Brogan and I's unspoken agreement of avoiding any subject practically, we have an unbreakable bond as brothers. I just hope that Brogan and Logan will be willing to protect Oakley and Kylie if it comes to it.
Brogan appears in the bathroom door as I get up for my chance at it. It's hysterical how Brogan's hair is stuck up in every direction but down, and I can't hold in bursts of laughter. He gives me a quizzical look, and all I can muster is a point at his hair. Soon, he joins me in the bellyaching laughter that is his hair. I push his hair down some as I myself go into the bathroom for a shower.
A good fifteen minutes later, the bathroom is excreting steam as I prop the door open to air the place out. The best part is that when I emerge, Brogan has combed his hair to all go straight up. I stealthily walk up behind him, and give his locks of damp hair a rubbing. This leads him to promptly snap his towel in my direction, and for me to jump towards my side of the closet with my dress clothes. I shrug into some loose trousers- tan- and pull a soft green cardigan over my bony frame. Brogan is still playing with his hair as he stands in front one the mirror. I already know I'm going to miss him when I leave for the capitol next month.
At the square, Sephora gives my hand a squeeze as I head to the 12 year old section and am bombarded with all my friends. I see Addie standing awkwardly off to the side. I wave her over, but the shrill voice of our escort- Aimee Vanillaizer- cuts through the air and we are stopped in our tracks.
Sephora Winterson . . .
Sephora Winterson . . .
"Sephora!" wait, what? Her sister was chosen for the Games! What would she ever do without Sephora to talk with all night long and share secrets with! Who else-
wait? It is not just Sephora who would be going into the Games. I was going to die too.
My eyes had been tearing the whole time, and now those tears began to spill over. Our Dad would have no one left. He would be left with just prissy, demanding Stella and "perfect" little Addie for company. And I am not a killer. I once fainted at the sight of blood. Granted, I was seven at the time and I'd matured a lot since then but I was still terrified of it!
And her poor sister! I already knew Sephora would be feeling guilty now that I would have to go to the Hunger Games too; I knew my sister very well.
I did not bother to try and stop my screams and cries, nor did I even bring a hand up to stop her tears from falling. My knees were shaking heavily, I she managed to make it to the stage, and as soon as I made it up there, I ran straight into Sephora's arms, wishing this could all be a horrible nightmare.