Chapter 22

Woah guys. 83 reviews? That's just crazy. Thank you so much :) I'M SO SORRY FOR NOT UPDATING, I WAS ON HOLIDAY. Please don't hurt me :3 so here is the long overdue chapter. So thanks for sticking with me. Please don't hate on me, I'm so tired right now. Jet lag. Ugh. So that's why this chapter is so sucky. :/

Prims POV

I woke up when the night's darkness was only just fading. The first beams of light were spreading themselves across the ground outside the cave we had taken shelter in. I glanced across and saw Daniel, as I had learnt the boy's name was, on the other side of the cave, softly snoring. Then it all came crashing back. Like a tidal wave, dragging me under and drowning me. I crawl out of the cave to watch the sunrise.

Even the birds hadn't awoken yet, it was peaceful and quiet. My choked sobs cut through the silence as the last few stars flitted out while the golden sun raised. Too many thoughts flooded through my head. How lily and me had sat, watching the sunrise. How we'd laughed and stayed up all night. How her last words won't stop replaying in my head, taunting me. I have to hold onto the little details. Because if I forget her, then I have nothing left. Nothing at all.

I take a deep breath, and try to stifle my sobs. Crying won't bring her back. I once heard a quote,

'Life isn't about learning to survive the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain.'

But it's oh so hard to dance while you're already drowning. The birds are silent. They should be singing. But it feels like they're mourning her. And all the other pointless deaths that these games bring. They turned me into a murderer. That's something that will never change. I can never forgive them, never forget. I will bring them down. The capitol will fall. Even if it snatches my last breath from my lips, they will go down.

I know I must be strong. But knowing something is different from being able to do it. Reading about the technique of doing the hardest thing in your life you will ever have to do, is so different from doing it. And I'm so, so ashamed to say that right now, in this moment, I cannot stay strong. I'm broken. It takes time to mend something broken. So I sit and cry. Like a scared little girl. Like somebody who's lost everything that they had in two heartbeats. Because that's what I am. The trees don't dare rustle to disturb the quiet stillness of the morning.

I hear a slight rustle as Daniel took a seat beside me. On the bed of soft green grass. He looks at me, with those shining blue eyes. He moves his arm, as if to put around my shoulder, but awkwardly pulls back. It looks as if he has no idea what to do with crying girls, or girls, or people in general. That almost makes me smile. But almost isn't good enough. The sadness grabs me and pulls me back down. I curl up, bringing my knees to my chest, and cry into them. My whole body convulsing.

I feel his arm placing itself delicately around my shoulders. I turn in, towards him, and quietly cry into his shoulder. His arm feels good around my shoulder. Not in a romantic way, in the way that having another human near you, comforting you makes it a little more bearable. So we sit like that till the sun has banished the last flecks of darkness from the sky. We say nothing, just watch the sunrise. The tears dry from my face eventually, but I can still feel the crushing sadness killing me inside.

'We should move camps.' He says softly, as if gauging my mood. I nod my head and pull myself off the grass. We walk, together to the cave to pick up our few weapons and miniscule amount of food. Then we turn around and walk. Nowhere in particular. Just, away. We talk on the way. And I find myself opening up to him, just because he seems so honest, so straightforward. I learn things about him too. He's fourteen, has a brother and a sister. He dreams big, shoots for the stars. But his parents always drag him down. A single question keeps building in my throat. But he keeps saying things that I have to respond to. Eventually I just blurt it out.

'Why did you save me?' I say. He looks up suddenly, staring me straight in the eye. I can't look away, he holds me there. He smiles but it doesn't quite reach his eyes. He looks, almost, sad.

'You remind me of someone. I know it's stupid, and it may well have been my death sentence saving you. But some people just shouldn't die this young.' He looks at me, and ghosts of his past flicker in his eyes.

'But anyway,' he carries on, almost too quickly. 'The past is the past. No use dwelling on things that will never change.'

And we keep talking. But I swear I see him roughly wipe a tear from his face. And the faces of all those who didn't deserve to die flash through my mind. And I feel like curling up and crying. But a cold emptiness has filled my insides. Like the tears are building, but frozen so they can't escape. Cold, not-quite-release from the pain. And it's so much worse. I long for the warmth of home. My own bed. And a childish instinct in me wants my mum. Or my sister, or- someone to be there. And I turn and see the someone I need strolling through the bushes. Eyes too old for his face, too full of pain, knowledge and just a spark of something. He drinks everything in. Not missing a thing, and when he turns to me I swear he's looking right into my soul. And not judging me for it, even the tiniest bit.

He's not a knight in shining armour come to sweep me off my feet. He's not a lying scumbag who only gives to receive. He's just- him.

A friend.