Disclaimer: The Hunger Games belongs to Suzanne Collins, as well as all of the characters except the ones you haven't heard of. The main character is also mine, and I need to give you guys a warning; this story does have abuse in it. As you all know, the Capitol sells the Victors. That is pretty much all it is. So, enjoy. Oh, and I'm currently locked up in my bathroom because there is a million people here.
Pain; have you ever experienced it? Not the pain that you get when you scrape your knee on the concrete, or the kind when you fall off your bike. The pain that you get all over your body, the kind that leaves you scarred physically and mentally. Most people never have felt this pain because they're lucky. They don't know what it feels like to be sold off to random suitors, and then left alone in the morning with fresh bruises. They don't know what it's like to be an exclusive topic all over the world. Hiding the bruises with loads of make up, getting called a 'fake Capitol' because of it. Hiding your story because it will cause friction.
"Clary?" I turned my head to the right to see Finnick Odair. He was standing in the frame of my bedroom, his dirty blonde hair in his slick gel with his wealthy attire. Finnick was my mentor when I was in the Hunger Games. If you don't know about the Hunger Games you're lucky. It's the most gruesome and horrid way to live. I- along with Finnick- was not one of the lucky ones. I was in the 70th Hunger Games, crowned Victor when my partner was murdered in front of me. Annie Cresta, Finnick's lover, had the same outcome in the games as me. Both of us were different after it.
Not completely sane. "Yes, Finn?" I asked, walking towards my dresser. I could see the fresh bruises on my wrists and thighs from last night. The male was stronger than the others, most likely a trainer for the Capitol. My dark hair was in all different waves, some parts curly and some straight. My eyes were a bloodshot red, unlike my crystal orbs I normally see. The only part of me left alone was my face. The worst of it was on my hips.
"Do you need help getting ready? Your stylist is with his family today," I could hear his footsteps getting closer until I could see his reflection in the mirror as well. "How bad?" He whispered, grabbing the face color foundation off the dresser. I continued to stare at myself, like I do every morning. My old bruises were a dark purple while my newer ones were still blue and green. Just putting a small amount of pressure on them could set tears.
"Three hours," I muttered, " Two were spent getting these." My thumb met my purple arm, and I hissed in pain. These would be harder to cover up, and if they weren't covered Snow would kill me. Literally. Finnick had the same thoughts, immediately taking the foundation and lathering it onto my skin. In just seconds, the bruises disappeared and my tan skin was replaced. This process takes longer than usual if my clothes were shorter for the day.
"You know what today is, Claire." Finnick said as he finished up the last speck of purple. I nodded silently, walking over to my closet to grab a pair of black tights and a dress. President Snow normally has me to wear white, as does my stylist. My Hunger Games was snow caps, and I was covered in white the whole games. It's their way of putting me through hell- other than the suitors that come in for sex. The Capitol knows I am not fully sane, it's quite obvious. I would drop to the floor at random moments and scream as the memories burst through. Most of the time I would just zone out, but Finnick is an expert with Annie and I.
"May the odds be ever in your favor." I barked out in the Capitol's accent. Finnick cracked a smile before turning out the door to give me my chance to change. It never took me long, mostly because I knew what the consequences were for being late. I was the mentor for District Four with Finn. It was either Mags, my grandmother, or me. Annie had a job already, and the Capitol could see she needed to continue it. I was the newest Victor for District Four anyways, it's only been four years since I've won. I'm eighteen now- meaning I won the Hunger Games when I was fourteen years old. I was one of the youngest. Fastest. I don't understand how I survived, but I did. And I wish I hadn't.
My dress slid on with ease, and I carefully zipped it from the back. It was strapless, though my bruises were already fully covered. My brunette locks were tamed as I pulled my brush through them. One final look in the mirror, and I knew I wasn't ready. I never was ready. I dread every single morning I have to step out of my room in Victor's Village and greet the two tributes who were signed up for their death. I sighed and grabbed the heels out of the chest at the bottom of my bed. I waited to put them on until I was downstairs, knowing fairly well I wasn't an expert with heels.
"Annie, listen to me. Everything will be okay. I'll be back soon, and so will Claire. We're not leaving you." I could hear Finnick's soothing before I round the corner. As I did, I saw Annie curled into a ball on the leather couch of mine. Finnick was holding her face in his hands while tears dripped out of Annie's eyes. I bit my lips, knowing what she is going through all too well. My footsteps caused both of them to look up in surprise. Annie's eyes brightened a bit, and she leaped up before securing her arms around my waist. I winced, ignoring the pain shooting through my back.
"Claire, Claire, I love you. Don't leave me." She cried, her head resting on my chest. I met Finnick's eyes and pursed my lips. He mouthed to me a few words and I nodded before pressing my lips to Annie's head. She was the only one who understood me the best in this category, while Finn understood my late nights.
"I'll never leave you, Annie. I'll be back. I promise." I choked out my words into her hair, before slowly letting go. She looked into my eyes and gave me a weak smile, one that I had to return. Slowly, her shoulders stopped shaking and she went back to her place under Finnick's arm. I moved over to my couch, sitting down so I could get my heels on.
Finnick continued to give Annie soothing words while I placed the black pumps onto my feet. They weren't the most comfortable, but they're all for show. They're not used for anything else but show. I stood up slowly, holding my arms out to balance myself straight before walking over to hug my two friends. This would be our last time together until the year is up. Hopefully, it will just be like all the others. Nothing more, nothing less.
"Annie, go see Mags. She's waiting for you." Finnick said. Annie gave a small nod of her petite head, and made her way out the door. I could see it hurt Finnick to let her leave alone, but Mags was my neighbor. She would be perfectly fine taking a few steps.
I turned to Finnick and gave the best fake smile I could muster up. He gave one in return, and grabbed my arm in his. We were set for the 74th Annual Hunger Games.