"So, Katniss," he smiled up at her, and all she wanted was for him to stop right where he stood. She didn't want anything else to be said, she wanted him to sit back down with her so she wouldn't have to open her mouth and tell him the truth.
But he got down on one knee despite, her internal pleas, "Will you marry me?"
It was hardly his own question, she knew this to be true - his smile was half faked. She also knew, he had always wanted her as his wife, but fate has a way of screwing people, and this was not how he had wanted it.
She did not smile back, and her fake smile faded away as she lowered herself onto the balls of her feet. She sighed looking at the floor as she searched for good words to express her predicament.
She didn't want to look up because she knew when she did, his sad eyes would be there staring into hers, and she didn't want to feel any more pain than she already did. When she finally looked up, just as she'd known, he was heart-broken.
His face read plainly how broken his soul was - just how much she was shattering his heart, "I should have told you sooner..." she managed to choke out, "But I wanted you to be happy." She reached back to the sofa and held out the thick envelope containing the words she could never say. "I love you... I do, but this is how it has to be."
She could feel the tears beginning to form in her eyes. "I'm so sorry." She stood up quickly and ran off the stage, passed the guards and President Snow, passed an unconscious Effie, and passed Haymitch, who tried to stand in her way.
She ran to her room and latched the door behind her. Once the first tears had fallen she looked up and saw a few sheets of paper on the dresser with a pencil next to it - Writing had become her choice pick for communication.
She began to write her last note, hopefully to make the blow of it all easier.
Peeta stared blankly at the hefty envelope in his hand. She had rejected him... again. What was she thinking, doing that on live television? She could be killed, or worse...
The envelope had his name written in a lovely cursive his name with a green ink pen.
He felt the rigid paper - she had clearly spent a lot of time on it.
"Peeta?" Caesar asked waking him from his trance. "Did something happen between the two of you?"
Peeta shook his head taking a seat on the couch, "No. Not at all; we were doing wonderfully." Which wasn't a lie. The Victory Tour had been the best week of his life actually. He had laughed with, smiled with, and kissed the girl he loved. She had told him she loved him without a camera there to force her. What could have gone wrong then?
He looked back down at the letter.
"Well, Peeta," And he could hear the interviewer creeping back into his concerned friend voice. "Would you mind reading us the letter?" Caesar asked, "I feel as if I've grown up with the two of you and I'm sure the whole audience would like to hear what Katniss has to say."
Peeta hated him for asking it. She was his love, not theirs; they knew nothing about her. They didn't know she liked it when he kissed her jaw instead of her lips, they didn't know that she always smelled like warm embers on a summer evening; they didn't know just how amazing she was - how happy she strived to make everyone else, even when it would cost her own happiness.
How dare they claim that they had grown up with them? He had been the only one to see her grow up, to see her change from the happy little girl he fell in love with when she sang her father's song at school to the defiant girl who refused to let her little sister starve, and finally into the beautiful and brave woman that she was now - the one who he was eternally and irrevocably in love with.
They didn't know her like he did, he fumed, then stopped himself... maybe he didn't know her at all, "How can I refuse?" He said simply, opening the envelope.
Pulling out the papers, he forced a laugh, "Ten pages." The crowd chuckled with him, "She's always been very thorough."
He gazed lovingly at the cursive handwriting. What had gone wrong? What did he do? What did she mean by doing all of this?
"My dearest love, please know that I am truly and whole heartedly in love with you. And that I am only writing what I cannot say out loud, and that if I were able to, I'd say these things to you face to face.
"If I were strong I would kiss you and hold you, whispering comfort as I break the news to you. However, I am not strong and I know if I were to tell you face to face, I would cry an endless stream of tears. And then you would try to soothe my inconsolable pain, even though you would need more help than I.
"I know I would break and you do not deserve anything less than perfection. Therefore I do not deserve you. Peeta, I love you I do and I am not afraid to say so. But I don't think you quite realize how crossed our stars truly are.
"You cannot change the cosmos, my love, and that is why our stars remain crossed. They always have been crossed. Crossed they will remain. That is the damned truth about stars, they enjoy screwing us over in ways we never knew we could be screwed.
"Stars like showing us pictures of folklore, when in reality they have watched us do silly things for romance, and they know we will never reach our goals. Yet they still watch us. They watch us break in more ways than one and they laugh at our foolish ideas. They watch us make fools of our pityful selfs all in the name of love.
"The stars played a sick twisted game with our hearts Peeta. They watched us fight and fight until we thought we'd won. But we have not won, and we have no hope at ever winning.
"I am sorry that fate hates me, I'm sorry that reality is what it is. In your mind you had it all planned out after the games. We'd be married, have a few children and live happily ever after together.
"But happily ever after doesn't happen to those who have spent their lives with one brand. I was branded, and I will forever be branded. You know, I was always content with the brand I was born with, I even learned to live with it. I was okay.
"But you had to come along and screw it up. - In the best and worst way possible. You had to come along and make love something genuine, something tangible, something I could both see and touch. I could suddenly feel love when you were near and I could hear it in your voice when you laughed.
"I could even taste it when you kissed me, when you showed me the reality of love and how it can be obtained. Part of me wants to hate you for it, part of me wants to slap you and scream curses for making me feel this way.
"The other part of me, wants to embrace it. I want you to hold me forever, kiss me longer and make my skin feel new. That part of me wants a lifetime with you, it wants forever in your arms.
"But sensibility knows better, and my sensibility kicked in on the victory tour. It kicked in and warned me. I can't bear to let you keep living on believing we can work it out together. The simple fact is, I can never work anything out.
"I was dealt a hand of impossible cards to play. I have no choice. I hope you understand the sincerity of this letter.
"Peeta, I love you more than you love the sun rise. I love you more than I love the forest, or the trees, or the Meadow. I love you more than I love the smell of the spring air. I love you more than the way you walk home from the bakery caked in flour.
"I love you more than I could ever say, because I'm no good at speaking, but I am better at writing.
"So I want to remind you one more time, that this is no ones fault at all. That our love was just meant to be a tragedy. Our love was nothing more than a ploy to make our lives miserable. No matter how sincere, our love was meant to die, just as the leaves in the autumn do.
"My dear Peeta, You did not deserve this roller coaster I've put us on and for that I am sincere in my apology.
"Peeta, When I was born, I didn't cry right off the bat. I coughed, for a long time. I sounded like I was being gagged. My parents and the midwife just assumed it was because I had been born a few weeks premature. That was not why though.
"When I was a few months old, I developed a very high fever. The skin on the left side of my neck swelled and had a bluish red tint to it. I recovered in a long two months time from that ailment.
"I was fifteen months old when my mother noticed a small lump on my collar-bone. Fairly close to my neck. She began to examine me as best she could without medical equipment.
"She matched my symptoms up with a disease called non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which is a type of cancer that has 'legs'. That basically means it can start pretty much anywhere and spread to any part of the body.
"It was a shock to my mother and father, Twelve certainly doesn't have the ability to cure a child like me. There was literally no hope of a cure.
"They didn't tell anyone. In fact to this day I don't believe anyone but the two of them and I knew.
"I found out when I was four years old. The other seam kids and I would climb trees for the fun of it and one day I fell out of the tree. I completely shattered my left shoulder. At least that's what it felt like.
"Mother and Father ran me home -which was a pretty incredible feat considering my mother was like eight months pregnant at the time- and laid me out on the couch. I was unconscious for six days. When I woke up my arm was stiff and bandaged heavily.
"My arm felt heavy, and dense. It was so painful to the touch I would scream at night when I'd try to turn over. It was the same blue red color my neck had been during my first side effect of cancer. It wasn't healed for four months afterwards.
"My parents tried not to scare me when they told me about the cancer. I honestly wasn't afraid or shocked. I was four, I didn't fully understand I guess. I actually forgot pretty frequently I was sick.
"As a kid I never paid much attention to it. I got sick easily, I would have night sweats, I didn't ever eat a lot either. This was because my spleen was slowly swelling and pressing against my stomach.
"When I was five, I was dressing and told my mother I had a lump on my right side. She diagnosed me with stage three Lymphoma. Which again didn't have a strong impact on me as a kid, until I was nine at least.
"We were playing baseball I think. One of the kids pegged me out, and hit the bottom of my spine. I fell to the ground and tried to pretend it was nothing. Father picked me up then, he had to carry my home.
"I was crying so hard I couldn't breathe and the red blue swelling came back to my neck. When we got home mother sent Prim to take a nap and worked quickly on me.
"I sobbed heavily, I couldn't see because the pain was so excruciating it blinded me. I couldn't breathe passed my tears. I honestly thought I was going to die.
"My mother got me to fall asleep so she could treat me. Sleeping on my stomach, however, caused my spleen to push farther into my stomach. Upon waking up I threw up. I threw up everything I had ever eaten, it felt like that at least.
"I was really sick for a whole week which was how long it took for my back to heal. I'm still afraid to lay on my stomach, even to this day.
"Later in that same month, Prim asked why my skin changed colors. Father told her that I change colors with my emotions. It kept her fully entertained, considering she was only five and didn't know that was impossible.
"The other kids never noticed my discolored skin, or my fragile disposition. They never questioned my many absences and frequent illness. I like to think they thought it was a difficult topic for me to talk about. But they probably didn't care.
"Do you remember when we were in the cave and you told me how you always noticed my 'Bruises' and you just assumed I played rough with the other kids and always had some kind of battle scar? I didn't, those 'bruises' were not from rough-housing they were from an entirely different war.
"When my father died, I was eleven, my mother went into a depression. At the time I only had months left to live, or so my mother thought at least. She would lose both her husband and her daughter in the same year.
"I felt for her but also I was angry, I was the one dying. I would be the one leaving everyone else behind. They would all only lose one person, I was going to lose all of them.
"But, I had to keep Prim alive. That was all I had to do, my life didn't matter to me anymore, I had been born to be a corpse - but Prim and Mother had life still in them. They could still do something even when I was gone.
"That was when you threw me the bread and gave me the most valuable thing, time. I had time to build up Prims strength. I had time to heal my mother. I survived that year, and then I survived into the next and the next, somehow.
"Around my fourteenth birthday I found a tumor making its way to the surface of my skin, right around my lower left ribs. I told mother who examined me further. She said the tumor was probably on my lungs. She said it was making its way to my bones.
"She said that I had months, that if my lungs didn't collapse first, the cancer would eventually reach my heart and close off the transportation of blood to the rest of my body.
"Despite how horrible those deaths sounded, I never stopped fighting to keep my family alive and well. Everyday I had this fear in the back of my mind that I would die before making it home. That my lungs may not be able to take anymore torture and close off for good.
"They didn't though, so everyday I worked to keep my family safe. My heart pumped my blood somehow. It kept my half dead body moving and that was enough for me.
"I may never know why my body refused to give in to my disease, but it refused to give up without a proper fight. I got up every morning, even when I could hear my heart scream as it beat infected blood through my veins to my sore, stiff muscles. When my heart tried to fight off the infection that was poisoning my entire body I didn't rest until midnight.
"I got up even when my lungs threatened to stop working, even when I could feel them inflate and deflate, as they tried desperately to grasp more oxygen to sustain the rest of my body. Even when my lungs hardly filled and I could see black as a replacement to everything else.
"I still don't know how I walked with bones that were eroding away and grinding against unhealthy muscles that contracted in painful ways. The body is weird sometimes, I guess.
"But, anyway, the point of all that is, all the while I was ready to die, as a matter of fact I was preparing to die. I made sure my mother and Prim had something to work up from when I passed.
"You see Peeta, I was always dying. Always struggling for air, always fighting to live. I was simply born to die, I was born as an experiment of nature that went horribly wrong.
"I've always been ready to die, always been ready for this pain filled eternally sick life to end. And then, as we all know, Prim was reaped.
"And in those painful seconds I remember thinking that, I knew I was dead anyway, and she was my baby sister, and no matter what she was the one thing I could not bear to lose. So what was I supposed to do? I was dead, and she was not, so I saved her.
"When we were saying good-bye,I remember Prim came in alone to say good-bye to me - Mother was talking to the guard outside my room supposedly. After Prim had gone, Mother walked in on her own and she said,
"My baby, my sweet baby."
"I spoke up, "Mom, don't cry. You have to be strong for-"
"For Prim. I know. But Katniss dear, can't I be heartbroken that my oldest daughter is being taken away to die just for the entertainment of some Capitol citizens, who know nothing about you?" She took me in her arms then. I hadn't felt so loved, and so real since my father had passed
"Mom, I was always going to die anyway. You know that."
"I do know Katniss. And you've always been so strong. But even the strong ones need to give in and cry." She'd been running her hand through my hair the whole time. So I cried in her arms until she was ripped away from me.
"When we got on the train and we were sitting with Haymitch, he was drunk as usual but I'm sure you remember that fact, even to this day, very well. We tried to convince him to help us, I told you to leave. You thought I was making a plan but that wasn't what was happening.
"Peeta, can you leave?" I had asked, you obeyed after light protest, "Haymitch you have to save him."
"Why should I? The boy has no skills, well, sure he can woo a crowd, but he sure as hell can't fight. You actually have a shot sweetheart, I'm bucking for a win this year." He said this with a slur in his tone that I did not appreciate.
"Haymitch you don't understand, I'm going to die anyway."
"Aren't we all sweetheart?"
"I told him, "I have cancer."
"He didn't say anything and that didn't startle me. Since I hadn't ever told anyone before, I just assumed that silence was normal. I had expected worse so the brief silence was almost comforting, no tears or anything... It was nice.
"If you save me, you'll be saving a dead girl. You'll be saving someone who could very well die tomorrow. Please I'll do whatever it takes to protect him. Please, Haymitch, I have to get him home."
"He was again silent, at that point I knew he probably didn't understand that you had given me the time to save my family, that without you I would have already been gone. He didn't know you had saved me and made me who I was. I realized too he probably didn't even understand the severity of my disease.
"I've never told anyone this Haymitch, so I'm not sure how well I'm doing at this point, but you need to know it's nothing I can cure. I've been sick for a long time now. I'm at peace with it. I have been dying since I was born. So please, at least try and help me save someone." I was desperate to save you. You needed to go home, I had to give you time like you had given me.
"... My job as your mentor is to try to get one of the two of you out alive. Which means I have to try for both of you." He took a swig of liquor then. I remember because I wanted to slap it out of his hand.
"You'd be wasting your time. I have nothing to give. I'm as good as dead." I was angry that he clearly wasn't hearing me at all.
"As your mentor, I have to try to save the both of you sweetheart and that's just how it's going to be." I remember him saying this to me very well. Probably because it was the first time anyone had ever tried to give me hope and life no matter how futile.
"I hated the idea of trying to win a game of killing only to die later. It's hard to explain but when you can feel every pulse of blood course through your veins so it can poison and destroy your other cells, you start to get a sense of what is real and what is not.
"At the interviews Haymitch told me to keep my cancer a secret for sponsors I guess. So I didn't say anything.
"But when you had told the world of your love for me I hated you, you made me think things I had never thought could exist as thoughts in my brain.
"You made me think about the future, about what would happen tomorrow. All because you had to go and open your mouth and say you loved me. I tried to think of ways to talk to you after the fact. I tried so hard to think of a way out of this predicament.
"You made me forget I was dying, and I began to hate you. That's why I pushed you into that plant... Sorry about that by the way.
"I realized all my life I would be dying and yet you made me wonder things I didn't like wondering.
"You made me try and break the seal of my destined end. You made me fight for my life because I enjoyed feeling loved. I enjoyed feeling like I was useful, like I wasn't just wasting the livings' precious oxygen.
"You made a dying sick girl feel whole and I had never been so infuriated and charmed at the same time. And then that night when I slept for a grand total of four minutes, I dreamed of telling you about my cancer.
"I saw your face contort with sadness and I watched you crumple to the floor and weep. I woke up and I could feel my lungs sear in absolute disorder. I couldn't breathe and I wondered if I was to die before the games even began.
"And then, I began to hope I'd die right then and there. I hoped I'd leave this world behind and slap some sense into both you and Haymitch that I had always been dead.
"But air slipped into my throat somehow. I was able to quiet my breath and I then realized I was crying. Tears were probably more deadly to someone like me then you may ever know.
"When the games began for the first few days I didn't even remember I had cancer. My blood wasn't pumping in a way that made me notice the presence of its illness. My heart beat was strong and sped up to an actual teenage girl's heart rate.
"My lungs didn't burn when they sucked in air. My muscles didn't rebel against my every move. I was finally alive. I think in reality my body and mind knew others were trying to kill my already dead body. It wanted to be the cause of my death, not some stupid kids.
"My body wanted to be responsible for my death. The thought is almost funny, isn't it? It was cruel that way, making me feel so alive, so invincible. Even though all my life I had been living on a death-bed.
"Right before Rue died I started to remember I had cancer. Probably because of my dreams from the trackerjacker venom. They made me watch my family in poverty after my oh so imminent death.
"And in that moment I wanted, I needed, to find you and keep you safe like I had promised Haymitch I would. After Rue died and they announced there could be two victors, you'll recall from the recap I had shouted your name. Not so we could live together, but because I had already been searching for you and I didn't know what you had been through.
"When I found you so mortally wounded I felt like I was looking at myself from my past years. So helpless and weak, as if any one thing that changed the equilibrium of my current state could tip the balance of my life and I would pass away.
"When I brought you to the cave and tried to heal you I started to see the differences between you and I. How we could never work out. Your wounds could be treated, you could be healed and you were. I never had that chance, I could never be saved.
"When you told me not to get your medicine I was so infuriated at the thought of not saving someone who could be saved. I wanted to save you, I knew you could have a full and happy life.
"I knew you had such valuable hope that you could endure anything. So I got your medicine, and you were mad at me. I let you be mad because you didn't know I was dying anyway and a quicker one would mean nothing to me at all. I let you be mad, and I let you worry.
"It felt nice to have someone care about my life. I had spent so long worrying about Prim and Mother that no one really cared much about my own well being. I liked feeling like I mattered to someone.
"You insisted we sleep in one another's arms. You were warm, and for once it wasn't the warmth of fever and death, I felt welcome and loved. I started to envy you. Your death was so clear and plain. Anyone could have seen you were dying. Yet no one knew how swiftly I would pass on.
"Just by looking at me you didn't see a sick cancer ridden girl. You saw a thin girl from the seam who had lived a hard life. No one ever knew Peeta, not even you.
"When we kissed in the cave for the first time, I could feel myself just... Melt into your arms. I could feel my apprehension leave. I suddenly didn't have a sickness, I only had you and that was enough.
"I didn't feel sick in the cave, I didn't feel like I was dying. You made me feel healed even though I could never be. I don't know how you did it, and I'm not sure I want to know.
"Do you remember how scared I was when Foxface ate those berries and I thought it was you? I wanted to kill you right there when I found you were alive. You had made me wonder if the one person I was trying to save died before me.
"I started crying because I realized just how human we both were. Just how breakable and fragile we were. I was so scared that you would die there. I was scared to not send you home. You deserved to go home.
"When we had fought Cato and we thought we were going home, you had this sparkle in your eyes. You had this hope that made me hope. I could physically see the dreams you had, had since childhood playing through your mind.
"When they announced only one victor could be crowned. They shattered that hope, and even though I knew I could never fulfill those dreams I wanted to. I was so angry that we couldn't live together. I was so... Tired of forgetting I had cancer. I wanted to be over with living.
"I pulled out the berries as a last-ditch effort to make my death my own fault. Not my stupid cancer ridden body's fault. It would be my choice to die. But you wouldn't let me.
"You wouldn't let me die, you wanted to come with me. In hindsight I shouldn't have given you some of those berries. I should have died and left it there, but you had to make me feel love when you held me, you had to make me hate and adore you at the same time.
"When you spit out your berries, after they announced us both winners of the games I considered not following you. But I was in love. I was stupid and listened to my heart instead of my brain. For that I can honestly say I made a fool of myself. Love made a fool of me.
"When I woke up in the hospital, they told me just how bad my cancer was. It spread to six different organs namely my heart, my lungs, my wind pipe, my liver, my colon, and my pancreas. They said it was a miracle I was still alive. They gave me weeks, said that it would be another miracle if I made it to the victory tour.
"I knew I was running out of time and out of miracles. I knew I should have told you how close I was to shaking hands with death. However, I didn't get to see you. At the recap when Caesar told me about your leg I only thought, 'Now we're both crippled.'
"But that was not the case, you lost your leg and saved your life. I would always be dead. I was not crippled. I was dead. I was made to die, you were made to live - simple as that.
"All my life I've known this would happen, but you had to go and make everything harder, make me second-guess fate. You made me want to live and that was scarier then any thought of dying.
"So on the train ride home, I lied. I told you my love was all an act. I told you my love wasn't sincere even though it was the most real thing I have ever known.
"It was tough to tell you those things, and I started to remember my dream of telling you I had cancer. I cried when I was finally left alone. I cried because I had cancer, because I had no time left to give, and because I had taken my ailing heart and ripped it to shreds.
"Somehow I did survive to the Victory tour, my last miracle. I got to apologize for everything I had said and done to you that made you hurt. I got to sleep next to you the first night on the train.
"You kissed my neck softly... Do you remember? You may not because you fell asleep right after but when you did this I could feel my skin boil with the heat of my poor immune system trying to fix itself and the hardly touched skin would surely swell.
"That was how I knew my time was coming to a close. I wanted to cry and be afraid. But when you've always known you're dying you do not get to feel fear.
"When you realize you are almost dead, you are not surprised or scared. You realize that the hope of living tomorrow is scarier than dying. I wasn't scared to die, I never have been.
"I always knew I was made to live as a hiccup of genetics and nature. I have been content with dying forever. But I was never content with leaving you.
"I want to hate you for this. I want to hate you for making me love you. For making my suffering your suffering. I want to hate you but I can't.
"Not when all you've ever shown me is compassion and love. I can't just be angry at my boy with the bread, I can't be angry at my dandelion, at my Peeta. I can't be mad at you.
"I will always remain in your heart as your girl on fire. I know that's how you'll remember me, as yours. Do you remember-" He stopped partially because he wanted to cry and partially because he wanted to laugh, "Sorry" He said, he covered his mouth with his fist.
His ears took in the bated silence of the crowd. His head spun with this new information - she had always loved him. He had known she loved him now, but not always. He wanted to be happy. But his heart was sore from hearing his love was sick and dying. That he could do nothing about it.
"When ever you're ready" Caesar assured. Peeta wanted to slap him. This letter was made for him. This letter was written with his heart in mind.
Nevertheless he continued, "Peeta you remember when the train stopped for repairs and you took me out to look at the sunset. You remember how I let you hold me there in the grass. How you smiled inside and out. Do you remember what I asked?
"Peeta, what do you want most from me?" I said.
"What?" You made your eyes squint in confusion. You were cute because of how naïve you were.
"What do you want more than anything that I can give you?" I looked up at you in expectation
"Your love is enough" you said before kissing my forehead.
"Well what can I give you right now? What would make you the happiest person alive?" You were frustrating me because you weren't answering me.
"You've already made me that."
"Just tell me." You really can annoy me well you know.
"You don't have to do anything." It made me mad how persistent you were. I wanted to give you something, anything to let you remember me. I knew I was so close to death I could very well be dead the next morning.
"Okay" I rolled my eyes and you laughed before kissing my head again. That night I set up candles and flower petals in your room. I put on that white silk dress you said would make me look like an angel.
"You know what we did that night. You know exactly what happened. Peeta, I know that considering who we are, you're probably reading this out loud to someone, but could you not read this next part to them. This only for you." Peeta stopped saying anything but laughed when he read the next few words.
I liked having sex with you Peeta. No wait, I loved it. I loved the way you made me feel amazing, how we fit together perfectly. I loved feeling like I was human and not a walking side effect.
I loved the way you felt and the way we felt together. Like we were the only people in the world and we were the only things in the cosmos that mattered.
Suddenly our stars weren't so perpetually crossed. We could have a life and a future together. But that bliss could not last.
He laughed again, with tears trailing down his face, "Now you can start reading to them again." The citizens of the Capitol laughed with him before allowing him to continue, "In the morning My skin had imprints of where your hands had touched. Where your hands had traced my body. I knew again I was so near death that I could drop dead before our next destination.
"Now Peeta I'm wondering where you are. Where I finally was brave enough to hand this paper over to you. I hope it is later. That I still have time to enjoy your lingering kisses, that I can smile when you smile.
"I hope I still have time to hear your sweet laughter. I hope I have time to feel your breath against my cheeks. I want to have the chance to fit perfectly with you.
"I know I cannot though. I know just how crossed our stars are and nothing changes the stars.
"I know just how pitiful people would think I am, but you would not pity me. You would fight a losing battle to save me, and for that I thank you. I wish the war between my health and you were not so futile a war. I wish I could spend all my life with you.
"I wish I could always lay in the grass and feel your warmth, but I can't. I savored it while it was still mine to hold. I am grateful that you have shown me true love.
"You have the purest heart and will some day find love in another I know this to be true. I know your love for me will be well spent on someone else. I'll follow you all through your life Peeta.
"Even when I'm gone, I will love you until the stars fall from the sky and can be changed by man. I want you to understand how much I love you. But I don't know how to say the right things in a manner that makes sense.
"So I'll just say what I think. You have loved me since we were children. Since you were five. And I feel that even though I fell in love later than you I fell equally as hard.
"I fell in love rapidly, I fell in love in the way someone falls out of a tree. They don't know what's happening until they've hit the ground.
"... I can't believe I just compared my love for you to falling out of a tree. I hope you're laughing at me Peeta, because I'm laughing at myself." So he laughed at her... because she asked.
"I love you Peeta, I have since the games. It was always sincere and I was always truly and deeply in love with you.
"I don't want you to forget me Peeta. But when I'm dead I want you to hold me in the highest regard. I want to be a fond memory of your teenage years.
"I don't care about what the Capitol thinks of me Peeta. I only care about what you think of me. I only care how you see me.
"I love you Peeta. I will forever. Even once my final breath is long gone from my body. I will still love you. And I will gladly meet you at the gates to the after life some day, hopefully far from now.
"Katniss" He didn't know just how many tears he was capable of crying until he had finished the letter.
He stood quickly from his seat and ran off the stage. "Haymitch where is she?" He asked his drunken friend who was standing sadly against the wall right outside the camera room, his hands in his pockets.
"Her rooms been locked since you-"
"She's not in her room." He said, already running to his own bedroom. And sure enough she was there, laying on his bed.
"Katniss," he whispered. He sat down beside her, pulling her limp body onto his lap. "Katniss." He smoothed her hair out of her face as his voice cracked.
"Peeta?" She muttered quietly. She didn't have enough air. She could feel every muscle stop working as she moved closer and closer into the arms of death. When you are dying you develop a sixth sense of sorts. You know when your last good day has come. You know when the end is near. And you know the day you're going to die.
"Katniss! I-I... Don't leave me alone. Please" He cried into her neck and kissed her quickly. "Please don't leave." He held her pale face in his hands. She was growing cold with her final breaths.
"I need you to stay here." He said adjusting her body on his lap.
"Peeta." She whispered again sliding what she was holding into his hand. "Please, don't forget."
"I won't forget Katniss. You'll be here for it. You'll be here to always help me remember." He assured her kissing her sweet lips as many times as he could.
"I l-" She whispered before coughing heavily. Her lungs desperate for air, her heart trying to keep her blood going.
"Katniss." She didn't say anything, but when she pulled back her hand there was blood on it. "Katniss" He shook her spiritless body. "Wake up, please! Don't leave me alone. Katniss, wake up. Please..."
That's the thing that people don't immediately understand, dead people don't obey orders.
He heard the sound of Capitol reporters at the door, "Leave! Get out! Go away!" He shouted as they left him to cry over the death of his one true love.
"Katniss," he let his tears drip onto her soft skin. He kissed her lips, they were warm and left a pink tint of lipstick on his. "I love you, you can't just leave me alone."
He felt the sudden heavy weight of the book and note she had given him.
'Romeo and Juliet' was the title of the book. He slipped out the note Katniss had written in her final hours.
My dear Peeta, if you're reading this I am dead. I have run out of miracles, and time. So I leave you the only things I had. I didn't have anything materialistic only what I am leaving you.
I give you my love, my full unadulterated adoration. Because love does not end with death, my sweet Peeta. Death cannot sever what we have, please know that.
I give you my memory because I know you will keep it well in your heart. I know you will cherish my memories more than anyone else could ever begin to.
I give you my story, because only you can tell it exactly right. Because you were one of the biggest, and most amazing parts of my story.
Most of all, I give you time. I give you the sunrise and sunset. I hope when the stars come out at night you will remember how crossed ours truly were. I hope when you see the colors of the sunrise and sunset you'll remember the kisses we shared and how much light you gave my life. I hope when the sun reaches its peak in the sky you'll remember how high our hopes were.
I hope as time passes and your wounds heal you'll remember how you gave me time to live. Time to make sure my family would be okay. You gave me time to love.
I have but one request my love, though you have given me so much already I need you to do this for me.
Look at the book I have given you. You know the story well. They are the original star-crossed lovers. But please do not follow their example.
Please Peeta, my dandelion, my boy with the bread, don't be my Romeo. The world needs your light and hope to guide it to a good place again. Flames die out and yet in the spring the dandelions always grow back.
Forever yours, Katniss
P.S. I love you
This was heavily inspired by John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. Which is a phenomenal book. You know I've read a lot of modern-day fan fictions where one of the characters has cancer. I began to think that it didn't necessarily have to be in the present day to have a character with cancer.
Big huge shout out to my fantastic amazing BETA miss. Wisteria Stargazer who dealt with me being an idiot and weird and helped me in more ways than just one. Thanks so much!
Leave me a comment? Should I write an epilogue? Is this fine? Is it bad? Tell me please?