"Morning Precious" Mom walks into my room when morning comes. I make no noise to alert her of my conscious state, my head pulses as she opens the curtains slightly to let the autumn light into my room. It's truly blinding. I shift in my bed and find myself sore all over.
I begin to wonder what's wrong with me when I scare myself by sneezing into my hands. Oh, that's what's wrong.
"Are you okay precious?" Mom asks coming over to my bed. I groan in response. She lays her hand across my cheek, "You're a bit warm. Are you hungry?" I shake my head no, "Tired?" I nod. "I'll let you sleep in a bit okay?" I nod again and fall back asleep quickly.
I wake up hours later feeling worse than in the morning. I'm sweating and wishing I could actually breathe. My eyes water the moment they open and I get caught in a sneezing fit again.
I can't even recall the last time I was sick... I want to say it was around when I was like ten. Maybe? I don't know, I do know that my throat hurts so bad I can't even swallow my own damned spit.
I hear a knock on the door downstairs, and it hangs painfully in my ears.
"Hi Peeta" Mom answers the door.
"Hi." He says. "Is Katniss ready? We're going to visit Effie for some planning."
"I'm sorry Peeta, I think Katniss is coming down with something. She's upstairs in bed right now." I assume she uses the term 'coming down with something' lightly since I feel like I'm dying.
"Oh, Can I come see her?" Please god no.
"Sure, just be careful I'm not sure if she's contagious or not." Aw damn. Really? I can't get peace awake or asleep?
I close my eyes and feign sleep, with the hope I'll be left alone to wallow in my illness.
"She's been asleep all day" I hear mom whisper entering the room. "I'm sure that with a little stimulating activity she'll feel better." She says before leaving. Yeah well, I don't want to move mom, thanks for asking.
I feel Peeta's cold hands run along my hair-line. I suddenly notice that my feet are stiffly cold but I'm sweating like crazy.
He runs his dry knuckles down to my neck, which feels insanely cringe worthy as his hands are FREEZING.
I feel his presence fleeting and just when I think he'll leave I start sneezing again.
I open my eyes and see him standing close to the door. He smiles pitifully at me before coming back to the bed and placing his hand on my cheek.
"Morning." He says. I sneeze again before he can speak, "Bless you"
"Thank you" I croak. I sound like I swallowed a bucket of razor blades, and have something clogging my sinuses. That sounds absolutely disgusting, I apologize for putting that image in your head.
He leans down to kiss my forehead.
"Don't get too close" I warn, "I don't want you sick too."
He smiles before actually kissing my forehead, "I won't."
"Yeah whatever" I sigh and then cough into my hand as my lungs decide that air is a thing they need.
He pushes some hair behind my ear and I again notice just how freezing his hands are.
"I'm going to call Effie and see if she can come-" I cut him off with a quick sneezing fit.
"I'll see if Effie can come over for the planning. Your mom says it might be good for you to get up." He finishes.
I don't want to wedding plan today, but I'm not asked if it's alright. He leaves and my mom comes into the room. She feels my cheeks and bites the tip of her tongue in thought.
"Let's get some food in you huh?" Mom rubs my arm and I lazily nod. She takes me to the kitchen and fixes me some soup.
I don't eat much because I'm starving and nauseas at the same time. The feeling is a paradox, and quite annoying.
"Effie will be over in an hour." Peeta walks in and kisses my temple. His hand rubs the curve of my back. The strange thing is it's almost like I can feel his concern channel into my brain with his eyes.
I'm physically shivering to the point I'm sure my body is actually having mini seizures. I feel his apprehension remain when he goes to help my mom clean up.
I get ready lethargically for Effie's arrival, which means being fully clothed. On a normal day this would also mean makeup and hair actually styled, but I'm too weak to do any of these draining tasks. My hands shake too badly and my eyes water too much so even if I tried to put on makeup, I'd probably sneeze and stab my eye out.
I nearly take a nap when Peeta comes and sits next to me on my bed.
"Are you alright?" He asks me.
"Dumb question," I say before coughing and making that gross sound that sick people make when they try to breathe but can't.
"Do you need anything?" He asks me, "I can get you some medicine."
"I think I'd rather die than take medicine." I say even though I do feel like dying. He leads me down stairs before sitting me on the couch. He gets up to prepare my living room for wedding planning.
I sit there coughing and sneezing all while trying to focus on anything else but the fact that I'm sick and still have to plan a wedding.
Peeta sits by me and rubs my back slowly after a particularly revolting round of coughing. I want to fall over and sleep in his lap, but the door bell rings. The sound vibrates in my brain while he answers the door.
"Hi Effie" He says and leads her into the living room. "Thanks for coming out Katniss is really not well." I hope he is using that term lightly.
"Hello Katniss, I heard you weren't feeling well I hope everything's alright" Effie says in a voice more annoying than usual before setting up some of her things, "I've been-"
I cut her off with a sneeze and immediately feel bad about it, "Sorry" I say, god I sound like crap.
"Oh bless you dear."
"Thank you. You were saying?"
"Well, I was just going to say I've been talking to some of my girlfriends, and I think that your bridesmaid dresses should be either red or gold. I mean there's not nearly enough red in your decor. Won't that be lovely?"
"Just wonderful." I say half heartedly. Peeta tries to sit down with me when Effie stands upright.
"Peeta, dear, sit on the opposite end of the couch please. Don't want any germs spreading now do we?" Effie says, and by god I've never wanted to strangle her more.
He stands up and moves to the side opposite of me.
"Now we'll just begin with the-" I'm really going to get annoyed by this quickly. I sound like I'm being gagged every time I cough.
"Sorry." I rasp.
"The venue. Do you want candles to line the aisle? Or would you prefer red rose petals?"
"I don't really care..." I say.
"Candles." Effie jots down. "Now Peeta, for your brothers tuxes, we can-"
Goddamn, "Sorry." I say after wiping my nose with the back of my hand. Effie looks appalled but I don't give a damn.
She talks to Peeta about his brothers suits or something, but I honestly have tuned them out trying to not pass out from exhaustion.
Mom pokes her head into the living room quickly seeing my miserable figure she smiles sadly.
"Now Katniss," Effie says.
"I think your maid of honor should be wearing gold, and your two others should have red."
"Two?" I ask, Madge, Prim...
"Delly." Peeta speaks up, "Remember I asked you if Delly could be part of the bridal party?"
I look at him for a few second as my brain slowly remembers that conversation, "Oh yeah." I say. "What did you ask me Effie?" I squint as my eyes water against the late afternoon light streaming in.
"Right... Ugh... Hold on." I say so I can sneeze for a few seconds, "Um red?"
"Did you even hear me?" Effie asks.
"Yes?" I think I heard her... My head hurts leave me alone. "Um dresses?"
"Dresses." Effie nods.
"Do you want your maid of honor in gold and the other two in red?" Peeta asks me patiently.
"Oh! Sure. That sounds fine." I say before coughing again. "Ugh..." I groan slightly.
We all hear the door open and see Haymitch standing in the door way.
"You look like hell sweetheart." He says gruffly.
"At least someone can say it." I say before sneezing.
"And you sound like hell." He sits down next to Peeta.
"Why are you here exactly?" Peeta asks.
"Trinket told me I'm to walk Sweetheart down the aisle."
"Joy" I sigh, I try to plop my head on my arm... But I kind of miss and hit my face on the couch arm. I must look like an idiot.
"Is she high?" Haymitch asks.
"No she's just sick." Peeta sighs.
"And you're making her wedding plan Trinket? Damn you're cruel" Haymitch scoffs.
"Tell me about it" I moan before coughing so much I think I'm missing a lung.
"Precious." Mom says suddenly by my side, Effie and Peeta are discussing a plans and it's almost like we're not there. The room is considerably darker than I remember it. I must have passed out.
"You're burning up Precious."
"Really?" I ask as if that fact were obvious.
"Okay." Mom smiles at me, "Um can I interrupt?" She turns around, "Yeah Katniss, is really not well right now. I think we should wrap this up."
Effie packs her things up and says, "Get better quickly dear, we have so much to do."
I sneeze in response to her exit. Can I just cease to exist?
Mom leads a very drunk Haymitch out of the living room. I'd try to stand up but my muscles are so shaky and stiff I can't use them.
Peeta comes over and picks me up. I almost fall asleep in his arms, well that is until I sneeze into his shirt and gasp at myself.
"Sorry, oh god, I'm so sorry." I say quickly.
"Hey don't worry about it." Peeta says laying me in bed. "You're sick it's not your fault." He kisses my forehead and pulls my blankets to my chin. "Get better okay?"
I think that's when I pass out because I don't answer him.
I wake up the next morning (although it's not really morning) to the pounding of cold, harsh winds, slapping the shutters against my window.
I sit up and walk over to lock the window. I'm frozen the moment I step out of bed. And damn it, I'm too weak to lock the window.
I try for, no joke, ten whole minutes, until I give up. I'm completely miserable and unable to perform this simple task.
I end up cocooning myself in bed and coughing until I fall asleep... Because I'm just that pathetic.
When I wake up (for real this time) I hear the wind still violently smacking the house. I try to open my eyes but they throb and water as I try.
Can I just die now please?
"Kat, are you awake?" I hear a calm voice beside me.
"Sadly." I say, I can hardly talk. I have to whisper everything I say.
"Are you hungry?" He asks.
"No" I whisper.
"You haven't eaten since yesterday." He says.
"No you aren't."
"I'll go tell your mom you're awake." He leaves my side and I can't help but feel like something's missing.
I feel mom's presence before she speaks, "How are we today?" Mom asks running her hand through my hair.
I groan and shake my head. Mom sighs before leaving me alone. I hear Peeta on the phone in the other room.
"I'm really sorry, she can hardly talk... What do you mean?... Because she's my fiancé?... Effie... Yeah... I'll call you tomorrow."
He walks back in with a bowel and another pillow. "Come on Kat." He says setting what he's holding on my bedside table.
I sit myself up so he can place the pillow behind me. I crash down on the pillow, feeling instant fatigue.
He starts trying to feed me but I eventually take the bowel out of his hands. I rattle the bowel with my weakness, I put the bowel down even with his eyes barreling into my soul.
"You only ate half." He says.
"Not hungry." I mumble.
"Kat you've got to eat." I shrug and close my eyes. I can feel my eyes vibrate with over flowing tear ducts. I moan rubbing my eyes to get the tears flowing out. I don't know if you can tell yet... But I hate being sick.
Peeta sighs and takes the bowel out of the room.
Mom walks in close after he's gone.
"Mommy?" I ask in a pitiful strained tone.
"Can I have medicine?" Yep, it's that bad.
"I'll be back in five minutes Precious." Mom promises before leaving.
Peeta walks in with the phone in his hand minutes later. "No Effie... Seriously?... You're kidding?... But I'm just... What about... And... But... Bye? Wait... Hello?" He looks down at the phone, with the look he's giving right now, I'm sure she must have hung up on him.
"Sorry about that." Peeta says walking towards me. "Effie wants us to go to her place for planning." I'd laugh but it comes out as a gagging sound.
"You should go." I whisper.
"I promised your mom I'd stay until she got back." He says.
"Yeah but Effie waits for no one. I'm sure she'll just run over here and yell about how much time we're wasting. At least if you're there something might get done." I claim.
He feels my burning skin, "I don't want to just leave you." I'm more perplexed by this than I should be. Because he means it. No matter what he truly means this simple phrase. He doesn't just want to leave me, and I don't want him to just leave me.
He'll never leave me, and I'm perfectly happy to know this... Maybe I love him...
"I'll leave when your mom gets back okay?"
I shrug before coughing violently, "Damn." I croak.
"Shh, just relax." He soothes. "Everything will be okay." Is he right? Will everything be okay?
After a few minutes, which feels like agonizing hours, mom is back. Peeta leaves when mom walks into my room. Almost the moment I swallow the putrid medicine I'm unconscious.
The next few days Effie gets back on track with this wedding business. Do you know how many times I've been asked, "What color do you want the..." Insert random linen I didn't even know existed here.
"Katniss" Effie says to me one day, "Your fitting is today."
Effie laughs, "Wedding dresses dear."
Oh sweet Jesus. "Uh..."
"Come on, Cinna has to get your dress perfected back in the Capitol, he's only here for the afternoon."
Effie takes me to a make shift studio where Cinna is working over a drawing pad.
We walk in and I immediately notice the cameras... Everywhere.
"Huh?" I ask.
"Oh, they're going to film a little fashion show so the Capitol citizens can see your different dress options."
"Oh don't worry Peeta won't see any of them. It's bad luck for the groom to see the brides dress before the day of the wedding, you know."
"I didn't actually." I say.
Cinna smiles at me and nods to a door that is opened slightly. I race into the room, where I'm excitedly greeted by my prep team. They cake makeup on my face and put all my hair up. They blabber on and on about the kinds of dresses they can see me in.
Once they leave Cinna walks in and lays a pile of dresses out so they are all seen.
"Twenty-four." He says. "And only one is the dress you'll love."
"Can I just put that one on and be done with this then?" I ask with a laugh.
"I'd love to do that, but we can't." Cinna says opening a dress way to big for anything I'd ever think about wearing.
Forced into the endless sea of dress, shoes shoved on my feet, I'm thrown out to have pictures taken from all angles.
This process repeats for the endless mound of dresses. Some have ruffles, others have lace, some have both. There's one dress that's so tight I literally can't walk. A few dresses have red trim for Christmas, one is all lace and nothing else.
Twenty-three dresses down with one to go. Cinna pulls it out and says, "This is the only one I made."
I can feel a small smile curve on my lips. It's long and sleek, not to form fitted. Only a strip of sparkle to start the pleats at the bust of the dress. Off the shoulder long sleeves for the winter feel.
If I am to marry in the Capitol fashion, this is what I'd like to wear. He slips it on me and buttons up the back.
The fabric is light and warm, this is the first time all day that I feel beautiful.
"That's my girl on fire." He says after adjusting the dress around me.
"Thank you." I whisper before hugging him. I step out after announcing that this the last one. Effie starts crying before the flashes of cameras even go off.
"Can I go home now?" I ask with a smile.
Effie chuckles. "Get changed, dear, Peeta needs to try on his suit."
"Does that mean can actually go?" I ask.
"We have three weeks left until the wedding! You need your rest before the big day."
Oh crap, three weeks... Three damned weeks until I do the one thing I swore I'd never do.
What? Y'all wanna see her dress? Link is on my profile at the very bottom.