3 Weeks Later:
The first week was the hardest. After Peeta went under, they let me sit with him. The woman administering the drugs sat with me trying to give me some comfort. I thanked her for trying to help, but just asked to be alone. She thanked me for my bravery with the war efforts and for making Panem a better place for her children to grow up.
It took some convincing for Annie and Finn to come down to District 12. The first night with them, Annie and I cried together after we put Finn to bed in the guest bedroom. We talked about the condition of our mates. Finnick died almost 3 years ago, but it is still a sore subject. Annie's depression was the worst right after he died, but after Finn was born, she noticed things about Finn that were just like her husband of short. She knew that he would be the one to keep her going. He was her purpose.
Death is not a normal thing to deal with. She talks about her bad days when all she does is hold little Finn close and remember that he would want her to be happy.
A few weeks after they came, we walked through the shops when the idea came to me. I bent down to grab 24-month-old Finn and held onto Annie's hand while we jogged to the jewelry store. It wasn't much, just a few selections, but I picked out a real ring for Peeta. This one meant a lot more than Thom's ring that only counted as a temporary. It had a gold band with four small diamonds, each representing one of the family members he lost. Annie thought it almost owned up to the sentimentality of my ring.
Finn said that it was pretty; he was one that pointed it out. Therefore, I guess that pays tribute to Finnick too. All in one ring.
That same day, I went in to visit Peeta and slipped his real wedding band on.
I could have sworn he smiled a little when I put it on him.
The days drag on for the rest of the month and into the second. I am at day 45 out of 60. As much as Johanna can get on my nerves, I called her up to stay with Annie and I. She got here a week ago. She is mellower and a lot less calloused. She likes to keep her clothes on also, which is nice. She met a man in District 7 who accepts her as she is. She is still scared of water, but he has helped her overcome that. Somewhat.
Annie and Johanna both show me that I can recover. Even if Peeta is only a few weeks from waking up.
Tonight, the night before Peeta is scheduled to wake, has been one of the better days. Annie and Finn had to leave yesterday and Jo has kept me laughing throughout the day. We sit drinking hot chocolate by the fire in my living room with its light flickering on our faces.
"The trees smell different here."
"You know, I think I agree with you."
"They smell good." She announces with complete seriousness.
"Yes, they smell better than you." We laugh at the ridiculous joke.
Her face undergoes a transformation, giving me the cue to pay attention.
"I'm not sure if I ever got to thank you for the bundle of pine needles you made for me in District 13. I really appreciated it." I smile tight-lipped at the memory. We were so worn out from the training.
"No problem. We all have things that just keep up moving."
"That's true. I'm happy you and Peeta found a way to fall for each other again."
"Mhmm. You were like a little love sick teenager with him. You were the only one that didn't notice."
"You aren't the first person to tell me that."
"Because I wasn't the only person that saw it, Brainless."
We fall asleep next to the fire that night on the hardwood floors; I think I got the best night sleep that night.
The doctor pulled the IV out from his arm last night. They had been gradually decreasing the amount of medication so he would not have withdrawals. This is the second hour I have sat next with him, waiting. I keep going over the different outcomes from the procedures. During the 2 months, Doctor Aurelius and I have had many conversations. He just tries to cheer me up, but mostly I just get more nervous.
Nevertheless, he is waking up. That is all that matters.
The signs of him waking are starting to show. He is starting to breathe at his own pace. His grip is to tightening around my fingers. I sing to him as he is waking up.
As he begins to stir, the anxiety starts to kick in.
In a weak voice that screams power, he declares, "We are the star-crossed lovers, and I have never been happier to be married to you."
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