I was sitting in the hub watching my tributes as they stud quivering on their pads. 'Please whatever you kids do, do not step off that pad. I thought to myself. Clinging onto my armchair as the 60seconds ticked by, I felt me grow competitive. This was my third year as a mentor.
My first year still plagues my nightmares now, since they were both dead in 3days. 'I tried' was the only words of comfort I could have possibly given to their families. Nevertheless, it didn't make me anymore likable being a mentor. In fact except Finnick and Blight not many socialised with me.
Finally the gong hit and the dainty girl I became lumbered with began looking around. I sighed screaming at my screen for her to run. Cashmere the repulsive blonde glittery mentor from 1 was thrilling with pleasure as her male seized a spear in his hands. His secret was now known. But before I could look at my boy tribute, I saw the boy from 1's spear fly through the air and into Lacey Elberton's, from district 7, heart. In anger that I hadn't even got her through the first day, I threw my glass of water at the wall making it smash into smithereens. I couldn't cry but I could show my anger.
I had to pull it together because despite losing the girl already I had Tom left. Wanting so badly to go insane at Cashmere, a certain pair of hands began massaging my shoulders. Finnick. "Come on Mason. You've still got one left." He tried to encourage me. I nodded standing up and looking at my screen. Now you could only see your own tributes on the map which made things very difficult. I was glad to see he was running since that had been my piece of advice to them both. 'I don't care if you have a knife through your head you keep running'. I had shouted into their system last night.
For the career mentors they had quite a relaxing job. As soon as their tributes had dominated the Cornucopia, their job was done. I decided that not looking at the snobby glitter sprayed career mentors helped. Blight's only piece of advice he'd given me over a bottle of whiskey on my first year of mentoring was this. 'Don't show the other mentors you're upset when your tributes die and most of all don't pay attention to what they're doing. I did that one year and it killed both.' He had ordered me. Ever since that day I have never cried nor acted bothered in front of these people. Except Finnick.
As the hours ticked by and I watched my boy tribute come desperate for water, I began to get frustrated. It was so annoying when on this screen you could see that they were only a ¼ of a mile away. Blight had made me responsible of raking in sponsor money. I tried my best to act friendly but everyone around here knew I was far from that. After all I didn't sell myself like Finnick. That was another one of Blights drunken words of advice slurred over the bottle. 'However much you Hate Snow, if you want them kids to live you act nice.' He had shouted at me. Nice. I'd played many characters in the past but nice was still the one I struggled with.
When Blight came in to swap shifts and watch Tom he looked genuinely disappointed. "I'll try keep the other one on my watch alive." He commented bitterly. I didn't tense at his harshness because I had insulted him far worse. I knew he was probably still fighting off a hangover too. "Right." I replied knowing where I was heading now. Town square to be nice. "Oh and Blight, don't go giving him water. He's not far away and he's fit. He can last longer. We can't go wasting money." I instructed him walking out the room and leaving him to the control panel. Some would say I'm selfish leaving some drunken man in charge of that boy's life but there's only so much you can deal with staying in that room with Gloss and Cashmere cheering. Cheering our tributes death.
When I entered the lift and he door began to shut, Finnick's hand stopped it climbing in himself. "I hate Cashmere." Was the only thing I could say when he opened his arms in a gesture of comfort."Doesn't everyone? I found out a few little secrets about you Johanna." He told me his eyelids dropping seductively. I found Finnick's get up a little hard to take seriously now I had befriended him. I couldn't think who he'd have had to charm to find them out but it didn't matter. "Secrets about?" I asked him. His beautiful gold tinted skin became composed. Finnick knew everything about what had happened to me so I couldn't understand what. "A secret about you saying something you shouldn't have." He told me a little concerned for my wellbeing. I knew what he knew. I'd told the parents of last year's tribute Mary that she was better off dead because Snow would sell her if she won. He'd sell her beauty. Firstly being a victor, I shouldn't be saying a bad word about Snow and secondly the districts are forbidden to knowing about what Snow does to Finnick and could have done to me. "Can you blame me? You saw how beautiful she was Finnick. Don't tell me you don't think she'd be better off dead." I hissed at him.
Finnick knew me better than anyone, he knew that however brutal I came across I'd never wish what he has to go through on anyone. All those nights I'd spent with Finnick he'd still never told me exactly what it's like to be sold. All I knew was that it was just as painful as having your family killed "Yes but Snow already hates you. You've pushed him enough already hence why your families dead." He said trying to protect me more than being harsh. Him mentioning my family was the only thing that a tough girl like me would flinch at. "I didn't think he'd actually do it." I whispered now referring to Snow killing my family. He nodded not holding it against me. "I know. But I bet now you wouldn't undermine Snows… Capability." he whispered into my ear kissing it on the way back. Snow had killed my family around about an hour after I'd refused to be his toy. I'd refused to be prostituted about the capitol and he threatened to kill my family. An already unshakable person like me didn't believe him for a second. I wish every day that I had but then again if I had I'd be just like Finnick. I'd be being booked every night of the games drawing in sponsors.
The next few hours were pretty torturous. I battered my eyelashes, pushed at my boobs and forced a seductive smile. For a second I envied Finnick's capability of this but then I reminded myself. He's been doing this years. I managed to pull together some money though, so I guess my venture hadn't been completely useless. Finnick walked by my side as we headed for the lift. Neither of us spoke he just threw cameras and admirers kisses along the way. "You free for me to book tonight Odair?" I asked him once we entered the lift. "Hmm have a breakfast date in the morning but tonight I'm free. For a small fee." He informed me then added. "What did you have in mind Jo?" he asked me flirtatiously. "A take-away, take the piss out of capitol TV programmes and then sleeps?" I offered. I bet he'd had around about a hundred offers of wine and dine then an 'early night' already today but to my surprise he smiled. "That I'll do for free." He smiled. I knew why, one because we enjoyed one another's company, two because he could be himself for the evening and three because we'd have someone to stop our nightmares.
The reason Finnick and I are so close is because he is the only person that knows what happened to me and why exactly my family are dead. And this is why…
It was the night after I'd won my games and I had been taken to a party at snow's mansion. My prep team were congratulating me but Blight wasn't. In fact he did his best not to go insane in front of everybody that I had deceived him. I had planned to look weak only to win. When I arrived at the party, my eyes caught with Finnick's for the first time. Despite a girl perhaps only 17 being hung onto his arm, he looked at me with fear. Until now I didn't know why he was scared for me. I guess you could say Finnick knew exactly what I was heading for.
Snow called me into his office and told me to take a seat. "Miss Mason… Some things are consequential." He said to me. I was only 16 but I was just as tough and unshakable as I am now. "I make the plans, not young girls, I. But you carried out your own little plans didn't you?" He had said as he poured a thick blood red wine into his glass. "It was just my strategy." I had retorted but he barked in my face. "You made us look stupid! But that's ok because you're going to be good now because you wouldn't want to disappoint would you miss Mason?" he continued sipping from his cup which left his repulsively slim lips stained red. "You see I have many friends that would desire your attention. So you'll meet these friends won't you?" he prompted. I nodded and he let me leave prizing an envelope of the details for meeting this friend in my fingers. That's when I had for the first time in my life feared someone. I ran out of this party and propped myself up the wall of some random corridor.
Finnick had followed me out. "Let's get a cab." He had said to me taking my delicate fingers in his own and pulling me into the cool. When we arrived at the place where I had stayed before the games Finnick whispered one thing in my ear. "Trust me." Was all he had said. So I did. When we reached my room Finnick pushed me against my door kissing me. This was the first kiss I'd ever had since I wasn't the most likable person. I hadn't pushed him off though because he had told me to trust him. He took off his shirt as we entered the room and when the door was finally shut he began to apologise. "I'm sorry but the cameras were everywhere and I didn't want it to look suspicious." He apologised but I was still a little wary as to why he was in my room. "Give that here." He asked me tearing open the envelope then reading it in disgust. "Johanna. Snow's planning to sell your body, exactly like he does me." Finnick told me. I have to admit it shocked me. When I'd seen Finnick at games I'd just presumed he wanted the attention. Not that he was forced into it! He sat with me that night telling me what Snow had done to him and how he threatened to kill his family.
Me being 16 didn't believe Snow would do such a cruel thing, so the next day I went to Snow and told him I wouldn't let him do it to me. He had my Father, brother and grandma killed in the next hour. then he later had someone else even more important killed later...I was stupid; I didn't think he'd do it and exactly like Finnick had said. I underestimated his power. I hate myself now and even Finnick couldn't tell me it was alright when he heard the news. "I told you Johanna you should've listened to me you stupid girl!" he had rattled my shoulders but then he pulled me into a tight embrace kissing my hair. Finnick Odair was the first person to actually see me properly cry and he says he can't witness it again. I honestly swear to this day that I didn't think he'd do it. I thought he'd take it out on me not my family but as Finnick said, "He's knows hurting your family will hurt you more. Plus you having to come along to the games and have to act like you love the capitol is enough to satisfy him." He had said that to me on my victory tour when I saw him in 4. He was right because coming to the capitol is the most painful month of my life and even though that should be because I watch 2kids die it isn't. It's because I watch my family die as well. It's made me ruthless nevertheless and I refuse to go anywhere near Snow. Nobody knows why except Finnick, him and I and that's exactly why I never let Finnick out my sight at the games.