Throughout the fanfic certain characters are extracted from the Hunger Games trilogy. I do not own these characters. Although some are not. Some characters belong to me. They are mine. Please respect that. I want this fanfic to be more than a blurb of Haymitch's life. How long, I do not know... Nevertheless, I really hope you enjoy! Happy reading :)

Haymitch: My Story

Chapter 1: My life before the games

I must have been awake all night. I can hear the birds singing, reminding District 12 it's time to wake up. But I don't want to wake up. I'd rather lay in my perfectly nice, little uncomfortable bed and risk getting cramp than face today. So I listen to the bird's song and let my mind take over.

I think about my life in the Seam and stretch my thoughts right back to the happiest memory I can recall: my mother and father announcing I was going to have a little brother. I had just turned three and it was one of the happiest days of my life. I was so excitment to have someone to play with, a little brother to talk to while mother was cleaning and father was drunk. To this day me and Troy are inseparable: always causing smiles, laughs and mayhem where ever we go. We're a package deal.

To the close knit community of District 12, my family used to be perfect despite our living in the seam. My father was very charming and funny; my mother was very beautiful; I have always been very smart; and Troy is very creative, always conjuring up some sort of sculpture or colorful painting with wild berries. Family time was the best time...

That's why shocked faces and gossip whispers appeared when my father, of all people the down-to-earth charmer, drank himself to death.

Of course my mother and I, and maybe even Troy, saw it coming. Father would come home at all hours in a drunken mess, singing a song that would awaken us all. At first, it just seemed like a pass time for him, but after a while drink became his life. The white liquor father brought home became his sent, his perfume, and the bottles stacked up, forming an unmissable pile.

I guess everyone has secrets. But secrets don't last. Your whole life lies out to your District until your life is no more.

My father is no more.

After that, me, mother and Troy did our best to survive in our small, half wooden hut. We smiled and waved to the neighbors but fooled nobody. And even though almost three years have passed, I sometimes hear the hushed voices of women whisper, "I don't know how Cassandra's doing it, I wouldn't be able to cope if my husband did such a thing!" But that's just it, mother isn't coping. She's sick. Mother's lost - or 'away with the birds' as psychiatrists would say. If we could afford to go see one...

The sun has fully risen and the bird's songs are dimming down to a small noise. I climb out of bed and look in my old mirror, worn with age, and examined what horror a sleepless night has left me.

I look at my reflection. I look into the face a 16 year old boy. His tanned skin is dry. His forehead is creased and aged with stress. His hair is dark, slightly wavy and full of life. His eyes are grey and worn out and bellow are black circles. He's got the seam look. This is me, Haymitch Abernathy. Take it or leave it.

I stroke the dark circles under my eyes. "Urgh, how am I going to pull these off?"

"Why," a young voice comes from the hallway. "Are you worried 'Mandy' will break up with you because you're ugly?!"

"Oh, shut up Troy!" I turn quick and scoop him up over my shoulder. His small legs kick the air and he thumps my back with clenched fists as I walk into our kitchen. "The only reason Mandy would ever break up with me is so she wouldn't have to put up with you!" I set him down at our table. "I mean...look at me."

"I hit a soft spot there, didn't I." Troy laughs.

I mimic his voice and lay out three chipped plates on the table top.

"You're going to see Mandy today, aren't you?"

"Yeah, I am," I answer as I butter the last of our bread. But when I look up, Troy's looking down at his feet, dissapointed. "But I won't be too long! So we can do something when I come back."

Troy looks up and smiles. "Yeah!"

I am the man of the house now. I work after school: lifting sacks at the local bakery. I cook what I can and clean with what time I have left. It's a wonder how I have the time to have a girlfriend like Mandy...

"I'll go wake mother," chirps Troy. He pounces off looking like a younger me, like a younger father.

A few minutes later, mother limps in with a helping hand from Troy. She isn't as beautiful anymore. Her blonde hair lays limp, her pale skin's dull and her green eyes don't shine anymore. She rarely talks but loves our company. Sometimes Troy brings her another one of his paintings, attempting to make our mother smile. She doesn't. But he's never upset about it, because just for a second, her eyes always light up. Only a little - but it's there!

I butter the last slice of bread and hand it to mother. She nibbles the corners and gives the rest to Troy.

Later that day I meet Mandy in our town's square. Mandy's family is a little richer than mine, one of the wealthiest in District 12, so they live in a bigger house, outside of the Seam. But me being poor doesn't bother her. We go for a walk, hand-in-hand, down the green fields, and eventually settle down under the shade of a large oak tree. The trees dance in the breeze; the grass is colored in wild flowers. This place is quite, so we aren't likely to be walked in on: an often place for romance.

I take advantage of this and place her lips on mine.

Mandy's blonde hair is as bright as the sun: her eyes as green as the grass and her skin as fair as snow with a single freckle placed on her nose. Mandy's appearance really stands out with the grey eyes and tanned skin of the Seam. She's beautiful.

We lay down on a patchwork quilt she placed on the ground, hand-in-hand; time passes with the breeze. How much I'll miss these arms if anything were to happen...

I lose myself in her emerald eyes as she caresses my cheek. "What's on your mind?" she whispers.

My lips kiss her nose. "You," I mutter, "as always."

Mandy giggles and smiles her stunning smile. "I thought...I thought maybe you were thinking about tomorrow..." Her smile fades.

"I was last night...a little. Troy's very scared."

"It's his first time in the reaping. His name isn't going to be drawn, Haymitch."

"I hope so. I've only let his name go in twice." I pause. "I don't know how many times my name mine has gone in. Enough…"

"Don't," Mandy butts in. "Don't say that. Don't even think that! You'll be fine. You're staying right here with me!" She folds her arms, and places her head on my lap. As she stares into the blue, care free sky I stroke her wave like hair.

"I'll always be with you. In or out of the Hunger Games. Even if it is a Quarter Quell…"

"I'm worried about this year's Quarter Quell, Haymitch" she sighs. "It's hard enough watching two children from our District fight 'till the death - let alone four." I'm sure Mandy was trying hard not to cry, but her voice slipped somewhere, and now she's gently sobbing.

"I know, I know," I whisper soothingly.

It's true - I do know. I know having twice the amount of children in the Hunger Games will make the games twice as violent and twice as entertaining for the capitol and its citizens. Troy cries endlessly when a single child is murdered, and this year he'll have to watch twice as much blood and gore and guts... Viewing of the games is not voluntary.

Mandy sits up, places her small, pale hands on either side of my face and breathes, "Are you ready?"

Her eyes are worried and I know what I have to say. "I'm ready."