I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

"Beautiful." I stop singing and tense up and turn to see Art making his way over. Heat rushes to my cheeks as he takes a seat beside me on the porch.

"H-how long were you listening?" I ask as my shyness gets the better of me and me feet suddenly become interesting.

"Since you started" he replies and my heart begins to hammer in my chest. "Done be so shy" Art says as he picks up on my feelings. "There is no need to be shy when you have a voice is beautiful as yours is." I slowly lift my head and stare at Art. His blonde hair is reflecting the moonlight and his emerald eyes, shimmering.

"Y-ou really think I'm good?" I ask and he nods his head.

"The best singer I have ever heard" he says and once again my feet become the most interesting thing in the world. I get like this every time I am around Art. I have been in love with him since forever, but he only sees me as a sister. I have known Art since we both moved into the community home. We had to stick together because we were the 'newbies'. After a week we were inseparable. It was that moment I knew that this was the boy I wanted to marry someday.

But that dream is exactly that, just a dream. He got engaged to Stella, a middle class girl, last week. It broke my heart when I heard, but I put on a happy face...for him. I feel his arm snake its way around my shoulder as he pulls me closer. I rest my head on his shoulder and he lays us back so we are staring up at the stars. We use to do this all the time when we were younger. We would make shapes from the stars and give them names.

"I miss this" he says. I nod my head because right this moment, words wont form. "Tomorrows the reaping" he says and my heart stops. He is right, tomorrow is the reaping. I completely forgot. "How many slips do you have?" he asks.

"Forty-one" I reply with a shaky breath. For a second he tenses up next to me, but soon takes a deep breath.

"That is nothing compared to my fifty-three" he says with a laugh, but I can hear the fear behind the laugh.

"We have lasted this long. Whats one more year? After this we will be free anyway" I say. Art and I are both 18 and when you turn 19 you are free from the reaping. I would get a job in town or in the fields and get a house and I will live out my life. Maybe I will settle down and even have kids...no...there wont be kids. I wont wait around, waiting for them to be reaped. I wont go through that.

"Well, come on" Art says as he pulls me up to my feet. "We both need to look our best for tomorrow." He brushes my head behind my ear and I blush once more. He links our fingers and leads me back inside. At my bedroom he kisses me on my cheek and leaves. When I get into bed I fall asleep almost instantly.

The sounds of chattering rouses me from my sleep. I open my eyes and see the other girls talking among themselves while getting dressed. "Morning ReRe" my good friend Allison says as she jumps on my bed. I groan as I sit up and smile at her.

"Good morning" I say. "Somebody is sounding chipper."

"Well duh. After today, I wont have to worry about getting reaped. After today, my life begins" she says as she sits up and ties her dark hair into a ponytail.

"Very true" I tell her and slide out of bed. "Help me get ready?" I ask and she nods. The next hour we spend getting dressed and gossiping. I am not usually the talkative type, but Allison brings it out in me. With her its either talk or she ignores you. While she plays with my hair I look around at some of the younger girls. They are looking terrified and some even look like they are about to collapse.

The girl who catches my eye is little 13 year old Anistar. She not long came to the community home, about a month ago. Her parents died in the fire that killed 20 others. She has kept to herself this whole time, crying most of the time. Like now, she has an old teddy bear in a tight grip and she is silently sobbing into the fabric. My heart aches for her. I was too young to remember much about my parents and I still cry for them some nights. She knew her parents and lost them.

Allison finishes with my hair so I thank her and make my way over to Anistar. "Hi" I greet as I take a seat next to her. She doesn't respond, she just tightens her grip on the bear. "I know how it feels" I tell her. "I know what its like to lose somebody" I add on as I not only think about my parents, but Art. I lost him to Stella. I lost the chance to tell him I love him.

She slowly turns her head and I catch a glimpse of her sapphire blue eyes under her dark, matted hair. Just the look of her makes me pull her into a hug. I hold her close as she begins to sob into my shoulder. "You dont have to worry anymore...I am here now" I tell her. Though I have never spoken to her before today, I feel the need to protect her.

The next hour flies by and soon I am making my way to the square with Allison and Anistar. Anistar wont talk to Allison, but she hasn't let go off my hand since we left. As we walk I cant keep my eyes off Art who is up ahead with his friends.

"You have it bad" Allison says as she nudges my arm. I blush and shove her back. She laughs and we keep walking. "Well, you need to tell him. Tonight will be the perfect time too. You will both be free of the reaping meaning you will be able to spend the rest of your lives together" she says and I cant help but smile at her enthusiasm on such a horrible day.

"You're forgetting one thing" I reply and she raises a questioning eyebrow. "Stella" I finish and she sighs.

"Who cares about that stuck up bitch? It is clear that Art loves you" Allison replies.

"Yes, as a sister."

"Oh come on" Allison says followed by an exasperated sigh. "No boy looks at their sister the way he looks at you. He loves you like a man should love a woman. I see it every time I catch him staring at you." Her little speech gives me a little shimmer of hope, that one day I will marry Art.

"Whatever, lets just get this over with" I tell her as we enter the square. After we get our fingers pricked, I kneel down to Anistar. "You be strong okay? You have nothing to worry about" I tel her. She sniffles before throwing her arms around my neck and holding onto me like her life depended on it. I hug her back and then we separate, Anistar heading into the 13 year olds section and Allison and I heading into the 18 year olds.

"Poor girl" I say as we stand in between some other girls from the home.

"I know. I just hope something horrible doesn't happen and she is reaped" Allison replies. I dont say anything else afterwards and soon the mayor takes to the stage. Mayor Humridge is a man on the bigger side. He is the only one who can afford to eat without worry of running out. He is bald and has a white beard growing.

"Hello district nine" he greets us. "As you know, we are gathered here today to draw two names for the annual hunger games. But before we do that, lets introduce a couple of people. First up is Malva Torch" Mayor Humridge says as he gestures to the door behind him that leads into the justice building. The dark wooden doors open and out comes Malva, the only female victor district nine has had.

She is in her late 40s, standing at maybe the same hight as me. She has light blonde hair and pale skin. She won the 17th games I believe. She walks center stage and bows before heading to her left and taking a seat.

"The next person is Peirce Moresli" Mayor Humridge says as he yet again, gestures to the doors behind him. This time a young man in his 20s comes out. He is our 3rd and latest victor. He won 10 years ago at just 15 years old, making him the youngest victor yet. He has black hair cut short and dark skin with dark brown eyes. Over the years he has become more and more handsome. He copies Malva and takes a seat next to her.

"Okay, this final person has come all the way from the Capitol" the mayor says with fake enthusiasm. "Welcome Gillian Fowtruth." The final person who comes out on stage is so out of place. Her bright pink dress hurts my eyes and her baby blue, poofy hair bounces on her head as she almost gallops to the microphone. She takes the mic of the mayor, who takes his seat, and beams at all of us.

"Welcome, welcome" she says as she smiles, showing of her pearly white teeth. "Welcome district nine to the reaping of the forty-eight annual hunger games." Haven't we already been through this? "Now, I wont drag things on. Lets start shall we?" she says as she skips her way over to the reaping bowl on her left.

I close my eyes and my hands automatically seeks Allison's. I pray that is isn't Anistar. She is too young to go into this. She wont last a second. It turns out my praying worked, because the name she calls out is not Anistar. No, its Stella's.

A/N: Welcome, welcome. Welcome to the first chapter of my first fic. I have read a couple of these and felt like writing my own one. This is the first of a 3 part series which is based around my OC