AN: I'm back! And thank you for reviewing, to the two people that did. Keep them coming! And to NarglesandNightlock, yes it's all going to be from Delilah's POV at least for right now, and if you go back I added a little more to the summary, that was good advice, thanks. ;) I'll definitely make the chapters longer, luvbooksforever, I just wanted to get my first one out there to be read and I didn't want to make it too long in case, ya know, it was terrible xD Anyway, here's chapter 2!
Ramsey Kinkle clears her throat. "Delilah Davis," she repeats.
I slowly take a step forward and start walking to the stage. I hear someone weeping next to me; it is Lily. I try to give her a smile, but it's hard. My parents are screaming and clutching on to my six-year-old brother. The rest of the crowd is silent. I can feel their eyes on me as I climb the steps. Ramsey waits with open arms and a fake smile. She steers me to the spot where I am supposed to stand.
"Wonderful!" Ramsey squeaks. "And now we will select the male tribute." Again she dips her hand into the bowl and pulls out a card. Hundreds of eyes watch her unfold it. "Paxton Carter."
No. No, no, no, no, no. Not him. Please. Anyone but him. Before I know it I am screaming and crying. Pax is my best friend. He and Lily have been the only ones to stand by my side through everything. I don't want to think about it, but the thought looms at the back of my mind. How am I going to kill him?
I shake my head. I'm just not going to. I'll die first. I won't let it get down to us two. I will just have to die so that Pax can live.
Paxton is on the stage now, on the other side of Ramsey. I look at him and see tears in his eyes, and I'm sure mine look the same. I mouth, I'm sorry to him. He offers me a small smile. I can't believe it, I simply cannot fathom it. My best friend will compete in the Hunger Games and so will I.
I don't listen to Ramsey until I hear her say that it is time to say our goodbyes. Ramsey leads Paxton and I through double doors and into separate rooms as we wait for our families to come in. I stand up when I hear the door open. My mom, dad, and little brother, Sebastian come in. We all just hug and cry for a while until my father pulls away and puts his hands on my shoulders.
"Listen to me," he says. "There will be others who are stronger than you, who have been training all their lives for this. The little brats from One and Two. But a lot of times, strength doesn't win the Hunger Games. You are smart. You can outrun them, you can outsmart them, you know how to fish for food so find water as soon as you can - if you can."
I look away. I know he is trying to help, but I am weak. I have no chance in the Games.
"Look at me," Dad says. I turn to face him. "I have faith in you. Just stay strong and fight." He gives me a hug and steps aside. My mother takes something out of her pocket and hands it to me. It is a small, heart-shaped locket.
"Open it," she says with a strained smile. I click the locket open and see that on one side is a picture of my mom, dad, and Sebastian, and on the other side is a picture of Lily and Paxton. "Whenever you feel like giving up, open this and think of us. We will be waiting for you to come back home. You must never give up."
I smile and give her a hug. "But Paxton..." I start.
"Don't worry about him. He'll be fine. I think if you play your cards right, you both could come out of this alive," Mother says.
I stare at her, confused. What does she mean, both of us could come out alive? I decide not to think about it right now and instead go over to little Sebby and lift him up in my arms. He smiles at me and picks up a tuft of my wavy, milk chocolate brown hair and twirls it around his finger. He is too young to know what is going on, what is going to happen to me, so I just cherish this last moment with him, stroking his blond hair until a Peacekeeper comes in and tells us the time is up. I hug everyone one last time as they tell me they love me and to not give up, to try to survive. Then the Peacekeeper takes them away and they are gone. I turn away with tears in my eyes and then hear footsteps in the doorway. I look up and see that Lily has come.
"Lily," I start to say but she just runs over to me and sobs into my arms. She pulls away after what feels like hours and speaks to me.
"You have to win," she says in a shaky voice. "Delilah, I need to see you again. I am going to see you again. Do not just throw your life away, okay? You have to try to survive. You have to want to win."
"Delilah," Lily says. She knows when I am lying. "You're not going to die. Think of me when your limbs scream at you that you can't go on. Just take a deep breath and say to yourself, 'What would Lily want me to do?' And the answer will always be to live. Lily always wants you to live."
I hug my friend. I am so grateful for her. Even though I have already made up my mind about Paxton living instead of me, I appreciate this pep talk Lily has given me. "I love you, Lily." She is trying not to cry again but is having trouble stopping the tears. "I'm not leaving you," I say. "Just because you might not see my face again doesn't mean I've left you. I'll still talk to you, and you'll know what I'm saying. Maybe I'll appear in your dreams or something." I try to laugh; I am only saying this to lighten the mood but apparently it does not.
"Don't talk like that!" Lily exclaims. "You're going to live, you hear me? I will see your face again, okay? I will." She breaks down sobbing and I gather her into my arms. The next thing I know, the Peacekeeper is coming to the door and taking her away. I get a few minutes alone now, I suppose its to cry or think or whatever. But instead I just stare blankly at the wall until I am released.
"Come darling, and I will show you the train that we will ride to the Capital on!" Ramsey Kinkle exclaims. She is walking next to me and leading me outdoors where I see train tracks and on top of that, a train. Paxton is there already, along with the people who are supposed to be our mentors. I vaguely remember seeing some of their faces on TV, watching them compete in the Hunger Games. There are six of them total, four men and two women. Past victors of the Hunger Games. I will have to tell them later that I want Paxton to live, so they know to help him in the Games, and not me. I walk over to Pax and squeeze his hand.
We board the train.
AN: Whew! I'm done! Okay, what'd ya think? Pleeeeeaaaasseee review I want to know how I'm doing! And I know this wasn't the most exciting chapter, but I had to write it, and I didn't like writing it because this part is always so sad. :'( Well anyway, I'll be posting the next chapter soon hopefully and um yeah. Review, review, fellow readers! Adios!