I stood motionless. Waiting to see who is going to the Games this year. I was wearing a knee length cream dress with ballet shoes. Mother wanted me to look pretty. My dark hair was pulled back into a bun.
When it was time the Mayor stood up and droned on. I never listen. Then Effie Trinket walked to the podium.
"Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favour!" She sang. She annoys me. I hate the Capitol accent. I hate everything to do with the Capitol. "Ladies first!"
She walked over to the glass ball with the girls' names in and put her hand in and pulled a slip of paper out. She opened it and smiled briefly. Then Effie walked back to the podium and announced District Twelve's girl tribute this year.
"Alice Jones." She sang.
Blood rushed to my cheeks and I froze. That was me. How did this happen? Why?! All faces turned towards me. I ignored their stares and walked towards the stage. On the way I walked past my friend, Erica. Her face was still. Tears fell out of her eyes. Her curly red hair concealed her face when she looked down at the ground. I climbed up the steps and walked onto the stage. Every single eye was on me.
"Edward Richards." Effie called out. I hadn't realised she had chosen the boy tribute. My mind was somewhere far away.
I knew Edward. He's two years older than me. We were friends a few years back. His brown hair was in it's usual style. Brushed back. He didn't look shocked at all. Maybe he isn't sad that he's going to die. Maybe he thinks he has a chance. I know I have a slim chance at winning. I can fight. I'm good at throwing objects. Ed was the one who taught me to fight. We stopped being friends after an argument. I can't remember what the argument was about.
We shook hands and I looked into his warm blue eyes.
"I'm sorry." I whispered. He nodded and whispered that he was sorry too. We were led into the Justice Building by Peacekeepers and we were given separate rooms to stay in for an hour before we got the train to the Capitol.
The room had a nice leather sofa at the far end and I immediately walked over to it. I sat down and waited to be able to see my mother and father. When they were allowed in, only mother came to see me.
"Your father isn't here." She mumbled. She looked as if she was somewhere distant. Her expression told me not to ask.
"Bye." I mumbled and ran up to her and hugged her.
"Hopefully District 12 will have a winner this year. You have a chance at winning. Lucky Ed taught you how to fight." She giggled.
"Hmm." I replied. Tears escaped my eyes. This is the last time I'm going to see my mother - if I don't win. I won't win though. Think about all of the career tributes. (Tributes from District one and two, they always have enough to eat and always join up).
"Don't cry, Al." Mother said softly and wiped away the tears. Then the time was up and Peacekeepers came in to take her away.
"I love you!" I called out.
"I love you too! Win!" Mother cried back. Then the door slammed shut. I was alone. Then the door opened once more. Erica walked in cautiously. Her eyes bright red where she has been crying.
"Hey." I mumbled and she came and sat next to me on the sofa.
"Hey. You can win. I have seen you fight." She told me. I nodded.
"Hopefully. I'm scared. What if the other tributes are much, much stronger than me?" I asked her. Looking into her eyes.
"You're strong. Don't forget that. You have a really good chance. Oh, one more thing, team up with Edward. You two were great friends."
"I won't forget. Sure. I will win. I promise." I said smiling at her. Then the door open and Erica had to leave.
"Good luck." She said, smiling back at me. Her voice cracked a little and more tears tumbled out of her eye. Then she stumbled out of the door.
No one would come to see me. I had to wait for the hour to be up. Then I would be on that stupid train and be able to ask Ed if he wanted to team up. Allies are good. But eventually you have to break allies and kill one another or watch the other get killed. I know Ed would kill me. I would let him. He's much stronger than me. I have only won a fight with him once.
Soon enough I was in the car and on the way to the train station. It's the first time I have ever been in a car. Might as well make the memory last. When we arrived we had to stand outside the doors of the trains and let all of the reporters take pictures of us and film us. Luckily I hadn't cried a lot.