Silence [Hunger Games Fanfiction]

Traumatized by her brother’s death, Raven Verona desperately wants to escape her past. But when she is chosen for the 31st Hunger Games, that becomes impossible.


An unwanted admirer.


A true soul mate.


23 enemies.


Let the Games begin


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44. Forty-Four

 “Suicide,” I whispered. The word felt strange on my lips, like it was a taboo word. My mother had committed suicide? I didn’t ask for details, didn’t ask to see the body. I didn’t want another pair of lifeless eyes haunting my sleep. But I wasn’t going to allow my Mother to be discarded. She was going to have a proper burial.

 I was stood with my Father, Eddie and the Mayor in the District’s small graveyard. Only very rich citizens could afford to be buried there, meaning only the Mayor, Peacekeepers and Victors tended to use it. It was also a memorial for past Victors, a place in which people could pay respects to those who represented the District. But of course, none of our Victors were dead.

 Upon my arrival home three days earlier, the first thing I’d done was make sure that my Mother’s body would rest in the graveyard. I’d had a white marble headstone made and shipped from the Capitol and I stared at it, the ground still covered in earth rather than grass. I placed a bunch of flowers by the stone and stood back.

 “I still can’t believe it,” I said. Eddie went to put an arm around me, and I had to resist the temptation to flinch. He’d barely left me alone since I got home, always asking how I was, and whether I wanted any help with moving into the new house. With just me and my father in the house, it felt so empty. Of course, I had Valeria and Eddie next door, and Drew on the other side. But it was a place I was forced to call home rather than a place I belonged.

 I’d barely seen Drew since arriving home. He’d told me it was his tendency to hide in his house for a few days when he got home from the Capitol, so even with him living next door, we’d barely spoken. But as I stood in the graveyard that day, I saw him approaching nervously, his hands shoved in his pockets. My Father kissed my cheek and left, shortly followed by the Mayor. Eddie looked uncertain, and I tried for a smile.

 “Would you mind giving me a few moments alone with Drew?” I asked. He kissed my cheek.

 “Anything you need,” he murmured, before leaving me to dwell. I didn’t look up as Drew came to a halt by my side. I heard his sharp intake of breath, and then the way it whistled as he let it go.

 “How are you doing?” he finally asked.

 “Not good. There’s the problem of Eddie. Logan. Mother. All the other deaths I feel guilty about. Does the guilt ever go?”

 Drew considered what to tell me.

 “The truth, Drew.”

 He laughed without humour “You know me well. OK, you want the truth? No. It doesn’t.”

 I nodded slowly, my eyes turning back to my Mother’s grave.

 “Sometimes, I can convince myself that Mother and Logan are still alive. That I never met Clementia, Kai, Avery or even Roger. I sit in my window seat overlooking the District, and the animals remind me of Logan, and his love for nature. And sometimes, in these days of celebration for the District, I see kites flying, and I can persuade myself that even Jonah is still here. But when I come back to reality…” I trailed off, fiddling with the buttons on my coat. Drew nodded knowingly.

 “I understand,” he whispered. I allowed myself to cry, so fed up of holding myself together. Drew put his arms around me and we cried together, like we’d done so many times before. We must have stood there for an hour or so, before Drew pulled away.

 “Come on. Eddie’s gone now. I’ll walk you home.”

 We walked in comfortable quietness, hands linked in a friendly grasp. Approaching the house, through the window I saw Eddie and my father sat in the kitchen. I froze, not wanting to see them.

 “Can I…can I go to your house for a while?” I asked “I…I don’t want to see them.”

 Drew nodded and unlocked his house. Unlike mine, it was messy and disorderly, with rubbish scattered through the halls. Drew didn’t even seem aware as he kicked a newspaper aside to enter the living room. I followed him and plonked down on a chair, watching Drew light a cigar and inhale it deeply. He offered me one and I took it, though I’d never smoked before. My father had always enjoyed them, and I loved the smell. It reminded me of a previous time, where we were all happy. I closed my eyes and took a drag. Drew dreamily made a rude gesture, aiming it at the ceiling.

 “Here’s to life,” he said sarcastically, his cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth. I copied him with a bitter laugh.

 “Here’s to life.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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