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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16. Sixteen

Pandora was gone when I woke up, and I wondered whether I would see her again. Of course you will I told myself you’re going to win. And then you have a promise to keep.

 Sunday, I thought. Once my favourite day of the week. That had changed since Jonah died. I closed my eyes and thought back to the best Sunday of all, which in actual fact, I spent with Logan…

 Normally, Sundays were a day of relaxation. Father wasn’t needed in work on Sundays, and mother put her sewing aside to cook a hearty meal. She often dealt with the butcher, and he would give her a chicken to cook every weekend if she mended his family’s clothes. She’d pluck the vegetables we grew in the garden, and serve it at mid-afternoon. It was a day I always enjoyed. But one Sunday, we were invited to a dinner party at the Mayor’s house. Only important people were invited, and we were honoured to be amongst them. I was only young then, eight or nine, and I spent the whole day brushing my hair until it was shiny and soft. My mother had cooed and said I looked beautiful. She let me wear my best dress, a knee length grey one with a black ribbon at the waist. I took my father’s hand and skipped alongside him all the way to the house.

 I spotted a few familiar faces at the party. The Grey family attended, as did several of the richer kids at school, but it was a bit of a disappointment to me. None of the other kids liked me, and the adults were discussing uninteresting subjects, so I sat in the corner of the Mayor’s dining hall, sipping orange juice moodily. Logan, who would have been nine or ten then, plonked himself in a seat beside me with a roll of his eyes.

 “This is such a drag. Everyone here is so boring.” I nodded in agreement, pulling at a loose stitch in the skirt of my dress. Logan looked at me for a while, smiling.

 “What?” I snapped.

 “Wanna dance?” he asked.

 “No.”

 “Why?”

 “I hate dancing.”

 “Not if it’s with me.”

 “Especially if it’s with you.”

 “Oh come on, don’t be a bore. You’re the only interesting person here!”

 I rolled my eyes, hiding a smile. It made me feel special. “Fine. I’ll dance with you.”

 He smiled, and stood, offering me his hand. I took it and we moved over the centre of the room, where several couples were dancing.

 “So…do you know how to dance?” I asked.

 “Not a clue.”

 “Me neither. Should we copy the adults?”

 We looked to where Logan’s parents were dancing. The Mayor’s hands rested on Logan’s mother’s hips, and she had her arms wrapped around their neck. They swayed rhythmically to the music, gazing at one another lovingly. I wrinkled my nose in disgust.

 “Alright. Let’s get this over with,” I grumbled, copying Logan’s mother. He did the same, his hands awkward on my waist. I began to move to the left, but Logan went right.

 “You’re going the wrong way!” I said impatiently.

 “Sorry!” he said. We managed to both get into a steady rhythm, even if it wasn’t in time with the music. I relaxed a little. Until, suddenly, Logan decided to kiss my cheek. I sprung away and scrubbed at my cheek furiously. At that age, of course, kissing of any sort is just gross.

 “Eww, eww, eww!” I screeched “What did you do that for?”

 “That’s what the adults did!” he insisted, but the twinkle in his eye told me he was winding me up.

 “I don’t care if that’s what the adults did!” I cried, stomping my foot childishly.

 “I won’t do it again, I promise,” he said, eyes wide and innocent. “Ever!” Reluctantly, I shuffled back towards him and we resumed dancing.

 “Hang on though…what if we get married? Am I allowed to kiss you then?”

 “We’re not going to get married.”

 “Who says?”

 “Me.”

 “We might!”

 “I don’t want to get married.”

 “Not even to me?”

 “Especially not to you.”

 “You’ve broken my heart,” he said dramatically, pretending to wipe away a tear.

 “Good.”

 We were silent for a moment, and then he said “What would we call our children?”

 “No children.”

 “I quite like the name Delilah.”

 “We’re not having-”

 “Oh yes we are. It’s destiny. Delilah and Evan.”

 I rolled my eyes and laughed. “What makes you so sure we’ll have a boy and a girl?”

 “See! You’ve admitted it now. We’re going to get married, and you know it.”

 “Well. Maybe,” I teased. He smiled back and hugged me to him, and we let the music take over.

  That was a day I always thought of fondly, even when I began to dislike Logan, and I found myself smiling at the memory as I lay in bed. A knock on the door disturbed from the bliss, though. I dragged myself out of bed and threw on some clothes. It was an important day. I didn’t really know what it would involve until Valeria briefed us at breakfast.

 “Drew is…unwell today,” she said “So I will be with you this morning, working out how to present you. The stylists will be there too to help out. Then this afternoon, Eli will coach you.”

 He smiled smugly “You have a lot to work on. I have my hands full teaching you.”

 “What, like how to walk again?” I smirked. Eli blushed and bowed his head.

 “Yes, well. That won’t happen again.”

  Valeria wiped her mouth and stood “Come on, you two. We have a lot to do.”

  It turned out to be a reasonably good morning. Sophia and Leonie greeted me with a warm hug.

 “How are you doing? Have you been working on the sexiness?” Sophia teased. I rolled my eyes.

 “Of course not.”

 “I didn’t think so. Just try, OK? It’s only for one night.”

 I tried, I honestly did. I did everything she told me, but I couldn’t seem to get it right. Meanwhile, Logan easily picked up everything Valeria was instructing him to do. Sexiness came easily for him.

 “Let’s try this. Imagine you’re Logan,” Valeria suggested.

 “I’d rather not.”

 “Raven, I’m serious. He knows exactly what he is doing, and you haven’t got a clue. If you don’t do this right, you’ll feel like an idiot on stage. Come here, Logan.”

 Logan shrugged in apology at me, and stood in front of Valeria.

 “Now. I’m going to ask him a question, and he is going to answer in the way you’re supposed to act.”

 “Ok,” I said, watching Logan closely.

 “So, Logan, tell us. What is it like being the Mayor’s son?”

 I watched as he raised an eyebrow slightly, and flashed a half smile I’d seen him use on the girls back home “Well, it has its privileges. It certainly attracts a lot of girls.” He looked at me and wiggled his eyebrows. I snorted with laughter and Valeria smiled slightly.

 “Okay, Raven, I don’t expect you to do that.”

 “Good!”

 “Try this. Master the sexy smile, and then just answer the questions in your normal manner. Your sarcastic tone may come across as sexy if you play it right. Sound better?” Sophia asked.

 “Definitely.”

 The rest of the morning went smoothly. We practised answering questions, which Valeria was pleased with, and ate lunch with the stylists, who discussed what the outfits were like.

 “We’re hoping you’ll like them. I have to ask you to be very careful with them, though, especially you, Raven. It’s quite delicate. You’ll see what I mean later.”

 The afternoon was certainly amusing. Eli gave us some clothes and told us to put them on for practicing in. For me, the main concern was mastering the heeled shoes, but for Logan, it was having to wear leather trousers. I couldn’t help giggling when I saw him, stiff and irritated in his tight pants. I had never seen anyone look more uncomfortable.

 “How am I supposed to wear these?” he demanded to know.

 “That’s what I am here for,” Eli replied calmly. “All you have to do is follow my lead. Now, the main problem for you will be sitting down. Of course, the trousers are tight, and you don’t want them to be uncomfortable. That is why it is important you sit the right way. Also, when you are sitting down, leather trousers have a tendency to…squeak. So first, I want Raven to stand to one side, and we will practise the correct technique to avoid this. Repeat after me, Logan.”

 Eli placed himself in the centre of the room and closed his eyes. I caught Logan’s eye and we smirked at one another. Then Eli pushed his knees together and squatted, outstretching his arms at the same time. Logan’s smile turned into a look of horror.

 “Taaa daaa!” Eli said “Simple, isn’t it? Come on, Logan! You have to do it too, or you’ll never get it right.”

 They spent a good twenty minutes trying to perfect Logan’s squat. It was hilarious to watch, and eventually, Eli sent me out the room I was laughing so much. But I admit, when he was given a chair, and Eli allowed Logan to open his eyes and remove the arm movement, he sat perfectly.

“There, see! I knew you could do it,” Eli said excitedly, clasping his hands together. I rolled my eyes at Logan, who rolled them back, and we shared a secret grin. After that, Eli helped me walk in heels. I admit, for once I was glad he was there, because despite me hating him, and despite him falling over the first time he tried to teach me something, I really did need him there. My temper got the better of me at one point and I was near tears, when Eli swooped over to my side and did an impression of him falling over to make me laugh. I surprised myself by giving him a hug. He was obviously just as shocked, but he hugged me back.

 “I know we don’t always get on, Raven, but understand that I am always here for you. I may not be as bright as your mentors, but I promise that I will help you in any way I can. Alright?”

 “Alright.”

 I pulled away and smiled. He smiled back, then clapped his hands and told me to get back to work. For once, I obeyed him, and set about mastering the evil high heels. When I had finally succeeded, there was a quick tutorial on how to sit, but this was easy, and only took ten minutes. Eli allowed us to go early, and told us we were “both perfectly charming.” We took it as a compliment, and we left to go and get some food. It was earlier than we normally ate, and the others hadn’t yet returned, so it was just the two of us. Whilst he ate, Logan produced a small leather notebook from the breast pocket of his shirt, and began to scribble down something in it, shielding it from my eyes. No matter how hard I squinted, I couldn’t see what he was writing, so I asked him.

 “Oh, nothing,” he said, waving his hand in a vague motion, his eyes never leaving the page, and his pencil never leaving the paper.

 “Then why can’t I see?”

 “You will. Just not yet.”

 “What do you mean?”

 He sighed, put his pencil down, and waved his book around in the air “This is my diary. It’s my district token. It also contains the most personal things in my life. It will be yours to keep when I die, OK?”

 With that, he shoved his chair backwards and stormed out the room. I sunk backwards, my fork clattering on to my plate. I wasn’t hungry any more. All I wanted was to be able to save Logan. I too left the table, and ran to Logan’s room. I pounded on the door with my fist.

 “Let me in, Logan!”

 The door stayed shut. I continued to knock, but he didn’t open up. So I sat down at the door and waited. I must have sat there an hour, before the door opened a crack, and Logan’s head appeared.

 “What are you doing,” he asked wearily.

 “I’m waiting for you.”

 “I guess you’d better come in.”

 He went back into his room and I followed him. His room was identical to mine, except a lot messier. I pointed it out to him, and he smiled, but I could tell he wasn’t in the mood. He lounged in a velvet chair, and I sat in one opposite to him. Now that I was with him, I didn’t really know what to say, so I said the only thing that came to mind.

 “I’m sorry.”

 He nodded distractedly. “It’s not you. Well, it is. Sort of.”

 I rolled my eyes, and he smiled again “I just didn’t realise how hard it is to talk about your own death. And…I don’t want to die. But I don’t want to live under these circumstances.”

 I nodded, but didn’t trust myself to speak. I felt so heartless. How could I do it? How could I go into an arena, with my only friend in the world, and allow him to die?

 “At least we’ll be together,” he said, looking at me with his big blue eyes. I stood up and began to pace.

 “I can’t do it, Logan. I can’t. I just can’t!”

 “Hey, hey. Calm down. I’m sorry.”

 “No! I can’t watch you die, I can’t do this…”

 He grabbed my shoulders and shook me “What’s wrong with you? You agreed to this. Why can’t you just-”

 “What is wrong with you? Don’t you understand that I don’t want to watch everything I have left leave me? You coward, taking the easy way out! Let everyone else suffer over you!”

 I covered my mouth to stop myself saying any more. Logan stepped away from me, his arms dropping to his sides.

 “You think I’m a coward?”

 I shook my head. “You’re the bravest person I know. I just don’t want to lose you. I can’t bear it. Don’t make me do this, please…”

 I felt so small and lost, as though I had shrunk to the size of a pin. I sat down on the floor and curled up, my knees pressing into my eyes and making me feel dizzy. Strong arms wrapped around my shoulders.

 “You’re doing me a favour. You’re right. I am a coward. You’ve got the hardest task of anyone. But it’s what I want, and I’m selfish enough to let you take this burden. I promise you this, though. You’re going to have a good life. Eddie will take care of you…”

 “I don’t want Eddie to take care of me! I want you to be alive-”

 “That’s not an option. Be brave for me, Raven. Let him take care of you-”

 “No. If you’re going to leave me, I’m going to do something…anything but stay at home and cry. I swear, I’m going to do something good for once.”

 I pushed Logan away from me and ran from the room, hoping he didn’t see my tears. I didn’t want to make things harder for him, or for me, by allowing my feelings to show. From now on, I will show no feelings. From this moment on, I will stay silent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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