Never Say Goodbye

"Well, I guess this is goodbye," she told me and I could see the tears pricking her eyes.
"Never say goodbye, because goodbye means leaving and leaving means forgetting. And I never want to forget you. Ever," I announce and she nods, a tear streaking her dirt stained face.
"I guess since 'friendly' isn't working for me I'll stick to straight facts," she chokes out, her tears causing her to stumble over her words. My own tears stream down my face and I clench the night lock tighter.
"This is the end," she states and I nod trying to hide my tears from her.
"Three," she begins. I open my hand to reveal the black berries staining the palm of my hand. I grab her hand and she doesn't protest. She is the best friend I've ever had and I want her to know that.
"Two," I answer her call, my voice rings out in the emptiness of the arena. Her hand tightens on mine and she raises our arms in the air. A signal, not of surrender or defeat but one of salvation and ending.
"One."

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1. Chapter 1

Silence fills the air as I walk down the aisle. My eyes are filled with tears but I push them away. Shock pierces my heart freezing me in a state of panic and denial. My legs move by instinct, all the lights are trained on me. I squint in the blinding light, no thoughts pass through my brain. Silence. Silence rings through my ears like a gong, tearing any piece of me that was left and ripping it into shreds. My mind only processed half of the information so I run it through my mind once more. I am Asha Snyder of District 12. I live alone with no family, no friends. My only relatives are my distant cousins Katniss and Primrose Everdeen. I am Asha and I was chosen to participate in the 68th annual Hunger Games.
"Come here young Asha, come on up. Don't be shy," Effie Trinket soothes, her newly vibrant pink hair reflects the life at the Capitol. The tears vanish as I step up onto the stage and my hands shake as I wait to hear who my opponent is. My ash black hair is pulled up in a pony tail and tied with some string I found. My icy blue eyes scan the crowd looking for the unlucky person who'll join me to my death. 
"And now for the boys!" Effie announces too happily. I look away as she reaches into the boys' bowl and pulls out a slip. I recognize the name as soon as the words escape Effie's pale pink lips. It's almost as if her words jump out of her mouth and stand in the air, tormenting me with their closeness.
"Matthew Rose," I repeat to myself shaking my head. He steps up onto the stage and I scan him all over. His wispy light brown hair hangs in his face and his teal eyes show with the same sadness as mine. He helped me. He hunted with me and took care of me and now I have to kill him. A single tear slides down my cheek grabbing the attention of the cameramen. Suddenly my face is all over the screens embarrassing me to death. We are escorted backstage and no one comes to say goodbye to me. I sadly lay down and cry until my tears turn to nothingness.

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