This can't be happening

A young girls experience during the rebellion and the Hunger Games.

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3. Chapter Two - After Death Syndrome

I am awake. I am always awake. I cannot stop thinking about my sister. The way she smiled. The way she talked. The way she looked covered in blood with a bullet hole between her eyes.

It has been four day since she died but it has not left my mind for one second. Just like Justin has not left my side.

He is very loyal and I suppose I think of him as my best friend as I have no one else but to do that would be for him to replace Ally. No one could ever replace her.

He has been forcing me to eat and telling me to sleep but I can’t. I think he knows that.

Quite often I vomit up the food I eat because I am thinking about the hundreds of bodies of children I saw four days ago.

I can’t sleep for the same reason.

Justin isn’t eating or sleeping well either.

It is the same thing everyday, we get up, we eat, we vomit it back up, we find a new place to hide, then we eat and vomit again and finally we try to sleep but never do.

Maybe I could be strong for him like I used to for Ally. Then I would have someone to care for.

No I can’t replace her. Maybe it wouldn’t be replacing her.

I can never stop thinking about her, this is my way of dealing with her death and it will help us both.

Yes, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll be strong. I’ll put on a brave face.

So I do. I pick up a fish Justin caught earlier and start descaling it.

Justin sees what I am doing and starts lighting a fire.

Good, if we can focus on something else then we can forget about the blood and horror of the town square.

We cook the fish and eat it. We don’t talk and I like it that way, no talking, no memories, just eating.

After that we sneak down to the beach to wash. There is one part that isn’t guarded and we go there.

I run into the water and feel something.

The feeling of freedom. I feel like the waves, crashing down, strong and powerful, free to go where ever I choose.

Wait, no, stop. I can feel the memories coming to me. I’m no longer the waves; I am the beach they crash down on.

In a flash I see her, running into the water, us building a sandcastle, Dad teaching us how to fish and make nets. All ending the same way, her lying dead. Then nothing.

I feel strong arms holding me. I open my eyes slowly. It’s night. I see Justin and I look around. We are still on the beach, he is holding me. I must have passed out. I look back up at Justin.

“What happened?” My voice comes out hoarsely and I realise my throat is very sore.

Justin hands me a bottle of water as he speaks. “You were standing, I went under a wave and when I came back up I couldn’t see you. So I went over and found you passed out. I dragged you onto the beach.”

I’m grateful but also a little angry.

“So the minute I’m out of your sight you freak out?” I mean to sound angry but it comes out very soft.

“I got worried, I didn’t know what happened. These are dangerous times and you are fragile.”

“I’M FRAGILE, ME?” I yell at him. “YOU HAVE BEEN SITTING UP HALF THE NIGHT, YOU HAVEN’T BEEN EATING. It was my sister, NOT YOURS AND I’M THE ONE WHO IS FRAGILE.”

“I haven’t been sleeping because I have been watching you to see if you sleep, which you haven’t and I haven’t been eating because I saw hundreds of dead children.” Justin doesn’t yell, he sounds strict but he doesn’t yell.

This just makes me madder.

“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” I remember that we in the middle of a war and lower my voice. “You are not my keeper, so just leave me alone.”

Justin looks at me for a second before turning around and walking away.

Good, I didn’t even really like him.

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