The morning comes too fast, it seems. Sunlight beams through the glass windows and into the room blinding me temporarily. I struggle to sit up. That was the best night’s sleep I have had in my entire life and I don’t regret one bit of it.
Effie was really impressed with me and hugged me when I got back from the ball. After eating all of the food we were given Cato said his goodbyes went back to his room on floor two with the girl from his district. One by one people departed with their district pair and I was just waiting for Peeta, who I couldn’t see.
I found out, when I got back in, why I was the last one to leave the ball and alone. Peeta had left after the first song was played. I don’t know why and I don’t want to know either. Peeta is in his room, probably sleeping or watching the television.
Thinking about the television, I switch it on to find that the highlights are playing for the ball last night. As I step into the bathroom I listen to the presenter, Caesar Flickerman, ramble on about how good all the tributes looked and how well we were getting along. I stare at myself in the mirror and pull my hair back into a pony tail. There are speckles of cosmetic products still present on my face so I rub it with water, still listening to the television.
I walk back into the room and head straight over to the wardrobe and try to remember where the training clothes are stored; turns out they are in a draw at the top of the wardrobe for some bizarre reason. I go to get changed when I hear Caesar Flickerman announce something that makes my heart stop. “Is it love at first sight for Katniss and Cato?” I turn to the television to see repeats of our dance last night playing and then shots of us eating together are played one after another. They don’t know what we were talking about at either of those moments so obviously they are just guessing.
I change quickly and stare at myself in the mirror; these training outfits are pretty soft. All black except the red and grey additions to the sleeves, stitched onto the sleeve is my district number, as if people need to be reminded. The bottoms are stretchy, black and soft at the same time. I find a pair of shoes tucked away at the back of the wardrobe which are also black and comfy.
I leave my room, heading straight for the living space. To my annoyance I find Peeta, Effie and Haymitch watching the highlights I was just watching. All of them turn to me when they see me appear. “Morning, Sweetheart.” Haymitch says with a drink present in his grasp. “Have fun last night?” He winks and I almost gag at how vile a human can be.
“If this is about what that stupid presenter is saying, it isn’t true. They couldn’t hear what we were saying so how would they know?” I say without another thought. Maybe I should have thought it through because now I realize what I just said makes it sound like I am trying to cover something up. Peeta raises his eyebrows at me and I want to hit him. “Anyway, you left after about ten minutes so you can’t talk. What happened to trying?” I say angrily.
Effie shoots up to stop the argument. “I will have no fighting in my home while I am here, Katniss.” She pauses and looks me down, smiling at my training uniform happily. “Anyway, now that you are awake we can eat!” Effie totters off into the dining room where an array of food sits waiting on the table for us. The service is impeccable.
I sit at the table and dig into anything I think is edible and may taste slightly nice. They have weird tastes in the Capitol but it is better than dry bread and water. They give me something called tea which is supposed to make you feel awake and alert. I feel the effect within two minutes and feel chirpy and ready to go.
We eat in mostly silence; none of us seem to be able to think of anything to say to each other. I certainly can’t think of anything appropriate. All I want to do is get down to training and get started. “When does training start?” I ask Effie.
Haymitch replies, to my disgust. “Eagar, Sweetheart?” I shoot him a look and he shuts up. Maybe looks can kill.
Effie coughs to grab all of our attentions. “You can go down whenever you want.” She says and with that I get up from my chair and hear it scrape along the wooden floor, probably making a mark.
What a shame...
Effie coughs, stopping me. I spin on my heel and make eyes contact with her. “Take Peeta with you. Look like a team.” I sigh and usher Peeta to get up and follow closely. He does.
I click the button on the elevator and step into it, Peeta following. “Listen Peeta, I don’t like you and you don’t like me. We are not going to be friends, and I am definitely not going to train with you.” I turn to him. “Got that?” Peeta nods, he is intimidated. I wanted to intimidate him so he wouldn’t mess with me.
I have never liked Peeta; all he has ever done for me was chuck me the burnt bread. I am thankful for that, I was starving and he helped me but that is all.
The elevator opens and I follow Peeta to the training room. How does he know where it is? Effie could have told us and I wasn’t listening or he went snooping around after he left the ball last night. The second seems like him.
As we step into the training room I am blown away at how modern it is. There are different corner and training parts for each type of weapon, then stations where you can learn how to make survival things. Immediately my eyes flicker to the bow section and my eyes light up with joy. Peeta sees this. “You hunt right?” I turn to him and nod. Peeta senses that I don’t want to talk to him and he toddles off to a survival station.
I am drawn to the bow. I shouldn’t reveal my strengths so early in the program but what will it matter when I have Cato on my team? I am here to intimidate and not make friends, I can intimidate by shooting the bow right in to the bull’s-eye.
Walking over slowly to the bow section, I notice there is no line. I grab a bow and feel the spine. These bows are metal and not wood like the ones I would normally use. The arrows are also metal, they are cold to the touch but I can still use them.
I set my sights and bring the bow up. It is all in the technique and I bet none of these have even touched a wooden bow. The ones in districts one and two probably have the metal ones like in the Capitol. They won’t know how to work with the weather or terrain to catch their prey, but I do.
The bow is set now and I take a deep breath and when I exhale I release the bow. It flies straight into the bull’s-eye. I smile at my achievement and decide that now I can take it one step further.
There are buttons next to me and rules that explain what to do and how to do it. I click a button that will move the targets around. It doesn’t seem that great from the amount technology they have here.
I swing the bag of arrows on my back and put one in the bow. It counts down from three and then I am off, shooting arrows in all directions. All of the targets are hit perfectly and once they are hit they stop moving. This is too easy.
It only takes me twenty seconds to shoot all of the targets and in the bull’s-eye of each one. I collect the arrows and place them back in the bag. When I turn I am surprised, I have accumulated a crowd watching me. At the back is Peeta who is staring at me with wide eyes. I register the faces of the others, they are definitely intimidated. I am impressed with myself.
Then my eyes shoot up to the person stood front row, Cato. He smiles and crosses his arms at me. I place the bow and arrows back and walk straight over to him. “Did I do good?” I have push my head back to meet his eyes but he seems impressed.
Cato walks me away from the bow area and the crowd to a little corner near the back. “Where did you learn to do that?” Cato seems happy that he chose me now and I like that.
“My dad taught me a little.” I would tell him the full story but there is the head game maker and evaluators in a box above the training centre. I could get arrested for what I do back in district twelve. “Am I on your team now?” I ask with a wide smile.
Cato nods and laughs, “You most definitely are Katniss.” I blush. “Hey, did you see the highlights for the ball?” I stare up at him and nod slowly. “Can you believe what they were saying?”
I laugh a little. “I know right. Haymitch was making fun of what it said. It was humiliating.” Cato seems a little hurt by my words but I explain, “Because it was national television you know.” Cato nods and uncrosses his arms.
“Hey, you need to show me what you can do!” Cato lightens up and leads me away from the corner. This pairing better not fire up on me. I want to try and live through most of the games.