Our floor is the penthouse and Effie is extra excited that she is with us this year. As we step out of the elevator I notice the place is immaculate. I have never seen something so clean but I suppose they want to give the tributes the best Capitol visit because it is their only one...unless you win.
All the furniture is modern and colourful, different and outrageous shapes and patterns. I have never seen something so bright, it almost hurt my eyes. My house is filled with broken furniture that is wooden and cracked in many places from years of faithful service. We never have chance to buy new furniture because we are too busy paying to keep our lives.
What a world we live in.
Effie decides to take us on a tour of the place; she came up earlier to check out the place before we went out on the chariots. She has been bragging the whole way up the elevator about how amazing this place is. She seems very chirpy to me and I’ve only just met her.
First we start in the living space which has a chandelier over the large dining table. I notice how most things are glass and transparent, I have a theory that when there are transparent items in a home then the person who is the owner is trying to emphasise that they have nothing to hide, that they can be trusted. Maybe that is why I see a lot of glass around, they are trying to trick our subconscious into trusting them.
Down a few steps we step into another open area. There is a bar in the corner which Haymitch sparks up at, I watch to see if he goes to it but he just stays stood behind us. There is a massive television on the wall which is showing us the weather outside even though we can see for ourselves from all of the clear glass windows. The technology is amazing; they obviously get it all from district three.
Once out of the room we end up at a hallway. Effie announces that there are three rooms down this hall. To the right are the two for Effie and Haymitch and to the left are mine and Peeta’s rooms. Each has their own bathroom, bed, television, and wardrobe.
Once the tour is done Effie stops us and exclaims, “Where is Haymitch?” I check around us and notice that he is no longer behind us. Peeta is doing the same. Haymitch obviously didn’t like Effie’s tour and Effie has taken that to heart, she seems let down. I wouldn’t know why because so far Haymitch seems like a useless drunk. “Never mind, I don’t why I even try.” Effie dismisses herself. “Anyway, the introductory dinner ball with all of the other tributes is in an hour. Clothes are provided in the wardrobes in your room. Meet in the living space in forty minutes.”
Introductory ball? I had no idea there would be a ball with dancing and eating and stuff like that. But that’s what they do in the Capitol; they have extravagant parties for us to make friends with the other tributes only to kill them mercilessly. I bet it will be aired as well. “Oh, and it will be aired on live TV, so your stylists will be here in five minutes!” I sigh but then think, Cinna is coming.
Peeta and I nod at Effie and leave the room heading down the hall to our room without another word to each other. Peeta hasn’t said anything since Cato was talking to me and he has no reason to.
My room is basic but I don’t care, it is a lot better than my one at home. The bed is a double; there is a lovely wooden chest of draws that has amazing carved detail. I run my hands across it to find that it is super smooth and lovely. The bed has silky sheets. I walk into my bathroom and turn the shower on. I don’t get into the shower I just listen to the water run, it sooths me.
I step back into the bedroom after turning the shower off and look in the wardrobe. As I file through the clothes all I can think of is Cato in his gold costume for the chariot ceremony. I have no idea why he is in my mind, I have never liked a boy in my life or thought about someone this way before but now I am.
There is a knock on my door and I step over to it, opening it slowly but fully. Peeta stands outside the door with wet hair pushed to the side. “Hi.” I say simply.
“Hello.” We stand there in silence for a few moments until he says, “Haymitch said to tell you to dress nice, make an impression.” I nod and think it over, and start to close the door when he adds, “Katniss...”
I open the door a little again, “What Peeta?”
“I’m sorry.” Peeta says. His words confuse me, what is he sorry for? He has done nothing to me from the time that he has known me. “I’m sorry for not coming to you to give you the bread.” The bread, really? I don’t understand why he would be apologising for this now. Then it clicks, his last wishes, his last words. He wants to sort out all the bad things he has done in his life.
“I don’t want your apology.” I say closing the door fully. I don’t want to listen to his pity, he wants the satisfaction and he won’t get it, well not from me. Peeta could be plotting to kill me right this very moment; he could be trying to work out both my weaknesses and strengths.
You can’t really trust anyone when you are a part of these games.
Once again there is a knock at my door and I sigh loudly. “Go away Peeta!” I shout. The door creaks open and I want to slam it in his face but then see that it is Cinna that is walking into my room. “Sorry, Peeta was pestering me a few minutes ago.” I say apologetically. Cinna places a box on my bed, it is black and silver. I hear things clatter inside. “There aren’t knives in there, are there?” Cinna laughs and that makes me ease up.
“Have you found anything you like?” Cinna nods towards the wardrobe and I stand, stepping over to it to file through again. I was looking at the clothes, before Peeta interrupted me earlier. As I am gazing at the clothes Cinna opens up the box and I see different coloured cosmetics. I have heard of them but never had any myself. You put them on your face and they are supposed to make you look better than you already do.
I pull out a long gown from the wardrobe and stare at it. The gown is beautiful, better than anything I have ever worn in my life. It is made of a kind of soft material, smooth and lovely. The material is a deep blue and touches the floor. There must be five different linings inside because it puffs out quite large. There are no straps and that scares me, in case it falls down and humiliates me.
Cinna glances up at me and then back down but straight back up. “Katniss that dress is perfect for you.” He waltzes over to me and takes the dress off of my hands. I smile because for the first time this trip I have made a right choice.
I am told to sit down at the chair in front of the mirror in the bathroom and so I do. Cinna brings the dress and the box of cosmetics into the bathroom as I stare at my own reflection. My eyes are dark from lack of sleep. I have been having bad dreams about what may happen to me in the games, what the others may do to me. Maybe Cinna can get rid of the darkness under my eyes?
Cinna starts taking out cosmetics and applies liquids and powders to my whole face. It feels weird and isn’t a good experience. My face feels like it has put on ten pounds. “What is this supposed to prove?” I ask Cinna. He stops with the cosmetics and looks at me in the mirror.
I sense that he knows I’m not talking about the cosmetics or the dress or the ball. He knows I am talking about the Capitol and their stupid games. Cinna knows and he understands. I can sense it. With one last look he begins putting cosmetics on me again without another word. I know his answer is that he doesn’t agree with what they are doing but you have to be careful in the Capitol, careful of both what you say and do around anyone.
The dress is put on me and as I stare at myself in the mirror I see a different girl to the one that hunts at the boundaries with Gale. I see a girl who is fierce and pretty at the same time, I see a girl who could snap someone’s neck with just a slight touch. I see a girl who could win the games. I feel like I felt at the chariot ceremony.
Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire.