Ever since the Quarter Quell, all I could think about was her. Her. Katniss Everdeen. To me, Katniss was more than just the girl on fire. She was the girl that stole my heart. She was the girl that. . . That. . . Was gone. Taken from me. The moment her name was called in the reaping, she was taken from me. I don't care if she didn't know me before then, or at least didn't pay attention to me. I don't know a world where she wasn't there, beside me in the Hunger Games. Ever since those games she was all I could think about. Now she was gone. Where, I didn't know. But it definitely wasn't here. With me. Now she was gone. Gone, out of my life. Who had done it? I didn't even like to think of his retched name, with his white hair, perfectly matching it.
I woke up in a dark, cold room. The very air tasted like blood, burning my throat. I coughed, and the gurgling sound bounced off the walls. Alone. Alone was what I was. Alone. I wished to feel Katniss' hair twirling in my fingers. I wished to hear her breathing as she dreamt, and as I comforted her in her nights full of nightmares. But in my dark cell there was no wishing well, and I had no coins. I couldn't wish upon her. Not even on a star, for here, there was none. No light, or even a flash of hope lingered. Only the cold darkness that filled the soul of everyone here.
I remembered something I said back on the Victor's Tour. I had said that 'life is not measured by how many years, but by how many lives we touch around us'. Had I touched Katniss' life? And if I had, was it in a good or bad way? Had I led her to safety, or was she in the same doom that forced upon me now? Shivers went up my spine, and I curled myself into a ball, blocking out all sounds of life around me. Because I was alone. Alone, without her.
At the very thought I screamed out all of my pain and anger, and threw it at the wall. My fists pained from the hit, but I punched the metal solid again, and again. My rage seemed to fill the room, as I screamed at the top of my lungs, "You give her back! Don't you hurt her! You hurt her, and you're already dead!" but my screams turned into sobs, and I sank down to the floor again. My slams to the wall turned to soft taps, and I realized what I was doing; a simple type of code I was taught when I was younger, called Morse Code. I smiled and started tapping more rapidly. I broke into sobs as I realized what I was tapping: I love you.
I started drawing in the dirt, making detailed drawings of trees, then a river. I wiped my hand across the dusty dirt and then started drawing something different. I started by drawing a circle. Then twelve sections, filled with water. Then I drew the trees. Scraping the ground again, I sighed, and then drifted off to sleep again, curling up in the middle of the tight space.
A loud bang thundered on the hatch. I squirmed back into the corner, as if I would disappear from sight the moment I touched it. The guard who had barged in, grabbing me by the ankles. I yelled out, but of course no one heard me. He dragged me out, not even caring to close the hatch.
When I noticed it, I found he had long, black boots with a white uniform. His hair was black and curly, done in a long ponytail along his thick back. The man had to weigh at least 550 lbs, from the looks of him. Looked to me as if he had too much for lunch.
The man grunted as we reached a double door at the end of the hallway. I groaned when he threw me to the floor as soon as he pushed his way though. There he sat before me. The man of my haunting nightmares, my worst fear, and the match to the fire of my anger.
"Snow." I muttered. The name bit me in the tongue as soon as it escaped my lips.
"Ah, Peeta." The man muttered. " You finally arrived." he said, his haunting smile spread across his pale, smooth skin. I nodded toward him.
"Loved the escort. Got my whole face shoved in the soft carpet on my way here." I said sarcastically. The guard raised a club-like stick, ready to beat me for my uncalled-for-comment.
"No." he said to his guard. "Go check on the others while I deal with him." said Snow. He nodded gracefully to his guard and he stomped off, muttering something about never getting to use his club on prisoners.
"Where's Katniss?!" I said. "What did you do to her?"
"She's not here Peeta. Katniss isn't. . Under our protection. I'm under the impression she's in a long lost district. District number13. Never trusted them to keep their mouths shut. Pretty soon the rest of the districts are going to be hauling their scrawly bodies for protection from them. It would be a pity to kill them off. Which is why I need you. You could save them, if you did me one small favor." said Snow. He looked at me for a long moment, and then continued.
"Every day, after your small meal for lunch, we will put you live. Hopefully you will catch Katniss' and District 13's eye. You will say whatever message I want you to, making whatever influence on them I want. You will not ask questions, and you will not ask my purpose. All you need to know is that it isn't something you would want to know." he said. There was a long moment's silence.
I finally answered. "Only if she isn't harmed." I said.
"To the best of our ability." Snow said. The guard came in as if my agreement was his signal to take me back to the cell. He dragged me along the hallway again and flung me in.
Minutes passed. Then several, and then hours. "My name is Peeta Mellark. My name, is Peeta Mellark." I muttered, and my eyes fluttered shut.