Prim lays sprawled across the couch, her head nestled gently in my lap. As I run my hand across her newly braided hair, I realise how much she resembles that awful cat. Not physically, of course, but through her posture. Buttercup would lay stretched in a similar position, however it would be Prim softly caressing his head, not me. Even with our differences aside, the cat and I had never become great friends. Prim, on the other hand, took to him with a natural bond, and wept perpetually for days after his death; just as she had done when I spoke of her aunt, Buttercup’s original owner. I did, however, assure my daughter that Primrose Everdeen would have been honoured to pass this ownership down to her namesake. The reassurance earned me a watery smile, at least.
She seems to wake now, her eyelids fluttering softly as her right leg stretches above her left. At the sudden movement, the back of her shirt peeks slightly out of her skirt. An inescapable, breathy laugh escapes my lips. Prims eyes dart open, blue and alert.
“Mummy?” she asks, caught in a haze of sleepiness.
“Sorry,” I whisper, guilt rapidly spreading through my body. “I didn’t mean to wake you. But you should tuck in your tail, little duck,” My voice nearly fails me.
Her eyes begin to droop, yet a smile forms on her lips. “I should probably-“
“We’re home!” A voice interrupts. A soft, gentle voice, which fills the room like an old favourite song. A voice which brings to mind warmth and safety, alongside years of comfort and reassurance. A voice possessing power to transform my veins from ice to fire. Peeta.
Prim props herself up on one elbow, preparing for his entrance. I recognise what she plans to do, and intend to join her. As he enters the room, arms full of freshly baked bread, Prim and I shoot Peeta a disapproving look. Our eyes follow him, circling the perimeter of the room, until he finally speaks up.
“I spend my morning excited to see the two wonderful women in my life, and this is what I’m greeted with?” He places a hand on his hip, a grin breaking through his mock-anger.
“You woke her up,” I inform him.
“Yes,” Our daughter adds. “Which is almost as bad as someone else waking me first.”
Shooting me a sharp look, she abruptly jumps up and reaches for the bread.
“Honestly,” Peeta begins, walking in my direction. “You’d think the bread is more loved than me.”
I fight back the urge to tell him that, in fact, nobody is more loved than him. At least not by me. Instead, I laugh and allow him to plant a kiss on my forehead.
“Where’s Finn?” I ask. Finnick, our son, proves to be far more reckless than his namesake. A few days ago, he had travelled all the way to district three, alongside his friends. The boy is constantly on some form of adventure, although I can’t deny relating to his desire for freedom.
“Walking,” Peeta responds, before adding: “Probably.”
I hear the sound of a news reporters voice from the adjacent room. Assuming Prim has turned on the tv, I motion for Peeta to sit beside me. He folds his legs in delicate manner and attempts to get comfortable, until another voice calls out.
“Mummy! Daddy!” Prim calls, her voice raised, though not frantic. At twelve years of age, I am glad that our daughter has decided to stick to her old names for us. ‘Mummy’ somehow feels more comforting than the tone with which I addressed my own mother.
Peeta and I rise from the sofa, exchanging a glance before heading to where we are needed.