I wake up in the morning to feel my little sister cuddled up to me. Of course. She usually sleeps with my mom, but since it’s my first reaping day, she feels scared for me. My mom is sleeping in a bed with my little brother, Vick. I guess my brother is out hunting with his friend, Katniss. She has a little sister, my best friend, Prim. Sometimes, I wish she could be more than my friend, but right now, my chances are slim. Just as they are of getting picked in the Hunger Games. Yet, it’s possible. My brother’s name is in there forty-two times, because of tesserae. Yet, he won’t let me sign up for it. Katniss has her name in twenty times. Gale is eighteen while Katniss is sixteen. So, next year, if she signs up for tesserae again, she will be at about twenty-four.
Since I need all the sleep I can get, and I don’t want to wake up little four year old Posy, I close my eyes and eventually go back to sleep. I dream about me and Prim getting married. Having children. And I can honestly say that it was the best dream I ever had.
“Wake up, lazy bones,” Posy says, shaking me and giggling. She is wearing a simple dress with polka dots and a bow to match it. Her shoes are just plain black. She isn’t even in the reaping and she looks as though she is ready.
“Hey Po, what time is it?” I ask, wiping my eyes. My brother is awake as well, but still no Gale. He might just be waiting for us at the reaping.
“Nearly one. You have to wake up Roary,” she says again. She always calls me that, because she couldn’t say my real name. As soon as I’m done getting dressed, Gale comes through the door.
“Are you ready for the reaping Rory?” asks my brother Gale. That’s a dumb question. He is asking me if I am ready to enter a raffle for death. I guess my look said it because he says “No one ever is. Rory, don’t worry about it. You have as much chance as Prim of being picked.” When he says that, I start to get mad. Who would want to think about their best friend to be in a raffle to fight to the death? He wouldn’t like it if I said that about Katniss. I think it’s bad enough that they make the guys do it, but sick for the girls to have to. I don’t know what I would do if Posy entered and I couldn’t do anything about it. I know. I would teach her everything I know. And if that fails, I will do something to make sure she wins. Anything, even if it means dying. Too bad, if I get picked today, Gale wouldn’t be able to teach me anything. But, I’m sure I could find something I’m good at. I don’t suck that bad. And if I do, I could always hide and hope for the best like the victor of the 65th Hunger Games, Annie Cresta. But, I don’t want to go crazy………..
“Okay, let’s go,” I say, starting to feel sick.
Once we get to our spots, I try to find Prim in the crowd. Once I find her, I give her a reassuring smile. There is next to no chance of us getting picked.
The crazy, ugly capital lady, I think her name is Effie, comes onto the stage and plays the stupid video about why and how we are playing the games. All I hear is blah bla blah. I am too busy watching Primrose for a reaction. But, soon I see she isn’t paying attention either. She is looking at me. As soon as our eyes meet she mouths “No matter what happens, you will be all right,” Oh my god I am starting to tear up. I quickly mouth back “don’t worry, we won’t get picked.” Then, I look at the screen and shake my head. No tears. Not here right now.
The next thing I hear is, “It is both a time for repentance and a time for thanks.” That’s the mayor. “In the past 74 years, only one is alive. Haymitch Abernathy! But, here is the escort, Effie!”
“Ladies first, as always,” Effie says, walking to the bucket, and putting her hand in She keeps moving her hand around the bucket, humming. I really don’t see why that is necessary. We are standing here hoping not to be picked and she is taking her sweet ass time, singing a tune. She would have died if she was one of us. I bet this is enough time for one of us to have a heart attack. She finally picks out one and reads the name “Primrose Everdeen.”
I couldn’t lose her. I love her too much. She is my everything. I see Katniss running up. But, I am too fast for her. Before she gets there, I say those words that will change my life forever: “I volunteer as tribute!” Everyone looks at me with wide eyes. They look more upset than they do when a 12 year old gets picked in the first place. I expect it too. I mean, first a 12 year old gets picked, then a 12 year old volunteers? I expected that. When I walk up to be taken away by the peacekeepers, Prim screams at me “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS RORY? YOU CAN’T YOU CANT.”
I whisper back to her, “I’m sorry.” She continues to scream, but Gale picks her up and takes her away. What have I done? I gave myself the death penalty, that’s it. Katniss was going to volunteer, but instead I did. She had a better chance of winning than I do. But, she is a girl. I couldn’t let her do it. I know for a fact Prim will never forgive me