I woke up, a foreign blanket covering me. I looked around and took in my surroundings. Then, it hit me.
I was on the train to the Capitol.
All the activity from yesterday rushed into my head and I suddenly got a headache. I walked out of Rye's room looking for something to calm my throbbing head.
At first, I see a banquet of food on a long table. Then, someone brushes by me.
"Oh, sorry Willow," Katniss mutters.
I look up at her, who is now smiling. "Oh, it's alright." I pause and think. "Where's Rye?"
She lifts her head up and nods it to my left. Then, she makes her way to the bedrooms.
I brush a strand of hair out of my face as I enter the room and sit next to Rye.
He hands me a biscuit on his plate and keeps eating, not saying a word. I whisper a thanks and start eating.
"How did you sleep?" Rye whispers. I look over at him, who is looking at me.
I take a bite of the biscuit. "Well, I woke up with a mysterious blanket on me in a mysterious room. It was pretty mysterious." Rye chuckles and keeps eating. "Something wrong?"
He shakes his head. "I'm just not looking forward to the next week." He walks over to the table of food and picks up a fruit tart and a croissant. He hands me the tart. "The Games have never really interested me."
I nod. The Games are a lousy entertainment system. I wish they would go back to good times, not times of scaring kids at such a young, fragile age.
Rye nods, apparently thinking what I was thinking. He understands. Most of the Districts do understand. The Games are meant to scare us, not comfort us of peace and order.
Rye looks at me and takes my hand, my dad's ring still on his finger. "Hey. Everything will be okay." He ruffles my short hair. "I promise."
I nod and give Rye a reassuring smile. He's always been the supportive one. He's the glue, keeping everyone from caving into their feelings. He's Rye.
"Thank you Rye." I finish the tart and brush the crumbs into the trash. Then, I walk into my designated bedroom and take in its bare surroundings.
It seems like only a few minutes before Peeta comes in telling me that we're almost to the Capitol. I tie the ribbon around my wrist again and again as two maids lay out outfits on my bed. Once they leave, I run my hand along the clothing. It's so soft, so smooth. I wish Penny or Mom could wear something like this, not me. They would love it.
I slip on a dark purple shirt and black jeans. The jeans have a chain design where my thigh is, which I like. I slip on a black jacket with 12 marked on the shoulder and walk out of my room.
Rye, Katniss, and Peeta were sitting at a wooden table, with Effie nearby in an armchair. They seemed to be in deep conversation since they didn't notice me walk into the room. I ignore them all and go to the water dispenser. After I get my glass, I take a seat next to Effie.
She looks up and puts her hands out. "Oh, child." She runs her gloved hand over the top of my head as I take in her bizarre Capitol outfit. She has a bright orange dress on that stops at her knees, with little fish embroidered in. A purple ribbon is tied around her waist to match her purple hair and gloves.
I nod and finish my water. Right as Effie tells the others I am here, I walk out of the room to the back of the train.
"Willow!" Rye's voice echoes through the hallway, but I keep walking. When I find the end of the train, I stare in awe. A huge U shaped window surrounds me, filling the cart with blue. It reminds me of-
"Penny's eyes are that shade of blue." Rye walks up and puts his arm around me. I turn to him and put my head in his shoulder.
"So are yours." That's when I start to cry.
I've known Rye for ten years. I've grown up with him. He's the brother I never had. He's always there when I need a shoulder. He holds my hand and hugs me even though he's dating Penny. He doesn't care what people think of him because his only friends are girls. He stood up for Penny and I whenever we needed it. He'd share his lunches with us when we forgot our own or couldn't afford it. He never stopped caring.
He rubs my back and holds me tighter every second. He doesn't stop whispering 'Willow'. He just rocks me. Back and forth. Back and forth.