Silver Parachutes or Something

"Far below, I can just make out Finnick, struggling to hang on as three mutts tear at him. As one yanks back his head to take the death bite, something bizarre happens. It's as if I'm Finnick, watching images of my life flash by. The mast of a boat, a silver parachute, Mags laughing, a pink sky, Beetee's trident, Annie in her wedding dress, waves breaking over rocks. Then it's over."
-Mockingjay

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3. A Silver Parachute

When I was fourteen, my life was saved by a silver parachute. When I was fourteen my life was a starving flame under the Captiol’s blanket. It was a fish that flopped on deck and tried to find oxygen it could not breathe. When I was fourteen my life was hung in the balance between past and future; I was on the brink of being flung into the crate with the rest of the catch.

Somehow, a silver parachute tipped me back into the sea.

In truth I maybe should have died because to die would mean to still be whole. Pure, untainted, chastised. Saved for Annie. Then again; I was never whole. I was always cut off or broken, a part of me forever locked away behind the barriers the Peacekeepers instated. I only noticed this when I was fourteen and my name was dancing its way between the crowds of kids. Each one of them suddenly and giddyingly relieved that they had no such death-sentence. Another year to make ourselves alive, they thought.

I’m a piece of glass, I thought, a product of the sand I live off and as brittle as the sunshine. My name read called from the stage was like a tiny stone that was hammered into my splintering core and that reduced me to little shards. All these years on and I’m still picking them up; tearing them from the soles of my feet.

I lived because I was not brave enough to refrain from killing. I lived because it seemed important and because I thought that living would mean I could return to fishing boats and stories and Annie. I lived because I assumed that living meant something of worth – perhaps freedom and Beyond Panem. I lived because I wanted to and because I was desperate and young and because of a silver parachute.
 

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