sorry this chapter is kind of short, but I wanted them to arrive at the capitol on a fresh chapter. Hope you guys are enjoying the story so far!
Dinner is awkward, and that’s an understatement. Since Gale and I fought in my room , we haven't said a word to each other. The only other people at the table for me to talk to are Effie and our mentor, Haymitch, and one of them is currently drunk out of his mind. Effie, like usual, is blabbering about something that no one else could care less about.
Dinner is served in waves, and I do my best to stuff my face before a new plate is set in front of me. Across from me, Gale is doing the same.
"manners!" Effie must yell about a thousand times, but we both ignore her, gorging on the delicious capitol food we've never tasted before. Some sort of soup is set in front of me, and I don’t even use a spoon to slurp it up, drinking straight from the bowl. Effie almost has a heart attack.
"I have one week to turn them from animals into human beings" she mutters to herself, adjusting the napkin on her lap. I scoff. Yeah, we're the animals.
"now, lets get down to business" she says, folding her hands together. "if you didn’t know, this is Haymitch. He will be your mentor, teaching you survival skills for the arena" we both glance over at Haymitch, who is now passed out in his soup. Sure. He's gonna teach us survival skills.
Gale smirks across the table, and I can tell he's thinking the same thing. We're not going to learn anything we don’t already know from Haymitch. Gale and I aren't the best fighters, (though we can definitely defend ourselves) but we know how to survive out in the woods without a doubt. We can build a fire (though a bad idea in the arena) and Gale excels at building snares. Not to mention I can aim a bow with my eyes closed.
"I don’t think he's going to be much help" my best friend chuckles as Effie prods Haymitch with a fork. He doesn’t stir, and the ditzy escort finally gives up on him. "oh well. Ill make sure he's fresh as a daisy tomorrow morning so he can start, well, mentoring" she giggles, and for a second I think she's been drinking too, but I realize that’s just her. Some of the servants come and take our empty bowls. "Now get to bed you two. You have a big big day tomorrow!" Effie says excitedly. I roll my eyes again. Honestly if I can take one more day of her annoying voice, it'll be a miracle.
I quietly head to my room, Gale not far behind." Katniss! Katniss, wait!" he whispers, grabbing my arm to stop me. I swivel around. I'm still angry at him. How could he really expect me to just stand back and let him sacrifice himself for me? No, just no. I wasn’t some damsel in distress that he had to save. I was strong, and I could defend myself. " what do you want Gale?" I snap. He looks taken aback.
"I want to apologize for before. I shouldn’t have been so quick to say I'd sacrifice myself for you. You're more than capable to defend yourself." he says, eyes burning into mine. I look away, crossing my arms.
"you're forgiven" I reply. He takes a step closer to me. "Whatever happens in the arena Katniss, I'll be by your side. No matter what. You’re the strongest girl I've ever met, but sometimes even hero's need a sidekick." he says, smiling a bit. I return the smile. You're the strongest girl I've ever met he had said. I replay that sentence over and over in my head.
He takes another step closer to me studying the gold pin I forgot was on my dress. "where'd you get this?" he asked, confused. I clear my throat, because it suddenly feels as dry as a desert. "m-Madge gave it to me when she visited me in the justice building. As a district token" I reply. His gray eyes meet mine, confused. "she visited you?" he asks quizzically.
I nod, unable to speak. He moves in closer to touch the pin, and I swear he can hear my heart beating, like how he usually does out in the woods. In a split second he has it unpinned and is holding it up to the light.
"Why a mockingjay?" he asks. I shrug. I'm wondering the same thing myself. He bites down on it. "its real gold you know" "I know. I could tell by the weight"
He pins it back onto my dress, careful not to poke me. "you're lucky to have a district token. Something to remind you of district 12. I didn’t actually believe I'd be reaped, so I don’t have one" he smiles halfheartedly and tucks a strand of hair behind my ear.
"you have me" I say, looking up to meet his eyes. Its true. He has me and I have him. We're each others district tokens. He smiles, this time revealing his straight white teeth. Again, we stare at each other too long to be polite. We've been doing that a lot lately.
"Peeta Mellark visited me" he says, changing the subject. "why? What did you talk about?" I ask nervously. My mind travels back to my one and only memory of Peeta. It involved a starving 12 year girl, and angry mother and a burnt loaf of bread. Gale doesn’t know that Peeta saved my family and I that day. Usually I told him everything, but not that. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that.
"he asked me to get you out of the aren….Katniss wait!" he yells, the last part because I started storming away. "why does everyone think I can't protect myself?" I yell, slamming my hand on the button to my room."Catnip that's not what he meant" he pleads, following me. "then what did he mean, huh? Because it seems an awful lot like you guys think I'm weak and defenseless. I can protect myself. If you're still planning to sacrifice yourself so I can live, you might as well just stay away from me." I reply angrily. The last thing I see is his sad gray eyes before the door shuts in his face.