I am woken before dawn by a sudden wave of nausea. I jump out of the warm embrace of Peeta's arms in my bed and rush to the bathroom opposite our bedroom. I hear the bed creak as he gets up to follow me. I vomit into the toilet while Peeta holds my hair back and rubs my back soothingly. My head throbs painfully and before long, I finish and use the rail on the wall to pull myself up to sit on top of the toilet lid.
"Sorry," I whisper, looking down at my trembling hands resting on my lap. "I didn't mean to wake you".
"That doesn't matter," Peeta replies, running a hand through his messy, blonde hair. "Are you ok?" I nod, but even that tiny motion makes my stomach churn. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to force the nausea away. Peeta looks at me worriedly, then speaks: "I'm not letting you go to the woods today, you're sick." I just gaze at him, too weak to protest. He holds his hand out to me and I stand up. He leads me back to bed and then goes downstairs to get me a drink. No less than thirty seconds after he goes downstairs, I feel saliva beginning to build up in my mouth and a familiar feeling overwhelms me. With my head spinning, I press my hand over my mouth and run to the bathroom again. On my way back to bed, I suddenly feel dizzy and unstable, I clutch at the wall for support. Everything goes dark.
I wake up in bed with a cool, damp flannel on my forehead. Peeta is sitting beside me. "Hi," he says.
"Hi," I smile weakly. "What happened?"
"You fainted. I heard a bang from downstairs and found you, unconscious on the floor ten minutes ago. I was scared." He says, an unusual frown on his face. His eyes are filled with worry and concern.
I sit up slightly and reach for the glass of water on the bedside table. After taking a sip, I turn to Peeta "I feel better now, I'm sure it's just stomach flu or something, don't worry.
"I'll try not to," he says with the smile I love "Just let me look after you until you're better."
"Fine," I sigh. He leans in and presses his lips to my forehead. He smells like grass and fresh bread. He pulls away and we spend the rest of the afternoon in bed, talking about the bakery, while Peeta draws me in his sketchbook. Eventually, I fall asleep.
It's dark. So dark. Panic wells in my chest and I try desperately to see my surroundings. I stumble forwards, my arms outstretched, reaching for something. My hands brush against something hard and solid: a tree. I can see now – there are hundreds of trees, but not my trees in the woods at home. They're rubbery and tall, with no branches. I can see sand and water in the distance. I suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of longing, like a part of me is missing and I know I have to find something… or perhaps someone. The ground swoops upwards and I am suddenly standing before the cornucopia from the seventy-fourth Hunger Games. I hear a cold, humourless laugh that fills me with dread. That sound can only belong to one person: President Snow.
He's standing on the cornucopia holding a small bundle of what appears to be blankets in his arms. The overpowering odour of roses disguising the smell of fresh blood reaches my nostrils. I fight the urge to vomit. Suddenly, he disappears and a hovercraft appears above me. A claw reaches down and inches closer and closer to the little bundle. I know I have to stop it from happening, to protect it, but the claw is almost touching it and I scream for them to stop, but the world is fading away and I feel helpless.
My eyes fly open, and I realise that the only thing above me is the spotless white ceiling. I draw in a deep, shaky breath and unclench my stiff fists. My whole body is trembling and I'm covered in sweat. I look over and see that Peeta is asleep next to me.
I get out of bed and go downstairs to get a drink. As stand there in the dark, I suddenly feel a persistent ache in my abdomen. I put down the glass in my hand and try to rub the pain away. Eventually, it passes and I go back upstairs.