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."


7. Annie In Her Wedding Dress

I’ve always known Annie, or at least, I’ve known her for as much of forever as I can recall – ever since I was small and she was smaller. I taught her to swim and she taught me to tie fishing nets. We always seemed to fit together, perhaps because we both liked water more than the fish that swam in it and preferred the sunrise to the anchor stars.

When I was twelve and she was less she kissed my cheek and said. “They won’t pick you now. I gave you good luck.”

She was right.

When I was thirteen and she was twelve, I returned the favour, “just-in-case-and-because-it-worked-last-time.”

When I was fourteen we’d decided that kisses were not good luck charms and so we exchanged them whenever we chose. Whatever point we made that decision was when the charms lost their potency.

“Finnick Odair,” they said and my name billowed grotesquely from every turning head.

And I was marked for life.

When I was nineteen and she eighteen we tried to exchange kisses as tokens but they meant nothing anymore. No physical love carried any depth because I gave such tokens to the Capitol every night. We both wanted them to mean something but they didn’t. We both wanted them to grant good luck but they didn’t.

“Annie Cresta,” they said and she rocked herself into insanity.

And I erupted into myself.

I bargained and begged with the sunrise – ‘let her come home, let her come home’ – but forgot to strangle and stopper the loopholes and so they let her come home but they forced her to leave most of her mind behind.

She would sit with her hands clinging to her ears like limpets, her eyes shut tight against the world and I would wish that I could prise open all her locked doors and whisper myself back into her mind. Sometimes I would find that, when shut, I’d forget the colour of her eyes and I’d be haunted by it until I saw them again. She’d say things that had no meaning and laugh like we were old jokes when I said I loved her.

We used to sit on the pebbles and try to find a piece of sea to look at that didn’t seem to be either hating us or holding us prisoner. It was hard; the whole of Panem was a prison and it was not even necessary to venture beyond ourselves to find barred windows and disposed-of keys to disposed-of pasts.

We watched the world of ordinary people at work and knew we were excused from it. We were Victors and yet our victory was so sour that we would have worked our skin away to fish-hook bones if we could have removed it. Victory meant prostitution and madness.

What glory.

We became beautiful stigmas; endlessly enviable and perfectly flawed.

She was still Annie Cresta and I was still Finnick Odair but we were no longer the children who slaved fish into crates and lived off the crumbs. We were pedestalled in thorned crowns and robes of blood.

We’re not anymore those two names anymore, I suppose.

Annie Odair – the pairing is immortalised in a name. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t quite the people we once were because we still fit together like the weave of sea twine and we still intertwine our names although intertwined bodies don’t mean so much to me anymore.

A name is the proof that I loved her and still, still, still cannot stop loving her.

A marriage of names and a marriage of two shattering, ecstatic people.

You aren’t generally blessed with such happiness in Panem; you aren’t generally blessed with second chances.

In that moment, though, it seemed that our chances were bountiful and the future and the districts and The Capitol might just have been boats on the horizon. Our chances had brought us all the way to a wedding dress and a smile and a pair of eyes that remembered that they loved me back. And all I could think of was that mast on my dad’s boat and I began to wonder if Beyond Panem was not so much a place but a feeling. That feeling of limitless ecstasy, an oasis of calm and I couldn’t bring myself to care that my thoughts were washy and sickly and impossible because it was Annie. I simply had to see the raw truth of her smile to embrace it all.

I felt endless.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...