The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Only I keep wishing I could think of a way…to show the capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than a piece in their games.

I realize, for the first time, how very lonely I’ve been in the arena. How comforting the presence of another human being can be.

Sometimes when things are particularly bad, my brain will give me a happy dream.

I just…I just miss him. And I hate being so alone.

She has no idea. The effect she can have.

“You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,“ he whispers.
„Real,“ I answer. „Because that’s what you and I do, protect each other.”

It’s a long shot, it’s suicide maybe, but I do the only thing I can think of. I lean in and kiss Peeta full on the mouth. His whole body starts shuddering, but I keep my lips pressed to his until I have to come up for air. My hands slide up his wrists to clasp his. „Don’t let him take you from me.“
Peeta’s panting hard as he fights the nightmares raging his head. „No. I don’t want to. . .“
I clench his hands to the point of pain. „Stay with me.“
His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. „Always,“ he murmurs.

It just goes around and around, and who wins? Not us. Not the districts. Always the capitol. But I’m tired of being a piece in their games.

Trapped for days, years, centuries maybe. Dead, but not allowed to die. Alive, but as good as dead. So alone that anyone, anything no matter how loathsome would be welcome.

Still, I hate them. But, of course, I hate almost everybody now. Myself more than anyone.

If he wants me broken, then I will have to be whole.

He never lets go of Annie’s hand. Not when they walk, not when they eat. I doubt he ever plans to.

It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.

Jackson has devised a game called „Real or Not Real“ to help Peeta. He mentions something he thinks happened, and they tell him if it’s true or imagined, usually followed by a brief explanation

[He understands I don’t want anyone with me today.] I don’t want anyone with me today. Not even him. Some walks you have to take alone.

„I knew you’d kiss me.“
„How?“ I say. Because I didn’t know myself.
„Because I’m in pain,“ he says. „That’s the only way I get your attention.“

„How are you managing? And don’t say you’re fine.“
It’s true. Whatever the opposite of fine is, that’s what I am.

I’ve stopped talking because there’s really nothing left to say and there’s this piercing sort of pain where my heart is.

I know he was desperate. That makes people do all kinds of crazy things.

[That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself.] What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
So after, when he whispers, „You love me. Real or not real?“
I tell him, „Real.“

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