Hey! sorry it took a little while to update, I was spending the night at a friend's house, and my computer broke down :P anyway here is a long chapter, and I will post another one soon. (please let me know what you think in a review, it's helpful to know what you think about the story and if anything can be improved). Thanks!
Chapter four: Hello's and goodbye's.
After Tiffy had led Annita Holmes, and I off the stage, we were shown into two separate rooms to say goodbye to friends and family. The room isn't very large, and is furnished with several big armchairs, and a plush couch. I sat on the couch and waited, thinking about what I had just done. I am going in the games, I might not come back, I have to come back. I hear some footsteps and stand up, I hope I look confident. The door opens, and Robbert walks in.
Is all he says, this is the most serious I've ever seen him.
"I couldn't let you steal all the glory now could I"
I say with a smile. But his eyes are boring into mine, and I know he can see past my confident 'I meant to do that' attitude.
"Finnick, as much as I appreciate you willing to volunteer for me, you shouldn't have."
I stop smiling,
"Why not? I have a better chance of winning then you do, and.." He cuts me off.
"Winning doesn't matter, the games change people Finnick, most of the time for the worse, and I need you to stay who you are...For Annie, she's going to need you."
His tone of voice is scaring me, and his eyes are sad.
"You know I'll always be Annie's friend, no matter what happens. And why are you so insistent that I stay who I am? I might not even make it out of the games alive."
His face hardens, and he grips my arm with more strength then I thought he had.
"That is not an option. You are winning the games. You can't leave Annie alone, I won't let you do that."
I feel a knot in my stomach.
"Alone? What do you mean?"
He lets go of my arm, and sinks into one of the chairs. He looks tired,
"Finnick, we both know what I'm talking about. I'm sick, and there's no cure. I don't know how much time I have left, you shouldn't have volunteered for someone who is dying."
I feel my throat tighten, and my eyes start to well up. I can't cry, I have to look confident. I'm going to need it, not many fourteen year olds end up becoming victor.
"Robbert, they must have a cure for your illness in the capitol, and If I win, I will get you that cure. So don't try and tell me that I volunteered for nothing."
The door opens and a peacekeeper announces that Robberts time is up. He stands,
"I'll be watching you Finnick Odair, don't disappoint me."
I stand up,
He shakes my hand, and walks out the door. I swallow the lump in my throat, as Mrs. Cresta comes in. She walks over to me, and wordlessly gives me a hug. Then she holds my face in her hands,
"Come back home."
is all she says, then she kisses me on the head, and walks out. I try to clear my throat with a cough, but it comes out more like a strangled gasp. The door bursts open, and Annie dashes into the room and throws her arms around my waist, sobbing into my chest.
I say softly, this is almost a code between us. It means, everything's going to be ok, and I'm always here for her. She gets her sobs into control enough to talk.
"Finn...I don't want to lose you."
I lead her over to the couch, and sit with her. I push the hair out of her face so I can see her.
"You wont lose me, I'm going to win, and I'm going to come back here."
She half smiles.
"If you win wouldn't you want to live in the capitol?"
I give her a disgusted look.
"I thought we both agreed that we hate the capitol?"
She wipes the tears from her face.
"Well, we do. Don't let them change you Finn, okay? If you win, I want you to come back home, not someone else that just looks like you."
I run my fingers through my hair and grin at her.
"Oh please, they could never find someone who looks as good as me."
She taps my nose with her finger,
"Sure, whatever you say. Here."
She reaches up and unfasten her necklace.
"Will you take this as your token?"
She hands it to me. It's a simple thin gold chain, with a single gold charm in the shape of a trident. I slip it over my head.
"Thank you. I'll never take it off, it'll be my good luck charm."
There's nothing left to say, so we sit together and hold hands until the peacekeeper said her time is up. The reality that she might never see me again must hit her. Because she clings to me tightly and wont let go. The peacekeepers come in and pull her off of me screaming. They carry her out kicking wildly, and I just have time to shout.
"I'll come back Annie, I promise!"
Before they slam the door. After about a minute, Tiffy comes in and declares.
"Alrighty then! Time to toddle on over to the train!"
I smile as confidently as I can, and follow Tiffy out. Annita meets us, and we follow Tiffy to the train station. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Sleek and shiny, with not a mark on it. There are some reporters at the station, but Tiffy dismisses them with a wave. Once we board the train, Tiffy shows us the main rooms we'll be using.
"This is the lounge, where you can just relax and enjoy the luxuries. Here is the dining car, where we'll have all our meals, and this is Annita's room, and down the hall is yours Finnick. You can go freshen up, or just explore. Dinner will be served at six sharp, don't be late!"
She says with annoying cheerfulness. Then she clips off down the hall, leaving Annita and I alone in the hallway.
"I don't think we've officially met, I'm Finnick Odair."
She shakes my hand, and I am surprised how strong her grip is, but than again, she is a career.
"Annita Holmes. Look, lets not pretend to be friends, we both know only one of us can make it home. It would just make it harder to get to know each other."
"Fair enough, we both understand that we're adversary, lets just save the fighting for the arena, deal?"
She goes into her room and shuts the door. And I decide to try and find mine. I walk down the hall looking for a door. I see a young woman with blonde hair down the hall.
She looks up and hurry over, she raises her eyebrows questioningly.
"Um..hi I'm Finnick Odair, can you tell me where my room is?"
She nods and motions for me to follow her, I do and she leads me down the hall and to the right, she stops in front of a door.
"Is this it?"
I ask, she nods.
"Well thank you miss...?"
She shakes her head quickly and disappears down the hall. I stand for a minute and try to figure out why she didn't say anything, then I realise she must be an avox. A traitor of the capitol, who gets their tongue cut out and must work as a servant. I shiver and walk into my room.
It's one of the largest rooms I have ever seen, a giant bed sits in the middle, and a equally large dresser sits on the other side of the room. There is a door that leads to a bathroom, with a marble tub that has steps leading into it, and a large automatic shower. I've heard about them, inside is a panel that has hundreds of washing options, from water temperature, to what scent of soap you want. I leave it for now, and explore what kind of clothes are in the dresser. They're normal enough, but much finer quality then I've ever seen.
I change into a soft white shirt, and black pants. I see a clock on the nightstand, that says it's five fifty. I find a comb in the bathroom, and run it hurriedly through my hair. Then I walk casually to the dining car. There is a table set up for five, but only has one person sitting at it. The elder woman from the reaping, she's this years mentor. She looks lost in thought, but when she sees me she stands up and walks over with a smile.
"Hello Finnick, my name is Mags. I will be your mentor."
I shake her hand,
"It's a pleasure to meet you Mags. Where are the others?"
She waves a hand airily,
"Oh, here or there. Tiffy's probably still getting ready Annita will most likely show up late, and Bruce will be at the bar."
"Is Bruce the other mentor?"
"Yes, he will be Annita's mentor. Excuse me asking, but how old are you again? I wasn't paying much attention at the reaping."
She stares at me scrutinizing.
"That's okay, I zone out at the reaping too. I was fourteen six months ago."
She raises her eyebrows.
"Really? I see, I see."
She mumbles something to herself, and sits back down at the table. Bruce walks in with a glass of amber liquid in his hand. He nods to me, and sits down beside Mags. I decide to sit as well. In a minute we are joined by Annita and Tiffy.
We are served huge portions of food I have no name for, all kinds of meat pies and pastas, and for dessert a giant chocolate cake. The adults make small talk, but for the most part the meal is spent in silence. I hardly eat anything, even though it's the best things I've ever tasted. When I'm finished I excuse myself from the table and go to my room.
Mags tells me that her and Bruce will talk to Annita and I tomorrow. I'm grateful, because the last thing I want now is to discuss what the best way to kill someone is. I change into some comfortable shorts, then crawl into bed shirtless. The sheets are soft and the mattress feels like a cloud, and I soon drift off into a deep sleep.