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Land & Sea

By herainab

Drama / Romance

Follow The Ocean

Her sister stands besides her, yawning as they stand behind their parents who bicker in the airport check-in line. It’s early and those catching international flights are all flocking to the airport.

Their mother holds their boarding passes and passports and squabbles away to their father about things that really aren’t necessary. Katniss directs her attention to her phone and blocks her parents out.

Between them they have four large suitcases; a surfboard bag filled with three surfboards, one guitar case and three backpacks. They’ve been up since 4 am and struggling to stay awake as they wait for their 16 hour flight leaving at 8:30.

And between her parents nagging and her sister’s extreme anxiety of flying, she’s dreading the trip, wishing she flew separately or her parents seated her in anywhere other than business class. But this was her parent’s way of making up for the lack of time they’ve spent at home. The lack of family vacations and bonding they’ve done as a family. To sweeten their job, reminding their daughters that if they study hard, they’ll be able to live this life of flying business class, long holidays and living in the high class.

This was basically a plea for Katniss to go into medicine, follow their footsteps and have the opportunity to live this lavish life.

But Katniss isn’t falling for their trap. She’s dead set avoiding studying medicine and wanting to get into the best music program in the country. But her parents have reminded her that they’re not funding such a childish course choice. A career that they think she’ll struggle to succeed in.

But as her sister lets out another yawn, she’s brought to scowl at the back of her parent’s heads and wish she could do whatever the hell she wanted.

The only perk of this trip was meeting up with her cousin who left the country four years prior and the two months spent in Byron Bay. The Undersee’s were the ones who suggested they vacation in Byron Bay at the suggestion of Madge and Katniss. Mostly Madge pestering her parents to get the Everdeen’s to agree. And with that, the Everdeen’s agreed to vacation in Byron Bay and the two families staying in the Undersee’s beach house. The family catching up after years of estrangement.

“Next please.” The attendant calls out.

Their mother steps forward with her family carting the luggage behind them. Katniss rolling a suitcase and the surfboard case behind her. Her sister carrying her guitar case and another suitcase and her father wheeling two suitcases.

Their mother checked them in and their luggage is tagged and sent on the conveyor belt for their flight.

Katniss ordered a large coffee once they were in the business lounge. The hit of caffeine was needed after the crappy morning and nagging undertaken by her parents.

She watches the people come and go, getting ready for the impending flights. She even snickers to herself as she watches those who are running late, running for their lives to get to their gate in time before they miss their flight.

Prim was starting to calm down with the Valium prescribed and was starting to mellow out. She’d be asleep in an hour.

She sips her coffee and eats her toasted ham and cheese croissant and waits for them to be called to their gate. She has her ear buds pressed into her ears and lets her soulful tunes calm her down from the tense morning, sinking further into the plush chair, blocking out the world as she listens to Ben Howard.

Prim engrosses herself in her phone, blogging or texting as if she wouldn’t have internet for the entire 8 weeks they would be away. Her parents settle with the paper and their coffees and continue their bickering. They don’t bother engaging their daughter’s in conversation and were too concerned over patients and trials they’d be leaving for the duration for their vacation.

By the time they board, Prim is beginning to feel the effects of the Valium, hitting the drowsy stage and Katniss helps buckle her sister into her seat, as their parents take the seats in front of them.

They’ve been on enough planes to know the drill. And by the time the seatbelt sign comes off, Katniss curls in for one of the inflight movies and lets the flight carry her, distract her from the real reason they’re on a holiday. She just thinks of the crashing waves and the sun, the exploring and the getting into mischief with Madge and Prim. And mostly, the opportunity to be inspired by a new country.

Her parents wouldn’t let her fly halfway across the world for a trip like this. So she was grateful they agreed to make it a family vacation. Even if they were there to keep an eye on the girls, there were still so many options to explore and be free.

The sixteen hours of recycled air was starting to get claustrophobic but they were close to landing. They were above Australian waters and Katniss could already feel the sand beneath her toes. She was itching for a swim and surf and a good cup of coffee.

It was 4pm when they land in Australia, a full day ahead when they left America.

They were let off the plane and met with the humid spring air, weather that reminds her of California’s Springtime. It wasn’t a climate shock either. They were used to the all year warms and humidity. They lived for the warm days and nights.

A blonde beauty comes crashing through the crowd, enveloping Katniss into her arms.

“I’ve missed you a ton Everdeen.”

“I’ve missed you too Undersee.” She tells her older cousin, squeezing her tighter.

Madge greets the rest of her family and leads them out of the airport and to a Range Rover. They stack the trunk with their luggage and climb into the car.

“Thanks for coming and getting us Madge.” Her father says to his niece.

“It was the least I could do. Getting the train is hell this time of the afternoon and I knew it’d be quicker to collect you all.” She tells the family with a big smile. She had been so excited to see Katniss and Prim, it almost being four years since they had seen each other. And no Skype or phone calls made up for the separation and physical contact.

 “Girls, we’re here.” Their mother says softly, shaking Prim and her awake.

Madge has pulled into a large six-car underground garage, besides Madge’s red Audi hatchback she loves to boast about to her cousin despite Katniss having exactly the same.

“Welcome to Paradise Waters.” She exclaims.

“This the new house Madge?” Her mother asks, walking to the back of the car.

“Yeah it is.” Madge tells her aunt, opening the trunk.

The Undersee’s had only just moved into the U-shaped architecture masterpiece that had taken them almost two years build. It sat on the corner of the court styled street and boasted a 98 metre waterfront view.

They each grab a piece of luggage from the trunk and follow Madge.

They walk to an elevator, taking them up to the first floor of the house to drop off Rosie and James’ luggage as they were staying in the detached one-bedroom guesthouse.

“Wow, this is beautiful.” Prim gasps as they step out onto the first floor of the house.

“I’ll show you to your rooms. Mom and Dad should be home soon but I’ll let you all get settled.”

James and Rosie grab their bags and follow Madge through a set of double doors and to the guesthouse.

The girls leave them to get settled and then are shown upstairs.

“Prim, your room is in there and Katniss you will be in here if you don’t want to share.” Madge says pointing to the two rooms.

Katniss followed Prim into the bedroom, the two of them enjoying sharing a room. The room had views of the water. Katniss drops her suitcase on the ground and collapses on the queen-sized bed. The windows were wide open and the afternoon sea breeze blew through the windows.

Madge lies down across the bed. “Keen to cause mischief in Byron?” She asks with a chuckle, patting River, the Golden Retriever who has joined them on the bed.

“Sure am.” Katniss responds. “So is this one. I’m ready to corrupt her.”

“You’ll never corrupt me, you’re too pure.” Prim replies.

“That’s true.”

“Oh screw both of you.” Katniss huffs.

Prim and Madge giggle wildly, holding onto their stomachs.

The Madge, Katniss remembers has certainly come out of her shell in the last few years. A new country and over 7 thousand miles would force her to come out her shell. But like always she’s still quiet old Madge, so reserved and beautiful. She is now sun kissed and her blue eyes shine like diamonds. She’s absolutely stunning and is gawked at by boys, gaining attention for her stunning looks on social media.

“So, how are the boys going?” Prim asks.

“Take my word for it Prim. Boy’s are a nuisance.” She states. “And immature who think with their dicks. I thought I’d meet more mature guys since I’ve left high school but they’re just as bad as one another. They’re just drunken or drugged up idiots who think they can be douches and think they’re so cool.”

“Touché. Less drama not being involved with them.” Katniss agrees.

“How’s Gale? Still following you around?”

“No, thank god. He’s got college girls to keep him distracted.”

“You still have no idea the effect you have on people.” She chuckles. “Gosh I still wish I was in Santa Monica to see all the gazes and double takes of you.”

Katniss sighs. “Yeah once I grew boobs the boys really started noticing me.”

“They were noticing you before the curves came in. The curves just highlighted your feminine physic.”

“Hardly.” Katniss scoffs looking down at her body that lacks noticeable curves. Madge and Prim had inherited the Undersee’s curves. Prim’s boobs were bigger than Katniss’ and she was only 14.

“She’s right.” Prim says. “You’re still beautiful Katniss and everyone knows it.”

A voice calls them downstairs and they trail downstairs slowly, Katniss’ parents already downstairs in the lavish kitchen with a hard earned drink in front of them.

Katniss notices how well her aunt and uncle look compared to when she saw them before they moved across the world. Her Aunt Michelle was Australian born but never found herself comfortable in America. It was like she was homesick all the time. She didn’t have that glow she seemed to have in photographs from her younger college days. Michelle and her Uncle Paul, her mother’s brother, had been so stressed in the months leading up to the move with a job loss, family issues and the death of Thomas, Madge’s younger brother who had suffered from an incurable tumour in his brain, dying at only 6 years old. The change of scenery and new environment was doing wonders for them. And her aunt had that familiar glow about her again.

Her aunt and uncle looked like totally new people. And surrounded by Michelle’s family was what Michelle needed the most. Even if Nan and Pop Undersee thought they were running away from their problems. That was all Katniss heard from her grandparents when the Undersee’s moved to Australia when really Katniss knew it had been on the cards for years, long before Thomas’ death.

Thomas’ death hit the family quite hard, even Katniss’ parents. Her father was the one who diagnosed the young boy and treated him right up until his final operation. Katniss can still remembers her weak cousin in his hospital bed in the kid’s ward. It was the first time she had experienced death and she knew in that moment she never wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps, becoming a doctor. She didn't want to become anyone’s last hope, she didn’t want families holding onto every word and then blaming her when it all went wrong. She just couldn’t bare the pain of watching people die.

“Girls, it’s lovely to see you again.” Michelle says embracing her nieces. “How are you both?”

“Good.” They both reply.

“That’s great. You two have grown up so much.” She tells them. “I bet you’re all hungry? There’s a beautiful Thai restaurant that we swear by. We’ll call you when it gets here.”

They shoo the girls and Madge leads them outside to the outdoor patio to overlook the river with boats and yachts attached to private jetties.

“I bet Uncle Paul is glad he finally got his boat?”

“He sure is.” Madge replies sitting down on the daybed, pulling out her phone as it sounds with a text alert.

The sisters sit themselves down beside Madge. Prim reacquainting herself with her friends back home.

“Hey, we’re on vacation.” Katniss scolds her sister.

“I have a popular blog and friendships to maintain. I can’t drop off the planet. I’ll lose status.”

Katniss rolls her eyes and Madge chuckles. “It’s like this all the time.” Katniss tells Madge. “Do you even have real friends?”

“I do.” Prim states. “I have plenty of friends.”

“And boys.” Madge says. “I notice the comments and the likes on you pictures.”

Prim shrugs her shoulders and keeps to her socialising.

“Did you want to go out tonight?” Madge asks Katniss.

“She’s 18. She’s not allowed to.”

“Welcome to Australia Primmy.” Madge giggles. “There’s a good nightclub we go to regularly.”

“I would but I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep for a million years.”

“Well I have Netflix and lots of junk food. You won’t sleep much tonight. The jetlag is worse. It took me a while to get used to it.”

“Do you have a good Netflix line-up?”

“Sure do.”

“Then let’s do it for old time’s sake.” Katniss agrees. “I’m sure there’s plenty we have to tell each other.” Prim’s ears perk up. Madge and Katniss were very close, sharing everything and Prim knew that they shared literally everything without any limits. “Stuff that is too mature for you.” Katniss tells her sister.

“I’m 14. There’s nothing too mature for me.”

“There is Hun. I don’t want you getting the wrong idea. Deciding to get yourself mixed up in boys and intercourse. It’s not pretty.” She tells her sister.

“She’s right. You’re still too young. I mean you’re pretty but don’t jump at the first opportunity. Make sure you deeply know him.”

“Ok but Katniss I know you sneak out of the house and you’ve got a long list of booty calls.”

“How do you know?”

“I read you’re texts one day. I’ve heard you on the phone. I’ve heard you sneak out and when a boy picks you up in his car with a large exhausts, it’s not hard to put two and two together.”

“I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with you.”

“Relax. I’m not as young as you think. You’re just too pure to talk to me about it.” Prim states. “I just wish you’d confined in me about boys and such. Tell me secrets. I am good at keeping secrets. I want you to tell me about kisses that make you dizzy and boys that tell you you’re pretty. Or the little things that make you swoon or the most meaningful conversation you’ve had. You’ve never told me these things and I feel like we’ve missed that connection that sisters usually have.”

“Oh Prim, why didn’t you tell me?”

The 14 year old shrugs her shoulders. “I just thought you didn’t want to.”

“I didn’t know you cared so much.”

“I don’t but I love hearing you tell me stories, waking me in the middle of the night to show me the song you’ve written and tell me how you were inspired. I miss us being what we used to be.”

Katniss embraces her sister, kissing the top of her head.

“I’m sorry Prim. There’s just been a lot going on.”

“I know. You’ve been stressed over Mom and Dad. I know that. You could have still told me. They do drive me crazy also and I’ve noticed how much they’ve been on you about college. And I know you sneaking out has been a way to rebel against them…”

“But they’re hardly home to realise.” Katniss replies softly.

There’s silence for a long time.

“Throw your swimmers on.” Madge says breaking the silence. “And let’s swim. Swimming is refreshing, especially after a long flight.”

The three change into there bikinis and wade into the warm water of the pool. Madge was right, the water really did refresh them.

They’re called for dinner and they enjoy the early evening breeze as they eat out on the patio as the sun starts to set.

“Madge, your mother and I are going to play tourist for James and Rosie. We’re going to show them the area and The Practice. I’ve got a couple of patients over the weekend and one early Monday morning. We thought we’d let you girls go on ahead to Byron. I know you’re all itching to get there.”

“Are you sure?” Madge asks her father.

“You and Katniss are both 18. You’re responsible and we trust you both. And we know how much Katniss is itching to get on the board. We’ll be there Monday afternoon, Monday night at the latest.”

“Thank you Daddy.”

“But you better find a good surf spot Kat.” James tells his daughter. “I want the toughest waves.” He winks.

Katniss smiles and deep down she’s pleased to be going there early, without her parents. For the chance to have some freedom and an opportunity to see the town without the parental’s watching over them.

The three girls are giddy with excitement.

“But, no going out.” Rosie states. “You have your sister to take care of and it won’t be a good impression on her if you go out. No parties either. You’re to be at the house by 9pm, you three understand?”

The girls nod.

“And no drugs either.” Michelle warns them. “We want you girls to reassure us that we can trust you. Especially if we come and go between home and there.”

“You won’t be spending the whole time with us?” Madge asks.

“We hope to but we might want to travel a bit. Your father will be travelling back and forth for patients. But James and Rosie will be there the whole time.”

“Depending on what happens. I do have a consult here.” James explains to them. “And the team of doctors at the hospital do want to meet me. They might allow me to do a surgery or two.”

“Dad, this is supposed to be a vacation. No work.” Prim whines. “You both promised no work.”

“We did. It’s not definite.” Her father reminds her. “But if there’s a chance to teach these doctors something then I’m all for it. It’s called exposure.”

Katniss fights the urge to roll her eyes. She sat her fork on her plate. Her appetite lost. Madge and Prim getting the sign.

“I’m finished.” Madge announces.

“Me too.” Katniss says.

“Madge, why don’t you get them some towels and they can have a shower.”

“Come on.”

Madge leads them through the house and back upstairs, River following them upstairs. Prim claims the guest shower and Katniss gathers her things, following Madge into her bedroom.

“Just in there. The temp is set, if you want it warmer just touch the panel.” Madge tells Katniss as River jumps up onto the bed beside her.


The bathroom boasts floor to roof marble and a view of the water that runs behind the Undersee’s house. Katniss turns the water on and undresses from her bikini. She uncoils her braid and steps under the water. Rinsing her bikini, hanging it off the towel rack at the end of the walk in shower and rinses her hair. She gradually soaks up the warm water. Washes her hair, ridding of the 16-hour plane ride and the salt water that fills the pool.

She steps out of the bathroom, towel drying her hair. Madge scrolling through her phone, River resting his head on Madge’s stomach as she casually scratches his head.

Katniss throws the towel over the desk chair and braids her hair. She climbs in beside Madge, patting River’s fur. She pulls her phone out, checking out the things she’s missed out on. She checks her emails and sets her phone on the bedside table.

Madge goes to shower and Prim takes her spot. She asks for Katniss to braid her hair.

“So much for a family vacation.” Prim pouts.

“I know but we’re going to get time apart from them.”

“Please tell me we’re going to have fun?”

“We are. Plenty of fun. And the curfew. How will they know we’ve been out? We’ll make the most out of the four days without them.”

Prim smiles from ear to ear. Katniss had been all too keen to get her sister out and about. Making memories and going on adventures their parents would disapprove of.

Madge joins them. Sinking into the space on the bed, throwing a bag down filled with snacks. She switches the overhead light off, turns on Netflix and they settle in with a movie and snacks.

“Can we get high?” Madge asks.

“Sure.” Katniss agrees. “Prim, you’re not allowed.”

“I’m not touching that stuff anyway.” She tells the girls, chewing on a rope of red liquorice. “But I so want to see the two of you high.”

“No telling.”

“Yes Prim. Pinkie swear you’ll not rat us out.”

“I pinkie swear.” She states, holding out her two pinkies, locking them with the two 18 year olds.

Katniss thanks her sister, kissing her cheek.

“Yes, thank you Prim. You’re the best.”

Prim smiles and takes a bite of her liquorice. “As long as you two make the time memorable I’m all for you two doing whatever the hell you want.”

“Gosh she’s amazing.” Madge says to Katniss.

“I know. That’s why I love her so much.”

Sleep for the Everdeen girls came easy at first. The three bodies and the dog, found comfort on the king sized bed. Prim had always been a heavy sleeper, while Katniss was the opposite. Katniss woke to almost anything. She was used to the sleep noises her sister made but the new environment couldn’t settle her.

And with Prim’s habit of kicking in her sleep and her constant tossing and turning, Katniss went to her designated bed but found sleep hard to come by. She read for a while. Spoke to Gale and researched some activities for them to do.

Madge frequented Byron Bay. The beach house was often occupied during her school holidays and weekends away. She’d bring friends or her cousins away with her and spend her time getting to know the area.

So Madge was as valuable as any local. And the beach house had everything. It had pushbikes, surfboards, paddleboards and kayaks. Madge assured them that they’d get around easily on bikes or on foot. They were close to town, the market site and right on the beach.

She even said the neighbours were friendly. They were down the street from the local caravan park filled with backpackers who usually invited people by for games of volleyball or a game of cards.

Madge frequented the park, mingling with the tourists and getting to know a bit about them and where they came from.

She always had stories to tell when Katniss and her spoke.

She finally felt her eyes getting heavy with sleep and fell into the much-desired sleep.

But she woke what felt like only minutes later.

It was morning and with the girls deciding to leave as early as possible. But Katniss wishes they didn’t agree to leave so early.

They ate a breakfast of pancakes and fresh fruit. Packed Madge’s car, the bags just fitting and the surfboards attached to the roof racks on her car. River was staying behind but would join them on Monday when the parents arrived. They were loaded with groceries and told to follow the rules.

The speakers were set to play tunes as they drove down the coastline, the sunroof open.

They waved goodbye to the parents and by the time they were around the corner they were blasting the music from the speakers and planning the next 8 weeks.

 “Welcome to Byron Bay girls.” Madge says as they pull up into the driveway of the house.

They unpack the car. Set the groceries in the fridge and cupboards. Madge shows them around the four-bedroom beach house, told them where everything was and they let their parents know they had arrived.

The ocean was calling their names but they hop on the bikes and ride into town. Madge gives them a tour of the street, pointing out the best food places and local hangouts. They stop at the kebab shop for lunch and sit at the park that overlooks the Main Beach.

The beach was busy. There were surfing instructors. Kayaking groups embarking out into the water. There were swimmers and surfers. There were sunbathers and tourists. There were joggers and meditators and kids playing at the playground.

And Katniss had itchy feet. She was ready to get out on her board and ride the waves. Madge though took them around town, introducing them to those she had met in the years she had been visiting.

And she takes them to the local surf hire shack.

“Hey Sam.”

“Madge. I was wondering when you’d be back again.” The brown haired teenage says. He’s skin was sun kissed and he wore board shorts and a singlet. He’s hair was in dreadlocks. He looked almost like ones of those Tumblr boys Prim constantly showed her big sister.

He embraces Madge in a tight hug. A hug that was more friendly than a usual hug.

“Sammy, these are my cousins from the States. This is Katniss and Prim.”

“Nice to meet you girls.” He greets them with a wide smile, showing off his pearly white teeth. “How old are you?”

“I’m 14 and Katniss is 18.”

“Too young to party my dear.” Sam tells Prim. “Don’t worry, we’ll find something for you to do.”

“Sam said he’s going to show us around.” Madge tells the sisters. “You have Sunday off right?”

“I do but I’ll hook you girls up with some of the crew. I’m sure they’ll be happy to show you around.”

“Thanks Sam. You doing anything tonight?”

“There’s a bonfire down near my place. You girls are welcome to join us.”

“We’ll see. These two are suffering from jetlag still.”

“That’s all cool. There’ll be plenty of parties. Just text us when you want to party. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opportunities.”

“What about tomorrow night? Any plans?”

“We’re going to a gig one of the boys is playing but that’ll be done by 9. We can probably hang after.”

“You can all come to mine. We’ll have booze and good entertainment.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Sam smirks, pinching Madge’s arse.

“And you’ll bring some weed?”

“You don’t even have to ask babe.” He tells her with a wink.

A customer enters and they farewell Sam.

“He seems charming.” Katniss speaks as they climb onto their bikes.

“He’s lovely. He hooks me up most of the time. And we sometimes get high together and fool around.” She tells the girls. “He’s wonderful in bed.”

“Don’t the dreads turn you off?”

“When he’s that good in bed, I don’t care about them.” She states. “Come on let’s get back. We can come for a ride this afternoon.”

Katniss and Prim giggle as they follow Madge, weaving through the lunchtime traffic.

They stop though at the corner of Lawson Street, the sound of a singer stopping Katniss in her tracks. The soul of the voice imbedding itself deep in her soul and she’s rendered dizzy at the beautiful combination of sounds of a folksy blues song.

The blond busker plays a left handed guitar, wears ripped jeans, a loose white cotton that’s hastily been buttoned at the middle and an Akubra hat that’s seen better days. He’s barefooted and mesmerising. Making eye contact with those who slow down to watch him.

The girls linger. Listening to him play. And Katniss is taken on a journey from the sound of his voice.

“So follow the ocean back to your heart,

so follow your fears back to the start, 

follow the ocean back to your heart,

follow your fears back to where we learned,

and where we were taught,

to fear this falling, falling, this falling for you,”

She throws a five-dollar note into his case and as she takes a step back as he makes eye contact with her.

She notices the blue of his eyes. Ocean blue eyes that sparkle and shine in the afternoon sun. He also has a crooked smile that warms her insides.

She gives him a smile as he plays and she steps back to the girls, taking back a hold of her bike. He nods at the three of them, flashes his white pearly teeth and continues singing.

And as they ride past, he holds eye contact with her, grinning at her and strumming his guitar as he sings.

“Cause I’m not sure when I’m coming home girl,
coming home,

cause I’m not sure when I’m coming home love,

coming home,

coming home because I’m not sure when I’m coming home,

coming home, coming home,

because I’m not sure,

 when I’m coming home, coming home here”

“Wow, he was gorgeous.” Prim chimed. “He was clearly looking at you Katniss.”

“Whatever.” Katniss scoffs.

“Prim’s right. Maybe he’ll frequent here while we’re here. Maybe you can ask him to coffee.” Madge suggests. “You did say you wanted a fling.”

“I’m already coming up with the lies to tell Mom and Dad.” Prim tells her.

Katniss scowls and pedals ahead of the girls who giggle widely.

“We were joking Katniss.” Madge calls out.

“You’re just so easy to tease.”

“Well, I hate it.” Katniss bites back. “I just want to go home and sleep.”

“More like take a cold shower.” Prim teases.

Katniss rolls over. Her sleep cycle was shot and she couldn’t sleep. Prim though was sound asleep in the twin bed by the window. Madge had left the sisters to pick up some more groceries, supplies and alcohol.

She sneaks out of the bedroom with her guitar. It was late afternoon and she could hear the voices sound from the beach as people swam in the remaining hours left of light and started to chill out for the upcoming weekend.

She curls up on the daybed out on the back patio that had a view of the ocean. The backyard steps right onto the golden sand that lead to the beautiful ocean.

She sits crisscrossed on the day bed with a bag of corn chips open and strums the strings of her guitar, humming along to the tune she plays and watching the waves crash onto the shore.

She was at a crossroads in her life.

While most of her school friends went to college and are spending their nights getting wasted. She fought with her parents about following her dreams.

They had always told her to follow her dreams, do what she loved but when it came time to turn that dream into a career they scolded her for the childish dream, said she’d be better having a career in medicine. She’d have security and could live a lavish lifestyle.

But she wasn’t a healer like her parents and Prim. She cringes at the sight of blood or when her mother told her about the births of babies she delivered. She couldn’t see herself standing at an open brain or looking at the vaginas of screaming women, bringing new life into the world.

Her fingers were meant to play the strings of her guitar and write songs. They weren’t to be wasted on saving lives.

She wants to inspire people, entertain them and make them dance and forget about the troubles in life, if it only lasted the four minutes of a song.

But they couldn’t see that.

She’d be a lousy doctor.

She’d be an excellent musician.

And she was going to spend the next two months proving to them how happy music made her even if she struggles financially; the love of it would pull her through.

“Hey, you play well.” A strong Australian accent calls out to her and she looks up and sees Sam, leaning up against the back gate. “You should come and jam with us one night, I’m sure you could teach us a thing or two.” He smirks at her.

She blushes at Sam as he jumps the back gate and makes his way towards her, sitting down on the steps of the back porch.

“You a songwriter?” She nods and smiles shyly at him. “Can you play me one of your songs?”

“Okay.” She finally tells him, caving in to him.

She knew she’d have to get over her fear of playing for people sooner rather than later.

She tunes her guitar and remembers the chords in her head before she places her fingers on the strings and begins to play.

“One look into your eyes, and I already know that What I've got to give will never be enough for him Don't be shy but I feel your body shaking Laying is our bodies there, and I feel your heart is aching”

She doesn’t look at Sam but can tell he has been captured by her so-called ability to make the birds fall silent.

“Down, Down this road we'll go 
Down, Down this road we'll go” 

She finishes playing for him and sees he has been reduced to silence.

“Wow, you’re amazing.” He chokes out. “Have you thought about pursuing this further?”

“I’m not that good.”

“You are. You really should get signed, I’d buy your albums.”

“You’re just saying that.”

“I’m not. Katniss you are so fucking good! You need to pursue this.” He exclaims. “Are you going to further your education?”

“Probably go into medicine.”

“Nope, don’t. Don’t even think about it. You’d be successful cause there’s no one who sounds like you Katniss.” He claims. “But you should meet my friend Peeta and collaborate together. It’d be magic the two of you.” He tells her. “Thanks for playing for me. I’ll be seeing you around I suppose.”

“You will be.”

He’s gone in an instant, jumping the gate and is out of sight. She sighs and places her guitar down beside her as the inanimate dread of college and everything else fills her head.

But she’s decided. This holiday, will be about fun, making memories, being reckless, free-spirited and do some soul searching. No thinking about college and the future.

She could deal with that in 8 weeks.

And she would.

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