Chapter 5:A time to cry, a time to laugh
I am absolutely drenched in sweat and gasping for air, exhausted from the nocturnal torture. But it left me a parting gift in the form of real fear.
"Its okey, its okey, its okey. That's good, just breathe in."
Montgomery cuts off my stream of questions before I feint, and he answers exact question as best he can.
"You're in a military camp at the outskirts District 2, which is still under loyal control and not at all destroyed. Annona was evacuated to the central city with the rest of your family; they are all safe and healthy. Whats wrong?"
"Nothing. Just a bad dream."
"Want to talk about it?"
I remember my cousin dying before my eyes, I remember Katniss bragging about killing my family and about how rebel soldiers raped my love. I remember my home District getting exterminated as well as Districts 1,4, and 12. I clearly remember the nuclear destruction of the Capitol, and am well aware that the radioactivity released from that could in real life kill every living thing on the planet and end life forever.
"No. Its the last thing in the world I want to talk about."
"That's okey, you don't have to talk about anything you don't want to."
"Did I wake you?"
"I wasn't going to get much sleep anyway."
"Was anyone else disturbed by me?"
I am sitting upright on top of the bed, Montgomery is sitting next to me. At first I do not speak, but then I build up the ability to ask a question.
"Do you ever get nightmares?"
"Yes. I have the same one every night."
I was expecting Montgomery to not want to talk about it, but to my surprise he showed no sign of being closed off. His voice was distressed and darkened when he speaks of his fear.
"My parents dying."
I do not know what to say to that. I went through something similar with Cato, but I still have not the slightest idea as to how I cope with the sorrow of losing someone you love dearly. I personally do not enjoy talking about it, and I can only say one thing honestly.
"I'm here if you need me."
"No need to thank me, that's what friends are for."
The morning could not come sooner, and we before I knew it I was sitting outside in the temporary mess hall of the woods and filling my empty stomach with corn flavored porridge. I can see that Jacobine was at the table, as was Harod and Crispin. Aric and Helena on the other hand were nowhere to be seen.
I decided to make conversation with my friends, "So, how did you sleep last night?"
Jacobine answered first, "There was a damn owl outside my tent that wouldn't shut up."
This is strange, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but arn't owl hoots supposed to be soothing?"
"Normally! This one must have been hatched upside down because it only made weird shrieking noises."
Montgomery suddenly took interest, "You don't say. It probably has some form of genetic defect or possibly an injury early in development. If I can get a look at it, I can surly take a look at it and find out whats wrong with it."
"Please, be my guest. Just promise me you'll taxidermy the pest once your done with it."
Harod taunted, "I take it someone doesn't like owls."
"I have nothing against owls, just so long as they don't practice their howler monkey impersonations during my sleeping time."
We are interrupted when Aric and Helena join us at the table. They both had messy hair and smelled sweaty.
"Good morning, sorry we're late. We ... slept in a bit."
Little details tell me that those two did more than sleep. We all feel uncomfortable with the Too-Much-Information moment, except for Crispin. The old sea captain tells Jacobine a joke that pokes fun harmlessly.
"Hahahaha. Did Aric ask you for advice beforehand, or did you just give him the talk?"
Jacobine's ... um experiment with the three District 4 women is still talked about around camp. That's more experance than most get at his age, but then again the average person his age is not a battle hardened warrior.
Aric simply says in a faux complaint, "O come on, I'm two years older than him."
"And I'm sixty years older than you, so I'm sure I have the most experience out of anyone here."
Helena chooses the perfect moment to make a joke, "Or you could have none."
This makes us all laugh so hard that I temporarily forget my midnight haunting.
Friends are what get us through it all.