It has been a year since the rebellion.
Peeta is at the hob, buying supplies for bread. Haymitch, well, he is surely in his cold house, sleeping and soaked in alcohol. My mother is at the hob too, tending the sick. I slowly take off my rugged gloves and set them on the marble table. A cup of hot tea sits on the table, smoke bellowing out the opening. I drink a small amount of tea, warming my cold, chapped lips. Suddenly, the telephone rings and I hesitate. No one calls except someone from the capitol. I trudge to the telephone, cup in hand and slowly lift the phone to my ear. At first I hear nothing but soft crunching. Then I hear steady breathing, more like a male's. "Hello?" I murmur, gripping the handle of the telephone. Silence. More like time has frozen. One, two, three, four, five...
Gale. It is Gale's voice!
The cup falls on the ground, out of my grasp. My mind swirls, my insides churning as if producing a ball of hope and dread. But before I can get words out of my mouth, the phone beeps and Gale's line disappears, leaving me in tears.
As night dawns in district twelve, I lay on my cold bed, gripping the plain white sheets. Gale called. He called. I heard his voice, he heard mine. Seconds, minutes, hours tick by and I have trouble falling asleep. My head spins, making me sick and sweat. I close my eyes, then images of the rebellion flash in my mind. I try to keep myself from screaming, biting my lip. I taste blood in my mouth and my eyes close shut as I let out a name; Gale.
Birds chirp outside, their tweetering loud and clear. I get out of my bed and see a hint of blood on my pillow. Sunlight covers my face, making me squint as I make my way to the bathroom. I turn on the faucet, washing my sticky face with cold water. I see blood draining in the bowl. The rebellion, the innocent people, and the blood. I clench my fists, staring at myself in the mirror. My eyes flicker to the trail of blood on my lip. I hate blood. I scowl and turn off the faucet, breathing heavily. As I arrive in the kitchen, I smell fresh bread. Peeta must be here.
"Katniss!" He shouts, and I stand there startled for a moment. I shake my head, hugging him.
"Hello," I falter, pulling away. Suddenly, Peeta's eyes shuffle to my lip and he frowns. "What happened?" He asks as his fingers trace the scar on my lip.
"Nothing." I mutter, taking his hand. Peeta walks to the table and hands me a loaf of bread. "Eat." He says to me. I sit on the high chair and eat the loaf he gave me, staring at the glass of water in front of me. "Where's my mother?" I ask, swallowing hard.
"She's at the hob, as usual." Peeta replies as he squeezes the juice out of an orange.
The phone rings. It must be Gale. My heart beats rapidly, making me sweat. An unfamiliar sensation boils in my stomach, as I try to find a way to answer the phone. Without thinking, I swat the glass of water to the floor, its pieces shattering, making it scatter everywhere. Peeta turns to me and I blink my eyes. "I'm sorry," I say, standing up. "I'll go answer the phone." I finish, setting the loaf of bread on the table. I hear Peeta let out a sigh as he picks up shards of glass. I bring up the phone to my ear, and I immediately hear girls giggling. "Gale?" I whisper, my feet glued on the floor.
"Katniss," Gale says, his voice hoarse. "listen to me, I'm in this house in district two." Then Peeta appears, his arms crossed. My mouth opens, as he stares at me. "Who's that?" He asks, pointing at the telephone. I feel my legs shake, and I struggle for air.
"Katniss?" Peeta exclaims, licking his lips.
"I'm still in lo-" Gale is cut short. "Yoohoo, mister Hawthorne!" A girl on his line shouts. My eyes close and I feel so vulnerable. So, Gale has found someone else.
"Don't ever call again." I snap, smashing the telephone on the table. Peeta stares at me, his expression shocked. He slowly opens his mouth as I burst open the door. "It was just a kid pranking me." I lie, my voice trembling.
I find myself in the woods, the place Gale and I always hunt. Gale. I bet he's kissing another pair of lips right now, loving a new woman, starting a new life. Tears fill my eyes and I kick a ball of snow. Gale Hawthorne, the boy with snares, gone in my heart forever.