Always and Forever

Despair

It’s dark. Pitch dark. Too dark, and my head is throbbing. I try and remember what happened to get me in this situation when it all comes flooding back to one in one huge wave of scary memories. My dinner for two with Peeta, the food, the tall man dressed in black looming over him from behind, my husband falling on the table unconscious then me following suit.

So either Cato or Colette escaped, or were let out by the captain, or we have more enemies on this ship then we thought. I try and sit up but immediately feel dizzy and lie back down on the cold hard floor or whatever I am lying on. It is so dark that I can’t even see my hand that is directly in front of my face, so instead I move my arms all around me trying to feel anything that could tell me where I am. My hand bumps into something a few seconds later and I gently and slowly sit up, all the while running my hands all over the form. It doesn’t take long for me to recognize Peeta’s body and I automatically scoot over beside him

Finding his face I brush the hair that fell into his eyes and stroke his cheek softly, whispering to him all the while, willing for him to wake up. But he doesn’t, and I am left alone in this dark room with an unconscious husband and fear for what might be happening to our friends.

My headache eventually subsides but Peeta still does not wake. I continually rub his arm or stroke his face, even kiss him a few times but he doesn’t even move. I give up trying to wake him up for the time being and place my head on his chest like I always do and fall asleep.

I awake a while later to someone shaking me roughly by the shoulders. I groan and my eyes flutter open and come face to face with the captain of the ship. I gasp and sit up, trying not to show my fear but I’m sure it’s written all over my face.

“You missy, are in big trouble for hurting my friends here.” He says evilly and gestures to Cato and Colette who stand behind him, bandages wrapped around them in different places where Peeta and Gale had wounded them.

“They were beating up my friends!” I yell at him.

“Only to keep them from messing up my plans.”

“Oh right, your plans to sink the ship and kill a bunch of innocent people just to get back at us for freeing everyone from Snow. Yeah great plan mister.” He turns red with anger and slaps me on the side of my face. Hard. I shrink back beside Peeta and hold my hand to my face while trying not to let the tears that are threatening to spill come out.

I glance down at him, my vision blurring and sigh quietly when he isn’t awake ready to protect me from those who are trying to hurt me.

“I am going to avenge my brother’s death by killing all of you little rebels, including your best friends.” He laughs an evil laugh and Cato and Colette each crack a smile. I hold my breath when he says this. I didn’t know that President Snow had any siblings, just great.

“Now, everything will go exactly as planned, only the 6 of you know of our plans so we’ll just keep you two locked up in here and you can drown together; and everyone else will just think it was some malfunction with the ship when it begins to take on water.”

“You won’t get away with this.” I tell him.

“Oh yes I will, and you will die knowing that all of your work against my brother and me was in vain.” And with that he smiles at me again and walks out with Cato and Colette following on his heels like his own personal servants, or dogs even. With all the thoughts of what could happen anytime the tears now begin streaming down my cheeks and I don’t bother to wipe them away. My cheek stings and I’m sure that it’ll be bruised in a little while and Peeta will probably freak out when he wakes up and see; if he wakes up.

I just sit there on the floor in the dark, the captain took the light with him and so now I can’t see anything once more. Maybe it’s better that way, then Peeta can’t see my face. I don’t know how long I sit in the dark room, I have no way to tell the time, my phone and watch are left in our room. I think about Prim and my Mother who will be sad to hear that the boat sunk and there were only three survivors, the captain and his two minions.

I try and let the sound of Peeta’s steady breathing lull me to sleep but this time it doesn’t work. I can’t fall asleep now knowing what could happen or maybe is happening right now.

It is very boring just sitting around doing nothing so I decide to see if I can find the door again. I stand up and stretch my arms out in front of me for feeling and begin walking straight ahead. A few seconds later I bump into a wall, by rubbing my hands all over I figure out that the wall is made out of a type of wood but this particular floor is stone, which is strange to have on a ship. Touching the wall with my fingers I walk along the length of the wall until I get to a corner and begin shuffling along in a different direction. I find the door, which is also made of wood, but after locating the doorknob of course I can’t open it.

I try banging and kicking it hoping that someone will hear me, but to no avail. I give up a few minutes later with very sore hands and a few bruised toes from kicking the door in my flats, that I’m sure are pretty beat up as well. Just then I fall to the ground, as the ship seems to be sliding to one side. Getting up I brush off my pants and continue going along the wall, ignoring what the reason for me falling could be. I soon feel a few strips of wood that feel loose enough for me to pull out and begin to yank on them with all of my strength, seeing as this could be our only chance at escape.

My fingers get splinters but I try to ignore them and keep pulling at the pieces of wood. A little more tugging and one of them eventually comes free. Instant light fills the room and I am temporarily blinded. Throwing the wood on the ground in one corner I quickly finish taking out the other two and look out. The boards were covering up the only window in this room that looks out over the ocean, the moon is shining on the water and looks amazing even from the window of my prison cell. But looking to the side of the huge ship I notice something that doesn’t look normal; the long boat is dipping a little to deep into the deep dark waters at the back, which can only mean one thing: they have already begun the sinking of the ship.

Grabbing up one of the sharper boards I run headlong to the door that I can now see pretty clearly and begin ramming into it over and over again until I’ve broken through the old wood of the door and a few minutes later I have a big enough hole to get through. Then I remember the unconscious Peeta still lying on the ground, unmoving.

I hurry over to him and lock my hands under his arms and begin dragging him over to the door. This is definitely going to be a challenge getting him through this hole; I sure hope I can do it! Grunting I lift his large frame a little higher than the floor, trying to figure out how I’ll get him through without hurting him too badly. Suddenly he lets out a groan and his eyes flutter open.

“Peeta!” I drop him a little harder than I had intended and begin kissing him all over his face. He chuckles and sits up with me on his lap.

“Hey honey.” He gives me a kiss then looks me in the eye, “Why were you dragging me and where are we?”

“Peeta, the captain freed Cato and his sister and during dinner they knocked you out then me and brought us here. We’ve been here for hours and it is the middle of the night. I just broke the boards of the window, before it was too dark to see anything.” I end up telling him hurriedly about my conversation with the captain and how I think that the ship could already be sinking and that we need to get out of here. I help him stand up and we both assist each other with climbing through the hole I made in the door and soon we are both free.

I jump into his arms as soon as we are out, “I’m so glad you are okay!” I whisper.

“Me too, now we need to go warn the others.” Forgetting about my sore feet and bloody knuckles we take off at a dead run up a few flights of stairs and down 3 hallways until we come to our room. By now the boat is really slanting downward. Peeta instructs me to go to our room and pack up what we’ll need the most and he goes to warn The Odairs and Hawthones. I don’t really know what to grab but I find a backpack and stuff some clothes and shoes into it for both of us, and whatever could be useful: my swimsuit and sun tan lotion, sunglasses and my necklace from Annie. I leave my makeup and fancy clothes and books behind. By now the backpack is full and Peeta is struggling to come into the room because the boat is going down fast. He swings the pack onto his back and grabs my hand as we run out of the room just as Gale exits their room, also with a pack on his back and Madge in his arms who looks white with terror. Annie and Finnick follow us a few seconds later and together the six of us begin running upward, trying to avoid the cold, dark waters that are continually rising. Screams are heard, everywhere. No one wants to die on a luxury cruise; no one wants to lose a loved one. Kicking off my shoes I leave them behind me.

We soon arrive at the very top of the boat and everyone looks down. The boat is almost vertical now and people are falling down into the depths of the ocean screaming. It reminds me of a book I read not too long ago about a ship called the Titanic that completely sank in less than 2 hours.

“Hold on to the railing!” Peeta yells and we all obey, trying to hold ourselves in place.

“I love you Peeta.” I say tearfully and reach up to give him one last kiss, just in case we don't make it.

“I love you too Katniss.” He wraps his free arm around my waist, pulling me closely to him and leans down to kiss me. It soon turns desperate, both of us knowing that this could very well be our last kiss and neither on of us wanting to end. He squeezes me so tightly and kisses me so hard I think I might burst but I don’t let go. Finally Peeta lets up, both of us breathing heavily both from the kiss and literally holding onto the railing of the ship to not fall to the fate of so many others.

“Look!” We all look to where Madge is pointing and sure enough the only yellow safety boats are floating away with three dark figures in them.

“They got away!” Gale yells, his face fuming with anger. Only someone from Snow’s family could be so heartless and leave the hundreds of people to drown with no hope of a rescue.

“We need to jump.” Finnick tells us.

“I can’t swim!: Madge cries and Gale holds her tighter and says, “Don’t worry I can, I’ll help you.” This seems to calm her down but only a little.

“Can you swim Peeta?” I ask hopefully. He smiles and nods, “Yeah I learned when I was little, I just hope that I can still remember.”

“Good,” I say, “That means all of us can swim with the exception of Madge, that’s good I guess.”

“Okay, I’ll go first and the rest of you follow.” Finnick directs and before any of us can say anything he jumps off the edge in a clean dive and cuts through the water like a fish. Annie jumps immediately after Finnick’s head pops up out of the water and gives the sign for her to jump. She goes down just as professionally as her husband and the two of them tread water below waiting patiently for us to follow their lead.

“Katniss you go next.” Peeta tells me. I nod and nervously look over the edge. The moon shimmers off the water making it not seem so scary.

“Don’t worry I’ll be right behind you.” “Okay.” I say, and shutting my eyes I dive down to the depths below. I come up a minute later, gasping for air and shivering like crazy from the sudden cold. Peeta is already beside me and easily treading water, now only Madge and Gale are left.

“Okay I’m going to drop Madge and Finnick I need you to catch her!” Gale calls down from above us. Finnick agrees and prepares to catch Madge once she hits the water. I vaguely see Gale talking to Madge then she’s falling and a few seconds later she is safely in Finnick’s arms, clinging on for dear life. Gale dives down next and soon all six of us are swimming around together.

“Now we just need to find a small island or something.” Annie says.

“Yeah right, I’m sure we’d be that lucky to find one real close.” Gale answers sarcastically.

“Well Gale do you have a better idea?” He shakes his head. “I thought so.”

“Well then, lets start heading in this direction for now.” Finnick announces and we all begin swimming the same way he is. Gale swims easily with Madge on his back who is carrying the backpack and Finn and Annie are in the front making clean cut strokes through the water. It’s not very long until I start feeling tired and my legs and arms are burning and the salt water stinging the cuts on my knuckles. After an hour of continual swimming we haven’t found a single trace of any kind of land. I feel myself begin to fall asleep and I splash water on my face to try and stay awake.

Just as my head is being submerged under the water I hear the one word that I’ve been waiting for, “Land!” And then, for the second time that day, everything goes black.


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