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Despair Vs Hope

Dedicated to
Matthew, because he's just starting t...
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“Dawee?” asks a two-year old Aven, sitting happily on my lap. She’s the perfect combination of Katniss and I. With Katniss’ black hair and my blue eyes, I know I’ll have to keep the boys away when she’s older.

“Yes, sweetie?” I ask her.

“Dawee, where ith evewybody? “ she asks, looking up at me with innocent eyes.

“Who is everybody?” I reply, wondering who she meant.

“Mowee?” she wonders.

“Getting things for Auntie Prim’s baby shower.”

“Aiden?”

“He’s with Mommy.”

“Why din’t I go wif Moweey?” she asks sadly, pouting her lip.

I chuckle. “Because I wanted to spend some time with you, princess.”

Her face suddenly contorts into a silly smile. “Oh! I wan’ oo spen’ time wif woo too, Dawee!” She thinks for a second. “Where’s Gwamma?”

“She’s volunteering at the hospital.”

“Oh. Nana?”

“She’s at home with Auntie Posy and Uncle Vic.”

“Why?” I expect this. As a father of the two most curious children on this earth, I’m used to getting asked a thousand questions a day. My patience has increased dramatically from before Aiden was born. Katniss’ has, too, of which I am thankful of.

“Well, they’re too young to move out of the house, sweetie. They haven’t graduated from school yet.”

“I wan’ go to schoo wif Aiden, Papa!” Aven exclaims happily, bouncing in my lap.

“I’m sorry, honey. You can’t yet.”

“Oh.” My heart breaks at her crest-fallen face. How adorable is she? She’s only two years old and she already has me wrapped around her finger! “Grampa?”

“He’s taking over the bakery for today, honey.”

“Uncey Gay and Auntie Mad?”

“They’re at work today.”

“Why?”

I think about this. They don’t really need to work, really. After the war and when they got married, both Gale and Madge were paid infinite amounts of money for their work in the rebellion. Personally, I just think it’s because they need to get up and do something. It’s the same way for Katniss’ and I. We’re one of the wealthiest families in District Twelve, yet we still work.

So, I shrug. “I’m not really sure, honey.”

Her eyes widen a bit. “Dawee! Whadda mean? Woo know evewyfing, Dawee!” she exclaims, taken aback.

I smile at her innocence. “No, not quite, darlin’.”

“Oh… Auntie Pwim and Uncey Wowy?”

“Auntie Prim and Uncle Rory are getting the nursery ready for when the baby comes.”

“Where do babies come fwom, Dawee?”

My eyes bulge on their own accordance. What do I reply to that? Katniss’ and I never talked about what we would say if one of our kids asked that question. I hate lying to the kids, so I don’t want to say the stork thing. That’s just preposterous. So I went with what Katniss’ father once told her.

“Love magic.”

Her eyes get big, bigger than normal, and her bottom lip juts out. “Dawee! Wha’s dat?”

Now my eyes bulge. “I-I-It’s what two people do when they love each other. A lot. When you’re really old.” Wow. I’m already pulling the protective father bit. What will happen when she gets her first boyfriend?

That though terrifies me, and I push it out of my brain. She will never have a boyfriend as long as I’m alive.

“Wike woo an’ Mowee?” she asks excitedly.

“Exactly like me and your mommy,” I tell her, nodding my head. Every minute I spend with Katniss is a blessing, so when love magic happens, well, it’s a blessing. Even though it happens quite often.

“Dawee?” Aven asks once again. I smile as I look down at her. How can someone who I helped create be so cute and adorable?

Oh, that’s right. She’s part Katniss’.

“Yes, honey?” I ask her.

“I wuff woo,” she speaks so sincerely that my heart melts. It’s the first time she’s said it to me. She’s said it once to Kat before, but not me.

“Aw, baby. I love you too,” I state back, just as sincere.

Just then the door opens, revealing a gorgeous black-haired, grey eyed, twenty-seven year old with about ten grocery bags in one hand, and a stunning blonde-haired, grey eyed four year old boy on her opposite hip.

“Let me help you with those, love,” I state. I set Aven down in the bouncer and walk to my wife. I give her a quick peck on the cheek while grabbing all of the grocery bags, taking them to the kitchen. Seeing Aiden try to sneak up on me, I swiftly turn around, pick him up, and give him a raspberry on his stomach. He giggles.

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