Chapter 40

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The next few days bring a flurry of activity as the news of the wedding spreads. Finnick and I broke our news first to Haymitch, of course. And I had to admit, I found it both sweet and amusing to see him tear up a little. The wedding was to be fairly soon - we know there's a war coming and now's the time to do things like this, one last celebration before it all could end. The differences between the Capitol and 13 are thrown into sharp relief by the event. When Coin says "wedding," she means two people signing a piece of paper and being assigned a new compartment. Plutarch means hundreds of people dressed in finery at a three-day celebration. It's amusing for Finnick and I to watch them argue over the details. Plutarch has to fight for every guest, every musical note. After Coin vetoes a dinner, entertainment, and alcohol, Plutarch yells, "What's the point of the propo if no one's having any fun!" Because of course they were going to film it - an act of union after been separated from each other twice. Snow will be pleased.

It's hard to put a Gamemaker on a budget. But even a quiet celebration causes a stir in 13, where they seem to have no holidays at all. When it's announced that children are wanted to sing District 4's wedding song, practically every kid shows up, which is sweet to me. There's no shortage of volunteers to help make decorations. In the dining hall, people hurry up to me, eager to talk to me about the details or offer their help. Maybe it's more than the festivities. Maybe it's that we are all so starved for something good to happen that we want to be part of it. It would explain why, when Plutarch has a fit over what I'll wear - Katniss kindly volunteers to come with me back to her house in 12, where several dresses Cinna made for us both for her Victory Tour are shut away in a big closet. It might not be a big formal gown, but I had no doubt that any of Cinna's creations would be perfect.
Katniss got permission for her prep team to come along, so she's relieved of having to make any fashion decisions with me, which made me laugh. Katniss was many things, but we both know it was definitely not a fashion expert. When I open the closet, we all fall silent because Cinna's presence is so strong in the flow of the fabrics. Then Octavia drops to her knees, rubs the hem of a skirt against her cheek, and bursts into tears.

"It's been so long," she gasps, "since I've seen anything pretty."

I place a gentle hand on her back. "Just wait until my wedding day," I joke sending her a wink and she laughs lightly in return.

She stands and straightens. "You're going to look beautiful, Vivianna," she tells me and I flush slightly. We began our search, pulling out dresses and holding them up to each other, whilst Katniss just says 'yes' or 'no' as her form of contribution. Cinna's creations, of course, are all stunning. I find it a great shame that the unused dresses will go to waste, that they can't be worn and shown to the world for at least one time. I found comfort, however, in knowing that he was going to be there on my wedding day - a day that I honestly thought I'd never get to see. And now I get to share it with the people that matter, the people who are going to do something about the awful regime and make a difference. That's good enough for me.

We spend a while sorting through the dresses as Cinna had made so many. The prep team was relentless, discarding a dress one minute and then bringing it back because "I love the colour!" or "look at the lace detail!" or "this would suit your hair so well!". By the end of it, I'd felt like I'd seen and tried on thousands of dresses instead of twenty something and all the colours began to blur into one big mess. But eventually we settled on the right dress, it was a similar colour to your standard white so it didn't stray too far from classic, but it was beautiful nonetheless.


"Did you have fun today?" Finnick jokes as I enter our room as soon as I touched back down in 13. He was sat on the bed going through final plans Plutarch had someone draw up for him. In the weeks that we'd been planning this wedding, there had been countless amounts of changes and issues that had to be fixed by someone else; we only got final say and that was that.

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