Chapter 12

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Today is the day. The day Clove turns 11. I know it's not a huge birthday, but, it's the first birthday I get to share with her. It's only been 2 weeks since my birthday, but since I've been grounded and it was the end of the year, I feel like I haven't seen her in weeks.

I ran around my room, putting on my uniform, before grabbing the necklace Clove had given me for my birthday. I put it on and searched for her present. After 10 minutes I finally found the necklace I had gotten for her and put it in my bag. In an attempt to avoid my father I opened my window and slid out of it, onto the balcony and roof of the first floor. Sliding to the ground, I heard a voice.

"What exactly are you doing son?" My father asked, glaring at me.

"I was just taking the fun way out of the house, and I'm going in early, so I was trying to go the quiet way and not wake anyone else up," I reasoned. I didn't lie though, I was going in early, and I didn't want to wake anyone up, so I could avoid this.

"Well, I was already up, and I saw the shadow of your light under the door so I figured I would talk to you, but you're obviously a young man on a mission. But tonight, we will talk."

"No can do. It's Clove's birthday, I'll be gone all night," I responded politely.

"Don't spend too much time with that Sevina girl."

"She's my girlfriend and best friend, I'm going to spend as much time as I can with her before something wrecks it," I responded, leaving my dad in the shadows.

"It's not going to end well," he called after me. I know that what he's saying is possible, but for today I'm going to pretend things are different, it's Clove's birthday. In the old days before Panem, things were celebrated with the only thought being whatever was being celebrated, so that's what I am going to do.

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"Attention Class, today is a very special day," Mrs. Collagen yelled once she had taken attendance. "President Snow himself has made the trip out here to visit us, so all of you better be on your best behaviors. Understood?"

"Yes ma'am," we responded in unison. Well, there goes my plan to act all sweet to Clove. If Snow's here, then he could plan to have both of us get reaped at the same time. Because I know what really happens, he spies on the districts, and he purposely chooses the people that he thinks will make his games the most interesting for  the Capitol Citizens.

"Mr. Hadley, Ms. Sevina please go to the gym for your training session in front of President Snow," Mrs. Collagen spoke again once we had started our papers.

Sighing, I stood up, along with Clove, and walked out of the classroom. I looked to Clove quickly, trying to judge how she was feeling. She must have noticed that I was looking because she flicked her gaze over to me and pointed to her neck, like where I have the locket. I took that as her telling me that we're acting like we hate each other, but that she still actually wants to be with me.

Nodding, I looked away, creating distance so that I didn't even hold her hand. From now on, we act like we don't like, actually, scratch that, can't stand, each other. Wether that means today, until Snow's gone, or whenever we're in public, I don't know, but I'm willing to do this to protect her. My lucky, and rare, four leafed Clover.
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"Hello Mr. President Snow," Clove greeted politely, like all girls are trained, even adding a little curtsy.

"Good morning Ms. Sevina," he grinned, before turning to look at me. "Mr. Hadley."

"Good morning sir," I responded, trying to mask how creepy his grin was. He had overly full and puffy lips, which were a sign of his Capitol citizenship. Other than the puffy lips, and his bizarre and over-the-top clothing he looked like a normal old man.

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