The feelings I felt this morning were all wrong. Today was the reaping. I knew before I had even left my bed. Just because I was from District 2 didn't mean that I liked the Hunger Games. I had as good a chance as being picked as any of the others. I just had to act like it.
I was still at that ripe young age of seventeen. Still old enough to be picked for the Games.
My sixteen year old sister Ivy was no exception. But I think that she was more worried about her friend Adriana. Yeah, I have friends too. But for now, I'm just worried about myself and my family.
* * *
We were all lined up. Boys on one side and girls on the other. Time went by slowly. I waited in anticipation for the names to be called until I heard Effie Trinket say, "Ladies first."
She picked a tiny folded piece of paper from a clear glass bowl. She took her time as she unfolded the paper. Finally, she said in a clear, shrill voice, "Adriana Zarate." And my sister went in to hysterics.
* * *
Adriana slowly walked on stage. Plenty of others volunteered in her place. But she wouldn't move. She knew it was considered an honor to be chose. Especially in District 2. But Adriana's confidence didn't change the fact that Ivy had completely broken down.
Before I knew it, Effie had called the boy's name, "Isaiah Warren". He was fourteen. Far too young to participate in the Games.
Isaiah took to the stage. He walked slowly and carefully as not to trip. He just looked empty. I knew what I had to do. I had to for Isaiah. For Adriana. And even more for Ivy. I knew once the words had left my mouth. "I volunteer as tribute!" I shouted.
* * *
If Ivy had been crying before, her face was exploding with tears now. But she knew. She knew I had to. For her sake.
Cato and I were put in seperate rooms while we waited for our goodbyes. I knew that Cato was around the prime age for volunteering. But he had never taken much interest in the Games.
* * *
My parents came in first. Everything was a blur. All I managed to make out were lots of 'I love yous'. And before I knew it, they were gone.
Ivy came in next. Her blonde hair was a mess. Her normally pale cheeks were now full of color from crying.
We hugged for as long as possible. A Peace Keeper ccame in to take her away. But not before she yelled, "Cato will protect you! He volunteered for you. For me."
And then the door slammed in my face.