It's as if his footsteps were what woke me that morning. Each step was like an earthquake that had me one moment closer to cold, brutal,&fiercely real consciousness. My dreams of flowering, plentiful orchards had already drifted away to a distant land far beyond my reach. My feet found their way out of their entanglement in the cotton sheets&onto the floor. Today was an off day, so I had slept in for a significant amount of time. The plants still required more time to grow, so next to nothing could be harvested. Very few worked on off days&holidays. Those were the people who scratched around for extra work because they desperately needed tesserae to keep their families alive&healthy. Walking towards the mirror across the small room filled with my things, I tried to match my footsteps with the beating of my heart. Was he really going to come back? He wasn't the shy, timid boy I had met all those years ago. He had grown&become just the opposite-- tall&brave. You would never suspect a small, nearly noticeable girl like me to ever even DREAM of someone like him. But I was completely head-over-heels crazy for him. Standing in front of the pint-sized mirror, I looked at my reflection in the glass. My eyes were radiant. They were as blue as I had ever seen them. They matched the cloudless, morning sky that I had woken to outside my window. I slipped on my favorite woven cotton dress. The one my grandmother had made with tiny yellow daisies on it. Almost too soon, there was a knock on the front door.
My younger sister, Jessamine, answered the door because my mother was asleep&Jess probably thought that I was too. When I heard his deep&thunderous voice, my heart shattered into millions of pieces. I scrambled to collect them&peeked out of a small slit that separated the door from the doorway. "Thresh!" my sister piped excitedly. He swept her off the ground&spun her around in circles. When he put her down, it took a moment or two for her to regain her balance. "So," he said, "any chance Murraya is around?" "Ray!" Jessamine said in a sing-song voice. She knocked lightly on the door. "Ray," she repeated. I took a deep breath&opened the door to see my sister grinning up at me. "SOMEONE is here to see you!" she teased with a wink, gesturing at the front door. I smoothed out my dress, running my hands over the tiny stitched daisies,&made my way towards the open door. Thresh smiled at me with his perfect white teeth. I nearly fainted. What was I supposed to say? Here, standing in front of me was the boy who had always been my friend. The same boy who had grown to eighteen so fast,&in time, had become someone I truly had feelings for. Afraid of making a fool of myself, I just smiled. "Well today IS an off day, so I was just wondering if you wanted to do something." He sounded so sure, so confident. Now I couldn't do anything BUT smile. "Yeah," I replied, "That sounds nice." After making promises to Jessamine for not being home too late, Thresh&I set off. As we walked along the unpaved path, I tried to keep my cool. However, that plan was quickly abandoned after my foot caught a stone&I tripped. Embarrassment filled my heart&pink conquered the natural color of my cheeks. I was caught completely off-guard when Thresh lifted my onto his back. "Close your eyes," he told me, "Where we're going is a secret." Soon, the sun&sky were overcome by the darkness brought by my eyelids.
Within a few minutes, we had stopped. "Don't open your eyes yet," he ordered, "I'm going to put you down." He crouched down&i blindly stood on my own feet. Tall grass swept my shins. I felt his hands over my eyes. His voice was right in my ear now. "Sit," he told me, "Relax." I did what he told me. When I was settled, he told me that I could open my eyes&he took his hands away. I was astonished at what I saw. I looked in every direction, but there was nothing but a huge field of tall grass&blooming flowers of every color. I had never seen something like this. "It's beautiful," I gasped. "Just like you," he whispered in my ear. I felt his warm breath gently sweep the back of my neck. I smiled a non-existent smile. Was this real? He took a small lock of my strawberry blonde hair&twirled it around his pointer finger. I laughed lightheartedly. Suddenly, his fingers were intertwined with mine. His dark skin made the paleness of my own skin look almost over-exaggerated. I lifted my head&met his gaze. He smiled softly, the left side of his mouth slightly lifting up. For a few hours, we lay in the painted meadow silently. He still had my hand locked in the tenderness of his palm. Neither of us knew what to say. I was relieved when he spoke first. "I'm glad that you came with me today." "So am I," I replied, smiling. He smiled back. I rested my head on his shoulder&closed my eyes. I half expected to open them again&see the walls of my room surrounding me. But instead, I saw the flowers. Except now, they were closing to rest under the sky-- which was now a navy blue dotted with sparkling stars&a crescent moon. Thresh looked over at me when I removed my head from its previous resting place. "Hello there, sleepy," he remarked with another smile following. He ticked the tip of my nose with the petals of a flower he had picked. I laughed&rubbed my nose to make the silly feeling disappear. Even though it left my nose, something similar remained in my heart.
YOU ARE READING
Thresh and Murraya are young lovers in District 11. When Thresh gets Reaped in the 74th annual Hunger Games, Murraya's world gets turned upside-down. I made up the narrating character of Murraya in this spinoff fan fiction story based on The Hunger...