0.04 ; i guess this is goodbye | ✔

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0.04 ; i guess this is goodbye

Each tribute is given half an hour to say goodbye to their family and friends before they leave for the train station. Me being me, and therefore having no friends to say goodbye to, only my crying brother and cousin, I'm guessing that my last thirty minutes of home will be quite uneventful. The room is nice to say the least. There's a pretty red velvet couch in one corner, and the walls are lined with  paintings and photographs of the district, all in gilded gold frames that stand out against the cream coloured walls. The couch looks comfortable, so I decide to go and sit down.

I takes me at least ten minutes to comprehend what is going on: I am the next female tribute for district 2, I am up against Cato Hadley, someone that I have a history with that I don't want to go back on. Oh, and the fact that frankly, I am dead: I have witnessed Cato Hadley armed with a sword and a machete in the academy. It is not a pretty sight. In the arena, he will be worse. I don't even want to imagine it.

I'm just contemplating on finding some paper and a pencil to pass the time, when the lock on the mahogany door clicks open and I am engulfed by sobbing figures, followed by Miss Cointoyke. 

"Clove! Why did it have to be you? Why?" screams Chryssi, sobbing uncontrollably on to my shoulder. I stroke her hair and she slides on to my lap, wrapping her arms around my neck. Bracken sits beside me on the velvet couch, his eyes glazed and miles away. He is shocked, I can tell: it's exactly the way I look when things like this happen. Although, luckily, nothing like this has ever happened to me. I have never had to face a family member becoming a tribute. And suddenly, I feel that, in a way, it is even worse for them: they can't change my fate, they can only stand by and watch, and hope that I don't die at the hands of the Capitol's Games.

"Shhh Chryssi, calm down, it'll be OK" I try to soothe her, but it only makes her worse.

"Clove" she says, looking up at me, tears dribbling down her red cheeks "Please try to win, please."

"I promise I will Chryssi, and you know, maybe I can" god I'm even trying to delude myself now, what's gotten into me? "I am a career you know, I can throw, you've seen me."

"You're the best in there" It's the first time that Bracken has spoken, and I'm grateful for it: he often brings a maturity that cannot be found in Chryssi. Chryssi is childish. Bracken is mature, and knows what he has to do. I will have to rely on him to look after Chryssi when I am gone.

I lift Chryssi off my lap and stand to my feet. Bracken follows me, until we are standing face to face. He is almost as tall as me, even though he is three years younger. "You can win Clove, you have the best throw in the academy, by far. You could take out anyone, even Cato Hadley if you wanted to!"

I flinch at the mention of Cato. Brackens words remind me of that day. Yes, I could take him out quite easily, if I was at least 20 feet away and very well hidden. But, instead, I decided to take out the cougar. Wouldn't it have been so much easier if I'd have just left him to die.......

"Yes, maybe I could, if I had the right weapons."

"As soon as you get out there, get the knives. With those on your side, you'll have a pretty good chance." When he speaks, he reminds me of my father, only more caring, and with a sentimental quality about him. There was no sentiment about my father: he didn't care about us, and I constantly have to remind myself of that.

"Yeah, maybe I do." I edge closer to him, looking him straight in the eye and I proceed in a hushed tone "But, if I don't make it, you have to be there for her. I can't take care of her any more, so I'm passing it on to you. Make sure that she doesn't fall foul of the two-headed monsters otherwise known as our room mates, and finally, if Cato makes it home.." I stutter, even though I know what it is that I want to say, and I know in my heart that I must say it  "...tell him to forget."

I let out a sigh as Bracken's eyebrows furrow, confusion plaguing his hurt face. "What do you mean by...."

"Your time is up, everyone out now please!" barks a peacekeeper outside the door. Chryssi screams as another peacekeeper grabs her around the waist and drags her out. "Just tell him! Tell him to forget!" I shout in anguish, tearing towards the door, noticing Miss Cointoyke about to step over the threshold "Miss Cointoyke!" She swivels around quickly and the peacekeepers attempt to hurry her forwards.

I take a deep breath "Thank you, for being my family, even when I didn't have one. I guess this is goodbye."

"Your welcome." she replies, her eyes downcast "Goodbye Clove Carrow, you will be remembered."

She turns around and leaves me standing there in the room, a single tear trailing down my face as I realise that I may have just said goodbye to all I have ever known. 

I return to my couch, dropping my head into my hands, squeezing my eyes shut and trying to tell myself that it's all a dream, it's all a dream. 

But it's not, and I will be heading into the arena at the end of this week. God, it's hard to know that you've only got a week left of being definitely alive.

Then the door crashes open. What? I don't have anyone left that would want to say goodbye to me? So who is the mysterious figure heading through the door?

"If you don't die in that arena, Carrow, you're getting it when you get back!" a distinctly female voice screams from behind the door. And then it flies open and Ava Grigson is standing there, face beet-red, perfect make-up smudged into oblivion from her obvious tears.

"Why are you here?" I say, picking at some loose strands of the red velvet, averting my eyes from her harsh glare "And plus, you could have volunteered yourself if you wanted to go be a proper career."

If anger was a visible thing, it would be pouring out of her eyes right now. "You are nothing! You and your little knives are going to be destroyed in that arena! I'll make sure of it, you mark my words, Carrow!"

She flails her arms around and screams incomprehensible curses at me as the peacekeepers drag her out of the door. And then she's gone, and the peacekeepers are taking me too, leading me down corridors with their iron hands clamped down on my shoulders, guiding me towards my doom.

We emerge into a courtyard with a car in the centre, Tallulah Frost already standing beside it with her scary grin. When she notices me, she opens the door wide and gestures for me to sit inside. Then we wait for Cato. I know that he will take ages: he's popular, and everyone will want to say goodbye to him.

He emerges into the yard around ten minutes later, lead by some other peacekeepers, then Tallulah gets into the car and Cato follows her. Then doors slam and we are heading towards the train station.

The station is packed with reporters, and I am glad that my earlier tears do not show in my face as I, Clove Carrow, am broadcast to the whole nation. They will already be betting on how long I will last. Stupid Capitol idiots.

The train is a large long bullet train, capable of reaching around 250 miles-per-hour, silver in colour and lavishly decorated inside. This is the kind of luxury I will be subjected to during my week in the Capitol. I can't wait. 


Our mentors - the people that will oversee Cato and I into the arena and give us advice - are already lounged across a leather sofa in the centre of the carriage. Crystalline Jones is one of the most famous Hunger Games victors in history. She won the 70th Games aged sixteen, due to her outstanding spear-throwing skills. She was a career, obviously, but she came across as a normal girl with no skills. Crystalline has white-blonde hair in a feathered bob and startlingly bright emerald green eyes. Even now she still exudes power and excellence.

Sitting next to her is her complete opposite. A giant of a man with a bald head, muscled arms crossed over his chest. Brutus Caines, another well-known district 2 career victor. They are going to be excellent mentors, I can tell. They will help me and Cato until we get into the arena. And then, after that, we're on our own.

God knows what's going to happen when we are. I don't even want to think about it. Because I know that I have to try and win, whatever happens, for my family. That was not my last goodbye.  

{proofed and edited 07/11/16}