Here I am. Bleeding in the middle of a cursed desert. Weak. Helpless. About to be killed by the hand of what looks like my once beloved fiance. Who ever thought it would end like this. Everything was so different a month ago. Where did it all go wrong? I think to myself. The day of the reaping. I think back to that day. I remember it so clearly...
"Babe.. babe wake up."
I woke up to my fiance, Dean, standing over me.
"We gotta get you ready for the reaping today. Get up." he gently kissed my forehead and walked toward the closet.
"Wh-What time is it?" I ask.
"It's 10:30am right now. Ive got your outfit ready and breakfast is made. I-"
"TEN THIRTY??! my mom is probably wondering why I'm not home, she'll find us!!" I jump up out of bed and get dressed quickly. "I have to say goodbye to her before I go, in case.. in case.."
"In case nothing. I'll see you at 4" He kissed me and I ran off. I prayed my parents don't question me about where I was. I walk slowly as I approach my house; opening the door slowly as to not make any noise. I made my way to my mothers room to see she was still asleep with my father also asleep next to her. Thank god.
"Estar?" Damn. My mother woke up.
"Yes ma?" I reply.
"Where on Earth were you last night? I was worried about you. I thought you would never come home!" My mother said getting up from her bed. My father woke up for a moment and squints in my direction.
"Ehhsm..." He moans before falling back asleep.
"Sorry ma I was at Tricka's house all night talking." I say. It was not a complete lie, I did stop by Tricka's house the night before to say hello before I met up with Dean. I didn't know Tricka that well. She was very shy and timid and for some odd reason I wanted to get to know her.
"Next time let me know before you go off spending the whole night with your friend!" My mother exclaimed."Now come here so I can fix your hair. It's your last reaping today, excited?" She asks.
I am excited, I think, because after this I can marry my Dean and live happily ever after- or so I thought.
"Yeah." Is all I say. "Just anxious. There's still a chance..." My voice trails off.
"Don't worry honey, you won't. Now lets go eat before it starts." My mother said after twisting my long red hair into a bun.
I lined up with the group of 18 year olds and doze off for the first part of the reaping. I think about Dean. About our wedding. About how my parents would disapprove is they knew he was 24.
"Estar Pierce! come on up!" I snap out of my daze. I have been called. To what? I remember where I was. oh no I thought to myself. My dreams quickly fade away. I walk to the stage. Looking out into the crowd, my eyes meet Deans. I can use knives, I thought, I can run. If only I could run from this.. I have to win.
I sat in a room alone in the Justice Building. Awaiting my inevitable fate. What are the odds of me being called during my last reaping. 1 in a million. I couldn't feel. I didn't know what to feel. Cry? Worry? Be angry? Be excited?
"Five minutes." A peacekeeper says as the door opens. My mother and father were the first to see me. No one talks. We all join in an embrace and silently cry together for 5 minutes.
"I love you." Is the last thing my parents say to me before they leave.
"I love you too." I sob.
That may have been the last time I will ever see my parents again. Dean came in next. His eyes were already red from crying, but he held it back and tried to be strong for me. He told me he loved me and that he would wait for me until I returned.
"You can win this Essie... You're smart. You can do this. I'll be rooting for you every second. I love you." He told me.
We spent our last 2 minutes together talking and kissing. Keeping back tears and telling each other that I would make it back safe. Although we both knew there was a good chance I might not come back at all.
After Dean I was not expecting anyone else to come in. I didn't have many close friends, only acquaintances, but they would never care enough to come and say goodbye. To my surprise there was one more visitor. Tricka.
I included you in a lie to my parents this morning and now I'm going to compete and possibly die in the Hunger Games, I thought to myself.
"Hey... Estar." She said nervously.
"Hey Tricka, thanks for coming to see me." I said. I had nothing to say to her. It was awkward.
"Yeah of course." She scaned the room. "Look I have something to tell you. I wouldn't be able to stand it if I never told you this before you left."
"Okay..." I said. "What is it?" I asked curiously.
"I'm... I'm 3 months pregnant..." She says with her hand on her stomach. I have never noticed she had a baby bump before. Now I understood why all this time she would wear big clothes, she was trying to hide it, but why?
"Congratulations! Not to be rude, but why are you telling me?" I asked.
"I-It's... It's..." She hesitates. "Dean's...." She let out a small squeal and started crying. I didn't believe it. She couldn't have been talking about my Dean. My soon-to-be husband, Dean. My secret lover, Dean. It wasn't him.
"What's Dean's?" I asked in denial.
"It's Deans baby! I'm so sorry I'm so so so so sorry it only happened one time! I was so vulnerable and he.. He was so...so..." She buried her face in her hands. "I'm so sorry!"
Part of me wanted to kill her where she stood. The other part of me wouldn't allow me to hit a pregnant woman. Pregnant with Dean's child... Dean. That bastard. He didn't have the decency to tell me himself in our last 5 minutes together... I only told Tricka about Dean and I about a month before. I decided to trust her. She couldn't have known before, so I didn't completely hate her. I had so many questions to ask her. Why did she do it? Where? What exactly happened? What did he say? Before I could say another word the peacekeeper opens the door indicating our 5 minutes were over.
"I'm sorry Estar!" She sobbed as she stumbled out of the room.
I simply nod. 5 minutes. It took 5 minutes for things to get from bad to worse.
I did not want my last thought to be a bad one. I try and think about anything good that's happened to me in these last few weeks. Dread. He was tall and geeky and the only person that made the Games the slightest bit berable. I think back to the interviews while he was on stage.
"It's great to have you here Dread