Chapter 14: Clove

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I sit on my bed confused and hurt. Cato didn't beat me, or so he says. He says he still loves me but I know I can't trust him. He's evil, I'm broken. He doesn't want me, no one does. Well, maybe just for my broken body.

"Clove, you okay?" Sawn says walking into my room with a plate of meat strips and an orange. I smile at her and she hands me the plate. I take a bite of the bland meat but my taste-buds are over-whelmed. I smile as I eat the rest of the five strips.

"You okay?" she asks seeing my red swollen eyes. I nod weakly "No, really Clove. What's wrong" she says more forcefully. I look down half in shame, half in confusion.

"It might not make sense but Cato beat me and tried to rape me and then he comes to 13 with us and he says he has no clue what happened" I say angrily. She grabs my shoulders and hugs me tightly.

"Okay, so I was sent here to explain 13 a little more" she starts as she grabs my arm "put your arms in this machine and you get your schedule for the day. It will fade away at night so you can re-do it each morning. There are severe punishments for truancy and especially for guests like you, Katniss or Cato" she says, carefully mentioning Cato. I nod and she slip away, looking urgent. I don't try to get in her way, just let her do what she needs to.

I walk to my small bathroom and see a gray jumpsuit and some small gray sneakers. I take a soothing shower and scrub my body three times over before I feel I have washed the physical reminisce of the Capitol's abuse. I slide on my jump-suit and love the baggy yet tight shape. I put on my sneakers and lace them in a double knot. I walk to the machine and press my arm to it. It beeps and starts to flash lights onto my arm. I gasp and pull away, it's going to burn me. No way am I doing that. I'll just walk room to room, maybe Coin can give me a written schedule.

I walk into room 1295 and sit in a desk. The instructor walks in, a clearly written name-tag on his chest. He smiles at all of us and I finally see that all the students are younger than me, by at least 6 years. They all welcome him as Mr. Jusoi.

"Hello class today we have a new student" he says welcoming me to the front of the class. I wave to the class and some start to whisper. Apparently, I'm a new student. 'Just roll with it, Clove' I tell myself.

"That's Clove Sevina" one of the youngest girls whispers to another, she doesn't do very well if I can hear her from here. I smile and sit back down. Mr. Jusoi starts to explain the basics of conserving, as I can see is the most important thing in 13. I start to draw on a pad of paper.

"Cato" I whisper under my breath as I see what I have drawn. The lines add up to Cato's face and the teacher looks at me questioningly.

"Would you like to share what you just said?" Mr. Jusoi asks slightly angered. I smile shyly and nod.

"I don't if they'll understand" I say maturely, he rolls his eyes and gestures for me to continue. I do. "Well Cato beat me, while we were in the Capitol and now he's saying he didn't do it" I say bitterly "he used me and then lied about nothing happening". He has me sit back down and I draw anything other than Cato. The class ends and I rip the paper out. I slip it into the pocket of my jumpsuit and walk to 'my next lesson'. Which is whatever class looks "fun".

I walk up three flights of stairs and turn to room 1612. I step in the class and wait for other students. A lot of people crowd the desks and I notice the vast majority are men. I start to get nervous and look at the floor.

"Clove!" I hear Cato yell to me. I look up frightened and he hugs me tightly. I freeze as he kisses me delicately. He looks at me confused and I try to return to reality. All I can think of is in the Capitol, him beating me. The feel of his hands on my chest, it makes me shake.

"Teacher" I say terrified, not even bothering to read the name card. "I need to go, um to the bathroom" I say stuttering. The teacher lets me go and I run far away from the room. I hear footsteps behind me and run faster. I find a small closet and slip in. I lock the door and sit there shaking. I try to cry to release stress but I can't get a single tear out.

"Clove!" I hear Cato say "You need to come out" he bangs on the door and I slide even further back. Cato breaks the door down and I scream. I get to my feet and try back up but a wall decides to stop me. I sigh and close my eyes, if he's going to beat me might as well do it in public. He grabs my arm and drag my away. I keep my eyes closed and I feel his hands on my legs. I squeal and he lifts me, gracefully. I stay in his arms terrified.

"Why are you so afraid of me?" he asks forcefully "I wouldn't do anything to hurt you". I look up into his icy blue eyes and sigh gently.

"I'm only going to say this one more time" I say calmly, still afraid he'll beat me "You beat me up. When I was in the Capitol,before we were rescued" he looks confused and tries to reason with himself. I smile mentally because I miss this part of Cato. 'No, you don't!' my subconscious yells.

"I haven't seen you since we met in the center of the prison, remember?" he asks and I shake my head "a guard say you were too good, especially with your patrons. You started crying. They beat you and I beat them up even worse?" he ask trying to get me to remember. I still shake my head confused and he frowns.

"Okay Clover. Do you want to talk? I know that always helps you" he says smiling down at me. I shake my head and pull away from him. He grabs my hand, more gently, and it reminds me of Tiberius, my most frequent patron. He used to grab my hands and hold them in his, 'to earn my trust'. Then he would beat me and rape me. It didn't work for him, it won't work for Cato.

"I need time" I say, as firmly as I can. I turn away from him and run to my bedroom.


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