I turn the pages slowly, seeing each detail of the uniform. The carefully tailored layers of body armor, the hidden weapons in the boots and belt, the special reinforecements over my heart. On the final page, under a sketch of my mockingjay pin, Cinna’s written, I’m still betting on you.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I’m probably just setting myself up to get my heart broken.
“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
So after, when he whispers, ‘You love me. Real or not real?’
I tell him, ‘Real.’”
I’ve just reached the door when his voice stops me. “Katniss. I remember about the bread.”
The bread. Our one moment of real connection before the Hunger Games.
[…] “So what do you remember?”
“You. In the rain,” he says softly. “Digging in our trash bins. Burning the bread. My mother hitting me. Taking the bread our for the pig but then giving it to you instead.”
“That’s it. That’s what happened,” I say. “The next day, after school, I wanted to thank you. But I didn’t know how.”
“We were outside at the end of the day. I tried to catch your eye. You looked away. And then… for some reason, I think you picked a dandelion.” I nod. He does remember. I have never spoken about that moment aloud. “I must have loved you a lot.”