Everdeen: Chapter 5
I stop at the hospital to see my mother and pick up some vitamins. She’d already heard about the new name for District 12, of course. She wasn’t born an Everdeen, like I was, but she chose it when she married my father, so it was her name too. And now, it’s the name of our home. Everdeen, the Twelfth District of the United Districts Republic.
As I walk through town, people stop to shake my hand and congratulate me, even though the name wasn’t my idea. I’m just glad they seem pleased. Our town has come a long way since the firebombing.
Most of the businesses have been rebuilt and reopened, along with some new ones. Many families are original, and many are new, and we all make up our tight little community.
The mines have reopened, but now people work there because it’s their choice, not because it’s forced on them.
I’m no longer our most famous citizen, of course. Ever since the first time Peeta was elected to represent our district, he’s been our golden boy. And now, he’s our president.
He lives in the Capitol even though he still keeps his house in Victor’s Village. Prim stays with him now that she’s attending medical school in the city—with him and Delly and their daughter.
It made such perfect sense when he and Delly Cartwright fell in love. She was the one who first brought him back to us after the hijacking. They had known each other all their lives, were so alike in many ways, not the least of which was their uncommon kindness. Their pure and genuine hearts. They were the nicest people I’d ever known, so they fit together perfectly.
On her sixth birthday, I gave their daughter a pearl necklace. Peeta knew where the pearl came from. I had kept it all that time, and thought it fitting that I should pass it along to his sweet girl.
I kept the locket, and still wear it. My mother and Prim on one side, and Gale on the other.
I stop in our restaurant that we opened with Gale’s family. Greasy Sae is in the kitchen.
“Is he here?” I ask, but she shakes her head and goes back to her stew.
I continue along the street, passing Gale’s family home that we rebuilt much bigger, and come to my mother’s—also lovely in its newness.
There are few buildings in this town that weren’t greatly improved when we rebuilt, and now of course, we’ve grown even bigger as a town.
When I come to Victor’s Village, I wave at Haymitch on his front porch. He calls out, “I heard from Finnick. They’re expecting again.”
I shake my head and smile. This will be their fourth.
I pass by the rose bushes that line the front of our house. I take a deep breath. Peeta was right. Now the scent just reminds me of him.
I call out to Gale as I come in the front door. “I’m home.”
“In the kitchen,” he answers.
I step into the room and he stops what he’s doing and takes me in his arms, kissing me sweetly.
When he breaks the kiss, I look around and notice he’s got two backpacks on the table and is putting food together for them.
“Are we going to the lake?” I ask.
“Yeah, I thought we might,” he answers. “How does that sound?”
“Great,” I say. We spend a lot of our weekends at the tiny lake house. We’ve never owned it, of course, but have fixed it up over the years and use it as a little hideaway. Much of the town, I’m sure, remembers it as the place to which Gale led them in order to save their lives. Those same people elected Gale mayor of the town and I’m quite certain would never deny him an occasional weekend there.
“We going to hunt?” I ask.
“Why not?” He pulls our bows and arrows from the closet by the back door. We still have some hidden in the woods, but don’t use them anymore.
“Did you get the vitamins?” he asks.
I remove the bottle from the bag in my hand and he reads the label before putting them into a pack.
“Prenatal.” Then he gives my stomach a little pat.
In the world before, it wasn’t a possibility that I’d become a mother. But now, life is different. Both of us were happy when we found out I was pregnant. Ecstatic. Both of us were ecstatic.
“Why don’t you grab our books?” he suggests.
I climb the stairs and retrieve both our journals from our nightstands.
I never thought we’d be writers, but we both found it helped with the nightmares at first. Then, we decided it was good to write it all down for other reasons as well. I read somewhere once that if people aren’t reminded of their mistakes, then they’re doomed to repeat them. Ironically, this philosophy was the impetus for creating the Hunger Games. But now, it means—to us, at least—that nothing so cruel will ever take place again.
Gale and I are committed, as are many, never to repeat what happened before the war.
So, we both write it all down. Gale writes what it felt like—the burning desire to fight for a new life—to fight oppression. He details the minutia of the war—the tactics, the battles, the behind-the-scenes decisions. It’s not a rosy story. It’s dark and awful and true. Every word.
I write what happened to me. We’re not sure what we’ll do with it all when we’ve finished, but for now, we just know we have to write. And so we do.
I bring the books into the kitchen and he puts them in our packs. I lock the back door and we sling the packs onto our backs with our bows and head out the front door.
Once we get to the meadow, he takes my hand and we quicken our pace, eager to get to the woods.
“Let me know of you need to rest,” he says.
“I’m good, but I will. I promise.”
As we enter the woods, I say, “I think I’ve decided on a name for my book.”
“I think I’ll just call it ‘The Hunger Games.'”
“Sounds right,” he says. He pulls my hand to his lips and kisses it.
“Feels right,” I say.
He nods and answers, smiling down at me, “Yes, it does.”
And we head for the lake.
A/N: Thank you so much to my wonderful SVM friends who followed me along this new journey. And thank you to my new Hunger Games friends who were kind enough to give a newbie a chance and read, review, alert, and favorite. I’m so happy to find more Gale lovers here and look forward to reading some of the stories you’ve written as well.
I don’t have any immediate plans to write more with these characters, but I often say that and then find myself continuing along anyway. Those of you who know me, know it’s sometimes hard for me to find my off switch once I start a storyline. If you think I should go on, don’t be shy-please let me know. I take requests, and I’d love an excuse to have a little heart to heart with Gale.
Update: As I suspected would happen, I wrote Gale’s POV and posted it. I’m just calling it “Gale.” I hope you like it.