“That was good work back there” Finnick says as he sits down beside me on the coach in the living room. I wipe my eyes on the back of my hand and let my feet fall to the floor. I thought everyone had gone to bed. That’s why I crept from my bed to the sofa and just there staring out at the flickering lights of the Capital wishing I had nothing more to worry about other than what to make for breakfast again.
“Thanks” I reply. My voice sounds foggy. He knows I’ve been crying. The evidence is all over my face and heavy in my voice.
“I mean it. You looked seriously frightening. Even I was scared” He pokes my shoulder and I laugh. The famous Finnick Odair, that speared children older than him with his infamous trident, scared of me. It was laughable in a really pitiful way.
I stop laughing and continue to stare ahead. I don’t really want to talk to him and I hope he gets the picture. I’m almost afraid he’ll start calling me pudgy and although I have worse things to fear I really don’t need my self-esteem dropping any further.
“Can we just talk?” Finnick says after a while. There’s a pleading tone to his voice, “I need to talk to someone”
Suddenly his whining voice just grates my nerves and I snap. I leap from the sofa like he just struck me with a hot poker.
“You need to talk? Well let’s talk Finnick! Let’s talk about how in a few days I’ll be dead. Let’s take about the mutilation of children, let’s talk about my arms being sawed off and my head being squished in like fruit. Let’s talk about my death and your long beautiful life. You may have had admirers in the arena and you may have your lovers fawning over you now. But I am not your sponsor! You're my mentor, do your damn job!”
I don’t even know this man, this boy. He’s been through the same things as I’m going through now. He probably had self-doubt and self-hatred but he’s here now. He’s only twenty years old. It seems so young to me but so old as well. So old because I know I’ll never be twenty. I’ll never be nineteen. I’ll forever be stuck as eighteen. I’m struck by the idea that most Capital citizens would love to be stuck in an eighteen year olds body forever. But not me. I want to grow old.
I hope that my outburst didn’t wake anyone. By looking at Finnick’s face it’s as if I slapped him. He stands up quickly and I flinch thinking he will actually hit me this time. Instead he kisses me briefly on my lips, a confused look in his eyes. I just stand there, unsure of what just happened.
“Why?” I finally managed to squeeze out a word. Finnick shrugs his shoulders and begins to walk away.
“I wanted to see what it would feel like to kiss someone who doesn’t want to kiss me”
I’m alone again and so very tired. I pad back to my bedroom repeating Finnick’s words to myself again and again.
It was an extremely narcissistic thing to say. I wonder why anyone can stand him at all. And yet I like him. I want to be his friend. He looks like he needs one. He has thousands of lovers but I think he has no friends. That’s sad, really sad. He’s a bit like me.