The crisp sound of heels clattering against tile fills my ears, and I focus on those short taps as I make my way to the restaurant. I spot the escort for District 8, Florence or Venevola or something like that, and pull the corners of my mouth into my signature, dazzling smile. I give the women a cheerful wave, one that is polite yet doesn't allow room for conversation. Without looking for her wave, my head snapped forward and my pace quickened. The smooth papers in my hand crumpled slightly in my tense fist, and I loosen my hold. Finally I reach the doors and push on the smooth, cool surface and enter The Golden Orchid. Ignoring the hostess I scan the room for my target, a young man in the farthest possible booth. I try to maneuver through the glass tables and multi-colored people inhabiting them, but far to many people want to be social.
I feel a manicured, smooth hand grip my arm and turn towards Jenalis. "Hello Effie" she drawls. I force my smile to stretch across my face and reply in a chipper force "Hello darling, enjoying your meal?" She nods, and I try to ignore the speck of cream in the corner of her mouth. "Yes everything is lovely, are you meeting somebody here?" she asks and I tear my eyes away from the sauce on her face, even though every bone in my body is telling me to wipe it away. "Yes, he is back there in face" I point towards the small table shrouded in the shadows. The women chuckles, and some more sauce dribbles down her chin. I pretend not to notice. She just gives me an approving smile and hurries me along.
I am terribly grateful that the woman's inebriated state kept her from noticing the stack of papers in my hand. I nearly run, which is difficult in 5 inch heels, towards the table and slowly sit in the chair opposite the man. His bright purple hair is a similar color as that of my wig, though mine is short bob and his hair is curly. Rather than smiling at him, I shove the papers on the table and whisper "Here are the papers, now I just need to know the location." The man, Micordan, gestures with a perfect hand to the paper sitting beside him. It is a map, a map of the Capitol building. One path is marked in purple, and leads to a building called, "Rehabilitation". My nod is almost invisible, but I know he sees it when he hands me the map. I add it to that stack of papers on my side and up them in my lap but under my bag, hidden from view. We pick up menus from the other side of the table and continue with our dinner, hiding our transaction from any wandering eyes.
After the meal Microdan kisses me on the cheek and whispers in my ear, "They won't trust you, so be careful." I give an exaggerated nod, knowing it will look like I am excited at the prospect of another meeting, while only he knows the true significance. We walk out of the restaurant together and part ways at the exit, he going to his room and I going to mine.
I walk at a more languid pace, my growing stack of paper tucked under my arm. It is still rather early for those in the Capitol, so nobody is wandering the halls. When I reach my room I put the papers in my desk, along with my mockingjay necklace. I close and lock the drawer and look at the tabletop. On of my pens is out of place, so I quickly tuck it into its spot. I then walk to the bathroom and turn on the bright lights. I take of the neon wig and my hair falls down in loose, dark brown waves. I strip myself of my purple suit and shoes, and scrub the makeup off of my face. Once finished, I look in the mirror. No longer do I look like the 28 years old former escort of District 12, and current advisor to the President. I don't look like Effie Trinket with her pristine outfits and bright colored wigs, though I love both. I look like a different Effie Trinket, with her long natural hair brushing her shoulder blades. An Effie with a pale face not adorned with layers of powders and blushes an creams. Without the makeup and suits, I look like a young girl, 18 at most. I look especially young without my heels, lowering my height to a petite 5'2''.
I step into the shower and press the top button third from the left. A rush of hot water instantly pours down onto my body, and my muscles lose their tension. I let the water drip down my figure for a few minutes, lost in how relaxing it feels, before pressing the button on the very left side of the second row. A light pink foam, smelling of roses, bursts from the ceiling, coating my body in it's smooth and silky feel. Soon after the water washes away the foam and I allow the machine to dry and detangle my hair. Normally I brush my hair on my own but today I am far too tired to deal with it. I step out of the shower and into a plush green bathrobe.
Moments later I slip a black silk nightgown over my head, reveling in its smoothness. I crawl into my large bed and pull the soft covers over my head, allowing sleep to take over.