It has been Exactly 12 years since I first stood in this arena as a girl of only 17.
I never enjoy returning to this place it still haunts me in my nightmares almost every night and probably will for the rest of my life. People often ask me why I make the trip back every year and spend 12 days leading people through the arena, and telling them the stories of the brave souls who died here. My little daughter Ryely has become a wonderful little tour guide. Of course I don't let her go through the part of the tour where we talk about the deaths. There will be far too much time for her to hear about all that in the years to come. But I do have her showing survival skills that would have been used in the arena and of course her favorite spot is where she was born she loves to lead groups over and show them the spot she was born in. She and I always go over to the spot Peeta died and talk to him Rye loves telling her Father all about what is going on in her life. I know he can't hear us but it gives Rye a sort of connection to the father she will never know.
Panem has done a wonderful job of rebuilding from the ashes. Gone are the Rich district Poor district distinctions. People are allowed to move to other districts if they choose and working conditions have been greatly improved.
District 12 has gone through many changes and you would hardly recognize it today. Victors village has been transformed into a retirement community and the victors live other places in town.
Little Rye turned out to be just what Haymitch needed because I have never seen him drunk since she was born. She is the light of his whole world and every minute of free time she gets she begs to go and hear a story from grandpa Haymitch. He built a home right next to ours and he spends almost as much time in our home as his. Rye has her father's knack for Baking which should not come as a surprise. I arranged with her grandparents to let her work at the bakery every afternoon after school.
But the weekends are my time she and I take our bows and arrows and spend hours in the woods together Gale usually joins us in the afternoons with a wonderful picnic. I must say she takes after me when it comes to hunting sometimes I swear she is a better shot than I am!
Nagging in the back of my mind is always the fear that someday the games will resume and the will reap my beautiful daughter. But that is a fear I will have to live with. She is growing so fast I know if I blink she will be grown and gone. She already has caught the attention of the Taylors son even though people tell me it's just a little boys' crush. I don't know; after all I was about her age when her father fell in love with me.
"At least you guys will be around for a few more years" I say to my very pregnant belly. Yes Gale and I are having twins! We are going to name one 'Orion Gale Hawthorne' since Orion means child of fire Gale said it was only fitting for the first son of the girl on fire. The second one will be' Finick Cinna Hawthorne'
I had never wanted children Rye was an accident yes I loved her and I could not imagine my life without her but I was completely content to just stick with her. Gale however having come from a large family wanted more children. After years of saying no to him I realized how selfish I was being to him. I had my child and although Rye would always be a daughter to him it was not the same as having his own children.
I'll never forget the look of pure joy on his face when I told him not only was I pregnant but we were having twins! He picked me up and spun me around and around in his arms laughing and crying at the same time. I was very nervous but his enthusiasm was contagious and I found myself getting excited over nursery colors and cute little baby outfits and picking out strollers and swings. This was a new experience for me since I had never had time to plan for Rye. With Peeta and I going into the arena and then loosing Peeta I had not had any interest in these things before.
Now as I stand by my husband's grave I realize just how far I have come these last few years. How many hardships I have overcome and how I finally lost that sharp edge that I had used to keep people far away. I don't know what the future will bring but I know that as long as I have my family and a determination to fight for what is right no matter the cost anything is possible.
Ohhh I'm actually kinda sad to see this story be over I had so much fun writing it! I'm sorry some of you were disappointed but I would like to especially thank you to Duckling654, and Aloha-Pinkly! You guys gave reviews that really made me want to write even better! Yes I will for sure be doing a story following Rye's life it will mention the twins and Katniss and Gale but it will be about Rye. I have a great idea for it so I'll be starting on that as soon as I finish my super human story that I'm doing now.
Bye for now (;