[[A/N: Hey guys! So I've started writing about yet another fandom, The Hunger Games. Didn't think I'd get into it, but I'm really happy now that I have. And in the midst of all that, I developed a liking for Haymitch… I find him to be an interesting character and to be honest, I can relate to him in a lot of ways. So when I came up with an idea for a story, I couldn't help myself. The summary basically explains it. But I will say that I own the character of Renay since I did invent her, I guess she's intended to fill the spot of Haymitch's nameless girlfriend.
Also I guess you can consider this to be a flashback, as I'm aware that ten year olds don't really think the way I like to write; I have tried to tone down my style and vocabulary as much as I can, but it's a bit difficult. Once she gets a bit older it won't be toned down as much, so bear with me. I hope y'all like this :3]]
xx Renay's POV xx
The first time I met Haymitch Abernathy - that is to say, the first time I had a conversation with him - I was ten years old. It was a school day, and lunchtime had found my best friend and I sitting on a rickety wooden bench underneath a willow tree, trading jokes and biscuits. We usually took this seat at mealtimes (when the weather was nice, otherwise we ate in the lunchroom) because it was close to the fence that surrounded the schoolyard, so others didn't disturb us too often. Every now and then, some of the boys - from either part of the district - might run past as they kicked around an old soccer ball, but otherwise it was quiet; just the way we liked it.
"Maddi?" I whispered softly, trying to figure out whether Maddison - my best friend ever - was still paying attention, or whether she was once again staring into space as she often did.
"Hmmfff... What? Oh... Yes, Ren?" the shorter, brown-haired girl sitting next to me replied slowly, confirming that she had indeed been staring off into the unknown. I sighed softly, giving a small shrug before dismissing her worst habit - after all, what use was there in getting annoyed? She was still my best friend anyway, and it was something we had in common.
"Can you watch my bag for a minute? I think I left my water bottle inside..." I admitted. Maddison nodded to let me know she would do it, and I smiled as I stood up. With my blonde hair flowing, I happily skipped away. It took me a few minutes to reach the side of the building that my classroom was on, but the classroom was the first one on the left so I was inside in a flash. I stopped for a moment to straighten out my dress - which was blue, had sleeves and was polka-dotted on the bottom half - before walking down to my desk and swiftly retrieving my black water bottle from my desk. Smiling as I passed through an unusually large ray of sunlight streaming through a window, I was almost at the doorway when I noticed something in the room - or rather, someone - who definitely shouldn't be there right now. One lone student - obviously the same age as me - was sitting at his desk, his head bent over a schoolbook as his right hand moved back and forth over the page he was currently working on. He had dark, curly hair, grey eyes and a serious expression on his face, which intrigued me because most of the other boys in my class didn't seem to care as much about their schoolwork. Feeling quite curious, as I'd never meet this boy before - I'd seen him, but we'd never spoken - I tiptoed back towards his desk and stopped, smiling at him.
"Hi, what's your name?" I asked politely. The boy looked up from his book - without letting go of the pencil he'd been using - and asked, "I'm Haymitch, who are you?"
"My name's Renay Garrison, it's nice to meet you," I added, my head bobbing up and down slightly as I spoke. And I meant it; I liked meeting people. Haymitch nodded and smiled slightly after I'd finished speaking, but slowly returned to his work and said no more for the time being. Unsure of what to do next, I leaned on one foot and then the other for a moment before reaching for the chair behind me, turning it around and sitting in front of him with my legs crossed at the ankles.
"What are you doing inside anyway? It's lovely outside today, wouldn't you rather be out there?" I asked, hoping I wasn't being offensive. Sometimes I had the habit of unnerving people with my questions - or so I'd been told - but I never did it to be mean... I just liked to know about other people - like what they thought, or why they did what they did.
"Didn't finish my English homework" Haymitch suddenly replied, in an odd voice that was a mixture of whispering and muttering. The smile that I'd seen just moments was gone now, the corners of his mouth curling downwards in a deep-set frown.
"Oh..." I murmured softly, moving a little closer to his desk without really thinking at first. Though he was frowning, I still liked looking at his face - even if I didn't yet know why. The frown hadn't made him appear ugly; he just looked bothered, like maybe he was upset about something. I hope I didn't upset him... I thought guiltily, not exactly enjoying the idea of being the reason someone felt upset. "Sorry if I upset you, I was just curious" I confessed, trying to let him know that I didn't want to be mean or hurtful. Then I had an idea. "I could help you, if you want?" I offered tentatively, wondering if maybe that was what he needed. I was pretty good with English, and liked to help my friends if they struggled with their own work - plus I'd done the homework well enough last night, so -
"I don't need any help!" Haymitch replied, breaking through my thoughts and practically hissing in his hurry to get the words out. Wincing softly at his seemingly angry outburst, I started to move my chair backwards, deciding it was best if I left him alone now - I'd obviously asked too many questions. I've really gotta stop doing that, it just annoys people... I said to myself, my shoulders slumping in defeat. As I stood up from my seat, I stretched my legs gently before starting to turn the chair around. Then Haymitch looked up at me - and he wasn't frowning anymore; there was a small smile on his face.
"I mean... I'm almost finished anyway, what's the point?" Haymitch added questioningly. I didn't really know how to deal with that, so I settled for nodding and returning his smile even though I felt a little upset by his anger, and hissing at me.
"I guess you're right, it was pretty easy anyway..." I said quietly, finally pushing the chair back into its original place. "See you later, Haymitch," I added finally, turning around and walking outside as I opened my water bottle and took a few small sips. Skipping across the schoolyard so I'd find Maddison more quickly, I watched my blue stripy shoes kicking up small clouds of dirt and dust as I went. Once I could see my best friend again, I ran the rest of the way and plopped down next to her on the bench, crossing my legs at my ankles once more.
"What took you so long? Isn't your bottle normally on your desk?" Maddison asked happily, looking at me with a small smirk on her face. I nodded in agreement, letting out an amused sigh.
"Yeah, it was..." I agreed, shaking my head as if to say, no, you're not allowed to make fun of me!. She seemed to get the hint and shrugged, reaching down to lace up her shoes. "I was talking to Haymitch, do you know him?" I explained. Then I turned around a little so I was facing in her direction, wondering if she might be able to shed some light on this mysterious boy I'd only just met.
"Oh, Haymitch Abernathy?" Maddison asked me, almost as if there were two people in our class with the same first name and she needed to know which one I was talking about. I nodded impatiently and gave her a gentle nudge on the shoulder, urging her to tell me more about him because I was just so curious. As I looked closely at her, I could see her preparing to speak again and grinned, setting my water bottle next to me on the bench and getting ready to listen as I wondered what she might know about him.
"Haymitch doesn't live in our part of town, maybe that's why we don't really know him. He's from the Seam so I don't know exactly where he lives..." Maddison exclaimed. She paused there, taking a breath before adding, "I don't think he's friends with anyone from our side of town... Never really talks to any of the boys we do, anyway".
I definitely agreed with her there - because if he was friends with any of the boys we were, he wouldn't be as much of a stranger to me, if at all. At the very least, I could recognize anyone that lived where I did - the merchant side of town - and had talked to most of them, but I couldn't say that about the Seam kids. I guess it was partly because there were many more of them than us, but also because some of them just didn't seem to like talking to us. We all had one thing in common - living in one of the poorest districts of Panem - but those of us who lived in the merchant side of town had a bit more money... And while I didn't really care about that, I'd been told by my brother Logan that some people were bothered by it, because things seemed so much better for us. Which was true, in a way - we had a somewhat easier life than they did - but things weren't perfect, not for anybody here.
"Ren? Renay? The bell's ringing, we gotta go back to class!" I suddenly heard Maddison shouting. She began shaking my shoulders, as if I were fast asleep and needed to be woken up at once.
"What?" I blurted out, confused as anything. What was she talking about? I seriously hadn't heard the bell ringing, because I'd been too busy thinking about I didn't know Haymitch or most of the other Seam kids.
"Gosh, you're funny sometimes!" Maddison giggled, shaking her head. "While you were busy daydreaming or whatever, the bell was ringing! Grab your stuff and come on!" she trilled loudly, reaching for my arm and pulling me along with her after I'd stuffed my bottle and food box into my school bag. We got there in just enough time and I noticed her eyeing me curiously as I looked around the room.
"What are you looking at?" Maddison asked. I ignored her for a bit and kept looking around - until my eyes settled on the boy I'd been looking for. As Haymitch was smiling slightly at me, I turned red, feeling both worried and guilty. "Don't worry about it, just sit down" I whispered quickly, waving and smiling back at the mysterious, grey-eyed boy, not remembering the hurt I'd felt so much anymore. There must be a reason for him not wanting my help... Don't be upset, it's okay now, I told myself, taking a deep breath as I walked further along until I finally found my seat.
The rest of the afternoon passed by all too quickly for me. I concentrated on my work as hard as I could and before I knew it, the last bell of the day rang, telling us that it was time to go home. After getting my things together, I walked to the back of the classroom and found my bag, kneeling on the floor as I placed my belongings inside, once again getting a little lost in thought. Maddison soon approached me and tapped my shoulder gently, prompting me to reach for her hand and stand up slowly. "Thanks... I got a little distracted," I admitted - though I had no doubt she could already tell - and we linked arms, walking outside together. "So what were you looking for before? I know you told me not to worry about it, but..." she said, trailing off as if she expected me to finish her sentence. Shrugging gently, I tried my best to drag my bag strap a little further up my shoulder with my free arm before I answered.
"I was looking for Haymitch... No reason, I guess. I just wanted to see him again," I told her honestly, tucking a stray lock of hair behind my left ear. There was a smirk on Maddison's face now that hadn't already been there, and I saw her looking around much like I had. Raising an eyebrow, I slowly let go of her arm and flattened down the skirt of my dress, wondering just what she was up to.
"I think I can see my mom... Oh look, there's your boyfriend!" Maddison blurted out. Giggling hysterically as she pointed somewhere to the left of me, she skipped away so quickly that I didn't get a chance to tell her how she was wrong. My eyes followed the direction her hand had pointed in and before I saw him, I knew who she was talking about. Haymitch was kneeling down on the ground just a few metres away, tying up his shoelaces. Before I'd had time to think, my feet had carried me over to the place where he knelt; and I stood in front of him, waiting until he got to his feet before I spoke.
"So, um... How did your homework go? Unless you don't want to talk about it..." I mumbled shyly, avoiding looking into his eyes. The scuffing of shoes could be heard and soon after that, Haymitch must have stood up because I could feel him standing a little closer now.
"I guess you were right, it was easy" he commented, looking down at his shoes as he went quiet. I looked up once I knew his eyes weren't on me, and we stayed like that for a while until I heard a male voice calling his name. "Haymitch? Haymitch, we have to get home!" the unknown male shouted, forcing us both to look up. Looking up and down over the man as he walked towards us, I realised he looked a lot like Haymitch, and I smiled - this must be his father. They had the same eyes, olive-toned skin, hair and mouth; even their voices were similar, though his father's sounded like he had a bad cough or something.
"Bye..." Haymitch whispered quickly, running away to walk with his father. I stared at their backs as they left the schoolyard, thinking to myself until someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see my neighbour Max, and smiled - he was another one of my best friends, and we often walked to or from school together. "Ready to go?" he asked. Letting out a soft sigh, I scrunched up my face and began to shake my head until I realised I might as well go home. Haymitch had disappeared from my sight now, so what was the point of staying behind when he wasn't here for me to talk with? He would be well on his way home by now, no doubt. Eventually nodding, I shrugged and smiled at Max as we walked home, even though my thoughts were nowhere near him.
[[A/N: And there you have it, folks - the first chapter of my first-ever Hunger Games fanfic! I am sorry if it wasn't that interesting, but I wanted to set the scene as well as introduce some of the characters - as well as giving Haymitch and Renay plenty of time to know each other before the 50th Hunger Games =D Also, I'm assuming that Haymitch's father was dead before his Hunger Games but since I've never heard anything specific about him, I'm making up my own backstory for that. It will become more important as the story progresses.
I would recommend going to my Weebly page – .com – as I will make Polyvore sets to show what the character's outfits look like. I will be putting the page for this story wup right after posting this chapter.
Please review this story and let me know what you think guys, I really wanna know what you think (L) xxx]]