There I was.
On my knees.
Staring at Clove's dead body.
"She's gone." I whisper to myself. Sorrow blankets my heart and I feel a sense of emptiness flushed over me. We were going to be victors! I've let the love of my life slip away through a matter of seconds. I should have said good-bye. I should have kissed her. I wish so badly I told her I love her. My regret, my longing, my love lying dead at my knees is too much. I look at her face and stroke her soft cheek, my thumb moves to her cute nose remembering the times it would twitch when she got mad. I let a tear fall from my eyes. Clove can only be a memory now. She will never kiss me. She will never twitch her nose again. I don't hold back on my waterfall of tears streaming from my eyes.
I bend down to take her in my arms squeezing her one last time. Then I remember a fairytale my mother used to tell me every now and then.
"...And when the Princess took a bite from the poisonous apple she fell at the feet of the evil witch..." She would say.
But I was puzzled, "I thought fairytales were supposed to be happy mama."
Then she would giggle, "Well sweetie, they are happy..." She would look at my confusion and continue on with the story, "So when the 7 dwarfs found the princess dead on the cottage floor they decided to lay her outside in the woods surrounded by beautiful flowers to display her beauteous glow, and give her the funeral she rightly deserves" she would smile and keep her eyes on a distant thing, "...When the Prince, the love of her life, received news of her death she rushed over to see her one last time...He saw her eyes closed and arms crossed across her chest. He was so sad she was gone, he loved her so much and so he kisses her. But little did he know his their love for one another was powerful the princess woke from her deep sleep. It proves true love can conquer all." She would hang her head as if she herself saw the love of her life die. Then she would turn to me, "Cato, hunny, when you find your princess you have to promise me you won't let her go. You will love her with your whole heart. And you will never let anything hurt her."
I would nod, "I promise."
I turn my head to Clove. I did not keep my promise. How did I let her go to the feast alone? I wish I never let a fly hurt her. But I did. In fact, I let a rock kill her. Could she have been my princess? Do we have true love?
With these words bouncing around my brain I take her into my arms and lay my lips upon hers, ever so sweetly and softly.
I tear away. Her eyes beginning to flutter open. She takes a breath as if coming up from water. She looks at me with a smile creeping across her face. I smile and I feel my heart is lighter and I can see the sun, not the one in the sky, but the one in my arms.
"Cato..." she says as she cups my face in her hand, "Cato..." I wait for her to say something but I don't see her begin to speak, I see her face inching closer to mine. And so I kiss her, smacking my lips against hers and I feel our lips dance with perfect timing. I feel electricity wake up all my senses and I cup her face in my hand, kissing her so passionately as if it were our last kiss.
Immediately I tear away. Could this be true? Could Clove be alive again? "Clove..." I begin, I don't know how to ask, or say this, "Are you really..." I say, "Are you really here?"
"Of course I'm here," she says, "I just fainted right?"
"No..." I say once to myself, and I stand up to look away from Clove "No!" I scream, "I heard the canon." I turn around to see Clove confused looking at me, then looking at the sky.
"Well how am I here then?" She asks, almost irritated, her nose twitches. Immediately I understand.
"The kiss!" I exclaim, "True love..." I pause and realize saying this too quickly will alarm her. But when I am about to explain true love, Clove interrupts with a rather wise, and calm voice, "True love," she looks deep into my eyes, "Can really conquer all."
Our faces are so close our noses brush and I feel her warm slow breath on my neck. I kiss her with every ounce of passion I have in my body and the sensation of kissing Clove brings me to lay her down on the ground and simply kiss her there. She props herself up on both elbows and kisses me back. As our lips move in perfect synchronization she entwines her fingers in my hair at the back of my head.
Clove moves her hand to my tear stained cheek and pulls away, her eyes look directly into mine, we are so close her face is all that I can see, "Why am I here?" She's stumped me.
"I don't know," I knit my eyebrows together in thought, "But I have to tell you something." I stand up and turn my back to her thinking of a way to say this without frightening her. I turn around to her again. Our faces still inseparable. I take my hand lay it on her tiny neck. She brings her forehead to mine and I close my eyes to breath in the moment.
"I love you," I finally blurt out, "I love you so much."
"I love you too," she says, but with tears in her eyes, "I love you too."
She tears away a little farther away so I can see her smile. I smile too. I kiss her more passionately than ever before. I bring my hands around her waist but she loses balance and falls to the ground.
"Clove!" I yell, "What's happening?"
"Cato, I don't know" her weak voice is barely audible, I hear her loud and clear "I love you so much." She inserts her tiny hand into mine and I watch her slip away. "And Cato...You have to promise me..." her voice is slow to speak, I can see her getting weaker by the minute.
"Yes Clove, what is it?" I say.
"Okay." I say, "Okay Clove." And I squeeze her hand, "...Stay with me..." with this her hand loosens its grip and I see tears in her eyes looking straight into mine. My tears fall on her cheeks as her eyes finally flutter shut.
"I love you." I whisper, I know she can't hear me. I kiss her head so gently as if not to waken her.
I stand up on my two feet, head dizzy and breath heavy. Clove did not deserve to die. She had a life waiting for her in District 2. But I let her slip away. I let the love of my life go. Her last words hang heavy in the air, "Get fire-girl." I will Clove. I will. She will die! All of them will!
"All of you will die! For Clove!" I bellow with the breath I have and walk towards the forest where blood will be drawn and limits will be tested. I enter the fight to the death with a broken heart.
Ta-da! :D Waddaya think? R&R, and please be honest :)