When we enter what will be our home for the next two weeks, there's this big feast waiting for us. To be honest, I have never had a meal that big in my entire life and had never seen anyone back home who did, not even the merchants. First, they started with something small which they called an appetizer, followed by about a main dish and all this other stuff that they kept passing around. We ate everything: bread, cheese, various meats, these fizzy drinks called sodas for me and Winston and about every kind of liquor in the Capital for Effie and O'Brien, cakes and pies, and then, they gave us chocolate ice cream. I had not eaten chocolate since that incident, and the moment I tasted the stuff, I felt slightly sick (although that also could have been because of all the food I ate). I looked up at Winston, and he gave me this strange glance, which I guess meant that he felt the same way as I did. Then O'Brien seemed to be observing how we were acting, and we just stopped. He knew everything, and I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of watching us in some kind of distress. Effie, of course, had no idea about this and kept talking about how wonderful we looked at the opening ceremony and how all the meals they made in the Capital were of the best in Oceania.
Throughout the meal, we were served by this young woman who looked Asian and did not say one word. She made these strange gestures when she approached Effie or O'Brien and they would give her some kind of order in response. As for Winston and me, she kept her distance from us whenever possible. I almost wondered if she was a slave. Back at home, there were rumors that war prisoners were sometimes kept alive if they agreed to serve party members for the rest of their lives for no pay. I can't be sure of this, but by the way that woman acted, I think it's possible.
I'm now at my room, going through all the books which are in this large bookshelf next to my bed. They're all written in newspeak, which is a language used by party members mainly for writing. The proles are not allowed to learn it, which I found out one time when I tried to look at a Newspeak dictionary that Madge was carrying around. She didn't explain why, but it wasn't necessary. It was pretty foolish of them to leave these books here. Do they think we're illiterate or something? Effie and O'Brien are in bed (the liquor made them so tired that Effie nearly fell asleep with her head on O'Brien's shoulder. He woke her up, but mainly grumbled to her since he was tired himself), and Winston should be coming any minute now.
When I'm looking though what seems to be a newspeak edition of a book of fairy tales (some of which I read when I was little), Winston walks in and looks at what I'm reading. He nods and says, "So, you wanted to talk?"
"Yes, unless you're so stuffed that you'll fall asleep on me before I even start talking," I say jokingly.
He laughs and says, "Don't worry. I can never fall asleep when I'm full, and I'm certainly not drunk." This makes me laugh, and he says, "That's the first time I've ever heard you laugh. Ever." He says the last word with emphasis. I know I'm usually serious, but have I really never even taken the time to be like this, just joking around and laughing?I'm silent for a while, and then I say,"Well, you can't really blame me for that. I mean, it's not like people in Panem have a lot to joke about. I'm lucky to actually do it right, after all the stuff I found out about today."
"You may find this strange, Katniss, but a lot of the stuff we saw today didn't actually surprise me. I mean, it was shocking, but I knew they had to have something to hide. What we see go on everyday in District Twelve had to only be part of their corruption. The Party's motto says it all with having ignorance is strengh."
"You're right, Winston. But what surprises me most of all is how the Party members seem to have no guilt at all. Even kids love seeing all that violence. Do you think it is because of their obsession with victory, that they're willing to have it at all costs?"
"That's it. As a matter of fact, that might be all they care about."
At that moment, we hear hollering coming from outside. Even from far away, we can see it: a large crowd of people, yelling all sorts of things, and then something which seems to be hanging, someone holding on to a rope, and then letting it go, at which whatever it is stops moving and justs hangs there, completely still, and then there is not only screaming but also cheering.
"It must have been the hanging of the Eurasian prisoners," says Winston quietly.
"So that's how they do it. It's like how they were when they were watching the film, except now they actually did something..." At that moment, I break down. I start crying more harder than I have ever done my whole life. Winston starts holding me in his arms and says nothing. No words of comfort or even hushing sounds, as some mothers do when their little ones are scared. He just lets me cry, and at one point, when I look at him, I notice that he starts crying a little as well. That's all we need right now, I think: to just let all that pain out.