Story: I Miss You (chapter 1)

Authors: BatchSan

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Chapter 1

Madge? Can you hear me? Can you hear my thoughts wherever you are?

I miss you. The only other person I miss as much as I miss you is Prim. Fate is a cruel mistress, repeatedly stealing the ones I love the most away from me every chance she gets. First my father, then Prim, and then you. You...

Madge, I miss you so much it hurts. There\'s an ache in not only my heart but in my every breath, in my every movement. Sometimes I feel guilty for missing you more than my father or Prim, but they would understand if I could explain it to them. If I could explain us.

You were the girl with the pin.

You turned the girl on fire into the Mockingjay, a symbol of rebellion and freedom, something neither us were aware of at the time. I doubt either of us could ever imagine the power of a simple pin, but it all comes full circle in the end, doesn\'t it? With it you pinned all your hopes and love for me on my blouse, perhaps setting light to the girl on fire long before Cinna had the chance to do it - the one that would play out an intricate lie of love on-screen, survive, and then be forced to fight again and again because of love. My love of my sister, of Peeta, of you.

Your aunt would\'ve been so proud of your one simple act of adornment.

You\'re gone now though. I sometimes imagine the flowers that grow over this mass grave I stand upon now are your essence seeping into the earth and painting it with all the life you had in you. All the life you never had the chance to properly live.

When my thoughts are the most darkest, I think of hunting in the woods with you. The look of mixed pride and hurt on your face when you killed your first rabbit. How tears prickled your eyes as I pulled the arrow from the carcass yet you beamed as I complemented your kill. And though you let me keep your kills even though I no longer needed the meat to sustain my family, I could tell you wanted nothing more than to run to your parents with your kills and show them how quickly you\'ve taken to hunting. To show how strong and independent and simply amazing you were, but I\'m sure they knew all that already.

But a mayor can only overlook so many things, and it was unlikely his daughter blatantly breaking the law was something he could turn a blind eye to, so we kept it our secret, between you and I where it was safe. Until Gale found us sitting in a tree, our hands draped over one another, bodies pressed snuggly side by side. We claimed it was to help keep out the cold but it was a lie, one of many I had to learn to say since the day I stepped into the Hunger Games arena. There was no blood connected to that one at least.

Life is easier now to live, for everyone. I know you would have been thrilled by that. As far as I know, there hasn\'t been a single child in the Seam that has died of hunger since I returned home from my Mockingjay days. Instead they laugh and play, there lives less burden from suffering. They play games and run about the new park that slowly grew above the bodies of the dead. Over your grave.

There\'s a child growing in me at this very moment as I think all this. I\'m not sure if it\'s a boy or a girl, and I would rather not know if things could be different. If they were different, there would be no child growing within my womb and I would not spend day and night terrified of their arrival. I\'m convinced it\'s not safe for them in this new world. It never feels safe to me. Nothing does and never will. Fifteen years and I still sleep with a knife under my pillow just in case.

You made me feel safe though, for our short time together. Much too short.

It use to be easy to sleep beside you, a sense of safety long since lost. When I would spend the night over at your home and after our first kiss, the one we shared between giggles beneath your bed covers, I loved to curl up against you, naked skin against naked skin. You held me the way Peeta did to help ward off my nightmares, only it was more intimate because your lips were against my shoulder, my neck. Lips pressed to my hair, face snuggling against my dark locks. If I woke up with a start, a scream on my lips, then your lips were on mine immediately, reminding me I was safe.

Peeta kisses me now, but I don\'t feel the same spark I once did in the days when he was wounded and I was literally fighting to keep him alive. His lips never compare to yours. Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine you, and that makes it a little easier, for a little while at least. When he touches me in bed, I want to shrink until I\'m nothing. It\'s not that I don\'t love him, but after you, no one feels right pressed against me.

You claimed my body as yours. Branded your mark on my skin with your lips, over and over again so I could never forget it, and I haven\'t.

I miss you, Madge.

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