“Now she becomes the real Girl on Fire, engulfed not in the flashy, decorative blaze of her costume, but in fire that hurts and chokes and kills and threatens to take her away forever.
No… she can‘t die… not like this…
My eyes and lungs burn with her, since I forgot how to blink and breathe and my nails dig into my palms until she quenches the flames and then I can’t take it anymore.
Before I know what I’m doing, I rip through the door and soon find myself crashing through the dark forest, snarling curses in all directions and imagining vapid Capitol faces enjoying her suffering plastered on everything that gets under my fists.
When I finally lose steam and collapse onto the ground, I realize how strange and foreign the forest seems now that the prolonged absence of one girl, of my Catnip, transformed the vast freedom into an endless void. The loneliness of the very first months I spent here after my father’s death rushes back like an icy flood; and the once comforting silence, robbed of the almost imperceptible rustle of her breath and the quiet rhythm of her heartbeat, rings dull and hollow in my ears.
I miss her like a better part of myself.
Slowly, I drag my aching body up, my head still spinning, trying to hold onto a simple set of obligations that bind me to sanity like links of a chain.
Don‘t you fucking dare to fall apart.
You have to stay strong.
For your family. For Mrs. E. For Prim.
She may still need me WHEN she returns.”