The press swarm on the platform like overgrown insects, giving off a light buzzing sound as they chat among themselves and prepare their cameras. If they could see through the blacked out windows of the tribute train they'd see three faces:one covered in make-up, looking bored, one a poka face and one that just looks lost. Guess which face is mine.
The three of us sit in silence,the events of the last couple of hours play in my mind over and over again, shutting out everything around me. Suddenly a blonde haired woman pushes her way through the throng of people, getting as close to the train as the Peacekeepers let her. Her green eyes scan the windows, fruitlessly searching for something.The sight of her is enough to snap me back into the present:it's Erin. I tap and glass, alerting her to my presence, she looks up and smiles at me, for a moment she's the same young girl who stood there many years ago. She mouths something at me, I can't make it out but that doesn't matter because I know what she's saying. She's saying the same thing she screamed at the top of her lungs when I boarded the train for the very first time: I love you.
She's tries to say something else but she's swallowed up by the crowd as the appearance of District 7's latest tributes suddenly ignites them into a frenzy.The platform is alive with shouting and camera flashing as Jed makes his way to the train,he bows his head, his long fringe shielding his face from their stares. Stella walks with her head held high in an attempt to look defiant, but it doesn't hide the fact she looks like she could break down at any second.
In the crowd I see her farther, he looks like he's about to be dragged off to the gallows, but when he looks in my direction his eyes seem to catch fire! A stab of pain goes through me as I'm reminded he's no longer the boy I climbed trees with in the Summer and threw snowballs at in the Winter. But when I look into his eyes I remember our last conversation in the Justice Building, when his eyes only held desperation:
"She's just a kid, she can't go into the arena, I don't even want to imagine what they'd do to her."
"She's as much my sister as she is yours. I'll keep her safe, I won't just stand by and let her die"
"Promise me you will."
I know now that it's impossible to keep promises in The Hunger Games, but that doesn't stop me from silently promising Jed, Erin,Stellar, Ethan and myself that I will do everything I can to bring one of them home.