Gale’s Perspective: The Goodbye
I watch Peeta’s father disappear into the room, his feet moving in sync with the sudden pounding that has stuck up within my chest. The baker. What does he have to say to her? I imagine Katniss desperately trying remain composed as he talks of cakes, pastries, and other luxuries we could never afford to have. He doesn’t understand. I think of my own father, and wonder if he would be there instead if the odds had been different. Not just any odds: my odds. If my odds had been different, the mining accident wouldn’t have happened. My family wouldn’t be starving. I wouldn’t have let Peeta climb the stairs to the justice building this morning. In distant years, far in the future, Katniss might have loved me back.
But I am certain this will never happen, because I am suddenly being shoved through the door by Peacekeepers. In my lifetime I have battled famine, disease, and the law that could kill me at any given moment, but still find myself unprepared for this sight. Katniss- my Katniss- is staring up at me, demanding an explanation. I have none. The girl from the woods is already gone, replaced by this stranger who wears a shiny, gold pin that reminds me of the Capitol and all things evil. She tries to hide it, but an unmistakable look of fear plagues her face. She is terrified. I do not hesitate to wrap my arms around her. Then, I too am terrified.