Peeta POV: the night in the train after the reaping for the Quarter Quell
Haymitch and Effie have already gone, but Katniss remains here. When I can no longer bear the silence that consumes this compartment, I suggest that she should get some sleep. She needs to. And, to be honest, I need a moment of solitude. I need to be alone with my thoughts. I need to remind myself of why I must be strong. She goes away.
After a while I hear some screams in the distance. Katniss. My first urge is to go and comfort her, as I used to do many months ago, but I can’t. I force myself to stay. I need to keep my focus.
Only a few minutes have passed when Katniss’s footsteps echo in the quiet of the night. I can’t ignore the hint of vulnerability in her voice. I know that asking her about her torments is useless, so I offer her my embrace. And she welcomes it.
How much time has passed since the last time this happened? Apparently long enough for Katniss to wrap her arms around my neck as if she were afraid of losing something very dear to her.
Can I allow myself to think like this or am I assuming too much? I don’t know, but right now I prefer to lose myself in this moment. I need to. Right now it’s not the strict and demanding trainer, but just Peeta, angry at the injustice of this world and trying desperately to hold on to hope. And I hold on tightly. I can’t let her go.
She will lose me soon, but not right now. Not right now.