Thursday, December 20, 2012

Life Lessons 6: Innocence

A/N: Sorry for the ten days between updates, everyone! I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. I don't know if it's the shortest one so far, but it's definitely one of the shortest, and I'm just not sure how I feel about it at all. I hope you enjoy it though!

Usually Katniss was able to admit to herself that refusing to have children for fifteen years had been a mistake. She would often watch Dani and Nickel and wonder how she could have denied Peeta, and even herself, this for so long. Then, out of the blue, the fear would hit her again. Suddenly she'd remember exactly why she'd been adamant about having no children. The fear would often make its reappearance when one of her children was hurt or showed signs of growing up too quickly.

When Katniss walked down the hall one day and heard a small, sad voice that she knew belonged to her son whispering quietly to someone that could only be her daughter, it didn't take long for the fear to begin creaping up on her again.

"I guess I knew," the small voice whispered. "I just never thought about it that way." Katniss didn't know what had made Nickel so upset. She longed to enter the room and try to make it better, but instead she forced herself to stop and listen for a moment.

"I understand," Dani wrapped an arm around her younger brother. "I went through the same thing. I mean, we learned about the games at school, but since we didn't live through them, I guess we don't really understand." Katniss froze at the mention of the games. "It wasn't until Haymitch said something offhand that I realized that Mom and Dad, and even Haymitch and the other former tributes, are only here now because they killed. It was obvious once I realized it, but I'd never really thought about it before."

Nickel nodded in agreement. "It's not that I don't love Mom and Dad anymore. It's just hard thinking about them killing people."

Katniss backed quickly away from the door. They had never hidden anything from their children, but they hadn't exactly sat there and told them everything either. She had figured that they would learn everything on their own soon enough, and she'd been right. To hear her children talking about her and Peeta committing murder terrified her. She didn't know how she could face them. She hurried towards the stairs, as quiet as always so they'd never know she was there.

Her plans to slip out the door unnoticed were thwarted when Peeta stepped in front of her at the foot of the stairs. He didn't ask her any questions as she threw herself into his arms. She cried for what seemed like ages. For years she'd relished the fact that she was like a hero to her children. They knew she'd been important to the rebellion sure, but more importantly she'd been their mom. Now, they knew the horrible truth. Katniss wasn't quite sure who's loss of innocence she was crying over: theirs or hers.

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