Based from the amazing bestselling novels of Suzanne Collins
Katniss and I looked at this man, trying to get out of the pool he made out of his own vomit. The stench was horrible and made me want to add to his pool but I held back. I was at a loss on what to do and glanced over at Katniss. It was as if we were thinking on the same wavelength because at the same time, we moved forward, reached down and took one of Haymitch’s arms and pulled him up to his feet.
Now that we were closer to him, the stench was even more horrible and it was all I could do to not plug my nose. He was surprisingly heavy for such a thin and obviously weary man.
“I tripped? Smells bad.” He asked. He sniffed around and ran a hand through his face, stopping right at his nose. Now, there was even more vomit on his face than before. My stomach churned at the unlikeable aroma and decided that the least we could do is clean him up. Make him look presentable or at the very least, make him smell just a little bit nicer.
“Let’s get you back to your room. Clean you up a bit.” I said, starting to move in the direction of his compartment. It was a long and arduous task. Even with Katniss helping me, Haymitch was still a very heavy and strong man who had the annoying habit of dragging his feet. I couldn’t blame him, though. I don’t even think he was in the right state of mind to think clearly.
When we got to his compartment, we realized that there was no way we could just drop him off at the bed, which had an expensive looking bedspread, while his whole body was smeared with vomit. That was when I caught a glimpse of another door and decided that the best place we can put him right now is the bathroom.
We carried him there and put him into the bathtub and since the aroma was more than I could take, I turned the shower on him but it was like he doesn’t even care. He started to hum a tune that sounded slightly familiar to me. It sounded like a lullaby of sorts.
I turn towards Katniss to find her standing there looking at Haymitch with a mixture of disbelief and disgust. I was sure the last thing she wanted to do today was hose Haymitch off. “It’s okay. I’ll take it from here.”I said, with the faintest of smiles.
I saw her think it over and I still couldn’t believe that the time I could actually have a civilized conversation with her, it had to be under these circumstances. The Games. The horrible, sadistic, impeccably impossible Games.
“All right.” She says, nodding her head. “I can send one of the Capitol people to help you.” I shook my head before she even finished saying. I knew that there were plenty of those people out there, waiting for the opportunity to help out but I just didn’t want their help right now, especially with something that I could well do on my own.
“No. I don’t want them.” I said, turning back to Haymitch lying in the bathtub. The stench was mostly gone now, thanks to the shower that cleaned him up pretty well. I could hear her footsteps and I turned around just in time to see her back as she walks away.
I thought of her the whole time I was cleaning Haymitch. I took most of his clothes off and did my best to clean him up. I slathered some soap on him and used one of the sponges I found to scrub his whole body. During the whole time, it was as if he was already sleeping. He didn’t seem disturbed that there was another person who was taking his clothes off and cleaning him. It looked like he even quite enjoyed it.
I wondered if I should have just accepted Katniss’ suggestion of sending in one of the Capitol people when I tried to get Haymitch out of the tub. He was already mostly dry and all I needed to do now was to find some clothes for him. I left him in the bathtub, abandoning all thoughts of getting his heavy body out of it for the meantime.
I found a simple shirt and a loose pair of pants that could suit him just fine. I made my way back to the bathroom, dressed him up and hauled him on top of the bed. My back ached from constantly bending over during cleaning, dressing and hauling and when I got out of his compartment, I was exhausted.
I didn’t sleep well that night. I kept tossing and turning in my bed until I finally decided to stop wasting my efforts on going back to sleep since all of them were pretty futile.
I stumbled my way to the dining car, still half-asleep. I see that Effie is already awake and is sitting down, the only one in the whole dining car aside from one of the Capitol people, standing guard near the food.
“Good morning, Effie.” I said politely. I knew how much manners meant to her.
“Good morning!” She said, as bright and bubbly as ever, even though it was a good few hours before dawn. I wonder what made her wake up so early. But then I started to wonder if she even slept. I knew I was exhausted so I immediately got to sleep when I was in my compartment. The only problem was staying asleep.
I made my way to where the food was and decided to just keep it light for now. I didn’t even have that much of an appetite this early in the morning. My eyes lit up when I saw a basket of rolls. It hit me hard in the chest that my whole family would still be asleep during this time. I didn’t really think much of my mother, for fear that my exhaustion and restlessness, would make me actually miss her and her harsh words. I focused on my brothers and my father.
This time of the day, they were probably still asleep but it wouldn’t be long until they have to wake up to start making the dough for the bread. The bread that keeps all of us alive. I miss how mu brothers would find the most humorous ways to wake me up, only because I was the youngest in the family and they had so little cause to have a laugh, that I just let them act like that.
I immediately grabbed the basket, and brought it over to the table. I sat back down and one of the Capitol people came by immediately and offered me a cup of brown something that smelled heavenly.
“Oh, try it. It’s called hot chocolate. It’s delicious!” Effie said, returning to her coffee. I’ve taste coffee a few months ago and I can’t say that I particularly like the strong bitter taste but I did remember that it kept me up for most of the day, making me rather jumpy and excited. Maybe that was the key to Effie’s success.
I grabbed the cup of this ‘hot chocolate’ and took a tentative sip. It smelled heavenly, which was the first thing I noticed and the taste was just delicious. Out of everything the Capitol may have given to us, this was definitely the top one that I’d love to just eat, or rather drink over and over and over and over again.
I drained the glass quickly and the next one after that as well until I decided I had to save some for later. I started to eat some of the rolls that were in the basket until Effie suggested that they could go well together. I nodded my thanks to her and tore a small chunk of the roll to dip it into the hot chocolate.
Effie was right. It was definitely much better and even though I already drank a lot of it, I kept finishing cup after cup of it. I finished a whole roll when Effie unexpectedly stood up.
“I have to go call Katniss. I’ll be right back.” She said and off she went her high heels click-clacking across the hard floor. As soon as she stepped out, there was a sound of a door opening and I looked up in curiosity. Effie just went out and surely, Katniss was still sleeping. Who could it be?
I was surprised to see Haymitch coming in. It was early in the morning and the sun wasn’t even up yet. He could only have had a few hours of sleep and he was drunk when he came in last night. I wondered how it is that he’s still sturdy enough to be walking at this hour of the day. His eyes looked a bit red and puffy and he looked a little pale but I guess that was just what he normally looks like after he’s done a lot of drinking.
“Morning.” I said quietly.
“Good morning.” He said gruffly and immediately walked over to the food, piling a lot of it on his plate. He took the seat across from me and I was just about to ask him a few things, maybe tips on how it would be like once we’re in the arena when Effie walks back in, smiling brightly.
The smile quickly dropped from her face when she saw that Haymitch was in the room. “Oh, it’s you.” She said, flatly and walked back to the seat she was sitting on before she left to wake Katniss up. The one that was directly on the right of where Haymitch was sitting. She decided she didn’t want to and instead moved to the chair next to mine.
“Pleasant morning to you too, eh?” He said, sarcastically smiling.
“Nice to see you awake already. For a change.” She said, sniffing her new cup of coffee.
“What’s that, sweetheart? I don’t hear you complaining when I’m up half the night and your snoring can be heard from the other side of the train.” Haymitch said, his eyebrows raised. He started to chuckle and I could hear the scrape of the chair next to me as it was being pushed back.
“Does she really?” I asked, more out of curiosity than anything else.
“Like a wailing mockingjay.” Haymitch said, chuckling.
Effie stood up abruptly and started to walk out of the room, bringing her cup of coffee with her. She almost collided with a fresh-looking Katniss who was making her way into the dining room. Katniss looked slightly confused and I couldn’t blame her. An angry Effie during the start of the morning and a chuckling Haymitch probably wasn’t the usual around here.
“Sit down! Sit down!” Haymitch said. I held a roll in my hand and continued to tear out chunks of it to dunk into the hot chocolate.
Katniss slides in the chair that was on my side and Haymitch’s side as well and she looked slightly taken aback at the immediate plate of food that was brought to her. I could see her observing every little bit of food on the plate and I leaned back on my chair. She examined the cup of hot chocolate and tentatively took a hold of it.
“They call it hot chocolate. It’s good.” I said, gently.
She decided to trust me on what I said and took a sip of it. I could see her shudder lightly and I smiled. It was nice to see her enjoying herself even if it was just the food here that gave her joy. I continued eating chunks of the rolls bit by bit and dipping it into the cup of hot chocolate.
The rest of the meal goes by quietly and I could see her lean back on her seat, obviously done with eating and pretty full. I continued eating but I took my time in looking at her from the corner of my eye. I saw her observe Haymitch and I couldn’t understand the look on her face. It was blank but I could see something smothering under that blank mask. I wonder what she could be thinking right now.
I snuck a glance at Haymitch and saw him drinking a glass of red juice, but he had his own bottle that smelled like alcohol. I frowned slightly. Wasn’t he drunk just last night? A few hours ago? Did he even care at all? Was his life too much of a waste that he has actually stopped trying to make the most of it and is bent on wasting it with a bottle by his side?
How can I expect him to help me help Katniss if he’s always going to be like this? It was as if he didn’t even think we were worth it to be serious with and to be in a proper state of mind. I wonder if I could even bet on him helping us out when we’re in the arena. Maybe he’ll be sober enough to actually lend a hand. Fat chance but Effie was right. Once we’re in the arena, he’s the only one who could help us out.
[I’m so sorry it took so long. I’ll make a much better effort this time around. Please like after you’re done reading and feedback is always appreciated. Thank you! :) - Alexa]