Going to bed. Feel free to message me about plotting
though nobody will.
I miss feeling like I belong here.
“Annie, don’t say that! You’ve been so strong for him. For you.
For the baby. You’ve made it this far, why stop now?” Johanna took a bite of the fish— not bad. She swallowed. ”I see no point in letting you go down that road again.”
"But I haven’t been strong! Not since he left! I’ve been a complete mess." She sighed, "I’ve only just made it and I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep going." Taking another sip of water she frowned, "What road are you talking about?"
"I’m honoured!" Peeta exclaimed with a wide grin, his hand moving to settle affectionately on Annie’s shoulder. His interaction with most humans was limited at most, for him to even extend affection to Annie was a small miracle in itself.
He watched closely as the smile faded from Annie’s features and he immediately felt bad for even mentioning a move. He nodded, “Thats completely understandable, Annie,” He said, but he couldn’t shake the awful feeling of her doing the entire thing alone. “W-would you like me to come to Four? To help? I can’t promise I’ll be any good with a baby, but I can at least cook for you.” The thought of moving filled him with apprehension - he hadn’t left Twelve since returning after the War. Regardless, Annie was one of his only real friends and it was evident she was in need of his help.
It took Annie by surprise that he offered such a thing, but she could see in his eyes that he wasn’t sure about his. “I wouldn’t want you to leave Twelve if you didn’t want to. Your health and recovery is very important, if you don’t think it would do you any good then I wouldn’t ask you to.” He mattered and she would hate herself if she pushed him back in his recovery.
She had to admit something, and she knew Peeta wouldn’t judge her. “I’m just scared Peeta. I don’t know what to do, and I can barely look after myself when I have bad days, how am I meant to look after a baby? I always had Finnick to help me, to pull me back into reality but now I don’t have anyone.” She sighed, “I know I’ll learn, I won’t have a choice and I want to learn, I’m just scared.”
"Exactly like a secret club. Now all we need is a club name."
"I don’t know any good names…"
"Are you feeling okay?" Johanna frowned. "Annie, talk to me." She reached across the table. "You haven’t been eating, have you?" Finnick had been right— this didn’t bode well. "Please talk to me."
Annie nodded, “Fine.” It was a lie, but it was a lie she had convinced herself of many times. “I have been eating!” Another lie, “What is there to talk about Johanna? Finnick died, or rather he was murdered. He literally lost his head, and it is a miracle I haven’t lost mine.”
"They do know what feels like because almost everyone lost someone close to them or someone they know but they act different than us. Peeta lost his entire family in one fire bomb but he never got along with his family so he’s happy kind of because at least he has me and Haymitch. Johanna is bitter because she lost her family but she got revenge when Snow was killed." She explained with a shrug and folded her arms.
"They can’t help it. We lost people really close to us. It’s still fresh in our minds. I’m sure they get the same pain when their anniversarys come around. I look like I’m fine about my father but every year I go into a massive depressive stage!"
Annie sighed, “They don’t know what it is like to lose the only person left in their life that they would trust with everything. Yes other people lost their loved ones, and I understand that, but most people lose their loved ones naturally, not in the same way that their District partner died right in front of them.” With that, she came full circle and it was a miracle she hadn’t snapped completely.
"I don’t remember losing my Mother so I don’t know when it was, I don’t feel like that and I feel guilty for not doing it. But I feel the same when it comes around to the anniversary of the murder of my Father and my sister, and Mags of course." She didn’t need to say Finnick’s name, it was obvious that she felt that way every single day without him.
“Someone placed it on my doorstep, Annie. I don’t really think its mother wants it back. Perhaps she’s too young or — I don’t know.”
She stepped aside and ran her hands through her hair. The sigh escaping her lips was neither of exhaustion nor stir. She was rather trying to find her indifferent self again.
“I— I’m really not in the mood to have a baby around, Annie. I can’t even stand most of the people at this point. I haven’t slept at all as of late and the chaos here in my apartment is killing me — but I can’t change it, I’m already looking for a new place. Something closer to you and Theo. I — I don’t think another child will make me very happy. Can’t we just bring it to the church? Isn’t that what people do in books, bring an unwanted child to the church?”
“Then we can find it a home where it belongs. Or at least take it to a place where there are people qualified to find a new and loving home.”
Annie cradled the child for a while without saying a word. It looked peaceful and she didn’t wish to disturb it by checking to see if it was a boy or a girl, but she would have to. They couldn’t just call it baby while they had it around. It would only take a few seconds.
“Then I’ll look after her until the morning and we will take it from there. Try get some sleep if you haven’t slept and I’ll deal with this.” She smiled, “I’m sure you could try taking it to the church but that isn’t what we would do in Four. I don’t know what you would do here.”
“Then make him look! You’re beautiful, Annie. The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in Four. You have a big heart and you’re a great mother — merely the fact that you have a child and are capable of looking after him raises your biological aesthetics and makes you a truly admirable woman. Why don’t you go out and show that beauty?”
Her hands began shaking again. She wasn’t good at this, she wasn’t good at making others realise how much they mattered. She never had been. Her eyes rarely allowed her to see anyone else — the ridiculous wish to achieve perfection had made it rather difficult to see anything else but the mistakes of others. But she was talking to Annie, and Annie wasn’t just anyone.
“You’re young, you’re free — you should be happy, Annie. You can’t be happy if you lock yourself away. You had your perfect love story already, not every man will allow you to creep up to him and not every man will be as perfect as Finnick was. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not good. Just go out — with me? We could hit the pubs, dance the night away. We certainly will find someone to look after Theo while we’re away. You’ve been a victor, a wife, a mother — isn’t it time to show the world that you’re a woman nonetheless and a fucking attractive woman, too?”
Annie wanted to listen, to take everything that Lil said to her in and work on it, to believe it. But she couldn’t. Only once in her life had she felt truly beautiful. That was her wedding day, the first day of a new start. Just a new start that didn’t last long. A new start that brought about another new life.
“The fact I have a child to many men makes me someone to avoid. The fact I’m a Victor is something else. There are far more beautiful women in Four, you only have to go to the beach and look at them with their long, neat hair and their perfect figures. I haven’t ever looked that beautiful.” She couldn’t go out and show something she didn’t believe in.
“And I’m trying to work out a way to be happy. I’m happy being a Mother, being there for Theo. I had an almost perfect love story, because the perfect ones don’t end before they are meant to. I don’t know how to be attractive; I don’t know how to approach men. Even if we went out together, they would see you and look past me. I’m sure of it. I don’t doubt that we could find someone to care for him, I just doubt that I’d be any good in your average social situation.”
“Yeah I’m sure, it was confirmed in the last appointment that will be a girl.” She smiled softly and decided to stand, as she did she unzipped the hoodie jacket, the shirt showing the baby bump. “Almost four months along to be honest. We…we decided to not tell anyone, to keep this just between us and our families until we couldn’t hide it anymore, which we got to that point.” It had been hard, hard to tell her parents, hard to dealing with the talking.
“You can feel her moving sometimes, a bit weird to be honest.” The whole situation was still hard to take in, this child will always be her link to Noah and she knew that if they could go back in time that Noah wouldn’t do the same mistake again.
Annie smiled faintly, she wasn’t sure how she ought to react as she felt very conflicted, but a little girl was something to smile about, so she tried. “Well, I’m often the last to know things so I guess it makes sense for me to be one of the last to know in this situation. He really is just like his Father.” The news was not sinking in and she knew that she probably wasn’t reacting how they would have wanted her to react, but she had tried, she couldn’t do more than try.
“I remember the feeling.” Only just. She didn’t remember much about being pregnant herself, the grief of losing Finnick had made many elements complicated and over time she had removed the painful memories. “But it’ll be worth it in the end.”
"Annie, hey." Johanna grabbed a plate and moved the other salmon to it. "You’re just in time for some food. I hope you don’t mind— I found it in your fridge and I couldn’t resist."
Annie shook her head, “It’s fine.” She didn’t particularly feel like eating, but she would try if only to look polite. With both hands wrapped tightly around the glass, she sat down, taking the occasional sip of water to calm herself.