I know people still talk about us. The “star-crossed lovers” who sparked a revolution. The whole of Panem can spin off their own romanticized stories but nobody will ever know the truth - the ugly parts that are etched onto our skin as angry scars and burns. Some of the scars have faded over time but reality haunted us through the nightmares. On the nights when it’s particularly bad, I see vulnerability, grief, and weakness through Peeta’s eyes, and I know it’s a mirror image of myself too. I only press my lips to his forehead and tell him silently through my gaze and our intertwined fingers that dawn isn’t far off, it will be morning the next time he wakes.
Gale made a suggestion for us to start a new life somewhere else, like he has. Maybe join my mother. But I can’t leave the woods, the lake, and the primroses in our yard. And Peeta and I have made our own home. It’s been 5 years. It’s awkward at first, but Gale acknowledges that I’m happy with Peeta. Then his eyes are solemn and he’s quieter now. “It’s better this way,” he says.I only nod. We grew up; he’s outgrown his feelings for me. Our friendship isn’t the same anymore but we’ve accepted that fact - I needed almost 4 years of therapy sessions with the doctor for that. And I kept in mind that it’s what Prim would have wanted; acceptance, forgiveness.