“Well, let me know when you work it out,” he says, and the pain in his voice is palpable.
I know my ears are healed because, even with the rumble of the engine, I can hear every step he takes back to the train. By the time I’ve climbed aboard, Peeta has disappeared into his room for the night. I don’t see him the next morning, either. In fact, the next time he turns up, we’re pulling into District 12. He gives me a nod, his face expressionless. I want to tell him that he’s not being fair. That we were strangers. That I did what it took to stay alive, to keep us both alive in the arena. That I can’t explain how things are with Gale because I don’t know myself. That it’s no [td_smart_list_end][td_block_video_vimeo playlist_title=”” playlist_v=”” playlist_auto_play=”0″][td_block_video_youtube playlist_title=”” playlist_yt=”” playlist_auto_play=”0″][td_smart_list_end]good loving me because I’m never going to get married anyway and he’d just end up hating me later instead of sooner. That if I do have feelings for him, it doesn’t matter because I’ll never be able to afford the kind of love that leads to a family, to children. And how can he? How can he after what we’ve just been through?
I also want to tell him how much I already miss him. But that wouldn’t be fair on my part.
So we just stand there silently, watching our grimy little station rise up around us. Through the window, I can see the platform’s thick with cameras. Everyone will be eagerly watching our homecoming.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Peeta extend his hand. I look at him, unsure. “One more time? For the audience?” he says. His voice isn’t angry. It’s hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me. I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.