I haven’t thought much about this. How it must have looked from Peeta’s perspective when I appeared in the arena having received burn medicine and bread when he, who was at death’s door, had gotten nothing. Like Haymitch was keeping me alive at his expense.
“Look, boy—” Haymitch begins.
“Don’t bother, Haymitch. I know you had to choose one of us. And I’d have wanted it to be her. But this is something different. People are dead out there. More will follow unless we’re very good. We all know I’m better than Katniss in front of the cameras. No one needs to coach me on what to say. But I have to know what I’m walking into,” says Peeta.
“From now on, you’ll be fully informed,” Haymitch promises.
“I better be,” says Peeta. He doesn’t even bother to look at me before he leaves.
The dust he disrupted billows up and looks for new places to land. My hair, my eyes, my shiny gold pin.
“Did you choose me, Haymitch?” I ask.
“Yeah,” he says.
“Why? You like him better,” I say.
“That’s true. But remember, until they changed the rules, I could only hope to get one of you out of there alive,” he says. “I thought since he was determined to protect you, well, between the three of us, we might be able to bring you home.”
“Oh,” is all I can think to say.
“You’ll see, the choices you’ll have to make. If we survive this,” says Haymitch. “You’ll learn.”