“Please welcome back the Victor of the 74th Hunger Games, Cato!” Everyone cheered as they heard the big, booming voice. I clapped, just like everyone had for me three years ago when I won. Don’t get me wrong, I did think the Games were completely sadistic and evil. Killing those other tributes whose fate spun completely out of control the day they heard their names called at their own district’s reaping. I know how I felt, completely terrified and useless; especially when my parents came in, my mom sobbing and my dad on the verge of tears. I felt weak, despite all my training that everyone in the Career districts go through. Cato was an exception, he volunteered, although that was common here, but he acted like he wasn’t afraid of anything; that was different.
Cato volunteered, acted tough through the whole depressing process to the Capitol, then smiled as tribute after tribute fell in front of him. He lasted until every Career tribute slowly killed tributes then died themselves. Everyone would think he was so completely evil, but he’s not. I’ve had a small crush on him since we were really young. I just never had the courage to talk to him, he and Clove had something. Yes, I said had; Clove was another tribute in the 74th Games, some tribute from Eleven killed her. It made me cry, I ended crying more hysterically when Cato cried over her body.
Now that Cato was back, nothing would change for me, except that I no longer liked Cato. When I say “no longer liked” him, I mean it, just looking at him made me feel disgusted. He suddenly acts like everyone should fall and kiss his feet wherever he goes. Now we’re going to be neighbors? Ugh, no. Thank. You. We lived close enough before he won, now we’re gonna be closer to each other. As he walks by, I think I’m going to be throw-up. He keeps his head high, a snobby little smirk on his face. As soon as Cato was back with his family, I turned to my parents.
“I’m gonna go home now, I don’t feel too good.” I said, holding on my stomach to sell my act a little further.
“What? You can’t handle the fact that someone else is in the spotlight now, huh? Three years ago, you won, now another Victor from District Two, and you’re jealous. Am I right?” I shot my sister a glare, she was never happy I came home. I guess she just felt like I got all the publicity being a Victor, she felt hidden in the shadow of her younger sister.
“Be nice Kat.” My mom said, and turned towards me. “You sure honey? You don’t look sick?” My mom felt my forehead then let her hand drop.
“Yeah, mom, I’m sure. I’ll see you at home.” I walked past a few Peacekeepers that glanced at me, right past the Mayor with a nod, then away from the crowd of people at the Square. I took the long way home, and saw Cato and his family walking up to their new house in the Victor’s Village. I saw Cato glance at me from the corner of my eye, then turn his head. For some strange reason, as fellow District Two Victor, I was required to attend his returning banquet. My family didn’t have to go, just me. Once inside, I shut and locked the door behind me. I sprinted up to my room and just sat on my bed. Maybe Kat was right, maybe I was a little jealous of Cato returning? No, no, I never liked the spotlight and I was happy to get out of it.
I looked at the time, 4:30. I had to be arriving at the banquet in an hour, so I better start getting ready. I got up and looked in the mirror; not much had to be done. I did my hair this morning for Cato’s arrival celebration in the Square. I looked to my closet and slid the doors open. I picked out on of the dresses my Stylist had given to me as a reward for winning. I slid out of my clothes and slowly put the outfit
I just slid on my shoes when I heard a knock on my door.
“Come in.” I said as I grabbed my purse and started toward the door.
“You ready?” My dad asked as he poked his head into my room. I nodded and walked out, shutting my door behind me. I said waved to my family as I headed out the door. I saw Jasline, another Victor now in her twenty’s, and her husband walking towards the banquet. I caught up with them as we turned toward the Square.
“How you feeling, honey?” Jasline asked, putting her hand on my shoulder.
“Fine, relieved to be out of the spotlight for once. Everyone’s attention is focused on Cato now.” I replied.
“Oh, I know how that feels. You were the one that got me out of the attention when you won.” Jasline smiled as we walked through the doors of the building. “By the way, you look very pretty tonight.”
“Thank you.” I smiled at her, I then heard my name being called. I turned my head and saw the District Two Chaperone, Lila, waving at me. “Oh, I guess I’m wanted. I’ll see you two later.” I said to Jasline and her husband. I walked over to Lila and saw she was with Cato and his parents.
“Jacoya, you know Cato, right?” Lila said as she smiled and put one hand on my shoulder.
“Yes, we went to school together.” Cato said, as he held out his hand for me. I shook it and smiled. Cato’s mom gave me a loving hug as she smiled.
“Oh, you know the whole family, I see.” Lila said, smiling even brighter.
“We’re friends with her parents.” Cato’s dad said to Lila.
“Great, great. No, you put that down, young man!” Lila turned to a kid playing with a centerpiece.
“Okay, then.” I said, turning back to Cato’s parents and smiled.
“You know, you and Cato would be great friends. Both Victors around the same age, it would be nice for Cato to have someone who understands.” Cato’s mom said, still smiling at me. Jeez, doesn’t her face hurt? I would expect so much smiling from Capital people, but her? Never thought it would happen. Wait, did she just say me and Cato should be friends? I don’t think so; neighbors is bad enough, now we have to be friends? Could my life get any worse?