Chapter 2: Ready For The Reaping
After I had helped Tristan with his math homework, I headed on home for dinner. Tristan had understood perfectly once he got it. All the adults in my district were devoted to the Capital's needs, thus we didn't have much school teachers. As I walked swiftly home, I felt like someone was watching me, so I turned around quickly. Nobody was behind me and as I looked around me, I saw no one was even in sight. Must be my nerves. I thought. I wondered why I was so nervous. My name was only in there two times. Two times out of thousands. I knew tons of people that their parents were very low and they didn't make enough. They were the ones that usually got picked, because they signed up for lots of tesserae.
As walked in the back door which was the direct entrance to our medium-sized house. I entered into the smell of my favorite food, alferdo spaghetti. My mom was boiling pasta and my dad and Lucy were mixing ingredients for the sauce. "Hello, sweetie" My mom said as I put my stuff in my room. "Hi mom!" I said to her as I gave her a kiss on the cheek."So, did Tristan get it?" She asked. "Ya, he just had heard something wrong." I said to her. "Hey Sym, I get to grate the cheese!" Lucy said. "Hey!" I said faking anger, "That's MY job!" "Aahh!!! Don't get me!" Lucy exclaimed. "I just might!" I said and ran after her picking her up and tickling her. She laughed and yelled, "Mommy! Daddy! HELP!!!" I sat her down and she squealed over to my parents. "Hey Sym." My dad asked, "I hate to ask you, but could you get some garlic bread from the bakery? We are all out." "Sure!' I said. "I'll be right back." I tickled squealing Lucy again and grabbed my shoulder bag as my dad handed me the money. "Here, now don't be gone long." he warned. "Don't worry I won't." I assured him. I tossed the money into my bag and headed out toward the bakery. Since we were good friends with the bakery family, they made the breads and we made the confections such as cake and cookies.
I ran all the way there to get my blood pumping. When I bursted into the bakery, all the lab employees were off and getting things. The sweet shop would probably be busy too. I thought. I walked up to the Jack, one of the baker's sons and said, "Hey Jack! Could I get a loaf of garlic bread?" "Sure Sym. Here." He handed me the freshest loaf they had. "Thanks. Here keep the change." I said. "Wow. Thanks Sym. See you around." he said. "Of course." I said and I walked slowly back to the shop. Again I got the feeling someone was watching me. I kept walking like no one was there and then I turned around suddenly. Again, nobody was there. Hmmm I thought, this was really wierd. In case I was being followed I hurried on home. When I get into the house I immediatly smelled the pasta and I saw my family silently sitting at the table waiting for me. "Sorry, was I gone that long?" I asked. "No, not really." My mom said, "We just wanted to talk to you about tommorow." I sighed and put the loaf on the counter. In all my wierdness I completely forgotten about the Reaping tommorow. "What?" I asked, "My name is only in there two times. I am not gonna get drawn." "No, we aren't talking about that." My mom said as she took the loaf and started cutting it into slices, though I think she was lying. "Then, what?" I asked. "After dinner we are going to find a very pretty dress for you to wear tommorow." She said. I groaned. "Aw. I hate dresses!" I exclaimed. "Sym, you are going to look nice and that's that." She said with finality. I knew better than to argue so I just ate my pasta and shut up.
After dinner my mom and me were in my room when she said, "You know there is no way you will get picked tommorow for The Hunger Games." I groaned. Why did my mom have to be so... ugh. "Mom!" I said, "It's okay. I know I won't get picked at the Reaping. Stop worrying!!" "I'm just saying. If you want to talk about it, we can." Again, why me? I sighed and sat down on the end of my bed while my mom went throught my closet, tossing things every which way. "Mom!" I exclaimed, "Why are you messing up my closet AND my room?!" "Sweetie, I'll put them all back later. Ooh, this one looks nice enough." She said as she held up my white cotton dress I had worn to my 12th birthday. "NO! I don't want to wear that!" I said. "It's final, your wearing this!" She said proudly. I gave up, I couldn't do anything with her around. "Fine!" I said as I threw my hands up in the air. She smiled bigger, then it was gone. "Sym." She said suddenly serious. "I want you to wear this tommorow." Then she went and came back a moment later holding Grandma's headband. "Really?" I asked. I knew how much that ment to her. Grandma's headband was worth a fortune, because it was sparkling pure gold with a ruby set into the headpiece, but it meant more to my mom than the money. It was meant to be worn on your forehead, everyone seemed to get that wrong. Anyone with it on looked like they came from the Capital. "Yes. I need you to look your best with those cameras on you the whole time." She said. Jeez, that sure made me feel better, but I didn't say anything. "Alright. I'll wear it." I said. She put it on me and motioned for me to look at myself in the mirror. I did, but what I saw wasn't me! I told you, it turned anyone into a beauty. My mom sighed and said, "You look so beautiful. You'll definitley knock 'em dead tommorow." I nodded, understanding. I handed it back to her, but she shook her head. "No, you have it." She said. "Are you sure?" I asked. I knew how much this meant to her. It was the only remaining possesion of my grandma's. "Yes." She said, "I don't do anything with it. All it does in my room is collect dust. Keep it." I nodded and put it down on my bed. "Thank you." I said. My mom nodded as if saying 'You're Welcome'. "Now you are ready for the Reaping.." She said.