Epilogue to District 10’s story
Somebody smart once said that the mentors in this game are more fierce than the tributes.
I don’t know what to say about that anymore… XD
Sorry, George ~
In the end, Laura Bancroft had kept her promise. Even though she only ever caught glimpses of things that had never happened, even though the figure on the corner of her eye never proved to be there, she did not forget. Not really.
Growing up as happy and healthy as she could, on a planet that never reminded her of just how small she was in the Universe, impossible things have always invaded her mind. Fantastic characters: a dancer in Paris, a pair or gleaming eyes in a ballroom, a soldier that looked like her brother, an admiral.
Now, she looked at the stars and could tell they were different. She could see their swirling colours, see constellations that were not supposed to exist. A jingle of keys instantly became a jingle of pendants. And wherever she went in her dreams at night, she saw a trenchcoat. That, at least, was real. It was right in front of her, every time she woke up. There, inside her wardrobe. And frankly, she never remembered buying it.
When she got married, everything at her perfect wedding had been plus one and she had looked all night at the ballroom’s door, expectant of a guest she had never invited in this life. The love for her husband was sincere and she felt grateful everyday for their mutual understanding, but, every now and then, she felt sad. During their honeymoon in Paris, just as she got out of a church, she felt so sad that tears started flowing freely from her eyes. When asked what was wrong, she wasn’t sure whether to answer “nothing” or “everything”.
But that was the past too. In time, she had eventually learnt to put her fantasies aside and live only in the real world. She had never really abandoned that increasingly old trenchcoat that had always been too large for her. Neither did she take it anywhere with her. She always felt like no one was supposed to know about it, like it was hers and only hers, a memory she didn’t have.
And then, when the walls of fate had driven closer to her, attempting to leave her alone in the world once more, she felt it. Looking over the bed of her dying husband, Laura watched the blue sky and knew that this was not the end yet, that the end felt more silent, emptier, darker. A whimper.
“How long are you going to stay with me?” the man asked, their wrinkled hands holding tight on one another.
“What?” she directed her eyes, still gleaming young, back at him and blinked.
He smiled. “You don’t know. You’re always asking this in your sleep. I never understood, until now.” Painful tears gathered in her eyes again and she couldn’t say she didn’t. “How long, Laura?”
Why couldn’t she hear his voice, but another man’s? “Forever,” she breathed without really knowing why and started crying, missing the man letting his last breath pass.
Forever, it had always been forever. As long as she never totally forgot, the forever continued. And one couldn’t be sad about something that’s forgotten. Laura still had her eternity somewhere, up there, in the blue between the swirling stars.