You don’t, um, need to work-out?
Is that meant to be a compliment? I’m taking it as one, at least, so I guess… Thanks?
I guess that was what I signed up for. Doesn’t mean I want to though.
Cinderellie: The Capitol Version. It’s ehm- gory.
Oh yeah… It’s not a good one, not at all. I much prefer the sweet one that you can find in the districts.
Because there’s always work to do. But never mind that, I do believe you mentioned getting a drink. I’m the Commander, I’m coming along.
You need to learn how to delegate, Nike, you’ll work yourself into madness. Well yeah, come on, of course you can come with. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
72. I’d like one too.
Why am I not even a little bit surprised at all, Nike. You always work way too damn much.
“I get away with a lot of stuff that no one could get away with in reality!”
Uriah loved bars. He relished in the sheer amount of bottles that lined the counter. Uriah watched the bar tended as he poured and mixed drinks. It didn’t even matter that he had come here with a girl. There was no pressure to talk. Lined up along the counter like this, he wasn’t facing anybody. The neon signs and dimmed lights and pool tables in the room all felt safe to him. Here, alcohol and people’s secrets all poured out.
The girl was lithe and pale-skinned; she had feline amber eyes emphasized by angular brows and a kitsune face framed with long waves of red-orange hair. Although she tried to move swiftly through the coniferous forested terrain, it was difficult to navigate due to the inches of snow and slick patches of ice that covered the arena. Before long, she ran into a pack of three girls. By their arrogance smirks, mocking laughs, and the intimidating way they approached her, they could have been mistaken as Careers, but they were middle District girls who had packed together for safety. The redhead stared at them with fearful doe eyes, then, with such quick dexterity it seemed to be from nowhere, she pulled out a mace and swung. The shrieks of the girls broke into the chilly morning air as skulls were cracked, faces bludgeoned, and hot blood splattered on the white snow. Three canons boomed. Then it was the redhead’s turn to laugh in wicked mirth, but only for a second. That was how long it took another pack of allies to tackle her to the ground and hold her down while one tribute took his battle axe and decapitated her. She was left in the snow, head just a few centimeters above her body, like a doll with its head torn off.
Uriah had awoken as the canon echoed in his head. It was just a dream. But it was also real. His shirt was soaked and he was gasping for breath as though he had escaped from the fight himself. The haunting memory continued to replay itself. Even at work, it stuck with him. Those dreams were always trapped inside of his mind. The logical part of him said that he should just stop thinking about it, but Uriah just couldn’t.
Now he felt stupid for giving his hard liquor to Kero in a sudden inspiration to clean up his life. He could really use some straight bourbon whiskey. But when she had mentioned getting a drink, Uriah couldn’t help but jump on the opportunity.
He didn’t want to explain why he needed it so badly. “I had a bad dream,” would sound childish. He wasn’t sure he could articulate how shaken he was by the grisly nature of his dream and he was trying to show everybody a stable Uriah. Not one who came closer to cracking every day the Hunger Games came closer.
Uriah wished that he had someone to sleep next to, someone he could curl closer into and feel safer. He still wished Lysander had loved him. It was a different lament than before. Uriah had grown to accept that Lysander wasn’t going to reciprocate those feelings. Unrequited love still hurt. But he was past denial and bargaining and feeling angry at Lysander for being who he was. Instead, Uriah felt wistful and sorrowful. He didn’t know why he had been born with this personality: so exquisitely sensitive. He felt all of his emotions deeply and acutely. He was a romantic and an idealist, but one who perhaps would never get the relationship that he desired. He was empathetic—able to feel the emotions of others as if they were his own—and tenderhearted; always forgiving but Lysander would probably always hate him and never accept his apologies and there was nothing Uriah could do. What a terrible personality for a Peacekeeper. He would have been an awful soldier if he hadn’t been competitive and thirsting to prove himself. And damn, he felt so horny all the time now. Lysander wouldn’t take him, so now he was stuck in his apartment watching gay porn, even though he had always said porn was a social vice, because it reminded him of that time he had been with Lysander.
Uriah barely knew what to say to Kero anymore. Their relationship had been professional and platonic since…
Uriah sighed and sipped his drink. The buzz killed a bit of the sick dread inside of him. “I feel like fucking shit. Every day we get closer to the Games…I shouldn’t have quit drinking, not now. Maybe during the Victory Tour. And hate Lysander because I love him so much and I always see him flirting around and making out in the halls.” Uriah took a long sip of his drink. “But it doesn’t matter. Even if he liked me, I’d still be a wreck. I mean, the Games are so close….”
He was incoherent and panicking. “I have to do…something. I don’t know what but rebel activity has been nothing. Someone painted mockingjays around the Capitol. Big deal. I want to stop this so bad and I can’t and I hate that so much. I can’t make anything good happen.”
Sometimes, Kero didn’t even know why she kept hanging out with Uriah. He was always complaining, always feeling sorry for himself, and when she agreed to meet up with him for a drink, she knew that it meant more time spent with him complaining about how sad his life was, and how upset he was about everything. She wasn’t like that, she found joy in the small things in life, and that made it all a lot more bearable. She swallowed down the remainder of her beer, and sighed heavily. “You complain a hell of a lot, did you know?” she muttered, not even bothering to turn her head to look at him, her eyes were fixated on the TV that was on the wall behind the bar. “And jesus christ, give up on Lysander already.”
She turned her head finally, and looked at him, her face dead serious. “He doesn’t want you. He doesn’t feel the same way. Yes, it hurts and it sucks like hell, but just… Move on already! You’re getting on his nerves, and everyone else’s.” She felt rude for even saying the words, but he needed to hear it. Uriah was only complaining lately, and seriously not doing anything else, and it was getting on her nerves. Kero liked having fun, she liked enjoying what little life she had outside of her job, and hanging out with him lately, well, that hadn’t been fun at all. “You get so fucking hung up on one person, and even when that person is treating you like absolute crap, you hang on for dear life. He doesn’t want you, it’s time for you to move on.” She grabbed the bottle of bourbon from behind the bar, and filled up his glass, and pushed the glass towards him.
"Just get on with your life. You’ll be happier for it. As will those around you. Seriously." Kero offered him a small smile then, and hoped that he took her words as words of advice, and not just her being a total bitch. Because she meant them as tips to make him happier, nothing else.
What if I swore that I wouldn’t get drunk? I just really need a drink.
Everything in small doses, I guess. Getting drunk won’t be such a good idea though.
Honestly, I thought you mind hold me to my promise to quit drinking cold turkey. If you don’t think I’m a bloody failure, we should get some drinks.
Right, you giving all your alcohol to me to keep. Then maybe you shouldn’t be drinking, after all. I don’t think you’re a failure, not at all.