This isn’t going to be a really long, involved post about all the reasons why Haymitch is probably my favorite Hunger Games character. Just a short post about a feels attack I had while reading Mockingjay. (I will post something longer on this blog sometime soonish, if I can.) I didn’t think I’d cry at all on this re-read of MJ because I know the story inside and out and I just used to it, if that makes any sense. And I was going along fine until after the bombing of 13, when Coin wants Katniss to do another propo to show that 13’s just fine…
“Katniss, just this one line and you’re done today. I promise,” says Cressida. “‘Thirteen’s alive and well and so am I.'”
I swing my arms to loosen myself up. Place my fists on my hips. Then drop them to my sides. Saliva’s filling my mouth at a ridiculous rate and I feel vomit at the back of my throat. I swallow hard and open my lips so I can get the stupid line out and go hide in the woods and – that’s when I start crying.
It’s impossible to be the Mockingjay. Impossible to complete even this one sentence. Because now I know that everything I say will be directly taken out on Peeta. Result in his torture. But not his death, no, nothing so merciful as that. Snow will ensure that his life is much worse than death.
“Cut,” I hear Cressida say quietly.
“What’s wrong with her?” Plutarch says under his breath.
“She’s figured out how Snow’s using Peeta,” says Finnick.
There’s something like a collective sigh of regret from the semicircle of people spread out before me. Because I know this now. Because there will never be a way for me to not know this again. Because, beyond the military disadvantage losing a Mockingjay entails, I am broken.
Several sets of arms would embrace me. But in the end, the only person I truly want to comfort me is Haymitch, because he loves Peeta, too. I reach out for him and say something like his name and he’s there, holding me and patting my back. “It’s okay. It’ll be okay, sweetheart.” He sits me on a length of broken marble pillar and keeps an arm around me while I sob.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I say.
“I know,” he says.
“All I can think of is – what he’s going to do to Peeta – because I’m the Mockingjay!” I get out.
“I know.” Haymitch’s arm tightens around me.
FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS. HAYMITCH. AND KATNISS CRYING. AND HAYMITCH IS THE ONLY ONE WHO LOVES PEETA TOO. AND HE KEPT THEM ALIVE IN THE ARENA – TWICE. I’M JUST GOING TO GO CRY NOW.