People always told me that I looked like my mother. They said that I had her hair, her color skin, even the way I can give looks that make people think that my eyes are smoldering coals.
Some say that I got my father's color of eyes, luckily, and that I might just be a tad lighter than Mom. They say I'm strong like him, that I have his set of morals with Mom's survival skills and will to break free of what's expected.
Even though they say these things, I can't say that I agree.
Okay, so the resemblances are strong. I'm definitely my parent's child. But past that, there's very little of my parents in my being. They are clearly their own people, but then there's me.
I'm in the gray area that is as dark as the soot and ash that still can be found in some places around here. And in a way, I'm as vague and mysterious as them, too.
Of course, when you grow up knowing the dark history behind you, when you know that it's because of your parents that life is completely different, there's a lot to live up to.
And as I watch the people standing in the square, trying to catch a glimpse of my parents, I wonder if I'm ever going to be able to meet up to what they expect of me.
My father flashes a charming smile at them, one that looks almost exactly as it had eighteen years ago, when they arrived in the Capitol.
My mother looks serious but pleasant, though there's an air of uncertainty around her. The big crowds of people still unnerve her, even now. They make her jumpy. Loud noises freak both of them out, for understandable reasons.
Some people in the crowd are clutching pictures from when they were teenagers. There's even a few replica Mockingjay pins floating around, but they don't look nearly as good as the one my mother has pinned onto her jacket.
There's Aunt Effie, too, looking less elaborate as she had when they were young. Gone are the painted skin, the freakily vibrant nails, and the plumped lips. She still sports a fancy hair-do that cannot possibly be described, and the amount of makeup she wears is absurd. But who would she be without those things?
Haymitch sits in his wheel chair, looking forlorn but attentive. Mom said he used to be a drunk and it was hard for him to kick the habit, but I can't imagine him touching liquor. He's too caring, too concerned to seem like someone who would enjoy losing control.
Then again, what do I know?
I back away from the window as I hear my mother announce the newest plans to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the stopping of the Games. Well, their version of it, anyways,
People cheer and clap, so glad that they no longer have to fear this day.
But I think back to what they taught in school last year, about how this day used to mean certain death for twenty-three people. I think about the nerves those kids must have had if they were called, or even just waiting for the fated moment.
Then I think about what this means for the people who still have to worry about it, the ones in the Capitol. The history books they showed us had portrayed the Capitol as a grand place with luxury buildings and fancy fashion. My mother always spoke about her distaste of the lifestyle there, how she never knew how anyone could be so insensitive to the poverty around them.
I remember the last time we talked about it, how she had gotten so angry when I questioned her motives on restarting a version of the games.
"Mom, it's still killing innocent people. Don't you feel like it's unnecessary?"
Her eyes had turned cold and dark. "You don't understand. You weren't there, you never had to live that life. Your father and I made sure of that. Neither you or your brother ever have to worry about the things the Games put us through." she took in a deep breath. "I don't expect you to get why we chose this. But I ask that you don't question the decision."
"But it's just doing to them what they di----"
"Prue, stop it. Please." she yelled. Taking in another breath, she relaxed her shoulders. "We're done talking about this."
I never had the heart to bring it up to her again. It seemed to me that she would rather not think of the children having to die and kill, just like she and Dad had to do. It doesn't bother her, or anyone else in the rest of this place, for that matter, that there are still kids fighting for their entertainment,
But then again, Mom could never do something wrong in their eyes. She's their Girl on Fire, and he's their Boy with the Bread. No matter what they did, they would always be the symbols of the rebellion, the victors of the 74th Hunger Games, and the ones who changed everything.
Everyone knows their story, but no one knows mine. Because when it comes down to it, I've never had my chance to be the Spark. I can't light a match and set the world on fire, not when there's my parents to outdo me.
It isn't easy being the result of the Girl on Fire settling down. I'm stuck in a permanent hearth, with the potential of always remaining an ember from her blaze of glory.
And hopefully, I aim to change that.