`caught in my own skin...
Bastian stood next to the wooden box that contained the body of her sister, it had been dropped off not too long ago, a few days perhaps, but he hadn’t touched it. Inside was his sister, the only thing that had ever really mattered to him, the reason for him to live and breathe. She was inside the wooden box, and he knew this meant he was never going to speak to her again, to see her smile, to hug her. Nothing. Along with the box had came a note, but he hadn’t dared open it, because he knew that it was from her and he couldn’t bring himself to read what she had to say now that she was gone.
Truth was, he was scared, he was terrified that she could say how much she had despised him, how he had changed ever since the fire and how absolutely awful he had been to her. All the things she had not said when she had seen him last because she thought she could win, because she might see him again, but now that she was never going to be around him, she could tell him exactly how she felt.
In order to ignore the box, he had been working at the mines far more, he no longer needed or wanted the money, but what else did he have to do? His life had lost the little purpose that it had before, now that Mina was dead he had really no idea what he wanted to do with his life, was life even worth living now that his whole family was gone? He was alone in the universe with no one to take care of, or no one to care for him. He was not even important in his own District, no one knew him, no one could care if he disappeared.
He had to admit he had contemplated suicide a couple of times since he had seen Mina’s life fade away in front of the whole Panem. She had been so close, and yet so far from victory. He was a coward though, so he had never actually went through with his plans, he had never been able to drive the knife through his heart like he had wanted to. Bastian was not as strong as he had ever thought he was, and the current events showed this, and the worst part was that he knew if his parents could see him, if Mina could hear him, they would all be disappointed by his lack of strength.
His eyes set themselves on the wooden box once again and he grabbed the knife from the table, he had to make it happen, so he could be with Mina and their parents, so his life would have a purpose, because any place was better than being there alone. Forever. His fingers curled around the knife and he raised it to his chest, one stab, that was all it would take, his heart would stop and he would die. Like Mina…
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, he had to do it, for her and for their parents, for his own sanity. It had to happen. Bastian Ellis had to die. He felt the tip of the knife against his left pectoral and he gritted his teeth, because he knew what was about to happen. And then his fingers uncurled and the knife dropped to the floor, sliding under the table where the wooden box was, he let out of his breath and got down on his knees to reach for the knife, because he had to. He felt the stinging of tears as he realized what a coward he really was, Bastian had never been one to cry, always trying to be strong for Mina, even when his parents had died he had somehow managed to keep the tears away, but not when his baby sister had died. He had never cried as much, and now everytime he failed to bury the knife into his flesh he could feel the now familiar tears of frustration rolling down his cheeks. His shoulder hit the table and from the top of the box fell the letter, landing at his feet, he stared at it for a few seconds, before his hand retreated away from the knife and grabbed the letter, his fingers opening it as his eyes read the words that he had been so terrified to before:Bas,
If you’re reading this, it means I’m not coming home.
But you already know that by now, I’m sure. I’m sorry I’ve had to leave you. I can’t tell you how sorry I am. All I wanted, the whole Prep Week, was to be at home and have you yell at me about something, for skipping school or going into the woods or anything, really. I took all that for granted, I know that now, and I know I probably won’t ever be coming home to it again. But I just want to make sure you remember a few things, because I know how good you are at listening the first time around. Sorry.
It’s nobody’s fault, what happened to me. It could have happened to anybody. I don’t want you to be angry. I don’t want you to spend your life like that. The one thing I’ve learned this week is that none of us have enough time, and we all waste it doing stupid things, like how you and I used to fight all the time. I’m really sorry for all that, by the way. I know you were only trying to do what’s best for me, and I really wouldn’t just let you, would I? Thanks for that. Thanks for giving up everything for me. I don’t think I ever said that to you, and that’s just one more thing I’m sorry about.
But now that it’s just you, you have to promise me you’ll do a few things. And it’s honor system this time, so no cheating. First, you should go back to school. They have night classes, you could finish in a few months. And then, I want you to get the hell out of the mines. Do something important. Do something you love. If you don’t know what that is, figure it out. I know it’ll be hard, and maybe it’ll seem kind of impossible, but you can do it. I know, because you did a lot of impossible things after Mom & Dad died. So don’t tell yourself you can’t, or I’ll have to get mad. Figure it out.
I could write this letter forever, but I won’t, because I need to go to training and learn some stuff, so that hopefully, you’ll never have to read this. I guess all I really need you to know is that I love you, that you are the best brother anyone could ever ask for, and that now, the only thing I need from you is to live your life and love it. Do it for me, because I can’t anymore.
I’ll say hi to Mom and Dad for you. We’ll be waiting.
He stared at the letter for a few more seconds before reading it once again. She wasn’t angry, she didn’t hate him, and for some reason that was more surprising than anything else. His little sister was gone, and this letter was the last thing he had of hers, all of her other possessions had been burnt in the fire that had taken their parents, and the ones she had left behind while she went to the Capitol were so few that it was hard to even count them. But not this, this letter was all her, it had been from the heart and it was prove that she had loved him. His hands reached for the knife once more and this time he grabbed it tightly.”I love you Mina.”
he said as he looked at the wooden box, getting back on his feet. He placed the knife back on the counter and turned to look at the box inside which his sister lay. He had to bury her, but he knew how the burials in the Slums went. That was something he would never allow Mina’s body to go through, his parents had not received a proper burial but he would make Mina get one.
His eyes suddenly fixated themselves on the jar of money Mina had got from his work at the Black Market, that combined with what he earned at the mines would probably be enough to get Mina a nice gravestone in a nicer place than the Slums. It was her money after all, she deserved that much. He knew from the letter than she wanted him to use the money to go back to school, to pursue a passion, to do something good with his life.
But she was his life, she had been his passion, nothing else in the world had mattered to him, nor did it anymore. He might not have the strength to kill himself to join her and their parents, but at least he wouldn’t a coward about this. He didn’t need much to survive, not in the slums, he would just work harder to make up for it, and he would be back in track, but this… this was something he had to do.
He nodded and grabbed the jar of money, with one last look at the wooden box he headed towards the door. He was going to make this happen, he would give Mina everything she had ever deserved and he had been unable to provide.