Wednesday, November 3, 2010


“Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me for ever. When did for ever start?”

“Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair … it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says.

“Your father? Why?” I ask.

“He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says.

“What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim.

“No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’And he said, ‘Because when he sings … even the birds stop to listen.’”

“That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father.

“So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says.

“Oh, please,” I say, laughing.

“No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew – just like your mother – I was a goner,” Peeta says.

Peeta and Katniss | The Hunger Games

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