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Government of Panem
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thirty-five ∙ district two ∙ peacekeeper ∙ naomi watts
<br>motherly ∙ strong ∙ brave ∙ broken ∙ rebel ∙ honest
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Send a hope upon a wave
A dying wish before the grave
Send a hope upon a wave
For all the souls you failed to save
And you stood tall
Now you will fall
Don't break the spell
Of a life spent trying to do well
And you stood tall
Now you will fall
Don't break the spell
Of a life spent trying to do well
Send a question in the wind
It's hard to know where to begin
So send the question in the wind
And give an answer to a friend
Place your past into a book
Put in everything you ever took
Place your past into a book
Burn the pages let them cook
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<div style="padding-top: 15px; font-family: 'Allura', cursive; text-align: center; font-size: 45px; color: #171717;">i. innocence.</div>
<p>They say every story has a beginning and I suppose I should start with my own. I was born on the eve of fall, September 22nd, the leaves were just beginning to change color and I’m sure my father would’ve been so pleased to hear that I was an Autumn baby. My mom always told me how much he loved the fall, he used to sit outside for hours, “just watching the leaves change colors,” mom would always say. Unfortunately, I never knew him that well. He was born and raised in a Peacekeeper family and he chose to carry on the legacy and become a Peacekeeper at the young age of nineteen. Throughout most of my childhood he was in and out of the Capitol, I barely spoke ten words to him in an average month. From the time I did spend with him, he seemed very—honorable—to an extent. In school, we learned that Peacekeepers were like our very own protectors, people willing to dedicate their lives to keeping us safe. It was an honor and so I was always told from a very young age that I should tell my friends what my dad did for a living with pride because he was one of the “chosen ones”, he was a soldier and a hero, he was the man people looked up to. After awhile I thought of him more as a mythical creature rather than my own dad, I hated asking him anything because he just felt like a stranger to me. Someone that spent time in my house every now and then, we made small talk, but he was an alien to me. Every conversation and every question was unchartered territory and I couldn’t help but almost be scared of him.
<p>Mother on the other hand, she was everything to me when I was little. I used to beg her to let me stay home so I could help her with the chores or whatever it was she was doing that day. I usually lost, most kids in District Two do, they’re very strict about education here you know. But I loved her with every bone in my body. She always talked about wanting more children, more smiles and more friends for me, but they never came. I was always curious, and I still am to, why she never had more… it’s not like my father would’ve objected. How could he when he was never home to be with us? I was an only child but never lonely. I had plenty of girlfriends at school that I loved to talk to and hang out with. I never felt like I was missing out on anything, granted I still managed to successfully go through my rebellious teenage years, but every kid does... career training was something I had always heard about but I never experienced firsthand. I can imagine the intenseness and the struggles, but the Hunger Games were never a thought in my mind. District Two usually had volunteers and when they didn’t, I had been lucky enough to be spared. After school was over, I was faced with that terrifying decision as to what to do next. What I hadn’t expected was for things to get a bit more complicated…
<p>I met Mason when I was sixteen and I remember thinking he was the biggest idiot on the planet. He was your classic ‘class clown’ that couldn’t stop smiling for ten seconds. I hated him, I hated that he got whatever he wanted just by flashing that dazzling smile of his. As you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, you can probably assume that didn’t last long, before I knew it I had fallen in love with this big lump of a boy and I couldn’t stop myself from scribbling down our names in my notebooks with little hearts all around them. By the end of that year we had been dating for two months and I thought things were going great and apparently they were because I can honestly say that to this day, he’s the only man I’ve ever been with. I love him, I’ll always love him and I know that won’t ever go away, not for anything in this world. Mason was everything my father wasn’t; he was funny and sweet, charming and outgoing, lighthearted and charismatic. He made me happy and I couldn’t imagine wanting anything else but him. When we were eighteen, all of our friend’s thoughts were centered on the Hunger Games while ours were centered on anything but the Games. We were talking about houses and furniture, jobs and weddings, the last thing I even considered was the fact that everything could change in one split second.
<p>I know what you’re thinking and I can tell you right now that you’re wrong, Mason didn’t get reaped and neither did I, but we had run ourselves into an even more challenging obstacle then I was prepared to handle at eighteen. I was pregnant, with not just one baby but two, two beautiful twin boys that will forever be the light of my life. Telling my parents was the hardest part, I had no idea how they would react to the news. My initial thoughts were that they’d be furious, they’d kick me out and curse the day I was born. But the most unbelievable thing had happened, they were disappointed but they treated me like the adult I proved to them I could be. My mom packed up a bag of my things, gave me a few dollars for food for the next week and they both walked me to the Justice Building to marry Mason Crosswell and to be assigned our very own house to live in. So many thoughts had run through my head during that short walk, everything was changing and I didn’t know if I was truly prepared for the rate at which they were coming. I was going to be having a baby, two babies, before I even turned nineteen! That’s a lot to go through… but with my new husband and my parents support, I thought I could face anything—nothing could stop me.
<p><div style="padding-top: 15px; font-family: 'Allura', cursive; text-align: center; font-size: 45px; color: #171717;">ii. happiness.</div>
<p>Jacob Ryan Crosswell was born at 5:15 on the morning of June 24th. He weighed 8.17 pounds and was just shy of 21 inches. His younger brother, Joshua Beck Crosswell was born at 5:32 on the very same day. Joshua outweighed his older brother by weighing in at 8.22 pounds and nearly 21 inches in length as well. The day of their birth was the best day of my life. I was petrified and it hurt like hell but the second they were in my arms, I was a goner. I have never loved anything so much in my entire life and I will do anything to protect my boys, they mean nothing less than the world to me. Mason was so good with them, a natural father and I couldn’t be more proud to just be his wife. The way his face lit up whenever he held them or played with them, it was just the best feeling that would just wash over me. A feeling that even though I didn’t have a job yet or a plan for life, this just felt right. Having them and starting our family just felt—on track—like it was part of my destiny. I may not have known what I wanted to do in five years or for the rest of my life but I did know that I loved being a mother and that if I could, I’d gladly have this be my day job for the rest of my life. My parents loved to spoil them rotten, even my father whom I had never been close with couldn’t help but smile whenever he held them. I remember walking into the house one day after going out to buy some groceries to find my dad sprawled out on the floor of the living room playing with toy cars with Josh and Jacob, I jumped back and surprise and I think I may have even gasped a bit. It was such a shock! Not once do I ever remember playing with my dad and yet here he was, playing with my own children like there wasn’t a thing wrong with it. And there wasn’t… it made me <i>happy</i>. We finally had something in common, something to talk about and not feel awkward, because we both loved those two boys more than anything.
<p>That was when my dad retired, he was only forty-five which was still very young for retirement with Peacekeepers, but he claimed he was getting tired and that he simply didn’t have the energy to do it anymore. Mother still worked at her own clothing store and that’s where I got my first job right after the twins were born. I was twenty, still young and naïve, the last thing I wanted to do was leave my babies but I knew we needed the money. Mason worked in the quarry and even though I hated it, it did bring in the money we needed to support the four of us. My dad helped out more than I had ever imagined him too, he babysat almost every day and he even had dinner on the table whenever Mason and I couldn’t make it home in time to prepare supper for ourselves. He was finally becoming the father I had always missed out on as a little girl and we got so much closer in those few years than we ever had for the past twenty years. I learned to recognize his laugh and his smile, I finally knew how to talk to him and know when he was lying. I knew that he used to sneak Joshua and Jacob candy before he left if they had been good that day and he used to tuck a little bit of money away into my coat pocket before leaving to go back home. I had always respected my father but it wasn’t until then that I had finally started to love him and I felt awful for never recognizing how much he had loved me prior to that moment. It was only after I had given birth to my own children that I finally realized what a parent’s love for a child felt like. It was a bond that could never be broken, no matter how much time they spent apart or how many conversations you had with them. It was an unyielding amount of love that was forever untouchable.
<p>My dad went back to work part-time for a bit in his late forties. The Capitol needed him for some secret project and he agreed to go out once every two weeks so that he could offer his assistance. Mason and I suffered a minor setback when we were in our twenties; money was getting tighter now that I was forced to work fewer hours so that I could take care of the boys. Our marriage that had seemed so flawless and perfect until then was finally cracking. I tried to tell myself it was just the tension, it was the stress of not having extra money for things, it was just the stress… but you always wonder. Maybe it was more, maybe this was only an impending doom that would fall over them soon enough. There’s always the calm before the storm, maybe the storm was finally coming. Maybe I was about to lose everything. It wasn’t Mason that I lost… but I did lose someone. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer that year. Every day she got worse and every day I felt more helpless than the day before. She was so kind and so quiet; the cancer ripped her apart from the inside out. She lost her hair and she fizzled out into a pile of skin and bones with how tiny she got. My dad came home for good and he spent all of his time taking care of her, something that I will never look past and never gets tired of remembering. I hated to see my mom suffer, but it was the first time I had ever seen them act so… in love. He fed her and cleaned up after her, he was her own little superman and when she passed away soon after; it was the first time I had ever seen my father cry.
<p>My mom’s death was hard on everyone, even the boys who were still so young. I took over the clothing shop and ran it the best I could even though I had never dealt with the creative side of things, that’s where my mother had always excelled. My father went back to babysitting the boys and although he wasn’t quite as happy, he still wore a smile whenever he was around them. Mason and I were able to settle our differences and work through things for them, for our children and our family. Slowly, things got better. The happiness came back and I was able to laugh at the dinner table as my father now sat across from us, smiling at us. I couldn’t bear to watch him eat alone in that little house so I began inviting him over daily. Of course, every night it seemed like he needed to be asked, he never wanted to impose, as if Joshua and Jacob would ever let him leave. They latched onto their grandfather and they loved him more and more every second they spent with him.
<p><div style="padding-top: 15px; font-family: 'Allura', cursive; text-align: center; font-size: 45px; color: #171717;">iii. darkness.</div>
<p>One would think that after surviving one tragedy, you’d be spared from another for at least a few years. Everyone needed time to recover. But sometimes life has its own plans and it can’t wait for people to heal. When I was thirty, just five years shy from today, Mason was killed. Not killed… murdered… slaughtered… my husband, my other half, my love. That goofy kid that used to pull on my hair in gym class was gone. My husband and the father to our beautiful children was no longer here to look out for them. Nobody can ever imagine what it’s like to lose your spouse, your soul mate, that kind of pain is unknown to anyone who has never been the other half to a whole. It’s been five years but it still feels like yesterday that I was called into the healing center because my husband had been shot by a Peacekeeper. They called me in to identify the body but I could barely see through my own tears, I couldn’t do anything but fall apart the second I saw him. I couldn’t nod my head or mutter out an answer for them, but my reaction to seeing his cold lifeless face was enough for them. They left so that I could say my own goodbyes before the funeral that would be held that weekend. Say goodbye? Goodbye… how would you say goodbye to your soul mate after you just found out they were no longer here with you? What do you say? What do you do? You keep on living. Because whether you like it or not and no matter how badly it hurts just to breathe, you’re looking out for two other lives. I miss him every day, but I cannot give up. I can’t surrender to the pain because I made a vow when I had my sons that I would never let any harm come to them and I intend to keep that promise—even if it’s the last thing I ever do on this planet.
<p>They told me it was an incident at the stone quarries one day. Someone that Mason worked with had been accused of stealing some of the finer stone they were dealing with and selling it for his own profit. The matter had gotten so out of hand that Peacekeepers were sent in to handle the dispute. When they had arrived, Mason’s coworker had already stashed the fine stone in someone else’s locker at work and when the Peacekeepers had went snooping around, they found the rock sitting softly at the bottom of Mason Crosswell’s locker. He begged and pleaded, telling them over and over again that he hadn’t stolen the rock. That he had no intention of selling anything for his own benefit, he was just looking for his weekly check to bring home to his family. When Mason’s coworkers, excluding the culprit behind the whole plot, rebelled against the Peacekeepers in defense of their friend, a shot was fired to prove to everyone that this was no joke. The bullet lodged itself right into the chest of Mason Crosswell and he died within a matter of minutes, his last thoughts filled with his family and the happy memories they had shared together. I miss him every day and every day feels like another mile in this endless marathon.
<p>Mason’s funeral was the hardest day of my life, if not for my own pain, for my son’s. There is nothing worse than watching your children in pain—agonizing pain and heartbreak that you can’t cure. I watched them sob at the tender age of twelve, so undeserving of a life filled with sadness. They dealt with their emotions differently and in their own way. Joshua stopped talking to nearly everyone, everyone but my dad and Jacob. I was lucky if I could get two words out of him by the end of the day. Jacob rebelled and acted out of what I know would be anger, anger that his father was taken from him at such a young age. It was different when I was little, my dad just wasn’t around… he was at work or in the Capitol. But my boys’ father was gone, Mason wasn’t coming home to tuck them into bed like he used to. He wasn’t going to crack his jokes and tickle them into nearly peeing their pants; it was just me and our attempt to make everything okay. I leaned on my dad for a lot of support and luckily it had been long enough since my mom’s passing for him to be stable enough to lean on. He consoled me and he helped me when I needed it the most and it wasn’t until two years later that I finally began to dig my way out of the depression that had nearly stolen two years of my life.
<p>Those two years were filled with nothing but helplessness and endless dreary. Even my own son’s smiles could only make me so happy. Even though I was happiest when I was with them, it was still nothing compared to the happiness that had once consumed my life. I had promised myself the second after hearing about Mason I wouldn’t let myself fall apart like I did, but once you’re thrown into such a traumatic event, it’s hard to promise yourself anything. It wasn’t worth it anymore, or at least it didn’t seem like it was at the time. Nothing was worth it. Everything, every smile and every laugh felt millions of miles away from me and I didn’t have the energy or the motivation to go chasing after them. If Mason were here, he’d have kicked me in the butt and told me to go after them, but I couldn’t do anything without him now. I was a mess and it was the worst I’ve ever been. I can’t help but feel endless gratitude for my father and the amount of which my boys leaned on him for support because I was such a ghost at home. The only thing that was successful in pulling me out of my stupor was the very thing I had been trying to fight off for years now—<i>revenge.</i>
<p><div style="padding-top: 15px; font-family: 'Allura', cursive; text-align: center; font-size: 45px; color: #171717;">iv. vengeance.</div>
<p>Throughout my life I had been taught to respect and honor the government, our Peacekeepers, our President, our Capitol. It took the death of my own husband for me to realize that maybe what the government stood for wasn’t in my own best interest. How could it? They wouldn’t even listen to our side of the story. Any word or judgment out of line of what was considered normal and you were killed on the spot. That was the moment that I decided I wanted to provide aid to the rebel forces. Becoming a full-fledged member was still a long shot and I was still very hesitant to do anything too drastic, I do have two boys to look out for after all. I would send them clothing and provide any information to any informants that I knew of but it was difficult for them to trust me when I couldn’t even trust myself completely. Ultimately, I will do whatever I have to do to make sure my family is safe. As long as Joshua and Jacob are okay, I’m completely okay with helping the rebels in any way that I can. But first I had to show them that I was serious, that this wasn’t just a little game I was playing with them. I wanted to help and I wanted to be given some responsibility. My decision was brought to life when I decided to become a Peacekeeper. I know it was a bit late to start training but when they traced back my records and saw who my father was, they agreed to let me in and I began training right away. I hated every moment of it, the training and the nonstop badgering about my life. It was fairly obvious I would not be put in a combat position but they did have me around for some of the more stable jobs here in District Two because of my boys that I needed to look after.
<p>I think my father knew what I was doing long before I ever thought he would. Its funny how that works out, someone who I thought I barely knew turned out to know me a lot more than I thought he would. He never spoke to me about it directly or asked where I had been but he just gave me those knowing looks, those looks that said that he knew I wasn’t out for a walk in the middle of the night, that maybe I had been off sneaking information to someone about a suspected attack on rebel forces somewhere in Panem. By the time I had finally told my dad and my two sons that I had sold the clothing shop and had decided to become a Peacekeeper and work for the government, nobody looked too surprised. It turned out that they had expected it longer than I had thought. I was okay with them knowing what I was up too, but I was scared of Josh and Jacob getting involved somehow. They want to help in any way that they can. Sometimes I’ll see them sneaking out at night thinking that they can find us and fight the bad guys away like they read in their comic books. They’re so brave and yet still so young and innocent, I don’t want them to be exposed to this—to any of it. Even though they are now seventeen, I worry about them. They’re still my babies and I don’t want to expose them to danger or any sort of harm. It’s my job to protect them and even though I’m not the most threatening thing in the world I can assure you that nobody will come in between me and my children.
<p>It came as a shock to me when my father approached me about also helping out with the rebel forces. I think he was doing it more for me than he was simply because he wanted too, part of him would always remember being a part of that group with his friends growing up. But I admired and understood the devotion he still felt to his own blood, to his own daughter. While I’m able to leak out information in regards to the Peacekeepers and their plans of attack and list of suspected rebels, my father is still in close contact with some of the Peacekeepers of the Capitol and if he plays his cards right he can sometimes get information about the President in specifics. While nothing huge as happened yet, I’m sure that his connections will only help the rebels out. I know it’s dangerous, all of this is, but I refuse to sit by and watch as they kill someone else’s husband… simply because he was framed and they refused to listen to his side of the story. I have no doubts that District Two is not the only corrupted district, but I’ve heard various statements about similar accounts in other districts as well. The President does not have our best interest at heart, he is not looking out for us and so I don’t intend to support him. I support the rebels and the cause that they stand for and that is where I’ll be until justice has finally been served and until I can restore honor to my husband’s name.
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nobody will come in between me and my children.
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<center> 17 ∙ est ∙ pm/aim/text
buahahaha, i'm such a character whore. but in my defense, i've been waiting for this baby since day one <3 it's thornpike 2.0, yo.
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i sort of don't feel like copying something in here... i'm sorry, wifey <3
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