I don’t know how to have a normal relationship because I try to act normal and love from a normal place and live a normal life, but there is sort of an abnormal magnifying glass, like telescope lens, on everything that happens between me and anybody else. So I don’t know how to do that correctly or anything. I don’t really know that much about love, it turns out.
There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. So after, when he whispers,
“You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.”