Okay, so here’s the deal. I was bored, seeing as it’s christmas break and all so I thought of doing something a little childish. It’s sort of a game I used to play wherein you write down names of people you ship and see how many letters they have in common. You cross those out and total it at the end. Afterwards, you see which letter in the word “FLAMES” it lands on. F stands for friends, L is for lovers, A is for acquaintance, M is for married, E for engaged and S for sweethearts. This is what I got.
This is in no way accurate but it still made me smile.
“I’ve been watching you for a while, throwing knives. And I must say you’re quite good for your age.”
“I guess you’re quite good yourself. Cato, right? It’s funny to see how you intimidate the masters with your sword skills. They fear you might stab them once you’re completely in your element. I just kind of noticed that.”
“Well, perhaps we should just become partners then, letting some heads roll.”
The second they called your name, I realized my mistake.
In that very second I saw all those little moments, you know, those of us. You and me behind the training center, in the woods, by that small pound. Those moments where we kissed, fought, fucked or argued. Every single moment with you mattered, little girl.
How was I supposed to know they would call your name? It wasn’t your year. It was mine. Your name should never have been called. If I’d known, I would never have volunteered.
You were brave though. My smirking, brave little girl, never showing any emotion. The only thing you held when you walked up to the stage was arrogance. You raised your eyebrows to me, as if to say, “What are we going to do?”
Neither of us seemed to have the answer. But oh, I tried. I tried so hard to think of a way out. But I didn’t see one. We were already doomed; our fate sealed; our hope destroyed. It was the end, and we both knew it.
On the train you had refused to speak to me, but I remember that look you gave me. It was like we both silently agreed that from now we were tributes, and those kisses, and those hours spent in my bed never happened. Like those times I made you laugh never existed. And trust me, I’ll always remember those. I was the only one who could make you smile.
You refused to speak to me the rest of the train ride, you didn’t even look. It angered me, and I wanted to grab you and demand you to speak to me, to look at me, to kiss me. But I couldn’t. We were raised for this; murdering, killing, this beautiful evil. We were born to kill, fed blood to ensure our blood-lust. We weren’t supposed to feel anything. Ever. Then why did you make me fall so hard?
It was like I didn’t even exist to you anymore. It felt like you had lodged one of your knives into my chest and kept twisting it around. It felt hollow, weird, and strangely painful. I wasn’t supposed to feel this, and it made me so damn angry you had this power over me. But I let you keep twisting, because I knew we couldn’t be together.
When twelve announced he was in love with that bitch on fire, it was all I could do not to lose it. Why hadn’t I thought of that? We could have gotten all the applause, little girl. We could have gotten all the sponsors, and I would still be able to kiss you, and touch you, and be with you. I could have said I loved you, and we could have been together, fully, completely, until the end. But then I remembered who we are; murderers, uncaring callous killers who weren’t supposed to have hearts, and to whom love was just a pitiful myth.
You had met my seeking gaze then, and I could see you were thinking the same. But it didn’t matter. Because all we had were those memories of you and me and the bed, and those rare times of happiness. The future was dark, so I clung to the past.
I realized something very important that last night before we went into the arena. You had come into my room, and crept into my bed. You had looked so small, so vulnerable, and it had scared me, because you, little girl, were always so cold and collected. You looked scared; brokenhearted. Like I had taken my sword and twisted it around in your chest, like you had with your knives in mine.
No words had escaped your lips, and instead of speaking you simply kissed me. That was a night like no other, like all those good memories experienced all at once. You had given me that look, like you didn’t want this night to ever end. And I knew I didn’t want it to either. How amazing wouldn’t it have been if we could have been in that bed forever, little girl? Just you and me and eternity?
“We both knew this could never last,” you had said to me as your head rested on my chest. “Right?” It was liked you asked for confirmation, as if we were just a fling, just using each other to get laid, and that we would have split up eventually anyway even if it hadn’t been for the games. It was like you thought it would have been much easier to let go then, like it wouldn’t hurt so much if we weren’t meant to be.
I didn’t answer you, just brought your lips up to mine and kissed you. I had wanted to tell you I loved you, because that was what I had realized. It hurt so fucking much because I was in love with you. But I know it would have hurt even more if I had known you loved me back.
I heard you scream. You screamed my name, and not in that way I liked that was of pleasure, or that way when you were mad. You screamed like you were afraid, and that was why I ran. I ran the fastest I have ever ran in my entire life, but I still wasn’t fast enough. It felt like you stabbed me in the heart again when I saw you fall to the ground like a broken doll. Oh, God, little girl, we were supposed to win! We were supposed to win. You couldn’t die. Not now, not ever. Oh, and I loved you. I loved you…
I couldn’t breathe when I knelt beside your battered, almost lifeless body. Fuck, I remember the tears. I cried for you, I begged you to stay. But you wouldn’t. I loved you, little girl. How dared you leave me?
I had held you, chanted your name countless of times like that would bring you back to life, to me. “I love you,” I had told you. “God, Clove, I love you.” And then you had made me smile even though it seemed like that was something I never would do again.
“You’re getting soft,” you told me in a broken voice which was only a ghost of your usual arrogance, and I remember smiling through the tears. You had smiled too, and it made it all so much more painful. “I love you too, Cato.”
And I was right. Hearing you tell me you loved me too made it so much harder losing you. It was like I was ripped in half, and lost the best part. Oh, shit, it hurt so fucking bad.
I’m happy I died, little girl. Because spending a second more without you would have killed me anyway. I loved you, I loved you, I loved you.. Oh, how I loved you.
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I’m sorry I wasn’t fast enough. I’m sorry I volunteered to begin with.
Nothing means anything without you, Clove, my little girl.
“Clove!“ Cato’s voice is much nearer now. I can tell by the pain in it that he sees her on the ground. Cato kneels beside Clove, spear in hand, begging her to stay with him. In a moment, he will realize it’s futile, she can’t be saved.”
Coming home was too much to deal with. The fame, the fortune, and the memories… The horrible, tragic memories. It was as if a dark cloud had hanged over Cato as he left the Arena. A world full of woe and grays. No color. No light.
As the trees rushed past, he watched out the train window. All Cato did anymore was sleep and sit in one particular booth in the dining car the whole way home. He never talked, just simply nods and shakes of the head. It was all too much. Everything reminded him of the raven haired, green eyed girl. He couldn’t live in peace anymore, even though he hadn’t before. This…feeling, this guilt of not saving her, it followed him everywhere he went, every time of the day. It never left him alone, he hadn’t slept in a week.
Brutus had let his younger brother be. He knew it was bothering him, the death of that girl who he had seen Cato trained with at the Career Academy. Brutus just didn’t know it’d be this terrible, things were quiet and depressing. Maybe he should’ve went along and agreed with Enobaria and played the hopelessly in love angle. It would’ve saved the girl and it would’ve been a different story. It’s his fault, why that girl is dead. It’s his fault, why his little brother is torn apart.
Cato can’t hide the fact he is hurt. The dark circles under his eyes flush out the blue that used to be so bright. The paleness of his face, once filled with color, now gone. The smile that never appears like it used to, that never appears at all. Enobaria knows somewhat of how Cato feels. Compared to his depression, her grief is only a small fraction. She knew Clove, trained her since a young age. Enobaria actually had a hundred percent belief that Clove would come back.
The scream of the name of the boy that sits depressed at the booth, was so heartrending. As if it came from a small, innocent and helpless child. Which was what Clove was in the end, innocent and helpless. The way fear overcame her and panic had struck her. Just the thought of how Clove came to peace is too hard to think about. She didn’t die fast and numbly, she felt every inch of pain, every second of agony that lasted forever to her.
Cato tries not to think of. But in the end, it’s what he always lies in bed, remembering. Replaying her scream on an endless loop. She had trusted him with her life and he let her down. The feeling of seeing her lying on the ground, barely breathing had felt like a ton of bricks falling him. He actually held his chest, taking the expression of getting your heart torn out to a whole other level of reality.
The strength in his knees gave out, leaving him falling in front of her. The life had almost fully left her eyes. Only giving enough time for a short goodbye. She lied there, tears rolling down the corner of her eyes. They broke Cato. He stroked her face and apologized. Her lips formed a small smile, a smile so heartbreaking, tears that welled in his eyes had sprung over. The pain he felt was too excruciating, he couldn’t imagine the agony she was in.
Her words were faint, but they lit up his world and warmed his cold stone of a heart,“Did you know I’ve always loved you, Cato?” Her green eyes viewed his features and looked into him, as though looking for an answer.
Cato kissed her still warm lips ever-so softly and held her hand to his cheek, closing his eyes cause seeing her would only anger him, knowing he was too late,“You’re the only girl that I have ever loved, Clove. If I know what love is, it’s because of you. Don’t leave me. Please, stay with me. You’re my everything. I can’t live without you. I need you to hang on, Clove.”
The way Cato cried for and beg for her to stay. Clove was heartbroken and the kiss made her love him even more, if it was possible. It had her stomach flutter and given her a feeling of relief after the utter pain she was in. All the dreaming she had done of her and Cato’s live after the Games. The distance of it seemed so easy to reach…but now felt as though it was an eternity away.
“You’re always gonna be with me, Clove. I’m going to think of you every night. I’m never going to love someone like I love you. You’re my forever.” Cato poured his heart out with the extraordinary grief he felt. It was the worst pain ever known to him.
Clove had tightened her hand around his and a wince of pain pierced her neck,“You’re my always, Cato. Don’t you forget that. You’ve always been there and I will always love you for that.” The last words of her sentence were barely audible, Cato tried to hang on to her.
He couldn’t have her leave him, she was Cato’s sanity. People can say it was all an act and he just did it to live. But this girl, who is troubled to try and breathe. This girl, who is dying in his arms. This is his girl and he will always love her.
“Thresh will get what he deserves in the end. I promise. I’ll do it myself.” Cato couldn’t control what he said only his grief and rage could. He felt as if killing Thresh would bring back the love of his life. Deep down, in his core, he knew it wouldn’t.
As Clove’s hand had grown cold, her eyes still wet with tears had only a bit of life. He panicked, realizing he couldn’t live without her. She was the air he breathed, the beauty in everything he admired, the morning light he looked forward to. The thought of all that disappearing when the canon blew had hit him hard.
“No, Clove. Please.” He held her and cried in the crook of her neck,“I can’t do it. I can’t live without you. You’re my whole world. Thresh can’t take you away from me. I can’t let you go.”
Clove lay her head on the neck of his shirt and wiggled deep into his shoulder, her tears stained his shirt. He knew she was scared as she trembled in his arms. And the thought of Clove being afraid made Cato uncomfortable.
He tossed in his bed and continued to swim through his thoughts in search for his Clove. This is all he’s done for the past week, lay there and think of the girl who changed him. She smelt of dirt and fresh rain, the recalling of her was so vivid. As if Cato could actually feel her tears, hold her small frame, and kiss her sweet, familiar lips. Reliving this every night was torture, yet an escape from the horrible world.
“Clove, I don’t want you to go. Please hang on."He cried for her to do something they both know she couldn’t.
Clove held on to him tighter, because letting go means forever. She couldn’t bring herself to leave him. Her eyes red from crying and her body weak from fighting, she stayed as long as she could. "Tell me you love me, because I love you.” Clove whispered as her grip loosened a little.
Cato sniffled and stroked her hair,“I do, I love you so much, Clove. Now go to sleep. Close your eyes.” Cato forced himself to sob the words that might have her calm,“You’re safe now, Clove.” Cato had shut his eyes tightly, to keep the tears from spilling out.
Clove felt Cato’s hurt as he told her she was safe. He didn’t want to say goodbye and neither did she. Whether she liked it or not, Clove being in control, couldn’t do anything about this. It was time to leave everything, unfinished or not. Time to leave the ones she loved dearly.
The canon echoed in his ears, as if it were mocking him. Clove lay lifeless on his shoulder, her grip still locked on him, but not as strong as it once was. Her eyes closed softly, as they were when she slept. Cato held her closer and wept hysterically. Part of him died, the one part he fought so hard to keep. Now gone. He wanted her to wake up and be alright. His cries to the Capitol cameras were full of swears and curses. They took Clove away. She was in pain and he could do nothing about it. All that was in his capacity were soothing words. Cato shouted at the viewers and Gamemakers with Clove in his arms. He couldn’t move on even though she wasn’t here.
“Are you happy now?! Are you satisfied that she’s gone and I’m torn?!” He held Clove, not ready to leave her. Not ready to walk away from his everything.
Cato threw off his covers as his heart pounded hard like a hammer. His palms grew sweaty. Clove was gone and it was his fault. When he heard Katniss call for Peeta, he went to find him. But why would you look for someone you know you put at death’s door? When he realized he had gone too far, Clove was already screaming for him.
“Are you alright, Cato?” Brutus’ voice sounded through the door of his room. Cato sat in the darkness and silence. That’s all it was dark and quiet. Melancholy was now the one word to explain this young boy. He couldn’t think of being happy without Clove. That wasn’t an option.
Enobaria had went through her belongings on the train as she couldn’t sleep from the screams that had filled the silence of her chambers. She came across some things of Clove’s in particular that Cato would like. Maybe these objects could be his lifeline. Bring back some sanity of what he had before. The capitol took it along with Clove.
As a mentor for the girl tribute. Enobaria had to watch the Games. She didn’t know Cato and Clove had actually loved each other. In the viewing room, no one had questioned her or Brutus. As Cato held Clove in his arms, sobs and sniffles filled the room. The pain in his voice and the sorrow in her eyes, in no way was this staged. As she assured him it wasn’t his fault and tears streamed down her face. Enobaria couldn’t bare to watch anymore and had gone out of the room. Her heart wasn’t that solid. She tried as much as she could to get medicine for Clove. Some sponsors volunteered, there just wasn’t one strong enough for her injury.
Enobaria’s feet weren’t familiar with the walk to Cato’s room. As the knock echoed in the empty hall, she opened the door. Cato sat the looking at the interesting nothing. His eyes dark from the week of no sleep and the weakness from no eating, he wasn’t himself anymore. He cracked jokes, talked loud, and laughed hard. It was Clove, who made him happy the whole time.
Enobaria’s strong voice, turned soft and quiet,“Hey, I haven’t seen you in awhile.” Cato didn’t even try to fake a smile, that was too hard. His tired eyes looked at the silhouette in the door way. The way it looked when Clove stood there before the Games. That night, Cato and Clove had talked about everything from their favorite colors to the meaning of life.
Enobaria’s voice pierced through the silence,“Cato, I found something that might be in your interest.” Enobaria brought the two items to the end of Cato’s bed and set them down with a pat. She tightened her robe over herself as felt a chill and left with a goodbye.
Cato flipped on the lamp that set next to his bed. The light poured onto the walls and rolled over the book and necklace with a small knife charm on its chain that lay on the beige comforter. He sat and stared at the objects, as if they were dangerous. The tilt of his head and the look in his eyes were different from the way they have been these couple of days. Slowly, he paced over to the bed and picked up the dog-eared book and opened the black leather cover. The pages smelt of mint and cinnamon. The first page was ripped at the upper right corner and aloud he read the words that were written in cursive. “Clove Sevina’s don’t touch or read. For my eyes only. If you are given permission you may go on.” These words that he had spoken were the first in awhile. His hand caressed the page over Clove’s handwriting. Her scream for him had filled his ears and the book slipped from his hands. He couldn’t look at the belongings of Clove anymore. Cato sent them away to his nightstand, turned out the light, and threw the blankets over himself.
Later on that night he lay in bed, thinking about home. What would everyone do? Or say? Would her family ignore him from not saving her? All these thoughts spun in his mind, like a destructive tornado. Determined to break him and hurt him in every way possible. Thoughts that had gotten to him in the early morning and they brought him to his room in District Two. So many memories of the girl he loved so much were laying there in wait. To bring him to tears, tears he tries to hide so hard. Cato thought Clove would be the one to live, not him. She was so cautious and careful, he was reckless and always let rage get the best of him. Now he’s here and she’s not, sitting in his… Their booth, wanting her there telling him everything will be okay. After all these years of training and fighting. Becoming so invincible and strong, fighting the impossible. A 16 year old girl with raven hair and green eyes had broke him, weakened the strong and warmed the cold. Why did it take that much for him to realize he loved her so?
Every twinkle in the stars, reminds him of her. Every ray of sunshine, tortures him. Every flame of candlelight, brings her essence. Making him break down in anger and bottle up every feeling so no one finds out how vulnerable he could be. At night in the Arena, when he’d take watch, he really only protected Clove. That’s why he was good at his shift. Because he’d make sure nothing would harm her. The soft close of her eyelids and when she would shift in her sleep, it would worry him. Wanting her to safe and okay, Cato would take Marvel’s shift as well. The crackle of the night fire and the small animals crept in the woods.
The train screeched to a stop, Cato examined the scenery and met with the familiar skyline of District Two. People crowd the platform where he exited, waiting for his return. But the boy came back, wouldn’t be Cato at all. Just a heartbroken, sleep-deprived, nonnutritious boy that needs help.
“Cato, we have to do this and you’ll be done for the day.” Brutus gave a firm grip on his younger brother’s shoulder, as his voice became sad and soft. All that was in the sky were dark clouds, no sunlight shown through. A grim, tired expression flickered on the young boy’s face. ‘What was the point in anything, now?’ The repetitive thought circled like a vulture in Cato’s head. Clove was his smile and happiness. She was the one to make him glad, if that wasn’t clear before. Her laugh and presence made everything better. The way she danced so lightly and weightlessly around and how she was so graceful and delicate.
Katniss, the girl tribute from District Twelve, may have a different detailing of the love of his life. But that’s because she didn’t know her like Cato did. At that point, Clove was fed up and wanted to go home with Cato. Anything and everything was in arms reach.
The walk to the platform was enough, yet Cato had to do more in order to be left alone. A small fake smile crossed his lips as he tried to lie to the world that he was fine and alright. That fake smile tried to hide the fact he was torn and needed the only thing he couldn’t have.
That night he finally opened the worn, black leather book, he got passed the page of Clove’s warning. The first page was a picture of them, around the age of 8, when he first met her. Throughout the pages were filled pictures, they grew older, became more closer. Every flip to the next picture was a nightmare. Then the last page had arrived. He thought to himself, already? He came to conclusion, he didn’t want to close the book, he had fallen in love with Clove all over again, he felt her presence.
Cato took a deep breath and turned the page and saw him, a week before the Games. He sat on a rock looking out to District Two below. Clove took the photo without him knowing… Underneath the picture it said.
Cato closed the book slowly and a tear fell down his cheek. He stood and began to pace his room, same as always, he tried to go to sleep. But knew this routine of, reliving the death of the girl he tried so hard to save, every night wouldn’t end. He loved her too much to let her go. He promised to think of her every night and he does… Just not in the way he had hoped.
So as he crawls under his covers, turns off his light with her necklace charm on his own. Cato flutters his eyes shut and something different happens. Every moment a photo from the book was taken flashed. When Clove’s mother took the picture of them when they eight years old, to the week before the Reaping Day, when Clove snuck the photo of him. And the last words that play in his head are different from every other night.
If Cato was really in love with Glimmer, I doubt he would have just left her to die from a swarm of tracker jackers. In fact, he probably would have run straight into the swarm and taken in a lot of tracker jacker poison in an attempt to shield her and/or to carry her to safety. This, however, obviously never occurred.
However, when Clove was in danger, Cato immediately ran to her from across the arena clearly prepared to take on whatever threat Clove was faced with for her sake, even knowing that doing so could potentially result in the loss of his life.
Therefore, we can scientifically conclude that Cato’s feelings were for Clove and not for Glimmer.