The questions are just beginning. The arenas have been completely destroyed, the memorials built, there are no more Hunger Games. But they teach about them at school, and the girl knows we played a role in them. The boy will know in a few years. How can I tell them about that world without frightening them to death? My children, who take the words of the song for granted: ‘Deep in the meadow, under the willow. A bed of grass, a soft green pillow. Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes. And when again they open, the sun will rise. Here it’s safe, here it’s warm. Here the daisies guard you from every harm. Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true. Here is the place where I love you. My children, who don’t know they play on a graveyard.’ Peeta says it will be okay. We have each other. And the book. We can make them understand in a way that will make them braver. But one day I’ll have to explain about my nightmares. Why they came. Why they won’t ever really go away. I’ll tell them how I survive it. I’ll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I’m afraid it could be taken away. That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years. But there are much worse games to play.
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