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"NO!" I screamed at the TV and flipped over a table. Why? Why did she have to be pregnant!? Why did my brother have to kill? WHY? I grabbed a pillow and pressed it to my face, screaming at the top of my lungs. Then I threw the pillow at the TV and stomped into the kitchen, clearing the counter with a swipe of my arm. Bowls and knives and vases landed with a CRASH! and a THUNK! Mad, I took a knife and... stabbed it into a cutting board. It touched the counter. I threw the cutting board at the wall and the knife dislodged as both hit the floor with a SMACK! Breathing heavily, I stood in the middle of a wrecked kitchen, static coming from the TV in the background. Slowly, my anger turned to crushing despair. Walking back to the TV, ignoring the pain from my feet as I stepped on glass shards, I turned the TV off. I calmly walked back to my room and sat in a corner, feeling tears run down my face as I realized what could happen. After who knows how long, I heard the door slam shut downstairs and someone say, "Grace? Grace!" I looked up as someone entered the room and flicked the lights on. It was Sam. He slowly walked towards me then knelt down. "Please tell me you didn't try to hurt yourself," he said softly. I showed him my arm. He checked for any marks then breathed a sigh of relief. Then he noticed my feet. Eyes widening in horror, he saw the shards in my foot bathed in blood. "Oh, Grace," he whispers. He sighs, looking down, and then scoops me up, bridal style. Sam takes me into the bathroom and sits me down on the counter. He grabs a towel and then starts taking out the shards. I grab his shoulder and squeeze it as he takes them out, stifling a shout. Blinking tears out of my eyes, he wet the towel and put soap on it before pressing it onto the bottom of my foot. It stung like heck but I knew it was necessary, more or less. After telling me to hold it, he rummaged through the drawers for a first aid kit. Finding one, he used the bandage to wrap the towel to my foot. After that was done and put away we both stayed there, not knowing what to say. "What made you come over?" I croaked, breaking the silence. "My girlfriend's sister's friend is in the Games along with her brother? I couldn't just leave you alone, now could I?" he replied. I gave me a half-hearted smile. "Come on," he said, sweeping me up bridal style. "Where do you want to go?" "The kitchen. I need to clean up," I replied. Frowning, he complied. "Have you eaten yet?" he wondered while he took me to the kitchen. I shook my head sheepishly. Carefully, he gently sat me down on the floor by the glass. "Well," he remarked, taking out the dustpan and broom, "While you are cleaning up, I'll cook dinner." "Okay." I took the dustpan and broom from him and got on my knees to start sweeping it all up. He grabbed the knives and cutting board and placed them by the sink before rummaging through the pantry and fridge for food. "How does a breakfast burrito sound?" he asked, holding up eggs and totillas. I smiled at his effort and nodded. "Sounds delicious." He grinned and got out a pan.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door. We both froze. "Grace? It's John," a voice said from the other side of the door. Releasing a pent-up breath, I responded. "Come on in, John. The door's open." Slowly, the door opened and John came in, dirt from the fields under his fingernails and in his hair as well as dark bags under his eyes. "Hi," he said quietly. "I thought I'd check up on you. And... I was hoping to use your phone to call Toby after the most recent... development." I nodded, understanding. He closed the door behind him and surveyed the kitchen. "Nothing happened that can't be replaced or healed with some time," I answered the question in his eyes. "The phone is by the couch." Nodding his thanks, he dialed Toby's number. "Can you put it on speaker? I'd like to talk to him, too," I called to John. Nodding, he held up a finger as it started ringing. He pressed a button to put it on speaker and set the phone down, the ringing filling the house with the muted sounds of whisking eggs and sweeping glass. "Hello?" we heard a tired voice I identified as Toby say from the other end, "Who is this?" "Hey, Toby, it's John. I'm here with Grace and her boyfriend Sam to check up on you." "Oh, hey, John. Hi, Grace. Nice to meet you, Sam," he replied in an exhausted tone. "Hi, Toby. How are you holding up?" I asked quietly. There was a pause. "Not as well as some would hope," he finally returned. There was a silence until Sam said, "I'm truly sorry about Liv. How is... Little Maddie?" I looked at Sam and he looked really worried, like he knew he stepped on a nerve but wasn't sure if it would be appreciated or make him be Toby's next target. "I think... she's doing okay," he replied. "That's good. How's... how's Parker?" Toby snorted, and I think he chuckled dryly before responding with a dry, "Better than me." On our end, we were silent. "How... are you guys... doing?" he drawed out. "Work helps keep my mind off everything. And eleven definitely has enough work for me to be doing," John replied in a clipped tone. "I don't know," I said truthfully, "Some days are worse than others." After another brief pause, Toby said, "Have a nice night" and hung up. John sighed, rubbing his forehead, and put the phone back in its place. "Would you like to stay for dinner?" I offered. He looked up and hesitated. "There's enough," Sam assured me. "If it isn't too much trouble," he said hesitantly. I smiled a bit. "Nothing would make me happier right now."