He never wanted this for her. He never wanted it for any of his children, but now that his daughter was finally of age, he wished she was never born.
But it was too late to go back now. His little girl has been trying to survive in an arena full of teenagers much more well trained than she was. And as the father of the girl whose late mother he had promised to protect, he couldn’t watch.
“Turn the broadcast off Reg,” he told his son.
“Dad,” Reg replied, not bothering to finish up his sentence.
“I don’t want to watch this,” he said to his oldest son, who went through 6 years of the reaping and was lucky enough not to be chosen.
“I need to know if she is safe dad,” Reg replied softly.
He shook his head in reply as he headed to his room immediately. As he slumped into his bed, he pulled open the side table drawer and took out a stack of letters.
As he untied the bundle, he took the first letter. It was the newest letter she had written to him. And though some may find it odd, but the bond he shared with his daughter was through the letters they wrote each other, which they would slip under their bedroom door from time to time.
Pulling out the brown crumpled paper, the neat handwriting immediately brought tears to his eyes.
Today is my first reaping. I’m scared as hell, but Reg and Rave told me that the odds would be in my favor, cause there’s only one paper with my name on it. So I think I would be fine. But just in case I get chosen, I just want to say a few things.
1) I’m sorry I broke your picking pole. Yes, it was me. I lied to you when I said a dog did it. But I didnt mean to break it though. It was an accident, I swear. I hope you would forgive me.
2) I want to say thank you, for all you have done for Reg, Rave and me. I know I can be stubborn sometimes, so thank you for not getting mad every time I don’t do what you say.
3) I love you so much. And I love writing letters to you, and reading yours over and over again. I know I’m twelve this year and I should start acting my age, but I won’t ever stop writing you letters.
4) If I do get chosen for the hunger games, please don’t be sad. I am fast and I am good with trees, so I think I have a chance of surviving, and when I do win, I’ll come home with a lot of money, and you don’t have to work so hard anymore.
I think that is all. I’m going to put on that pretty dress you got for me now. I know I’m going to look prettier than most girls with the dress you bought. But I think you shouldn’t have wasted money on that, we could buy more bread with the money.
Anyways, I’ll be waiting for your reply!
Love, your only daughter, Rue.”
Immediately, he broke into tears. He couldn’t understand how her innocents could make her so strong and brave for a twelve year old. But as he reread the letter, he could see how alike she was to her mother, independent, courageous and loving. Yes, she definitely has a chance of winning, because she was his brave daughter.
Grabbing a piece of paper from the drawer, he started to write a reply letter.
“My lovely Rue,
I love you so much. So much more than you could ever imagine. I am so proud to have a daughter like you, who is not only as beautiful as your mother, but as brave and kind-hearted.
My naughty girl, I have already forgiven you, cause I knew you broke the picking pole. You can’t lie to me even if you tried so hard, because I know you too well! And I love writing letters to you too. I really hope you don’t grow out of it when you get older.
I know you would try your best to win the hunger games, but even if you don’t, remember that you have made us all so proud of you, not just our family, but the entire district.
I hope to see you soon because I miss you so much!
Please come home Rue. Daddy wants his little girl home.”
With that, he wiped the tears off his cheeks, folded the letter, slipped it into an old envelop, and strode over to his daughter’s room.
While his two sons watched him, he took a deep breath, slipped the letter under her bedroom door and turned to his sons as he said, “She’ll be coming home. I know she will.”
(I watched the Hunger Games today, and Rue’s death made me cry. At the end of the day, I couldn’t help but write something for her. So, this is in honor of Rue.)