Catching Fire vs Catching Fire

After a while I hear footsteps behind me. It’ll be Haymitch, coming to chew me out. It’s not like I don’t deserve it, but I still don’t want to hear it. “I’m not in the mood for a lecture,” I warn the clump of weeds by my shoes. “I’ll try to keep it brief.” Peeta takes a seat beside me. “I thought you were Haymitch,” I say. “No, he’s still working on that muffin.” I watch as Peeta positions his artificial leg. “Bad day, huh?” “It’s nothing,” I say. He takes a deep breath. “Look, Katniss, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about the way I acted on the train. I mean, the last train. The one that brought us home. I knew you had something with Gale. I was jealous of him before I even officially met you. And it wasn’t fair to hold you to anything that happened in the Games. I’m sorry.” His apology takes me by surprise. It’s true that Peeta froze me out after I confessed that my love for him during the Games was something of an act. But I don’t hold that against him. In the arena, I’d played that romance angle for all it was worth. There had been times when I didn’t honestly know how I felt about him. I still don’t, really. “I’m sorry, too,” I say. I’m not sure for what exactly. Maybe because there’s a real chance I’m about to destroy him. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. You were just keeping us alive. But I don’t want us to go on like this, ignoring each other in real life and falling into the snow every time there’s a camera around. So I thought if I stopped being so, you know, wounded, we could take a shot at just being friends,” he says. All my friends are probably going to end up dead, but refusing Peeta wouldn’t keep him safe. “Okay,” I say. His offer does make me feel better. Less duplicitous somehow. It would be nice if he’d come to me with this earlier, before I knew that President Snow had other plans and just being friends was not an option for us anymore. But either way, I’m glad we’re speaking again. “So what’s wrong?” he asks. I can’t tell him. I pick at the clump of weeds. “Let’s start with something more basic. Isn’t it strange that I know you’d risk your life to save mine … but I don’t know what your favorite color is?” he says. A smile creeps onto my lips. “Green. What’s yours?” “Orange,” he says. “Orange? Like Effie’s hair?” I say. “A bit more muted,” he says. “More like … sunset.” Sunset. I can see it immediately, the rim of the descending sun, the sky streaked with soft shades of orange. Beautiful.