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In Another Life

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It's sunday again and the last day of this week. I haven't heard anything from Peeta, which should please me but at the same time, fills me with disappointment.

I debate whether to look in the window or not, fearful of both things, not sure whether it is worse to find something or to not know at all.

Prim shifts next to me, which accelerates my decision- if she discovers me, it will be too difficult to explain. I climb up on the bed and look through the window to discover there is a bouquet of dandelions tied with a red ribbon. Where did he find them? I ask myself, perplexed. This is not the season for them - they won't grow anywhere. When I reach for them, I realize they are not real, but made of paper. However, they have been made with such detail that from far away, you can't really tell the difference.

In general, it was difficult not to notice Peeta Mellark. He was a naturally good looking boy, with a friendly, extrovert character. But in art class on Monday, he changed completely. And that was when he fascinated me the most.

We attended the same class for three years and practically from the moment he entered until the dismissal, he drew. Sometimes, he sketched, other times he painted in watercolor or drew with graphite pencils. Yet he always managed to coax realistic or magical images from the blank paper. But most of all, it was the expression on his face that captured my attention. Instead of his usual serene demeanor, I observed in his concentrated labors a hidden world within him that I was curious to discover. I had seen flashes of this before - during debate class when he was before an audience, during wrestling matches, when he received blows from his mother for burning the loaves he tossed me so that I wouldn't die of hunger.

At that time, I became obsessed with his eyelashes. Normally, they are hard to see because they are so light and blond, but from up close, the slanted light of the sunlight coming in through the classroom window caused them to take on a soft, golden tone. They appeared so long that I wondered how they didn't become tangled.

One day, he lifted his eyes while I was watching, or better yet, spying on him. His face took on a look of shock but then changed abruptly when he gave me a radiant smile, a smile that was meant only for me and that took my breath away, followed by a sudden shyness. He raised his hand and waved, uttering his first words to me, a simple hello, Katniss, to which I could only respond with a similar gesture and a hello Peeta in return.

It was nothing really memorable, but it changed our relationship from that moment on, we became more bold in our exchanges. For instance, if I recognized Peeta walking near me, we nodded with our head or we smiled if we made eye contact in the cafeteria or while talking about the colors of the woods during summer for one of the pictures he was working on for art class.

Too much time and too many things have happened since then, but one thing is clear, the smile he once gave me still takes my breath away.

However, that is not enough for me to return a dandelion to him.