… someone with whom I could share thoughts I could never voice inside the fence.
In exchange, he trusted me with his.
Gale gave me a sense of security I’d lacked since my father’s death. His companionship replaced the long solitary hours in the woods. I became a much better hunter when I didn’t have to look over my shoulder constantly, when someone was watching my back.
But he turned into so much more than a hunting partner. He became my confidant, someone with whom I could share thoughts I could never voice inside the fence. In exchange, he trusted me with his.
Being out in the woods with Gale … sometimes I was actually happy.
I go back to my room and lie under the covers, trying not to think of Gale and thinking of nothing else.
I can die like a quarry in the woods or I can die here beside Gale.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay right here and cause all kinds of trouble.”
At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.
I do plan on saying one or two things to him after the reaping, when we’re allowed an hour for good-byes. To let Gale know how essential he’s been to me all these years. How much better my life has been for knowing him. For loving him, even if it’s only in the limited way that I can manage.
But I never get the chance.