It was an absolutely beautiful day in District 7. She had only been awake for a few minutes, but as she sat up in bed listening to the birds outside, Robyn could already tell today would be a good one. She’d gotten up earlier than usual that morning, which was saying something. She made it a habit to always wake up before the sun. Robyn swiftly moved through the little house, graceful and silent, like the springtime breeze. Always gentle, never fussy. That’s what Robyn was. She had to make sure to look her extra best today, she didn’t want to look badly compared to the other girls. Maybe today they’d be nice to her. Maybe today, they’d see the pretty dress she wore and give her a compliment. Because today, the impossible became possible, the highest became the lowest and everyone was in the same boat. Today was the reaping day.
Everyday she woke up with the same hopes and dreams, same smile on her face, and same bright outlook on the day to come. She’d go into her parents room, quiet as can be, and look into her mother’s big, beautiful, mirror. She would meet those mousey brown eyes of hers and look them dead center. “Today’s the day, Robyn! Today’s the day something amazing is going to happen, just you wait!” she’d murmur to herself. Every single morning she’d tell herself this, and she would believe it with all her heart. She crept quietly out of he parents room and back to hers. Her mother had worked so hard to make her dress, she wanted Robyn to feel just as pretty as the other girls. Because she was, and she deserved to know it. It was a cute little thing, nothing spectacular by far, but it was perfect for Robyn.
She performed her morning routine of washing and getting dressed. She put her hair up in a neat little bun, completing the look with a white flower to match her dress. She smoothes her dress out, trying her best to make herself look as clean as possible. Her head looks up at the sound of a sad voice. “Oh...Robyn...don’t you just look gorgeous” her mother murmurs. Robyn smiles, quickly crossing over to her. She wraps her arms around her, comfortingly hugging the distraught woman. “Don’t cry mom, please? It’ll be alright, I promise.” A promise she couldn’t really keep or break. But she had complete faith that Gaia would never let anything bad happen to her or her family. Robyn as always, was optimistic.
Breakfast goes by quickly, Robyn trying to fill the solemn silence with bright smiles and chirpy conversation. Usually, her parents would be glad to conversate with their sunshine girl, but today was the chance they could lose the sun forever. They had every right to be concerned. But Robyn was quick to find the silver lining. Every year she’d remind them how close she was to being done with the Hunger Games forever. “After this reaping, I’ve only got two more! Then we’ll never have to worry about it again” she’d chirp, almost on cue. And soon after would follow “Ohh, look at the sun rise! It’s so pretty today!” And Robyn would hop up and go to her favorite window nook, the one where you could see the horizon over the tips of the forest just perfectly, and she’d sit in awe of the beauty before her. Like clockwork.
The reaping ceremonies were always a drag, but Robyn was always patient, polite. She’d use her manners in trying to get through the crowds of grim faced teenagers. She always felt bad to see the little ones at their first reapings, there were always tears to be had. She wished she could give them a big hug and tell them that there was nothing to be afraid of. But there was everything to be afraid of. No one from District seven ever came back from the games. Robyn could remember watching last year as their girl tribute was the first to fall. The boy didn’t last much longer, torn apart by horrible monsters unlike Robyn had ever seen. It gave her chills just to think about it. “Hi Sal! I’m sure glad the weather is so nice, It’d be rough having to stand out here in the rain, huh?” she grins upon seeing one of her friends from school. Friends was a loose term. Robyn could believe it all she liked, but Salema, much like the other girls, couldn’t stand Robyn. She tormented the girl, like a ruthless bully, but for some reason, Robyn always stuck around when she wasn’t wanted. “Like a parasite” Salema would say.
Salema already looked very uncomfortable, given it was the reaping day and all, but her frown only seemed to grow upon hearing that bright bubbly tone that could only belong to Robyn Thistila. She turns around, narrowing her eyes at the blonde. “I guess.” she mutters blandly. Robyn looks around, confused at not seeing any of Salema’s usual entourage. “Hey, do you mind if I stand with you?” Robyn asks meekly. Nobody should stand alone on reaping day. Especially not when Robyn can keep them company. Salema crosses her arms, jutting out her lower lip. “Robyn. Any other day, I would tell you to get lost.” Salema growls. “But since today is...you know...I guess you can stay” she sighs, rolling her eyes. Robyn perks up immediately, giving the moody girl a gentle hug. She knew it’d be today! Salema Darrow was finally being nice to her. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship! Maybe after the reaping, we can go out in the woods, I’ll show her all my favorite spots...I could even t- “Robyn Thistila!”
“Yeah?” she asks, looking to Salema, who stares at her, jaw dropped with wide eyes. “What?” Robyn asks again with a laugh, looking down at her dress in belief that something was off with her appearance. She’d been so deep in thought that she hadn’t paid any attention to the ceremonies. They’d gone by in a flash, and the reaping escort had just called the name of the female tribute of the 122nd Hunger Games. Robyn looked back up, just beginning to notice the burning eyes gazed in her direction. “What..” she murmurs again, more softly as the realization starts to sink in. But only as the peacekeepers begin to approach her does she start to panic. Tribute!? Me!? No! I can’t...I can’t...I’d make a lousy tribute… She swallows a rough breath as she follows the peacekeepers up to the stage.
Robyn! Pull yourself together! Have you forgotten so easily what Gaia promised you? You’re going to be fine. Think of this as a great thing...you’ve won the chance of a lifetime to go to the capitol. You could win this. She assures herself. I could win this. She looks out into the sea of faces as she stands next to the colorful escort. It made her feel woozy, all those eyes on her. But she couldn’t help but feel excited about the sudden change in her life. She slowly raises a hand, softly waving as she pulls on her brightest grin. She wasn’t scared, she had faith. Stranger things have happened.
Today was the day the impossible, became possible.