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Henrietta "Etta" Jarvis, Sonny // Ella Henderson
Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 05:53 AM
HENRIETTA "ETTA" JARVIS
16 | DISTRICT 3 | ETTA | ARCHITECT
Etta didn’t know what to make of her current situation. She was a child that was born into a family that was already broken. Her father died before she was born, and her mother struggled to keep up with anything in her life because of it. She always said that he was a better man then most, and she mostly said this because well, Etta’s mother was known to be a “popular” person around the district. Now, Etta was too young to understand what this meant, but as she got older, it soon became apparent what this meant. She didn’t hate her mother for it, but she hated the fact that she was still walking around with that stigma. She didn’t know how to cope with it either when she got older. People told her that she should be ashamed of her family name because her mother didn’t know how to control herself. There were days where she would run home and just cry. She couldn’t believe people were so mean in a society where it was probably best to stick together. People were cruel, and that was something that Etta learned quickly.
She didn’t know what to do with all the time she had while growing up. She didn’t really get along with anyone in her family, and while she did have a sort of knack for building things, she never really pursued it because her father was a builder. Her mother didn’t like that simply because whenever she would see Etta doing something even close to building, she would get mad and scold Etta because that was something that she wasn’t supposed to do. There were times when Etta would have to go outside, far away from the house they lived in order to do the one thing that she thought she was good at. Sometimes her older brothers tried to help her, watching out for mother when she would come around to make sure that she wouldn’t get in trouble. Etta had found her father’s old building blocks and would spend hours sometimes building random buildings out of them for fun. Most of the time, she would do this at home when her mother wasn’t around but when she was, she would go to the local park and play around with weird models for hours. Sometimes she would lose track of time and that didn’t help her when she got home.
One day she came home late and she found herself in an empty house. She was happy about this because that meant that she had time to just do whatever she wanted. So she pulled out the building blocks (think Lincoln Logs) and started to create something out of nothing. She loved to play with these simply because she had this fantasy about building the house of her dreams. Of course, this probably wouldn’t happen because she would never acquire the money in order to afford such a thing. Someday she hoped to marry someone that could provide for her, but she knew that wasn’t in her cards either. She was boring old Etta who would learn that her mother had ruined her families reputation because she didn’t know how to respect the sanctity of marriage. While she put the final touch on the house she was making, she heard the door swing open and horror was the only thing that she felt in that moment. She watched as her mom walked in with another guy, making inaudible gestures and tons of heavy breathing. Etta had to think fast, so she hid behind the couch, making sure to cover her mouth. When her mother saw the house that was pristinely visible on the coffee table, she simply pushed it off the table, scattering the blocks everywhere and pulling the man on top of her while she laid on the now clear coffee table. All Etta could really do was sit there and listen to her mother as she continued to sully their reputation.
The next day, her mother took the blocks that once belonged to her husband and threw them into the fireplace. She was tired of her daughter disobeying her and now that she was able to get her hands on the one thing that reminded her of him, she had to destroy it. This broke Etta’s heart but she couldn’t show that. She wanted to show that she was stronger than her mother, who now was resorting to petty tricks to get her daughter to fall in line. She hated her mother, but she wouldn’t say anything about it to her face. She knew that it wasn’t worth her time after all. Nothing was really worth her time anymore. She was lost in a district that she didn’t understand. However, the architecture of the district was something that she couldn’t lie about having an interest in. It was probably some of the most interesting that she had ever seen. One day, walking around her home, she saw a group of people building a house out of wood. Etta was curious, and walked over just to watch them work. There was something about the way they were working that eased Etta, but she noticed that there was something off about the structure. She watched as they placed an unbalanced log on top of the house and it rolled off, falling on the ground and crushing the foot of one of the workers. It was traumatizing at first but then she watched as they tried to do the same task again. Of course, it had the same result as the first time, except this time it didn’t crush anyone’s foot. When they went for the third attempt, Etta decided that she wanted to speak up about the workers choice in going for a third time when she knew it was going to fail. He looked at her, seeing a child in front of him, and laughed in her face. She looked at him, and instead of walking away, she simply told them that they needed to cut the side of the log a bit in order for it to connect seamlessly. After that, she walked away, not knowing if her advice helped or not. She didn’t care. She was tired of being laughed at.
She came back the next day, watching the workers sanding away the rough wood and working diligently to complete the house so they could move on to the next one. However, the worker that laughed in her face came up to her and thanked her for the advice. He did divulge that they tried it several more times before they finally decided that maybe Etta was right about it. She might have been young, fourteen at the time, but there was something about her that the architect liked about her. He decided to take her on as an apprentice knowing that there might have been a very high chance that she might have just been lucky. However, she lived up to her work. Each time she worked on a building design with her teacher, she was able to find the one flaw that would keep the house from looking like it was seamless. Soon enough, she was helping making houses for many people in the district, and while some of them knew her as the daughter of the mother who didn’t know how to respect the value of marriage, she was starting to distance herself from her. She found something that she loved, and she wasn’t going to let anyone take that away from her.
Her mother ended up getting sick, and with that sickness, came a change of heart that Etta didn’t welcome with open arms. Actually, she hated every minute of it. She didn’t want a friendship with her mother, but sadly, she tried to force it on her. Etta felt trapped by her mother sometimes, because she wouldn’t let go of her. She told her that she shouldn’t work anymore and that she should just take care of her. She told Etta that she didn’t need to do anything more than stay at home because she would find a man that would love her and take care of her. That was when Etta lost it. She told her mother off that day and walked out of the house that she grew up in. The day after, she had gotten news that her mother was dead, and unfortunately, she didn’t show any remorse. Her mother was a terrible person that did nothing but torture and scar her. However, she was sixteen at the time, and technically, she couldn’t live on her own just yet. She ended up moving in with her older brother, who had just turned nineteen. It wasn’t the most ideal situation, but it was one that she was happy with. Etta continued to work with her teacher until she finally finished her apprenticeship. After that, she became a consultant, who would go around to crews that look at their schematics to see where the flaws might have been. Again, people didn’t take her seriously at first but she started to prove people wrong. She made a name for herself that could branch off from her mother’s and she was proud of that.
Some days, she would think about her father and what might it have been like if he would lived to see her grow into the woman that she was becoming. Etta would have vivid dreams about how much she missed him. Sometimes she would wake up in the middle of the night, and imagine that he was sitting next to her and telling her that he was so proud of her. Sometimes, she would be working on a design and notice that it was late, but she would always feel a cool draft brush over her shoulder, like someone was pushing her to keep working on the things that she was the most passionate about. Etta knew that maybe this wasn’t the best thing to be experiencing, but she didn’t care, it was probably the only positive memory that she had of her parents left. Well, at least of her father. Her mother though, she didn’t have one nice thing to say about her. For all she cared, she was happy that she was gone. It was one less thing that she had to worry about. After all, she was still of reaping age, and while she did bring home some money, that didn’t mean that she was particularly safe. After all, anything could happen when you lived in Panem. She knew that. She hated that thought, but it was one that she couldn’t live blind too.
Sometimes in the middle of the night, she could feel them again. Sometimes she missed them, and sometimes she wished they could have been different people. However, they weren’t. They couldn’t escape from the lives that they lived, and as much as Etta claimed that she was happy, she wasn’t. She would never be truly happy. Not until she could accept the fact that she was even more alone that she was when her mother was alive. It was a scary thought after all. .
SONNY | ELLA HENDERSON
Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 06:22 AM
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