-Heidi Cross- [District Eight] Jul 12, 2010 18:53:26 GMT -5
Post by satisfyingly fluffy cat on Jul 12, 2010 18:53:26 GMT -5
When I'm by myself nobody else can say goodbye.
All that we see or seem, is but within a dream.
It is last year. Sometime in the spring. Heidi Cross sits on her doorstep, looking as she is supposed to look. Happy. Her hair, the color of a field of golden wheat, with soft natural waves and curls, cascades down her shoulders in a shower of perfect locks. Her heart-shaped face, though small, fits her, with its soft pink lips, rounded chin, lightly arched eyebrows, averaged sized nose, and eyes that reflect the exact hue of a newly opened bar of chocolate. She is rather small for a seventeen year old girl, only 5'4, and has reached her full height. Her hands are small as well; tiny delicate little things with flawlessly filed nails that are never caked with filth as most of the nails of District Eight citizens are. She never got her hands dirty if she could help it. A year ago Heidi Cross was very conscientious about her appearance. A year ago, Heidi Cross cared.
Obviously, all that has changed.
Now we are back in the present. Heidi has long since given up on caring about how she looks. Admittedly, looking good would be particularly hard who spends the majority of her life out in the streets, crashing in some abandoned warehouse or whatever drug den she happens to be tripping at that day. She does have a home, and she does go back there once in awhile for things because a new pair of clothes is definitely needed after a few days. But the majority of the time Heidi is covered in the grime and grit of District Eight, which, being the urban district of factories, has plenty of it.
Hedi's once beautiful long blonde hair now constantly has a stringy, unwashed appearance and becomes tangled easily. Most of the time it's either down or in a messy ponytail, whichever happens to be easier at the time. She tends to look ghostly pale most of the time, so pale you'd expect her to fall over and faint. Her chocolate brown eyes, formerly big and bright, have now taken on a dull sheen, making her consistently look as though she is stoned. She's incredibly skinny, due to the fact that she hardly ever eats anymore. All in all, Heidi Cross is a mess. But hey, maybe you'd be too, if you had to go through what she did. Everyone reacts differently.
Throughout her past, Heidi always wore pretty clothes that were in style and looked nice on her. Now, however, she is seldom seen in something form fitting and flattering; it is most commonly a baggy sweater, hoodie, or t-shirt with a pair of old jeans or sweat pants. Anything comfortable. The better half of her closet is untouched now, but Heidi won't get rid of anything or give away to charity, no matter what her parents say. It remains to be seen why.-Personality-
Here is my heart and soul. Please grind them into a hamburger, and enjoy.
Heidi Cross used to be happy, happy practically all of the time. For most of her life she was content. She was not bad off; her family was one of the richer ones of the district, with a luxury handmade fabric business that had its fair share of interested Capitol buyers. Her parents had brought her up to have morals. Heidi was always a intelligent, sweet, sensitive little girl who came off a shy at first, but after getting to know her one would find that she was friendly and even funny at times. She smiled a lot, although she did get emotional pretty often. She was rather introverted, but was able to find those people who she could be herself in front of; cry when she needed to, vent when she needed to, laugh when she needed to. Her boyfriend, Jared, was one of them.
Jared brought out the best in Heidi, and helped her to come out of her shell a bit. During the year and a half she was with him she became a bit more outgoing. Now she wasn't as frightened of talking to strangers, or maybe even speaking in front of a crowd. A small crowd though; a classroom full of people was more than enough. But her time with him made her realize that good things truly could not last. More of that later, though.
There are some people in the world who are able to cope with loss, with tragedy and sorrow. People who keep their heads up, facing the worst of times in hopes that they will soon become the best of times. People who keep their faith and never stop believing that things will get better, regardless of the despair they're being put through at the moment. People who are strong.
And Heidi Cross has never been strong. Physically or emotionally.
Jared's death completely flipped her personality upside down. Heidi hasn't smiled a real smile in months, save for the times she's under hallucinogens. She's attempted to put out a tough-as-nails exterior, though it's extremely hard to believe on a small blonde teenager. She's forced herself to drop the habit of bursting into tears after even something only slightly upsetting has happened. She won't let herself grow emotionally attached to anything or anyone, and makes it clear to any companions she may pick up that whatever happens while she's tripping will not be mentioned while she's lucid. And she doesn't care anymore. Nothing affects her. Nothing bothers her. Nothing makes the slightest indentation on the wall of emotions she erected after Jared's death. Live or die, sink or swim, it doesn't matter, not after what she's been through.
The only thing that's remained of Heidi's personality is her introversion. She's still scared and shy. Tiny noises make her jump. She stays away from people unless she truly needs to confront them. She still makes herself small, and she always will. Because what matters to Heidi Cross now is herself and only herself. She's done with other people, because caring too much only makes the inevitable disappointment hurt more.
The past is gone, and good riddance to it.
The past is gone, and good riddance to it.
Heidi's home district was actually Ten, where she was born. She spent the first half of her childhood there. In Ten, her parents owned a small shop of textiles and fabrics, all handmade by her mother and grandmother. One day, though, on a Hunger Games Victory Tour, an important Capitol official stumbled upon their shop and took such a liking to the products that he bought a whole order, which took Mum and Gramma a whole month of hard work to finish. A few months after that, a letter came in the mail, stating that the fabrics had received such a fabulous response from the Capitolites that the officials were requesting that the family move to District Eight, Panem's main textile district, so that the business could grow further. Well, request probably wasn't the word for it, since it was the Capitol asking and saying no was not an option. So without any real choice the Cross parents with six year old Heidi packed up and moved to Eight, although Gramma was left in Ten because she refused to leave her lifelong home.
Heidi liked district Eight, despite it's lack of scenery. The people were nice and very hardworking. She rarely ventured into the poorer areas of the district as a child, where the people were housed in run-down tenements and worked like dogs in their grime-filled factories. Her parents didn't want to expose her to that sort of thing, and for Heidi, ignorance was bliss. She lived a soft life, one that suited her.
She was pampered as a young girl, being an only child. Her parents had tried to have a sister or brother for her, but it hadn't happened. So it was just Heidi. She was enrolled in District Eight's only public school, where she was well liked by her teachers even though making friends was a bit hard for her. She always did her homework and took diligent notes, and everyone commented on the bright future that was in store for Heidi Cross. At age sixteen, though, everything changed.
They say love is like heaven, but really it hurts like hell.
They say love is like heaven, but really it hurts like hell.
Jared Strahan was just a face to her at first, a face she saw when she had to deliver a message to the owners of the factory down the street from her parents. He was always there, and she often caught him staring at her with the little brown eyed kid that she took to be his brother standing next to him. But they never actually met each other, never actually talked until they collided with one another on the street, while she was sidetracked and not paying attention and he had a big crate in his arms so he couldn't see her. For the first time she found herself able to introduce herself without shying away, and his smile brightened her day immediately. Then suddenly they became friends, talking whenever she came to his factory and even meeting up after that. Together they found a small meadow on the outskirts of the district, and that became their place to go whenever she needed to get away. And it was in this way that she fell for him, and he fell for her.
Jared watched over her because Heidi was the type of girl who definitely needed protection. They spent all their time together, and Heidi couldn't see how life could possibly get any better. He was her sun, her person. When she was with him she felt like she'd found her other half, however rare that find may be for a seventeen year old. Her slim array of other friends and companions slowly fell away, and Jared became the center of her world. There was nothing she needed more then him. Nothing she wanted more than him. But, seeing as they lived in Panem, they always had to be afraid. Once a year was the Reaping, and if the unthinkable happened...
You never know what you have until it's gone.[/color]
They got through their first Reaping as a couple safely. Only two more years, Jared kept saying. Two more years and they'd be safe to live their lives together, without fear of one of their names being picked out of a big glass ball and having to be shipped off to the Capitol and forced to compete in the inhumane, gladiator esque Hunger Games. It looked as if maybe it would happen. What was the odds of picking a sheet of paper out of thousands? Not high, that was for sure.
But the odds were not in their favor.
The Capitol escort's hand closed around a slip of paper. If only it had picked the one right beside it. If only the names had been shuffled just a little bit more. If only, if only. If only the name hadn't been called. Jared Strahan. The first tear trickled silently down Heidi's face as she watched her love stonily climb up the stairs and onto the makeshift stage. She saw him look at her. The tears came down harder.
And then he was gone.
She gave him something Gramma had given her when they had left District Ten: a silver ring with a tiny yellow bit of yarn wrapped around it. A string-ring, which was like tying a string around your finger to remember something. She made Jared promise never to forget her. And she would never forget him, either. Of course, it would have been a lot easier if she had forgotten him. But nothing in Heidi Cross's life is easy anymore.
Each day he survived in the arena, a bit of the hopelessness in the pit of Heidi's stomach evaporated, just a little bit. Maybe he would win. Suddenly he was in the top three. Just him and the two District Twelve tributes, and one was blind. He was stronger than the both of them. He was! He would win.
Top two. The blind kid's hits were spot on, and Jared's were feeble because of his injuries. Death was inevitable, and as he faced the camera and spoke to her, as if he could truly see her, Heidi couldn't stop the tears from pouring down her face. Aw, c'mon, Heidi. Lemme see that smile. Don't cry. C'mon, be proud of me. I did this all for you. His voice was faint, and she knew he was delerious. Hallucinating, probably. Seeing her even though she was a thousand miles away. But it still felt as if she could reach out and touch his hand.
The gong rang. Jared Strahan was dead.
...To raise the sword, to kill the light, because there is no reason left to fight.[/color]
She didn't go to the funeral. She didn't want to see her love nailed up in a long, thin box and put into the ground. She couldn't bear to think of him enclosed like that, when he had always loved to be outside. So on the dark, rainy morning of the burial she went out, not really sure where her destination was. But she stumbled on someone she knew by sight, someone her age. He had gone to her school during junior year, but had been kicked out before it finished. She hadn't seen him since.
"Hey...Hey you're that...that Cross girl, righ'? Yea', yea' I know ye'. Hey, you look sad. C'mere, have a bit of this. Makes ye' feel better. Makes ye' see diffren' things. Things tha' aren't real. C'mon, try some."
And she did.
Shrooming soon became something she did daily, or at least whenever she could get ahold of the drug. She snuck money from her parents and paid people to go picking for her. Because she was addicted to it, couldn't stop. She tripped whenever she could, because she was addicted to the hallucinations that made reality so much less painful. She didn't have to think. She didn't have to miss Jared so badly. It was easier than living.
Her parents knew what she was doing, but were powerless to stop her once her eighteenth birthday passed and they no longer had control over her actions. They kept her room neat, her clothes hung up, so that whenever she needed to she could come home for a bit. But to this day Heidi still hasn't said a word to her parents since the day before the funeral. They've yelled at her, tried to reason with her, broken down in front of her. But Heidi's wall was built, and it wasn't coming down for anything. Ever.
Now she lives basically out on the street, eating when she can find food, tripping when she can get her hands on drugs. It's a terrible life, but in Heidi's eyes, it's better than the alternative. She'd rather ruin herself physically than torture herself emotionally by missing Jared.
Maybe we like the pain. Maybe we're wired that way.
Yay for 2.5k!![/justify]