Owen Summit-Tate is almost ten. I admittedly feel bad that I kept his name; the constant reminder on his name that I'm not his real father. I wish I was. But if I was, I'd be a murderer. So maybe it's best that his name stays tied to a grave. Summit-Tate is a name that's landlocked, in a sense. Everyone in District 7 has heard of the Tate or Summit legacy sometime in their life here. It wasn't a good knowledge, either. Daniel. Sue. Ike. Stella. Ryan. Esther. Their names are engraved on stone and bodies covered by dirt.
It's been almost ten years ever since Daniel Tate died. Almost ten years ever since he was left by his mother because he resembled the man she once loved. She didn't want to stare at her lover in her son's eyes. It choked her. Wrapped her around like a python. It hurt. Knowing that she would've been alone, her son to live without a father figure in his life.
Almost. She almost kept him. It's what Daniel would've wanted. He would've wanted to keep his child, tell him young how bad this world his. How bad the nightmares he would've had, had he escaped. He would've told his son about how much his dad lied about his family. How much he never knew that he wish he knew before. Daniel wanted to be there to tell the truth. Blanche couldn't tell the truth. She wanted to hide from it and grieve. So, the day Owen was born was the day she went into hiding. Gave him off and not even the adoption center had heard of the woman ever since.
I hope she died. If she can't look her son in the eyes without seeing his dead father, she should go see him dead herself.
It's been five years ever since I got Owen in my life. I remember the anger he had in his eyes. The confusion. He never fully understood why his mom left him. He just knew she didn't want him. I remember connecting with that, and that being the sole reason, plus the fact that we've lost lost family we never knew from the games, me losing my twin brother in a whole different district and him losing his father before he was even born. I remember connecting with that feeling of never really knowing your family. Feeling betrayed. Not wanted. A burden, in a sense, to the point where I had to be given to a family who wasn't my own.
I remember those first few weeks. He never had a dad. Not even a mom. He had a foster care parent, but not someone who he could solely call dad. He was distanced at first, especially for a boy so young. Whenever I'd try to eat with him he'd sit on the floor staring down at his bowl, slowly picking at his food with his hands and occasionally with a fork. He'd nod answers, mumble replies. He kept to himself. It was a feeling I wasn't used to. Especially at 25 and in my own, I expected it to be a bit more of a "run into my arms and spin him around in some perfect, ambitious, warm embrace." It was more like an awkward first date. Though it wasn't, because this clearly isn't a date. This was family.
Anyway. It was like a first date. Really bad. Really awkward. You're sitting at the dinner table and you want to say something but absolutely nothing comes out of your mouth when you open it. The only sounds that are at least audible are the sounds of forks hitting the plate and cups being placed back down. I didn't know how to talk about this stuff. I was a rookie at being able to talk to people that felt broken.
I was the broken one normally. Not anyone else.
But, eventually, we got closer. I told him that I also lost a family member like he did. I never really knew Tybalt, but I have minor memories. I told him I also never knew his father, but I saw him when he learned about you. We all did. The nation saw the pacifier and his connection to home. How else did a boy named Summit-Tate pop out nine months later?
I'm his dad now. I have been for five years. It sucks to say that I'm not his real dad. But he's not my biological son. The last few years with him have been fast. He's taller now. Much taller. He's talkative. We can sit at the dinner table and talk, not listen to the clank of silverware as the ambiance to fill the room. He's taller. he can think for himself. No longer washing him (thank god) and no more clothing him.
He's bigger. He looks more and more like his dad and it's amazing. His father was, admittedly, a good looker. But as my child now, I can only see him as the amazing young boy he's becoming.
jesus, i really do sound like a dad. where's the family reunion with the (what do you plan on doing once you're free of the reaping?)
It's been almost ten years ever since Daniel Tate died. It's been five years ever since his legacy came back to life. Owen Summit-Tate may not be Owen Sawdust, but I don't think our last name matters either way we put it. Both of our families, our true families are gone. It's only valid that we keep them in our name.
We have each other, and that's all the family I need now.