I like taking the cats with me whenever I go to visit his grave. It makes this whole... shitty big sister thing feel different, you know? Like somehow the cat makes it all feel better. We recently adopted a second cat, a fully white cat. I named her Angel because the white fur reminds me of his purity, how he just wanted to make his - our parents happy and proud. It's the natural instinct any child would have if they hadn't already disappointed their parents.
I still haven't talked to them. I don't plan on it, either. Whenever I take them on a walk and I see his mother at the grave, praying or crying, I move along and make a note to visit the next day. I don't want to see her. She does not want to see me. I often see the growl that skims dads face if he ever sees me when I'm working. Old bitch needs to get antidepressants because the alcohol doesn't do it anymore.
That's what the doctors notes say at least, but I didn't read 'em if you're asking. We stopped for a moment because Angel decided she wanted to sniff around the bushes, and the other one found the idea equally brilliant. It was colder today, but I was fine in my bundle of clothes and the cats each had a tiny little vest on them that have 'Angel' and 'Salem' embroidered. I pulled a few strings and was able to get the soundwaves of Heaven's voice, which is neatly knitted over where Angel's chest is.
Suddenly, the sound of clanging and falling garden tools sent Angel a few feet into the air. "Don't let them eat that!" Followed the clang, with Carter pointing down at Salem getting very interested in a certain bush. I tug at Salem's leash. "Watch it, you. You had all morning to eat." I glance up at my ex-partner. "Thanks."
There's no more death within his palms. No feelings of loss that echoes across his skins like the scars along his chest. Every plant that grows, he feels less and less like the capitol's zombies to show off. His hands no longer create blood and pain, but they grow with soil and care. Greens and purples and whites and oranges and an ensemble of a rainbow garden sparkling before him as he lets his hands pull the weeds rooted to the soil. Spraying water to the flowers that are blooming and growing. A silence in his form as he looks up to see a ghost of the past.
Hellion Mo, in the flesh, walking past his garden. Two cats wearing vests with Salem and Angel along the sides leaving his heart aching in a pain he understood. Having seen the way Angel had entered the games and the loss of that must have broken Hellion. He wanted to reach out and be someone she could look for, but he still feels awkward about all of it. The games had left them both with an awkward silence of two individuals dealing with their scars and licking what wounds were left behind. Hellion looks better than he expected. Time had healed some wounds, but he's sure there's some left.
It's at that moment when he sees the white cat with Angel along the side moves towards his Azalea bush. Immediately, he starts thinking about what's poisonous and what's not to animals. His eyes widen as he immediately gets up, sprawling his gardening tools over the concrete and falling over another bush of azaleas. The flowers busting at his weight. A deep sorrow fills him, but he continues speaking up. "Don't let them eat that!" Hellion scolds them, tugging on the leash as he lets his heart race go down. Animals still are questionable for him. The memory of claws and teeth filling his head before he catches her words.
His eyes widen, but he shuffles carefully on his feet.
"It's the least I could do." He should have done more. "Uh, hey. W-Where are you heading?"
I've never been good with words. Maybe it's the side effect of growing up with no socialization. After my blunt thanks, his eyes widened. Like a deer in headlights, or he just realized that something was left running. Carter shuffled on his feet lightly and then spoke up. "It's the least I could do." There was a silence that held in the air. Awkward, hesitant, but almost desperate in the sense. Like there was something that was needed to break theice, but the water beneath the layer was so scary to enter. "Uh, hey. W-Where are you heading?"
Right, where was I going? I figure the honest truth won't be too hard on him. "I was headed to, uh," I wasn't even a good sister, why act good now? "I was gonna swing by my brothers grave. I normally bring the cats with me, so I have a reason to not be as sad." I gave a shrug, but was telling the truth. The cats make it seem not as bad. It also helps for when I get emotional, because they can bring my mind off of the sad things. Looking down, I see Salem sniffing at the damn bush again. "Nope. You're done." At this point, I pick the cat up and just hold her at this point. Looking at Salem in the face, I speak to her. "Not putting you down until I hear you say you won't do it again."
She doesn't understand me, but there's a part of me that does. I turn to look at Carter and look at the garden he has going. "What are you up to? The garden looks nice."