I was born on September 13th, when autumn was making it's arrival. I was born to Imelda Morrisen, the sister of one of the Idylwyld Militia soldiers, a programmer and a former victor, and Edgar Idylwyld, the founder of a gamemaking company, being their only child at the time. Just nine months before my birth, they had gotten married.
At birth, I was immediately named as heiress to the (District 3) Idylwyld Mansion and my father's fortune.
Thanks to my father, I was born into the prestigious and wealthy Idylwyld family, who wanted world domination. The Idylwylds are considered to be one of the most powerful families in Panem, maybe even the most powerful. We had influence over several industries. We even had influence over the government.
According to my parents, there were people who wanted to be a part of the family and there were people who wanted the family dead. Luckily for me, I was born into a "branch" of the main family, located in District 3. Our branch of the family's main source of influence was over the gamemaking industry, especially due to my father being a patron of the industry, as well as founder of his own gamemaking company.
Here in District 3, my family was well-liked. From what I had observed, nobody here wanted to kill us.
There was a reason behind this, however. My parents were kind hearted people. They always did whatever they could to help out the district's impoverished when they were not busy. As a result, they gained an incredible amount of respect for it. My parents also disagreed with the family's goal and the actions of the majority of the family, but they concealed these personal views carefully.
My parents being kind and rich meant that I had a nice upbringing.
When I was five, my parents had another daughter, who they named Marie. I adored Marie upon seeing her for the first time (I still do). While my mother focused on looking after Marie, my father decided to enroll me into school.
I was scared, despite Father telling me that it was going to be okay. And he was right. It was okay.
At school, teachers looked at me in awe. I was confused but relieved that they were friendly, not knowing the true reason as to why they were being nice. Fellow pupils, even those who were several years older than me, respected me.
Due to this, I enjoyed school. My parents were happy for me.
I was becoming popular as a lot of people wanted to be my friend. I was kind to everyone so I assumed that was the reason why they wanted to be my friend. I also liked lessons.
One day, a girl, who was in the same lessons as me, approached me. I learned during lessons that her name was Callia and that she was a very curious person who liked to explore.
"Hey Jayda, wanna see something cool?"
"Sure." I replied. And so I followed Callia. She led me to one of the classrooms nearby.
"Well this is a nice classroom."
"That's not the surprise, silly."
Callia walked over to a combination lock (I didn't know that it was a combination lock at the time), which was behind the teacher's desk. I watched as Callia pressed several numbers on the lock, revealing a secret door.
"Still not the surprise."
The secret door revealed a secret stone passageway, with a spiral staircase. I followed Callia down the spiral staircase to end up in what was the most incredible library I've ever seen. Chandeliers, paintings and thousands of bookcases, filled with books.
"This is incredible."
Callia quickly became my best friend. When we were not reading in the underground library or exploring, we were playing prototypes of games some of the employees at Father's company had made. We also played with Marie as she said her first word, 'Boo', and attempted to walk but was only able to crawl.
As time went by, we went on more exciting adventures. I noticed that I had become intelligent for my age, as well as resourceful. That's when I also uncovered the truth about my family and why people liked me, with help from Callia. She told me that there were people who had a "crush" on me, but she believed that those people only liked me because of my looks and my family name.
"You come from a powerful family, Jayda. The Idylwylds are powerful and influential."
I was sad to learn the truth. I thought I was liked because of my personality. But at least I knew now that the only true friend that I had, who didn't want to be friends with me because of my appearance or my family name, was Callia.
My love for reading and exploration was growing stronger each and every day. My parents thrived from this, but warned me to be careful too. But I was oblivious to what I was getting myself into.
By the time I reached nine and Marie had turned four and could finally walk and talk, I began to read books about abandoned places in Panem. Most of the books talked about abandoned places in the outlying districts. I skipped a few pages until I reached some pages which talked about abandoned places in District 3.
Me and Callia both agreed that it was time to start off our advanced nighttime exploring adventures. And the location that would kickstart this was an abandoned warehouse in the derelict part of District 3.
Little did I know that that night, Callia would die.
So when the time had come to go to the warehouse and see what we could uncover, we snuck out of the Mansion, whilst my parents were asleep.
We had dressed in black so we could camouflage into the darkness of the night.
It took us around nearly an hour but we eventually got to the abandoned warehouse. It was exactly how it looked in the book.
I led Callia into the warehouse. When we had gone inside, that's when the danger was evident. It was crumbling apart bit by bit. The lights were ready to drop down from the ceiling anytime soon.
Quickly, we rummaged through some untouched boxes. We found that the boxes contained diamond and sapphire necklaces. I inspected the diamonds and sapphires to see if they were real, but to my dismay they were not. But still they were the perfect beginning point to the collection I'd start.
After placing two of the necklaces in my backpack, I was ready to get out of the warehouse when I heard a loud thud and...
I turned around to see that one of the lights had fallen down and crushed Callia. Horrified, that's when I noticed that the warehouse really was about to fall apart.
I ran over to Callia and attempted to remove the light off her, but I couldn't because the light was too heavy.
"No Callia. I'm not leaving without you."
Callia finally managed to convince me to get out of the warehouse. But before I left, she told me that she wanted me to continue exploring for her. I acknowledged this as her dying wish and I vowed to continue exploring for her.
Getting some injuries along the way, I managed to get out of the warehouse before it finally fell apart. I had the two necklaces with me. But now my best friend was gone and I was in physical and emotional pain.
Panem and my parents soon found about what had happened. It was broadcasted on the Capitol news channel. After lying to Panem, telling everyone that I was fine, I had to face my parents.
"Jayda, sweetheart, you could have died."
"I don't want you to do this again."
But I didn't intend to give exploring up. It was Callia's dying wish for me to continue exploring for her and I wanted to fulfill that wish for her, by making exploring my full time hobby.
After getting my injuries tended to, I placed the necklaces in a secret room that was connected to my bedroom. I tried to sleep but I couldn't. After two hours, I finally managed to. And I had a nightmare.
For the next eight years, I explored. I nearly got killed several times. But I was dedicated to fulfill Callia's dying wish. Over the years, I eventually learned how to keep my continued exploration a secret from my parents and I was hiding it well.
Now 17, I had a large collection of items which I had retrieved from my explorations. I had almost explored every single District 3 location in the book that me and Callia started to read eight years back. There was just one place left, a cabin in the District 3 forest.
Before I left, Marie, now 12, warned me not to follow through with the exploration.
"Jayda, I love you. Mom and Dad love you. You're just putting yourself in constant danger."
"Marie, I've been doing this ever since I was a young girl and you were a baby. I'm not afraid of the risk of danger anymore. I'm used to it. And I love you too."
I hugged Marie and told her that I was going to be okay, but it was what she said next that worried me. I knew that Marie had grown a knack for predicting things correctly and she had confidently predicted that this next exploration wouldn't go well for me.
"Jayda, there's going to be apparitions that will terrorise you during this exploration. Ghosts. And they will terrorise you so much that you'll become paranoid and you'll start believing that they're following you."
And she was right. Apparitions surrounded me. I kept seeing ghosts and those ghosts continued to haunt me throughout my time at the cabin. However, the icing on the cake was one particular ghost. The ghost of a young girl.
After that exploration, I became paranoid. Yes, I did explore all of the District 3 locations mentioned in the book, but now I was haunted constantly by ghosts.
The only way I could escape these ghosts was to volunteer for the Games. And guess what I did? I volunteered for the Games.