Season: Month: Weather: 66th HG Champion: Colgate "Soap" O'Leary, District Nine
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Laila is not the best at maintaining her appearance. She is rather careless, in fact, especially with her mess of hair. Dirty blonde and long enough to reach her waist, her hair is a nest of tangles and knots. She rarely takes the time to brush it out and will only do so if a) it starts to get in her way or b) she is coaxed into doing so by Lilith or Edgar. She washes it when necessary and normally wears it in a long ponytail to avoid it spilling over her chest. The length tends to hinder her from eating food properly; she will find stray hairs in her meals when her lion’s mane is not pulled back with a hair tie. She has never bothered to cut it. She finds that it's too much of a hassle. She will only allow it if somebody else does the work for her. This can be considered a good thing because a twelve-year-old trying to chop her own hair with a pair of sharp scissors is not a reassuring sight.
Laila is relatively scrawny for a girl her age. Puberty is an event to expect approaching this age, but she is a late bloomer. She still remains short, skinny, and undeveloped in most areas. She still fits into clothes from years ago, which proves to be an advantage for the residents of the orphanage, but feels no concern for it. Her arms are weaker than her legs; little exercise has left her with little muscle mass. She can run like the wind if the situation called for it, but no amount of adrenaline would grant her the strength to lift, drag, or heave heavy objects. She is a weakling, though she hates to admit it, but she makes up for this disadvantage with speed and endurance. When she sprints, she is quick. Games of tag always end with Laila as the victor. Not only can she run quickly, though - she can also run long-distances without pause. Everybody has limits, even Laila, but if she concentrates and paces herself she can achieve great distances without stopping.
A permanent scowl has seemingly etched itself into her face like a scar. A pair of eyebrows, thin and blonde, rest above lightly colored, sapphire irises that seemed to posses a fierce fire with unknown origin. Sculpted around those ferocious orbs is a small nose, soft cheeks, small forehead, and a pair of plump, pink lips. She can rarely be seen smiling with these lips, but when she does a conspicuous gap can be spotted between her two front teeth. This flaw in her appearance does not bother her - she is a twelve-year-old orphan, after all. Who is she trying to impress with a dazzling smile?
Clothing wise, Laila is not picky. She will wear whatever is available regardless of color or design. As long as its clean enough to provide comfort and suitable enough to fit her form she is content with whatever. Normally she will wear T-shirts, flannel shirts, tank tops, blue jeans, and sweat pants. She only has a few pair of shoes: boots, sneakers, and sandals. She owns very few dresses and skirts. There is no reason to purchase such flattering attire. She isn’t a dress up doll.
Laila has not yet reached the age of maturity. She is still, technically, a child. Physically and emotionally. And like any child she throws tantrums. Anybody who knows her is well aware of how susceptible she is to bouts of rage. She does not cry or whine for mother to buy her candy--no, her tantrums consist of raw anger and nothing else. What triggers these fits can be simple occurrences: pranks, a broken object, a demand. Things that only a rebellious child would dramatize. And if Laila is anything, she is rebellious. Disobeying orders is not uncommon for her; it is to be expected. She would rather do as she pleases without anybody trying to order her around and tell her what is correct and incorrect. She can make decisions independently. The only dilemma is the fact that she overestimates her ability to fend for herself.
In the outside world Laila could never survive on her own. She neglects her appearance and is naïve of certain basic survival skills. She could never cook or keep herself presentable. She would live off of garbage and scraps if she were to run away and live in the streets. Or, she would just wither away until only bones remained.
Tell her this, though, and she will become angry. Laila does not like to be belittled in any fashion, especially regarding her ability to take care of herself. To do so would be like begging for her to scream insults at you. There is no reason to worry, anyways, because she would never run away from home. She is too attached to the residents there, especially Edgar. These children are the only family she knows. Without them, she would feel hollow. Depressed. Too mentally affected to carry on with life.
Despite her tendency to burst, Laila is a quiet child. She will sit alone in the background and observe rather than participate in group activities. Don't get her wrong, she loves her housemates more than anything, but sometimes it is best for her to remain by herself. If she does wish to interact with the other children she will make herself known. During those few, peaceful moments when she is actually playing and talking calmly with somebody she can be seen smiling. Any other time, though, she wears a scowl.
Laila has a seemingly tough exterior. She is mean and stubborn in comparison to the other residents of the house. Some would think she is as strong as a boulder, but this is not true. She may act out like a rebellious child, but she is not immune to fear. Laila is afraid of many things: Death, sickness, The Hunger Games, Peacekeepers, the possibility of the other children dying or abandoning her. As much as she does not show it she loves every single member of the Sycamore House. Losing any of them would devastate her. This is why, despite their differences, Laila would try to stick by their sides the best she could in difficult situations.
Once upon a time, there was a perfect little girl who grew up in a wonderful household with two caring parents that raised her to be a beautiful, aspiring young woman--
That nonsense is a fairytale. In actuality, Laila doesn’t even know who her parents are. Names, appearances - nothing of the sort. She is what is known as a “doorstep baby”. What does that mean? It means that her parents, whoever they were, did not want her. She was abandoned at the doorstep of the Sycamore House--an orphanage--when she was merely an infant. Why? Nobody knows. She surely doesn’t, and she certainly doesn’t care. Obviously if they were willing to abandon her they were not very pleasant or responsible people. Laila would rather live without giving them a second thought.
Laila has been raised in the Sycamore House for eleven years running on twelve. It’s not the cleanest or nicest of orphanages, and the other residents may be difficult to deal with at times, but it is the only place she knows. Eight other children call themselves residents of the Scyamore House: Edgar, Lilith, Arwen, Silas, Ruth, Blaire, Septimus, and Ara. Relationships become complicated and times turn rough, but Laila cares for these people more than anything else on the planet. There are a few in particular she favors more than others, however, the first being Edgar.
Edgar, like herself, is a doorstep baby. This is one fact that draws a strong connection between the two of them. Neither of them understand what it is like to have real parents, nor do they actually care to meet them. They are similar in lifestyle and nature; both seem to suffer from bouts of anger and act irritable and bossy around others. In this sense, they understand each other. It is for this reason that Edgar is the only one with the ability to calm her down during her angry fits. She cannot express in words how he does it - it just happens. When he is with her she immediately relaxes. It’s a phenomenon that she can hardly begin to understand.
Unfortunately, not everybody in the house is easy to deal with. Laila finds herself angry with at least one person everyday. Lilith, Septimus, and Arwen are main targets. Lilith, who is the “mother figure” of the home, is not a bad person, but Laila has a hard time accepting her as an authority figure. She would rather follow Edgar’s orders than hers, and a majority of the time chooses to disobey her to express her desire for rebellion and independence. She feels that she does not need an older girl ordering her around. As one can imagine, she snaps at Lilith quite a bit, and the situation rarely ends well.
Septimus, on the other hand, irritates her beyond comprehension. He is hyperactive, annoying, and has a hobby of playing silly pranks on the other residents, including Laila. For this she despises him--mostly. Whenever she becomes his victim she shouts insults at him and bursts into one of her infamous fits of rage. The fact that he is obnoxiously loud does not normally help the situation, either. It only annoys her further. She chooses to avoid him most of the time and has never had an actual, intellectual conversation with him.
And then there’s Arwen. She is normally tolerable. She remains quiet the majority of the time, much like Laila, but she is also prone to fits of rage. Two girls with uncontrollable anger do not mingle well. They have suffered from quite a few dramatic arguments, many of which Laila lost due to her size and age, but despite this fact she seems to like Arwen more than most people would imagine. They don’t speak much, but she enjoys her company, even if the two are merely sitting silently beside each other. Perhaps it is because she sees Arwen as an older version of herself. A role model, possibly?
The four remaining residents of the home--Silas, Ruth, Blaire, and Ara--she is indifferent to. Silas and Ruth are the shy ones of the bunch, making them very easy to bear. There are times when she will actually want to play with Ruth, even though she is two years older than her. Ruth’s twin, Blaire, is slightly more extroverted, leaving him more likely to be annoying, but Laila has encountered little issues with these four members of the home, Ara especially. Ara’s crying and messes are enough to drive anybody up a wall, but Laila knows better than to feel that way about a helpless infant. She is more fascinated by Ara than anything. She actually enjoys spending time with her, even if she does vomit everywhere occasionally.
Nowadays, it seems things are breaking apart. People are breaking, and she can feel it. Arguments have occurred more frequently than usual and stress has crawled its way into Laila’s brain. She is eligible for the Reaping and puberty threatens to approach her at any moment. Dealing with such aspects of life have taken its toll on her mental status, along with everyone else’s. Now it’s up to them to discover if they can truly handle one another in the Sycamore House.