The Selection

Phoenix lives in a world where everyone has abilities, where the Elite have tight control of her life. Phoenix resents the Elite and before she knows it, she is joining the rebellion she never knew existed, leaving behind her family and everything she had worked on for years

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3. The cardigan

“It’s delicious!” The sensation was fabulous and melted in my mouth. Robin devoured hers before I had a chance to realise she’d left and returned with a parcel wrapped in brown paper. She placed it onto my lap and I gently untied the small rope around it and peeled back the paper. It revealed a cream knitted cardigan with pretty flowers embroidered onto it. It was familiar. Very familiar.
“No! No! No you didn’t!” My mother knitted me a cardigan when I was 12, it is too small now and I regretted that it wasn’t big enough to wear today, this cardigan was remarkably similar. 
Robin had always been the mother of our household after mum was gone and Dad was never around but I couldn't do anything without her, she is much more mature than I was when I was her age and I can’t help but be proud of her but I’d much prefer for her to just be a kid, not worrying about whether she’ll eat that night or if she’ll have time to cook while I went out and got the money. 
I dropped out of school 3 years ago to work on a market stall, selling the various things Robin made and any clay vases I made and painted, I didn't tell my father at first but he found out when he saw Robin remaking my school scarf into a hat, he was angry at first but after I made a meal out of the meat I bought, he came around to my point of view. I brought in the cash and Robin went to school because I wouldn't allow her to drop out but on an evening she’d knit, clean and look after us while I did some of her homework, I try to do more but she is incredibly stubborn. I was actually partially relieved that I would receive a job as it would provide a steady income and hopefully if I had to live away from our family home, they would provide me with accommodation and I could send whatever money I made straight back to them and would just spend money on the necessities for myself. 
“I tried to extend Mum’s version but I was making a mess of it, it’s fine but I thought you’d like it.”
“I love it, Robin! You’re so sweet.” I said while taking her into a deep embrace. 
“I saw the look on your face when I wore it, Phee. You missed it, it’s yours.” She said softly over my shoulder, I wanted to deny that as I felt guilty but she would have been able to tell that I was lying. 
I picked it up and held it against myself, perfect. Then, something at the bottom caught my eye; there was a small bird… It was a Phoenix. It was beautifully stitched in gold’s, reds and oranges, impeccably detailed and beautiful.
“Robin.” I only had to say her name but she could tell what I meant and how much I loved it. I cut a tiny bit more bread and cheese and gave it to her whilst I went to get dressed as a thank you and a distraction. I had put on my mother’s old jeans, a vest and my cardigan. I looked like I was from the richer part of town where the kids had two parents and two incomes or they were jewelers or designers, soon, we’d be almost like them.... I walked back into the room and found Robin nibbling on her last piece of cheese; I looked out of our window and saw the clock on the church… I had to go. 
I picked up my sister and twirled her round the room, then I put her back down, gave her a big hug and kissed her head. 
“See you in a little bit, tweety bird.” I said before leaving… My mother loved birds and Robin found it comforting for me to call her ‘tweety bird’ just like she used to.

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