"Shiloh, wake up!"
The voice is distant in my ears as I turn over in my bed. I pull the covers over myself and snuggle back into the pillow, ignoring the calls.
Footsteps sound on the floor outside my room as I fall under the grip of sleep again. I hear my door being pushed open as I breathe lightly, my chest rising and falling with a steady rhythm.
"Shiloh, honey, it's time to get up."
Soft hands grip my shoulders lightly and I am shaken from my doze. I open my eyes and I am met with the eyes of my beautiful mother. She smiles her usual sweet smile and her eyes burn bright with happiness of a new day and what it might bring us. Her golden honey colored eyes shine bright in the reflection of the morning sun.
She helps me to sit up and I observe her with sleepy eyes. Today she has chosen to wear her light brown hair down, it falls to her shoulders in soft curls, enhancing her natural beauty. I feel jealous as I avert my eyes.
I smile at her after a short yawn, a quiet chuckle escapes her full lips as she brushes a strand of hair behind my ear. She then leans forward and presses her lips to my forehead between my eyebrows. "Good morning, sweetheart. Your father is making breakfast right now, hurry up and get changed," she ends with a smile.
I nod and try to speak but another yawn eases out of my mouth. I manage an 'OK' as she leaves, closing the door on her way out. I listen as her footsteps echo back to the kitchen, I let out a sigh of frustration, not at my mother but at our way of life. Everyone being happy all the time, it's tiring.
I live in the Amity faction, the faction that is built on friendship, peace and harmony. What a load of bull!
I eventually wake myself up enough to crawl out of bed. I sluggishly drag my feet over to the drawers. Today is the day of the aptitude tests at school, these tests will help us with our choice between the five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. I have to choose between the selfless, the honest, the brave, the intelligent or my home, the faction of peace. Tomorrow will bring the Choosing Ceremony and we will make the choice as to where we will be spending the rest of our lives.
For me, I figured that I have two choices, one; stay here with my family and older sister or, two; choose a different faction and live my own life outside of Amity, a life I can live my way.
I yawn again as I pull the top drawer open. A mass of yellow meets my tired eyes as I grab a shirt, I then slam the drawer shut. I hate yellow. I shove the shirt over my head and pull my arms through the sleeves, I pull the top down to my waist as I frown at my reflection as I stand half dressed, still wearing my shorts from last night. The corner of my mouth twitches as I stare at my shirt, I hate it but it's a necessity, we, the Amity, must wear yellow and red.
I turn from my reflection with a sigh as I slide another drawer open. I pull out a pair of red jeans that I favour. I kick my shorts off and continue to get changed.
As soon as I slide my belt into the loop of my jeans, my older sister, Farrah, comes bounding into the room. Of course, she's extremely happy and is as excitable as a small puppy. She grins at me and I try to smile back, it comes out as a grimace.
"Aw Shi, why so glum?" she asks.
"Oh, I dunno, it could be something to do with the damn test that I will be taking in a matter of hours," I retort with more anger than I meant to. “This test helps me decide my after, I’m not ready.”
I've never properly felt at home here, I can't be the happy-go-lucky person that everyone wants me to be. I can't be someone who won't face problems, someone who always talks it through to come to an agreement instead of fixing it, which is the Amity way. I have a feeling in my gut, a nagging that aches my muscles, this life isn’t for me. I want action, a life with pace, a life of... more.
I fear the aptitude test which I will take later on today; I fear it will tell me that Amity is my future, that I don't belong anywhere else but here. I resolve myself in the fact that this can’t happen, I won’t allow it. I would have to do everything in my power to show them who I really am, the person I hide from my parents. I want to be who I am… and that’s not Amity.
I put on a smile, "sorry. I shouldn't have said that, please forgive me, Farrah."
She answers with a hug that's so tight; I am scared that my insides will pop out my nose if she squeezes any tighter. "You'll do fine in the test. I took it four years ago and I was fine, you will be too," her sincere smile melts my cold demeanour and I smile back.
"Thanks, Farrah. I guess I'm just... terrified of my results."
She arches her perfectly shaped blonde eyebrow at me, "Why are you terrified? You have nothing to fear," her smile falters slightly. "You are happy here, right?"
I lie, "I am."
"Then what's wrong?"
I lift my left shoulder slightly, "I want more."
She looks slightly confused but attempts to cover it up as she guides me by the shoulders to sit in front of the mirror. She picks up my hairbrush, lowering her head in the process. By the time she raises the brush to my brown hair, her smile is back. “Shiloh, I get it. You think you are destined for more and that this world outside our faction is great place but just think about it. This is-“
“What? What is it?”
She laughs lightly, ”well if you would stop interrupting, you will find out.”
I laugh too, “sorry, habit.”
She pulls the brush through my hair as I roll my eyes at it, it never sits right and it sticks up behind my right ear. She notices my eye roll, “I love your hair,” she comments absent-mindedly while she runs her slight fingers through my hair, teasing and encouraging it to sit neatly. “Anyway, what I was about to say is that this is your home, Shiloh. You can’t leave.”
Our eyes meet in the mirror and I frown, “why?”
She rises to her feet, “when will you stop being so selfish?”
I stand up too and face her, I was much smaller than her but I didn’t deter from my glare that has snuck itself onto my features. I snap, “probably when I transfer to Abnegation.”
She holds my glare with calm eyes, “I hope you are happy with whatever you choose. If you leave, it means you can’t come back home.”
She turns on her heel gracefully after smiling at me again; she skips out of the room, swiftly closing the door quietly behind her.
I turn back to the mirror with a sigh. My grey eyes glint in the sun’s rays as a small smile plays onto my face. I’m not beautiful like my mother or sister as I inherited my dad’s features, his small nose, thin lips that turn up at the right corner which gives me a constant smile. I see myself as an average sixteen year old, just me being me.
I find myself wondering what my friends see when they look at me, what my best friend thinks of me, when he looks at me.
When I tear my eyes from myself, I slip into my trainers then skip to the kitchen. The sound of Amity fills the hallways, the sound of laughter which greets me when I enter the kitchen where everyone else is sitting. I observe my family as I sit down in between Farrah and my mother. I raise an eyebrow as the grasp their stomachs from laughing so hard at my father’s joke. He has cut circles into his toast and hooked them over his ears. He crosses his eyes as he sees me, he puffs his cheeks up and makes animal noises.
At first, I find it ridiculous but as he continues on, I find myself joining in with the hysterics. After a short while, my dad wipes his eyes and hiccups slightly, this sets my sister again as my mother layered some butter on a slice of toast. My father leans over and kisses my left cheek, his moustache tickling me. “Morning sleepy head, how are you feeling today?”
I shrug, “its aptitude day, I’m nervous.”
Not nervous, no, more like… petrified.
For some reason, his grin widens. “I would be worried if you weren’t.”
I frown, “why?”
My mother moves and my father takes her place beside me. He places his hand over mine. “It shows you are prepared for what is to come. Don’t worry about it, Shiloh, it’ll be a breeze for you.”
He sounds so convinced in his tone; I decide to keep what I really want to say to myself, it’ll hurt less this way.
My mom cradles her mug between her hands. “Just remember one thing, can you do that for me?”
I have no idea what she is on about so I just nod. “Be yourself. Nothing more, nothing less.”
I nod again then stand up, “right… yeah… ok then.”
I kiss each of them on the cheek then leave for the bus to school. I spend the whole journey staring out at the scenery, watching it blur by. I sit at the back of the bus, away from the other students and adults as I think about the test later. I weave my fingers together and blink a few times.
The line echoes in my head as I climb out of the bus and head into the school. As I reach the entrance, the train horn sounds and I turn to watch the Dauntless jump from the carriages. The brave. I swallow as I watch them jump down, they jump with no fear or concern for their own safety.
They are Dauntless. Un-fearing.