The Water In The Bowl

This is my entry for the divergent comp :) Once upon a time there was a girl, and that girl wanted to fly. All her life, Jeanine Matthews had wanted to leave Erudite and go to Amity where she was sure she belonged. But brainwashing really works and she starts to have second thoughts, especially now that she has Edward. Oh yeah and the cover is for the cover comp as well


1. The Water In The Bowl


Friend or foe?


A sparkling ray of sunlight spread,

through the waves, to the ocean bed.

A world of beauty, that cannot be compared,

the single world that the humans have spared.


But as the night falls and the darkness appears,

the sun's bright shining face slowly fills with tears.

The skies burst open with a flourish of rage,

and the sobbing clouds hold the moon in their cage.


But dawn shall arrive and wash the darkness away,

as the white foamy waters crash into the bay.

The storm of the night has gone with the waves,

and out come the people from their metallic caves.


I am water, and water is me,

to me you will run to, or from me you will flee.

I can bring you life, and help you bloom,

yet still I can bring you to a watery doom.


I will swirl and splash along the golden sand,

write my name in the sky with the clouds at hand.

But I can rage and roar and dance with death,

leaving you wishing you had held your breadth.


Come to me in the depths of your despair,

for whilst I can destroy I can also repair.

To some I bring joy, to others woe,

but am I really your friend or your foe?



  Knowledge leads to prosperity. It's drilled into our heads every day and every night. I could recite it to you in my dreams, and after all these years I'm finally starting to believe it. I guess I'm not so different after all. For as long as I could remember all I wanted to do was get out of Erudite and find my true faction, find where I really belong. But now that the Choosing Ceremony has finally arrived, I'm not so sure, because I've finally found a reason to stay, I've found Edward.

  A thousand thoughts swirl through my head and I try to shake them off and concentrate on my breakfast, blueberry pancakes smothered in maple syrup. I take a bite and let the sweet aroma fill my mouth. I finish the rest of it off and was tempted to lick my plate but Mom would kill me if she saw. As I stood up to leave the house she stopped me.

"Hey Jeanine, you look kinda nervous. Is everything OK?" she asked, reaching out and squeezing my wrist reassuringly.

"Yeah, I'm fine, it's just a bit of a shock that the Choosing Ceremony is finally here. I'm actually not that nervous," I lied, and bustled past her out the door and into the fresh air before she could see my burning cheeks, a tell-tale sign of my fib. I really wish I was a good liar, it doesn't even take a Candor to catch me out. I grab my bike from against the wall and pull myself onto it, beginning the twenty minute journey to the choosing ceremony. The road I take is always deserted, apart from a small number of the Factionless, which is why I like it so much. I hate crowds of people, I like a quiet place where I can hear myself think. Although I'm not cycling very fast, I can feel my heart threatening to burst through my chest, and I'm drenched in sweat by the time I arrive.

  Great, I think, what a way to present myself. I hop off my bike and chain it to a pole near the hall where the Choosing Ceremony takes place. As I pass a shop window, I stare at my reflection and desperately try to fix my hair. But it was fruitless, no matter how hard I tried, it always found a way to stick up at all the wrong angles. I sigh, and continue towards the Choosing Ceremony. As I arrive, there are many others milling around the building, separated into their factions.

  I join the rest of my faction, most covered head to toe in different shades of blue. I myself was wearing a deep blue dress that flowed down to my knees. Blue is so important to Erudite as it is a "calming color that helps stimulate the brain". That's another phrase we need to know by heart. It's kind of ironic however, that the blue water in the metal bowl has always terrified me. Although water is the chosen substance of Erudite, water is also my greatest fear. It's a bit stupid I guess, but I still have the same reoccurring dream, where I'm drowning and the more I try to reach the surface, the deeper I'm dragged down. I shudder at the thought.

  I spot Edward the moment I step into the line of Erudites, he is after all the most beautiful person I have ever seen. I will never understand why he chose me. I throw myself into his arms and he kisses me softly on the lips. And suddenly the rest of the world doesn't matter and I know exactly where I belong, right here in the arms of the boy I love. Maybe the aptitude test was wrong and I don't belong in Amity, maybe I really do belong in Erudite. I can't leave, not if Edward is staying.

"Promise me you'll stay," I whisper in his ear. He just laughs and squeezes me tighter. Then I am forced to leave his grasp and follow my classmates to my seat. I stare at the five bowls that sit in front of us. Grey stone for Abnegation, glass for Candor, water for Erudite, earth for Amity, and lit coals for Dauntless. The bowl of earth is supposed be my future, but the bowl of water is where I belong, even though I'm petrified of the substance. I guess brainwashing really works though, because now I'm beginning to think of it more as a friend than a foe.

"Jeanine Matthews."

  I'm so caught up with myself that I almost miss my name being called. I nearly fall as I awkwardly get to my feet and walk up the aisle to the five bowls, feeling every eye in the room on my back. I hear some one laugh, probably Tina, the two of us have never gotten along, she's been one of the main reasons I wanted to get out of here in the first place.

   I've always been shy so this was not exactly my comfort zone. I feel the colour rushing to my cheeks as I shuffle towards the stage. I grab the knife and put it against the palm of my hand, hesitating for a moment before I pierce the skin. I watch the blood trickling down my fingertips as I raise my hand slowly.

  I stare longingly at the bowl filled with a clump of earth, but then I see Edward in the crowd and know what to do. I move my hand to the left, letting it hover over the bowl filled with water, and watch the drops of blood fall. I stare in awe as swirls of crimson dance around the bowl. After all these years of thinking water was evil, I've never actually noticed how beautiful it really is.

  There's a polite applause as I walk back over to the other Erudites. Jessie, my best friend, wraps me in the tightest embrace I've ever felt as I reach her.

"I knew you'd stay," she whispered, a smile stretched across her face, and I thought for a moment I actually saw a tear in her eye. When she finally release me, I'm left gasping for air. She giggles, and before I know it the two of us are in hysterics, getting fierce looks from all the officials.

  A few other names are called before Edward's. Immediately my laughter ceases. I try to meet his gaze but he doesn't see me as he walks up to the bowls and slits the palm of his hand, without a moments hesitation. Then he looks over to me and mouths something I can't quite understand.

  I shoot Jessie a questioning look, wondering what it was he said, but she just shrugs. Then the impossible happens. I hear the sizzle as Edwards blood drops onto the lit coals of Dauntless. I snap my head around and let out a cry as I see his outstretched palm, over the bowl filled with burning coals. Then he turns, and walks towards the Dauntless without turning back. Bitter tears sting my eyes as they trickle down my cheeks. I feel my heart shattering into a million pieces. I stare at him as he walks away from me forever, leaving me alone in a faction he knows I hate. I feel something deep down inside of snap, and right now, I loathe nothing more than the water in the bowl.


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