I'm paralysed. The woman in front of me looks worried, but she doesn't say anything. There is nothing to say. I'm Divergent.
They told me what it means. If you are Divergent, you don't fit in one of the faction. You have two options, maybe three. But I have more options. I have 5 options. Candor, Erudite, Amity, Dauntless and Abnegation.
How is that even possible? Am I honest, intelligent, kind, brave and selfless? That can't be true.
I wipe my sweaty hands off on my blue skirt. I'm from Erudite, but I never felt I was. I never got the best grades at school. My brother even says I'm dumb. I don't belong in Erudite. But still it's one of my options.
What about Amity? I don't have many friends. I'm not rude, but am I friendly? Certainly not all the time. But it is one of my options.
I remember me telling my brother a lie. I didn't go to school because I forgot to study for a test. But I could belong in Candor.
Am I brave? I don't think so. I'm afraid of spiders. But Dauntless hasn't been ruled out.
And then rests Abnegation. I know I'm not into myself and I like to help people. But to give up everything for others? I don't think I can do that. But still it's an option.
"How?" I mumble. I just can't believe it. "I don't know," the woman says. She's from Abnegation, she wears a long gray dress, with long sleeves. Her hair is twisted into a knot, like all Abnegation women. But she's beautiful, in a way. "Listen up, Fay. Divergence means you're dangerous. Especially you, because no one has ever had so many options. You can't tell anyone," she says. I just nod.
"Which one do I need to choose?" I ask, my voice barely above a whisper. "I don't know," she says again. "But I think it's better if you don't choose Dauntless. They are...dangerous." "Well, you said I'm dangerous too, so maybe I belong with them," I say. It was a joke, but she looks at me severely and says: "This is not funny, Fay. This is a serious case, and I know that Dauntless will not help you to find the answers on the questions you have!" She takes a deep breath and regains her calmness. I can see a little black drawing in her neck. A tattoo. This woman used to be Dauntless. I immediately believe her.
"Our time is running out. Choose wisely, Fay," the woman says, as she gets up and walks to the door. I follow her and I go back to the cafeteria. There, my only friend waits for me. "So, what's your aptitude?" Alexander asks. He's from Candor. That's a blessing and a curse: he's always very honest, but he sees immediately when I lie to him. I think of what the Abnegation woman said. I can't tell anyone. Not even my best friend? I sigh. "I'll tell you later, okay. When we're alone."
A few hours later, Alexander and I are sitting in front of the school. We see the Dauntless climbing the statue. I'm not Dauntless, I think. I'm not brave enough. "Fay?" Alexander asks. "Are you going to tell me?" I take a deep breath. "I'm Divergent," I whisper. "What?!" he yells. But then he looks around, to see if anyone heard him. No one did. "Really?" he asks quietly. I nod. I'm relieved he's still here. Divergence is something no one talks about. I'm glad he doesn't judge me. "So... what are your options?" he asks. He is so curious that he could be Erudite too, but I know his true faction is Candor. He's too honest. "I have all options," I say. "I can be Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, Amity and Abnegation." "No way, are you serious?" he asks. "Are you honest?" I reply. We both know the answer.
"What are you going to choose?" He looks a little worried. "I don't know yet. But I'm sure it will be no Dauntless. And no Erudite either," I say."I'm sick of my brother always telling me how stupid I am." Alexander nods. "What about Candor?" he says. "Then we will be living together!" His face lights up. "I don't know if that's safe," I answer. "I can't tell anyone I'm Divergent. Since you see it when I lie, I had no choice but telling you, but I don't know if it's smart to tell anyone else." "Oh no, now I need to keep this a secret!" Alexander says. "I hope I won't tell anyone, but you know I can't promise anything!" "I know. Don't worry, I'm sure you won't tell anyone," I say, but I don't even believe myself 100%. It's a risk to tell a Candor a secret, but he's my best friend.
"I don't even know how it's possible to be all of them," I whisper. A tear runs down my face. "I hate uncertainty, and right now I'm very uncertain." "See, that's what makes you Erudite, Fay," Alexander responds. "And you're Dauntless too. You hang out with a Candor, while you're Erudite. No one else does that. You're Candor, because you aren't afraid of telling people we're friends. You're honest about who you are. And you're always kind to me, what makes you Amity. Last but not least, I think you know better then I you can be Abnegation too. You'll always help other people if you can."
He does have a point though. I turn to him and hug him. Tears keep running down my face. "Thank you," I mumble. "You know I would choose Candor if I could, right?" "Of course. But please, choose a place where you will be safe. I can always come and visit you," he says and he kisses my cheek.
The next day, my family and I are going to the Choosing Ceremony. We all wear blue clothes. My brother had to choose two years ago, and of course he chose Erudite. But I know I won't. My parents will be disappointed. Very disappointed.
Just before I enter the room, where the Choosing Ceremony will be, I see Alexander. He waves at me and I wave back. Then he shows me his thumb, like if he wants to tell me I'll be alright. That whatever I choose, it will be the right choice. I sigh. I hope he's right.
The Ceremony starts and they call out the first name. I try to concentrate on the boy that goes to the circle of five metal bowls, one for each faction. Every bowl contains something that symbolises the faction: water for Erudite, coals for Dauntless, earth for Amity, glass for Candor and stones for Abnegation. I watch how he cuts his hand with the knife without hesitating and he sprinkles his blood onto the coals. He's Dauntless and he will stay Dauntless.
I keep repeating the options I have. Amity, Abnegation, Dauntless. No Erudite, I know I won't stand it there. No Candor, because I would have to tell them I'm Divergent. What would be the best choice? Am I brave, selfless or kind? Where will I be safe?
Which one will I choose?
Then they call out my name. I feel myself getting up and walking to the circle in the middle of the room, but I'm too busy thinking about my choice. I remember the woman from the aptitude test, telling me not to choose Dauntless. She was a Dauntless and she chose to leave. I guess she'll know how dangerous it is there.
I take the knife and cut my hand. My blood drips on the floor. I have to choose. Now.
I hold my hand above the bowl with stones. Abnegation means you have to forget yourself and only think about the others. Maybe I can forget my Divergence there.
Maybe I can be safe there.