As soon as the swirling dust settled and the darkened room swam into view, I crumpled to my knees. The enormity of what I had just experienced fell heavily on my bowed shoulders. It had been beyond anything I could have predicted. I couldn't quite believe that it was over. Was I still in that nightmare world of fear? I shook my head uncertainly. I didn't know what to believe anymore. Was it really over? Five fears - was that all? That shocked me out of my despair.
I knew the fewest number of fears anyone had ever faced was four. That was a Dauntless fact, known throughout the ranks of faction-born initiates. Nick had enlightened me to that. Him and James had been very fond of telling us transfers all about the legendary fear-scapes.
I was sure that could not be right. There were more things in life that frightened me to no end, I was certain.
A hand on my shoulder made me jerk up. I raised my head slowly. Matt. He knelt down in front of me, a concerned look on his face. A flash of something akin to horror and unease crossed his features briefly, but was gone in a blink. Matt was not a young man anymore. He was not a kind man, but he was a just instructor. And a good one to boot.
"Jasper? Come on boy, you need to get up." His voice was rough.
I stood on shaky feet, unable to meet Matt's eyes. I let him lead me out of that den of despair. As I walked past Dan and the Dauntless-born initiates still to go, I avoided eye contact with anyone. I kept my head down. My hands curled into fists, as if that would stop them shaking. Once we had let the murmurs and stares far behind, Matt stopped. He turned to face me.
"Jasper, are you ok now?" His voice held genuine concern.
I couldn't look at him. "I...I think so," I mumbled towards the ground. It was not the truth. I felt awful - dizzy, nauseous and full of a plethora of discordant emotions. But I was not about to tell Matt that. All I wanted now was a moment alone, to collect my thoughts. You were never really alone in the Dauntless compound; from sharing a room, to training, and the constant presence of people, so any time I could get alone was greatly appreciated.
Matt frowned. "Well, if you're sure. I've got to get back to the others. Rest, Jasper."
I nodded, still unable to look up at him. I carried on walking down the corridor until I could no longer hear his receding footsteps. Then, I ran. I had no specific destination in mind, just as far away from there as possible.
I ran to get away from people.
I ran to get away from uncertainty.
I ran to get away from the fears and worries that plagued my mind.
But most of all, I ran to get away from myself.