It's a chilly day, the next, and Caleb and I are walking silently into the Choosing ceremony. Susan and Robert speak quietly with each other next to us. As we shuffled into our seats, Marcus walked up on the stage and started his short speech. Then he started to call us up in alphabetical order.
I couldn't focus on the names, not because I was nervous, because I was excited. Well, I was a little nervous. I didn't want to walk up there and betray my family, but they would understand, right? I just, had to make this decision for myself. Maybe, I could talk with Jeanine and convince her to stop her accusations against Abnegation.
"Caleb Prior" Marcus' voice was loud and clear as my brother stood up and walked to the stage. I held my breath as he sliced his hand. Even though I knew what he was going to choose, there was still uncertainty hanging in the air. He lifted his hand and easily let a drop of blood fall into the bowl of water. Marcus nodded his head to Caleb, even though he looked a little shocked and disappointed, while the Erudite applauded and invited him over.
I smiled at him, distracted as Marcus called my name. A wave of silence passed over the crowds and Marcus said my name again, his eyes beckoning me to the stage. I stood up, embarrassed, and my parents stood up to let me pass.
Before picking up the knife, I looked carefully at each bowl. Then I reached for the knife and sliced open the palm of my hand. For a second, I faltered, almost letting the blood fall into Abnegation, then Dauntless. Finally, I put my hand over the not-so-clear water and my blood mixed with my brother's blood.
Marcus' eyes widened, but he also nodded to me. The Erudite greeted me with the same applause as they did with my brother: slightly cold, but still with open arms. I risked a glance at my parents. My father had gone completely red with fury, while my mother shook her head in despair. She murmured something to herself, but my father heard her and looked at her with astonishment. I quickly looked away, hoping I'd remember to ask her about it when she came to visit.
The first row of seating was full, and it didn't look as if anyone was going to stand up for me, as they did their own, so I walked to the top row. Caleb looked at me and smiled, so I smiled weakly back and sat down next to him. "You made a good decision," he whispered, rubbing my arm to comfort me. I nodded and looked forward, focused on the rest of the ceremony.
The ceremony ended and the group of Erudite stood up, and the transfers followed. We left before everyone else, except the Dauntless, who had ran out in front of us. However, one of them had stayed behind and was speaking in a hushed voice with Jeanine. He was a little taller than Jeanine with dark blonde hair. He looked important, as if he was a leader of the Dauntless. I sped up to listen to what they were saying; wondering why Dauntless and Erudite would be friends.
"Is it ready?" The Dauntless man had a hint of eagerness in his voice, oblivious to my approach.
"We are very close to finishing. We just need to conduct some tests. Eric, catch up with the Dauntless. Don't be so obvious."
Eric nodded and started to briskly walk off, and then he broke in to a run, shouting with the rest of his faction.
So Erudite and Dauntless were planning something. What if Jeanine is trying to hurt Abnegation? No, Jeanine might be out to get Abnegation, but she wasn't a killer. Now that I'm in Erudite, I can get close to Jeanine. Win her trust and find out what they were planning.
I fell back into line with the rest of the Erudite, my brother coming up to me. A gorgeous girl was walking next to him. She was an inch shorter than me and she had short dark blonde hair with her head thrown back, laughing. Caleb's smile was shining bright, too. "Beatrice, this is Hazel Grace. Hazel, this is my sister."
"Wow, you already have a friend. That was fast, Caleb." I nodded toward her, feeling small due to her dazzling beauty.
"We were 'study buddies' back in class" Hazel answered for him, staring at him.
"Oh, well, nice to meet you." I held out my hand and she briefly shook it.
"You too." Caleb and Hazel continued their conversation and walked away, leaving me to fall behind.