I stumble through the dark allies using my sense of hearing to try and locate another person. I walk and walk determined not to cry and I see a light. A flickering light in a run-down building ahead of me, and I start to run, we don’t run in abnegation, and now I know why, it’s too much fun! Before I know it, I’ve reached the light and I see people. Relief swarms through me quickly followed by fear. These are the factionless, people I’ve been taught to fear my whole life, and now I have to live with them. A hand grips my shoulder from behind and I immediately scream but another hand appears and covers my mouth, this is it, I’m going to die. The hands turn me around, my scream turns into a gasp in my mouth as I find a pair of deep blue eyes placed on the face of one of the most intimidating men I had ever seen. “Sh” is all he says.
I’m shocked into silence as he removes his long slender fingers from my mouth. He is dressed in black and the lines of a tattoo creep up over his shoulders. Dauntless. Fear bubbles inside me, I don’t know if he’s here to help me or to hurt me, but I’m scared. I wait patiently for something to come out of that full lower lip and square upper lip, but nothing does. I notice a scar on his chin and his forearms are clearly bulging from his tight, dauntless shirt. I realise I’m staring and my eyes lock with his again and I manage to whisper,
“Who are you?” he seems to consider this as if he doesn’t quite know how to answer,
“I’m Four,” he says. I contemplate his name in my head but don’t dare ask him. “I’m new here too,” he mutters and I know then that I’m going to stick with him.
The longer we stand pressed against the wall as Four looks in on the small gathering of people, the more frustrated I get.
“Well?” I ask him rudely,
“Just give me a minute; I need to decided if it’s safe.” His deep voice rumbles as he talks and something inside me shivers. This man terrifies me, and yet I seem to trust him already.
“Well, I say it’s safe enough and we can go in” I mutter under my breath, he breathes through his nose in what I assume is a laugh, I’m so irritated that he just laughed at me that I take it upon myself to walk on in. Four reaches out and grabs my wrist and I scream as his fingers dig into my bandage, he immediately retracts his fingers in shock. I shove my wrist in his face in explanation of my scream. His eyes widen and he gasps. “It was you!”
Footsteps stomp from inside the building towards us, “Well done,” Four says sarcastically and I glare at him but don’t have time to say anything as a group of men and women come around the corner.
“We’ve got another Dauntless drop-out,” one of the men calls back, “And a...” he looks me up and down and seems lost for words, “And a girl.” He seems confused by my mixed faction clothing but I’m not in the mood to tell him anything so I ignore his stare. “Come on in!” a woman yells from inside the building. So we do.
Despite my previous fear of the factionless, I march straight past them all and into a large room. My insides were still bubbling from my encounter with Four, something about him had an effect on me and I hadn’t yet decided if I liked it or not. I’d been so caught up in my own whirlwind of a mind that I didn’t even notice the group of people staring at me. My eyes darted from face to face, thin faces with large eyes all loomed back at me. I started to back towards the exit and bumped into four. He caught me as I stumbled, his large, strong hands gripped around my waist. No one touched this way in abnegation, yet another thing they’d been keeping from us.
The factionless decided then that I wasn’t a threat and many women decided to take me under their wing. I was ushered around for what seemed like quite a while before they left me alone. I’d had my wrist inspected so many times that it began to throb. I found an empty corner in the room they called the bed, it made sense really because the entire floor was covered in blankets and clothing. I opened the first aid kit that I’d carried with me throughout my introduction to the factionless and inspected its contents. I unravelled a long roll of bandage and decided that’s where I would start. As I peeled the darkened bandage from my left arm, a dark, red stream began to trickle from my open wound. I cringed at the sight and clenched my teeth to try and block out the pain, “Here, I’ll do it,” I looked up to find Four staring at me; I thought I saw concern in his eyes but quickly dismissed it. He sat down beside me and gently took my arm in his hand, his skilled fingers danced around the bandage and it was removed with ease. I had to close my eyes when the blood started falling but I felt safe with Four.
“All done,” he said with a hint of pride as he handed me back my injured limb. I thanked him and twirled my new bandage in admiration.
“So, can you tell me what happened to my arm?” the words flew out of my mouth before I processed them, I knew what had happened my arm, but I didn’t want to believe it, he must think I’m crazy. Four looked at me, clearly confused,
“You don’t know how it happened?”
“I don’t, but when you first saw my arm you seemed to, so I would really appreciate if you would let me know!” I sounded angrier than I had intended to, the side of Four’s mouth twitched slightly and I knew he was laughing at me. “What’s so funny?” I demanded,
“For such a small girl you’re quite feisty, you would have fitted in well at dauntless,” he looked away then, clearly regretting what he’d said but he continued ,”Well, I don’t know how you ended up here but the news of your Choosing seems to have travelled through all the factions, I suppose it’s big news when a stiff opens a vein in front of practically half the population,” Four seemed to be finished with his explanation and it was all I needed.
I didn’t understand why but I was drawn to Four, I wanted to know his story. When we had arrived, the factionless man, whom I now knew as Jeremy, had called Four ‘a Dauntless drop-out’ which implied that Four had left Dauntless of his own choosing, and of course I wanted to know why. So it became my personal mission to find out more about him. Before my aptitude test, I had never considered myself brave, but after facing that dog head-on I knew I had it in me, so when everyone began to settle down to sleep I went in search of Four. I didn’t really know my way around, so I just walked. It got dark quickly out here, there were only a few torches, one of which I had brought from Erudite and had thankfully been allowed to keep. I walked aimlessly around the run down building, getting further and further from the bed until I heard faint thuds in the distance. Four was standing in an empty room in complete darkness. My torch illuminated to room briefly and he spun around, the light from my torch reflected off something he was holding, a knife.
Even though I was standing alone with a man who I didn’t know very well, and who just so happened to be pointing a knife directly at me, I wasn’t scared. Being factionless practically forced you to look out for yourself, I’d barley been here a day and I knew that, either form strong friendships or be alone. I trusted him, and that’s all I knew.
“What are you doing here Beatrice?” I realised that I had never told him my name but I suppose I was partially famous now,
“Teach me,” My mind had realised my intentions before I had.
“What?” he was undoubtedly confused, and I didn’t blame him, I was being quite cryptic,
“Teach me to be Dauntless,” he looked at me, eyes blazing and nodded his head.