My mother pulls back my blonde hair. Our eyes meet in the mirror. It is too late to look away. She smiles. I rarely see my mother smile - unless it is in a cold way. It's hard to believe she loves me, the way she treats me, but in this moment I can tell she does. It is moments like these when I don't want to leave Erudite.
But I know I have to. I have to find a way to escape my mother.
"Good luck," she says. I smooth out my royal blue pleated skirt and nod at her. My expression does not reflect hers. Does she know that I am going to leave?
What annoys me most is that I am a perfect example of Erudite. I push that thought away as I walk into the test room.
Mirrors surround me. The woman in the middle has her eyes squeezed tight and she is dressed in dull grey. I pear at her.
"Hello," she greets solemnly. I understand that Abnegation reject vanity, but why put the mirrors in here if she cannot look at me? "You must be Elicia Matthews. I'm Hazelle," she introduced, stiffly. "Please, sit." Although she is Abnegation, she must have transferred because Hazelle is not an Abnegation name.
I sit without a word. The stiffness in her voice indicates her hatred for my mother, despite the selfless trait she prides herself in.
I take it silently. It is a cup full of clear blue liquid. I don't hesitate to gulp it's contents down my mouth. It burns my throat, depriving me of air, but I do not have time for the agony before I am dragged under.
An instant has passed when my eyes open again. I am in the same mirrored room but Hazelle and the chair is gone. Instead there is a man standing in the middle of the room, his eyes sunken. Who could he be? Somehow I am aware.
When his lips open his voice echoes about the room, bouncing off the glass and keeping up with my heartbeat. "Do you know Jeanine Matthews?" he accuses calmly. On instinct, I shake my head briskly. Whenever I admit my inheritance to the Matthews name it always ends badly. My mother has done bad things. She can't take them back. Neither can I.
"I'll ask again," he says pressingly. I can feel the pressure building as though it is piling on top of me by the second. "Do you know Jeanine Matthews?"
I shake my head slowly again.
He studies me. "The truth could save me, child, and everyone else!"
Unexpectedly, I nod. He smiles a toothy grin.
The picture shifts. The man disappears and is replaced with my mother.
"Elicia, give me it."
What? I stare down at my hand and see a syringe full of peculiar purple liquid clasped in my hand. Looking at it I know it is a death serum. My Erudite will never fade. Then I see a man, with a blood-smeared face and hands bound with ropes. Somehow I can't let him die.
"No," I say. Then, mustering up all my courage, I jab the needle into my mothers neck and watch her crumple to the floor. The man may be the enemy, but peace must be attained.
My breath catches. Hazelle, still with her eyes squeezed shut, helps me up from the seat. I open my mouth but she drags me into another room - mirror-less.
Her eyes open. They are a vibrant violet.
"Your results were inconclusive."
My heart stops.
"I'm Divergent?" My mother hunts them down, what would she think of me?
"No." Her expression is masked but I can hear the panic in her voice.
"I don't understand - "
"You didn't want to tell the man the truth, but when you did that represented Candor. You also did it because he said it would save him, which indicates to Abnegation. I had to add in another test to weigh the two out. You knew it was a death serum, which points towards Erudite, and you were brave enough to kill your evil mother, which says Dauntless. But you did it for peace with your enemy, which means Amity." She finishes with a sigh.
"What are you saying?"
"Your results were utterly inconclusive. The Divergent usually end up with two, and one time there was three. But Elicia, your results were Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. You're Convergent."