A sea of blue surrounds me. An empty chair is next to me. My heart beat is louder than the mutterings flowing about the room. I have to admit, my faction wears the most sensible clothing.
I peer over at the Abnegation. Hazelle is standing at the very back. For a split-second our eyes meet, but hers flicker away just as quickly and act as though the movement never happened. I sigh and turn to my mother, standing at the front and delivering the opening speech.
"Those who blamed aggression formed Amity."
My eyes lay on the brown, solid earth. I could never be peaceful the way my mother raised me.
"Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite."
My eyes flicker from my mother to the still water, soon to be tinted red with sixteen-year-old blood. If I stay, my mother will eventually kill me.
"Those who blamed duplicity created Candor."
My eyes dart to the clear glass. I lie too easily.
"Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation."
My eyes fly once again to the cold grey stones. Ruling out Abnegation was another easy part of my decision.
"And those who blamed cowardice were the Dauntless."
I watch the coals sizzle. The Dauntless have freedom. I don't.
"Yesterday, all sixteen-year-olds took an aptitude test to determine which faction they belong in most. Your aptitude doesn't have to affect your choice. Remember children, faction before blood." My mother pauses slightly as though expecting us to echo it, but then thinks better of it. She runs over and begins calling names. I don't listen to any. All I can hear is a ringing. Why are they playing bells so loudly? I look around but no-one else seems to have noticed. Then I realize the ringing is in my ears.
That I hear. It takes a few moments to get my legs to work. but eventually I do, although I'm not sure how. I feel my mothers penetrating eyes studying me skeptically.
Suddenly I realize that during the speech, I have been ominously ruling out factions. I seem to have ruled out all of them. So how am I supposed to choose one I belong in?
I take the knife. Without hesitation I shed my blood and drop it on the water. Then sprinkle it on the coals. Then shower it on the soil. Then plunge it onto the glass. Let it fall onto the stones. I do all these things, ignoring the gasps.
My mother opens her mouth to speak. I cut across her.
"I don't want to be just one thing," I begin. "I want to be selfless and brave and honest and intelligent and kind. Therefore, I choose all the factions." I receive stunned silence.
"You're Convergent," says my mother. I ignore her.
I feel a sharp impact on my head and I don't have time to feel the agony.
Dark spots dance at the edge of my eyes and then I fall into nothingness.