Convergent. The word bounds around my head, echoes in my ears. I let it swallow me, steal me from reality. Convergent.
"Are there others like me?" I ask shakily. But the shakiness isn't from fear, it's from adrenaline. My boring life is finally interesting.
"Just one. It was only a year ago when we found it. I was his tester." His. Meaning I am the only female Convergent. Convergent. I can't think it enough times. Convergent. Coming together from different directions. From factions. Convergent.
"Listen to me," orders Hazelle gravely. "If you want to survive initiation from any faction then you better not tell anyone about this. Especially your mother. Her curiosity is lethal, and she will experiment on you beyond belief if she finds out about this. When you're Divergent, what makes you different makes you dangerous. This is the same, only worse."
I nod, fear collecting.
"Now, go straight home. Say that... that school was cancelled because of technical issues or something. Just don't tell your mother about this."
Sprinting as fast as my legs can go while wound in a pleated skirt, I bolt back home and slam the blue door behind me. Convergent. If I want to stay alive I'll have to never utter that word in my life time.
But I realize now that I want to be Convergent. I don't want to be just one thing. I want to be selfless and brave and kind and honest and intelligent.
Now I have the matter of the Choosing Ceremony to think about. I was supposed to trust the test... I thought that I would Choose whatever it told me to. But now I have all five, I'm stuck.
There is a few questions I'd forgotten to ask Hazelle. That other Convergent boy... what faction had he chosen? What happened to him? What is his name? None will be answered now. Not unless I ever see Hazelle again. Or, better yet, meet the boy whose life is also at risk.
As I walk into the kitchen, my mother's eyes don't leave her book, her words don't falter as she talks over the phone to someone. My mother is often seen talking in a hushed voice with a blue, technologically-advanced phone at her ear.
Eventually she sets the phone down. My position has not changed. Her curious grey eyes search mine.
"You okay?" She doesn't sound the least bit interested. She doesn't wait for my reply. "What were your test results?"
"You of all people should know I can't tell you that," I answer, trying to joke to mask my apprehension.
Unexpectedly, my mother tosses the question aside. "You're to have another court assemble in the Candor tomorrow, before you choose. They think they have developed a serum that is powerful enough to get you to talk now." She smiles, but when I look at her she is pure evil.
"Another? What, a final try before I Choose?"
"Why don't you just let them think you are under it?" she demands. My mother's fascination is a weapon that she can never set down.
I look away. "Because then they win."
I feel my mother's hands cup my chin, gentle but firm, and forces my eyes to look at her.
"Elicia, are you Divergent? They're the only ones who won't be able to resist the truth serum. If you tell me, Elicia, I won't hurt you."
"No," I answer truthfully. Besides, I don't trust my mother. She has broken promises in the past.
"You know what, I'll cancel the questioning."
This, I can't help but smile. Somewhere, deep, deep down, my mother loves me, and I love her.
But the surface will never change.