*I followed Movellas on Instagram @alyshalucky1999*
“Those who blamed aggression formed Amity.”
I surveyed the Amity as they exchanged warm smiles, so peaceful, so innocent.
“Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite.”
Ruling out Erudite was the easiest part of my decision. Even though I was becoming my own person, I’m still my father’s daughter.
“Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation.”
I do blame selfishness; I do, don’t I?
“Those who blamed cowardice were Dauntless.”
I’m not selfless enough. It’s been sixteen years, sixteen years of trying and I’m not good enough.
“And those who blamed duplicity created Candor.”
Candor had never really been an option to me, maybe it could be. They’re open with each other. They don’t have to act Selfless or Brave or Joyful or smart.
My knees buckled under the pressure as Marcus paused in his speech. They were numb, like all the life had been sucked out of them.
“Working together, these five factions have lived in peace for many years…” he continued.
Amity. Abnegation. Erudite. Candor. Four factions left to choose from. One life changing choice. I thought back to the motto I read in my Faction History textbook: Faction before blood. More than family, our faction is where we belong. Could this be true?
“Therefore this day marks a happy occasion –the day on which we receive our new initiates, who will work with us towards a better society and a better world.”
A round of applause. Squeals from Amity. The Dauntless repetitively stomped their feet on the floor. A polite and courteous clap from Abnegation. A concussion of sounds that didn’t make any sense to me. It sounded muffled.
One by one each sixteen-year-old stepped out of the line and up to one of the five metal bowls in the center of the room as their name was called. I watch the blood from one girl’s palm fall in the Amity earth and imagined myself doing the same thing. Going back and lining up with the Amity, spending my whole life farming or drawing or giggling. Always cheerful… but what if I wanted to be sad?
That left me three choices, Abnegation’s grey stones, Dauntless’ lit coals or the glass from Candor. Candor wasn’t one of the factions I got an aptitude for. I shouldn’t choose it. But maybe if I’m truthful to others, I can be truthful to myself. I can find out who I really am.
One by one the line decreased. Each person pausing only momentarily before dripping their blood into their new faction’s bowl.
“James Tucker,” Marcus said.
James Tucker from Dauntless faltered his way upstage. Stumbling as he reached the top step, His face turned a dark shade of purple. I could see the dauntless shake their heads in either embarrassment or disapproval at the boy. If the Dauntless members are that non-acceptant of those who aren’t as brave as they are, how could I be apart of them?
Abnegation or candor? I thought as James Tucker dragged the knife across his palm. The steady rise and fall of his chest hastened as he jerked his hand to the left and dropped his blood into the glass, now stained with red, dauntless blood. The first faction transfer.
The Dauntless smiled, some of them happy that he had finally left, some relieved. I was disgusted, how can you be glad a member of your community has left you?
“Caleb Prior,” was the next name on Marcus’ long list. With a squeeze of my hand, My brother left, occasionally glancing back over his shoulder as he strode up to the bowls. He steadily accepted the knife from Marcus and pressed forcefully into his hand. He stood there with blood pooling in his palm and breathed out. He held his hand over the Erudite bowl. I watched as the blood dripped into the water, turning it a darker shade of scarlet.
The silence broke all around me and there was no one to hold me steady as the room came in and out of focus. My brother. My selfless brother chose Erudite? I saw smug smiles from the Erudite and heard outrageous cries from the usually so timid Abnegation. Erudite and Abnegation had been disagreeing for centuries, has Caleb not seen the papers? They hate us. He will be eaten alive over there.
I thought back to the stacks of books on his desk. How did I not realize that when he told me to think of myself yesterday, he wasn’t talking to me?
“Excuse me,” said Marcus but no one heard him.
“Quiet Please!” he commanded. The room went silent.
I heard my name called and took a hesitant step out of line, pulled by my anticipation to get this over with.
Halfway through the walk, I was sure I would choose Abnegation. I would be the child that stays. I had to do that for my parents.
I could imagine myself as a person growing old in the Abnegation grey, marrying Susan’s brother Robert and volunteering to help the factionless every weekend. Safe. Safe from my divergence.
Marcus offered me a knife. I looked up at him, into his deep blue eyes and up to his greying hair. Could I have the same fate as him? He nodded at me and I took the knife, turning toward the bowls. Abnegation or Candor? Selflessness or Honesty? I pressed the knife into my palm, just as my brother had done. The boy I once thought I had known so well. The selfless brother with the dark hair, the hooked nose, the green eyes and the dimples.
I dragged the blade down, gritting my teeth. It stung, but I barely noticed. I felt the blood cupping in my hands and thrust them away from me, making the red glistening liquid spray all over the carpet. I still hadn’t made my decision. Closing my eyes, I took a step foreword and my blood dripped into the glass, some of it spraying back onto the grey slacks that were no longer mine.