Emily knows where she belongs, but she made a mistake, a big mistake.


2. Factionless

The ride to the Hub is short. Inside, an Abnegation woman holds the door but I hardly notice.  The elevator is practically empty, all of the Abnegation took the stairs.  I think about what it’ll be like for the other initiates, the ones who don’t choose Erudite.  In all honesty, I pity them, all the other initiations seem odd or cruel.  The Dauntless beat each other to death, the Candor spill their deepest secrets,  and I think the Abnegation have to pick up garbage. I don’t even know what Amity initiates do, probably go around in a circle saying nice things to each other, calling idiots geniuses, cowards brave. I feel lucky, lucky that this is where I fit in.   I hear the ding of the elevator and step out.  I find my spot on the edge,  by John Afrin, a plump Amity boy.  The Erudite walk in,  I stand a little straighter, hold my head a little higher.  A tall Candor girl walks up to me, grunting to get my attention.  

    “You’re in my spot.” She says loudly, loud enough for the Erudite to hear.  Curious, they pay attention.    

    “Um, what’s your name?”  I ask.

    “I think you know.”  She says rudely,  I do, I had a class with her.  She is a brat,  snobby and stupid. I swallow hard.

    “Amy Barness.” My voice shakes.

    “Okay, Nose, tell me, what’s your name?”

    “Emily Cruise.” I  sniffle

    “And what comes between A and C?”

    “ B” I squeak, it’s all I can do to keep from crying.  I step aside, and she steps in.  A few of the Erudite laugh, and my cheeks get hot.  And suddenly, I hate that girl, she made look like an idiot in front of my own faction.  I take a deep breath in and another out. Discretely, I drive my elbow into her gut, and she doubles over coughing. She screams and tries to punch me, but I’m faster. I duck and her fist slams into the wall.  She begins to try again, but not before two Dauntless men pull her away.  Of course, fighting is against the rules in all factions but Dauntless, especially at the Choosing Ceremony.   No one saw me throw my elbow, only her attack me.  And just like that, she is factionless.   I should feel guilty, I just ruined her life.  But the thrill runs through my veins.  Yet, I’m still embarrassed, and I need to earn the Erudite’s respect.  I almost have the layout of the bowls memorized,  that’s enough.  John Afrin is the first name called,  he chooses Amity,  and thanks to Amy, I’m second.  I don’t lower my eyes, or even look at the bowls. I raise my hand over the water, listening for the drop, but I hear a sizzle.  I look down to see my blood over the coals.  Quickly, I move it to the water. They moved the bowls! I scream in my head.  People sit up watching to see what happens next, no one has ever made a mistake like this.  I run over to the Erudite, but they block me.

“The first choice is final” I hear someone mutter. I look to my mother, the first time I’ve seen her today.  She shakes her head as if saying, I’m sorry, I can’t help you anymore.

“No!” I scream “No!”   A Dauntless man grabs me.  He locks his hands around my arms and drags me out of the room.  I feel a sharp pain on my eyebrow, and everything goes black.

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