"Eat Viola, you need your strength for today." My mother tries to coax me into eating my eggs and oatmeal as she pours herself another glass of orange juice, but eating seems impossible right now.
Today I take my aptitude test which to me is both a blessing and curse because it means I finally know where I truly belong, but I'm one step closer to making my choice. A choice so important to everyone around me, it almost makes me sick to my stomach.
Alvin is shoveling more eggs into his plate as I stir my oatmeal for the hundredth time. Yesterday was pretty rough considering that I was expecting Brooke to whole heartedly join me in my choice to leave for Dauntless, but ended up receiving nothing but a cold confession of fear from one if the most Dauntless people I know. After I left her house, I went to our friend Raymond's house- which is anything but tidy- to speak with him and blow off steam. He told me that he was going to let the test choose for him and I respected his decision. He was the trusting type anyways.
"Are you going to Jonah's house today, Al?" I asked, taking a sip of juice just to humor my mother.
"Yeah, we're gonna work our science project over there." He explained.
"Sure you are."
"We will!" He emphasized.
"Last time you went to Jonah's to work on a project, you failed it because of incompletion and lateness. And besides, Candors aren't allowed to lie." I reminded him.
"Oh Vi, don't tease him so much. If he will, he will." My mother used a rag to wash a dirty cooling pot before putting it back in the sink to soak.
I sighed a small sigh and looked out the window at a few Candor kids playing in the yard next door. They were our neighbors' kids, all three of them little girls from the ages of 3 to 7. They ran around in their Candor white shirts and black pants, falling down frequently.
"Alvin," my mother cooed, "if you're done, could you give me and Vi a moment alone to talk?"
"Yes mom." He cleared his plate and glass before escaping up the wooden stairs.
My mother is a frail woman with streaks of grey in her sandy blonde hair and wrinkles around her grey eyes and thin lips. She rarely wears makeup because she believes that it's false covering of who we really are. Her nimble fingers lace together in her lap as she sits in Alvin's chair across from me.
"Viola, I'm not a stupid woman. I know of your intentions on leaving of home to become Dauntless. Anyone can tell that from a young age that you always wanted more in life. More freedom, more choice, more ideas and Dauntless can give you all of those things if you work hard enough." She explained abruptly.
I was taken aback at how straightforward she was, but then again she is my mother.
I nodded and she continued.
"I also want you to know that your father and I support your choice 100 percent. Weather you run off to be Dauntless or stay home and prosper here or even go to farm in Amity. Actually, I don't know if I would support you going to become some free will hippie in Amity."
I snorted and smiled.
"But just...." She paused and smiled, "just be smart about your choice. Don't do it because you're trying to be someone else, do it because you honestly know that you belong there. Okay?"
I reached across the table a hugged her.
"Oh! Look at the time, I have to get going to work and you missy have to get going to the Hub." She grabbed her bag and a cup of coffee.
"Bye." I said to myself as she slammed the door to leave without even saying goodbye.
"Well, that was the intimate moment of the year." I muttered to myself.
The Hub was packed with teens my age, waiting in lines outside. I strides over to the Candor line and immediately scanned the sea if people for someone I knew. Of course I knew most of them from school and the neighborhood, but I wasn't friends with a lot of them. One person I did find though, was Gavin Sterling, a tall, tan, and extremely handsome boy that lives three doors down from me.
I scurried over to him, clutching onto my bag that was slung over one shoulder. He was talking to one if his hundreds of friends when he locked eyes with me and bite his lip. His cropped, black hair clashed with his light grey eyes and tan skin.
"Hey there, Vi." He looked me in the eyes and smiled his perfect smile.
"Hey Gavin, what's up?" I asked, adjusting my bag.
"Not much, just you know, waiting." He made a mock pout and sighed at the long line.
"Yeah, same here." I replied.
"What do you think you're gonna get?" He asked.
"Dunno," I kicked the ground, "probably Candor. But I'm hoping for Dauntless."
He raised an eyebrow at me.
"Dauntless eh?" He sounded amused.
"Yeah." I smiled triumphantly.
"I'm going for Dauntless regardless of the test." He declared.
I nodded slowly.
"That's pretty brave of you." I said.
"The test is the true factor of our choice, correct? So if I were you, I would listen to the test." I took a step closer to him.
A blonde beauty named Krissy Gengal came bouncing over to Gavin from behind and tapped on his shoulder flirtatiously.
"Oh hey Krissy." He smiled at her and turned to face her.
"Hi Gavin." She replied, pouting her glossy lips.
"What brings you here?" He asked.
I wanted to face palm due to the stupidity of the question, but I didn't because it truly isn't worth the battle. He may be handsome, but he's a total airhead.
"I'm waiting to take my test, dummy." She teased.
"Oh right." He bobbed his head up and down.
She looked at me with a dirty glare and raised an eyebrow at me.
"What's she doing here?" She asked Gavin.
"Who, Viola? Oh we were just talking." He smiled and threw a muscly arm around my shoulders.
I smiled at her smugly when he couldn't see.
She made a face that looked like she swallowed a lemon.
"Oh," she twitched her perfectly shaped eyebrows, "I'll see you around Gavin."
With that, she turned on her heel and sashayed back to her stop near the front of the line. He released his hold on me and he started to ask me all the possible combinations of factions if someone were Divergent.
"Divergent?," I scoffed in disbelief, "They're just myths."
"No they aren't! My aunt knew someone who was Divergent." He nodded his head, wide eyed.
"Please, they're rumors set up hb the government to show what will happen if you don't conform to society." I rolled my eyes at the though of real Divergents.
"Wha?" He asked, confused about everything I just said.
"Never mind," I quickly added at the end, "bottom like is, Divergents are not real."
He sighed and smiled.
"Fine, go ahead and think that. But I think that you're Divergent." I he lowered his head and pointed a finger at me.
I raised my eyebrows and burst out laughing.
"Me?! A Divergent?! Aw, that's the funniest thing I've heard all week." I bent over laughing but he still pointed at me accusingly.
"Well you're both honest and brave which means you're Dauntless and Candor. Done and done or should I say Divergent." He whispered the Divergent for effect.
"Oh please. You're honest and brave too!" The moment I said it, his face fell into horror.
He leaned in and whispered to me.
"I'm Divergent?" He asked shakily.
"I don't know! All I'm saying is, Divergence is very rare if it is indeed real."
"Wheeeeew!" He wiped his brow with the back of his hand and sighed a sigh of relief.
I hadn't even realized that we had made it to the front if the line from waiting. I shuffled in behind Gavin and had a boy I knew from school behind me as we headed down a dimly lit hallway. We each stood in front of a door and waited a few seconds for then to open. My heart was in my throat as I walked into the mirrored room with a single chair and a computer being run by a middle-aged man with bright green hair.
His skin was saggy and the green did no help to his complexion at all. His whole left arm was covered in tattoos and he had a lip wring and a nose ring.
I set my bag down by the chair sat down. He didn't even bother to look at me. I stared at him as he typed away at the computer.
Nothing. Just typing at the computer as he furrowed his brow.
I coughed and he glanced my way for a split second.
"Be right with you." He muttered.
I rolled my eyes and looked at my reflection in the mirror. My wavy hair tucked behind my ears, my olive skin clashing with my white shirt. He coughed this time and I turned his way.
He gave me a quick smile.
"Hi, my name's Rick. I'll be administering your test today. You have nothing to worry about, it's just how you respond I fear and different situations. No big whoop." He leaned over to a small table by the computer and reached for what looked like a shot glass filled with a violet liquid. He handed me said glass and stepped back.
"What is it?" I asked suspiciously.
"Your serum. Now drink it." He demanded.
I opened my mouth and tilted the small glass. It felt like fire going down my throat but once it hit my stomach, it felt like lead. I closed my eyes and flickered them open again.
"What now?" I asked Rick.
No one responded.
I looked to my right to see that both him and the computer had vanished out of thin air. I widened my eyes and looked around to just see my reflection is every mirror. I stepped out of the chair and slowly walked to the mirror. I slammed on the mirror with my fist, but it didn't break. I repeated the action and felt a bruise form on the side of my hand. My reflection looked past me and over my shoulder. I spun around and saw two plates, one with a knife and one with a piece of meat.
"Choose." She said flatly.
I instinctively grabbed the knife, checked my grip on it, and slammed it into the mirror with one swoop. The blade bent almost in half and I spun around to grab another, but to my surprise, the plates were empty and the low growl of a snarling dog met my ears.
My heart rate picked up as I clutched the bent knife. The dog lunged at me and I dodged it's attack by diving to my left. It didn't hit the mirror, instead it dove through like nothing was there and spun around to face me. I tried to keep my hands from shaking as he charged for me. As the beast leapt in the air, I froze in fear. Just as it hovered over me I shrieked out a defining scream and cringed into a ball.
A white light flashed in my eyes and I looked at my hands. I was still clutching the bent knife, but a surging pain went through my left hand. Where was the dog? I looked behind me and saw the dog motionless. I scrambled to my feet and saw Alvin standing there looking at the dog, puzzled. Then he looked at me in horror and ran away at full speed. I chased him, unable to remember his name suddenly. Then, at all moments, my feet slipped from under me and I fell through the floor.
Beeping sounds filled my ears as I tried to catch my breath.
"I'm conscious. I'm okay. It's not real." I told myself in my head.
Rick looked my way but continued typing away at the computer.
"See, it's not so bad." He didn't even look my way when he said it.
"You're...joking right?" I have to take breaths in-between every few words.
He shrugged his shoulders but his lip in concentration.
"It only gets easier now, I guess." He stated.
"Easier?" I asked feeling my pulse.
"You take other simulations and tests in each faction for initiation."
I sat up in the chair and gaped at him.
"I have to do that again?" I asked in panic.
"Of course." He gave me a side look and clicked away at the mouse.
I took that in for a minute and remembered suddenly why I took the test in the first place.
"Wh-what was my result?" I blurted suddenly.
He turned half to me and half still facing the computer.
"Uh..it's loading right now. Hold on." He clicked something and type began to form on the screen in little lines.
"Congrats," he smiled, "Dauntless! That's my faction by the way if you hadn't noticed by my tattoos." He gestured to his arms, but I could literally care less about his tattoos.
I got Dauntless. Me, Viola Heltens, a nobody Candor girl who dreamed of an freer life. Both excitement and fear surged through me at the thought of being Dauntless. I guess you call those two emotions adrenaline.
"Are you happy with your result?" He asked.
"Not just happy, relieved." I smiled.
"That's nice," he seemed bored now, "you can go out that door when you're ready."
I reached down and swung my bag over my shoulder, heading for the door. Twisted the knob and walked down the hallway to cafeteria which was filled with noisy people. The noisiest of tables was of course the Candor table.
I found Brooke at the end if the table, leaning on her boyfriend Franklin Crez, who was tall and blonde and a jerk. He had his arm swung across her shoulders and they seemed to be laughing about something one of his friends said.
I awkwardly walked over to them and looked at Brooke. I couldn't read her expression enough to tell if she was still mad at me from our argument yesterday.
"Can I sit here?" I asked smiling.
She scooted over without saying anything and refused to my way. I sighed impatiently and looked at her. Her eyes flashed a look at me from the corners of her eyes but they fluttered away quickly.
"So what did you get?" I asked boldly.
"You know we aren't allowed to say what we got." Franklin snapped.
I shot him a dirty look. Oh how I hated him. Over the year the have been together, he has chastised me more times than I can count, thrown my jacket I asked him to hold while I tied my shoes onto the train tracks with the train seconds from coming, told me that I should give up on finding a boyfriend because it's a hopeless cause, and lied about me trash talking about Brooke rind her back.
But she likes him so what can you do?
"I wasn't talking to you, Franklin." I hissed.
"It's still against the rules." He pointed out.
"How about you keep your abnormally large nose out of my business?" I shot back.
His friend snorted but immediately covered it up. I looked at him and he stared at me for a second to long before burying his face I his white jacket.
"If you're going to speak to my boyfriend that way, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave." Brooke declared.
"Is this about yesterday? Because if it is, I'm sorry." I looked at her wide eyed, demanding an answer.
She looked at me for a second and pursed her lips, unable to even utter a word. She swung her legs out from under the table and stormed off to the other end of the table. Franklin looked at me and scowled.
"I hope you have fun living faction less you bitch." He muttered.
I couldn't restrain myself from swinging a hard punch straight to his jaw. I called him off guard and he lip split. He shook his head and stormed off to Brooke.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and shook my head as well.
"And I was in such a good mood...." I uttered to my self.
The boy laughed and smiled at me.
"Well punching that ass can brighten anyone's day." He licked his lips.
I narrowed my eyes at him.
"And who are you?" I hissed.
"Leighton Voin, pleased to meet you." He chuckled to himself.
"What's so funny?" I asked defensively.
"Everything you have said to me so far has been in the for of a question. I find it amusing, that's all." He grinned at me and I glared.
I strongly dislike people who make me the punch like of their jokes.
He leaned in close to me and smiled.
"Candor by the way. That's my result." He breathed the words barely above a whisper.
I stared at him for a few seconds, trying to figure him out. But it was impossible.