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1. Victoria fray May, 29

“Good morning sweetheart,” My father says kissing my forehead as he walks by me putting the plate of waffles on the table. My mom reaches over the table and takes my hand, and I try to stay calm and stop shaking. My efforts have no effect on me.

   “Today is a very special day for you, Victoria,” she says with a calm voice, but sadness trickles through her eyes. Her eyes are a pair blue eyes like my brother’s. She is tall but sickly thin from working all the years at the factories. She and I don't have much in common but the same face structure.

She's right when she says it because it could be the last day I will ever be in the same room with her again. A year ago it was Jonathan's redistricting ceremony. We thought we were going to lose him but, well, he got lucky and he picked East and got to stay. I may not get so lucky. I shake that thought away, and replace it was more happy thoughts. I will get to explore new places, make new friends, and maybe meet the love of my life! That would be nice. Meet new people, fall in love with the guy of my dreams, get married and start a family. That's all I want from life. Is to be happy. I have dreams.

 

   “I know. Can you get the dress that you wore for your districting ceremony from the closet? I would like to wear that,” I tell her so I don't have to look at her, it will just be too sad. Just to think this could be the last full day I spend with her….. No,  I say to myself scolding myself for ever thinking that.

I take a waffle and drowned it in homemade strawberry syrup. Yummy….

I then let out a big sigh. This may be the last time I will eat here all together as a family. I don't want to leave them, but what if I have too? What will I ever do without them to help me? I take a bite of the waffle. I can’t help it anymore! I start to shake like it’s below zero

My brother, Jonathan, comes over and puts his hand on my shoulder. He is taller than I am but not by much. He has black hair like our fathers but he looked more of my mom than anyone in the family.We don't have much in common the only thing that is the same is our parents. I can’t make eye contact with him because it is like when our eyes meet he can read my thoughts. He can’t know what I’m feeling, he may get mad for the self-doubt I’m feeling inside. He would be disappointed. I could not bare the pain in his eyes if he would ever find out about the things I'm feeling.    

“It will be okay, I promise,” He says, with a reassuring smile. I look up and meet his gaze, in his eyes... I see the worry in them. He is usually not home with us, on a normal day he would be at his own house across town with his wife and his little girl, Charlet. I never thought you could be in an arranged marriage, but I have seen many. If I stay here I will be married to my best friend’s brother, Matthew if I stay but if I leave in a few months my name will be put into a bowl and drawn  to find the person I will marry in my new district if a guy wouldn’t profess his love to me. Gosh, I don’t think I could handle either.

“Victoria, you better start to get ready so we are not late,”

   “Yes mom,” I say bringing my plate over to the counter and then heading to my room for maybe the last time.                             

I quickly slip out of my pajamas and slip on my favorite  black dress. I pin my thick dirty blond hair into a ponytail and look at myself.

I'm not that tall but everyone says I am. I’m bigger than the average person. I was never made fun of for it, but I feel like it’s all people see. My hair is long, it goes to about my lower back. I stand there and look at myself for a long time or what feels like forever.

Then it is time to go.    

   

The hall to my fate is very small. It's a short but long building. It is only two floors but has about forty rooms. Then there is a huge room in the middle of the building where they hold town meetings and the redistricting ceremony is held. The room is made out of wood that was painted white. It reminds me of the farmhouses in the history textbooks I read in school. The ceremony is quick and after it is all over I only have an hour to say goodbye to my family plus pack up and leave.

We sit down in the Frey family area. We came twenty minutes early; like we always do. The minutes tick by slowly until I hear the Mayor's voice.

   “Welcome to the ceremony that will change your life for the good. It will teach you how to live life on your own and will show you how to be heroes, workers, and farmers! So may the district be good to you all,” He booms into the microphone.

   The whole room erupts with excitement. Most of the kids look happy about this. He calls the names one by one in alphabetical order. I’m in the middle of the list so it takes a little to get to me.

“Victoria Fray” Mair peter calls in his loud booming voice.

   I stand, fix my dress then shuffle my way to the front of the room. I look over at the small gray-bearded man beside me and reach my trembling hand into the bowl and grab a card. I slowly open the card. I look at it in horror. NO! I scream to myself.

It says I'm going to North. North. The protection. I will learn to fight and protect the districts we love. I don't want to go. I don't want to leave my family and friends behind. I look up at my parents. My dad is crying, my mom sits there with an emotionless expression.

“Tell us where you are going, little lady.”

   “Umm,” I stammered. I take took a deep breath, “,North.”

   “Congratulations, Miss. Fray! May the North be kind to you!” He dipped his head politely and calls another name.

My parents,siblings and I walk back to the house in silence but you can still hear my dad sniffling. When I get home I grab my suitcase out of my closet and grab my clothing, my phone, makeup, and anything else that will help with my new life. In my new district, I will see my family once a year.  hear a knock at my door and my mother walks in.    

“What have you packed?”

“Clothing and the important stuff,”

“That’s good  you need to remember that I went through this too when I was your age. I promise you will survive, I guarantee it.”

“What did you think of when you first met dad,”

“We were transfers from the same district so we knew each other and were quite good friends. We got together because it was a sense of safety I found in him. But, I knew your father and I would be together from the very start,” She says with a weak smile I could tell she was lying but i didn’t want to tell her.

Then there's a knock at the door and I get up and haul my stuff out of the room. I walk down the stairs past, my crying family, and out of the door. I look back at my house for one more time. I look for the longest I can before the tall male guard nudges me forward with his elbow. Goodbye…..family and all I have loved here. I try to think of the positive side. New friends, a family of my own and the love of my life, maybe for once I will feel like I fit in.

                       

The trucks at east are huge. They are Ford F150. They’re black with silver chrome. No back seat but had and huge bed. I’m the first to hop in. I sit on the ledge in the right back corner of the truck. I had changed out of the dress into a black off the shoulder top with black jeans and my favorite combat boots my mom had given me from when she was in North. I have also my hair’s tied back in a ponytail.

    A boy sits down next to me. He had short pale blond hair with amber eyes. He’s tall but very skinny. He kind of cute but not really my type. He's not that muscular but he could do some heavy lifting if had to. He would make a good fighter. Perfect for wear we are going.

“Hey, I’m Ember.” He says with a toothy grin. His voice is more high pitched with a bit of Southern accent. I wonder where he got it from. Maybe his parents were from South or something, but who knows.

“I’m Victoria,” I say shaking his hand. We are silent for the rest of the trip.

It about mid-day when we get there. We get dropped off with the other newbies as you would say. There were 26 people from my district so there are about 100 out front.I stand there and look at my new home. I am pretty shy so I just stand there in silence when everyone talks to each other. A boy about a year older than walks up to me.

He looks sort of like my brother but not really. They have the same way they are built but that's about it. It makes me think of home and it makes me feel almost angry so I push the thought away.

He is tall with broad shoulder with a darker brown hair that was short but with specks of color. Which I find very attractive. He was in a black tank top which was tight up against his body. He did have much of abs and he was a big guy but, his arms were strong and muscular with some fat. He was a smidge taller than me, he was like my brother's height about three inches taller. He was pretty big. He was my cup of tea. He gave off the attitude of a sporty and mischievous  kind of guy.

“Ms. Fray, may you come with me, we need to talk,” He says with a voice vociferous not what I was expecting. Then, all the sudden he takes my arm and leads me through the crowd. And takes me by the arm and leads me through the crowd. When we get into the building I throw all my body weight to the ground and get free. He just picks me up with his strong arms and hoists me over his shoulder. Okay, I was quite surprised by his strength being able to pick up all 230 pounds of me with ease but I don’t even know who he is!

“Who are you?!” I demanded  pounding on his back with both of my fists.

He lets out a soft chuckle then says, “I’m Zachary Four and you are Victoria Fray daughter of….”

I cut him off. “How do you know who I am and what are you doing to me?!” I demanded with a weak but powerful voice.

“I've seen your records, Victoria.And I've chosen you to help, Us,” Zachary says us like a very sacred almost forbidden word.

“Who is us exactly,”I ask as he sets me down gently onto my feet but he  puts his arm around my shoulder. He’s stronger than he looks. By a lot. He did have no trouble lifting me with his long arms.

I wonder what else his arms could do? I wonder but quickly put that aside.

“You'll find out soon, enough, hotcakes,” He says with a sly smile and I’m quite dumbfounded by this boy’s words. Did he just really just call me hotcakes!?  

“Hotcakes really? That's the best you could do,” I say with a giggle. I never really giggled in my life well but yet again I never was called hotcakes or had a guy carry me off into a strange building when i’m probably supposed to be outside with the others. Not here with a guy that had his arm around me and calling me hotcakes.

“STOP FLIRTING YOU TWO!” A girl with long black hair with blue eyes and pale skin hisses. Zachary quickly drops his arm to his side off my shoulder.

She is very tall, has a purple tank-top with a black leather jacket and her pants cut off mid thigh. She looked strangely like Zachary. She is with that blonde kid. What was his name? Oh right, Ember.

“What’s going on? Why are we gathered here?” He mutters holding his nose that is bleeding. He must have had it rougher time to get here than I did.

“Because you were chosen to help fight the world, to start a rebellion. To change our world for the better.” Zachary says staring at me, smiling like an idiot with a glimmer in his eyes. He puts his arm around me. Again.

 
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