Twisted

Bella has never enjoyed living in Sector G. It's dull, lacking in colour and charisma and everyone is so involved with their own personal life she is left alone.
So when Transfer Day comes, she has her one chance to escape.
But the choice she makes could kill her.
And with every step she takes, she is watched...
So when she meets mysterious H, a boy with shining talents, who offers to help her, she wonders if something about her is different.
There is.
*Cover credit goes to @LilyAnnaNightshade!*

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5. Good Nights

My dress feels comfortable and stylish but I sweat underneath the fabric. Although my nerves calmed after the black tea yesterday, they quickly came back and a tight knot still remains at the bottom of my stomach. Around the knot are butterflies, swooping and plummeting, circling round and round and round. Lurching, my stomach feels as though it has been put on a boat in the middle of a strong and powerful storm, rocking it relentlessly. I push back gags that come to my throat.

If I am to be chosen then I must look confident, strong, mighty. Not a sick girl that can barely hold back gags due to nerves. Even though I do not believe in God, I pray. Please, I think, let me be chosen for another Sector. I can't live my life like this anymore. Please. Please. Please. Please.

The arena at which the ceremony is being held is huge, making me feel small. No. I must be tall. I must stride and look confident. Confidence. Power. That's what I need. I straighten up, lift my head a little higher and start to stride.

"Bella, stop, you look silly," snaps Mother, so I walk normally. I try not to think about not being chosen and having to stay here. Brent looks hopefully at me and I know he's wishing that I stay here. Bless him.

I casually wipe beads of sweat off my forehead and look around. Girls and boys are in a swarm, each speaking quietly to themselves, going over their speeches. Do I need to do that? Some people are but some aren't. Should I? I slap myself lightly on the leg. Confidence Bella! Don't worry about everyone else, worry about yourself. Do what you want to do. I approach the door to go in. From here on, only Tradees can enter. I look at Brent. He leaps forward and envelopes me in a hug.

"Good night my little butterfly," I whisper. He smiles but I can see tears start to form in his sapphire eyes.

"Good night my big butterfly," he says, his voice cracked. I smile and turn to Mother. The creases under her eyes seem to stand out even more and looking at her, I see all the signs of how old she is. My mind starts to scream at me.

How can I leave her here? Old, withered with Brent to look after by herself? Then I think about me, having one less child to care for, one less especially the one who always has the most emotions and hatred and love and confusion. Especially the one who is out late and worries about her Mother and is one more mouth to feed. That will be gone. One less thing to worry about.

"Good night my beautiful angel," she says and I can see tears fall down her face.

"Good night Mother," I whisper. She smiles, like Brent, but it doesn't mask her love and worry. I wave then turn. Their footsteps head towards the entrance for the arena, where they can watch, and I walk through.

"Name?" asks a hefty man. He clutches the clip board in his grasp tight.

"Bella Heart." The man ticks off something, probably my name, and nods towards a scarlet door. I thank him and walk through. Instantly, I'm hit with the sharp aroma of rose and sage. It's nice, and I see that this is obviously the waiting room. It is huge, probably half of the arena (which explains why it is so big) and every single Tradee is here. They move around, a sea of black clothes, and I sit down on a nearby chair. By every chair there is situated a TV, reasonably small, with a set of headphones. A message scrolls along:

THIS IS WHERE TRADEE'S CAN WATCH THE TRADING DAY CEREMONY. PLEASE LISTEN OUT FOR YOUR NAME TO BE CALLED.

Everyone has a seat and there are still plenty left, people drifting in take seats and read the message. Most people have their headphones in anyway, so I put mine in. It turns out the TV is playing music. It comes from Sector L and is smooth and relaxed. Sitting up straight, I wait patiently for the Ceremony to begin.

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