In a future reality, Tari whiteness a glimpse of her future life. But she struggles to change it for the benefit of herself and others. For the 2014 July NaNoWriMo. Prequel fan fiction for Matched by Allie Condie.


4. Going Insane

That day I went home early, telling everybody I didn't feel well.

Of course they tried to give me a healing pill, like you are supposed to take when you fill ill, but those didn't make much of a difference. My stomach didn't hurt from Meal last night, it hurt from fear.



I had watched that boy die. And then I didn't have the strength to tell him that that was going to happen to him.

I grabbed the doorknob, and I listened as the lock clicked open at the touch of my hand.

When I got inside my room, I collapsed into my bed, struck with sudden exhaustion. I passed out almost immediately.



I woke up, curled uncomfortably between my sheets and comforter. My clock read 3:17 a.m. I had slept almost 17 hours.

I climbed out of bed and started heating up some cider. I cupped the warm mug between my two cold hands.

Suddenly, the reality of what I had seen crashed down on me. I fell into the chair, tears spilling down my face like two miniature waterfalls. 

There I was, drowning in my own tears, when I realized I was in the chair that I had watched Zade die in.

I dropped the cider, the hot brown liquid splashing everywhere, and shrieked, falling to the floor and crawling away from the chair as fast as I could.

I was such an emotional mess. 

I tried to calm myself down. Zade didn't die here. Not yet. It happens in the future, the near future...

Well that worked wonders.

Think about it, I thought, Why would Zade die here? That was probably in his room anyway. I mean, all the rooms on the Team compound are identical... 

I yelped, leaping up and running to the door, yanking it open, flying to the second level, where the men's rooms where located. I scanned the labels, frantically searching for the name "Zade Cane."

I reached it, and found myself pounding on the door. "Zade!" I screamed. I was probably making a scene, but I didn't care.

For eight miserable seconds, there was no response.

Then he opened the door.

His dark hair was plastered to the side of his face on one side, but sticking up with bed head on the other. He was wearing the expected sleeping attire, a t shirt and boxers. I would've been horribly embarrassed if I wasn't so relieved.

I heard myself sigh, and was starting to loose consciousness again. My knees buckled under me, but Zade caught me before I fell. He rested my head on his shoulder. "Tari...?"

Warm, strong arms wrapped around me, and I was lifted bridal style. A voice I recognized whispered, "Let's get her inside."

I was laid out on Zade's couch. A bright light flickered on, but Zade adjusted it to a dim setting.

Sathe's face appeared in front of me. "Tari?" he whispered. "Are you ok?"

I tried to hold it in, but a moan escaped my lips. My face was slick with tears. I probably looked like a wreck.

Zade kneeled down next to him, a genuinely concerned expression on his face. 

I reached out. Sathe held out his hand, expecting me to take it, but I brushed it away. I set it on Zade's shoulder. He shifted, looking at my arm a little awkwardly, as if he wasn't used to people touching him.

"You..." I couldn't find the strength to speak. My vision was become blurry and dark around the edges again. Little white stars floated around me. 

"I, what?" Zade asked slowly.

"You.. must leave here."

He was silent for a moment. Then he said, "What? Why?"

"You are not safe... danger..." I managed.

He looked at me with confused, and, well, truthfully, angry eyes.

"Tari... what happened to you this morning?" Sathe intersected.

"I saw your future," I said, acknowledging Zade. "In that chair," I pointed across the room, "you will die."

Zade's eyes grew wide. There was silence, until Sathe started...




"I'm really sorry, Zade," he said. "She must be delirious from sicknesses and exhaustion. I'll get her to her room." He picked me up again, and headed towards the door.

"No. Put me down. I'm not delirious..." but he wouldn't listen. Zade stood by the couch in shock, watching us leave.

As Sathe carried me to my room, I continued to protest. But I was too tired and close to blacking out to do much.

He walked in and laid me on my bed. I watched as he opened my closet and pulled out some pajama pants and a tank top. Only now did I realize I was still in my regular clothes from this morning.

Sathe walked back over to me. "You don't want to sleep in that." He set the clothes next to me. "Do you need me to help?"

"No." I demanded.

"Shhhhh..." he sat on the bed next to me.

Before I knew it, his lips were pressed against mine.

It wasn't the kiss I had experienced in the simulation. This was rough, forced, but still beautiful. Though it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

It definitely shook me fully awake.

As he slowly pulled away, I started into his eyes, and...


Slapped him across the face as hard as I could.


"Go. Now," I ordered.

He backed away from me, about to exit. But before he closed the door, he said, "I really hope you are delirious, because then we could pretend today never happened."

He slammed the door behind him.

I shook with both anger and fear. Despite this, I went ahead and put on the pajamas Sathe had set out.

I climbed into bed, falling asleep instantly.

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