Soli Deo gloria
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own Divergent.
Poor Andrew and Natalie. For me, Andrew is one of the characters I feel the most sympathy for. Just . . . :(
Andrew and Natalie, like the good Abnegation they are, help pick up the chairs and stack them against the wall. The Hub isn't used for much more than the Choosing Ceremony, but it is a custom to tidy up the room. The two are silent, barely even hearing the slight conversations being exchanged around them by the other Abnegation, who encourage each other and escort the newest transfers and initiates to their community service. Their voices are nothing but ringing in their ears.
Andrew's face is grim with shock and anger.
Natalie hides a small smile on her face.
But they must hide their true reactions to their children's sudden transfers.
Andrew knows that the Abnegation take great care to not say a word concerning the transfer of both Abnegation children, never mind one of them to their rival faction, Erudite. That one cuts the hardest against Andrew. He watched with paternal, selfless eyes his daughter all the sixteen years he's known her, and knew that her immutability couldn't change for the culture and wants of Abnegation. He watched with a heavy heart his daughter at the kitchen table during dinner yesterday. The test results had obviously shaken her, and he was sure that they only confirmed what she knew already.
But Caleb? His son, who he was sure was going to be walking to work in the council with him everyday. His son was through-and-through Abnegation. But now he knew the façade his son gave off was just a mask; all Abnegation have to hold a quality of acting (nobody is so fundamentally good that they're selfless one-hundred percent of the time), but his son used Erudite manipulation against him.
Beatrice to the cruelty of Dauntless, with their ruthless training and relentless lack of mercy.
Caleb to the coldness of Erudite, his old faction. Perhaps his son and him were too alike in many ways and too unlike each other in other ways. One from Erudite fleeing to Abnegation; one from Abnegation running away to Erudite, escaping the monotonous gray that hides all selfish desires.
Natalie feels it in her bones—the slight shift in the order of things. Things are changing; something is brewing. She wonders if it is good that her children have left her faction—she wonders if it will become an instigator for a change. She knows that Jeanine Andrews, forever picking on Abnegation and anyone on their council (especially poor Marcus), will use this information to her advantage, as she is prone to do. Two initiates, both the sons of Andrew Prior, Abnegation councilman, leaving their birth faction for the harshest two?
Natalie can almost see the words on the white paper typed with Erudite precision; can hear the stinging words against her husband and her faction. Yet she smiles.
The factions make her wary and sad; she came in to Dauntless by the Bureau to glean information, and now she is here in Abnegation. Only for Andrew did she transfer; she never truly felt like she belonged in Abnegation, and she felt, somehow knew, that her children wouldn't either. Her thoughts were proved true when they stepped into the arms of the blue and black. Yet she smiles.
Because that is where they belong. Having a true sense of belonging, to a community or a group of people, is what she wants for her children. She wants them to not live lives in a way that makes them not worth living. Beatrice tried so hard to be selfless, but Natalie hadn't missed the way her daughter's eyes always followed the Dauntless; she didn't miss the way Caleb absorbed and studied and pored over his homework, always looking up with a question on his lips that he then shut, knowing asking questions emitted curiosity and therefore selfishness.
It hurt her in a way that cut deep to see her children suppress themselves just to fulfill what was wanted by their societies. She almost clapped her hands when she saw her son join those who could answer his questions; saw her daughter join those who are allowed to run free, to not repress themselves. That freedom to be who they want to be is a right they deserve; they tried the way of life they were born into, and they suffered. Natalie felt pained every time her children were pained, held-back. She only desired that they be the people they're supposed to be; as long as they remain kind and good, holding close the true, fundamental Abnegation principles every person in the factions should have, holding to what she and Andrew have taught them, about love and faith and sacrifice, she will be pleased.
They left her with just her husband, taking her children, her tiny babies born within the same year, away from her. But she knows it wasn't a vicious act against her they committed.
They deserved to choose what they felt they needed to choose. She got to choose. Now they did, too.
Natalie and Andrew stay sweeping until the sunset is clear through the windows of the Hub. The building is silent as they calmly walk down the many flights of stairs alongside several members of their faction.
Pats on their backs and comforting hands squeezing their shoulders tell them of the others' sympathy as they separate down the maze of Abnegation houses to their own particular house.
Natalie and Andrew approach their house, which is empty. It contains no children to welcome home from school, to gently inquire of while dinner is assembled. Dinner will pass, their hands only holding the other's during their usual praying to God, and they will both wash the dishes with their heads bent down. Then the living room will ring with silence as Natalie takes up her knitting in her normal chair by the window and Andrew reads his newspaper next to her.
They pause in the doorway and stare at the kitchen table. Just that morning each chair had held a member of Abnegation. Now they will sit across from each other with their sides empty. No longer any curious grey and green eyes to pay every attention to their parents. Just the two of them; just the two of them for the first time in sixteen years.
"Erudite," Andrew says, his voice cracking.
"Dauntless," Natalie says, her voice a little warmer.
Their son is like his father; to his faction he went. Their daughter is like her mother; to her faction she fled.
Thanks for reading! God bless!