AN: I do not own Divergent or any of the characters. All rights go to Veronica Roth. I hope you enjoy my story.
I'm sitting in the back of the classroom, listening to professor Mathews ramble on about our final assignment. She's adamant about us finding the perfect subject, but that's nothing new. She does that with every piece we write. The only difference this time being we won't be assigned a story type. In the past she's assigned editorials, breaking news, sports and local news stories. This time we can pick any type of article we want to submit for our final grade. We just have to use everything we've learned throughout the semester and piece it into the best news story we've ever done. I'm about to tune her out when her last comment catches my attention.
"The chief editor of the New York Beat will be reading these articles and selecting several finalists to apply for an intern position starting in the fall."
Holy cow! The New York Beat is the largest newspaper on the east coast with a circulation of over 1.3 million daily.
"Talk about getting your foot in the door." My best friend Christina says from the seat beside me.
"No kidding. Can you imagine getting that internship?" I reply.
"I won't have to imagine it. I'll be living it in a few months."
"Oh you think so?" I grin. "Game on!" To say Christina and I are competitive would be grossly understated. Since the day we met fourteen years ago, we've always tried to outdo each other. Whether it be grades in school, gymnastics classes we've attended together since grade school, or seeing who could do the most shots before puking or passing out, everything becomes a competition.
At first, our parents were worried about our unusual relationship. Afraid that someday our friendly competitions might tear us apart. To their surprise, it has actually brought us closer. When the other wins, we are genuinely happy for each other, and every failure has driven us to try harder next time. Over the years, we've discovered we are very close to even, both winning almost an equal number of wagers.
Professor Mathews waves her hands, dismissing us for the day. A loud sigh escapes my lips. "Let's get out of here. I'm anxious to start working on this assignment." I stand and we leave the classroom together.
"Me to, but I'm meeting Will at the Pitt shortly, so I guess you'll get a head start." Christina's lips curl up at the sides, "unless…"
"Unless what?" I know that look all too well.
"Unless you come with me." She grins, following me outside.
"No way." I roll my eyes. Christina met Will a little less than a year ago, and they have been inseparable ever since. Every time I go out with the two of them, I feel like a third wheel. Especially since they have such a hard time keeping their hands off each other.
"Oh come on. We haven't gone out in forever." Her voice is pleading. "Please."
I don't want to say yes. Of all the things Christina and I are equal in, there is one category where she is far more advanced than I am. I am extremely socially challenged, especially with members of the opposite sex. "No. I have no desire to watch the two of you make out for an hour."
"We won't, I promise."
"I've heard that before." I roll my eyes again.
"Okay. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but Will is bringing a friend."
I eye her suspiciously. "A friend? Are you two trying to set me up again?"
She giggles. "What? No, of course not."
"Then why are you not supposed to tell me?" Now my arms are crossed and my foot taps rhythmically against the sidewalk.
Her eyes widen. I can practically hear the gears turning in her head as she struggles to come up with a believable answer. "Ok, so maybe we were. But Will says he's perfect for you."
"I'm sure he is. Just like that last one you guys tried to set me up with."
"Hey, he was a nice guy."
"Yeah, a nice guy with a criminal record longer than Cinderella's chore list."
Christina laughs at me, and I know it's because I used another of my fairytale puns. "Okay. So maybe he wasn't the best guy to set you up with, but this guy is different."
"Well, no criminal record for starters."
"I'm going to need more than that." I add dryly.
"Okay. He's really cute. He's majoring in small business management, and his parents are loaded."
"Christina!" My voice high in shock.
"I know you don't think that's a good enough reason to date someone, but he really is a great guy, and he spoils his girlfriends like you wouldn't believe. You deserve to be pampered a little."
I shake my head, "Absolutely not."
Christina's smile suddenly turns evil. "You'll be there."
"No I …"
She interrupts me. "If you want your phone back you will." She takes off toward the downtown bus, while I reach into my back pocket. Damn it! "Meet me in front of the Pitt at 4:00." She yells as she runs. "And where a dress." At that she jumps on the bus and the doors close behind her.
My head falls forward meeting the heel of my hand. I knew as soon as she brought it up, I'd end up going against my will. If I'd just agreed right away, I'd still have my phone. I guess our final assignment will have to wait a few hours.
At exactly four o'clock, Christina and Will show up. I've been here for fifteen minutes already to make sure I didn't miss them.
"Oh babe, you came." Christina squeals hugging me.
"Like I had a choice." I mumble. "Can I have my phone back?"
"Once you've been inside and have a few drinks with us." Will shrugs at me when she answers.
"Fine." I follow them through the door. I've passed this place dozens of times, but not being a fan of the bar scene, I'd avoided it like the plague.
Like every bar I've ever been in, it's loud inside.
"Will is getting us some drinks." Christina shouts above the noise of the crowd. "Don't worry. It will clear out in a bit when everyone leaves for dinner."
"Oh. They don't serve food here?"
"They do, but it's horrible."
I nod. "Thanks for the warning."
Christina leads us to a table close to the bar and we sit, waiting for Will to come back with our drinks. She looks preoccupied, scanning the faces at the other tables.
Will sets a pale beer down in front of me at the same time that Christina jumps out of her seat, nearly knocking her boyfriend over as she does. "There he is!"
I groan, knowing "he" is my blind date. She waves her chocolate brown arms over her head to get his attention.
I'm afraid to look, but curiosity gets the best of me and I turn my attention toward Christina's gaze. The crowd splits and a huge bouquet of red roses is walking toward us.
"Tris?" A male voice askes from somewhere behind the flowers.
I'm horrified. I hate being the center of attention, and the entire bar has grown quiet.
"That, is a lot of roses." Christina looks like her eyes are about to pop out of her head.
"Thirty six actually." A head pops out from behind the bouquet.
Will's grin widens when his friend's head appears. "Tris, I'd like you to meet a friend of mine."