Disclaimer: Not mine, plain and simple.

Tris: The Meaning of Family

They gave me up. I didn't mean to cause such trouble, and they should have known that. Maybe they did, but didn't care. It doesn't really matter, though, does it? Not anymore. The Chandlers aren't my family, not really. My real family is very different from any merchant clan.

When I think about family, the first face that comes to my mind is that of a blue-eyed, small-nosed girl who always stands up for those she cares about. She was the one willing to try to bring three very different people into her heart. She tried to make us all friends long before she spun our magics into one. She's my sister, even though she's a noble, and her name is Sandry.

Next in my mind is an image of scarlet clothes and a wooden staff, of a tall girl with dark

brown skin. We hated each other on sight, she an outcast Trader and I an abandoned merchant girl. But I grew to respect her, and then like her. She's the quiet one of our little group, the metalmage with fire in her heart. And although we seem so different, really, my sister Daja and I are so alike.

My thoughts travel on, catching on an image of gray-green eyes and moving vine tattoos. Here I find a small tree called a shakkan, filled with ancient magic. Also, I hear the noise of the streets and the sound of a hidden knife being drawn. We watched clouds grow together once, and that memory is one of my best. His eyes are filled with the essence of mischief, with tricks and pranks, but that's to be expected from my brother Briar.

I see two very different women next, one tall and willowy, one short and stocky. They are so different. One is gentle, the other sharp. But who knows what they sacrificed to watch over young mages who didn't even know what they could do? I and my sisters and brother know they care about us in their own way, our foster mothers Lark and Rosethorn.

And then there's a tall mage with salt-and-pepper hair and deep black eyes. He sees so much more than what you'd expect even from a mage. He brought us all to Winding Circle, gave us all hope. He showed me how to control the forces my magic called to. I'll always be grateful to my teacher who did so much more than he needed to. Thank you, Niko.

After him comes a little girl who reminds me of me. Orphaned twice by a callous killer, she was all alone in the world. I knew what that was like, so I stepped in. I wasn't old enough to be a mother, but I could help this little girl for now. I didn't expect to get so attached. I never thought I'd care so much about the young girl named Glaki.

Last of all comes someone I'd never expect. We certainly got off on the wrong foot when he accidentally created Chime. But we learned to live with each other and eventually became friends. Then not so long ago, things changed. He kissed me, and I kissed him back. Now, two years later, we're getting married. I can't believe it's tomorrow. But I'm not worried. I know I'll be happy in my new life with Keth.

I look back now at the people who make up my unusual family and smile. This is my life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.