As I look out at the five sections in the audience, I re-consider my decision. Erudite is the enemy. Abnegation is home. It's a monstrous betrayal. Really, I conclude sardonically, I should go to Dauntless, considering the courage I need to do this. But that's more of Beatrice's thing.
I hope she makes the right decision. She doesn't belong in Abnegation. She can be selfless, of course, but she would be happier elsewhere.
She thinks I'm going to Abnegation. Everyone does. I think this as Father says "See you soon," grasping my shoulder before taking his seat with all the gray-clad people. But I can't stay there any longer than I already have. I'll miss everyone, without a doubt, but I need to be where I belong.
Erudite. The enemy.
When Mother leaves to join Father, she nods at me in a knowing, encouraging way. She's found the countless stacks of books hidden under my mattress and in the closet. She knows, or at least suspects, what I'm about to do. She supports it. She supports me.
I take Beatrice's hand grasping it tightly, probably cutting off her blood flow. I don't even realize how nervous I am until I see Marcus make his way to the podium.
I don't listen as he begins the annual speech, welcoming us to the choosing ceremony. Erudite, Erudite, Erudite, I chant in my head. I have to do this. For once, I'm going to think of myself first. When he announces the first name, I pay attention once more. I watch as James Tucker betrays Dauntless for Candor. I'm the next betrayal.
"Caleb Prior." I hesitantly make my way forward, giving Beatrice's hand one last squeeze and a long look. Please, Beatrice, I spare her one last thought, please be yourself for once.
I can do this. I take the knife from Marcus. My hands are steady, and I am grateful. I'm adamant about my resolution. Do it, do it, do it, I recite as the blood pools into my open palm. I take a deep breath, stretch out my hand, and watch the blood fall into the bowl of water.
I am Erudite. I am the enemy.