Fiona: Age 28

Fiona watched Jonas come through the door as their children anxiously sat in their chairs. He looked more tired than usual and sat beside Fiona for their evening meal. Fiona smiled at him, hoping to receive a smile from her husband. He weakly smiled back and she knew something was wrong.

"Alright, children," she started, trying to distract her thoughts, "Who would like go first for the Telling of Feelings?"

Nina, a female Ten, struggled to convince Henry, a male Seven, to let her go first. Jonas sighed and looked down, not caring about the night's events. Fiona decided to settle her children's dispute.

"Nina, you went first yesterday. Why don't you let Henry go first tonight?" Fiona suggested, hoping her response was adequate.

"Fine, Mother," Nina replied, to no surprise.

"Well, today, we went to visit another community and the Sevens learned things we didn't, so we felt like," Henry said, trying to find the right word to describe what he felt.

"Animals!" Nina blurted out, barely able to contain herself whenever she had something to say. Fiona smiled at her children, hoping Jonas would do the same. Jonas grimaced and Fiona never knew why. He didn't bother contributing.

"Now, let Nina share," Fiona suggested.

"Today, we played baseball and our team won. I started cheering, but then the Instructor reprimanded me because I was making the other team feel bad," Nina replied, happy to share her story.

Fiona wanted to talk to Jonas alone, so she suggested that Nina and Henry finish their homework in their rooms and go off to bed. Henry grabbed his comfort object, which was called a horse, and ran to his room. Nina strolled there, closing her door once she was there. Jonas huffed and turned away.

"Jonas?" Fiona asked, hoping he would turn in her direction, "Is everything alright?"

He nodded, still turned away from her. She thought back to when they were children playing and volunteering. He seemed much happier then. She remembered when they found they were assigned to be each other's spouses. Jonas had smiled for a moment before he sighed, for some reason she still remained unaware of.

"Jonas, I know I shouldn't be prodding into your business and that you might think it'd be rude of me, but please tell me what's wrong. You never shared anything during the Evening meals and you never seem happy anymore. You haven't seemed happy since we were twelve."

Jonas finally turned around to face her, revealing bloodshot eyes and pouty lips. He had been crying. Fiona was really concerned now. She couldn't help but wonder what had been going on with him. Ever since they became adults, Jonas had secluded himself. It was like she barely knew him anymore.

"Jonas, please, tell me what's wrong. You grimace during the Telling Of Feelings-"

"Feelings?" he finally exploded, "Don't you dare tell me about feelings, Fiona! None of you even have feelings! You wouldn't know true feelings if it were right in front of you! And don't tell me about being happy; you don't even know true pleasure, true happiness! You can't know true joy without knowing true pain!"

Fiona's heartbeat quickened as she witnessed her spouse's anger grow. She had never seen him so mad and volatile. Usually he was the rational one. That changed ever since they received their assignments. After being withdrawn for so long, he finally exploded. She watched his expression changed from sadness to anger and hate. His eyes seem to burn through her.

"Jonas, you're scaring me," she whimpered.

"I'm scaring you? I'm scaring you?" he shouted maniacally, "You haven't even felt true fear! You've never felt anything!"

She wasn't expecting what was to happen next. She found Jonas grabbing her while she tried to fight him off. She never saw him acting so strange. He pushed her down on the table so she lay flat, ripping her tunic enough to expose her back and placed his cold hands right on her. What is he doing? She struggled under his grip, to no avail.

She looked around, but she found she couldn't move. She smelt decaying flesh, rotten food, and dirt. A tall uniformed man with light hair pinned her down, wearing the same frightening expression Jonas did just moments ago. There were other women with shaved heads and little clothing, staring blankly, others deeply frightened. There was something all wrong with their faces. Their cheekbones stuck out a little too much and their eyes were bulging. She felt hungry. No, wrong word, she thought. Starving, she thought, this is the first time I felt starving. It was cold out. Not the cold she felt when a slight breeze came, but more extreme. White, powdery stuff fell from the sky. She was shivering.

The tall man shouted degrading obscenities at her. She begged for mercy and the tall man shifted upward a little to make room for his jabbing elbow, which hit her leg, causing lasting, excruciating pain. So this is what Jonas meant by pain. She screamed and cried, causing the tall man to slap her face and call her pathetic. He then forced her to stand up, which she failed. She tumbled forward, her face hitting some ice. Her leg throbbed and the man hit her head with a hard object, kicking her repeatedly.

Fiona opened her eyes to find she was back in her dwelling and Jonas was no longer pushing her on the table. He stepped back, watching her slide off and grip the chair, sobbing and resting her head on her good leg. Jonas slid back into his room, leaving her to cry. What a monster! She tried to move to the Speaker to request Relief-of-Pain and found she was rendered immobile due to the extreme amount of pain. How did he do that?

Nina came out of her room cautiously, pausing to see her mother sobbing under the table.

"Mother?" she asked quietly, "What happened?"

"N-nina," she stuttered, choking on her tears, "G-go, to th-the speaker a-and rec-c-quest Relief-of-Pain, please!"

Nina ran to the Speaker, requesting the Relief-of-Pain while Jonas peered from behind the door, only revealing his eyes. Fiona shot him a look of pure hate. How could he do this to me? His door closed and she looked down at her leg, which appeared fine. How could it hurt so much?

"Mother," Nina said, "I requested the Relief-of-Pain. Can you tell me what happened?"

She shook her head, hoping Nina would understand. She couldn't describe what she felt. She simply told Nina to go back to her room and finish her homework. Nina retired to her room and Fiona simply sat there, sobbing as much as humanly possible.

So this is what Jonas feels.