A/N: Sorry last chapter was bad and kind of confusing. I hope this one's a little better.

THIS IS NOT MY ORIGIONAL SECOND CHAPTER! My original one was so super crappy that I've decided to scrap it and re-write it. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Lauren Oliver owns the world of Delirium. I'm just playing with it.


And Now We Wait

"They want to get to know you and your personality, but the more generalized your answers are, the more of a chance there is to receive a variety of different positions." I give a slight nod. "Remember, your favorite color is blue. Or green. Black is too morbid, red will set them on edge, pink is juvenile, and orange is freakish." Another nod and she continues. "Your hobbies include hanging out with your friends…" She's cut off when the alarm on her watch goes off. With a sigh she says, "Please talk to them, sweetheart. I know you can. You've spoken to me before."

Oh. Right. I try to make myself forget speaking out loud and the reason behind it, though I often can't help it.

I unbuckle my seatbelt, open the door, and get out of the car without saying a word. As usual.

The laboratories are like all of the other government offices: A string of bright white buildings, glistening like teeth over the slurping mouth of the ocean.

The makeup Aunt Carol made me wear is thick and heavy on my skin. It makes me feel coated and slick as it begins to melt away in the summer heat. I don't like makeup. I'm not interested in clothes or lip gloss, but instead natural beauty. Kind of like how the ocean's waves refuse to stop kissing the shore no matter how many times they are sent away.

There's a double line forming in front of the building. One line's for girls and the other is for boys. I quickly make my way over to the girls' line and begin to mentally prepare myself for the long wait beneath the heat of the summer sun.

I see my best friend, Jax, in a cluster of boys in the unorganized line formed at the other side of the building. We accidentally make eye contact. My first instinct is to quickly look away, but that would give too much away. So Jax slightly bows his head, just as if we were strangers greeting each other on a street before moving on. He turns back to his friends.. I don't know how he does it. He's just too good at pretending.

"Grace!" I hear a familiar voice shout from behind me. I turned to find Kristine coming right towards me. "Grace. Hey! Big day, huh? I can't believe it's here already!"

Kristine's my other friend. The friend I'm allowed to hang out with. Kristine and I met in school, and pretty much our relationship works only because she talks too much and I don't talk at all.

"You look really pretty today. Are you wearing makeup? Oh my gosh and your hair! It looks absolutely amazing! You should wear it like that more often. I think it was a good idea to get all done up for the evaluators. It's not just about your personality, you know. To them looks count too-."

She's cut off by the nurse who comes outside and passes out clipboards to the first few people in line. I'm surprised to find out I am one of those people. How time flies when Kristine is blabbing your ear off…. Then again we are pretty early and some of the first people to get here.

The nurse gives us some directions on filling them out, but I'm already halfway done. The questions are pretty easy and generic: Last name, First Name, Middle Initial, Current Address, stuff like that. If I was going to do anything right today, it would be the paperwork.

"Wow, these questions are so hard!" Kristine exclaims. "How are you doing yours so quickly? I'm stuck on the one about how I feel about school. I don't want to lie to them, but I don't want them to know I think it was the worst thing ever invented. What did you put down? What page are you on? Oh my God, Grace you need a speeding ticket or something, you're too fast at this. How are you almost done?"

I let her babble on.

"Next," the nurse says. "Excuse me, miss, next."

I zone back in quickly. Great. It's my turn.

Kristine leans in from behind me and whispers in my ear, "Good luck, Grace." It's probably the shortest collection of words to ever come out of her mouth.

I hand the nurse my clipboard and pen. She takes it and leads me into the building, her heels clacking as she walks.

Mentally, I prepare myself for my own personal hell.