Chapter one - Faction Test
I'm at the Candor's Bus Station waiting for the school bus to arrive. I'm alone so far. Today every sixteen year old teenager has to do the Faction Test that will tell us which faction is the more appropriated for us to live in. Most parents prefer to take their children to school, so they will feel supported. My parents are sure that I don't fit my own faction, so they don't bother to come with me today.
"Hi, Isabelle! How are you?"
It's Kate, she's my neighbor. She and her twin brother are probably the only Candor to come with me today, in the bus. Their mom is pregnant so she can't take them to school.
I don't answer her. As I was taught not to lie, I won't say I'm okay, but I also won't say I am not because I don't want to worry her.
"On a mute mode again?" She asks. "C'mon Isabelle, you have to be at least excited! We're going to know what our real quality is today!"
I press my own lips together and try to ignore her.
"Leave her alone. She doesn't want to talk." I look up to Emmett, surprised.
He was staring at me, but he turns his head when our eyes cross. I think it's the first time I hear Emmett's voice outside the classroom. He is usually quiet, though if somebody asks him a question he'll answer.
"You are the two most annoying persons in the world!" Kate complains.
Both Kate and Emmett are tall - which makes me feel uncomfortable, as I'm one of the shortest girls in our class. Apart from that, nobody would say that these two are twins; I wouldn't, if I didn't know them since I was born. Kate is blonde and has brown eyes; Emmett, in the opposite, has dark hair and amazing blue eyes. Sometimes I envy those eyes, not just because they're pretty, but because they're smart and never miss anything. As me, I'm pretty sure Emmett doesn't fit Candor. I wonder what is he going to choose tomorrow, at the ceremony.
When the bus arrives we get in. The Abnegation sits are the only ones that are full, as every normal day. The rest are almost empty. Of course I'm not counting on Dauntless because they don't go to school by bus, as every normal person. They come in trains and then jump out of them when they're still in movement. They call themselves braves, I call them irresponsible.
Kate sits next to Emmett so I stay alone in the front sit, but I can still hear them talking.
"What do you think it's going to be your result?" Kate asks.
"I don't know." By the sound of his voice I can see that Emmett doesn't want to talk either. As always.
"I just hope I get Candor as result, I mean, I've been prepared to be a Candor all my life, if…" Kate keeps on talking but I stop listening to her.
As the bus leads us to school I think about my Faction Test. As I said, I won't get Candor, I'm a hundred percent sure of that. Even though I don't lie, I also can't always say what I think, like Kate. If someone asks me a question that I would like to give a lie as answer, I simply pinch my lips and stay quiet; by doing so I know I won't get criticized by other Candors.
But what's really been worrying me is that I'm selfish so I won't fit Abnegation, also I'm not friendly to fit Amity either. I'm smart but not as much as the Erudite members that take classes with me. And I would never fit Dauntless because I think what they do is stupid, so what am I going to choose?
The bus stops and makes me lose my thoughts. Erudite is the first faction to get out. Candor goes next. Amity comes right after us and Abnegation is the last, as they're selfless.
As soon as I'm outside I go inside the school and go find the waiting room for the Candor faction. Today each faction has a waiting room for before the test, where sixteen year old teenagers must wait until they're called to do their test. After that we can go home, no classes today. Unfortunately my room is right next to the Dauntless Train Station, so it means that I'll have to watch those show-offs jumping.
Emmett is casually leaned against the wall, while Kate walks from one side of the hall to the other. I try to remain calm, as Emmett, but it's not working. I'm ready to start acting as Kate when Emmett interrupts my thoughts.
"Are you afraid?" He asks, with his eyes fixed on the ground.
I hesitate. He must be really scared, it's the third time he says something in the same day.
"Yes." I say in a low voice.
We hear a noise and I know the train is coming, in the exact same moment, the school bell rings. Here comes our morning show!
While the train passes, lots of Dauntless members jump to the hall. I watch some of them almost falling because they don't keep running after they jump.
"Maybe you two would like to come in." I turn around and see my Math's teacher.
I didn't notice that Emmett was observing the Dauntless too.
He gets in the room and I follow him. After we come in, our teacher closes the door. Everyone is already inside. We take the only two chairs left at the end of the room, so I have to share my table with Emmett. We both make sure to keep our chairs as far as we can from each other's.
I have to admit that being with him when Kate is not around makes me feel very uncomfortable. As I always hang out with these two, I'm not used to be alone with a guy.
Our teacher gives us a brief explanation, explaining that today our names will be called according to the alphabet, and tomorrow – the day of the ceremony – they'll call us by our last names, and in the inverse order of the alphabet.
I don't listen to her while she calls name by name; I just look at my old classmates and neighbors getting out of the room to not come back. I'm starting to panic, but I keep looking at the door. I know Emmett is watching me, and I don't want him to get even scared than he already is.
There's a break of ten minutes between every name, so it can't be a long test can it?
Our teacher calls another name, and, for the first time, it's a name that calls my attention, and makes my heart skip a beat.
I look at him. He was already staring at me, so I can see the fear in his eyes. How was he even controlled when we were in the hall?
"It will be fine." I say. "Good luck."
He nods, and gets up, walking towards the door. Kate takes his chair as soon as the door is closed behind him.
She opens her mouth several times, but she doesn't say anything. I'm looking at the door, as if I was waiting to see Emmett come back. Is it the possible that I only realized today that I actually have a bond with this boy. I realize that what's was been holding me to Kate and Emmett it's not the fact that they're the only ones that got used to my mute treatment, it's the fact that I don't want anybody else. And it was the weakest presence that made all the difference.
"Isabelle Moore." My hearth speeds and I seem to have trouble breathing while I walk towards the door. I noticed that there are only five people left in the room. One of them is me, another is my teacher. As it passed that long time since Emmett left? Time is trying to make fun of us.
After I pass through the door there's an assistant waiting for me.
"Follow me." She asks.
I do as she says, in part because I have no other choice.
She stops when we get to a door that says "RESTRICTED ENTRY."
"Go on." She encourages me.
I hold the door handle and push it. I don't know what I was expecting to see, but it wasn't that, definitely. Behind the door there's a big chair that's connected to a computer by wires.
There's a young woman sitting in front of the computer. She has a dark blonde hair and wears glasses. I can tell by her clothes that she's from Abnegation. When she notices that I'm waiting she tells me to sit in the chair and starts connecting wires to my head.
"What is this?" I ask.
"It's for the test. Now, if you don't mind, you'll have to drink this." She gives me a glass with a clear liquid on the inside. "It won't hurt you, it's just to put you asleep."
I take the glass and drink the liquid. It doesn't have a taste. It's like water. She takes the glass out of my hands right before I feel myself pass out.
I open my eyes and I'm now in the dining hall. There are two tables here, one has a knife on top of it, and the other has cheese.
"Choose one." It's the women's voice.
"But I don't like any of them." I say. Knifes scare me, and I don't like cheese.
"I'm not going to chose."
She takes some time to answer, to see if I want to change my mind.
"Okay. It's your choice."
Both knife and cheese disappear. And there's now a dog standing in front of me. I panic, I'm not good with animals, and he doesn't appear to be happy.
As I decided not to take the knife or the cheese, I have nothing to help me now, so I do what I'm best at. I ignore the dog. As I don't care about him, he doesn't care about me either, which makes me breathe normally again. This test it's not that hard is it?
At the same moment this last thought crossed my mind, a little girl comes out of nowhere, and stands right next to the dog. The dog gets angry again, because he feels a threat. I look at the scene and understand what the dog is preparing to do.
Without thinking, I run to the kid. My actions distract the dog that is now preparing to jump over me. I can even feel the fury in his eyes. I hold the kid in my arms and help her climbing to the table where the knife was standing. Once I turn around and look inside the dog's eyes, he runs to me, preparing to attack. I wait for the pain to come, but she never shows up.
Instead, the whole scenario changes. I'm now on a train, which, for a brief moment, reminds me of the Dauntless I saw this morning, and I wonder if I'm going to have to jump.
"Have you seen this boy?" Someone is pulling my arm. I turn around and I see an old man. He is holding a sheet of paper that says "WANTED: Dead or alive." And I look at the draw below and I get in shock with what I see. It's Emmett!
"Do you know him? If you've seen him before you have to tell me!" As always, I don't say a word, so that I won't lie. But he insists that I know the boy and that I have to tell him where to find him.
"I've never seen him, okay?" I surprise myself with my own words. This is the first time I lied, in my entire life. And this is not even real!
Everything goes dark for a second, and then I'm in the test room again. My evaluator is already taking the wires out of my head.
"Second time in the same day. This will definitely call attentions. You listen to me girl, you better be careful."
"Why? What happened?" I know it's related to my test.
"Your test. It was… inconclusive." My heart falls to the ground. I knew it. I'm no good to any faction, that's why I don't even fit the one I was born in. "You've shown to possess skills to be in almost every faction." She continues.
What? Every faction? No, that's not possible.
"Yes… All but Amity. Of course Abnegation and Candor weren't well defined, but they were definitely there." She is now talking to herself.
"But what do I do now? What do I choose?" She turns to me, as of she only remembered I was there now.
"I have to send your results to the data base manually, no one can know this!" She runs to the computer and starts pressing a lot of buttons at the same time, without providing me an answer for any of my questions. "I'm going to put Dauntless in your file, okay sweetheart?"
I don't care what she puts in my file. I just want to know what to do; this test was supposed to provide us answers. I think the liquid is still affecting me, because I walk towards the evaluator and force her to look at me.
"What. Do. I. Do? What's really happening?"
I don't know what she sees in my face, but it's something that scares her.
"You're a… a… Divergent." She whispers.
I feel my hands losing its strength and letting her go. Most people don't know what the word Divergent means, but I do, I've heard stories about them. And they don't usually have happy endings.