Okay, before you read this, I REALLLLYYYY want to make it clear that speech about the factions that Kang gives is word for word from the book. In NO WAY do I own rights to those words and they were purely arranged by the genius we know and love as Veronica Roth. Okay, enjoy!
After I received my results, I decided to head home. Also, telling my friends that the vial they had given to me made my stomach feel woozy, because it might as well have. At this moment, various thoughts occurred to me, like the fact that I've been assigned to Dauntless, was still preposterous to me. I should belong in Amity…, shouldn't I? I had been born and raised here, and had been taught my principles here. All of these thoughts had preoccupied my mind for some time, until I made my way to my room. Here in the Amity Compound is where all the Amity gather and live. It would be more energy efficient for all of us to live here instead of taking wood and other various materials to build houses. It's mostly what all of us are about, living an efficient and peaceful lifestyle. A life style I question.
I strode over to my bed and plopped down on it, knowing my parents will question the look I had on my face. They'll ask just about every question they could think of to try to pinpoint what exactly dampened my day. Since it is usually hard to make an Amity member frown, it is often frowned upon when you're not up in high spirits 24/7. This is a part of Amity that annoys me, when it really shouldn't. Maybe I don't belong in Amity; maybe Dauntless is right for me. The test had already decided for me, maybe it was time I decided for myself.
"Hello dear." a voice says, in which I instantly knew whom it was, my mother.
"Hi mom," I say, trying to add some pep in my voice, but I ultimately don't do well.
I glance up to see her walking towards the bed and sitting down, all with a small smile.
"Something obviously dampened your day, and it's never really quite like you to be this way. Was it the test? What are you worried about dear?" My mother asks worriedly, placing a hand on my shoulder.
I put myself in a sitting position and try to find the correct words to say. How would I tell her my results I got on the aptitude test were Dauntless? How could I tell her that I might be leaving her and father? One question that rung in my mind was, would she take this well?
"What would you think if I left for another faction?" I say my voice low. I begin to look away.
My mother gently places her hand on my chin and gently guides my face so that I'm looking at her.
"Oh Conair, you know me and your father just want you to be happy." My mother says, almost on the verge of tears.
"I don't ever want you to think that if you choose a different faction, we won't love you the same way we do now." She smiles a sincere smile. A pang of guilt hits me, I have misjudged her.
I'm at a loss for words. What do you say in such a moment? My mother notices my silence and gives my cheek a small pat. She gets up from the bed, but not before giving me a small kiss on my forehead.
"Dinner will be ready at 7, be sure to wash up dear." My mother says, walking out of my room, closing my door, and leaving me with just my thoughts.
Probably to give me some time to decide on my faction.
I allow myself to lie back down on the bed. I stare at the ceiling, almost unsure of what to even think. At first, my thoughts flow to Amity, what life would be like if I stayed? I can imagine myself spending days farming, tending to the elderly and factionless, picking apples and laughing. It all sounded peaceful and gratifying, a part of me wants to stay here in Amity, while another part wants me to leave and join Dauntless to be free. As good as the life in Amity sounds, it's not something I want. It almost sounds too restricted to me, because in a way, you can never truly express yourself here. Being a member of Amity, you have to always keep up a smile, always saying your fine, always having to lie to keep the peace. This is the part of Amity that I don't like.
My thoughts then go to Dauntless, with their tattoos, piercings, and black clothing. They're dangerous, fierce, and brave. They do so many reckless things, things that anyone but a Dauntless would be afraid to do. They hop off moving trains, shoot guns, and even guard the fence. The Dauntless, to me, sound intriguing. I can almost imagine myself as a Dauntless, doing all those outgoing things, being loud, and having fun. It's almost like a dream come true to join the Dauntless, but at least now I know my mother and father will be okay with it. Nothing can hold me back now from choosing what I want. Still, I just can't help but feel guilty for leaving my parents behind, if and when I chose Dauntless. They've done so much for me as parents and all I would be doing is leaving them behind for a new life. But those are the pains of choosing a new faction; I have to understand such things.
I decide to do things that come naturally; I close my eyes and let myself drift away into the world of good dreams.
My eyes flutter open as the smell of food wafts into my room. I glance to the side at the clock, it reads 6:30, dinner is almost ready. I hop out of bed, stretch, and head towards the living room. When I reach my destination, what I find myself looking at is a peaceful sight. I see my father, reading the paper as usual, than I see my mother, cooking while humming a small tune. Due to the smallness of the rooms in Amity, the kitchen and the living room are combined. Something I always appreciated about Amity was how easy it was to improvise and it's a knack for decorating things.
"Afternoon," my father greets, not bothering to look up from the paper, but manages to crack a good smile.
In return, I show a good smile, a real smile this time.
"Hi dad, how were the fields?" I say, trying to act casual.
"Hot! But still after a day of hard work and community hours, it's worth it." He says with a chuckle.
"You boys are in for a treat." My mother says happily.
I know I need some distraction; I can't let the choosing of my faction get the better of me. Even though they both already know I might leave them, they pretend as if they don't notice and carry on as if everything were normal. I should do the same.
I grab a book and sit down; not bothering to see the title, just some sort of distraction will do for me. After all, today might be the last day I get to peacefully spend with my parents; I want to make it seem like its okay for me and for them. I know life without me at home will be different for them. And not seeing them almost every day will be different for me. I won't hear my mother's songs and my father's laughs. I won't hear any of it for awhile. Which honestly saddens me, life with my parents has been great, fun, and cherishing. To leave them behind would be to take out a part of me and leave it here, never coming back to get that part would mean I'd be a changed person. Of course going to a new faction is bound to change me, or anyone else who transfers. How much change would I go through before my parents don't even recognize me? I don't know. If I join Dauntless, only a little change from them will change me completely, and I even think I'll be a whole new person. The thought of changing doesn't frighten me, instead, I embrace it. Change is good, and I want this kind of change for me.
Dinner, surprisingly, goes well. My parents don't even bring up the changing of factions. Something I'm sure they talked about while I was asleep. It's not if they want to talk behind my back. It's just without the right information, misunderstanding occurs and when misunderstanding occurs, peace is disrupted. And it even goes the opposite ways, Amity will lie to try and keep peace, but then to only reveal the real information later. It is what we are taught.
It is just one of the few flaws of our faction.
After dinner is finished I head back to my room to ready an outfit for tomorrow.
"Go with the yellow shirt and jeans." My mother says behind me, surprising me a bit. I turn around, her and my father stand in the doorway, they hold smiles but pain resides in them. It's almost too easy to tell what this is about.
"Could we sit down for a second? There's something that we need to talk about." My father says, gesturing to my bed. I oblige and sit down. My mother goes and sits to my left while my father sits to my right.
"Your father and I talked for a little while you were asleep," my mother says.
"We really… uh, just want to bid you goodbye." My father says.
Goodbye? It's almost as if they're certain that I'm leaving. I don't even know if I should leave myself. In Amity, sometimes I feel right; at home. Other times, I feel constricted, and squeezed. In Dauntless, you can be as loud as you want, wear what you want, and be who you are. It is one of the things that I admire about them. I have no idea if I want to be bad enough to leave.
"We love you no matter which faction you choose, and we don't blame you for wanting to change." My mother says placing her hand on head.
"Throughout your childhood, we noticed you, and watched you grow. We knew what made you tick, we knew what you didn't like, and we knew what you wanted." My father continues, putting his hand on my shoulder.
"We just really had a feeling when it came to the Choosing Day, you wouldn't choose this faction. And that's okay, no matter what, we will still love you. No matter which faction you choose, you will always be Conair Hedly to us. You will always be our son." My mother and father go in for a hug.
I let them, despite the weird sense of awkwardness I feel. Drops of tears make my shoulder feel a bit wet. Of course they're crying.
Tears even go down my face, why wouldn't they? This is goodbye, even if for just a little while. Their tears, their hugs, and their smiles forever burn themselves into my memory. Of course one thing I will miss about this faction is them. But I have to forget them to make my transfer easier. Because if I hold on for too long, I'll regret it, I know it.
After awhile they let go, both give me a kiss on my forehead and leave with smiles. I grab a tissue and wipe my tears away. Tomorrow, there will be no room for crying, and it doesn't take a new transfer to tell that crying in Dauntless won't help my initiation. I go settle an outfit for tomorrow. A yellow shirt and plain jeans, like my mother suggested. I set it next to my alarm clock so I know where it is.
I go and lay down on my bed, even going under the covers. The crying had made me tired so it felt it easy to just let it all go and sleep in the very house I won't sleep in for a while. One word repeats itself in my mind. A word I thought I would never actually like. Dauntless.
I hear my alarm clock buzz and I push the off button. It was almost like yesterday had gone by in a flash, and I almost believe it did.
I raise myself out of bed and look at the clock, it reads 7:30. We have to be ready for the buses by 9:00. I grab all my bathroom supplies and my outfit for the day. I begin to walk out of my room only to be greeted by my parents.
"Morning dear," my mother chirps.
"Morning," my father says tiredly.
I go and give a kiss to my mother before silently leaving to the local washroom that all of the Amity share. I'm usually up this early, if I wake up any later I end up sleeping in, when that usually ends up in a scolding since I could be using that time to 'pick apples.'
I reach the boys washroom, only a few people linger here and there. I place my clothes by the sink and bring my supplies with me. I realized I slept in my school clothes, I must have been too tired to care or even change.
"Morning," a young Amity boy says.
I smile, and begin to undress, first my shirt, and then my pants. I make sure no one is looking before I fully undress, putting the towel around my waist when and head to a shower head. When I'm there, I take off my towel and brace myself for the rush of cold water once I turn on the shower.
A grunt comes from me as the water hits my chest and falls down on my body. At first, I stand, tense, waiting a few seconds for my body to adapt to the frigid cold. After I do, I take my soap and rub it on my arm, then, my other arm.
"Hot," someone says behind me. I don't dare turn around, because the voice itself is familiar to me. James, The Peaceful, at least I call him that.
When I say peaceful, I mean it in a sarcastic way. James is known around for being cruel, stealing, and just being plain un-Amity like. Of course, no one believes that, because there has never been a person like him in Amity. Behind that fake smile is something cruel, if only people could see him for what he is.
"Hello James," I say, trying to be kind, although a hint of annoyance makes its way into my voice.
"Ooh, aren't we feisty this morning?" He says picking the shower head next to mine.
I look at him, dark black short hair, muscular body, almost no facial hair, attractive. If you didn't know him, you'd think he was a kind person.
I look away in pure disgust as he shoots a wink at me. In Amity, it's not unusual to see guys dating guys or girls dating girls because we were taught not to judge and love who we love, regardless of gender. But for James to even wink at me is disgusting, I don't have any interest in dating him whatsoever.
After I'm done soaping myself I shampoo my hair, letting the fizzy mint smelling shampoo go down my body. I turn off the water and grab my towel and wrap it around my waist and leave as soon as I can. The one thing I could look forward if I leave this faction is to never see James again.
I walk to my pile of clothes that I left near the sink; the worst thing about Amity washrooms is the limited privacy we get. First, I slip on a pair of briefs, than my plain jeans, feeling a sense of relief having to be partly clothed. I slip on my yellow shirt and pull the towel over my head to dry my hair. I grab my tooth brush from my bag and quickly brush my teeth, I finish as soon as I hear James' shower turn off. I put away my things and begin to walk out of the washroom.
"Those jeans make your butt look good," I hear from behind me. I blush a bit, even if it is coming from James, a compliment is a compliment.
I walk down a series of hallways to get to my back to my living compartment. I make a turn and bump into someone, causing me to lose my balance and fall to the floor with my things
"I'm sorry," I say, looking to see who dropped to the floor with me.
"Conair," a voice says sounding hushed, a voice I haven't heard in a month. It's Tyler, the last time I saw him was when I broke up with him. How awkward it was when it happened.
"Oh, ah, um, I have to uh, get ready for Choosing Day, I have to go." I say, gathering my things and rushing off with my cheeks showing off a bright scarlet.
I make my way into my living compartment, saying a brief hello to mother and father. Those were the last two people I wanted to see.
I step off the bus, the Hub, as we all call it, breaches its way into the sky. It's the tallest building in Chicago. How long it took to build such a building is beyond me.
A group of Candor men and women smoke outside, bringing a horrible stench to the air. I walk inside, breathing in the cool air. I see the elevator and make my way to it, as do a bunch of other Amity and a few Erudite. My parents follow behind me.
We reach the 20th floor of the building, we all arrange ourselves in alphabetical order.
My parents rush to me and give me a hug, a hug that is meant as a goodbye, in case I'm leaving. Something I haven't even decided yet, I tell myself to let instinct take over. To think of myself, and not my faction, because the moment I choose my faction, is the moment I taken on a new identity, or keep the same one.
My parents go back to their seating place for the Amity, and I can't help but miss the momentary comfort the hug gave me.
Since the obligation of opening the Choosing Ceremony switches from faction to faction every time the Choosing Ceremony takes place, this year Jack Kang is running it, an important government official of Candor.
As soon as Kang makes his way to the stage, all the giggling, shouts, and laughs cease as he clears his throat and stands before the microphone.
"Welcome," Kang says. "Welcome to the Choosing Ceremony. Welcome to the day we honor our democratic philosophy of our ancestors, which tells us that every man has the right to choose his own way into this world." Nervousness hits me at the thought of choosing, I hope my instinct chooses well for me.
"Our dependants are now sixteen. They stand on the precipice of adulthood. And it is now up to them to decide what kind of people they will be." Kang speaks honestly, as if the words to him don't hold any importance but the truth they hold.
"Decades ago our ancestors realized that it is not political ideology, religious belief, race, or nationalism to blame for the warring world. Rather, they determined that it was the fault of human personality-of humankind's inclination toward evil. In whatever form that is. They divided into factions that sought to eradicate those qualities they believed responsible for the world's disarray." There hasn't been much crime committed in the city, was there more crime before the factions had formed? The question is something to think about.
"Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation." The Abnegation stay as still as ever, not bothering to a show a form of emotion such as pride. Perhaps, due to the fact that pride is a form of selfishness.
"Those who blamed aggression formed Amity." The elder Amity smile towards each other.
Aggression is something I have in me, something that is contained by the rules of Amity. I blame aggression, yes, but the kindness I show in Amity is a fake kind of kindness, which makes me think Amity might not even be for me anymore.
"Those who blamed duplicity created Candor." The Candor faction has never really much appealed to me due to the bluntness of their words. I suppose that is why they are mostly part of the law.
"Those who blamed cowardice were the Dauntless." Honestly, I do blame cowardice. The thought of joining them isn't so bad anymore.
"Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite." I have blamed ignorance as well but joining them seems a bit distasteful to me.
"Working together, these five factions have lived in peace for many years, each contributing to a different sector of society. Abnegation has fulfilled our need for selfless leaders in government; Candor has provided us with trustworthy and sound leaders in law: Erudite has supplied us with intelligent teachers and researchers; Amity has given us understanding counselors and caretakers; and Dauntless provides us with protection from threats both within and without. But the reach of faction is not limited to these areas. We give one another far more than can be adequately summarized. In our factions, we find meaning, we find purpose, and we find life.
"Apart from them, we could not survive," Kang adds.
I try to think of a world without factions, a world where one must choose where they belong. I can't even grasp the concept, how much chaos would be let free without the factions? Would the world collapse in on itself? I believe so.
My eyes catch the bowls, each one representing a faction. Grey stones for Abnegation, soil for Amity, glass for Candor, lit coals for Dauntless and water for Erudite. My instinct is drawn to both the soil and the lit coals, which I choose for myself, will be a mystery. I feel as though letting my instinct take over is a good thing and bad thing.
Kang snaps me out of my trance by speaking up again; the room has been affiliated with a few seconds of silence.
"Therefore this day marks a happy occasion-the day on which we receive our new initiates who will work with us towards a better society and a better world." Everyone applauds after Kang has finished his speech.
He will begin to call names now.
Names get called left and right, each initiate is offered a knife with which they will use to draw blood and sprinkle that blood on to the faction they will choose. My heartbeat quickens, I'm not ready to choose yet. I feel beads of sweat on my forehead and the back of my neck. Relying on instinct was a good and bad choice because when the time comes for me to choose my faction; I will simply rely on whim. Which is a good thing, because then I won't talk myself out of it. Relying in reason was something I should have considered, not just mainly instinct. Instinct will get you far, but how much farther before you have to rely on reason? I wish I had these answers.
"James Fernandez," I snap my attention to the front as his name is called. Will he stay in Amity to cause more trouble? Or will he transfer to a new faction to which he is able to act the way he is. The only faction where he can act that way is Dauntless.
He walks up on stage, holding himself as if an Amity would. He walks up next to Kang, taking the knife that is offered and walks into the middle of where the bowls are all centered. He holds his hand out; he takes the knife and cuts just a bit so blood is drawn. He thrust his hand over the Dauntless bowl.
No I think. This can't be happening; it's almost like a simulation, where they test you. Except this isn't a test, this is real. If I'm ever going to join Dauntless, I'm going to have to deal with him while I'm there. But in Dauntless I won't be so kind, I can afford to say mean things, mean things I would never say here in Amity. The thought makes me smile.
James goes to sit where the Dauntless transfers are, holding a slight smile. More names are called; I wipe the sweat off my forehead and anticipate myself for when I'm called.
"Tyler Green," Just what I needed. Tyler walks up, his blond short wavy hair and his lean tone gives him an Amity look. He wears a yellow shirt and jeans, like me. His eyes find mine somehow as he walks up to the bowls, I look away, feeling shy and awkward in my skin. I don't even notice if he stayed in Amity or not.
A few more names are called and it almost feels like an eternity. Then, of course my name is called, my legs shake as I walk up to the stage. I give Kang a slight smile as I accept his knife. I walk forward; all 5 bowls surround me but are not far in reach. I raise my hand and guide the knife under my palm; the sting of the knife draws blood and makes me focus.
Without thinking, I thrust my hand forward to what I feel is right. I hear my blood sizzle on the coal, I am Dauntless.
So, tell me, was it good? Was it kind of good? Did it suck? Please review because when you do it really makes my day! Anyways, I like to give credit to my awesome betaer xLastOneStandingx, without this lovely person the story wouldn't be as good. Anyways, thank you for those who read!