A/N sozza guys. I know I told you that this chapter would be the simulations, but I forgot about visiting day. O.O
Enjoy anyway! Thank you kindly for the reviews!
I force down the remains of my cold porridge, which today is more like gruel. My spirits are somewhat less grim than the meal. No more community service. Today is visiting day.
Paul frowns at his grey sludge, shoulders slumped. I guess his parents aren't coming to visit him today. Considering the reaction of the Dauntless gang to Paul's transfer, I don't really expect much from his family.
Susan, on my other side, looks considerably more happy. She barely looks at her breakfast before gulping it down. That's Susan. Grateful for everything.
Down the table, I see Tobias, on the last seat of the Abnegation leaders, but on the edge of us transfers. I get the feeling that he is not very highly valued in Abnegation society. That e doesn't really fit in.
All the little bits of information are gathering- Tobias could definitely be Divergent. Like me.
We gather in a large hall, furnished with small chairs and tables. The clocks ticks its way to eleven o'clock, the time our families will be allowed to enter and see us for the first time in two weeks. I miss them. I miss them more than I thought I would. I guess they were the reason I stayed, the reason I chose Abnegation. Of course I miss them. But I miss Caleb too.
Paul sits in a chair by the wall, looking small and forlorn. I am about to head over to him when the minute hand clicks over and the families begin to file in. There are not many.
There are eleven initiates, seven of them Abnegation born, including Susan and me. I don't remember the names of the others.
I have only attempted friendliness with the transfers, of which there are only three. Paul, two sisters from Amity named Lucy and Diane, and a Candor named Rachel. None of their families are here. As expected.
So, seven families are in the room. Seven families for eleven initiates.
I spot my mother at the back, head down, next to my father. I rush over to them, and my mother puts her arms out for me. I sink into her hug, neither of us caring about the public display of affection. My father smiles down at me.
He looks genuinely happy to see me, but his eyes flash with some hidden resentment, not for me but for something he is thinking of.
"How is initiation going, Beatrice?" My mother asks softly.
"Good." I deadpan. Lucky my parents aren't Candor.
"Have you made any friends?"
I nod uncertainly and gesture vaguely in Paul's direction. "Yeah."
"But he's all alone."
I hesitate before replying, "He's from Dauntless."
I see my father's eyes harden as my mother starts towards Paul.
"Hello." she says to him.
He sweeps his head up, his look hopeful. But it soon sinks back down to stare at the floor. "Hello."
My mother sticks her hand out. "Nice to meet you. I'm Natalie."
Paul stares at her hand in surprise, but takes it in a solid handshake. My mother, giving someone a handshake?
"Are you enjoying Abnegation?"
"Yeah. Better than Dauntless." He says this in a deep growl, quite unlike his usual voice. It is obvious that he doesn't really want to talk.
"Ah. Well. Nice meeting you, Paul."
My mother walks back to me, but I am looking elsewhere. Tobias stands idly by the door, eyes flicking around at all the faces. Alone. Strange, usually the Abnegation use this day to catch up with their own families. Shouldn't he be with Marcus?
My mother follows my line of sight and takes a sharp breath. "Who's he?" She asks, though it is obvious that she knows who he is.
"He's my instructor. Tobias."
My father speaks up. "He's Marcus' son."
"Yes." I don't know what else to say.
"Best stay away from him, I think. His mother died when he was little, never been the same since. He had a bit of a falling out with Marcus. Not the best Abnegation to be training initiates, I'd say. Bad influence. Be careful of him."
Another piece of the puzzle falls together. Tobias's mother died. I remember now. I remember her funeral. And a glimpse, just a glimpse, of Tobias himself. Standing by a window, holding back a curtain. Young, just a little boy. Face blank as fresh paper.
And I realize something else. My father told me to stay away from Tobias. But I don't really care.
A pressing thought swims to the too of my mind.
"Don't you have to go see Caleb?"
My question receives two very different reactions. My mother's face softens and she casts me a sad smile. My father's face hardens and he glares at nothing.
"The Erudite have forbidden Abnegation from entering their compound now. We aren't allowed to see him." My mothers says softly. My fathers grunts.
"Oh. So I can't see him either."
"I'm afraid not." My father snaps. "Now, Natalie, I have to get back to work. We must leave."
My mother nods sadly and gives me a last hug. "Goodbye Beatrice. We'll see you after initiation."
I nod and smile as they leave. My fathers steps briskly out the door without so much as a glance back.
Another day, another night, another moon. Or not, since the space where the moon should be is melting into the black sky.
I gaze up at the blank space, just like the space inside me. The one where my true self should be. But it is melting, melting into the endless Abnegation grey. I am being forced to conform to a society that I don't fit into. And I can't conform. I won't.
For the first time, I consider something that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago.
They are free.
Freer than any of us. They have no boundaries, no rules to govern the way they think or restrictions on their personality.
I wonder what it would be like to be one of them.
My feet hang above the pavement, swinging in the slight wind. I feel a presence beside, soft breaths an a heartbeat. Tobias has been crouching there beside me for many minutes now, neither of us saying anything to the other. But the silence is full, full of our own thoughts and worries and wonderings.
At some point, at some minute in those silent hours, we end up siting closer.
At some point, our hands knead together and his long fingers make my palm tingle.
At some point, I lean into him, and we stare together into the night.
The cold, still, silent, free night.
Not much to say.
Thank you for the reviews you are about to post! I love u all!