With much difficulty, I set my face into an indifferent mask. I grab Tobias's hand and lead him through the crowd. I move as if I am in a fog. Mechanically I weave my way through people who turn to stare and whisper at us as we pass. My feet take us to the Chasm – a private place. We wind our way down the narrow, rocky path to the roar of the river. To the place of our first kiss. So much has happened since then. The torrent of the river mimics my thoughts. Roaring, raging. As we sit on a rock, letting the icy spray dampen our feet, my pain and grief twists my insides and emerges fourth as an animal like cry. It is foreign to me, filled with rage and woe. If my mind wasn't filled with a haze, I would have wondered how that could come out of me.
Sobs rack my body. I rock back and forth, letting my emotions pour out. The tears almost cleanse me, helping my mind shake off its smothering veil. My breath comes in stifled gasps. My heart feels like it is being ripped in two by a pair of alien hands. But in time, my fading emotion helps dull the pain. When I am finally able to think again, I realize Tobias has his arm around me. So much for being strong. He is rocking slowly, looking, but not really seeing, at the river. I suddenly feel embarrassed at my show of emotion. I vow to be strong.
Abruptly, I am consumed with complete, outright guilt. The kind of guilt that consumes your entire person, your soul. The sort that makes someone's insides twist in a way that makes pain seem welcome. The type that makes every fiber of one's being want to curl in a dark hole and never show one's face in daylight again. I realize that Tobias lost the respect of his initiates. He has, in fact, probably lost the respect of his friends, too. I realize that Tobias's downfall as a Dauntless Prodigy is all my fault. "I am so sorry," I whisper to Tobias. The words sound shallow, weak. "This is all my fault."
Tobias shakes off his trance. He hugs me for a long time, without saying anything. I let him take his time in a response. "It isn't all your fault." He says softly. Then Tobias's tone takes on a bitter note. "I was stupid enough to kiss you back in front of everyone…." He trails off, his voice choked with emotion. I still feel horribly guilty, no matter what he said. I just bury my face in his shirt, breathing in his scent. He wraps his arms around my waist, and we sit like that, contemplating our fate in quiet voices, for a great amount of time. Then, feeling like a bit of the immense weight has been lifted off our shoulders, we rise, hand in hand, and travel back up the path to reality.