"This is the calm before the storm, one last siege to break the norm, so I can lie here on the floor, beside you."
- Enter Shikari, 'Destabilise"
I have been lying in this bed for days. Two long, silent days to be exact. I know that I am part of Dauntless, that I should be brave and face the days that come, but I can't get out of bed. I don't want to face my fellow Dauntless. They are shouting and yelling about Jeanine Matthews and her execution, the ruthless Erudite leader who would have murdered more of my kind of she had been given the time. But they are also shouting about someone else execution. I can barely think about, never mind saying it out loud. It makes it too real.
I hear a knock on my Candor bedroom's door. I don't move and I don't make a sound. Surely they will go away if they think I'm not here, so I sink further into the bed and pray that they go away. Instead, I hear the door creak open. Slow, quiet footsteps fill the room.
"Anna, are you awake?"
Oh god, it's Four. I notice another set of footsteps but I don't look up. I don't want Four to see the tears falling down my face.
"Anna, I know you're awake. I need to talk to you."
I wipe my tears away and slowly sit up. Four is sitting on a chair next to my bed and I notice Tris standing beside him. She looks awkward, as if Four dragged her here. Knowing Four, he probably did.
"What is it Four? Coming to take even more away from me than you already have?"
"That's not why I'm here. We are here to ask you to be one of the new Dauntless leaders. You were the weapons master and the leaders thought that you would be a good choice," he said slowly.
I started laughing. I laughed so hard that tears were rolling down my cheeks.
"You would have me execute my own husband? What are you, mad? You and your leaders can go fuck yourselves Four."
"It doesn't have to be this way. He is guilty, he has even admitted it. But you would know that if you had been to see him."
"I can't. I don't want to see him like that. "
"You need to see him."
"Has he asked for me?" I asked quietly, not really wanting to know that answer.
Four looked at his hands.
"No," he says quietly.
"Then why would I go see him, when it is clear he doesn't want me."
I got up and opened the door.
"I think it would be best if you both leave now."
"Anna, I know it's going to be hard but he has done too much. I want to forgive him too but he has killed in cold blood. He killed a child without a second thought. Please reconsider taking the leader position."
"Fine Four, I'll reconsider on the leadership front, but only if his execution is taken off the table. I don't care what you do with him, just don't kill him," I begged.
"That's not my decision to make. But I'll tell the other leaders about your request."
I decided that I needed to make some sort of an appearance. I dressed myself in black army pants, my black combat boots and black tank top. Then I put on his black jacket. His scent washed over me and for a second I almost didn't walk through the door. But I thought about what he would say to me.
"Suck it up Anna, what are you, weak? Or are you scared to face everyone?"
I'm not weak or scared. I headed out the door with my head held high. People were looking at me and whispering. I saw one Candor boy whispering to a Candor girl so I grabbed him by the neck of his white shirt.
"What are you all chattering about?" I ask harshly
The boy fidgeted and mumbled something. He looked like he was about to wet himself so I shook him hard.
"What was that? I couldn't hear you."
"I said, people are saying that you are the wife of the Dauntless traitor Eric," he whispered.
I drop him on his ass and stalk out of the corridor.
How did people know about me and Eric? It was never made public. Only a handful of people knew. I was just the silent wife, on the side like a trophy. Eric was allowed to do what he wanted, as long as I never heard about it. I didn't even get the choice of marrying him, having been promised to him by my father when we were both in Erudite together.
I remember my father saying that Eric was going to be a great and powerful man someday, that I should be proud to be called his wife. That wives were servants of their husbands, to be at their every beck and call. Just like my mother.
So I followed him to Dauntless. That was one of the only things I have never regretted. I was regretful about falling in loving with him though. Regretful and ashamed. That was never a part of my plan. I was going to be a dutiful wife, look after him and maybe give him a child, but I was never going to love him.
I walk into the cafeteria and sit at an empty table, picking it and piece of bread I'd collected for myself. Others ran around, laughing and yelling, in their own little bubble of happiness. I saw Tori, Harrison, Four and Tris walking towards my table. I groan in annoyance and lower my stare.
"Sit up straight, sweetheart, the Dauntless don't slouch."
I shake his voice out of my head as they sit at my table. Tori sits next to me, whereas the other three sit on the opposite side.
"What do you want?" I say through clenched teeth.
Tori speaks up.
"We want you to be our fifth leader. But you already know that because Four has already asked," my eyes flicker to Four, "and he told us about your request."
"Yeah, so what?"
"Have you even seen him since we captured him?"
"No," I whispered, "I haven't been able to bring myself to do it."
"Then why do you want him to live?" Tris blurts out, her face going red like she is embarrassed that the question escaped from her mouth.
I give her a hard stare.
"Because he is my husband and I love him. I want him to suffer, but I don't want him to die."
Tori passes me a piece of paper.
"Go and see him. Talk to him and then get back to us. We need you Anna, and not just for your weapons skills."
I get up abruptly, scrunching the piece of paper in my hand, and walk away.