Love or Tradition

Chapter 1

I'm sitting at my desk, brushing the knots out of my hair. I didn't have a mirror in my bedroom for it is considered self-indulgent so I would just brush my hair until I didn't feel the knots. The only mirror that my family owns is the one in the room across from my parents. We only go in there once every three months to look at ourselves when our hair is getting cut. Other than that, no one is allowed to look into a mirror.

Once I'm done brushing, I start to braid it and I silently thank my ancestors that they allowed every girl to choose if they want to have their hair in a bun or braided. Before, all girls had to have their hair in a bun, but my great grandmother, Edith, changed the rules so now girls have their hair either in a braid or a bun. I finish braiding then place my headdress upon my head. The chain is silver with little diamonds upon it with a purple teardrop pendant that rested at the middle of my forehead. All princesses have to wear a similar headdress only the pendant is the color of their kingdom. As you can tell, we wear purple in Abnegation. I know, it doesn't seem like a color that values selflessness but it's better than something duller like grey. I shudder at the thought of wearing grey dresses all the time, it wouldn't work out well for me.

I fix my spaghetti strapped, floor-length, light purple dress then place a black shawl over my shoulders. I put on a pair of black flats then walk out of my room to meet my family for breakfast. I walk into the kitchen to see the chef, Susan, cooking breakfast. "Smells good, Susan," I say, the smell of scrambled eggs with cheese filling my nose.

Susan turns around then bows before me. "Good morning, your highness."

"Susan, how many times have I told you not to call me that?" Susan and I have been friends since we were little and even though she works here, she feels that she has to address me as 'highness.'

"Sorry, Beatrice." Susan turns back to her cooking. "By the way, your mother wants to see you; it deals with your brother's bride."

I sigh; of course this was going to come up. My brother, Caleb, is the oldest by a few months so he is going to take over the kingdom of Abnegation when he marries. Today is the day he meets his bride and future queen so my mother is probably going to give me the 'be on your best behavior' speech. "Thank you, Susan. Is my mother in the dining room?"

"Yes."

I nod and then proceed to walk there. Now, I know what you are thinking. Why do you have servants working for you if you value selflessness? First off, we didn't force them to work. Our ancestors decided that if the people wanted to work for us, they could; it wouldn't be forced upon them. If they did want to work, they have to be between the ages of 16-50. Many people work here as a full-time job while some work as a 'summer' job. Susan chose to work here because we could talk and hang out with each other when she was on break. The workers were paid twice a month, at the beginning and middle of the month. All of the kingdoms had this kind of work system as well; you can work if you want, we won't force you.

I walk into the dining room to see my mother, father, and brother sitting at the table, eating some fruit while waiting for the main course.

"Good morning, Beatrice," my mother greets. "How did you sleep?" My mother, Natalie, is the queen of Abnegation but she was originally from the kingdom of Dauntless. She was the only daughter of the king and queen and so was supposed to take over the kingdom when she fell in love with my father, Andrew. She wanted to be with him and live in the kingdom of Abnegation. Of course, her parents weren't ok with this but after much begging and pleading on her part, her parents aloud her and my mother chose her best friend, Amar, to be the next heir to the throne, whose parents were part of the council. So, Amar married a girl from Abnegation and they had a son. Although, ten years ago, the king and queen were murdered and their only son was kidnapped. There was a wide search for him but no one was able to find him. So now, Dauntless is under the rule of the council. The children of the members are close to marrying age and if they can't find the real prince of Dauntless, then whoever marries a members' son or daughter becomes the new ruler of Dauntless. My mother grieved over her friend's death as did I. Amar was really nice and funny. Whenever he would visit, me and him would always have adventures together.

"Beatrice?"

My mother's voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "I slept well, mother; thank you."

"That's good. Do you remember what today is?"

"Yes, Caleb is going to meet his future wife so that he can become king."

My mother nods.

"Now we need you to be on your best behavior, all right?" My father asks. Here we go, I thought as I listen to my father give me the speech I heard many, many times. "Do you understand, Beatrice?"

"Yes, father, I understand."

"Good."

I look at Caleb. "Which kingdom do you think your future wife is coming from?" I ask. We never know who the person we are supposed to marry comes from since it is all arranged. We know most of the princes and princesses from each kingdom so it makes it a little bit easier on us when we meet our future husband or wife.

"I don't know," he answers. "But I hope she's from Erudite."

I shake my head. Ever since Caleb was little, he has always been fascinated by the kingdom of Erudite. He's always had this love of science and learning so Caleb was always excited when we go to Erudite for a celebration; just like I get excited when we go to Dauntless for a celebration.

Susan then came out with a bowl full of scrambled eggs and a pitcher of orange juice. She places the eggs and juice on the table, bows to us, then leaves. We fill up our plates then start to eat our fill for the day. I keep thinking about Caleb's future wife and I only hope that the princess will be a perfect match for him.

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