I was never meant for Abnegation. I knew that, my parents knew that, even the whole faction knew that. I didn't have many friends, none that I actually liked, except for Beatrice that is, and only because she bugged the living daylights out of me after I beat up a Dauntless kid who was picking on her when we were younger, and truthfully she didn't quite fit in herself, although she was better at pretending than me. Everyone else seemed to look at me with fear or hatred because I wasn't like them. I wasn't selfless, or caring, or even nice.
My parents treat me just the same, as some sort of outcast, always pointing out my flaws, never looking at me with understanding as a parent should, only with resentment, I was their only child and here I was a total disappointment. So it wasn't really a huge surprise when my aptitude test came back Dauntless, and I slowly trickled my blood into the sizzling coals. It was however a huge surprise when Beatrice followed in my footsteps.
"What the hell are you doing Beatrice?" I hiss as she walks slowly to stand beside me. I knew she was never meant for Abnegation, Amity maybe, even Erudite, but Dauntless? Beatrice looks at me with uncertainty.
"I-I don't know. I just did it." She says looking at her feet.
"You won't survive in Dauntless, and I can't protect you forever, especially not there." I say bluntly. Beatrice looks up at me with a playful smirk.
"Sure you shouldn't have picked Candor?"
"You mistake my logic for openness". I scoff.
"Right, so Erudite then". She grins.
"One of these days Prior your smart mouth is going to get you into trouble." I say rolling my eyes playfully.
The adrenaline rushed through my body as I caught up to the train and gripped the handle, dragging myself into the train cart. My lungs stung and my legs felt like jello, but I made it. A small smile crept onto my face, but soon disappeared as I realized Beatrice still hadn't made it on. I shuffled on my knees back to the opening where I saw Beatrice, determination in her eyes as she ran as fast as she could to catch up to the train, she was close, but not close enough
"Beatrice! Here, take my hand!" I yell as I thrust my arm towards her.
"No. No I can do it." My eyes flickered to the edge of the walkway, if Beatrice didn't get on soon, she would be nothing more than a grey stain on the concrete below.
"Beatrice!" I hiss. "Do it now!" Just as the edge came inches from her feet, Beatrice leapt onto the train, knocking me over in the process.
"Dammit Beatrice do you have a death wish?" I say pushing her off of me, my heart still pounding from the adrenaline.
"What, afraid if I would have fallen you would have missed me? Or felt any other emotion besides annoyed?" She laughed.
"Oh ha ha. Real funny, I have other emotions you know." I say poking her in the shoulder.
"Oh right, I forgot, brooding." She says. I laugh and elbow her playfully in the side.
"Well that was some entrance." A voice says from behind us. We both turn around to see a dark haired Candor girl smiling at us.
"Hi, my name's Christina." I stare at her for a moment, not sure if I should return her kindness or not. Beatrice rolls her eyes at me and gives the girl a warm smile.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Beatrice, and this is my friend," she pauses and elbowing me in the side. I let out a small hiss and glare at her.
"Ava." I finally say. "My name is Ava."
"Not much of a talker huh?"
"It's not the talking part that bothers me, it's the people." Christina lets out a laugh.
"You sure you're not a fellow Candor?"
"I wish people would quite asking me that." I sigh. Christina laughs again.
"I like you." She says.
"What's not to like?" I ask with a smirk.
"Um you guys?" Beatrice says pointing outside the train. "I think we have to jump off?"
"Well here goes nothing." I say. "Together?" Christina asks holding out her hand.
"Together." Beatrice says and grabs our hands.
Somehow I managed to land on my feet as I jumped off, but the momentum of Beatrice and Christina threw me off balance and I went flying face first into the gravel. Instead of yelling like I wanted to do, all I could do was laugh, causing the other two girls to follow suite.
"Listen up!" came a deep voice. Startled I turned around, only to see a Dauntless man standing on the edge of the building, looking through us not really at us. I recognized that look. I only got to see it for five minutes at a time, a few days out of the month when I got to look in the mirror, but I knew it nonetheless.
"My name is Eric, I'm one of the five Dauntless leaders. The way into the compound is down there". He says nonchalantly and gestures to a large hole at the bottom of the building.
"We have to jump?" asked an Erudite boy.
"That would be correct."
"Well is there at least water down there?"
"Jump and find out." Eric hissed, obviously getting annoyed with the boy.
"Hey Ava." Beatrice whispered nudging me in the side. "Look it's your long lost family."
She gestures towards Eric and lets out a giggle causing Christina to snicker as well.
"Wouldn't surprise me one bit if I were adopted." I smile.
"Something funny initiates?" Eric growls at us. Beatrice and Christina both stiffen, trying to look anywhere but at Eric. He was intimidating I'll give him that, too bad it didn't work on me.
"Oh no sir." I say sarcastically, "Just admiring the view."
Beatrice and Christina look at me with wide eyes. Eric just stared at me blankly, no emotion showing in his dark eyes.
"You got a big mouth for a Stiff." He says bluntly. "But since you're so confident, why don't you show us how it's done and go first." A small smirk crept across his face as if he were amused with himself, but was gone in an instant.
"Fine." I say beginning to walk towards the edge, I wouldn't let him get the better of me, I'll show him just how Dauntless a "stiff" could be.
"No." says Beatrice. "I'll go."
I look at her a bit surprised. Eric gave her a "well go then" look and gestured towards the edge. Beatrice took a deep breath and climbed atop the ledge. My heart pounded in my chest. You can do this Beatrice. I thought. Be brave. Beatrice took off her dull grey Abnegation jacket and tossed it aside.
"Whoo, take it off stiff!" A Candor boy called out. I shot him a glare, and he gave me a wink. I scoffed and turned my attention back to Beatrice, who seemed frozen a top the ledge, looking down.
"Today initiate." Eric said, sounding bored.
Beatrice took another deep breath and stepped off, disappearing into the darkness below. I ran to the edge almost instantly. Did she make it? Was she ok? But all I could see as I looked down was darkness.
"What are you waiting for Stiff," Eric says coldly. "You're next."
I give him a go to hell look and jump off the ledge without a second thought.
My heart leapt out of my chest as I hit the net. A net, of course. Suddenly I was being pulled out, a pair of strong hands steading me as I gained my footing. "What's your name?" The man grabbing me asked. For some reason he looked so familiar to me, where had I seen him before?
"Hello," he says, waving a hand in front of me. "Is that a hard one?"
I snap out of my thoughts and shake my head.
"No, no, my name is Ava."
"Second jumper, Ava!" he yells and chanting and cheering booms around us.
"Welcome to Dauntless." He smiles. I give him a nod and go to stand beside Beatrice. She gives me an accomplished look, and I smile warmly at her.
"You do have a death wish don't you Beatrice?"
"No, that would be you, and it's Tris now." I nod my head in agreement.