My sleep consisted without dreams. I wake up early in the morning. Because I am a light sleeper I usually do that when I am nervous. My own feelings wake me.
I look out the window to see that the sun hasn't even risen yet. How long did I sleep? Four hours? The clock on the wall showed 05:16. Okay, six hours. Well done, Cloette.
After about half-an-hour of tossing and turning in my bed I know that it is hopeless. I won't be going back to sleep anytime soon. I get up and walk to my window, which is also a small balcony. I open it and step outside. The cold breeze doesn't bother me as I lean on the railing. I've always been fond of this view.
Across the street is another Erudite apartment building. That is where my friend Will lives. I shouldn't really say 'friend'. He is more like an acquaintance. We are in the same chemistry class. We always worked in groups during those classes, then went back to ignoring each other. He is pretty much the closest friend I've ever had. My life is pretty sad. People either doesn't want to be my friend or begs me to be my friend. But not for the reasons I want. They do it because of my mother. Being best friend with the leader's daughter might get them better jobs in the future. That is a very typical Erudite trait; manipulating people to gain power. I do not want power. I want to be respected.
That is not very Erudite of me. Wanting respect is more Dauntless. How have I not noticed my Dauntless traits before? The thrill of disobeying orders, a thirst for adventure, and a wanting to protect. But I also had Erudite traits. A hunger for knowledge, overanalyzing everything, and, of course, reading. But rarely books with facts. I love the story novels like the story of Robin Hood. Classical literature as well like Pride and Prejudice. I am the only one who has these kinds of books. Mostly because my mother, while not agreeing with my ways of thinking, gets these books for me. I am also the only one who would actually want to read them. Erudite thinks that books without facts are pointless, Abnegation doesn't have anything that may show selfishness, Amity would rather be outside and play instead of reading, Candor would just detect any false assumptions in those books and criticize them, and Dauntless just believes that any type of reading is pointless.
I am like a butterfly with discolored wings in a field amongst other, more beautiful, butterflies. The other butterflies only have one color; grey, yellow, white, blue, or black. I've got both blue and black on my wings making me a freak. I don't want to be a freak. I want to fit in to the society we worked so hard to form.
The time is 11:54, the same time as 10 seconds ago. I can't help it. Being surrounded by other Erudite members doesn't help at all. It just makes me worry even more. Will I stay with Erudite and make my faction proud? Or will I switch to Dauntless and get the adventure I've always craved for?
I look at the time again. 11:55. Five more minutes until the ceremony will start. My hands start to fiddle with each other. Good thing my last name begins with M. I won't be one of the first ones to choose. I look over to the left side and see the Dauntless. The only ones who are nervous in Dauntless are the ones switching factions. I can see some of them there. Maybe some of them are Divergent, like me. Just think of the word 'Divergent' seems like a crime to me. Divergence is dangerous. I keep thinking that but I've never seen myself as dangerous. Why should I let one stupid result take control over my entire life? I am not dangerous. I will stay in Erudite and that is final. I won't change my opinion this time.
"Silence, please!" I hear my mother say in front of everyone. Behind her are the bowls where all the 16-year olds will be dripping their blood in. See-through glass for Candor, soil from the fields for Amity, pure water for Erudite, gray and pale stones for Abnegation, and lit coals for Dauntless. It is customary for Jeanine to speak first about the factions. She is the one who designed the test I took yesterday after all. I wonder if she could see if I was Divergent, even though Fiona put my result in manually.
"The factions system is a living being composed of cells; all of you. And the only way it can survive and thrive is for each of you to claim your rightful place. The future belongs to those who know where they belong." She announced. But do I truly belong in Erudite?
Jeanine steps away from the stage and Marcus Eaton, the Abnegation leader, steps up.
He begins by telling the history of the city and how the factions were made. All we actually know is that there was a war long ago. To protect ourselves from it, we built a wall, or fence, to block out the outside world. No one has ever ventured outside the fence for over 200 years.
"Those who blamed selfishness became Abnegation," I don't blame selfishness. People are allowed to think about themselves once in a while.
"Those who blamed anger became Amity," That's not true either. Anger is an emotion you can't just cancel out.
"Those who blamed duplicity became Candor," Another thing I don't agree with. You should be able to lie sometimes, when it is necessary.
"Those who blamed ignorance became Erudite," I do blame ignorance. A lot of people have started conflicts in the past because of false assumptions.
"And those who blamed cowardice became Dauntless." The Dauntless started to cheer a bit after that statement. Even though I blame ignorance, I believe that cowardice has something to do with it too. People don't want to stand up for what they believe in because they are too afraid to do so.
"When you leave this room, you will no longer be dependents, but full-fledged members of our society. Faction before blood." Marcus finishes his speech.
"Faction before blood." Says everyone else in the audience, except me. I was distracted. Should I stay in Erudite? I blame ignorance as well as cowardice. My newly discovered Divergence brings out this side of me I do not like.
"Jonathan Ziegler!" Marcus calls up the first name on the list. The names are in alphabetical order. Last names starting with Z. A boy stepped up to the stage. He was another Erudite. As he walked, he seemed confident. He knew what choice he would make. He takes the knife from Marcus, draws his hand over it and let the blood drop into the water.
"Erudite!" Marcus exclaims. This was going to be a long day.
A few more names were called up until finally.
"Morgan Stokes!" A nervous Candor steps up on the stage. His hands are shaking as the draws the knife over his palm, then lets it drip down onto the Amity bowl. He is the first transfer of the year. Candor to Amity. Maybe I could do it as well. No. I can't.
I wait patiently for my turn, listening to the names and the factions they choose. I become more interested if they choose a new faction.
"Caleb Prior!" An Abnegation boy steps up to the stage confidently. He hesitates a bit before letting his blood drop into the Erudite water. This causes a commotion in the crowd. Abnegation and Erudite has never gotten along very well. Now an Abnegation transfers to Erudite? I wonder what his family would think.
"Beatrice Prior!" Must be his sister. Will she also transfer to Erudite? Or will she stay in Abnegation? She is more hesitant than her brother when she steps up onto the stage. The knife draws over her palm and she holds her hand over the Abnegation stones. Apparently not a transfer. But at the exact last second she switches her position and let the blood sizzle on the Dauntless coals. An Abnegation transfer in Dauntless? Abnegation and Amity rarely transfer to Dauntless. It is usually one or none every year. I start to het even more nervous now as I watch her walk over to her new family.
A few other have transferred to Dauntless, including my 'friend' Will. I honestly did not expect that.
"Cloette Matthews!" Marcus calls out. There are a few murmurs in the crowd. My mother squeezes my hand before saying "Good luck."
I stand up and make my way to the stage. I walk there slowly, kind of hoping for me to wake up from a very bad dream. But I know this is reality. There is no escaping this now. I take the knife from Marcus's grasp and walk over to the Erudite bowl. I cut my hand but I don't stretch it over the bowl. My eyes keep flicking over to the Dauntless bowl. I was standing there for what felt like minutes, but it was probably only seconds. The crowd is most likely getting impatient. I've made my choice. I want to be brave. I now walk over to the coals and let my blood sizzle on the them, just like the Abnegation girl did.
"Dauntless!" Marcus calls out. There were a lot of gasps and complaints in the crowd. Jeanine Matthews only daughter have decided to switch factions? While walking over to the Dauntless family, I catch my mother's eyes. They hold no emotion at all. I can't tell if she is sad, disappointed, shocked, or concerned. Whatever it is, it is not happiness.
After the ceremony is finished and all factions return to their home, the Dauntless take off into a sprint. I try to keep up with them. While I'm not as fast as them, I do enjoy running. It makes me feel free. I can't help but smile at that thought. Being Dauntless means that I am finally free.
We stop running and we arrive at some metal structures which holds up the train tracks. They start to climb and I join them. While I do enjoy running, climbing is something I do not like. But I do climb after them, not giving up. Once I am at the top, I look at the other members. They look like they are waiting for something.
"Get ready!" Someone yells. They look behind me and I turn to look for myself. It was a train coming our way. Of course. Dauntless travel by train. But it isn't slowing down. Are we supposed to jump onto it?
My question gets answered when the do exactly the thing I thought. They grip onto the handles of the train and launch themselves in. I take of into a run to catch the train. Almost everyone has already jumped inside while I am trying to get a grip of the last cart.
"Here!" Someone from inside the cart stretches out their hand to me. I take it, not caring who it was who just saved my from being Factionless. Once I am inside I lean against the wall and catch my breath. I then start to laugh. I made it. I actually made it.
"You okay?" Says the girl who saved me before. It was the Abnegation girl who transferred. What was her name? Bianca?
"Yeah. I think so. What's your name?" I ask her.
"Beatrice. You are Jeanine's daughter, aren't you?"
"Yep. Quite a shock, huh?" I let out a chuckle after saying that.
"Not as much as an Abnegation girl transferring to Dauntless." She jokes. We then let out a laugh because of how out of place we look right now. I think I am going to like her. She seems like a good friend.
"I am Christina, by the way." A girl from behind Beatrice calls out. She is wearing Candor clothes. I give her a small wave.
"Cloette," I say with a smile. I might have gotten my first friends without even trying.
During the ride, I find out a lot about the others. Like how Beatrice chose Dauntless because of their freedom, kind of like me. Christina became tired of being truthful all the time. She wanted to be reckless.
"Get ready." A Dauntless woman calls out.
"To do what?" I ask them. They didn't have time to respond before opening the cart doors and jumping out to a roof.
"They're jumping!" Beatrice calls out. No shit.
"What?!" Christina asks as if this was absolutely ludicrous.
"What happens if you don't jump?" Another Candor transfer asks us.
"What do you think? You'll be Factionless. Good luck, Al." I recognize him. He is the Candor who kept pestering an Abnegation yesterday about them being selfish. He jumped out together with other Dauntless and transfers.
"Don't think," I say as I take off my coat and back up. I toss my blue Erudite coat onto the floor of the train, leaving it there forever. Maybe the Factionless could have it.
"Just jump!" I exclaim as I start running to the door and leap. My landing wasn't that graceful. I landed on one of my feet, then I tumble forward. I end up with my face hitting the ground, but I don't think I ended up with any serious injuries. It does hurt, though. I get up and brush the gravel from my once blue pants with my hands. Now they look more grey because of the dirt from the gravel. My white tank top is now also dirty. It doesn't matter. I will get new Dauntless clothes soon. My hands stroke my hair and my once neatly placed braid is now messy with hairs sticking out everywhere. I must look hilarious to other people.
Beatrice and Christina jumped out together and landed on the roof not very gracefully either. They let out a brief laugh as both of them and me walked over to where the others has assembled.
"Alright, listen up!" A man calls out. I look at him and I can immediately see that he is not someone to mess with. He is a tall, muscular man with visible tattoos on his arms and neck, showing a kind of maze. He has short, brown hair and light colored eyes. Even though his eyes are light colored, either blue or grey, they are cold. It feels like I could freeze by just looking at them.
"I'm Eric. I'm one of your leaders." Leader? He doesn't look a day over 20! I wonder what his actual age is if he is a leader.
"If you want to enter Dauntless, this is the way in." He points to the big whole behind him. He wants us to jump off a rooftop? What? These Dauntless must be very brave or very stupid.
"And if you don't have the guts to jump, then you don't belong in Dauntless."
"Is there water at the bottom or something?" I hear one of us call out. It was Will. I wonder if he knows that I am here with him.
"I guess you'll find out. Or not." Eric's eyes divert to mine. There is a look of recognition in them, but he ignores it quickly and scan the rest of us. That was weird. If he knows me, it is probably because he knows my mother and has seen me a few times before with her.
"We just jumped, they want us to jump again?" Christina whispers to me and Beatrice. I snicker a bit at her statement. I kind of agree with her. We have already jumped, why do we have to do it again?
"Well someone's gotta go first, who's it gonna be?" Eric asks us. No one steps forward, not even the Dauntless borns or that douche from Candor. I thought that he was someone who wanted to one-up everyone else.
"Me." I hear from my right side. It was Beatrice. She volunteered to jump first. This must be a heavy defeat for the Dauntless borns. Being less brave than a common stiff.
Eric jumped off the ledge he had been standing on and let Beatrice walk up to it. She looks down the ledge. Then she takes off her gray coat.
"Yes, stiff. Take it off. Put it back on." That douche from Candor calls out. This is the first day in Dauntless and I already hate him. I want to know his name so that I will know who I will beat up later, even though he clearly has more muscle than me.
Beatrice steps on to the ledge and looks down. She is clearly hesitating whether or not she should jump.
"Today, initiate," Eric calls out, clearly impatient. Could you just give her a break? Just because I am kind of scared of him doesn't mean I should respect him.
Those words did it for Beatrice. She jumped off without making a sound. Not even a gasp. She just jumped down like it was nothing. Eric walked over to the ledge and looked down, probably to see if the coast was clear. He then turned around.
"Who's next?" He called out.
"I guess it is my turn." I muttered to myself and Christina as I walked over to the ledge. Eric eyed me warily. What is his problem. I raised an eyebrow at him and he stepped out of the way. That was easy. Now it is time for the hard part. I looked down the ledge and saw a big whole in the roof. That is where I will be leaping into. I stepped up and, without hesitation, jumped of. My eyes are closed as I lean back and imagined myself as flying. That sensation stopped as I feel my back hit something. I am still alive. I open my eyes to see that I've landed on a huge net. I let out a sigh of relief. Then I feel someone tugging the net to the side and I roll over. Another Dauntless man, probably the same age as Eric, is standing right in front of me beside the net. He pulls me down. He has short, brown hair and no tattoos like Eric. I then see a hint of a tattoo on his neck. I wonder what that is. His eyes, while blue, do not resemble the coldness from Eric's. These eyes had kindness in them but something about him made me feel like I should be afraid of him.
"Name?" He asks me. I was about to say Cloette when he interrupted me.
"If you don't like your current name, you can pick a new one." That is what I want. I do not want to be remembered as Cloette Matthews, daughter of Jeanine Matthews, who transferred to Dauntless.
"Clo," I say. "My name is Clo." I want to be remembered as Clo the Dauntless member.
"Second jumper: Clo!" He calls out to the other Dauntless members which are probably waiting to see who the new initiates are this year.
Everyone has now jumped. The last jumper, Molly, was not someone I expected to be last. She is very big and will probably beat us all up in one go during training. I did learn the guy I hated's name. It is Peter. Now I am partially satisfied. I still want to beat that face to a pulp.
We are assembled before the man who helped me, and the others, from the net and a woman I have not seen before. Her hair is messy and she has a few piercings on her face as well as on her ear.
"Dauntless-born you go with Lauren, transfers stay with me. Go." The man calls out. The Dauntless-born walks away from our group and goes with the woman, who I just learned name's Lauren, leaving us transfers.
"Most of the time I work in intelligence, but during your training I'll be your instructor. My name's Four." Four? That is a weird name. Who would name themselves as a number? I am smart enough to not say it out loud. Christina, though, isn't.
"Four? Like the number?" She snickers.
"Exactly like the number." Four replies. Christina better shuts up before it gets any worse.
"What happened? One through three were taken?" God damn these Candor smart mouths! They never do know when to shut up. A few of the transfers laugh at this, but me and Tris, who used to be Beatrice but changed her name to Tris, didn't.
"What is your name?" Four asks Christina. I can feel the punishment coming.
"Christina," Christina notes.
Four walks up to her.
"Well, Christina, the first lesson you learn from me if you wanna survive here, keeps your mouth shut. Do you understand me?" I can see the horror in Christina's eyes as he says it.
"Yes," Christina replies weakly.
"Good." Four walks away from her and starts to walk away.
"Follow me," He calls for us. We do as he commands and follows him. I wonder if Christina is okay. I hope she learned that we shouldn't speak the truth all the time. Sometimes it could hurt other people or sometimes, like this, it could hurt us. I never truly understood Candor.
We arrive in a room where a lot of other Dauntless members are having fun while listening to some music. It isn't the same music as I usually hear in Erudite. There we mostly listen to classical music to keep us calm while studying. This music have more power into it. I kinda like it. The ceiling has a huge glass window, letting in the sunlight from outside. The walls are stone and looks like a mountain from one of my books. My books! I remember that I won't be able to read any of those stories again. I guess I have to get used to a life without them.
"This is the Pit, the center of life here at Dauntless." Four tells us. I think that I will like it here.
We are led through tunnels of stone until we reach a room filled with beds. There are no windows here. Only the light from the faint glow of the lamps hanging from the low ceiling. The beds don't look that comfortable either. Maybe it is because I am used to luxury, but this place sucks!
"You're gonna be sleeping here for the next ten weeks." Four tells us. You have got to be kidding me. I wish I had known this.
"Girls or boys?" An initiate asks, I think his name was Al.
"Both." Four tells us. Great! More pleasant surprises! I hope there's nothing else.
"If you like this, you're gonna love the bathroom." Four leads us to the bathroom where I see toilets right next to each other with no doors. The same with the showers. They also look disgusting, like they have never been cleaned in over a year. I shouldn't have said that before. Now there's no unpleasant surprises, right?
"You should feel right at home, Candor. Everything out in the open." I can't help but smile a bit after Four said that. He then walks off and bumps, or rather hits, Tris's shoulder with his.
"Get changed!" He calls to us.
We do as he tells us to and changes clothes from our old faction into Dauntless clothes. I put on black leggings with a dark red tank top. Over that I put on a leather jacket. I let my hair stay the way it is. I don't care if it is messy or not. Speaking of, why isn't there a mirror in here? I thought only Abnegation didn't like mirrors.
We walk to a fire holding our old faction clothes and toss them in. It was no problem for me to toss my clothes in. They were dirty either way. And when would I ever use them again?
I, Tris and Christina walk into the cafeteria where all other Dauntless members are. The only available seats are at Four's table. I guess we have to piss off the instructor even more now by sitting right next to him. Tris picks up the burger with the fork and looks at it weirdly.
"You've never seen a hamburger before?" Christina asks Tris. Abnegation doesn't eat anything like this, only the same food over and over again. Usually potatoes and peas with some kind of meat.
"No, I've seen one. I've just never eaten one." Tris replies. I take a burger and puts it on my plate. Never eaten one before, either, because Erudite wants us to have a strict diet.
"Abnegation eat plain food, plant based diet without sauce and minimum seasoning," Will inform us who happened to be sitting in front of me. Does he not notice that I am here?
"Which textbook did you swallow?" Christina replies. I roll my eyes at her response. Al, who is sitting next to Will, chuckles at this.
"Nice to meet you too. I'm Will. Erudite."
"Of course you are," Christina says while going back to eating her food.
"Hey. Don't diss Erudite, smart mouth." I joke at her. She, Tris, Al, and Will laugh at this.
"I know you, don't I?" Will asks me. I do look a bit different. I am not wearing blue and my hair is usually in a bun, not a side braid.
"Um, yeah. I am- Was Cloette. Now I'm Clo." I answer him.
"Oh! We were in chemistry together!" He points at me and smiles now that he recognizes me. I nod at him, smiling as well.
"No offense, but I'm surprised Abnegation even eats at all. Too selfish, right? No wonder you left." Christina tells Tris. She really needs to know when to shut her mouth.
"You gotta be pretty self-confident to be friends with a Candor," Will replies before Tris has the chance to.
"What is that supposed to mean?" She replied to him.
"You have no filter. You say the first thing that comes into your head." Will remarks.
"Like 'you're an idiot'?" Al joins into the conversation. We all laugh at that.
"Nice one, Al. Well, at least we tell the truth." Again, I roll my eyes at Christina. I just don't understand Candor.
"Erudites can tell the truth cause we have the facts." I agree with him, remembering I am half Erudite as well as Dauntless.
"I don't wanna hear about your old factions." Four interrupts us. We all look at him and stop smiling.
"You're Dauntless now," He states and goes back to drinking from his metal cup. We all go back to eating.
"Were you a transfer, too? Or Dauntless-born?" Tris asks him. Are you kidding? I thought Candors were the ones who open their mouths at the wrong opportunity. Four looks over to Tris with an expression asking if she was seriously asking it. That is what I am wondering, too.
"Are you kidding?" Four asks her.
"No," She replies. There is an awkward silence at our table now as we all listen in on their conversation.
"What makes you think you can talk to me?" Four asks her like it has an obvious answer. I do. The answer is 'Sorry. I shouldn't have said anything.' But Tris doesn't back down.
"Must be because you're so approachable." Christina snorts and tries to hide her laugh when Tris said that. Four looked at her, then went back to eating.
"Careful," He advises her. That is what I am trying to do, at least. Then, as if a miracle happened, Tris gets saved from their conversation by another Dauntless member who wanted to speak with Four.
"You, my friend, have a death wish." Christina states.
"Yeah. It's like he is fire and you keep walking into him." I reply. Will leaned in closer to us.
"You know he was first in his class? They tried to recruit him for leadership twice, but he said no." Of course, he would know this. He is Erudite. He must love information about our city. Me, however, couldn't care less. Why would Four say no to leadership? That is a question I want to be answered.
There is a horn blaring through speakers and all Dauntless beat their metal cups on the tables. A man appears on the balcony above us. He has dark skin and dark hair. Even from down here I can see that his hair is starting to get gray. He must be the over all leader of Dauntless because he seems pretty important to the other members.
"Initiates, stand!" He calls out. I stand up along with Tris, Christina, Al, Will, and the other initiates.
"You have chosen to join the warrior faction tasked with the defense of this city and all its inhabitants. We believe in ordinary acts of bravery and the courage that raises one person to stand up for another. Respect that. Do us proud." He says before retreating. Dauntless start cheering as they approach us. Then they lift us up in the air, holing our backs, arms and legs. All initiates are now crowd surfing. I start laughing out of joy. I see Christina and we high-five each other.
"Whooooo!" I yell. This is the most fun I've ever had. I think I am going to like this new life here in Dauntless.