As a girl who was raised as a regular citizen without hopes of committing acts of felon, I have never imagined spending a day behind a locked cell. It has been two days after the Dauntless stormed to our compound, and it has been hours after my capture. As a faction that resists any kind of violence, Amity residents looked helpless when the army ran the impromptu inspection. We could only watch as the Dauntless men approached and dragged people out of their homes. I was looking out from the kitchen where Pippa, Rick and I were preparing our usual dinner.
"What are they doing?"
I looked from afar. One of the men had an advanced gadget in his hand. It did not look like an armor, or anything that would match Dauntless' sophistication. It read an object. That time, it was a woman, around Pippa's age. She was on her knees while the Dauntless men made a circle in front of her. She tried to appear as calm as possible, yet I could read the unhidden fear from her eyes.
A sphere hologram projection started to read around her. I could hear vividly when the machine reads the label which was popped out from the projection, "Amity."
Just that simple, the woman was spared and the troops were heading in a different direction.
"Do you have any idea what are these Dauntless people are doing?" I asked.
"They were looking for Divergent. Have you heard? ... And those are the aptitude readers. I have heard of them before. They are Erudite-made." Pippa said.
"How do you know it, Pip?"
She gave us a grin, "I was born Erudite, dear. It is just surreal now they really create the device. What is the point of the choosing ceremony then?"
Our peacefulness soon was interrupted by a knock on the door. We were aghast.
"Stay calm. There is nothing to be worried about. We are good people." There was no hint of doubt from Rick's voice, but I was not feeling confident myself. I had a bad feeling about this and it was strong. I could feel my stomach drop and I had the urge to vomit the delicious sunflower bread from breakfast. I felt that I was a separation from what "good people" Rick had to say.
We expected army when Rick opened the door, except there was no army. But a young man with a muscular build, towering my five-foot height, with the same neck tattoo from I remembered and a brand new one on his arm length. There was no army, but a leader of Dauntless faction.
Eric had a shorter hair now, but he was the same boy I saw from 8 years ago. Now he arrived at my new home, much stronger and a little older. A reminder of how much I aged, and how long it was since we have last seen each other. I could see why he can intimidate people easily with only his looks, but he did not scare me a bit.
"I need to interrupt your evening. We are hunting for Divergents." he said, in a voice I clearly remembered.
"I see. You may inspect, but please have it in peace." Rick said, holding up his hand in the air.
Eric's pierced brow crooked and he answered in lower, annoyed voice. "Whatever you say, grandpa."
I watched as he carelessly aimed the reader to Rick and Pippa. They were tested and had their result read Amity for both. They were freed.
It was my turn. Eric stepped closer to me. There was no moment of silence between us. He did not bother to examine me with his memory, nor by his hazel eyes but only by the aptitude reader on his hand. I stared at him, hoping to call up a memory which might have been lost.
"Divergent. 75%" the woman voice on the machine read.
Perplexed, I wanted to replay what the machine reads.
"There must be a mistake." Pippa gasped.
"You must remain silent." Eric's hand was quick enough to grab and cuff me. Everything went so fast, I could not defend myself.
"Please let her go. She is our daughter. We give you everything, Sir. Food... Bread loaves... We have everything." I could not see Rick's face as I begun to wrestle with Eric's arm, freeing myself. He blew a punch to my nose and I tasted blood dripping over my tongue. Pippa shrieked and I could hear her crying as Eric took me away from my foster family.
... And into this small cell made of sharp gravel and no ventilation, I was sent. The room is getting darker and colder. I assumed it has been already late evening. I cannot see anything from this four walls isolating me. They are made with the same sharp gravel inside the Dauntless faction bowl at the choosing ceremony. I tell myself that I need to stop touching them unless I want to get a bad cut. But how would it compare to what other Dauntless is planning to do to me —a Divergent?
Johanna has been kind enough to offer refuge for all factions during the chaos. I knew that Tris and Four, the Dauntless' traitors and presumed Divergents, were hiding among us. I saw Tris once, when they took her away from the lunch fight. She has a short boyish hair and a look which all Abnegation have, a pair of big angelic eyes. Nonetheless, she looks like just a normal girl around my age. There was one brief moment where I caught her eyes and she caught mine. I hope I had told her in a way that she is not alone in this fight. Amity is not used to see fights and that is my exception. I guess, that what makes me different, a Divergent. The moment I dropped my blood over the earthy soil of Amity's choosing bowl, I thought I would stay true to myself. But as I tried to settle within my new faction, I knew that I wanted more.
Amity is a great faction. They are kind and forgiving. There are many great influences of nature and art, which I am not used to see while I was in the Dauntless. Yet, it is a big challenge to transfer from the most ruthless faction into the kindest.
My family, friends and Eric—thought that my decision was stupid. Nobody from Dauntless would transfer to any faction. Dauntless is the best faction—or so they claim. But I have had enough of the adrenaline rush. All of those headlocks, gunshots, sword-wielding... It is not that I am not the best in my class nor the worst. The ideology of Dauntless has no longer matched my own philosophy. I am done with the power-obsessed manifesto and all the disciplinary that will lead to complete dictatorship and power-play. I do not want to be just all-muscles or just to be a hero for myself or my kind, I want to be many things.
The moment I had made decision to move to Amity, I had battled my own fear. It had never been more true. But Eric was looking at me from the Dauntless section. His eyes spoke of disappointment—and heartache.
I am completely caught off guard as I the metal door clanked, opened and slammed. I jump from my nap, only to find Eric stands before me. He is still in his uniform. He folds his arm, showing me a good look of his toned arms and his Dauntless new-ink. Yet, there is something different from his stares. His hazel eyes soften.
"How's your nose?" he asks after he clears his throat.
My face forms a half-grin. "Really? You should not really bother about a tiny glitch like this, compared to what you have been planning to do to the Divergent."
His palm touches my cheek. He embraces me gently. "You know, I am not going to hurt you right? Why do you act as if you do not remember me, Susan."
I swipe my head to my right, letting go his hand off of my cheek. "... oh yeah? Why did I have the same feeling of you forgetting me as well?"
He ducks so we are staring onto each other face to face. He grabs my face again and begins to trail his kisses on me. From forehead to the nose he broke and stop in front of my lips. "Susan," Eric whispers.
It begins all the sudden. All the flashes of memories. My first kiss with Eric was not romantic but pleasant. I anticipated it. He was a strong initiate and I was then a true Dauntless daughter. Eric had been eying on me. As soon as he made out the initiation alive and well, we often saw each other during daily training or walk around the compound.
Back in my Dauntless day, there is this stunning lake nearby the South border of Amity and Northwest of Dauntless. I occasionally took a secret trip to the border to take the steam off by swimming. I only needed myself and the train.
The lake hid behind a swamp full of water lily. I, first, mistook it as a garden. It is a hidden gem. I love it when the dew from the lake surface climbs when the heat of the Sun kisses the surface. It makes the water a little warmer, which I like. I would always remove all of my clothing before swimming. Though, I have had always worried if I have snake slithered on my leg, but that is what makes me Dauntless, I guess. I could have been careless.
I let my body battles all of my fears. So I did, when one time Eric discovered the lake and found me there. He stood by the edges of the land as I was approaching the end of the shallow water.
"How are you here?! You are not supposed to be here!" I snarled at him, climbing out from the lake and unaware of exposing my nudity in front of a young man I barely even knew.
"No one is allowed to be here. It is close to the border. What are you doing here?" his voice ladened.
I heard that Eric was recently promoted as a guard. It is a duty for a guard to patrol around the town. I should not find it surprising, except the fact that Eric, a 16-year-old initiated was able to climb the military ladder faster than no Dauntless would have expected. Perhaps, Eric really was exceptional.
There was a rifle on his hand and it was supposed to intimidate me. But I was not scared at all. I knew he did not want to cause any trouble. He would not dare to. He could not even look at me directly in the eyes, because I knew my nakedness distraught him.
Both of us stood before each other, embarrassed but unable to say a single damn thing. A part of me wanted to swim back into the lake, gotten dress and forgot that moment never happened. But another part of me, wanted Eric to capture and consume me in the moment where I look my best, in my most honest appearance, with nothing but the glaze of sun-kissed water on my skin.
He stood before me as a fine young man. His achievement had been the talk of the town. I had to admit that I had grown a tiny bit of obsession towards him. I learnt that he was a transfer from Erudite, and nothing I found more attractive than a man with brain.
He could read it in me from the sudden flush on my cheek and the way I looked at him. He could tell that I wanted him as much as he wanted me.
He whispered at me with a heavy breath, "I am sorry it has to be this way, Susan." His weapon fell onto the ground, nearly into the water. He cupped my face in his hand.
The way he told me that I am beautiful was not by his words, but by his passionate kiss on my lips and his sturdy hand on my hips. I could taste tobacco from his tongue but a breeze of summer air from pumped from his lungs to my mouth. It was so easy to be intoxicated by him.
Now, Eric is trying to get me out of my dress and I am still carrying him by lips. It feels so nice to be reunited with your first love. Eric gave me my first kiss when I was fifteen and he was only sixteen. He was not the kind of boy I think he was. We stayed a year together until my choosing ceremony. Then, it has been almost 10 years after we spent our lives apart. We grow old. There are new-found scars on his body and I could not careless. Those are war wounds. As a person who have been raised inside the peaceful Amity, I should find them disturbing. But, I do not find them that way at all. I see them as humane scars. Every scratch on Eric's chest is story and I am all-ears to listen and all-lips for every healing kiss away.
His fingers are on my hair. We are now skin to skin. I can feel the temperature rises on my face and his face is also flustered.
"Nobody kisses like you," I murmur under my panting breath.
He still wears his teenage spirit on his sleeves and I appreciate it. I feel young again. I love the way he watches my nakedness from my head to toe. The way his skillful hands unlace my bodies and the suppleness of his lips traces back the recollected memories he once left me. His touch is distant but it never feels foreign in my skin.
We take our our time. Pausing our love-making in this godly awful place of tiny prison cell. I feel like the four sides of walls squeeze us both as we are pressing onto our naked bodies.
Eric is no longer a boy now. He has stubble on his jaw and his muscles—they are bulging bad on my hands. I heard about how ruthless he is as a leader, but he still is the same boy I knew. The boy who would knee on my presence and would not stop until he makes me happy.
"I have been waiting for this moment." He says.
"Me too, Eric."
"Have you been with another man? Have you been married?"
"Oh Eric, you don't go easy with personal question, do you?" I scoop a kiss on his lips, "But, no... I have no time for that because I want to get in touch with myself more. Amity has a beautiful landscape and it helps me. I travel to the farthest field and meditate. What about you, soldier? Do you feel content by doing what you are doing?"
"You know that there is no such thing as a contentment in my dictionary. There is no way a person can feel enough with what they have. At the end, they want more." Eric says, and then he proceeds to kiss me wild, as if he is taking all the words I have said.
"Do you believe in kindness, Eric?" I stop him from kissing me deeper, and search into his eyes.
"Yes, I do." He says in softer voice, yet he sounds firm. "Why? Do you find it surprising?"
"Hearing the words coming out from a soldier like you— Yes, I do find it surprising."
I slither myself up and climb onto his rocky stomach. Maneuvering on him, gaining full control of both of ourselves so I can plant kisses wherever I want. He grabs my face this time, although gently, I can feel the tension from his muscles. Something tells me that I should feel scared by now.
"You know I am more than a soldier, right?" I close my eyes as his thumb runs on my lips, teasing me there, and then downward onto the tip of my breasts.
"You are my boy."I moan pleasantly.
He climbs on to my ears and whispers. "Do you know how much I hate to see you in that hideous Amity dress?"
"I do not know." I shake my head, and by now I am pinned against him on the bottom. He teases me wherever he wants from my lips, stomach and down near the private part.
"I want to rip that clothes out of your beautiful body."
I grin. "I am not stopping you, Eric."
"First I am going to snap the strap off," He says, as he lowers his face and plant much kisses to my shoulders, "and I will watch as it falls to the ground. Exposing your full breasts," He kisses me on both of my breasts, "the curves of your love handles," then the side of my hips, "and your hips." at last, below my stomach.
"I love it when you talk like that," I tease.
"I love it when you dress the way a Dauntless does. You look strong, like my warrior princess."
"Eric," I run my fingers to his dark hair. "Nobody has to dress Dauntless black to be fearless. Nobody has to be kind by only choosing Amity as a way of life. I probably need to train my tongue, I am too brutaly-honest for an Amity."
Eric holds my wrist and set it aside. He curls his body up and away from me. I read hurt in his eyes. "That's what a Divergent would say." his tone of voice embodies a disgust.
I think I make him upset. I watch Eric closes our reunion and covers back his body with his pieces of Dauntless clothing.
"Why is it so hard to accept me the way I am today, Eric?"
He won't bother to listen. He is now strapping his belt. And in the next second, he will leave this room and become the new Eric I do not recognize. The brutal leader and the executor. But I do not fear death. I fear of watching him, walking towards the door and be gone. I do not want to close this moment too soon.
"Come back to bed," I beg. "Please, you do not have to accept me. I know I cannot change you and you cannot change the way I am now. But I just want you just be here, spend the night with me. Please, come back to bed, will you?"
With his starry eyes, he looks at me. I crawl to the side as he climbs the bed and stays next to me. His hand finds the side of my face, there, he holds me in his warm embrace. I circle my arm around his hip and feeling the muscle and the bent of his lower back. I am tempted to feel more of him, so my finger quickly unbuttons his trousers and tug them off of his legs.
I manage to balance my weight again on the top of him. My lips leave trail of kisses all over his chest and then down to stomach. I can feel his body trembles and catch slight of groan coming out of his mouth.
"I hate it when you are mad at me." I say as I climb up and speaks close to his chest, where I can hear his pumping heartbeat and the rising warmth of his body. Then I lie my body next to his side, leaving my legs clinging on to his.
"You know, even if I try, I cannot hate you." He leaves a peck on my shoulder.
I gaze onto his eyes and comb his dark wavy lock on my hand. "How is my Dauntless family Eric, do you see them a lot?"
He lowers his gaze as if avoiding the conversation.
"Why? You don't want to talk about it either?"
"No, at the other hand, I can talk about them all day. Ever since you left for Amity, I guess they are looking for someone to take care of. So, I spent times taking military note and training from your dad and somehow we grew close, just like a family. He invites me to dinner every evening and Mildred makes mean Dauntless cake—Oh, dear. Why are you crying?" Eric's thumb erases a drop of tear from my cheek.
"Screw factions before blood, I miss them badly." I cannot handle the stream of tears falling down to my face.
"They are good people—Darius and Mildred, both are good parents. I have too admit, they seem too good for Dauntless, though. But then I am not surprised they raise such a strong and kind-hearted young woman like you."
"Have you seen your family in Erudite, Eric?"
"Nope." Eric says shortly. "Faction before blood." He closes with a smile.
I take another deep kiss from his lips, then to the mouth then down to his throat.
"How can two different people with different battle stay together?" I ask him.
"I do not have the answer either. Do not ask me."
Eric is the Dauntless fire to my Amity flower. Right now, I am dancing around his bonfire of lust and compassion, burning both of our pain and memories. The night has set everything to the beginning. The night I return into his arm and he turns back to me. I lend every space he needs, every crook and every bent of my body. The biggest to the tiniest part of me. I give it all to him without asking back. Even if tomorrow we are going our separate ways.
But, Eric stays. It is his arms which keeps me warm throughout the night, and it is his voice that wakes me in the morning. He stands by the bed back in his Dauntless uniform. "Hurry. Get dressed," he says.
Within minutes, I put on the light tunic orange knee-length red dress back on my body. I need to move fast so I am unable to lace the bodice tight. I leave my strap sandals in the cell. Eric wants me to move quicker. He opens the door of my cell and takes a weapon which he left just in front of the door. It is still dark, the day has just broken into dawn, we are leaving the Erudite compound.
He leads the way, pointing his guns to every corner and aisle. "It is clear," he murmurs and the so I move forward. Eric's palm is sweating on my hand, he is just nervous as I am. We have exited the Erudite compound. We can see the city is still sleeping quietly. Then, we follow the sound of the approaching train on the nearby track. We run. We climb. The only way a Dauntless know best.
"You still have Dauntless strong arms," Eric catches me as I swing my body into the compartment of the moving train.
"I miss the old times. Where we are going?"
"You decide. The rest of the Dauntless take shelter in Candor, but you do not want to stay there."
"Do you want to know why?"
I hold his strong jaw by my hand and make sure to deliver the words to his sense. "You can stop the war, Eric." I say as I touch his chest. "You can do it. I know by saying this I will upset you and I take you for whatever you are, but you can do it. You have it in you."
He avoids my gaze and ignores my attention. He clenches his jaw, pretending to check on his rifle, I am saying too much apparently. "You go back to Amity, back to your family. The compound is safe, we are not going to raid it anymore." he sounds colder.
"I know that you are strong and that you can hurt people so easily, but what if somebody hurts you back? What if something bad would ever happened to you?"
Eric whispers carefully, "Something bad happens to everyone, Susan. I have been trying to live with the blood on my hands. So whatever happens, it happens." He kisses me softly, and for some reasons it feels painful, because it almost feels like the last time.
The train is moving closer towards the border. I know it from the abundance of tree and greenery, we are approaching Amity.
"Jump now." He orders, but I am clinging still on his jacket. "Now!" he shouts. I know he much hates to do it, but he knows I will not be jumping until forever. "I love you, Susan." That is his last word before he pushes me out from the train. I land hard on the ground but without any scratch or blood in my face nor injures and fracture my bones.
For a split second, I lose my consciousness and collect them back all. I can hear the sound of the train moving forward. I try my all to get back on my feet and get closer to it, or at least chase onto the trail.
"ERIC!" I shout the air out of my lungs. I skip fall to the ground again, "I LOVE YOU!" My resonated voice battles with the sound of moving trains on the tracks. I know I am losing. Eric looks smaller as if he almost disappears from my sight. The last thing I want is for him to hear me.
I still stand as the train completely vanish from my sight, then I move on to the Amity compound less in a mile before me. I cannot hold back my tears anymore. I have kept thinking about him all the way until I reach home. But there is no home. Somehow, the army has managed to create such destructions. I see homes being flattened to the ground and places I knew being burnt.
Pippa and Rick cannot be seen anymore happier when they see me. They race towards me with open arms and disbelief on their faces. Their bodies colide and clench mine in bear hugs.
"I thought we lose you!" Pippa says in tears.
"Hey, I am here. I am here. I am okay. I am okay."
The war has finally ended. I walk hand in hand with Pippa and Rick outside the Amity, into the train, towards the city ruins, where all the factions gather in celebration. I see Dauntless, Erudite, Candor and the surviving members of Abnegation are all moving towards the wall.
"It is a new world out there," says a female Dauntless members who walks next to us. Then, my fear starts to kick back.
"Susan, where are you going?" Rick yells, but it is too late.
I race towards the Dauntless clan who storm off the road with smiles of victory in their faces. I am searching and searching for that face—the one I can no longer find. But instead, I locate the same big angelic eyes. They are looking at me in mercy and pitiful stare, sympathizing to my pain. It kills me to watch them holding onto each other. I am wishing that we deserve the same fate too. But there is wardrum calling the remain of my Dauntless soul and it does not quit from beating hard. If I have to fight, then it will be for this one last time. It will be for him, whom I miss dearly.