Proudly, I had done my thirty days of service to prove my loyalty to Abnegation. Today was the day, us, the new ones, would be initiated into this faction of selflessness and as Miss. Teresa put it, I should enjoy it.
But as I sat on a chair with my fellow initiators, I was clouded with the recent tragedy. Honestly I couldn’t even count how many of the sick, the lonely, the dying I had comfort and helped. Only a few stuck in my mind such as the two little girls I had taken care of two weeks before.
I had stepped toward to the Factionless crowd and I focused on a young girl crying. Her mother was trying to carry her around and I asked, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
The woman’s face seemed relieved for the first time in her life. “Yes, my little girl was climbing and fell. Her ankle hurts.”
Nodding my head, I examined her ankle gingerly and noticed no exposed bone or ankle out of line, just immense swelling and bruising. Thank the lord. If it were broken, I wouldn’t be able to do much besides try to set it back and bandage it up in hopes to heal right. “I think it’s just a sprained ankle, madam.”
Opening my kit up, I glanced at the girl looking at me with uncertainty. “My name is Kinder. Do you have a name?” I asked while taking a piece of stretchy linen out. She nodded her red head, “Mira.”
I smiled at her, “That’s a pretty name. Why were you climbing?”
Slowly I wrapped her ankle up and Mira responded, “Jack said if I could reach the top, he give me a sandwich.”
My inside flipped at the thought of this little girl starving. “What kind of sandwich?”
She bit her lip, “Peanut butter and Jelly.”
Pinning butterfly clips on I replied, “Well what a coincidence.” I reached into my bag with my only lunch for today and added, “I have one. Here.”
Mira’s eyes widen with the sandwich in her hands. She asked concerned, “What about you? What will you eat?”
Glancing around my eyes search for some object to help Mira move around without putting pressure on her ankle and that’s when I saw it. A broken up table by garbage can. “I ate already. Why don’t you enjoy that while I find something to help you walk.”
As I head over I notice another girl joining Mira. From the looks of it, the younger girl looked like Mira with the same red tinted hair color. Sisters perhaps?
Wiggling two metal legs shaped like a crutch free, I was becoming proud with my due prompt engineering. Walking back to the mother and her kids, I said, “I’m going to give you a few cool compressed to put on her ankle to let the swelling go down.”
I bunched up a few sheets to pad the wider end where Mira’s crutches would rest. Bending down to Mira sitting on the floor by herself again, I instructed, “Keep your ankle wrapped up and don’t stand on it. Use these crutches to help you walk around.” I turned to her mother and added, “Also let her take these pills every four hours as well.”
“What will the pills do?” The mother asked nervously.
“It’s to help ease the pain and reduce the swelling,” I added and the mother grasped my arm. “Thank you.”
The little one I had briefly seen, peeked out from her mother’s legs coughing like Mira and handed me something. Grasping it, I realized it was a braided bracelet.
I bent down on my knees and reached into my pocket. “Thank you. I have something for you both too. Here,” I handed both girls a lollipop and moved on with my day.
Miss. Teresa finishing up with her patient and asked me, “Where did you get the sweets?”
“I made them at your home yesterday. Sure they are filled with sugar and strawberry, but also some medicine to calm down there cough.”
Miss. Teresa eyes sparkled with this idea and said, “Brilliant Kinder. You’re going to have to teach me how to make these cough pops.”
A smile almost formed on my face as I played with the offered friendship bracelet under my sleeve.
My thoughts were interrupted when Marcus’s muffled words were echoed into the silent night. Slowly I watch each person in the faction get up from their seat and go down the row of new imitators, to wash our feet with the bowls next to us. As they slowly approached me, I could hear Aaron struggling not to laugh. He whispered next to me, “Their so ticklish.”
My lip twitched a bit in amusement. Aaron, my only other friend than Miss. Teresa, always seemed to pull me out of my darkness with his bright personality. Then again how could he not be chipper, Aaron after being fledge a member would be proposing to a woman here? I was glad at least he could immerse himself into this faction so well now.
“How are your plans,” I asked trying to rid of the nightmare of today’s earlier events.
Aaron’s smile widened more as he leaned closer to say, “After I ask her father for his permission, I’m going to give her this.” He pulled out of his pocket a small ring that was in the shape of a horseshoe. “I had the Amity friend to help me out.”
I nodded my head in understanding. While Amity produced crops and food for us other factions, they too mined for metals from the earth.
“She’ll love it,” I responded as he placed it back into his pocket. “But I’m pretty sure they don’t wed that way.”
I watched each person touching my feet and I only noticed a few people I had seen before. Miss. Teresa and the Gardeners obviously, but also a girl named Beatrice. I had encountered her last week when volunteering to bring food to the other factions.
Beatrice glanced up to me suddenly and for the first time I felt fear. Out of everyone there in Dauntless territory, she had spotted Ezekiel and me exchanging a note. Glancing away, she moved on to Aaron.
Aaron asked, “What do you mean?”
“What I’ve heard they do a candle lighting ceremony and you exchange vows to each other. But you can still give it to her as a remembrance of your love and loyalty to her.”
He shook his head astounded, “How do you know so much?”
“I talk to people,” I joked and Aaron tried muffling his laugh, “Oh, okay. You were socializing. I like to see that.”
Finally the last person washed our feet and dried them, thus dinner proceeded and we all shared a meal of our bland diet.
While talking a bit, I couldn’t help but notice the girl Aaron was going to ask to be his wife staring at me. This was making more uncomfortable than I already was, so I stopped participating in Aaron’s and the others conversation.
Soon the last bit had been eaten and Marcus stood up saying, “Initiates, I finally have the honor to announce you as members of Abnegation. We allow you the choice to continue to live with your homes now or we offer the single apartments. It’s up to you. Personally, I feel like they are a little too small for me. But anyway, follow, Mr. Prior for a new home or go back to the other ones. Thank you.”
Glancing over to the Gardeners, I already knew what I wanted to do. Walking toward Mr. Gardener, I shook his hand. “Thank you for your guidance and hospitality.”
Bernard smiled and replied happily, “It was a privilege to helping you.” Connie nodded her head stiffly while Eugene smiled at me. “Good luck,” Eugene said as I picked up my only possessions.
Following Mr. Prior, only six of us walked down the road way to buildings that looked the same as the other exteriors. But instead of two homes in one place, there were four roomed apartments. Being handed a key, I stepped into my own place and thought automatically. It was way smaller.
All in one room was a twin size bed, a television used to watch the news, a small table to seat two people, an extremely small kitchen, and a closet space for a walk-in shower, sink and toilet.
Even though this room was the size of a box, I had gain something; freedom to do what I wanted in my private place. No one could judge me here. A place where no one could see how hard I was struggling to live here, or even keep constant track on me.
After placing my plant on the table and dropping my medical sack, I retrieved from before on the floor and I plopped on the bed exhausted. I hated how no matter how hard I tried to block everything out, I could still see the boys face. How blank and lost his brown eyes stared back at me. Shaking my head I tried ridding the thoughts of how today I was helping the Factionless ended in disaster.
As I glanced up to look at the bright blue sky, I noticed movement of a person standing on the edge of building. My heart sunk into my stomach because I could tell he wasn’t Dauntless with black clothing. He didn’t have a parachute or a net below him. And he was very young.
While the Factionless began to point to where the boy was in awe, I didn’t think. I just began to climb up the building’s wall with many cracks in it. My legs shook under my weight as I hoisted my body up higher. But I didn’t care. I was too determined to stop him.
And what seemed like forever finally came to an end as I was able to roll myself over to the ledge where the boy was standing by. Getting onto my knees, the boy looked over to me in shock and whispered, “What are you doing here?”
“I just needed some fresh air,” I said calmly. “Though it’s cold up here.” I glanced over to the coat he had thrown by his side and asked, “Would you mind if I could borrow your coat, Mr-?”
I took a few steps closer as he didn’t move from his spot. He whispered, “Kale.”
Picking up the coat, I was now getting closer to him just in case he did decide to jump. “Do you have a first name? Mine’s Kinder.”
“Todd,” he answered as he stared down at the bustling city. Inching even more closer I asked, “So did you come up here to think too? I do that a lot.”
“No,” Todd said firmly with a deadpanned expression, “I’m going to kill myself.”
My mouth said the only thing to pop into my mind, “Why?”
“I’m done.” He took a step closer to the ledge, “I have no purpose.”
Panic was rattling my body as I interjected, “You don’t have to be in a faction to find purpose. That’s up to you.” I could see Dauntless diving out of the train and I was relieved I have some back up soon.
Todd smiled at me with tears in his eyes, “Easy for you. You found your place where you belong. I tried and failed. Failed. And now I have no family, no friends, no job or anything! How can you understand anything when nothing had every happened like this to you?!”
“That’s not true,” I said unsettled by his words. “I know what it’s like to lose love ones. I don’t belong being….” Divergent.
He jumped off quickly and I leap out and grasped onto his arm in reaction.
Being in a terrible position to lift his body up, I struggled lying flat along the edge with my whole sore arm extend over the ledge. I groan with him using all his dead weigh against my attempt to save his life. I whispered, “Please, you have so much to live for. Your just sixteen years old.” My arm felt like jello as sweat dripped from my face. “Don’t let this death be on me.” I tried guilting him into re-thinking this plan.
I stared into his dark eyes and Todd responded, “How can you kill someone that’s already dead.” He yanked at my arm and dug his nails into my hand. I cried out in pain as the last of my strength was failing.
Before a Dauntless person could make it through the restless Factionless crowd, Todd slipped through my hands and I watched him plummet to his death. “Noooo!” I yelled as a Dauntless pulled me away from the ledge.
“He let go. He let go,” I kept repeating over and over as tears poured down my face.
Curling up in a ball, I cried myself to sleep.