Small drops of water rolled slowly off the leave of the hibiscus plant. Letting my hand glide the pencil over the paper, I sketch out the image of the plant over and over. “Kinder?”
My pencil dug into the tear shape rain drop and I stopped my motion. I quickly flicker my eyes up to Caleb and back to my paper. “Zeke wants you.” Nodding my head in understanding, I packed up my sketch book. “Why have you been drawing the plant so much?” I flinch at the sudden image of the tear drop down my sister’s cheek.
“Because I can,” I answered short and I turned to walk out. Caleb blocking my path held a deep sad expression.
He stuttered out, “I’m so sorry-”
My mouth clenched as I responded, “Don’t you have something to do?”
Sliding past Caleb, I didn’t want to hear his pathetic apologies. I didn’t want to hear another person say they were sorry for my loss. Because it wasn’t a loss, my baby sister was taken away from me. Murdered.
“I tried saving her, but it was too late,” Caleb blurted out as if it was a great excuse.
My temper flared up as I hissed, “You should have tried harder.”
Placing my hand to shield me from the bright sun light I made my way to our sleeping quarters. I couldn’t remember much what happened after that horrible day.
Ezekiel muddled words saying something important. Me running with him carrying Maeve’s body. Being chased and Ezekiel shooting down a few men. And then, I was lying against a cool wall of the train. Four’s worried expression flickering over to me when hugging Beatrice. All those events were a blur, but the image of my sister’s lifeless face haunted me forever.
I wish this was all just a dream.
Peeking into the small bungalow with a few hammocks dangling, I noticed Ezekiel sitting on the floor. With a few steps inside, his head shifted toward me with a small smile. “Come here, Kinder.”
Opening his arms up to me, I snuggled into his chest for comfort. Stroking my blonde hair slowly, Ezekiel kissed my head and whispered, “You haven’t been sleeping well.” I guess the dark circle under my eyes were becoming more prominent.
I inhaled a deep breath, “I try, but I just can’t.”
“Tell me what happens.” He stated in almost a questioning tone. I glanced up to observe he was nervous to ask me, for the first time, to talk about this problem. I almost smile at how Ezekiel never demanded anything of me, especially if I wasn’t ready. We were equals.
“It, it always starts in a dark place. The recent one I’ve been having is in a cave.” I paused to find his brown eyes trained on me curious and waiting. “A crowd of faceless people surround my sister and me. She’s happy and smiling at me.”
Everyone is talking happily, but there is this eerie hesitance to go near the black lake. It terrifies me. Something about it paralyses my being. It’s only a few seconds before I glance back to find my sister is gone away from my side. Panic sets into my body as I push through the crowd calling her name.
Finally her pure voice screams my name. “Kinder!!!!!!” Maeve is in the lake, drowning in the thick sludge. Her arms flail as she chokes out my name with tar dripping out of her mouth. She slowly dies in front of me yelling, help me. Why aren’t you saving me?
But I can’t move. I dare not too. And I let her die.
I glance down to my hands beyond guilty, “But she ends up drowning.”
Ezekiel rocked me a bit as I cried reliving the reoccurring nightmares of how I was a terrible person. Why would my mind create such horrible things?
Pulling my chin up, he said, “It’s just a dream Kinder.” After kissing my lips, he added, “So I had an interesting talk with Four and Tris today.”
My hazel eyes searched his with curiosity, “What did you talk about?”
He shrugged his shoulders slightly, “A few things. One that particularly interested me was how unique Divergents, like yourself, have ability to change things in the subconscious mind. That’s why they can bend and break out of those created serums by erudite.”
I glanced around alert and said after knowing the coast was clear. “Are they Divergent as well?” Shock lit my face at the idea that out there were more people like me. I always assumed our kind was far from a few.
Ezekiel nodded his head and added, “They can do it that in their dreams. You can too with trying to keep calm and realizing it isn’t real.”
Tracing his hand with my finger, I ponder that idea. I had to battle my subconscious mind, one that was held my deepest fears and worst memories, and somehow take control. It seemed impossible.
Ezekiel gave a sigh and added, “I’m not trying to pressure you. I only say this because I love you. But once you finally confront and come in terms with your subconscious turmoil, you’ll find no fear, but peace.”
Not wanting to think about this task, I tried lightening the mood by saying, “And then I can actually sleep.”
Ezekiel smiled as he tilted his head down to me, “Yes and then you can actually have a decent sleep.”
“How is Tris holding up?” I asked knowing I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t lost people they loved. She had lost both of her parents. And what about Ezekiel? He had no clue if his brother was dead, alive or under erudite’s control.
He wiped his brow and responded, “As good as she can be.” I bit my lip and he smiled at me, “What do you want to ask?”
“Any word on Uriah?” I prayed for good news and Ezekiel smiled, “Sort of. He was reported missing before the attack and I’ve gotten word he fled to candor.”
I breathed out a sigh of relief. “Good.”
Ezekiel patted my knee, “It is. We should get back to work. It’s the least we can do after amity taking us in as refuges.”
Nodding my head in agreement we both walked in opposite directions. He went to work in the fields and I went to help teach the children basics in education.
Laying my head back into Ezekiel’s arm, I tried focusing on the cool breeze hitting my face. But my eyes wondered around from Ezekiel’s sleeping ones to Four sound asleep with his arms around Beatrice. And Beatrice staring at the ceiling.
Glancing away, I knew her nightmares were taking over her sleep as well. We were in the same boat which only gave a temporary comfort. Closing my eyes, I took deep breaths until my mind slowly slipped away.
The sound of drips caught my attention and I began to stir awake from my sleep. Opening my eyes, I pulled my upper body up from the floor in confusion. I shift my head around to find I was in an empty dark room with a small leak problem. Standing up on my feet, I search each wall for a way out, but there was no trace of an opening.
“Arrrggggghhhh!!!!” I practically jumped out of my skin as I turned around to find my sister screaming and crying on the opposite side of the corner. She was on her belly side lying on the floor and her red hair covered her wailing face. Close by her Ezekiel was standing in the corner passively watching the scene.
“Maeve!?” I stepped forward hesitantly. Suddenly she was silent and still. Maeve’s head snapped up and my mouth dropped open. Her hollow face stared at me with hatred as tar leaked from her eyes.
Like a lion ready to pounce on her prey, we both held still staring at each other. Turning around I slammed at the wall for an escape and then I could hear Maeve’s sloshing feet steps coming closer to me. In terror, I faced my demonized sister and her hand grasped my neck. I tried prying her hand off of my neck as she began to lift me off the ground. She yelled, “You let me die. You killed me!!”
My nails dug into her goopy hands and my wide eyes stared at Zeke for help. But he just stood there impassive like when he was under erudite’s control. My sister was getting her revenge on me when she threw me to the ground and began to drown me into sludge. Desperately I fought to live slapping her face, but I was losing. I couldn’t breathe.
My eyes flew open wide as I bolted up from the floor. Trying to get my bearings, I could hear only crickets and the wind chimes. Everyone was asleep on the ground and I could finally conclude it was another dream.
Great, I thought annoyed, I didn’t take control of that one. I let fear run the show.