Three weeks later…
Scrubbing the crusted food off the plates, I hummed a small tune happily. Absent mindlessly I watched the children singing and chasing each other in their games. It was peaceful. A place where someone could live their life without worries and raise a family. Out of all the factions, Ezekiel and I should have picked this from the start.
Arms wrapped around my waist and I could feel his lips softly touch my ear as he whispered, “Wow. She cooks, cleans and now hums. Who is this cheerful girl?”
I hint of smile played on my lips. “I’m just happy.”
“Because?” Ezekiel said drawing out the word.
I turned around avoiding him with my wet prune hands. There Ezekiel stood embracing me with a bigger smile I had ever imagined. “Because I finally have a safe place I can be with the one I love, Mr. Pedrad.”
“Well I feel the same way,” Ezekiel moved in closer to me, “Mrs. Pedrad.”
My heart gushed at him say those words and I finally broke out into the same idiot grin. I could remember that day so clearly.
Waking up droozy, my hand patted around trying to find my heating blanket, Ezekiel. But as my hand wavered around to the cool floor, I peeked my hazel eye open surprised. “Zeke,” I murmured in questioning tone.
Laying before me a bowl of assortment fruit was found and my hand lifted up a small note under my breakfast. Reading the note, it said,
After your yummy breakfast get dressed and go to the weeping willow.
Popping a grape into my mouth, I noticed a flowy floral dress draped over a hammock. It had red, orange, and light purple flowers with green leaves. A brown satin ribbon tied around the waist. It was so whimsical and vibrant than the clothes I had worn in erudite or even abnegation. Eating a few more grapes, I quickly changed outfits and search for Zeke by the willow tree.
What was he up too?
Passing through the kids playing tag I walked over to find no Zeke, but my now closer friends Beatrice and Four. Giving a questioning look, Four waved me to come closer and we all duck behind the willow. “What’s up?”
Nothing was making sense now when I followed Four and Beatrice. Four gave me a slight smirk as he said, “Don’t worry.” Beatrice guided me to sit down on a rock and began to braid my hair. I was on edge with uncertainty, but instead of interrogating them I internally sighed.
Trust. That is what I had to do now.
Beatrice smiled at her work and replied, “There. Now come with us.” She grasped my hand pulling us further in the woods. After a few minutes, I was now wanting to stand my ground.
Why were we going this far out-
My body halted in surprise. It was as if I had stepped into some magical world of natural beauty. A soft trickling stream snake up to a small water fall and then wrapped around a huge tree. It had light purple pink pear flowers starting to bloom and they swayed gently in the nice summer breeze. But what mostly caught my eye was Ezekiel dressed up and smiling at me.
Beatrice place a crown of flowers on top of my head and both of them escorted me toward Ezekiel. When I was only a step away from him, I asked, “What is going on? Are we….”
The head spokesperson, Johanna Reyes, walked around the tree and stated, “In amity, we choose love. And I see no reason as to why two people, who are in love as I have seen these past weeks, cannot be bonded in holy matrimony.”
My breath was caught in my throat as the sudden emotion of joy ruptured my body. This is what we always wanted and finally we could have it. Even though in other factions our marriage wouldn’t be even acknowledged, in amity we were granted a freedom.
Zeke reached out for my hands and reciprocated by join him. Johanna stepped by us both and said with holding a candle with different engraving on it.
“Today you have decided to share the rest of your lives with each other. In this old tradition, you together will take part in lighting in the candle of unity”
I looked at the candle and didn’t understand the relativity of it. Johanna smiled at my skeptic expression, “Love is like a flame. It has heated passion. It constantly changes. There is radiance and beauty and yet its fragile. And only together you must protect it for being extinguished. This symbolizes the journey of partnership of marriage you are about to undergo.”
Handing us both a small candle, “After a few words of your promises you shall light the candle.”
My mouth dropped not having anything prepared. Zeke reading my mind said, “You didn’t need to prepare anything because I can see it all in your eyes. Just promise you love me the rest of our lives on this good earth and that is enough.”
“It’s not enough, Zeke. I want to love you even after that,” I whispered with my eyes whelming up. He smiled at me and kissed my lips gently, “We can do that.”
Lighting up the small candles we held, Johanna continued to say, “This beautiful union is now symbolized by the lighting of the Unity Candle. The individual candles represent all that you are and all that you have been until this moment. Your flames are separate,” we slowly began to light the unity candle together, “and yet they feed the same fire. From this day onward, may you bask in the beauty of the light of your love, may its light shine bright and steady upon your path together and may its heat keep you warm through all the days of your lives,” she smiled at me and added, “and beyond.”
Ezekiel kissed my lips again and asked, “You look good.” His light brown eyes focused on me with a little more seriousness, “Have the nightmares stopped?”
“Yep. They have baby,” I replied returning him with another kiss. It was true. The nightmares had stopped completely. Somehow, I blocked everything out and only had created a place where I could keep my mind at rest.
Had I dealt with the problem? No. I had blocked it out for the time being. Yes. And for now that was good enough, I thought to myself with slight guilt.
“Get down,” a sudden demanding voice yelled out capturing our attention. Stepping closer to the window Ezekiel gasped out the same words I was too speechless to think, “Dauntless.”
Yes, dauntless seem to emerge everywhere, making individuals of amity get on their knees with their hands over their head.
I thought petrified, were they going to do mass shooting again like in abnegation?
Quickly one of the dauntless started to go by scanning each one of them. “What are they doing?” I barely whispered.
Before Ezekiel could answer my puzzling question we watched the dauntless man stopped in front of a little girl and say, “Got one.”
Ezekiel pulled me away from the window and we started to head for the back door. He whispered, “I don’t think we want to find out. You have to get out of here.”
Opening the door, Ezekiel peeked out to see the coast cleared and I grasped his hand urgently, “What about the others?”
His brown eyes locked on mine with contemplation, “If you don’t go now, we won’t make it to see them again.”
My insides were screaming to not leave them behind. It seemed like a coward thing to do. But Zeke was right. We had to save our asses first to fight another day. Nodding my head in agreement, we escaped into the wooded landscape without a plan. Well beside RUN!!
As I stepped out for the door, I realized Ezekiel wasn’t moving with me. “Come on.”
His brown determining eyes latch onto my wide confused ones and he grasped my arms tight, “Do you trust me?”
“Yes,” I said breathlessly not sure where he was going with this.
“Go to candor, the others will be there and Uriah will be able to protect you,” Ezekiel quickly whispered with shifty eyes.
I pulled his hand to move with me, “Why aren’t you coming?”
He wiped the tear on my cheek and said earnestly, “I’ll see you soon. Now do as I say or else everything will be in jeopardy. I can’t lose you, not again.”
Walking into the woods alone, I turned around to find Ezekiel had run into the amity. My unorganized thoughts began to swirl around. I was so fearful he would get hurt or killed. Was he going back for the others? I could help!
Ducking behind a tree, I suddenly tried to comprehend the scene unfolding before my frozen body. Ezekiel now had a gun and seemed to be ordering the dauntless around in search for us criminals.
Beside him my blood ran cold when Eric appeared and patted his back. They began to integrate a thirteen old boy on our whereabouts. With time ticking, a bored expression crossed Eric’s face and he whispered to Ezekiel something.
Giving a slight nod, Ezekiel raise a gun up and pull the trigger. Twist myself around the tree so no of them could see me, I gasped for the sudden air knocked out of me.
Zeke just killed a kid. Zeke just killed, ah… I tilted my head back to see the boy’s body lying still on the ground. Zeke, my husband, was a traitor too. But for how long? And why???
Taking off down the wooded trees, I flooded away from the constricting situation by ripping away any branched from my face with anger. He betrayed our friends.
The constant tears of regret and overwhelming hurt poured down my cheek. He betrayed my trust. This was a big secret.
After about three miles away, I tripped over a root I couldn’t see with my blurry vision and I slide to the hard ground busting my knee open. But I didn’t care I was bleeding. It wasn’t as much as my heart was doing right now. Running my hands through my hair I felt so lost and choked back the constant sobs ramming my body.
I jumped suddenly with the startling gun shots could be heard echoing through the land. I suddenly prayed it wasn’t our friends at the end of the barrel. Crawling in the direction toward an area where the woods were thinning out, I found Tris, Four and Caleb making a break for the train car.
As they were making their escape, Four dropped back firing at the woods, while Tris pressed her brother to make it across the tracks. Tris then switch taking fire to give Four cover to move.
I could feel my breathing become rapid as Four began to charge toward the tracks in front to the train. I muttered over and over, “He’s not going make. He’s not going to make it….”
Instantly I turned my head away not able to bare watch one of my friends get run over. With my eyes shut, I could hear the train engine roaring along with the many gun shots and then finally here Ezekiel’s uplifting words. “Eric they got away.”
A breath I had pent up subconsciously released with relief, but only for a moment as I watch Eric’s army and Ezekiel retreat back to their vehicles. Instead I discovered a part of me was gone now too.