Standing in the court room before the trail began, I was becoming fidgety and nervous. I really didn’t want to relive what I work so hard to block out of my mind. But as I glanced over to my friends, I knew their lives hung in the delicate balance of life and death. So somehow I found a little courage to go forward.
Uriah grasped my hand and whispered, “You don’t have to do this?”
I smiled up to him sadly and said, “I have to reinforce their truths. They might doubt them being divergent.” Divergents were known to break bounds to fear serums. But I wondered if that was true to all?
Giving him a tight hug, I asked quietly, “Promise me whatever happens, don’t treat me differently.”
“I never do that,” Uriah said worried, “Why would you say-”
“Kinder.” The shot was gabbed into my neck and coiled back in pain. Why did they do the neck?
“Please step forward and may the truth help set the accused free.”
Feeling my mind completely clear, I started to panic inside. The serum wasn’t even taking affect.
“Is Kinder Matthews your real name?”
“Yes.” I stated and I begged my body to let the drugs work. I honestly didn’t want to say the truth being fully aware in front of everyone. Instantly I could feel the serum warm spread through my body slowly to the point of easing my pain.
“Why keep that a secret?”
I focused on Jack’s face and without hesitation I explained, “My mother found me to be a poor excuse as an erudite and was always disappointed to the point of disgust. That’s why I took my father’s last name. Maeve,” my mouth barley choked out, “the one your spoke of earlier, was adopt when I was twelve.” I glanced down sadly, “She was what Jeanine always wanted.” I barely whispered my true thoughts, “A true genius of her time.”
“How did you know Jeanine was evolved in this attack? We’re you there in abnegation to see?”
I nodded my head before I remembered to answer, “The day before our testing day, I remember Jeanine and my sister were working diligently on Maeve’s research for a new training for dauntless. It’s was supposed to allow a person’s subconscious mind to be exposed to an already created scenario, but her theory had flaws. She couldn’t contain the person’s conscious body from moving around and reacting as to what they were seeing in their mind.”
My eyes lifted up seeing the rows upon rows of people judging me. I stated, “With hindsight now, I have no doubt Jeanine manipulated it.” Manipulated Maeve, my mind screamed.
Flicking my eyes over to Tris holding herself for dear life I added with sudden resentment, “And I was in Abnegation when under attack. I tried to get as many people out, but there were too many dauntless under this serum influence. They were like sleep walking with a mission already to kill every last one of us. And I don’t blame those dauntless as I don’t blame Tris or Four for shooting back because I’m just as guilty trying to defend myself. I didn’t want to, but what choice did anyone of us have.”
I could feel my heart pulsing rapidly and I had no control over my mouth. It was like word vomit. And shockingly I found it comforting. These confessions of hard topics I hated to discuss even with Ezekiel.
Jack paced with a crinkle forming in his brows, “Did you see Jeanine in action of this?”
“She was in abnegation when the attack was going on and I saved Tris from Jeanine’s execution of her. But-” I paused unsure if I wanted to go on.
“But what?” He asked curious and I found myself jumping ahead in my thoughts. “I didn’t go with them to stop Jeanine at the control center….”
My hands literally shook as I gasped with the sudden thought of Maeve’s scared face. They wanted the truth here it was. “You hesitate on your opinion of not believing Jeanine could be capable of this low, but take it from a woman that had lived with this,” I growled out, “monster for sixteen years.”
The image of mother sitting across me prim and proper while drinking her tea enveloped my vision. And I could hear her monotone voice repeat, “Why can’t you get it through your thick head. Repeat after me. Erudite.”
She waited for me to responded, “Erudite.”
A smile crossed her face and I wanted to just reach over a smack her hot tea in her ugly face. “Is the supreme role model for our government and it should rule the factions.” I quickly mumbled through it getting agitated and Jeanine waved me over to her.
Instantly I knew I was in trouble and my breath stopped. Slowly walking to the other side, she looked at me with her cold calculating eyes. “Hold my tea cup,” Jeanine ordered.
Seeing the steam rising from the cup, I pursed my lips together and held out my hands obediently. Quickly I could feel the heat make contact with my palms and Jeanine said nonchalantly, “Again. Erudite.”
“Erudite.” It was hurting so bad, but I tried to hold my expression impassive. Even though I’m pretty sure my eyes were burning, as hot as the tea, holes at her head.
“Is the supreme role model for our government,” she paused and I started too stated with my voice wavering in discomfort, “Is the supreme role model for our government.”
Without my power, tears began to appear and she said smug, “and it should rule the factions because it’s the logical choice.”
Holding the cup I desperately tried to keep quiet to revolt against her cruel ways and it was only a second that I saw that flash of fear of no control over me that I finally responded, “And it should rule the factions because it’s the logical choice.”
My so called mother took her tea cup and excused me from the dinner table and to her demise the only thing burned into me was the reminder of my bravery to have my own opinions.
I moved the palm of my hands toward me to see the scar tissue and I found myself trying to explain Jeanine essence. “I had been drilled over and over that divergents should be hunted down like wild animals all because they could change the balance of powers.” Which, in my mind, they possibly could make this a better place. “And that terrifies her to no end. It is in this great fear that she will distorted anything to make it work in her favor. Even if it means lying to hide the truth.”
My vision was becoming blurry and Jeanine was screaming and hitting me in the rib cage again and again. “Get into the closet.”
I screamed before she threw me into a closet. “You’ll be lucky if I ever let you out again after that pulled stunt!“
Beating on the door over and over again, I cried out, “I didn’t do anything wrong! I didn’t, I didn’t do wrong. I just helped that kid getting hurt-
I found myself on my knees facing the floor with little wet specks. The truth serum seemed to be releasing the horrible lock away memories of my past and I felt disorientated and over whelmed. Raising my shaking hand I came to understand I was crying and by the looks of things I things I may have said too much.
With hard disgusted eyes, Jack asked uncertain, “Was that the extent of her abuse?”
Feeling my stomach twist in pain I wasn’t sure if it was the serum working or just the idea of retelling the worse. I barely muttered out, “No.”
I could sense my prosecutor contemplating to ask, but instead I focus on finding any expression in the audience that didn’t send me piety or sickening vibes. Four sat sit just staring at me as if he could understand my pain. With his head nodding I felt a slight comfort.
“Oh, come on. Enough is enough.” I heard Uriah speak out and Jack hushed him.
“Kinder would you tell this tale to us if you want too?”
“No,” I said never taking my eyes off of Four and Jack said, “Even meant for us to understand how cruel Jeanine can be?”
A fire began to burn inside my belly from his ridiculous question and I answered heated, “Jeanine has murder over thousands of innocent people. Is that’s not enough to understand the sadistic depths of this mad woman?”
Digging my nails into my palms I stated, “Let me clue in since you’re being stupid.” Crap no control over my mouth again. “Jeanine doesn’t like when she can’t control things, including me. Therefore, she would fill up the bathtub and pull me over by my hair.” I was certain blood would be surfacing with my nails cutting more and more into my scared palms. Trying with holding anymore tears, my throat seemed to constrict instead. “She held me down. And just when I thought I wouldn’t make it, she pulled up just for a breath.” I finally glanced up from Jack’s horrified face to Uriah’s raging anger and then finally I landed on Four’s stone hard expression. I felt so naked. So exposed.
Taking deep breaths, I could barley surface from my hatred. I wanted to get my point across. “Don’t underestimate her. She wouldn’t even for a second hesitate to kill thousands more people just to to do what she thinks is right.”
“Last question, to clear the soul. What is your deepest regret?”
A million things suddenly popped into my head. Not killing Jeanine when I had the chance. Trusting Zeke, a person I thought I once knew. Maybe just being related to Jeanine was enough? But no something lurked in the back of my mind and Maeve lifeless body pressed against the glass. She really was the only person I buried my soul into and there were no secrets between us at all, even my divergent secrecy. And I let that all go because…
“Being selfish.” The streaming of tears trailed down my red cheeks and I whispered with guilt I had been pent up since Maeve was murdered. “I should have stayed in erudite. I should have stayed to keep Maeve safe. But I just focus on my survival away from Jeanine and I’ve finally got what I wanted.”
My violently shaking hand ran through my hair as a sob was on the verge to explode through my chest. “I’m alive, but at the cost.” Jeanine had taken everything away from me because I broke away from her control. “And now I have nothing.”
Jack was suddenly trying to swallow hard and finally said, “Thank you for your candor. The witness has spoken. Let the other now do their turn and speak their truths.”
Quickly Uriah jetted over to me and helped me up to my feet. My legs still felt as if they were nothing but jelly, wobbling without structure. Guiding me over to the side, I placed my head between my knees trying to breath. I didn’t want to move, I didn’t want to breathe. All I wanted was to disappear between the cracks and be forgotten forever.
“Kinder?” I finally heard Uriah’s soft voice whisper, “the trial has been over an hour ago. They were claimed innocent.”
My deadpan eyes lifted up to his intense fearful ones and instantly I shriveled away inside. I didn’t want him to see me this way. All broken and weak.
Standing up I could finally see the room was completely empty. With little effort I had left, I told Uriah, “Thank you. I just need, I need some time alone.”
My head pivot up to his unsure body language and after a few seconds he responded, “Okay. I’ll be in my room if you need me.”
Giving me a hug, it didn’t feel the same. It was constricting and I couldn’t breathe. Pulling away, I started to walk out and make head way through the halls. If anything I desperately need air.
Storming passed many people, I found a balcony outside and turned around to scale up the wall to sit on the roof. Lying on my back I prayed for the truth serum to wear off because the constant thoughts of the so many dangerous and darkest truths in my life were whirling around like a tornado.
But mostly Maeve’s distorted tarred face was now haunting me again. “Please go away,” I whispered to the emptiness, “Please.”