“Zeke?” I barely whispered as I watched him and another girl be taken to the Candor Judging Chambers that next morning. I watch Dauntless pushed him around, curse traitor, spitting in his face. They were demanding for a trial and my heart sunk. “Stop,” again my voice seemed weak and suddenly I could feel a hand lay on my shoulder for comfort.
Uriah face was passive and yet his tone was hopeful, “He’s back in time.” Uriah seemed to leap forward and turn to me with anxiety written over his face. He was just happy his brother was home and alive. “Coming?”
I nodded my head even though my feet were still glued to the floor. Did I really want to return back to that room?
The commanding sound of Jack’s voice echoed the halls, “State you full name.”
And there it was; the warm gentle voice that seemed like a far memory of mine. Instantly I moved toward the familiarity and heard him speak, “Ezekiel Tomvim Pedrad.”
“And you are aware of the crimes you are accused of?”
“Are you a traitor of dauntless?
I stepped my foot into the door way to examine Ezekiel to be fine physically, but mentally something was off. Maybe it was the truth serum in effect? I held my breath and Ezekiel said, “No. I would never betray my faction.”
“Why did you stay behind with the others?” Jack asked curious as the other dauntless that leaned closer.
Without a pause Ezekiel replied, “Tori and I stayed back to spy on them. We kept tabs and reported to dauntless superiors here. Our last report on their attack on candor and we decided to run away and hopefully help our friends and protect candor.”
“Why did they come here?”
“To find divergents,” he almost growled out the last part, “and kill them.”
Interest picked up in Jack’s voice, “Are you one?”
“No,” he said. But he knew a few including me.
“Last question to cleanse your mind; what are your deepest regrets?”
Suddenly I watched Ezekiel roll in turmoil as if he was wrestling to decide the worse. Finally he said quietly, “I regret…” His brown eyes search the room until they landed by me and Uriah.
Without taking his sad remorseful eyes off of me, he answered, “Not being able to tell the truth to my loved ones that I was undercover. I lied to them to protect them. But in all, I lied. And I’m sorr-”
Feeling on the verge of cry, I turned away from the room quickly. I couldn’t figure out my feelings. Why I was so angry? He was back. He saved us by giving, who I assume Four, a heads up during the candor attack. Zeke even risked his life to save us in amity.
Planting my back against wall, I slide down shaking. As I tucked my head onto of my knee, the tears collecting in my confused eyes slide down my leg. Only a few minutes later, I could hear the quicken footsteps slow down and quietly stop in front of me. Somehow I was daring enough to shift my head up.
There Ezekiel kneeled in front of me and timidly touched my cheek as if I was made of porcelain. I just soaked in his gentle warm touch and closed my eyes.
I could barely hear him say, “I’m sorry, Kinder. I’m so sorry….”
Tilting my head in his hand, I tried to not let another tear fall. “Please forgive me,” his voice was so weak, so desperate as it begged. Every inch of my body craved to collapse into his arms I longed for, but this strong emotion of resent held me back.
“I had to save you. Save the others. That’s why I didn’t tell you anything. I lied to save you.”
I thrust his hand away and he seemed stunned as I growled, “I don’t care you lied. That’s just who you are. Putting yourself before others. Always risking your life.”
I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I stood up quickly. Ezekiel slowly stood up with his face passive. He was ready to take whatever I said. Running my hand through my hair like the basket case I seemed to become, I cried out, “Don’t, don’t you care about you? You could have die!!! Don’t you have any self-preservation at all?!”
His face began to crumble as I noticed our friends stopping to watch our argument unfold. Ezekiel tried to defend himself, “I do care, but you’re more important to me. I couldn’t stand the thought of you dead.”
Without a thought I threw a jab into his chest and he glanced up at me shocked. “And you think I can stand the thought of you gone? God Ezekiel, why? Why do you always do this? Why do you always make these terrible decisions without me?”
I backed into the wall when it finally clicked why I was so angry. So enraged. The words echoed like a ghost, I promise I won’t make a decision without discussing it with you again.
Staring into his scared eyes and the words I suddenly thought came out in accusation, “You broke your promise.”
“Kinder, I…” Ezekiel started to pull me into a hug, but I slide out of his grasp.
“No. I gave you another chance, but you’ll never get it Zeke.” Like a terrified girl about to run because this suddenly felt like the end of things.
Ezekiel asked confused, “What? What don’t I understand?”
“When you’re in love with someone, the decisions you make don’t just affect your life no longer. It affects theirs as well.”
He was silent like everyone else in the hallway. Turning my body away, I barely could whisper, “Think about it.”