Arriving to Abnegation had been a rude awaking to me. Walking down the dirt road between rows upon rows of grey identical homes, we were being lead to a small platform.
Standing on the platform was the council of elders including Marcus Eaton. “Welcome new initiates. We are happy for your choice to serve.” He moved closer with a smile, “Abnegation born may continue to live with your families. As for the new transfers, you will be taking under our volunteer wings to help guide you in our ways. Each of you will go under 30 days of volunteer work and once completed we shall initiate you as full members of our faction.”
I heard one of the transfers from Candor ask under his breath, “Will they tell us what volunteering work we have to do?” It was a good question as well as who would we be taking us in?
“Abnegation born go home and get further instructions on your service. Transfers, I will call your name and introduce your adoptive family that will take you in for the time being.” I glanced around only seeing four of us. Not many really choose the life of self-sacrifice.
“Aaron Wright.” He was the Candor transfer and made his way up to a family of four. My palms began to sweat not knowing who I would be ending up with.
“Kinder Platts,” my name was called and my heart began to race. Walking slowly to the stand, I witnessed three people. A tall, lean man hunched over a bit, which had a cane to accommodate this lean. He had a very stern expression, one I was used to at my old home. Next to him was a woman, close to his age, I assumed to be his wife. She gave a small smile, but her eyes seem constricted with remorse. And finally was a young boy that observed me with curiosity.
Nodding their heads, the older man said, “Hello Miss. Platts. I’m Bernard Gardener, this is my wife, Connie, and our son, Eugene. Let us go.” Following their lead quietly, we went down seven houses before he opened their home up to me. “Connie, take her up to her room and get her ready.”
His wife nodded her head obediently and again I followed her up the stairs to a room on the left. There grey baggy robes lay on top of the bed and I stared at four blank walls. It was worst than Erudite.
After getting changed into my new wardrobe, she slowly pinned my hair up into a bun. “There,” she quietly said and I turned around to see Connie grab my clothes and shoes.
“What will you do with them?” I asked and she stiffly responded, “We will recycle them to help make blankets for the Factionless. Don’t speak.” I nodded my head shocked by her hostile tone and we returned back to the living room.
Her husband nodded his head in approval and said, “Better. Let’s eat some supper and get to bed. You have a long day tomorrow.”
Sitting at the table, Bernard explained for my benefit, “There are a few rules you need to learn. For one, when we dine at the table, we always pass food to the right,” I quickly stopped my action to take some food and placed my hands in my lap, “and wait to eat until everyone is served.”
His wife added sternly, “And children are not supposed to speak at the dinner table unless their parents ask them a direct question.” I raised an eyebrow afraid to speak after Connie’s threat. Last time I checked they weren’t my parents.
Bernard seemed to pick up my questioning eyes, “We believe listening ears are a gift to us parents, and after dinner parents give their gift of their listening ears in the living room.”
Connie stared me down as her husband began to list more rules. “We don’t possess any luxury items, you can’t look in the mirrors for long period of time, and the showers are also timed because we don’t want to waste water and no alcohol as if you could find it here.” He laughed a bit before his wife glared at him, “At dinner parties everyone helps out. We don’t speak our minds and share our ideas to the public. And we definitely don’t gossip.”
Connie finally added, “In Abnegation we strongly discourage self-enjoyment except when helping others. So no physical affection is allowed, understand girl. Just keep quiet, don’t attract attention to yourself and do your service work.”
I nodded in agreement and she smiled in satisfaction at my silence. But honestly I really didn’t have anything to worry about. I wasn’t really a vain person; most time I throw my hair into a ponytail without looking in a mirror. And if she thought I was going to be promiscuous or tried to be noticeable, Connie was dead wrong. This divergent wanted to blend in the background for good and be with only one person.
After dinner I helped clean up and went to bed. Closing the door, I leaned back trying to breath. This was my new life and somehow I already felt like I was drowning.
Quickly I opened my window and stared at the blinking stars above. I just have to make it through 30 days and then I be able to be on my own.
Without crazy Connie on my back, I thought annoyed.
A nice breeze crested my face and I just imagine a place where I could be free with Ezekiel.