I wasn’t fully awake and yet not fully asleep. You know the state where you’re just in a light sleep. I had to get up, I told myself. I didn’t want Connie barging in again. Sitting up groggy, I wiped my sleepy eyes and witnessed a simple flower lying on the floor. Slipping out of bed, I walked over and my hand gently lifted the flower to my nose.
Why would Ezekiel not say hi to me, but leave a flower? I smiled sadly and hid my flower in my pocket. Quickly I throw on my smock and shoes, then quickly placed my hair up in a bun the best I could.
Opening the door, I caught Connie about to knock on my door hard. “Good morning,” I said cheery and ducked around her surprised body.
Making my way down the stairs, Mr. Gardener getting ready for his day, threw an apple at me. “You at least need something in your stomach.” He added, “Good luck again.”
I smiled toward him and walked down the path devouring the apple in hand. I had a good feeling today. When reaching Miss. Teresa household, I knocked and heard her muffle voice yell, “Come in.”
Opening the door, I poked my head inside to see Miss. Teresa sitting in a chair. Waving me over I took a seat across from her. She said, “I think for today I’m going to give you some basic training. It’ll be the only way to help you take care of people.”
She handed me a sack, a needle and a thread. “Start closest from you and work away from yourself. Keep close to the edge as possible because it’s most likely to be numb.”
Miss. Teresa guided my actions as she said, “We will start to the left of the wound with an initial holding stitch.”
Piercing the left side of the hole in the sack, she continued to instruct, “Insert the needle downwards through the skin. At this point you will need to level off the needle and venture through the wound and to the adjacent wall of the wound. Once across the other side of the wound return the needle to the skins surface and continued back in forth in a diagonal path.”
Letting me in control of the needle Miss Teresa kneeled next to me. She finally said before letting me sew away, “Remember we need the needle to go deep enough as to not release the skin through a tear. And keep the stitches close.”
Nodding my head in understanding, I began to sew the seam together. I asked, “How do you know so much of this?”
Miss. Teresa smiled as she began to water the many plants in pots. “Surprising or not, my grandmother was an Erudite. She lived and breathed medical knowledge and when the time came, she past her knowledge down to my father and then me.”
“Have you lived here your whole life,” I was intrigued to know more about a person that would actually talk to me.
“I have,” she smiled while looking around. “My grandmother treasured this home, especially after all my father’s work to create the garden of herbs in the front.”
Taking another stitch I replied sincerely, “Your home is so tranquil and homey with all the plants around. I wish my room could be like this.”
“There are always ways to bend the rules, Miss. Platts. I would know with my rebellion days.” She tapped her head, “Just remember god gave you this.”
I smiled a bit at the mention of rebellion days. I could remember back when I was fourteen and my two best friends had already decided that they wanted to be Dauntless two years before the aptitude test would give them their results.
Stephanie told me as we walked down the dark streets, “I heard about this warehouse that a lot of Dauntless hang around. We should totally check it out.”
My other friend, Tom, shook his black set of hair, “You mean you want to check out the Dauntless men, Steph.”
Stephanie smiled coyly as she responded, “Maybe. I do love a bad boy.”
“Won’t we stick out,” I pulled at our mostly blue clothing and Stephanie sparkled a gleam in her eyes.
We were in trouble, I thought.
Opening the bag she had been carrying, she responded, “Not when I get done with you guys.” She looked at me, “Honestly you just have to lose the blazer and top.”
I glanced over to Tom with a smile and he said, “This doesn’t sound good.”
After sneaking into the warehouse by scaling a high chain length fence and flinging ourselves through a small window, we walked to the edge of the railing of the surrounding inside balcony. There many Dauntless were jumping and dancing to music, while others were drinking and arm wrestling by the bar set up.
This was pretty awesome.
“Well shall we,” Stephanie asked fully excited to join the fun. With both of us smiling, we descended down the metal stairs.
And that’s when everything changed. We drank and danced. Stephanie competed with a tequila contest with other Dauntless and I watched her giggle as the one boy licked the salt off her belly. Tom was lost somewhere in the crowd, grinding with other girls.
Feeling the want for another drink, I proceeded across the room and picked another beer from the cooler. As I was about to turn back, I suddenly lost my drink when being bumped forward. It was only a matter of seconds when my face was only suspended an inch from the ground that the person, who knocked me off my feet, lifted my body back up gently. The man’s smooth voice said worried, “Sorry about that. I guess my coordination and dance moves don’t coincide.”
Twisting my body to him, I observed the boy with shock. He was that good looking. He was tall, well taller than my short self, and well built. The boy’s dark black hair was buzzed and it had a few designs etched on the sides. A tattoo peeked out from his shirt a bit from his chest. But what caught my attention the most was his warm light brown eyes.
He stuck his hand out, “I’m Zeke.” Ezekiel then grabbed another beer for me and added, “I never seen you before. What’s your name?”
I laughed inside, knowing I didn’t even know myself if I looked in a mirror now. Stephanie had done an amazing job giving me a loose black tank to wear with my black pants and boots, placing red extensions throughout my hair making it vibrant and long, drawing my eyeliner darker than I would ever wear it, and also painting a fake tattoo on my arm. I looked Dauntless.
Taking the beer from his hands, I replied, “It’s okay. It’s not like I’m anything special to remember. The name is Kinder.”
Ezekiel smiled over to me making my hear flutter, “No, I definitely remember a beautiful woman if I saw her.” He shrugged off his jacket and handed it to me.
I stared at him confused, “I’m not cold.”
Taking a gulp of his beverage, he laughed. “I know, but I thought maybe you like to cover up the blob of a once tattoo.” My eyes shot down in horror with my tattoo completely smeared. Quickly, I shifted into his leather jacket and it smelled good.
Nothing beats the smell of leather and cologne.
Ezekiel studied me with a smirk and finally said, “Don’t worry. You’re not going to get kicked out. A lot more kids from Erudite come here all the time.”
I leaned in closer to him and asked, “How do you know I’m Erudite? I could be Candor.”
Ezekiel gave me a look and took another swig. “I highly doubt a Candor would be able to lie and try to deceive others.”
I literally could smack myself at how stupid I sounded right now. I think drinking was interfering with my thinking process.
He continued to say, “And you’re not Dauntless, I would know. Abnegation doesn’t approve alcohol. And Amity definitely wouldn’t like to party with us.”
Before I could say why, the sound of a commotion echoed and two boys that were drunk began to duke it out. Yeah, Amity wouldn’t be fond of the fighting.
Ezekiel finally concluded, “So you’re Erudite. A tipsy Erudite.”
I shook my head and joked, “Are you sure you’re not Erudite. You’re a lot smart than I thought.”
Ezekiel laughed as his brown eyes laid on me, “Thanks for the compliment, I think? You’re a lot braver than I thought. Who comes alone?”
I blushed as I responded lamely, “I didn’t. My friend’s are somewhere around here.” I added trying to make small talk, “They already know they want to go to the dark side.”
He choked on his drink when hearing my comment and finally cleared his throat. “Is that so?” He leaned closer to my body as well and asked, “Are you going to join the dark side as well?”
I stared into his mesmerizing eyes and smirked. “I don’ know. Are there any benefits joining?” Inside I was giggling like a giddy kid. Never had I met a boy that wasn’t so serious. I liked this playful side.
His eyes bounced up and down with joy, “Would you like me to show you the Dauntless way?”
I backed up a bit suddenly surprised and blurted out, “We’re not talking about sex right?”
Well if I hadn’t almost killed him with his drink, this might have.
Practically hacking up a lung, he shook his head firmly. With a hoarse voice Ezekiel said, “No. No. I didn’t. I didn’t mean it like that…I just thought you like to do Dauntless fun.”
“Oh,” I felt slightly embarrassed by my statement before and replied, “Okay.”
Ezekiel yelled out for the crowd, “Gambol time.”
Many in the crowd cheered back, “Gambol! Gambol! Gambol!”
Quickly about thirty kids ran upstairs toward the windows and Ezekiel grabbed my hand to follow. Climbing out onto the window ledge, Ezekiel jump forward with grace and grasped the metal fence. Reaching his hand out, I leap quickly and somehow I latched onto the fence with Ezekiel pulling me close to make sure I didn’t fall. Smiling at him I responded, “I got this.”
Nodding his head with an I-can’t-believable-your-an-erudite look, we crawled down and ran through the streets. And that’s when I saw it, a tall towering building still being constructed. A lot Dauntless were loading themselves up onto a power man lift and began to be hoisted up and scale the building.
Ezekiel said with awe, “They have been remodeling this building since I was a kid.”
“How high is it?” I asked with the same awe.
He smiled over to me, “Originally about six hundred meters, but with the construction we’ve gained about another two hundred meters.”
I stepped forward excited, “It must be an amazing view.”
Ezekiel sounded surprised, “Would you like to go up?”
Shaking my head yes, Ezekiel escorted me to the lift and it began to carry us up with three other Dauntless. I was kind of regretting it when the one drunk Dauntless was doing stupid things like climbing on the railing and yelling to the world. Ezekiel suddenly tensed up as he jumped up and down on the cart now.
“Hey will you knock it off,” Ezekiel said in a clipped tone.
Of course, the immature boy jumped higher and replied slurred, “What you a little scared.”
Ezekiel’s hands were turning white from the tight fist he was making and he responded angry, “Not as much as you will be if I throw you off of here.”
Pushing the others aside, the dumb ass kid jumped right in front of Ezekiel’s face to taunt him. “You still don’t like this.” He began to shake the cart more and Ezekiel finally did a quick jab to his gut. Ezekiel said, “Brent shouldn’t be here. He too intoxicated.”
After Brent got up from puking, anger flashed in the drunk’s eyes toward Ezekiel. As Brent lashed out and tumbled his body forward toward us, Ezekiel coolly shifted in front of me and then propelled Brent’s head into the railing, thus knocking him out cold.
The other two Dauntless stared astonished and it made me wonder if they were new transfers. Ezekiel shook his head and said, “Are you friends with him?”
They nodded their head no and Ezekiel replied short, “Take him back to quarters and get him sobered up anyway.”
The lift finally stopped and only Ezekiel and I walked onto the construction site floor to the others Dauntless yelling. He pointed toward a crane hanging out of the building and I noticed a person standing on the top.
“What are they doing?” I asked confused if this was Dauntless fun or a suicide attempt.
Ezekiel smiled at me waiting for a reaction, “Wait for it.” The person in the shielded helmet jumped off the crane. Leaning over the wall, I watched in terror and fascination as the person plummet to the ground doing flips in the air. Getting closer to the earth, a parachute deployed out and the Dauntless person landed on the street raising their helmet up in cheer.
The Dauntless crowd up here yelled out, “Gambol! Gambol!”
A older boy said, “Whose next?!”
A couple, holding each other’s hands, stepped forward and both climbed to the top of the crane and then out onto the extend ledge. Somehow they were hooking each other together and I watched again people jumping off the crane.
“Have you done this before?” I asked Ezekiel and he responded, “Yes, about five times.” The crowd cheered again and he added, “There nothing like it.”
“Who’s next?!” The guy bellow and I pushed forward with Ezekiel.
“We are.” I shouted and Ezekiel pulled me back a bit and said stunned, “You want to do this?”
I nodded my head firmly and I continued to the edge where we would have to climb up the crane’s height. Turning my head back with a smile, I watched Ezekiel put the pack on and strap it tight to himself. Handing us both helmets, I was feeling so pumped to do this. To do something my mother would never approve for Erudite behavior. I was going to be free and reckless.
Climbing carefully to the top of the crane, I tried to catch my breath from the height. I felt so puny standing up so high. Hearing Ezekiel coming up from behind me, I began to cross to the cranes level walk way to the edge. He said, “I’m giving you more credit. You’re definitely much braver.”
I laughed, “You sound like this is your first time.”
Ezekiel now behind me again responded, “It kind of is. At least with another person.”
Twisting my body I asked, “You never did this with another?”
He smiled with cheeks redden. “No, I haven’t.”
“Are you regretting to do this?”
Ezekiel stood right in front of my body only inches away from my face and replied intensely, “Never will.” He turned my body back and began to latch me to his chest. Checking on every strap, he then pulled them tightly, thus feeling his solid body closer to mine. Flipping my face mask down, I heard Ezekiel say, “Do you trust me?”
Looking over the edge, I responded, “Yes.”
Suddenly we were air born and wind whipped past us as we dived down. “Ready?” I heard Ezekiel howl before spinning us in spiral rotations until Ezekiel spread his body out slowing down our fall. Putting my hands out too, I felt like we were flying. For the 700 meters, the time seemed to fly quickly with the ground approaching closer to view. Within seconds, Ezekiel pulled the cord and we floated down to the street.
When we landed, Ezekiel detached the parachute and lifted his helmet up and I followed in suit with him. I could hear the Dauntless cheer and we threw our stuff into a bin. I practically danced with my feet as I said with adrenaline running through my veins, “That was freaking’ awesome!”
Pivoting up to Ezekiel, I swayed into his body smiling. His firm arms held me steady and he responded pleased, “That was crazy.” The day light was breaking out over the horizon and I realized my friend’s and I had stayed up all night.
“I should go,” I whispered not wanting the night to end. His brown eyes searched mine and he asked a question I wanted to hear.
“When can I see you again?”
“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure if this is meant to be, I’ll be seeing you again,” I whispered and Ezekiel smirked, “Leaving it all up to faith.” Kissing my hand, Ezekiel said, “We’ll meet again. Bye Kinder.”
And like that he took off, climbing up to the train tracks as a train was passing by. I last watched Ezekiel jump aboard and poke his head out watching me disappear from view.
Without realizing it, I was stroking my hand at just the thought of his lip against my hand again. “Alright, Miss. Platts, let me see you stitches.” I handed over my work and Miss. Teresa eyes examined it with a smile. Her fingers guided up from my beginning stitches to the end. “You started out to far and the stitch had too much gaps, but up here these stitches are great. I want you to take a few things home with you tonight.”
She handed me a bag and placed more ruined sacks, which carry the flour for the community, needle and thread. “I want you to read this as well,” she placed a book into the bag and finally grasped a small plant from her shelf.
Miss. Teresa smiled as she handed it over to me, “This is Verbena. Not only is it stimulating to the eye, but it has medical uses as well. Taking a few of these leaves in tea will help colds, sore throats or respiratory tract diseases.”
Leaning close to the plant with little purple flowers, I smelled the strong sense of lemon and Miss. Teresa added, “It’s a very soothing remedy.” Standing up she said, “Now I say your time is up. You’ve patched over fifty bags.”
As I grasped the bag and plant, I said concerned, “Miss. Teresa, with all do respect, won’t I be in trouble? We aren’t allowed to have possessions.”
Miss. Teresa shook her head and said, “These aren’t just things. These are tools. Miss. Platts you need to understand. We don’t have to be guilty when learning, cooking, gardening plants or whatever hobby. We can enjoy those things because we know what they are for. I use these plants to help others and ultimately that makes me happy. That’s how Abnegation lives, Miss. Platts.”
Understanding her ideas, I was left feeling slightly up lifted and liberated. I could grow a garden to make my own herbs for healing. Maybe being in Abnegation wouldn’t be so bad. And yet, my eyes still wandered in hoped for the man I fell in love with.
Trailing back to my living quarters, I found no one home, so I went up to my room. Placing my plant on the small table by my bedside, I started to practice my stitches with more of the sacks. The medical aspect Miss. Teresa was showing me was fascinating, but as silly as it was, I didn’t want to seek theses situation only if it was a necessary thing. I never want to see a person die on my hands.