Caleb and Tris exchange a look. The skin on his face and on her knuckles is nearly the same colour, purple-blue-green, as if drawn with ink. This is what happens when siblings collide - they injure each other in the same way.
You know, the kind of person who gets this tattoo is probably the kind that should keep it very quiet," she says, looking at me from the corner of her eye. "Or else someone will start thinking they're Divergent.
I settle into their pace. The uniform pounding of feet in my ears and the homogeneity of the people around me makes me believe that I could choose this. I could be subsumed into Abnegation's hive mind, projecting always outward.
We may not be Erudite, but mental preparedness is one aspect of your Dauntless training. Arguably, it is the most important aspect. He is right about that. What good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind?
I always appreciate people's opinions, but sometimes I have to take a step back and remember why I'm writing and what I want to do with it. Shutting out the voices is difficult but it's been good for me.
Why would the factionless have a high Divergent population?" It sounds like she's smirking. "Obviously those who can't confine themselves to a particular way of thinking would be most likely to leave a faction or fail its initiation, right?
There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved for the sake of something greater.
I think we've made a mistake," he says softly. "We've all started to put down virtues of the other faction in the process of bolstering our own. I don't want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.
His hand touches my waist, steadies me. The touch sends a shock through my body, and all my insides burn like his fingers ignited them. I pull close to him, pressing my body against his, and lift my head to kiss him.
She's not pretty, that work is too small. She is not like the girls I used to stare at, all bend and curve and softness. She is small but strong, and her bright eyes demanded attention. Looking at her was like waking up.
I can see brown-tinged water rushing through one pipe, disappearing into the machine, and emerging clear. Both of us watch the purification happen, and wonder if he is thinking what I am: that it would be nice if life worked this way, stripping the dirt from our lives and sending us out into the world clean. But some dirt is destined to linger.
I feel the monster of grief again, writhing in the empty space where my heart and stomach used to be. I gasp, pressing both palms to my chest. Now the monstrous thing has its claws around my throat, squeezing my airway. I twist and put my head between my knees, breathing until the strangled feeling leaves me.