He touches my face, covering my cheeks with his hands, sliding his fingertips down my neck, fitting his fingers to the slight curve of my hips. I can't stop.
I don't agree with him. I would rather be dead the empty, like the factionless.
But what we need right now are people with the skills to get out of the city unscathed, and I think Dauntless training makes them highly qualified for that task.
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.
I was a man, afraid of the threat he posed to my character, to my future, to my identity.
Don't you dare try to apologize." His voice shakes. "This is not something you can bandage with a word or two and some hugging, or something.
I guess I am what I have always been. Not Dauntless, not Abnegation, not factionless. Divergent.
You die, I die too. Tobias looks over his shoulder at me. I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions.
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.
Now she looks pale and small, but her eyes make me think of wide- open skies that I have never actually seen, only dreamed of.
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?
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences.
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?
I fall in love with this life all over again. It's only when I try to live it myself that I have trouble. It never feels genuine.
Maybe I can't hold a gun. But I have a knife in my back pocket.
They don't want people to listen, they want people to agree, I reply. And you shouldn't bully people into agreeing with you.
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.
I note how calm she looks and how focused she is. She is well-practiced in the art of losing herself. I can't say the same of myself.
So you're her brother? says Lynn. I guess we know who got the good genes.
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.
I used to think the Dauntless were fearless. That is how they seemed, anyway. But maybe what I saw as fearless was actually fear under control.
You're too important to just … die. He shakes his head. He won't even look at me—his eyes keep shifting across my.
It's when you're acting selflessly that you are the bravest.
You're not a coward just because you don't want to hurt people.
So, throw honor out the window. Honor, I said with a snort. Honor has no place in survival.
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.
They would wait for the passage of time—for the generations to pass, for each one to produce more genetically healed humans. Or, as you currently know them . . . the Divergent.
She sighs, then breaks a piece off the muffin in my hand. I flick her fingers as she pulls away. Hey. There are plenty more just five feet to your right.
Maybe we're strangers no matter where we go. Or maybe we'll make a home somewhere inside ourselves, to carry with us wherever we go.
You want to see people as extremes. Bad or good, trustworthy or not. I understand. It's easier that way. But that isn't how people work.