Hi everyone I'm back!
Just to let you know there will be swearing in this, we are talking aboutEric here. I wanted to give Eric a chance to redeem himself, I always seem to be killing him off. I also felt that Susan Black got such a raw deal with Caleb so I wanted her to have a chance to have a life. Hope you all enjoy this as much as I do writing for you. Also I don't know if I will be updating as quickly as I usually do but I will try.
TWO YEARS AGO
I am waiting outside the school for her. I have just taken my aptitude test and I am supposed to go straight home afterwards. But I just can't seem to do it. I just want to see her one more time. My father not that I should even be calling him that. He hasn't been a father to me for an extremely long time. Marcus has finally been letting me leave the house to mix with other people from my faction. Mix is probably the wrong word, it almost makes it sound social.
There is no such thing as being social in Abnegation. Rather Marcus has been letting me volunteer for the last year. He realised that he couldn't keep me hidden from the world if he wanted me to follow in his footsteps. He has this deluded idea that I am going to lead Abnegation once he has decided to retire. If only he knew.
I look at my watch and see that I only have a few more minutes until school is officially let out for the day and then I will be able to walk her home. Marcus decided that I could help Beatrice Prior with the volunteer work she was doing down at the distribution centre. There is always a large amount of heavy lifting to be done and well most of the boxes are almost half the size of Beatrice. Because Marcus is good friends with her dad Andrew they thought it would be good for us to work together.
At first I was not too happy about the whole arrangement. I'm not very good around others and with the beatings I get from Marcus some days the work at the distribution centre is excruciatingly painful. But once I looked into those grey blue eyes the pain seemed inconsequential. It is now the best part of my week. That and we walk to and from school together every day. We usually have her brother Caleb tagging along with us. But on the good days, which are the days when Susan and Robert Black walk with us, he is too busy talking with Susan to pay us any attention.
I hear the bell ring and I know it will only be a few moments before she will come bursting through those doors glad that another day of school is over. I also know that we won't have Caleb for company because he is at home sick. I am lost in thought when I feel a hand on my arm and I know who it is instantly. No one else could give me the feeling that I get when she touches. That feeling when you feel a quick spark of electricity and then a warmth that feels like it could warm your bones on a freezing winters day.
I look down to see Beatrice standing in front of me and I smile. "Hi," I say.
"Hey," she says. "I didn't think you would be here this afternoon. I thought you would have gone home straight after the test."
"I was supposed to. But I couldn't let you walk home all alone now could I?" I say.
"Oh Tobias I hope this doesn't get you in trouble with Marcus. I would hate to think that it is my fault if he gets angry," she says. Beatrice has known for a while now what Marcus is truly like. I tried to hide it from her but with how frequent the beatings are and trying to work in the distribution centre she soon worked out there was something wrong.
At least now I have someone who can help me when it is really bad. Thank goodness everyone in Abnegation is taught basic first aid. It is hard enough trying to tend to my own wounds on my back, so when you have someone who can help, it makes it so much easier. I don't know how many nights Beatrice has snuck over to my house and helped me just after it has happened.
She is the bravest person I know. She never worries that Marcus or even her parents may catch her. It has always scared me that if Marcus caught her he would try to inflict the same damage on her that he does on me. Because she lives next door our bedroom windows look straight into each other's so I am able to give her a signal for when Marcus has gone to bed. I couldn't tell you how many times she has been hiding in my closet because Marcus has come into my room to check on me. She is so selfless, never thinking of what danger she is putting herself into.
"I don't care Tris," I say. Tris is my nickname for her. Beatrice is just so boring and Abnegation. She is so more a Tris.
"But Tobias you should," she says.
"Tris this is the last night I have to spend in that house. Which we both know it won't matter what I do he will find an excuse to beat me," I say.
"I hate this Tobias. I wish you would have let me tell someone. This isn't right," she says.
We are almost at the start of the Abnegation area of the city. There are abandoned buildings around us. I take her hand and say, "Follow me, I need to tell you something. I can't have anyone hear us."
I take us into an old building that I know is abandoned and I sit down on the floor. Tris sits across from me and I can see she looks a little confused. I reach out for her hand and she lets me take it. Tris and I are only friends, I have always wanted it to be more but I don't really know how to tell her how I feel. Plus in Abnegation if someone saw us holding hands like we are now we wouldn't be allowed to see each other anymore. And I don't think I could have survived the last year without her.
"Tris I'm leaving Abnegation," I say. I can see the shock on her face but then she starts to nod.
"I understand why Tobias. But where are you going to go?"
"If you could pick a different faction then which one would it be Tris?" I ask.
"Dauntless," she says without hesitation.
"Then Dauntless it is," I say. Now I see confusion written all over her face.
"Why would you do that Tobias?"
"Because if you decide you don't want to be in Abnegation in two years time then I will be there waiting for you," I say.
"But I don't understand. Why would you be waiting for me?"
I laugh at her response, she just doesn't have a clue about the way I feel about her.
"Because I'm in love with you Tris," I say.
"What? Really? Why? What could you possibly see in me Tobias?"
"You are the bravest person I know. You are selfless and kind. You are smart and most of all you are the most beautiful girl in the world. I couldn't have survived the last year without you. You got me through the days so that I could survive the nights with Marcus," I say.
"I'm going to miss you," she says. "More than you could ever imagine."
"This has been the hardest decision that I have ever had to make. But I know I can't stay here, I can't be ruled by him any longer. I know I wouldn't survive it. And I don't think you really want to stay in Abnegation either. If I stayed to be with you it would only tear us apart when you have to choose. Because there is a fire that is in your eyes Tris and if you stay it will eventually burn out. I don't ever want to have to see that fire burn out. So if you decide to stay here then I will never have to witness it. I couldn't bare it," I say.
"Oh Tobias I know you are right. I hate that you are right. I knew things would change once you had to choose but. . ." she says.
"I'm sorry Tris. I really am. I just hope you will forgive me one day for doing this," I say.
"There is nothing to forgive. I understand, I hate Marcus. I hate that he is who he is and that he has made your life so miserable. Really I suppose I am happy for you. Knowing you won't have to endure any more pain from him will make it worth it," she says.
"We better go, I don't want you to get into trouble for being late home too," I say. I rise from sitting and then I reach out my hand to Tris. She takes it and I pull her up. I pull a little too hard, I always forget how small she is, and she falls onto me. I catch her in my arms. I set her on her feet but I can't take my eyes off of her. I can't resist, this may be the only chance I ever get to do this. So I touch her face and I lean in close and brush my lips to hers. I can't help but grin and then press my mouth onto hers.
I feel her tense up at first and so I pull away just a little, I can see the uncertainty in her eyes. So I take her face in my hands and I kiss her again, firmer this time and then I feel her wrap her arm around me. She slides her hand up onto my neck and into my hair. We stay kissing like this for a few minutes. We break away breathless and I wish we didn't have to leave. But I know I will be punished if I am not home soon. Although it is going to be worth it.
The beating I got from Marcus is indescribable. His anger was worse than normal. I don't even know how I am going to be able to walk to the Choosing Ceremony tomorrow. My back is a bloody mess. I can't move enough to be able to put the ointment on it. That is when I hear the tap on my window. I hadn't signalled Tris to tell her the coast is clear. I wasn't going to tonight. I wanted my last memory of her to be of our kiss.
I walk unsteadily over to my window and open it. She can already tell that it has been a bad night for me. She gets the first aid kit out of my cupboard without saying a word. I am so thankful she is here and she knows what to do.
"Take your shirt off and lay on the bed Tobias," she instructs me to do.
I don't argue. I take my shirt off and lay on my stomach.
"I'm sorry but this is going to hurt," she says. I just sort of grunt. I am exhausted from the pain I am already in but I know if I can get through the next few minutes I will feel better.
I always have the first aid kit prepared. With bottles of water and towels. I must own the biggest first aid kit in the whole of the city. I can hear her pouring the water into the bowl. She then opens another bottle, I know this is the antiseptic and it is going to sting. But I also know it will stop me from getting an infection. I hear her wring out the towel and my body is already starting to tense.
I hide my face in my pillow to muffle my scream so I don't wake Marcus. As soon as the towel touches my skin I feel the tears start to prickle my eyes. Tris works as fast as she can but it doesn't really matter. The pain is ripping through my body, I can feel myself becoming light headed.
"I'm nearly finished," she whispers. It is like she knows I am close to passing out. It has happened before. She starts to rub the ointment into my back and the cool cream is starting to sooth the burning. "Tobias I need you to sit up so I can wrap the bandage around you."
I push myself up and raise my arms above my head so I don't get in her way. "All done, you can lie back down now," she says.
"Will you stay until I fall asleep?" I ask.
"Of course," she says. I lie back down on my stomach and I can feel her hand running through my hair. I am almost asleep when she bends down and whispers in my ear, "I love you too Tobias. I will see you in two years, I promise."
I am hoping that I heard her correctly, but I can't be sure, I wanted to hear those words so badly that I'm frightened it was just my imagination. I feel my eyelids getting heavier until I finally fall into a dreamless sleep.