Is it wrong for me to regret choosing Abnegation? Is it traitorous that I want to be part of another faction? That I wish I could be like the Dauntless, jumping off moving trains, like I had watched them do multiple times from the windows at school?
I am Divergent — whatever that means — but I know I could have become part of another faction. Honestly, I really could have.
But I didn't. I chose Abnegation.
Maybe it was because Caleb had selected his faction before me — I could have sworn everyone was positive that he would choose Abnegation — and it had to be Erudite, the rival of our home faction. Maybe it was because the look of outrage on my father's face made me want to rethink my original decision.
And so, as I stood in front of the two bowls of Abnegation and Dauntless, clutching my bleeding hand to my chest, I stuck it out over a bowl. The bowl of Abnegation.
As I sit here on top of the building, my plain, gray robes billowing in the wind. My equally plain, straight, blonde hair sits limply on my shoulders, as I wait for Tobias.
Tobias is also Abnegation, son of Marcus, the man at the Choosing Ceremony. He is two years older than me, at eighteen, with dark, bottomless blue eyes, and long eyelashes.
Five minutes pass, and Tobias still hasn't come to meet me. Is he different than who I thought? Maybe he actually follows the rules, and is truly Abnegation. I, for one, was not nearly selfless enough.
"Beatrice!" I hear a voice call. It's low and husky… And Tobias'. I get up from my seat on the ground of the building, and walk over to the ladder where you can access the top roof.
Peering down into the darkness, a thrill surges through me, with a hint of terror — I could be jumping from roof to roof if only I had chosen the right faction. "Tobias," I hiss. "What's taking you so long? What if someone catches you?"
His knuckles grip the rungs of the ladder, changing colors until they blanch to white from all the pressure, and he is shaking slightly. My narrowed eyes falter as they meet his, and change to a look of comfort. "Beatrice," he grunts, his voice low.
I scramble to help him, lying down on the ground, despite getting my grey robes dirty. "Come on, Tobias," I try to say encouragingly. "Just a few more steps…" I hold my hand out, reaching towards him, and he stops, simply looking at my outstretched fingers.
"You do realize you're not helping, Beatrice?" he says, finally reaching the top of the roof.
Shrugging, I reply. "I just realized you're afraid of heights."
He shrugs, mimicking my position, lying back on his elbows. "You're not scared at all at being up this… high?" Tobias takes in a deep breath, undoubtedly trying to calm his heart rate.
With a shake of my head, I say, "It's… refreshing." I recline back even further, putting my arms behind my head, to use them as a pillow.
Tobias sticks his arm out and looks at me.
"Use it. As a pillow." That's all he says, before turning to look up at the night sky. I'm sure my cheeks are flared, as I think it over. Is it the Abnegation in him, or is it… something else? My heart accelerates with every thought, and I hesitantly lay my head down on his arm, where the crevice of his should is, letting out a breath. "Your heart's picking up," Tobias murmurs softly, and I almost jump at how close he is — how close his mouth is. "I thought you weren't afraid of heights."
I chew the inside of my mouth, fumbling for a response that didn't make it seem like I was childish. "I'm cold."
He looks at me again, not in a curious way — just… a stare. "Thank goodness you didn't go to Candor."
Glaring at him, I retort, "I'm seriously cold!"
The corners of his lips quirk upward into a smirk. "I believe you…" I let out another breath. "If it weren't the end of spring, and you weren't in these thick Abnegation robes."
Nudging him in the side with my elbow, I cross my arms over my chest with a huff. "Damn you, Tobias."
Tobias smiles up into the night, the moonlight causing his eyelashes to cast shadows on his face. For some reason, I become mesmerized, staring at him. We're so… close… I think.Shows of affection aren't common in Abnegation — physical contact is too powerful… but this isn't affection… right? It's just Tobias' selflessness…
"Tris." His words are soft yet firm. I turn my head slightly to look at him, half-wondering why he called me Tris. "Are you afraid of me?"
Be selfless, not selfish. Don't think of your fears, but others. Selfless not selfish. Selfless, not selfish. I repeat that mantra to myself over and over. "It's quite the opposite, actually," I say with a dry laugh, my words bursting out before I can stop myself.
He looks at me, an eyebrow raised, amusement shining in his eyes. "Are you trying to say you like me?"
I glare at him, my lips pressed together in a firm line. "Do you want me to like you?" I retort.
A moment passes and he looks off into the distance. When Tobias' eyes reconnect with mine, he pauses. He looks older, yet young at the same time. "Yeah," he finally says. He stares at my face, not quite at my eyes.
"Why?" I inquire, my curiosity betraying Abnegation values. My eyes travel down, looking at his gray clothes.
His long, narrow fingers gently grip the base of my chin, tilting my head up to look at him. His thumb brushes over my lips, so softly, followed by his lips. My breath catches. We're so close… Tobias' eyes flicker from my lips, back up to my eyes, and he suddenly grins, his white smile piercing the black darkness.
And then he presses his mouth to mine. I freeze, unsure of what to do — we're in Abnegation after all, where physical contact is frowned upon. Tobias pulls back just the tiniest bit, and stares at me. "I like you." He says it plainly, straight forward, and almost proudly.
With that, he kisses me again. I wrap my arms around his neck, gripping his dark, Abnegation-styled hair.
When we pull away, a realization strikes me.
'I realize that if we had both chosen differently, we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a more dangerous place, in black clothes instead of gray ones.'
But for once — and for now — I have no regrets on the faction I chose.