I know I shouldn't have done it. It was the most terrible thing I had ever done but I had to do it. I had no choice really. I didn't even want this life, I didn't want any of this but here I am hating myself. Here I am walking these hallways with my head hung low and my feet dragging. Everyone was at the banquet hall so I didn't have to worry about running into anyone. It's not like they'd stop and ask me what was wrong anyway, we aren't Amity for God's sake. It's almost laughable how much we AREN'T like Amity, or any of the other factions for that matter. I think that if I had another choice, if I could go back and redo my stupid decision, I would choose Erudite or maybe even Abnegation.
I heard feet stomping down the hall toward me. I froze in my spot and pressed up against the wall and waited. From the light shining from the Pit I could see the silhouette of a tall man, wide in the chest and legs, messy hair, long arms... Michael Wesson. I was tempted to run but it was already too late, he was making a bee-line straight for me. I waited to see what kind of mood he was in, and when I saw him stumble a bit I felt a chill run up my spine.
"Why aren't you in the dining hall with everyone else?" he asked, still walking toward me. I tried to find an answer that would satisfy him and make this encounter shorter than the previous ones.
"I went to check the shop. I know Jamison was closing today and he usually forgets to do some things. I thought I would save you some time opening up, sir." I answered quietly. Anyone else wouldn't be able to hear me but, since he's known me for almost 10 years, he was used to it. He had finally reached me and was now directly in my face staring me down. I could smell the cheap whiskey on his breath and I cringed at the thought of what it was going to be like at home tonight.
"You're a no-good, lousy, disgusting little girl. Why the hell would you want to do something for me?" he spat out invading my personal bubble and making me feel very uncomfortable. I pressed myself further against the wall and stared at the floor. I didn't have anything to say back to him so I kept my mouth shut and held my breath, partially because I was afraid and partially because his breath reeked. I almost prayed for help, until I realized that no matter how many times I had prayed in the past no one came to help me. No one stuck their hand out for me to take.
A noise echoed through the hall and I could see the shadows of people walking toward us. Even though he was drunk, Michael was sober enough to realize that if he was caught it wouldn't be good for him. He gave me a once over and then walked off into the dark away from the crowd. Not even thinking about it I turned on my heel, my leather boots squeaking against the ground, and walked with my head down out of the hallway. I passed by several people that offered me a 'hello' but all I could do was wave at them. I couldn't even form coherent words in my mind, let alone say something that didn't sound idiotic.
I heard someone very familiar call my name though, and it made me stop dead in my tracks. I began to bite my lip, and when I heard their footsteps getting closer I realized that I had drawn blood. I turned around to see Eric approaching me. Eric and I were different. In this society, nobody really liked us but they did respect us. Eric was the leader of all of us, they had to respect him. I, on the other hand, was the best tattoo artist in all of Dauntless Headquarters... I earned their respect.
He placed a hand on my shoulder and began leading me off of the path. I knew where we were going, our normal place. I let him lead me and we walked quietly. To the others it was normal to see Eric and I walking around. There were ongoing rumors that he hated me and I was always getting in trouble for one thing or another; another rumor was that he was having me give him different tattoos depicting all the times he had killed someone. Aren't people just imaginative? As soon as we reached his apartment I felt a weight being lifted off of my shoulders.
"Are you okay Jubi?" he asked me quietly, his face twisted with worry. I can't even remember how he and I had gotten to this point. I was older, but he was bigger than I was. He used to intimidate me and all the stories I had heard about him made me wary of going near him. Something happened that made me trust him. I couldn't get away from him even if I wanted to, and I didn't.
"No. Michael's drunk again," I answered. Eric's face fell and he grabbed my forearm, pulled me close, and hugged me. He was the only person that knew about Michael. He was also the only person that cared about me. I had given into him because of this emotion he showed only toward me. I was a pawn in his game and I was okay with it. Maybe he really did love me I thought he did, maybe he really did care about me... but I almost doubted it. I didn't want to of course so, unlike what my head was telling me to do, I loved him back.
The hug was long and I was able to forget about Michael for a few seconds. When Eric released me he ran a hand through my hair and smiled down at me. We didn't say anything; we didn't have to. Those three words were like poison here. You can't say them when you're Dauntless. If you love someone or something, then it is just that much easier to lose it. You could die at any moment. Love is rare and when you have it you don't want to admit it because you're afraid of losing it. I was afraid of losing him, especially now after what I had done for him.
"How are you feeling after meeting with Her?" he asked me quietly while his eyes shifted around nervously. He almost seemed afraid that someone would over hear us. I was slightly afraid too; if we were to be found out then it was the Factionless life for us. We wouldn't survive. I began shaking and biting my lip. I tasted blood again and he must've sensed that I was scared. "Hey, HEY! Stop that, you're bleeding. What's wrong? We are just help-" he began. I started to cry and I pushed him away.
"Helping people? HELPING PEOPLE!? Don't even say that we're helping people. Don't even say it." I whispered looking away from him. He tried to pull me toward him but I jerked away. I didn't want this argument to happen, I had played it over and over again in my head and I had come up with ways to avoid it. Something about the way he said we were 'helping people' made me sick. His face had dropped and he ran his hands through his hair.
"Jubilance, if we accomplish this we will be able to save so many people from discrimination and we WILL help them. We can help our people!" he argued. His eyes grew dark and his voice was getting louder while his face grew redder. He was getting mad, and he had a very short temper.
"Who are your people, Eric, because I don't even know anymore. Since when does the Erudite boy with a bad attitude want to help out the Dauntless?" I challenged. His face contorted with fury while mine stayed stoic. That hit him hard. I had been there for his initiation days. He was an Erudite transfer and he came in second, behind an Abnegation transfer. He loathed the very ground that the Abnegation walked on. He wanted them wiped out... he wanted them gone. They had complete control of the government, but he would die trying to change that.
I had finally realized what I had just said to him. I raised my voice to him. I became afraid and before he could stop me I ran out of the room. I was terrified, I was absolutely terrified of what was going to happen. Not just between Eric and me, but I was terrified of what was going to happen with what I had done. I had to change this; I had to fix it before it was too late. There was only one person I could talk to about it... Jeanine. I had to catch the train.
I ran up the stairs as fast as I could to the glass building that covered the Pit. The train was scheduled to go by in 15 minutes. I wasn't at all prepared for the consequences of my actions but I was willing to deal with them if it meant taking back what I had done. I needed to do this. I couldn't be afraid... well I could but I couldn't show my fear. I was Dauntless and I didn't do that.
I had reached the top of the building in time to jump onto the train. I made it onto the last car and I almost missed it... missing it would've meant that the concrete and I would have had a nice little meeting and my whole body would've been mangled. I breathed a sigh of relief. The easy part was over, now all I have to do is convince a madwoman to change her complete plan of genocide. Awesome. It was going to take about an hour to reach Erudite headquarters so I had some time to think about everything that is about to happen to me. My life is going to turn upside down.
Darkness shrouded my arrival. I was lucky enough not to run into any Erudites because they were all either asleep or in the library reading. I knew where I was going, I had been here earlier today, and I tried to keep my boots from clunking against the ground. Jeanine's office was on the top floor of the main building and I had two choices; fight my way there or be escorted there by Erudite guards. I wanted to fight, I wanted to make a scene, but as I walked in the front doors and the guards approached me I let them search me and then escort me to the elevator. I was a coward, I couldn't do anything.
My mouth was dry and my palms were sweating. I felt a lump in my throat and my head felt heavy and I was struggling not to panic. I had too many panic attacks to count on a regular basis. I was biting my lip again and blood trailed through my mouth. I was tapping my fingers on my thighs and I could tell that the Erudite soldiers were inspecting my actions. They saw me biting my lip and tapping my fingers; those were key signs of nervousness in almost anyone. I stopped tapping and I released my lower lip, I was a coward but I was not going to show them that. The sweat was dripping down my neck now and I felt like I was losing air. The panic attack was about to take place when a ding sounded and the doors slid open slower than what it takes for a century to pass.
Jeanine's door was slightly ajar and instead of following me, the soldiers pushed me out of the elevator and the doors shut again. I walked slowly to her door and I pushed it open without knocking; who needs manners when you're Dauntless?
"You're back. Did you think up a better plan than the last one? The last one was amazing, I don't know if you could top it. Even my intelligence couldn't think of anything better. I was just wondering why you didn't choose Erudite. Maybe after the cleansing you can transfer," she stated. She had turned to face the window and was watching out over everything with her hands clasped behind her back. Everything was so quiet, but tomorrow night blood would line the streets... and it was all my fault.
"Actually Jeanine, I came back to tell you that we need to call off the attack," I spoke, louder than what I expected. She spun around in her chair and her face was scrunched up in anger. One thing about Erudites that worked against them, they weren't great at hiding their emotions.
"What do you mean?" she asked. I could tell by the strain in her voice that she was trying to restrain herself from yelling.
"I mean, I want no part of it. If you continue to go along with the plan, I'll alert the Abnegation," I threatened. My voice was shaking and I was tapping my fingers on the chair but I think she got the point that I wasn't messing around. She stood up and walked over to the window.
"You aren't in a position to make threats, Jubilance. We have everything set up. After the attack, if it is to fail, the blame is on your shoulders," she informed me. I could hear the satisfaction in her voice when I inhaled sharply.
"That's not possible. You have nothing to blame me for," I whispered.
"Oh, but we do. We got you on video giving us the plans. You are taking the fall if anything goes wrong. So go ahead and tell the Abnegation, you won't last long. You'll be Factionless in less than an hour," she spat out, seemingly very satisfied with herself. I was speechless... shocked. Something hit struck me as odd though.
"We? Who's 'we'?" I asked. She turned around and smiled brightly.
"Why, myself, and young Eric," she answered. I felt my heart jump into my throat. I felt angry and sad and betrayed and hopeless all at the same time. Jeanine's smile turned into a smirk and before she could speak again I was running out of the room. I ran past the guards at the doors and outside to where the train was scheduled to pass at 4:00. It was 3:57 and I was prepared. I was already running by the track when the train passed; I hopped on with ease. I felt my heart beating a thousand miles a minute and I felt tears rolling down my face but I was numb. I wasn't sobbing or shaking this time, I wasn't biting my lip or tapping my fingers, I was rubbing my arms furiously. I've only ever done this once in my life and that was when my brother left Dauntless for Amity. I was furious.
I landed gracefully on my feet on top of Dauntless headquarters. I didn't think twice as I plunged off of the top of the building and into the hole leading to the Pit. I didn't care about anything anymore. I was at the end of my rope, and as I climbed off of the net and onto the platform I knew what I had to do. The only sound was my boots scuffing against the ground as I walked the familiar path through the Pit. Everyone was asleep except for control room workers. I passed a few of the late workers getting off of their shifts and going home to rest. Eric would be working the control room tonight getting ready for the attack.
As I neared my destination I pulled out the key in my pocket and unlocked the door. Everything was quiet and black and instead of turning the lights on I felt my way to the couch and sat down. Tears were still streaming down my face but not because I was sad but because I was stupid. I was ignorant and now I was going to be the cause of so many deaths. I watched the clock as it turned from 8:00 in the morning to 11 at night. I hadn't eaten and I couldn't sleep. I was too shocked and horrified. I heard the knob turning on the front door and when the person entering flicked on the light switch they let out a small yelp. I had scared them... good.
"What are you doing here Jubi?" Eric asked. His voice was nice and he was being sweet but I knew what kind of low life monster he was. I knew that he was lying to me and that I was a pawn... a silly little pawn.
"Close the door, Eric," I stated loudly. This time I didn't whisper, I didn't shake, I didn't cry. I was flattened with a feeling of absolute nothingness. He did as I asked and walked toward me. His face started to take on lines of worry as he neared me and saw my bloodshot eyes and tear stained cheeks. He went to touch me but I batted his hand away.
"What happened? Was it Michael again? What did he do?" he asked me frantically. Poor soul, squirming with fake affection. Wanting to reach out to me to complete his facade. That fake piece of shi- "Jubilance. What's going on?" ...
"Eric, do you love me?" I asked. We had never spoken that word and I saw how shocked he was when I said it.
"Yes." he answered. I laughed a harsh, shrill, little laugh and I pulled out the one thing I knew he was terrified of, even if he didn't show it. Gun in his face, his eyes began to look panicked.
"Do you really? Or did Jeanine tell you to feed me that lie too? What else did she tell you to say to me, hmm? Did she tell you to hold me and to kiss me and to make me feel wanted so I would follow along with your plan and then take the fall for it?" I spit out. It was the meanest I had ever sounded, and yet, it wasn't mean enough. His eyes grew wider and he started gaping. I smirked and then lowered my gun. He started to grow less nervous... oh we couldn't have that. I fired a shot into his right ankle, severing several tendons I'm sure. He let out a scream that told me he was in agony. He looked up at me with fresh tears falling down his face.
"Jubilance, I do love you. I wasn't going to let her do that to you. I swear," he pleaded. I knew his game though, I knew how great of an actor he was. Another shot in his shoulder and another agonizing cry. He didn't break eye contact with me though.
"Don't lie to me, Eric, it'll be much easier for you if you tell me the truth," I said quietly. I sounded deranged and honestly, I kind of was. I mean, the love of my life was nothing but a joke. A sick, sick joke. He had dropped to the ground by now and was crying full force.
"It was the original plan. I was supposed to transfer to Dauntless and get close to you because you had tested higher in every category than any other person in any other faction including Jeanine. Then when you were to devise a plan for us we were going to blame the whole attack on you and have you killed that way she would be the smartest person and in control. She didn't want to take the chance of you overruling her. I started the plan like I was supposed to but then I grew to know you. I learned about Michael and how it was with your mom, I learned about how your brother betrayed you, and I learned about how amazing you really were. I grew to love you and I wouldn't take back anything. I love you Jubilance. I was going to ask Jeanine to have mercy on you and to keep you alive. Jubilance, if you kill me she will either kill you or make you Factionless... that's a fate worse than death Jubilance. Spare me... please," he begged. He was groveling and I would be lying if I didn't feel something in my heart. I was crying again and I leaned down and placed a kiss on his lips. He smiled at me and I held the gun to his head.
"I'm already Factionless," I whispered. Another shot... the last shot. There were no more bullets in my gun, not even one for myself. I dropped it and walked out of his apartment. I walked up the stairs and headed to the control room. One person was there and I asked him if I could have a few minutes. Of course he got up and scuttled away, probably to get coffee, and I went to a computer in the corner. I placed my hand on the scanner and waited. A few seconds later a video popped up and it showed me shooting Eric. Jeanine's face popped up on the screen and in a monotone voice she stated the word I was expecting to hear, "Factionless,".
I hung my head and headed up toward the roof. Once I got there I sat down on the edge and faced toward where the Abnegation live. I checked my watch and it was 11:50. Darkness shrouded the buildings and trees and I rested my head on my knees. I was crying again, but I didn't feel anything. My watch beeped signaling it was 12. About five seconds later gunshots began going off and screams filled the air. I looked up and saw the Abnegation sector alight with gunfire. I had failed and I had lost the only person I ever loved. This was the end for me; maybe being Factionless is just what I need.