The waiting room is cold, not in temperature, but in emotion. The other Dauntless and I have started and abandoned several games of truth or dare, excluding the truths.
Ashley has already gone. I saw her exit the testing room, pale and shaken up. Only a few kids remain now. Silence has coated the room a heavy blanket smothering our confidence.
I catch a Erudite staring at me from across the room. Her eyes travel from my clothes to my hair, up my back to the tattoos that have been inked on my body. I glare at her, locking my eyes in hers. Surprisingly, she doesn't look away, holding my gaze in a curious bravery. Neither of us moves or blinks. We only separate when the administrators enter, calling out two names.
"Katherine. Christine." The names ring out, breaking the never ending silence. We both stand. I glare at her once more before turning on my heel and following one of the administrators down the hall.
The test room is smaller than one would expect. A chair sits in the corner. I sit down, taking in my surroundings.
My administrator holds a vial of liquid to my neck. "Ready?" She asks. I open my mouth to respond, but the needle has already been plunged into my neck. My eyes close and a new vision swims before me.
I am in the cold tile cafeteria of the school. A old women with frazzled white hair stands before me, holding cheese and a knife.
"Take one," she hisses, "choose child. Choose your future." I stare into her eyes. There is no emotion. She is a figment of my imagination. This is not real. "CHOOSE." She shouts. "Choose today who you will be!"
"I am not bound by your rules." I look her in the eye as I say it, a never ending stare, the second one today. "You are not even real."
"Remember this, you cannot turn back time." The woman warned. She faded away, her words becoming a whisper.
I am alone in the room. I run my hand up the shaved side of my head in confusion. A growl snaps through the silence. I whirl around. A golden dog, the size of my neighbors Saint Bernard snarls at me.
Submit, allow it to win, a voice in the back of my mind whispers. No. I will not submit. I go into fighting stance. Not real. Not real.
The dog hurls itself forward. Not real. Not real. Fake. It can't hurt me. "You are not real. Go away." I yelled. The dog kept coming. It jumped. "Not real." I whispered, but even as I said it, I raised my arm to protect my face.
"Not real." The dog disappeared inches from my face. I am alone again.
The cafeteria melts, replaced by a crowded bus. I've only taken the bus once, when I missed the train because Haiden was slow. I slowly sit down, observing my surroundings and straightening my leather jacket.
"Do you know who this is?" A raspy voice hisses in my ear. I whirl around, punching the air, narrowly avoiding a man with a scared face. He holds a newspaper to his face. Haiden is on the front page. Murderer On Institution Road, the headline screams under his name. We live on Institution Road.
"Get away from me." I snap, grabbing the newspaper.
"You could save me." He says, shaking with paranoia.
"I don't know you. I don't know you, and I don't know him." I protest, rolling up the newspaper in my fist.
"LIAR!" The man grabs the collar of my jacket and shoves my against the wall of the bus, holding me, pinned. I kick out, barely missing the man. He laughs.
"Tell me who he is, or I WILL kill you." His mouth curves into a smile. I almost relent. Almost. But then I glance at Haiden's innocent smile, bright, brave eyes, and my will hardens.
"To heck with you." I spit, biting down on the man's hand. He howls in pain and releases me. I run to the front of the bus, the floor lurching under me. I kick the doors open, paying no attention to the shocked calls of the bus driver, and jump out.
I wake up before I could hit the ground. I'm back in the testing room. My hands are clenched firmly around the seat rests. My administrator gives me a worried look.
"That was interesting."
So yes. You meet Katherine today! What are my results? I'm not tellin you!...yet