I still don’t know why I did it.
The Candor say that the truth is too powerful to remain caged. That it is a wild animal that eats at you from the inside.
Maybe that’s why I showed Tris. Or maybe it’s because I knew she would not think less of me after she knew.
She was small, but she scared me. I didn’t know her limits, and I’ll never know what I can expect from her. I was not afraid she’d hurt me, I was not afraid of her. I was afraid that I did not know her.
In the claustrophobic box that is a tiny closet upstairs where I spent a quarter of my childhood, I hear her heart racing. I think she’s afraid too, but not of the box.
“If I were in your fear landscape,” I ask her, “would I be in it?”
“I’m not afraid of you,” she says.
“Of course you’re not. But that’s not what I mean.”
She pulls out everything that I thought I would have to hide inside me forever.
“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different,” I tell her. “All your life you’ve been training to forget yourself, so when you’re in danger, it becomes your first instinct. I could belong in Abnegation just as easily.”
“Yeah, well,” she says, “I left Abnegation because I wasn’t selfless enough, no matter how hard I tried to be.”
“That’s not entirely true. That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend, who hit my dad with a belt to protect me—that selfless girl, that’s not you?”
Tris is selfless, she’s brave, she’s smart, and she has faith in me. Faith is something I’ve never been given. Mostly expectations.
When I told her I liked her, I wanted her to know that I was sure about it.
And when I kissed her, I wanted her to know that I was sure about that, too.
It’s nice to hear my name again.