The BeginningTo my mother,
Who gave me the moment when Beatrice realizes how strong
Her mother is and wonders how she missed it for so long
There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.
I sit on the stool and my mother stands behind me with the scissors, trimming. The strands fall on the floor in a dull, blond ring
When she finishes, she pulls my hair away from my face and twists it into a knot. I note how calm she looks and how focused she is. She is well-practiced in the art of losing herself. I can't say the same for myself
I sneak a look at my reflection when she isn't paying attention--not for the sake of vanity, but out of curiosity. A lot can happen to a persons appearance in three months.
In my reflection, I see a narrow face, wide, round eyes and a long, thin nose--I still look like a little girl, though sometime in the last few months I turned sixteen. The other factions celebrate birthdays, but we don't. It would be self-indulgent.
"There." she says when she pins the knot in place. Her eyes catch mine in the mirror. It is too late to look away, but instead of scolding me, she smiles at our reflection. I frown a little. Why doesn't she reprimand me for staring at myself?
"Yes" I reply
"Are you nervous?"
I stare into my own eyes for a moment. Today is the day of the aptitude test that will show me which of the five factions I belong in. And tomorrow, at the choosing ceremony, I will decide on a faction; I will decide the rest of my life. I will decide to stay with my family or abandon them.
"No." I say "The tests don't have to change our choices"
"Right." she smiles "Let's go eat breakfast"
"Thank you. For cutting my hair"
She kisses my cheek and slides the panel over the mirror. I think my mother could be beautiful, in a different world. Her body is thin beneath the gray robe. She has high cheekbones and long eyelashes, and when she lets her hair down at night, it hangs in waves over her shoulders. But she must hide that beauty in Abnegation.
We walk together to the kitchen. On these mornings when my brother makes breakfast, and my father's hand skims my hair as he reads the newspaper, and my mother clears the table--it is on these mornings that I feel the guiltiest for wanting to leave them.
Sorry, but I'm stopping here. Comment if you want me to continue Veronica Roth's beautiful Divergent book. Remember, all credits to Veronica Roth!