I stare out my window, watching the train pass over premises of the marsh through the night. At same time, I see the small reflection of myself through the window, with sea-green eyes staring back at me. But there's more I see. I see a dishonest sixteen year old boy with light brown hair, living in the faction of honesty; Candor. I don't know how people do it here in Candor. No one can always tell the truth. Can they? My older brother was always honest; he was a natural. My parents are also strict Candor, obliviously. They will teach my family the methods of honesty, but for some reason, it has no effect on me.
My thoughts are interrupted when my six year old sister, Amelia, walks in; with her blond locks jumping up and down every time she skips. Her sky-blue meet mine in my reflection of the window. I find her creative, and smart for her age. It's embarrassing how she can be more honest than me at times. She would make a great Erudite, but I don't like thinking her as an Erudite. I don't like Erudite. But I'm guessing now, it's time for dinner.
"Ethan," she says gently. "Mommy says it's time to eat." I don't turn around to look back at her.
"Ok." I say. "One second." She leaves my room.
For dinner, it's beef stew with mash potatoes and gravy, with bread on the side. We eat in silence, as I am never the one to start the conversation. My little sister does the same. I just stare down at my food. I find my parents intimidating, and strict. Always be honest. No lying, is what they would say.
"So, Ethan, are you nervous for your aptitude test?" my mother says gently. Before I answer, my father steps in to the conversation.
"I hope you will make the right decision." he says. "Candor always comes-"
"Antonio. Stop it." My mother interrupts.
"I'm teaching our son to be the way he was raised, Cecilia." he growls. "I don't want him leaving like Joseph did and be something crazy like Dauntless."
"Joseph has nothing to do with this." My mother replies. "Don't go bringing our other son into this." Her voice starts to rise. "Joseph chose Dauntless, and that is in the past. It's over. Let him go."
Joseph was my older brother. He's eighteen now, and him and my sister and I were always close. But the family was dramatized when he left Candor to be Dauntless. I still remember us all watching Dauntless jump off the train for the first time; it was a sight to see. I don't know where he is now. He could be factionless. I haven't seen him since visiting day when I was fourteen, during his initiation. I wonder if he changed, if he's a completely different person.
"But that is not the-"
"Let it go. Faction before Blood." It's silent.
Then my father slams his fork on his plate, and heads upstairs. I've never seen him so upset. He doesn't want me to go, but I can't stay just because my father wants me to. As my mother said, Faction before Blood.
"Your father is still having trouble letting go of Joseph." my mother says. "He always wanted a perfect, honest family. But your brother broke that when he left."
"Why doesn't Dad like Dauntless?" I ask. "Is it really because of Joseph?"
"No, of course not." she replies. "It's just the Dauntless are dangerous; jumping on and off moving trains. And..."
"And what?" I ask. My sister stays silent, but looks in awe.
"And because a girl from Dauntless died at the age of sixteen, after gaining her membership at Dauntless. But she died from a cause your father doesn't understand. It wasn't Dauntless that killed her. It was something, or someone else that killed her."
"What? What was it?"
My mother gets up with her dishes. "I don't know. I'm sure if it was a what or a who. All I know is that she was not killed by Dauntless." She stares out the kitchen window. "She was even in love with one of the Dauntless leaders, Tobias Eaton. He loved her back, so there was no way he would ever go through with the Dauntless killing her."
She looks at me and smiles a little, and continues. "Anyways, the aptitude test may scare you, but trust me, it's not." She comes over and kisses on the head. "Go with what you think is the right choice."
Go with what you think is right. I let the thought sit in my head a bit. Do I know what's right? I don't know. Do I know what's wrong? I don't. The thought of changing faction makes my stomach ache. I don't where I want to be, or what I want to do when I'm older. I'm afraid that Candor won't be my faction. I grew up here in Candor... But I'm also afraid I will get Candor.