Chapter 7: and dark beginnings are his luminous ends

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I’ve never really noticed how cold parts of the Dauntless compound is, but I’ve never wandered around partially clothed before either. I steadily move away from the infirmary, and towards what I hope is my bunkroom. My ankles hurt, and my wrists hurt, and my head hurts, and I wish I was asleep in my bed, but the first thing I’m going to accomplish is a shower and brushing my teeth. I have no clue what time it is, but by the time I get back to my room I figure it’s only a few hours before everyone else is us. I grab my things, my towel, my toothbrush, and a new set of clothes that includes pants, and march to the bathroom.

I reset the shower spray twice and relish in a longer-than-normal shower. The hot water stings the wound on my head, but it makes my muscles go from feeling line grinding stones to feeling like stiff jelly. When I don’t see any more blood washing down the drain, I just stand there. I think about Adele, and I think about the men that nearly killed me tonight, and I think about my brother and Eric coming to my rescue when I thought there wouldn’t be one. I think about the worry on my brother’s face, and the rage on Eric’s. I think about everything until I’m tired of thinking about it.

I climb out of the shower and dress in my clean clothes, barring my boots and socks. I leave my hair loose so I don’t agitate my cut, and I wash my face again to make sure that there isn’t any makeup, or blood, or vomit left. Then I spend ten minutes brushing my teeth. Once that laborious task is completed and I feel like I can talk without gagging, I head back to my room to stash my things. I find my socks, and I lace up my boots, and I leave.

***

I don’t know where I’m going, but I feel like I can’t sit still. I head towards the Pit, and as soon as I step out into the open I know there are too many people around, never mind that they only number twenty or so. No one looks twice at me, and I take it as a godsend that no one has heard about what happened in the middle of the night. I flee the room, and I head towards the chasm, and I pause at the edge of the walkway. I don’t fear what happened, because it didn’t; they didn’t throw me over, I didn’t fall into the water, I didn’t die.

I put one foot in front of the other and I make myself cross the bridge. I haven’t been through this part of the complex, so I figure it’s a nice place to get lost in. The tunnels are a little better lit, the floors are smoothed out a bit more, and I don’t feel like I’m going to bleed every time I bump a wall. After I travel a few yards down the hall, doors begin to appear at random. They look solid, and well built, and exactly the same. They aren’t marked with anything, and they don’t seem to be numbered, so I have no way of telling them apart. I keep going.

I turn this way and that, and weave around corners, and every so often the floor will rise for one or two steps, then slope back down. I walk until there isn’t anywhere else to walk to. I reach a dead end, but I don’t feel like turning around, so I put my back to the wall and just sit. It’s quiet. I put my head on my knees and I think I sleep.

***

“Olivia.”

“Olivia.”

“Stop kicking me, Eric,” I say, shoving his foot away.

“Where the fuck have you been? Four’s been looking for you since you disappeared last night.”

“I didn’t disappear,” I tell him, moving my hair out of my face.

“No one’s seen you in eight hours.”

Has it been that long? I must have been more tired than I thought.

“Sorry,” I say faintly. “What time is it?”

“One in the afternoon. You were supposed to stay in the infirmary last night. You have a concussion.”

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