In the Allegiant Collector’s Edition, that is now out and available to purchase in bookstores and also online, we Initiates, get the pleasure of reading from extra content that Veronica Roth and her publishing team were able to gather together and add to the collector’s book. In this following excerpt, Veronica adds a special extra content of Natalie Prior’s secret Journal she had to keep due to the “investigation” she had to portray for the people outside the wall. A secret journal she kept from David, the leader of the Bureau.
Week 49 – THURSDAY NIGHT
I’m pretty sure David won’t be interested in hearing about this, so I’m going to put it in my private journal instead of the official record.
Today I stayed after school to tutor Andrew, like I have been for the past few weeks as we get ready for our psychology exam. We were going over the evidence for and against biological explanations, such as parenting, history, and so on. I remember that because I was arguing for the latter and he was arguing for the former– it’s just like an Erudite to get all caught up in biology, really– and I was really close to spilling the secret, the secret.
I asked him if he thought the faction system could just be a way to condition people to have certain personality traits– like behavioral modification. He said the factions were more likely to be a way of grouping people with similar genetic material– that our personalities are determined by our genes more than what we’re taught. He kept using the words like “thus” and “therefore,” and every time he did I made a face at him. It took a few times for him to know that he should laugh. Anyway, then I trapped him, and I asked him why, if personalities are genetically determined, children of the same parents have different personalities. He stared at me, and he started to get that creeping red blotch on his cheeks that he always gets when he’s sort of embarrassed. I watched him scramble for an answer, and his hair fell out of its slick style and over his forehead, and strangely, I felt like I had to stop myself from pushing it back. Like I almost had to grab my own hand to keep myself from doing it.
He came up with an answer– something about how if children can inherit different eye colors from their parents, they can also inherit different personality traits. But I wasn’t really listening. I was just staring at his hair and wondering when it happened, when I started to want to touch him.
Week 49- FRIDAY NIGHT
We stayed after school for tutoring again today, even though the exam was this morning. We brought our books even though there wasn’t anything to do. I think we still felt like we needed an excuse. People don’t just mingle outside their factions for no good reason.
I felt this itch in my fingers to do something, and the sun was reflecting off his glasses so I couldn’t see his eyes. On an impulse I reached forward and took them off his face. I guess I’d never noticed before how blue they were, bright like the shirt he was wearing. He just stared at me, but not like he thought I was crazy, more like he was curious.
He asked me why I had spoken so passionately the day before about parents and how personalities are determined. I hadn’t realized that I had been “passionate,” but it felt strange, realizing that he had noticed something about me. That maybe he had been watching me as carefully as I watched him.
I told him that my parents had been violent people, but I didn’t turn out that way. He seemed confused– I’m Dauntless, after all, and we tend to be violent bunch. But we aren’t all the same, and I told him that, too. I remember what he said in response:
“Still, if you didn’t turn out that way, you neither learned from their behavior nor inherited their genetic predisposition toward violence. Which means you’ve confounded both theories.”
I smiled a little, but I didn’t feel much like smiling.I felt like every muscle in my body was coiled up tight.
The he said– how could I forget?– “I’m not surprised. You confound me all the time.”
He touched my face, running his index finger over the piercings in my ear, and pushed his hand into my hair. Then he leaned in close and kissed me.
The Dauntless are all about taking action, bu I swear, in that moment I couldn’t move a muscle. All I could do was run through the sensations in my mind to seal them in my memory. How gentle and curious his fingers were as they danced over my ear. How his hands smelled like apple-scented soap and ink. How orange-red-yellow the light in the room was, because the sun was setting.
When I finally opened my eyes, I felt like I had made the moment permanent in my mind.
He started yo get blotchy again, so I told him not to overthink it. He just laughed.
Week 50- MONDAY NIGHT
Today, when Andrew and I were on our way out of the school,he looked around to make sure no one was watching, then hooked his index finger around mine as we walked to the train tracks. Then, when the train horn sounded in the distance, he kissed me again, and stood back as I jumped on.
He’s not the first boy I’ve kissed. But it’s like everything is new, like I’m a new person here.
It’s just a few weeks until the Choosing Ceremony, and I’m supposed to pick Erudite anyway, according to David’s instructions. Maybe it’ll be all right, if Andrew is there. Maybe I can make it through initiation if I have his help.
I feel stupid even saying this, but that’s why I’m going to say it here, in this private spot where no one else can her it:
I fell like I’m in love.
Week 52- TUESDAY NIGHT
I don’t know what to do.
Andrew came to me yesterday in a panic, wild-eyed like I’d never seen him before. He wasn’t even wearing his glasses. He told me that he had seen something terrible– one of his peers was doing some kind of cruel experiment under the supervision of an Erudite leader, her mentor. His mentor.
“I can’t choose Erudite,” is what he kept saying, and he kept shaking his head, too, like it was on a swivel.
“I know,” is all I could think to say. “But where can you go?”
There were only three options, as far as he was concerned: Amity, Abnegation, or Candor.
“You can’t be Candor, you’re too private,” is what I told him. “And you can’t be Amity, either, because you care too much about taking action.”
He looked startled. I guess I would have been startled too, if some girl I’d only known for a few months, only kissed a few times, assessed me like that. Like it’s easy to label a person. Smart, private, and handsome.
That left Abnegation. Narrowing it down to that faction seemed to steady him a little.
I got so sad, looking at him, like the little balloon that had begun to inflate inside me since he kissed me was deflating. Or like I was a flower, wilting. I am supposed to join Erudite. To sidle up to whoever is killing the Divergent. To stop them.
That means that if I follow my mission. Andrew and I will be separated by the walls that divide the factions.
He must have seen my sadness in my face, because his wild look went away, and he took my hands in his. He told me he shouldn’t even say it, but that I could join Abnegation with him, that we would be safe there. Happy. A second late he took it back, reminded me that I had to make my own choice, that I shouldn’t think of him.
But I can’t help it.
Week 52- LATER TUESDAY NIGHT
He said we could be safe in Abnegation. My whole life I’ve wanted to be safe. I did things I shouldn’t have in an attempt to make myself safe, but safety had eluded me anyway.
I’ve always watched the Abnegation every morning at school, how they slipped along the sides of the halls and sat quietly at lunch, how a small group of them sat on the steps every morning to help one another with homework. The Dauntless around me called them dull, but to me they always looked like they were floating on clouds. I guess having a distinct sense of purpose can do that to you, whereas the Dauntless are just restless, prone to bursts of restless action.
I would choose Abnegation, if I could, even if Andrew wasn’t choosing it too. But I have a mission. I can;t lose sight of it.
And now its three in the morning and I can’t sleep. I told myself when I came here that I wouldn’t be taken in my the faction system. That I ought to maintain my distance from it. But I can feel the magic of it here, the options laid out in front of me, not so many I feel overwhelmed, believe in those options, believe they are a way not just to live but to thrive.
I could thrive in Abnegation. And I’ve never been able to choose safety for myself. Now I’m not allowed to even when it’s right in front of me. Even though this life is mine and I’m the only one who had to live it.
It’s a lot to think about.
Week 53- SUNDAY MORNING
Yesterday I chose Abnegation. David isn’t happy; no one over there is. But I am. I’m happy.
We waited for everyone else to walk out of the Choosing Ceremony and then we cleaned up after them, emptied all the bowls, careful of the broken glass in the Candor bowl and the hot coals in the Dauntless one. Then all the initiates had a meal together, each one serving the person on his left. I gave Andrew extra butter on his bread.
Then there was the foot-washing. I thought it would be awkward and gross, having a stranger tough my feet. But there were lit candles all around, so the room glowed orange, and everything was quiet except fir the splashing of water and the humming of the woman in front of me.
And no, it wasn’t the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done, but I just focused on the ritual or it. Hundreds of Abnegation had done that exact same thing at that exact same stage in their lives. Someday, I knew, if I lasted that long, I would do it for some initiates myself. Maybe even for my children. And it felt weighty, when I thought about it that way, and important, like something holy.
They told us to expect thirty days of service. Serving the poor, serving the rich, serving our elders, serving one another. Then they taught us the Abnegation manifesto, modest and brief as it is, and I had it memorized by the second run-through. We all chanted it, quietly so the room was full of whispers. Then the girls went to a dormitory in Abnegation headquarters and the boy went to another.
The girls there stared openly at my tattoos when I changed into my gray Abnegation shirt. Most of them are Abnegation, and they’ve never seen a Dauntless up close. Some are Amity, too. But there was one Erudite girl, and she asked me about it as I took out my lip piercing for good.
“You transferred from Dauntless? That’s rare,” she said. I had already decided I liked her right away, just because of the way her limbs seemed to smack into everything when she walked, and because of her wild hair. Evelyn was her name.
“I know,” I said. “So is transferring from Erudite.”
She asked me what I thought so far. I told her everything seemed good, because the other girls were listening and I didn’t want to say all the things I was thinking– that yes, Abnegation’s way of life was peaceful and beautiful, but I was nervous about it. Afraid, not of danger or death, but of boredom.
Maybe she understood what I was thinking, because she leaned in close so she could keep her voice down and said, “Not so exciting, is it? But we didn’t choose this for the constant thrills, right?”
I nodded. She smiled and started to braid her hair. I lay back in bed. The window next to my bed was open, so I fell asleep to the feeling of the cool ai rushing over my toes.
Evelyn is right. I didn’t choose it because it was the only guarantee of living a good life. And because I missed out on the opportunity to help other people once– I won’t do it again.
This morning at breakfast Andrew smiled at me from across the table, and all my fears about Abnegation dissolved.
I didn’t really expect to love it here. But I think I might. Now I just have to figure out a way to help the Divergent from inside the wrong faction.
Year 29, Week 18- SATURDAY MORNING
The house feels so empty with the children gone. Last night Andrew came home from the Choosing Ceremony and shut himself in the bedroom for hours. I kept standing by the door with my fist raised to knock, and then losing my nerve. Even after all these years, sometimes it’s difficult to know how to show him that I love him.
I went into Caleb’s room and peaked under his bed and found a stack of library books there, gathering dust. They’re in a box near the back door now, so I can return them to the school. It appears he was very interested in neuroscience. I always knew that my Caleb was bright– how could either of my children escape that, with their father’s genes?– but I was never sure what he would make of it. I’m still not.
Beatrice, however, was a mystery. There was nothing in her room to suggest to me that she might choose Dauntless. I suppose her choice might have been an answer to age-old question: safety or freedom? You can have both, but not always in equal measure. I chose the former, and she chose the latter.
I wish I had been able to be more open with both of them. Not to change their choices, but to make sure they are prepared for what they will find in their new factions. For Beatrice, in Dauntless, there will be danger; for Caleb, in Erudite, the threat of corruption. But I didn’t succeed in warning either of them.
It’s so quiet here, and Andrew looks worn. And I’m just sitting here with failure.
I suppose there’s always Visiting Day.
Year 29, Week 21- FRIDAY AFTERNOON
I got your message, and I appreciate the warning. I will try to protect my family, as you suggested, but you know as well as I do that I’m not going to leave it at that.
If this is the last message I send you… well, let’s just say I hope you burn for this.
I hope you Initiates enjoyed this excerpt of the Allegiant’s Collector’s Edition book. This special edition also includes other bonus material such as:
- Deleted Scene from Allegiant: Fear Number Tattoos
- #VoteAllegiant Winning Scene: Strike First, Strike Hard
- Favorite Quotes from Allegiant, Illustrated by Initiates
- Allegiant Discussion Questions
If you want to order your own hard cover copy of the Allegiant’s Collector’s Edition book + an EXCLUSIVE poster that comes with it, I have provided various options down below for purchase: