Lee ‘We Can Be Mended’, el epílogo de la saga Divergente en inglés

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"The five-year reunion is coming up."

Christina leans against the railing of the train platform, first bent, propped up by her elbows, then straightening, pressing her hips to the railing for stability instead. Her hair is longer now than it's ever been, densely curled and standing straight out from her head. Sometimes she wears it wrapped up in a scarf, a colorful defiance of her Dauntless history, but today it's loose.

The words settle on me like a weight, familiar but still more than I'd like to bear.

"So I've heard," I say. Every year the former faction members who still live in Chicago reunite to celebrate--or mourn, maybe--our common history. I have gone to some of these events and not to others, but this year's is important.

Five years.

"You going?"

Christina tilts her head as she looks at me, then shrugs.

"I was thinking about it," she says. "It's in Dauntless headquarters. The former Dauntless headquarters, I should say."

I nod, looking out at the city lights that dot the buildings around us. Some of them show glimpses of other lives--a woman braiding her hair and laughing, a man picking up after his children, the glow of a flashlight under blankets as a child steals more time awake. A bus passes beneath us, carrying late commuter to the apartment buildings near the marsh. Behind me are the silent train tracks, the rails shining as they catch the moonlight.

"I know you go to headquarters every so often," she says, looking down at her hands. "Zeke told me."

Zeke. That traitor.

"Yeah, I go there. So what?"

She examines her fingernails. She's pretending to be casual. But she's never been very good at pretending. "What do you do there?"

"I don't remember agreeing to an interrogation," I say as lightly as I can. I don't want to awaken her prickly side too soon.

"You don't want to answer questions, just say so," she says. "But I think you should have figured out by now that if there's something you want to hide, it's probably also something you need to talk about."

I groan, teasing, but she's right. I know she's right.

Since she stopped me from swallowing the memory serum, I've trusted her in a way I don't trust anyone else. Someone who has seen you that weak and doesn't use it against you is worth that trust, I think. But it's still hard to admit another vulnerability to her, to even speak the words out loud.

"Fine," I say, drawing my shoulders in. "I go through my fear landscape there."

She stares at me. "What is with you and the fear landscape, Eaton? At first it was a quirk but now it's downright pathological."

"It's not that big a deal," I say. "It's... therapeutic."

"Four," she says. She pauses. "Tobias. It's not therapeutic if nothing ever changes, you know?"

"Who says my fears haven't changed?"

"Is she still there?" Her voice softens. And not in the way other people's voices soften when they talk to me about Tris-- the way that makes me want to snap that I'm fine, lay off, leave me alone. Christina's eyes go cloudy with loss, and grief, and I know that she understands.

"Yeah." My hand comes up automatically to run over my hair, cropped Abnegation short.

"Yeah, she's still there, of course she is."

"So you go back to see her," she says.

"No," I say. "No, that's not why."

"But that's part of it."

"It's . . . I"--I sigh. "It's not that I want to see her there--you think I like watching her die over and over again?" I bring my hand down, hard, on the railing. "I just keep wanting to see if she'll still be there. I'm just... waiting for the day when I'm... past it. When I've moved on."

She laughs a little. "You're not just going to spontaneously be past it."

"What about 'time heals'?"

"Time doesn't do shit." Christina sighs, and for a moment she stands on her tiptoes, pressing out over the railing like a Dauntless on a dare. But then she sinks back to her heels and looks at me sternly, and says, "The thing about moving on is, you have to move."


Christina is right. I do go back to Dauntless headquarters a lot, but never to the Pit below, only to the first-floor fear landscape room. My stores of the serum are running out. I only have a handful left--just a handful of chances to get over my fears before I'll stop knowing what I'm afraid of forever. I don't know why I find that, in itself, so frightening.

Maybe it's that I used to feel like I didn't know myself, and I don't want to feel that way again. I spent all my life that way, sagging beneath the weight of my Abnegation grays, and I don't want to go back. I don't want to rely on sparks of revelation to drive me forward. I want to know.

I have four fears, still. They are different than they were when Tris died, five years ago.

In the first, I fly high above the city in an airplane that has run out of fuel. I tumble toward the ground, with no chance of rescue.

In the second, I am immobile as a dark force--usually with David's face, or Marcus's--attacks the ones I care about.

In the third, I am in pain, and there is no relief, all I can do is endure.

In the fourth, she dies.

It makes no sense, to fear the worst when the worst has already happened. Death can't happen twice, after all.

It was me who told her that what she saw in the simulations wasn't her literal fear playing out in front of her--Well, are you really afraid of crows?--but something deeper, more symbolic. Still, it's difficult not to take my fourth fear exactly as it is, with her wide blue eyes staring up at me from the ground, their spark gone out.


I could wait for the train with the others, standing calmly on the platform as it slows to a stop, boarding, sitting in one of the freshly installed seats like a normal person. But it doesn't feel right to me, will never feel right to me again.

Instead, I take the long walk through the restored streets of Chicago, the city that refuses to die. It burned once, and they rebuilt it with brick. Then it was pelted with explosives and bullets, evacuated, and populated with five factions. Then it came apart again, and we are responsible for its fourth life. We are equal parts fringe--dwelllers, ex-faction members. Bureau dropouts, and migrants from other cities.

We no longer care about genetic purity, we say. Of all the places that claim such a thing, this is perhaps the place where it comes closest to being true. But I still remember the images of my genetic code that made me realize I was broken in some deep, fundamental way. I didn't, as some others did, tattoo it on my body. I only do that for things I want to be reminded of.

I leave the clean path, taking side streets instead. They are still as busted and broken as they used to be. Sagging concrete giving way to the pipes and vents that form the city's infrastructure, green things growing in the cracks in the road, waist high. The sun is setting and there are no lights here to flicker on and guide the way. I put my hands in my pockets and keep walking, trusting the fading light and my own memory to get me there.

I hear laughing up ahead. A familiar laugh--Zeke's.

He spots me from a long way off. His teeth are a flash of white in the dark.

"Four! Come over here!"

"Hey." I sidle up to him. Familiar faces materialize around me: Shauna, standing upright with the help of the spinal implant and leg braces; Christina in full Dauntless regalia, her hair wrapped up in a black cloth; and, standing tentatively at the edge of the group, Caleb Prior.

I no longer look at him and ask myself why he's alive when she isn't. There's really no point to that kind of question anyway. For the most part, he seems determined to avoid me, and that suits us both. He nods to me, and I nod back, and if we are both lucky, that will be the end of it.

"I was just complaining about this year's recruits for the peacekeeping force," Christina says.

"Again?" I ask.

"Same as every year," Shauna supplies.

"Apparently they're uncoordinated and rowdy."

"Rowdy recruits." I grin. "Yeah because you don't know anything about that, Chris."

"I may have been rowdy, but I was nowhere near this stupid," Christina says, jabbing me in the chest with a finger. I grab the finger and turn it around, trying to muscle her into poking herself. It's not as easy as I thought it would be.

"Plus," she says, freeing her hand from my grip with a smile, "this isn't nearly as difficult as Dauntless initiation; they don't know how good they have it."

"That's a good thing," Shauna reminds her. "We don't want people to know what it's like to grow up in a faction. You can't fault them for not knowing something we don't want them to know."

"I can fault them for whatever I want," Christina says with a sly smile.

We walk toward the Pire, which is lit up warm and bright all the way to its top floor.

"Who else are we meeting, again?" Zeke says.

"Cara's bringing Matthew, Nita can't come--"

"Cara?" I say. "I thought she was still in Phila--dels... burg."

"Philadelphia." Caleb corrects me in a low tone. Probably automatic for him, but I still give him a look.

I haven't seen Cara in over a year. She's been traveling, speaking to important people about the development she and Matthew have made in their laboratory. I didn't know she had returned.

We walk into the lobby with the floor made of glass. For a moment I stare through it, down at the Pit. The Pit used to be a place where I kept memories--bad ones, of corpses pulled out of the water below, and good ones, of laughing on the rocks with Zeke and Shauna. But now someone has scrubbed away the paint the Dauntless splattered everywhere, years ago, to cover up the cameras. And strings of glowing bulbs hand in straight lines along the paths to light them. It looks, for the first time . . . nice.

My chest aches dully. At least when this place was just for memories, it was mine. But now, like this? This bright, cheerful space is someone else's.

"Tobias!" Matthew claps me on the shoulder. He's holding a cup of something dark and strong; I can smell it from where I stand. But his eyes are clear where they rest on mine. "Haven't seen you in a while; heard you dropped out of the political game."

"Yeah, kind of," I say. "It wasn't exactly as I expected. As it turns out, you have to be charming to make it anywhere."

"Charming, and a bit of a liar," he says sympathetically. "You should talk to Cara about that; it's a source of endless frustration for her."

"Where is she, anyway?" I say.

But just as I'm finishing my question, I see a head emerge from the hatch in the floor that opens up to the Pit. Her hair has turned darker blond in time, and it is loose around her face. Her mouth curls into a smile at the sight of us.

She hugs me, briefly, and as her blouse pulls away from her shoulder, I see the corner of a tattoo. A broken double helix, a sign of her damage.

"Wasn't sure if I'd see you," she says.

"Wasn't sure if I'd come," I say. "How was Philadelphia?"

"You remembered the city name!" She smiles. "I knew you'd develop an interest in geography one day, now that there are maps available."

"I have to admit, I called it Philadelsburg," I say. "Caleb corrected me."

She snickers. "Philadelsburg was good. But did Matthew tell you our news?"

I shake my head.

"Of course he didn't." She eyes him.

"I was just about to," Matthew says.

"Sure," she replies. "Well, we're getting married, is the news."

"Congratulations," I say, and more because I know it's expected than because it's comfortable. I pull each of them into a one-armed embrace, in turn. "It's about time," I say as I pull away.

"About time for what?" Christina asks from somewhere behind me, and they move on to tell her.

I finally look around. The crowd gathered at the bottom of the Pit, near the edge of the chasm, is dense and multicolored, as I've never seen it before. And the people--old and young and everything in between, cradling cups to their chests and talking. My eyes still search for faction divisions even now, but I don't find any--even in myself, my shirt Candor white, my jeans Erudite blue, and my shoes Dauntless black.

We are just people now.


Parts of the dining hall--entire walls, even--are stripped of what I remember, but neatly. After we reclaimed the city from the Bureau, there was a wave of pillaging and theft, and pockets of iconoclasts urging everyone to burn anything faction related they could get their hands on. Not many of them made it to Dauntless headquarters, given that it's such a hazardous place, but I'm sure some of them did

Now the prevailing wisdoms is that certain things should be preserved. I am not sure how I feel about that anymore.

We sit around a table in the middle of the room. Conversations echo off the walls, rattling in my head. Zeke and Shauna bicker about something--who said what, when--but there is a curl to Zeke's mouth that means he's not taking it seriously. Matthew, Caleb, and Cara are deep in conversation. Christina sits backward in her chair to talk to her parents, who stand behind her.

Hands close over my shoulders and I tense, suppressing the urge to twist and grab and shove. You're not in danger, I think to myself. Not anymore.

"Sorry," my mother says, lifting her hands. "I should know better."

I turn to face Evelyn. She is carrying her age well, but still carrying it, in the lines around her eyes and mouth, and the widening streaks of gray in her hair. She lives in the city now, working in transportation--and she's qualified, thanks to years of tracking the city's trains with the factionless. I can tell it bores her, but it's steady enough.

"I haven't seen you in a while," she says. "Been feeling all right?"


She gives me a dubious look. But I have been all right, really. It's just been difficult for me to be around people, and I'm not sure how to explain that to her.

"It just doesn't feel right, being here," I say. "Everything's so clean. Like a museum."

Which is what it is now. The Dauntless compound restoration was completed a few months ago, and the city offered tours to travelers to teach them about the faction experiment, its results, and its aftermath. It is an attempt, I suspect, to combat such a narrow focus on genetic purity. It will take at least a few generations to see any kind of change, but we are hopeful. Or, I should say, they are hopeful, since I'm not doing my old work anymore.

I spot Johanna over my mother's shoulder, a mug of something cradled against her chest. She is still in elected office, overseeing our city. She has the stomach for it, and I don't. Whenever she called on me to speak to people from outside the city, I went cold at the first sign of their judgement, their scrutiny. That's not the way to get things done, she told me, and I agreed, but I couldn't escaped the person I was. Am.

So now my focus is smaller. Fix the streets, the streetlights, the buildings. Settle refugees from other places into permanent housing, make sure they have heat and clean water. Simple things.

Johanna feels my eyes on her, and she turns, showing me the scarred side of her face, exposed now that she wears her hair short. She smiles a little, and I nod back.

"Johanna told me you're working on city improvement projects," Evelyn says.

"I am," I say.

"That's a very Abnegation career path," Evelyn says. "Are you sure it's what you want?"

"Abnegation was what you didn't want," I say. "Not me."

MY mother touches my face.

"You know I want what's best for you, right?" she says. It's a strange thing to say.

"Of course." It's not something I could have said years ago, but I believe it now.

"Then do you know that Tris would want what's best for you?" Her mouth tugs into a frown.

My gut clenches, like a rope pulling taut. I'm tired of people telling me meaningless things and pretending they're what she wanted.

"You didn't know her. You can't say that."

She takes her hand away. "I never say the right things with you , do I."

She says it like it's my fault.

"That's the problem," I say. "You think there's a right thing to say. There isn't."

It's to her credit that she doesn't snap back right away. A couple years ago, she might have. She was always ready to fight then, but now she thinks about my words. I watch her chew on them.

"Fair," she says, which is always what she says when she decides I'm right. "But you're very hard on me sometimes."

I sigh. "Fair."

I glance at Christina, who is speaking in low tones to her father, her brow furrowed. At least I'm not the only one who still fights with his parents.

I stand, my appetite lost to the strangeness of this once-familiar place. I let Evelyn draw me into a hug, and I even hug her back, no longer willing to separate from anyone I care about with tension still between us. People are too easily lost.

I tell I'm going for a walk, and I leave the dining hall to walk along the railing that once kept us separate from the rushing water of the chasm. Now it just keeps us from tumbling into the rocks. I miss the spray of the water and the sound of its roar. But there is one benefit to the quiet, I suppose--I hear Christina when she calls after me.

"Evelyn strikes again?" she asks me, jogging to catch up.

"I watched this old footage of fighting moose," I say. "Two stubborn, horned things just colliding over and over again. That's what Evelyn and I are."

"You're still watching the animal videos." She laughs. "What are you on now? Worms? Snails?"

"Birds," I say. "Did you know that albatrosses always crash-land? They're too big to land gracefully, so they just collide with the ground.'

"I feel like you just dislodged something useful form my brain and replaced it with a fact about a bird I'll probably never see, " she says. "Come one. There's a place I want to visit."

"If you're about to take me to the transfer dormitory, I'm not coming."

She shudders. "Yeah, because all I want is to go back to the place where I watched a guy lose an eye. No. Somewhere else."

I follow without asking where.


We walk the long, dark corridor toward the net side by side. Sometimes our knuckles brush as our arms swing in opposite directions, and I would normally twitch away, but this time, I don't.

We stand together in front of the platform where I once stood to ease Dauntless initiates into their new lives. I remember stretching my hand out for Tris's small, pale one, clasping my thumb around hers, drawing her to stability. I thing of her bright eyes, wild with adrenaline. Little, twitchy Stiff, Eric used to call her.

I was too busy announcing her name to the other Dauntless to help Christina out of the net. But for the first time in a long time, when I go over that memory in my mind, I think of Christina, too.

"You screamed all the way down," I say to her, and she laughs.

"Hell yes, I screamed all the way down," she says. "I jumped off a building. You realize how ridiculous that is?"

"I do." I smile a little. "I wasn't even close to the first jumper, you know. I'm terrified of heights."

"Heights." She nods and takes the stair railing in hand, climbing up to the platform. "What else, if you don't mind me asking? I mean, back then, now."

I follow her up the steps. "Enclosed spaces. Becoming a monster. My father."

The press of her mouth is grim. "Well, you know all mine, thanks to initiation."

I hoist myself over the metal pipe that holds the net steady, and roll, ungainly, toward the middle of the net. She does the same, and tumbles right into me, kneeing me in the back. I groan, and she laughs an apology, clambering to the middle.

We lie side by side, staring up at the sky. It's too bright in the city now to see many stars, but the sky itself is a nice, deep blue, and the moon is bright, a slim crescent. The buildings that hem in the hole we're looking through stand like sentries at the edges of my vision.

"Everybody's moved on with their lies," she says. "You know I head Zeke and Shauna talking about when they're going to try for a kid? Cara and Matthew are getting married, Caleb's got some insane project that he may as well be married to... and I'm still training the stupid security force."

"You don't like it?"

"I like it," she says. "I just feel like I'm not headed anywhere."

"Yeah," I say, and I'm surprised by how much I understand what she's saying. "Me too, actually."

"Thought you might," she says. "That's what my dad and I were arguing about. he wants me to leave the city. Travel. I don't think he understands how different it is out there for us, how strange it all feels. He doesn't want to leave, so why should I?"

"He's probably just worried about you," I say. "Worried you're not meeting your potential, or something."

"That what Evelyn was saying to you?"

"Sort of." I grimace. "She said something like 'This isn't what Tris would want for you.'"

Christina groans. Loudly.

"Like she would know," she says, and I laugh, because it's just so perfect, that we would say the same thing about my mother. I've talked to Christina enough about her, told her the whole story of how she ran from Abnegation and left me to my father, then returned to my life after I chose Dauntless. Christina's response was swearing, spitting rage.

"I don't thing I know what she would have wanted for me," I say when my laughter has settled.

"You want to know what I think?" Christina says, and our eyes meet as we both look sideways at each other. In this light, her eyes are so dark they look black, and their is something peaceful about them.

I nod.

"I think she wanted you to be with her," Christina says. "Tris wanted to live, and she wanted you, and she wanted something better for everybody. If Tris was here, she'd want you, but she's not, and that's just how it is."

"You're saying it doesn't matter what she would have wanted?" I say, something tensing inside me. I ask it like it's a demand.

"I'm saying she's not here to want things. I mean, maybe she's nowhere, or maybe she's... somewhere else, and if that's true, I don't really see Tris as the type to spend all her time staring down at us wistfully wanting good things for us," Christina says, unflinching. She sits up and stared down at me. "How old were you, when you were together?"

"Eighteen," I say.

She repeats it, slowly. "Eighteen." She shakes her head and looks up at the silvered moon. "Eighteen is too young to think you can't ever have anything else that's good, Tobias. Too young not to mess everything up over and over again, or ...heal. It's too young, and you're too..." She trails off. "You're too good to not live your own life."

She huffs, and lies down again. Our shoulders are touching. Our arms are touching. I close my eyes.

Those bright blue eyes are there, staring at me from my memory. Tell him I didn't want to leave him, was the message Tris told Caleb to pass on to me. Her last words to me: that she didn't want to go. And I know Christina is right--there is no easy answer here, no "what she would have wanted," because I know what she wanted, and neither of us got it. The "would have" is irrelevant.

She loved me. I loved her. And she died but I didn't. I didn't.1a

"Sorry," Christina says. "I made a speech didn't I."

"You made a speech," I say. "Don't be sorry about it, though."

Christina's fingers move, her index and middle fingers hooking around mine. Her grip is strong and warm. Her dark skin, unblemished, contrasts with mine.

"This okay?" she asks without looking at me.

"Yeah," I say, ignoring the spark of something that goes off inside me. I keep my eyes closed.


"Come to training tomorrow, would you? It'll be fun. I promise."

That's what Christina said when I walked her home yesterday. We climbed out of the net, chilled by the night air and went to the train tracks to get on with some of the other. We waited until the train stopped, walked in calmly, and hung on to the railings for balance instead of sitting down because who sits on a train?

I told her I didn't want to teach soldiers anymore, and she told me it would just be this once, for old times's sake. Her eyes were steady on mine, and she was close and smelled like sage, and a small curl had escaped the cloth she had tied around her hair and hung right over her cheekbone. I didn't hug her good-bye. It felt dangerous, somehow.

But here I am anyway, sighing as I wait at the door for my own courage to show up. Finally i decide it will come along if I do something, so I open the door and walk in. The air smells like sweat and shoes and sawdust. The security force trains in one of the factionless warehouses, but the floor is covered with mats and some kind of springy material, and there are lights everywhere.

Christina is demonstrating a maneuver on one of the rowdy newcomers, as she called them. She tells him to push her, then shifts to the side, grasping his arm right under the armpit and moving so he's forced to his knees. She's grown into herself since the last time I saw her do anything like this and moves with a little more grace, a lot more certainty.

She looks up and sees me and smiles.1a

I wrap my hands and warm up on one of the heavy bags, until I feel sweat between my shoulders. It feels good, easy. So when she taps my shoulder and asks me to walk around correct technique, I say yes.

It's like lowering myself into a stream. The water takes me, and I am a Dauntless instructor again, rolling my eyes when someone forgets to keep their guard up or to look before elbowing the pad so they elbow their partner's arm instead. Look, I tell them, and get smaller.

Be ready, and act ready, she says to them, and I nod.

"He was my teacher once, you know," Christina says to one of the smaller girls. "And if you think I'm tough on you, you don't know how bad it can get."

"Candor-smart mouth," I say.

"That's right," she replies.

Then the session is done and the trainees leave, so it's just her and me, stretching and sipping water from the same bottle.

"You talked about them like they were little tornadoes," I say. "They're not so bad. I think you just wanted pity."

"You caught them on a good day," she says.

"'Poor me, I'm Christina, I have to actually teach people things,'" I say, mimicking her. "Talk to me after you've tried to wrangle volunteers at the crack of dawn."

"Oh, shut up." She smacks me with a sweaty hand wrap.

"That was wet," I say to her.

Her eyes are bright with laughter. She gathers the wrap into her fist and shoves it into my cheek. I smack her hand away, and she grabs mine, and then we're close together, sharing, and air, hands clasped, our knees touching, both smiling.

Her smile fades. Our hands come apart. But instead of shifting away, I touch her jaw, run my thumb over her cheek. Her skin is dotted with sweat, and my hand is still wrapped in black fabric, but I feel--everything.

"This isn't some kind of ...experiment, is it? she says. "To see if you've moved on?"

"What? No, it's ...'m--I'm just ...finally moving," I say.

"Oh," she replies.

I touch my lips to hers. It's quick, a scared little peck, and I don't think she breathes the whole time. I know I don't.

"This okay?" I say.

She puts a hand over my wrist, pulls me toward her, and smiles. Our foreheads touch.

"Yeah," she says. "It is."

This time, when our lips meet, it's soft and slow. It tastes salty. Her fingers hook in my shirt. And she pins me to the mat.


We fight all the time. Over whose turn it is to wash the dishes, and who gets to name Zeke and Shauna's kid--neither of us, it turns out--and how wrapped up I get in the city improvement projects, and how grouchy she is when she comes back from work some days.

I still dream of Tris, sometimes. Even dream of her dying. I tell Christina about it, and she doesn't take it personally, mostly, unless she's tired or worried about something. My stash of fear landscape serum goes untouched for so long that I end up giving it to Cara to play with.

We talk about Will, and Tris, and the lives we took, and how afraid we are, sometimes, when someone startles us, or looks too much like Jeanine of Marcus or Max. I wake in the middle of the night to her crying as she remembers pulling Hector over the edge of the roof only to realize Marlene was broken on the ground. She wakes to worse from me.

We laugh all the time. Sometimes just because of a look, or a word. She speaks in strange voices, mimicking me, or her coworkers, or the birds we watch videos of in my apartment. She makes me laugh until I'm weak with it, relaxed against the couch cushions with my hands curled in, useless.

She is the first one I tell when something goes well, or when something goes poorly. Or when something goes, period.

She tells me, once, that she keeps a vial of memory serum in her bathroom cabinet, to remind her of what she almost lost, when I almost lost myself.

We work, and dream. We fight, and we laugh, and we fall in love. We move.

And we mend.

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