“He wanted you to be the small, quiet girl from Abnegation,” Four says softly. “He hurt you because your strength made him feel weak. No other reason.” I nod and try to believe him. “The others wont be as jealous if you show some vulnerability. Even if it isn’t real.” “You think I have to pretend to be vulnerable?” I ask, raising an eyebrow. “Yes,I do.” He takes the ice pack from me, his fingers brushing mine, and holds it against my head himself. I put my hand down, too eager to relax my arm to object. Four stands up. I stare at the hem of his T-shirt. Sometimes I see him as just another person, and sometimes I feel the sight of him in my gut, like a deep ache. “You’re going to want to march into breakfast tomorrow and show your attackers they had no effect on you,” he adds, “but you should let that bruise on your cheek show, and keep your head down.” The idea nauseates me.” — Veronica Roth
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