Considering my daddy asked me for money on a weekly basis, that wasn’t happening.
He pointed to my pocket, where I had stored the electronic clip Face had given me. “You’re going to let your brother use that?”
I wasn’t sure yet. Addie had said the DAA program helped. Maybe I should just have patience and let him continue with that. “Are you saying I shouldn’t?”
“Oh, that’s right, you’re just the middleman. You don’t ask questions.”
“I was just going to offer to buy it off you. Since you need money and all.”
It was tempting. I was a long way from five hundred dollars, and any little bit would help. But I wanted to help my brother. “No thanks.”
“So what’s your next step then?”
“Nothing that involves you.” I opened my truck door and climbed inside without waiting for a response. I had no idea what my next step was. I was broke no matter how many syllables the word had.
Addie: There really are bronze bulls. Lots of them.
I stared at the black screen of my cell phone long after we hung up. I wanted Laila to restore my memory? Why? Was there something I had learned in the other life that I needed now? Maybe whatever it was that my parents were keeping from me. Or maybe why my head felt like it was going to explode when I used my ability.
I slid my finger across the screen. There was nothing I could do about that now. The only thing I had control over was figuring it out now. I hit the Call button.
“Hello,” Rowan answered, and I could tell by his tone he had no idea who was calling.
“Hi, Rowan, it’s Addie.”
“Addie! Hey. The answer is yes, and what time should I be there?”
I laughed. How could Stephanie hate this guy so much? He was hilarious. “I need someone to take me to Pioneer Plaza.”
“Pioneer Plaza? I don’t even know if I know how to get there. Hey,” he said to someone who must’ve been in the room with him, “do you know where Pioneer Plaza is?”
“Yes,” the other person, who sounded suspiciously like Trevor, said.
“Addie wants to go.”
“Why?” Trevor asked.
“Because she’s funny.”
I smiled. I rarely got described as funny—that was Laila’s trait. Weird, yes. Funny, no.
“We can take her, right?”
“Sure,” Trevor said.
I bit my lip, trying to contain a smile.
Back to me, Rowan said, “We’ll be by to get you in ten minutes. Text me your address.”
“Ten minutes? I didn’t mean tonight.”
“Well, you’re getting tonight.”
I hung up the phone, texted him my address, and ran to the bathroom.
“Please, Mr. Bull, don’t trample me,” Rowan said. He had wedged himself beneath the bronze hoof of one of the many bull statues that trailed through the park in downtown Dallas.
“I wish that bull was real,” Trevor said.
“Hey, Addison is the one who dragged us here, remember?”
Trevor raised his eyebrows at me. “So true.”
I gave Trevor’s shoulder a small push, and he laughed.
“Okay, take another picture, Addie,” Rowan said.
“Sure thing.” I snapped a picture with my phone, and then Rowan ran off to find the next statue. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I wasn’t supposed to know or see here. They were just bronze statues. I had discreetly studied each one as we walked down the line, but there was nothing out of the ordinary—if bronze statues were considered “ordinary.”
“I think he was born with more energy than the rest of us,” Trevor said, nodding to Rowan, who was now trying to climb on top of a horse.
“It would seem that way.”
His gaze lingered on the blue stripe in my hair, and he asked, “What’s the story with the blue?”
I let out a breathy laugh. “A long one. My one and only attempt at rebellion.” I twirled it around my finger a couple of times, my hair, straight like it had been for weeks, feeling a little frizzy out in the humid air. “Have you ever done something stupid?”
“Today? Or ever?”
I laughed. “Does that mean yes?”
“Haven’t we all?”
“Something you regret, though. Something you wish you could take back.”
We walked over a hill, and a field of gravestones stretched out in front of us. My breath caught. This was what my father had been referring to. It wasn’t visible from the road at all.
“I’m fairly cautious. Most of my regrets have to do with things I didn’t do versus things I did.”
It took me a moment to remember what we were talking about and another one to settle my heart. Crap. We had to stay until I looked at every gravestone. How could I make that seem natural? I had to keep him talking. “So what haven’t you done lately that you wish you did?”
“Most recently would have to be when I came to talk to Duke after the football game a couple weeks ago. . . .”
Ah, here it was again—the sore subject I wished he wouldn’t associate with me. “Oh?”
“I had just overheard some things Duke said in the locker room.”
“Right. So you probably wanted to lay him out.”
He smiled. The first one of the night directed at me, and it made my insides flip. He had an amazing smile. “Something like that.”
I thought back to that night with Duke. “So instead you were super nice? That doesn’t make sense.”
“My mom always tells me that if I feel like punching someone, first I have to say something nice to them. Out loud. If I still feel like punching them, they probably deserve it.”
“Duke totally deserved it, though.”
“But you were there. I wasn’t counting on that.”
My insides flipped again. I wasn’t even sure what that meant, but it sounded good. I grimaced. I needed to stop this small crush I seemed to be developing on Stephanie’s ex-boyfriend. Especially considering she wanted to take the ex out of the equation. I was being dumb. Duke was a jerk, and now apparently my heart wanted to fall for the first guy who talked nice to me. Trevor was just being a gentleman, I reminded myself. He was nice to everybody.
But either way, his regret was now mine. Duke needed someone to lay him out. Not just Laila’s attempt, which only ended in a cut lip, but a full-on, Trevor-delivered knockout. Duke was a big guy. I looked at Trevor’s arms, wondering if he could pull it off. It was hard to tell; they were covered by a jacket, but they seemed thick enough. When I looked back up again, I realized he had caught me assessing. My face went hot. “Sorry. I just wondered if you could do it.” Why did I have to say everything that came into my brain? I could’ve just pretended he had a piece of lint on his jacket or something, but I always thought of those excuses a beat too late.
“I could,” was all he said.
Quiet confidence. Trevor oozed it.
My phone beeped, and I pulled it out. Do you happen to have five hundred dollars lying around?
No, not at the moment, I texted back. Is your dad in trouble again?
No. It’s for an investment.
Of course it was. I knew she wouldn’t listen to me about dropping the ability advancement plan. “Sorry,” I said to Trevor.
He shrugged. “It’s okay.” He pointed to a headstone fifty feet away. “Rowan is going to jump out from behind that headstone when we get close. It would make his day if you actually screamed.”
“If you hadn’t told me, I’m sure I would’ve done a better job of it.”
He put a hand to his chest. “My big regret of the day.”
I smiled and read all the headstones as we passed by. “Is this a historical graveyard or something?”
A historical graveyard. “Any famous people buried here?”
“Mostly Civil War heroes. But there are others.” He gestured toward one of the larger headstones in the cemetery, a huge cross. “That guy was some famous writer.”
“Really? Awesome. Which one?” I pivoted so we were now heading toward that grave.
“A dead one.”
“Ha-ha.” Just when we almost reached the writer’s gravestone, I stopped, a cold chill trickling down my body as I read a different headstone. Adeline Coleman. My grandmother’s name. She had died five years ago—the exact year listed on the stone in front of me. This was impossible. I had visited my grandmother’s grave at the cemetery in the Compound many times in the last five years. This couldn’t be hers. Somebody else had the same name as her . . . and died the same year she did . . . and was buried in the same town where my dad lived. It was just a coincidence. A really big, nearly impossible coincidence. Crap. It wasn’t a coincidence at all. This was the secret my dad was keeping. He’d had his mother’s body moved out of the Compound.
“And here I thought Rowan was the only thing that was going to scare you here,” Trevor said. His hand lightly touched my elbow, as if he could keep me up with the whisper of a touch. “You okay?”
It felt as if all the blood from my body were draining out my feet. I pointed at the gravestone. “This isn’t historical.”
He turned his attention to the words written there. “Adeline Coleman,” he read out loud.
“That’s my grandma’s name.”
“Your grandma is buried here?” Trevor sounded as confused as I felt.
“No . . . I . . .” I trailed off.
He studied the headstone again. “Were you named after your grandma?”
A memory seemed to slam into my mind. I sat on the couch with my grandmother the Saturday after I Presented. Her arm was wrapped around my shoulder as she stared at my test results.
A smile had taken over my whole face. “My dad must’ve known I’d be Divergent. That’s why he named me after you.”
She set the paper down on the coffee table and turned toward me. “It’s not an easy ability to live with—knowing things that others possibly never will—but you’re strong, Addie. I know you can handle it. I couldn’t be happier to share an ability with you.”
“And a name.”
“They aren’t exactly the same.”
My ten-year-old heart raced. “Our abilities? Can you do something different?”
“No, our names.”
“Oh. Right.” Sometimes I forgot because everyone called her Addie too. But she was right; our names weren’t exactly the same.
A loud “BOO!” shouted in my ear, pulled me out of my memory. Rowan laughed when I jumped, but the scream Trevor asked for was lodged somewhere beneath all the disbelief in my chest.
“Ah, you guys are no fun,” Rowan said, draping an arm over my shoulder. “What’re we all looking at? Adeline Coleman. Do we know her?”
“It’s her grandmother’s name,” Trevor said.
“This is your grandma’s grave?” Rowan asked. “So you’ve been here before. And here we thought we were giving you the grand tour.”