Chapter 12: Emergency Meeting
Max called an emergency building meeting tonight. He posted the notices on the door himself this morning, and he sent out an email. Anyone who skips this meeting has to see him. All the RA’s have to be there. Tris is the only one who is allowed to skip the meeting. I tried to get her to stay in my room while the meeting was going on, but she’s stubborn. She’s trying to act like what happened to her hasn’t affected her. I’m waiting for the act to drop, and for her to just let everything out. I watch Tris out of the corner of my eye. I’ve tried to make eye contact with her, but she seems to be in her own world right now. It’s probably best to just let her be right now.
She’s been in this state, on the verge of tears, since last night when Dauntless University Police dropped by the room. Drew and Peter were arrested last night, based on the fact that I was able to identify them. They told her that the two are not allowed on the quad without a member of the police with them. They are also going to be kicked off the quad by Tuesday. Tris won’t have to see them daily, but I’m sure she’s gonna end up seeing them around campus.
I glance at her again. She has her chin resting on her knees. If she was able to go invisible she probably would have by now. She still has on the clothes that I have her yesterday when she woke up, I hope they’re giving her a form of comfort that I can’t give her right now. I hate when I have to be in RA mode. I hope she is able to get over this one day I don’t want this to be her only memory at DU.
Slowly, the building makes their way to the basement. Some of the other RA’s have come down. Tori and Bud nod at me as they pass. All of the RA’s know what happened to Tris, Max held an emergency RA meeting this morning. Tori hasn’t met Tris, but she and Bud know that I’ve been interested in her. Tori took it personally that she was attacked. She dropped by after the meeting to speak to Tris. I think she told her that if she wants a girl to talk to she can always talk to her. Which is great of Tori. She’s one of the few people that I’m friends with, no matter what Max says.
I look away from Tris and I see Four walk in. He looks like crap. He hasn’t looked good since the meeting this morning. He would say anything, but I hope that he feels responsible for what happened to Tris. She may not blame him, but I definitely do. Tori and Bud do as well. Shit’s not looking for Four right now. Max was furious with him, he yelled at him in front of the entire staff.
Four’ eyes go wide when he sees Tris. He starts to make his way to her, but I block his path. “Move Eric.” He says in an annoyed tone.
“No! There’s no reason for you to go step in Tris’s direction, let alone go speak to her.” I say back. I look over his shoulder and I see Zeke walk in. He shakes his head as he sees us talking, but he doesn’t come closer.
“Just move Eric.” He goes to take another step, but I block him.
“No, you have no right to go talk to her. Tris may not blame you for what happened, but I do. You’re lucky that she has been with me the entire weekend, otherwise I would have beat your pathetic ass by now. I’ve done it once and I’d love to do it again.” I tell him in a menacing tone.
Four makes a noise of disbelief. “I’m going to go talk to her.”
“No.” I laugh. “She told me what you told her. How was telling her at a party, when she was there to have fun with her friends, the right place to do that?”
“Mind your own business.” He takes another step that I block. From the corner of my eye I can see Tori, Bud and Zeke all coming closer to us. God I hope they don’t break us apart if we get in to it.
“No it is my business if you harass my girlfriend.” I tell him quietly.
Four goes to say something, but Max comes in the room. He looks at all the RA’s standing around me and Four. He steps between us. “Separate yourselves. Four go over to Zeke. Eric go in the other direction.”
I walk to where Tris is. I stand next to the couch she’s sitting on. I hear her let out a breath.
I watch Eric and Four talk closely. No one is able to hear what they are saying, but anyone who’s in the room is starring at them. I see Tori and Bud slowly make their way to Eric and Four while Zeke makes his way closer to Four.
Christina sits down next to me. “What’s going on with them?” She looks over at me. “Oh my god. What happened to your face?”
“Nothing.” I mumble. I haven’t slept in the room since Thursday. I haven’t heard from her since she texted me asking if I could spend the night somewhere else. I shouldn’t have come to this meeting. Eric was right. Being here surrounded by people is not what I want.
I make a move to get up, but Max walks in the room. He separates Eric and Four sending them in different directions. Eric stands next to me, and I breathe again. He sits on the arm of the couch, and his hand starts to rub my back. His touch is comforting.
Max nods at me before he begins to speak. “As some of you may know, last night two students in this building were arrested. They were arrested because they attacked a student in my building.” Once he says this I can feel eyes on me. “Now I know I look like a nice guy.” He pauses, and people laugh. Max doesn’t come off as being nice, personable yes, but definitely not nice. “But I don’t take kindly to my residents being attacked by other residents. Now the first floor meeting I may have left it to your RA’s to tell you what you can and cannot do. But I didn’t think that some of you were stupid enough to think that attacking another student was acceptable.”
Everyone goes silent. I hear a few people whispering. I feel like everyone’s eyes are on me and the stares are suffocating me. I want to get up, but I’m glued to the seat.
“I’m making it my personal mission to get these students kicked out of Dauntless. Residents should feel safe here, not like they are going to be attacked if they walk on their own. So I’m warning all of you now, do not screw up. It’s too early for me to be dealing with all of this shit.” He pauses. “Next week we are giving self defense classes. If you are a girl I recommend that you sign up or just show up. I would prefer to see all of you there.”
I look past Max, and see Four starring at me. He looks upset, and extremely angry. I hope that Eric told him we were dating. I look back at Max.
“Everyone better make good decisions from now on.” With that he departs. He says something to Eric, too quietly for me to hear.
I see Four making his way to me, but Eric blocks his path. “I told you to leave her alone.” Eric says in an annoyed tone. The few who are left stand there looking at him and Four.
“You’re not in charge of me, let alone her.” Four says back.
I see Eric tense. I know what’s going to happen before Four does, and for the first time I feel sorry for him. Eric reaches back and punches Four in the jaw. And suddenly they’re fighting. Zeke and Bud try to pull them apart. Tori gets in the middle of them, cutting them off from one another. Eric has a black eye and a small cut on his cheek. Four’s lip is bleeding and his jaw is sporting a black and blue.
“Are you two stupid?” She yells. “Max just told us all to make better decisions and you two are acting like children. Eric go to Tris. And Four leave her alone. She obviously doesn’t want to talk to you. So leave her alone. Or do you want me to get Max? He seemed pretty pissed at you this morning.”
Eric walks back to me. He sits on the arm of the couch.
“Tris what the hell happened this weekend?” Christina practically yells.
“You heard what Max said.” I resist the urge to roll my eyes at her.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” She asks with tears in her eyes.
I stand up quickly. I ignore the pain. “You didn’t even notice I was gone. Some fucking friend you are. You pushed me to spend time with Four on Friday. None of you noticed that I wasn’t there when you left the party? Or did you accept Four’s answer that I left?” Christina stares at me with a guilty look. “You believed him. You believed that I left okay and got back safe.” I shake my head as I walk away.
“Tris.” I hear Eric say my name.
“What?” I say in an annoyed tone.
“Max wanted to see you. He told me to have you drop by his office after the meeting.” He pulls me to him, just hugging me. “I can walk with you and wait if you want.” I nod. He keeps an arm around my shoulder as we walk to Max’s office.
I knock on the door, before slipping in. “Hey Max.”
“Tris, I see Eric gave you my message. Sit please.” He motions to a chair in front of his desk. “I didn’t get to speak to you before the meeting, but I just wanted to let you know that Drew and Peter will be moved out of the residence hall by 10 p.m. on Tuesday.”
I nod. “Okay.”
“I also wanted to give you the card of one of the school therapists. You don’t have to speak with her, but if you want to then you have the number for her.”
“Okay.” I say again, putting the business card in the sweatshirt pocket.
“Have you been back to your room yet?” Max asks randomly.
I shake my head no. “I’m annoyed at my roommate right now.”
“Well you should go speak to her soon. You’ll have to eventually, you can’t hide out at Eric’s much longer without running in to her.” He smiles reassuringly at me.
“I know, but I think I’ll wait until the swelling in Eric’s eye to go down before I talk to Christina.”
“Why is Eric’s eye swollen?”
I make a face. “He and Four got in a fight. Tori broke it up though, so they only have a few bruises.”
“That’s nothing new for them unfortunately. I’m sure you know about their past. Don’t worry. It shouldn’t happen again.” Max frowns. “I’ll let you go. If you need o talk you can drop by or if you can’t get over things with your roommate then you can come here and I’ll find another room for you.”
“Thanks for everything Max.” I open the door and see Eric standing there with Christina and all our friends. Thankfully Four isn’t there. I stare at them like a deer caught in headlights.
“Tris I know you’re mad,” Zeke starts off.
“But we didn’t know.” Christina interrupts. “I thought you were just spending the night with Eric the last two days.”
“Why would I leave a party by myself?” I counter.
“We just all trusted Four, Tris. I won’t be making that mistake anytime soon. I am more sorry then you will ever know. I think we’re all sorry.”
I nod because I have no words.