Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
Now that Iâ€™ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings arenâ€™t white or feathered; theyâ€™re green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I moveâ€”first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesnâ€™t worry me; neither do the stars ahead.
I smile at myself, at the foolishness of my imagination. People cannot fly, though before the Society, there were myths about those who could. I saw a painting of them once. White wings, blue sky, gold circles above their heads, eyes turned up in surprise as though they couldnâ€™t believe what the artist had painted them doing, couldnâ€™t believe that their feet didnâ€™t touch the ground.
Those stories werenâ€™t true. I know that. But tonight, itâ€™s easy to forget. The air train glides through the starry night so smoothly and my heart pounds so quickly that it feels as though I could soar into the sky at any moment.
â€œWhat are you smiling about?â€ Xander wonders as I smooth the folds of my green silk dress down neat.
â€œEverything,â€ I tel him, and itâ€™s true. Iâ€™ve waited so long for this: for my Match Banquet. Where Iâ€™l see, for the first time, the face of the boy who wil be my Match. It wil be the first time I hear his name.
I canâ€™t wait. As quickly as the air train moves, it stil isnâ€™t fast enough. It hushes through the night, its sound a background for the low rain of our parentsâ€™ voices, the lightning-quick beats of my heart.
Perhaps Xander can hear my heart pounding, too, because he asks, â€œAre you nervous?â€ In the seat next to him, Xanderâ€™s older brother begins to tel my mother the story of his Match Banquet. It wonâ€™t be long now until Xander and I have our own stories to tel .
â€œNo,â€ I say. But Xanderâ€™s my best friend. He knows me too wel .
â€œYou lie,â€ he teases. â€œYou are nervous.â€
â€œNot me. Iâ€™m ready.â€ He says it without hesitation, and I believe him. Xander is the kind of person who is sure about what he wants.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter if youâ€™re nervous, Cassia,â€ he says, gentle now. â€œAlmost ninety-three percent of those attending their Match Banquet exhibit some signs of nervousness.â€
â€œDid you memorize all of the official Matching material?â€
â€œAlmost,â€ Xander says, grinning. He holds his hands out as if to say, What did you expect?
The gesture makes me laugh, and besides, I memorized al of the material, too. Itâ€™s easy to do when you read it so many times, when the decision is so important. â€œSo youâ€™re in the minority,â€ I say. â€œThe seven percent who donâ€™t show any nerves at al .â€
â€œOf course,â€ he agrees.
â€œHow could you tel I was nervous?â€
â€œBecause you keep opening and closing that.â€ Xander points to the golden object in my hands. â€œI didnâ€™t know you had an artifact.â€ A few treasures from the past float around among us. Though citizens of the Society are al owed one artifact each, they are hard to come by. Unless you had ancestors who took care to pass things along through the years.
â€œI didnâ€™t, until a few hours ago,â€ I tel him. â€œGrandfather gave it to me for my birthday. It belonged to his mother.â€
â€œWhatâ€™s it cal ed?â€ Xander asks.
â€œA compact,â€ I say. I like the name very much. Compact means smal . I am smal . I also like the way it sounds when you say it: com-pact. Saying the word makes a sound like the one the artifact itself makes when it snaps shut……………………………………….
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|Epub||May 30, 2020|
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