Crossed, p.41
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       Crossed, p.41

         Part #2 of Matched series by Ally Condie
Page 42


  But the view isn’t the only reason I pause. The Archivist I deal with sends someone to watch me and to see how long I wait. It’s how she knows whether or not I’ve agreed to the terms for our next trade. If I stop here until the next train comes in—a few more seconds now—it means that I accept. Over the past few months, the Archivists have come to know me as someone who doesn’t trade often, but who does have items of value.

  I turn from the lake and see the city, its white buildings and masses of dark-clothed people moving through. It reminds me of going into the Carving, and again I remember that time long ago in the Borough when I saw the diagram of my body, those rivers of blood and those strong white bones.

  Just before the next train slides in, I start down the steps.

  The price is too low. I don’t accept. Yet.

  I didn’t know I had this inside of me.

  I didn’t know all that was inside of him, either. I thought I did, but people run deep and complicated like rivers, hold their shape and are carved upon like stone.

  He sent me a message. Such a thing is difficult to do, but he is in the Rising, and he has managed the impossible before. The message tells me where I can meet him. After I’ve finished work, I will go to see him.

  Tonight. I will see him tonight.

  A pattern of frost blooms along the cement wall at the bottom of the stairs. It looks, I imagine, as if someone painted stars or flowers at exactly the right time; a momentary capture of beauty that will too soon vanish.

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