The woods of Washington are well known. But some people don’t know the horrors that go down in those woods. Only a few do, and only one of them is still alive. Barely.


2. Telling the Truth

This was probably going to be one of the hardest days of my life, I didn't know how I was going to tell them. Oh well, I just need to get it over with. I could lose friends if I don't. OK but while that is true, I could also lose friends by telling them. This was a hard decision. I have to do it, it's only fair to them. I picked up my phone. The first one I called was Jeff.

J: "Hello!" 

Me: "Hey, Jeff"

J: "Everything okay, Amber?" 

Me: "Yes, I was just hoping you could come over for a bit. Arch and Mandy will be here too"

J: "Sure thing! I'll be there in 10!" 

Me: "OK, bye Jeff!" 

J: "Bye Ambs!"

OK, so Jeff was in. Now Mandy. 

M: "Hey Amb, what's up?"

Me: "Hey Mandy! Are you free to come over and hang out for a bit with the gang?"

M: "Sure! Give me about 5 minutes." 

Me: "OK, see you then!"

Now Archie, I saved him for last because I'm closest to him, and telling him would be the hardest. Here goes nothing. 

A: "Hey, Amber! How are you?" 

Me: "I'm good Arch, Um..I was wondering if you want to come over for a bit? The others are one their way right now." 

A: "OK, well since I live next door, expect me in like 30 seconds!" 

Me: "OK Arch! Bye!" 

Just then I heard the door open down stairs. Archie doesn't need to knock. Since we are so close, my mom just lets him come and go whenever. I heard him downstairs talking to my mom, and the next thing I know he was in my room. "Well hello Archie" I smiled at him. "Well hello gorgeous." He smiled back, as he crossed the room to give me a hug. He always called me beautiful or gorgeous, or some flattering name because he knew I felt badly about myself. "So what are we going to do?" He asked really happily. "Well, I was hoping to maybe explain a few things to all of you." The look on his face told me he understood what I meant. "Oh. Well I'm here to support you one hundred percent." "Thanks Arch." As we hugged again, Mandy and Jeff walked in. "Oh sorry, are we interrupting something?" Jeff joked. Jeff and Mandy always liked to joke about Archie and I being a couple. "No guys! Ugh. It was just a friendly hug!" I said back to them. I felt Archie stiffen, but then he started laughing with Jeff, it was probably about what I was going to tell them. "Umm. So I was hoping to maybe talk to you guys, let you in on some things." It seemed like that was all I had to say for them to get it. Archie took my hand and squeezed it for reassurance. "So maybe we should sit" suggested Mandy. "Yea that would be a good idea." I replied. There was a bed, and two bean bag chairs, Mandy and Jeff beat us to the bean bag chairs, so Archie and I sat on my bed. He put his arm around me, and pulled me close. I felt safe, and I was ready to tell them. I took a deep breath in, held it for 8 seconds, and then let go. "First I need you guys to understand that making the decision to tell you about this was very hard for me. I had to think about what this might lead to in our friendships. I didn't want to lose you for not telling you, but I didn't want to lose you by not telling you." I smiled a sad smile. "I don't want you guys to look at me differently either, but I know you will. Even my mom did." At this point I could see Mandy's eyes getting glossy. I could see Jeff biting his nails, a nervous habit of his. But most of all, I could feel Archie's body. His entire body was so tense, if you hit him just right, he might shatter. He was rock solid. "Okay, so you all know I've had a rough past, and you all know my dad was a bad guy. But you don't know just how bad he was. When I was four years old, my dad did something I will never forget. He continued to do it until my mom and I left, which was three years ago. So one day, I went to go wash my hands in the sink. I had forgotten that my dad had told me not to use that sink because he was fixing it. One thing I had known since day one was to never make my dad angry. Anyways, he was fixing the sink, but he had to run out and get some part that he didn't have. I used the sink, and then went back to my room. A few minuets later my dad came barging into my room picked me up by one arm and yelled: "What the hell! You ruined all the work I did on that sink you little bitch!"." I paused and looked at everyone's faces. Jeff was in shock...I think. Mandy was now silently crying. And Archie, he was pissed. I don't know why. "When he finished yelling at me, he took me down to our basement..." At this point I was crying too. I wiped my eye as everyone waited patiently for me to continue. "He...he threw me into a giant freezer as if I was just a rag doll. He told me that this would keep me out of his way. He locked me in with chains. He told me that if I ever tried to get out, even just once...that I wouldn't live. I was terrified, but I knew the best thing to do would just be to listen." I looked around the room, and I could tell everyone looked so appalled. Were the appalled by me? Or this story? I continued on anyway, Archie's arms still around me, calming me just a bit. "As the years went on, he would lock me in that box whenever he was mad. He didn't need a reason, but it was always when my mom wasn't home. Once I turned 10...ummm" I didn't know how to tell them this part. I sniffed and wiped my eyes. Archie turned to me and said "No matter what that monster did t you, we will not leave you. I want you to know, that we are not judging you for any of this. We are just angry for what he did to you." He hugged me and I him back "Thanks Arch." I looked into his eyes and found comfort. "Okay um so when I turned 10, he started to do more. He would um take a knife with us to the basement, and cut me along my stomach or my legs." I could feel Archie's heart rate quicken. I heard Mandy and Jeff gasp. "And um. He would cut really deep, so that I would have to bleed in the box. He would leave me in there for a few hours, and then come take me out and stitch me up himself. He didn't ever let me die, I used to think it was because he did love me, that maybe it was just his special way of showing his love for me, but I now realize, he just let me live so that he could do it again. It was for his pleasure. He never loved me, I was his toy." I looked at all of them, and everyone was crying. Even Jeff, who never cries. "And that's why I'm here, and why I always told you my dad was a bad guy." I finished. "Oh Amber I'm so sorry." Mandy said as she walked over and sat on the bed. She wrapped me in her arms, letting me know that I hadn't lost her. "Ambs. I had no idea anyone was capable of doing those things" doing the same as Mandy. He hugged her and I, squishing me but I felt so loved. They both got up and Jeff said "I wish we could stay here and just sit with you, but it's getting really late and we have to get home." I guess they came together. "I'll be fine guys really. Thank you for listening." "Anytime." They both gave me another hug, and then left. I turned around to look at Archie, who was staring at me. "I hope I didn't lose you Arch." I said beginning to cry. He got up and came over to give me a hug. He wrapped me in his arms, letting me smell his aroma of fresh pine and musk. "Amber. You would never lose me, not in a million years. I love you so much." He had never said that to me before but I had always wanted him to. "I love you too Arch." He stiffened. "I don't you get it Ambs. I'm in love with you. I hate that you only see me as a friend, because I am so in love with you." I let go of him. As I looked up at him, shocked, he continued to ramble on about how in love with me he was, I realized, that maybe the reason I felt so safe with him was because I was in love with Archie too. I did the only thing I could think of to shut him up. "Archie." I said, looking into his eyes. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and by this point he had stopped talking. His eyes went back and forth between my eyes and my lips. "I'm in love with you too, Archie Davis." At that moment he smiled such a wide smile I thought his face would break. He leaned down, kissing me with so much passion that I didn't know if he could love me anymore than he did in that moment. I kissed him back and when we finally came up for air, he smiled so lovingly at me, and I smiled back, and I finally knew what love was meant to be. "Wow" he said, still smiling. "Amber?" I looked up at him. "Yea?" "Can I take you on a date?" He asked. "I would love that." I said smiling at him. He smiled back. We didn't kiss anymore that night, because we didn't want to move to fast. "Well goodnight, beautiful." He said smiling once more. "Goodnight, Archie." I said smiling too, he kissed my cheek and left. This was the best night of my life. I was finally not hiding anything from my friends, and I was in love with Archie Davis. 

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