After the boy was dead and hastily buried, we stood around for a long time wondering what to do next.
No one said anything. What was there to say?
Sam was dead. I still see the five of us standing in a hush around that shallow grave. It is an image frozen in my mind.
I saw the faces of my friends. Haunted. Drained. We had mud on our hands and clothes from the digging. I knew then that all of us would be forever linked by our terrible secret in the tall grass at Mill Creek.
Gradually, our new reality began to establish itself. Paul staggered away and vomited behind a bush. Nadine – eyes glossy and far away – kept looking at the dirt under her manicured nails. Lila had moved away from all of us during the digging, not wanting to be a part of this insanity. Only Jack seemed transformed by the incident in some way we all were not. Dirt smeared across his sweaty face, hair plastered to his forehead, Jack was breathing heavily from exertion. It was his dark eyes that held my attention longest. Those eyes sparkled, alight with some kind of secret knowl...