The doorbell rang. It was Suzy, Tiffany and Danny. They’d all come over together. It was their first time at Violet’s house and Violet, even with all her anguish, felt delighted to have friends come over.
‘Hey, so cool to have you here, come in, come see where I live, come see my bedroom. I have the coolest pink walls and posters…’
They all rushed upstairs and climbed on to Violet’s bed. Four teenagers, having a great afternoon way from school. They tried on Violet’s nail polish that was next to her bed, they tried on some of her clothing, they brushed each other’s hair and had real girl fun.
‘Violet, your phone’s beeping like crazy. It’s Damien. Hey, who’s Damien. Have you got a boyfriend that we don’tknow about…’
Danny rushed to the phone but Violet got there first.
‘Oh, he’s just a guy I know. He’s pretty cool. He has the hots for me…’
The girls wanted to know more.
‘Tell us everything! Where did you meet him, have you kissed him, what was it like?’
This was Violet’s moment, her moment to come clean and tell them everything. But, she froze. And instead she said:-
‘Hey. Put your shoes back on. Let’s go to the woods. I have snacks.’
They forgot about Damien quickly and all pulled on their shoes. They left the house. Violet thought about leaving a note for her mom, just in case she came home and worried, but decided against it. They should be back before Ellen arrived back. And Andrew was at work. Andrew was always at work.
They made their way along the path.
‘I’ve never been here before,’ said Suzy. “How insane is that. Although, my mom always tells me not to come. Remember the rumours, about people disappearing?’
This was Violet’s moment. As they were walking, deeper and deeper, she casually said:-
‘Where do you think Tara is? You know, the girl who used to live in my house. I heard a rumour that she’s kind of disappeared.’
Danny stopped dead in her tracks.
‘I never much liked Tara. I didn’t know her well at school. She always kept to herself. She wasn’t so friendly.’
Suzy echoed was Danny had said. ‘I only kind of knew her. I hope nothing bad has happened to her. Who told you about the rumours.’
‘Oh my friend Damien mentioned it,’ Violet said. ‘She was getting herself deeper and deeper into a quagmire of lies. She should just come clean. She would just come clean.
‘You okay?’ Tiffany asked. ‘You’ve suddenly gone white as a sheet.’
And this was finally Violet’s moment to come clean. She started sobbing and sobbing. Spluttering, she tried to tell her friends what had happened.
‘I, I, when I moved into my bedroom, I found a phone. It belonged to Tara. I, I’ve done a terrible thing, I went through her phone. I didn’t try and contact her to tell her I had found it. Instead, I started talking to her boyfriend, to Damien. He isn’t really my boyfriend. He’s Tara’s boyfriend.’
The girls were all looking at her, absolutely incredulously.
‘You what, you pretended to be Tara, oh my goodness…’
‘I know,’ Violet sobbed. I never meant for it to go so far. But Damien is so cool and I was so cross with my old boyfriend who never said goodbye to me, and so cross with my stepdad for making us come and live here. I was going through a hard time and I know I shouldn’t have done it but I did, I’ve done a terrible thing.’
‘It’s not so bad,’ said Tiffany. ‘You can tell Damien. It’s not too late.’
‘Except now I know that Tara is missing!’ said Violet. ‘Don’t you get it? She hasn't been seen for about two weeks. She’s gone and nobody knows what has happened to her. She could’ve run away. She could’ve been kidnapped. Maybe she’s been murdered. Everyone is talking about people disappearing in the forest. Maybe it’s Tara who disappeared in here.’
Suddenly the forest wasn’t such a nice place to be. The girls all held on to each other. At least they were supportive of Violet. They knew that they may well have done the same thing, if they had found the phone. And Damien did look hot.
‘I’m not sure we’re on the right path anymore,’ Suzy said. Her voice had gone a little quiet.
‘What if we’re lost?’ said Violet. ‘This whole thing is turning into a disaster.’
Tiffany took control. ‘Don’t panic girls. We need to go this way, follow me, this path, it looks like it leads back home.’
The girls followed. Although they all felt a little bit worried. Not just about Violet’s confession but also being in the dark woods on their own.
Were they safe? They didn’t know.