By Heather Hinkle
AC Current Assistant Editor
I was hanging out with some of my college friends one autumn day. We all had been living on campus for a few months by this time and couldn’t wait for the seasons to change to give us a break from the heat.
The evergreen trees were giving off their scent in the damp, humid air. It was a partly cloudy day, so we all went for a walk. It was late afternoon, and the sun was making its way toward the horizon, but we knew we would be back before it got dark.
All six of us wanted to go exploring. We started walking down a paved street toward a heavily wooded area. We made it about a mile when someone shouted, “TAG! You’re it!” We all broke off like a flock of scared pigeons toward a field so as not to get caught.
I followed my friend, Cody, as he sprinted toward a tree that was big enough for all of us to hide behind. We both got behind the tree and peered around it to see if we had any pursuers. There weren’t any, so we came out from behind the gigantic tree and resumed playing the game.
We eventually got tired and saw that the sun was below the tree line, so we all agreed that we should start making our way back to campus. We started walking through the trees and soon realized we were taking the wrong way out.
We stopped and assessed the environment to see if we could recognize any landmarks – scrapes on the trees, broken branches, holes in the ground, tree roots – Something!
None of us could remember.
The more we walked, the more turned around we got. One of us had the bright idea of climbing a nearby tree to see if he could see the road. He went to climbing while the rest of us stood around. A few of us fanned out to give him some markers.
We were in almost complete darkness when we saw a light coming toward us. We soon saw it was a man and woman and were so relieved that someone had found us.
They walked us out of the woods. We had managed to go into the woods about two miles! We thanked the couple profusely for getting us back to the road, and they said they needed to get back to their camp. We parted ways and each made it back to campus in one piece.
About a week later, I was in the library doing a research paper and spotted a plaque on the wall. It had two pictures, one of a girl and one of a boy. I felt a chill down my back when I read “… In Memory…”
They had been stabbed to death in the woods that we got lost in….
Thirty years before we even set foot on that campus.