The First Day of Camp:

I, Amy Juergens, was sitting on the bus on my way to band camp with my best friend Ricky Underwood. I was 15 and about to be a freshman at Grant and he was 16 about to be a Sophomore at Grant. We have been friends since we were 5 years old. I know everything about Ricky and he knows everything about me. Everyone thinks it is weird that me and him are best friends when we are two different people entirely but no one know about our lives they only know what we decide to tell them.

To everyone Ricky was the "bad boy" of Grant high school the one who has slept with dozens of girls. He was the one who could convince any girl in the world to sleep with him and they would do it. He was a player, skipped classes, but the one thing everyone knew is he would never drink. To me though, Ricky was a good guy with a rough life, a life that only I knew about. His family moved right down the street from me when Ricky was 6 and I was 5. We would play outside when his dad was gone and his mom was off doing whatever. When his dad would come home he would run inside and I would hide behind in the bushes. His dad never knew about me. You see Bob Underwood was a no good drunk, who beat his kid and wife, and he molested Ricky, something that only I knew. Everyday Bob would come home and I would hide and that's when it would start I would hear Ricky scream, I would hear him cry but no one knew. I couldn't do anything because my parents didn't really even notice me and would not believe me if I was to tell them. But Ricky made me promised not to tell anyone. Around 8:00 every night after my parents made sure I was tucked in and Bob was passed out. Ricky would come over and I would sneak out my window. He would cry and cry and I would hold him and tell him everything would be alright. When we were 10 it finally stopped Ricky finally told the teacher and Bob was arrested along with his drug addict mother and Ricky moved to a foster home the next street over. I still seen him everyday and we still talked all the time. I was the only one he would open up too. I knew and Ricky started therapy and little by little it got better but that's how he got his reputation he never wanted a commitment and no one knew why except me.

I was a messed up kid too, I have an older brother named James who is now 22 and a older sister named Ashley who is now 20. I was the youngest and I never got much attention. You see James and my dad got along because he was the only boy and Ashley well her and my mom got along because they were so much alike. I was always invisible. My mom Anne and my dad George were always fighting and have threatened to get a divorce I don't even know how many times but they never did and the fighting never stopped. I kept all my feelings in and never told anyone how I was feeling beside Ricky and my other best friend Grace. Grace and I were friends since we were born and she never understood how I can even talk to a guy like Ricky but she didn't know. It is the only secret I ever kept from her. When I turned 12 my life pretty much went from bad to worse. My brother started getting drunk every night and coming home to have my mom take care of him of course my dad didn't like it but it didn't make a difference to my mom and I hated it. One night they had a huge fight and my brother attacked my dad I was so scared but what could I do. That was the first fight but definitely wasn't the only one. I kept everything bottled up and all I could do was pray for it to stop, and Ricky understood because he has been there. Grace was also there for me and I was lucky to have them. Ashley just clung to my mom and spent all their time together. I was pulled out of my thoughts by Ricky.

"Hey babe what you thinking about?" asked Ricky, did I mention he calls me babe, Ames, or kid always has. He won't call anyone else but me that, and neither will I, guess it is kind of our thing.

"Just thinking of how we met and our lives" I answered knowing he would question why I continued on "how you and Grace are the only ones who ever understood me, and how I honestly don't know what I would do with out you guys."

"Where is all this coming from, Kid?" he asked me.

"I guess it is the first time I am going to be away from everyone and everything that makes me feel so down, and I guess I find it weird that I don't miss them, and that I rather stay here forever" I answered

"It is normal, you know, last year when I came here I never wanted to leave. It is so peaceful, you will love it, but you know that we have to go back. You can't change what happened in the past but you will always have me, you know you are the only person I have ever loved. My shrink thinks it is strange I can't love myself but I can love you." He answers.

"It isn't that strange, well not to me anyway. I guess I was always there for you, or better yet we were always there for each other. We would hang out everyday, I mean we have been threw things adults don't even know about and we never ever managed to stop being friends. Wait aren't you the one who said Forever and Always." I laughed and soon he was laughing too. I laid my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes thinking that when we get there at least I know I will be safe because I will have Ricky.

I felt my shoulder being shaken awake and I slightly raised my head noticed we were just about there and I groaned and I herd Ricky laugh above me before he said "Come on, Kid time to wake up."

I laughed and nuzzled my head back into his shoulder only to feel him move his shoulder and let my head fall. I glared at him as I herd him laughing and I finally got up and grabbed my bag as we walked off the bus. We headed to the mess hall to get our schedule and room assignment which I was actually kind of nervous about because although I would never admit it I didn't want to be far away from Ricky, as I mentioned with this being my first time away from home and all. As we got up to the front Ricky and I signed in and got our cabins. We had none of the same classes because he was in a higher level than me but we had lunch together, which I was okay with. I was in what they called apartment number 6. I guess they allowed everyone to have their own little apartment now that they renovated it.

"What Apartment number do you have Ricky?" I asked I seen him look down and answered.

"15" he answered and I sighed because I had a feeling this would happen. "What about you?"

" 6, I am going to go put my stuff in my apartment. I'll text you later." I said and he looked at me and can tell I was nervous but didn't comment instead he just wrapped me in his arms and kissed my head like usual. If anyone was watching they would assume we were dating, ha if only they knew.

I walked away with my bags and found my way to my apartment. I was glad that I bought my debit card with me considering that the camp scheduled us to go to the store to pick up food if we decided we wanted to cook, but they still have regular meals you can eat there. For those who don't want to cook, they only have to buy snacks. I looked around once I entered my place and stared in shock. It was awesome it had a little living area with a couch and a T.V. it also had a small bathroom, a small bedroom, and a small kitchen. We would be living here for a month so I decided to make the best of it. I knew that because Ricky wasn't too far away from me, we would probably just cook and eat here every night and morning so I made a list of all our favorite foods. I packed movies with me and a potable DVD played so I figured I would be good. I went into the bed room and unpacked my clothes we had one dresser and one small closet, so I hung up what I could and decided to lay down. As I lay down I started thinking that this was so weird. I was independent person but I was only 15 and away from my house. I didn't mind it at all but there was just something about the sound of the quiet apartment with no one around that made me feel cold and alone. I started to cry, I don't know why I guess I was always emotional. I cried for no reason at all but at the same time I cried for all the times I didn't cry about in the past until I herd a knock on my door. I got up to open it but only after I wiped away the tears and when I opened it I found Ricky there.

"Hey babe" he said as I moved out of the way to let him in. He walked in and looked at me and said "what's wrong?"

"Nothings wrong, I don't know why you always think something is wrong. Not everything is wrong Ricky. You are such an idiot some times." I answered I don't know why I snapped at him but I did.

"Why are you being such a bitch, I come over here to make sure you were settled okay and when I walk in I can see your crying and then you flip out on me because I ask you what's wrong." He yelled "You know what, we just got here and I don't want to deal with this." And with that he walked out and slammed the door. I didn't worry about it I knew it would blow over and anyway I was starting to get hungry so I went in the bathroom, and took a shower, got ready and headed to the mess hall for lunch. As I walked into line and got my food. I looked around trying to spot Ricky and when I did, I walked over there and sat down.

"Hey your not eating?" I asked him, he just looked up and smiled

"No, I am, but I'm just going to eat some of yours" I laughed and pushed the tray between us. I know you are all probably thinking I am crazy for not yelling at him or fighting but this is how our relationship works. I yell at him, he yells at me, we get into a huge fight, one of us walks away and then 5 minutes later we act like nothing happened because we both know neither of us meant anything we said. Sometimes he walks away or I walk away but neither of us worries because we both know the other will always come back.

Ricky interrupted my thoughts by saying "so you want to tell me what has you all bugged out and why you were crying." I laughed knowing this was going to happen.

"You know me too well sometimes it is scary. To tell the truth I don't even know Ricky. I was fine. I was making a shopping list of our favorite foods for when we go shopping tomorrow we can pick them up. I remember last year you said the cooking was horrible. I figured you will be at my room everyday eating." I seen Ricky smirk out of the corner of my eye and knew I was right. So I continued "Then I finished unpacking and lay in my bed and it was silent. For the first time in my life there was no noise, no yelling, no crying, just silence. You and Grace weren't there it to talk to me and it was silent and for the first time in my life I felt alone. You know Grace texted me when we got here and we have been talking a bit, but no one from my family has even called to make sure we got here okay. I feel like they don't care. So I started crying and then I thought about all the passed shit I never got a chance to cry about and just cried harder and that's when you showed up. Sorry for snapping by the way." Ricky looked over at me and just hugged me. When he pulled away he looked at me and said.

"Kid, you're going to be just fine. You and I grew up quick, but we always had each other, and we still do. Babe you are the most independent and strongest person I know, and probably the one with the loudest mouth." I laughed at that and smacked his arm. "You know who you are and no one can take that away from you. Oh and by the way you're cooking the whole month breakfast lunch and dinner." I laughed

"Well if we want to live do I really have a choice."

"You know my cooking is not that bad, I make a mean meatloaf." I started to laugh even harder

"I'll give you that one. Thanks Mud, you're the best!" That was my nickname for Ricky, I was the only one allowed to call him that because when we were kids, me and Ricky were wrestling, and for some reason I got so mad and pushed him in a huge puddle of mud and he came out covered in it.

"I know, now come on, I got to show you something." I nodded threw our trash away and followed Ricky out of the mess hall towards the lake.

"If you are going to show me the lake, it is something I have seen already." I said and Ricky just rolled his eyes and laughed.

"No smartass, it is a secret spot I found when exploring camp last year, no one knows about it. It over looks the lake, but it's quiet and helps me think. Come on." I just nodded and followed Ricky threw the woods and up the trail till we got to an opening that looked like the top of a cliff, and when I walked over sure enough I seen an amazing view.

"Mud, this place is amazing. Do you bring all your bed buddies here or am I just special." I joked with him. He laughed and walked over to me and we sat on the ground.

"You know you're special. There is no one like you. You are the only one who has been there threw everything with me. I still wake up with nightmares and the only thing that puts me back to sleep is when I remember you letting me cry in your arms and you crying with me, and just letting talking about it. It shows me I am not alone." I felt tears in my eyes as I looked out to the lake. So he continued. "I always found it funny how you were older than me but yet I was always acting younger. I always crying but you never made me feel the way everyone else did like I was stupid or damaged or trash, you didn't make me feel like I wasn't good enough because you didn't pity me, you didn't feel sorry for me well you did but not the way all the adults do. When the night was over and we went to bed we would wake up and you would never bring it up, never ask any stupid questions. Never ask if I was okay because you knew I wasn't." At this point I had tears rolling down my face but I kept looking into the water. So he continued. "Amy, that's why we are where we are now because we know that no matter what we can get through anything, together."

"Wow Ricky, I don't even know what to say. I never had to ask if you were okay because it would only force you to remember what happened and you did that enough on your own, you still do remember. I don't know why people think your going to just forget what happened it happened everyday for 5 years. The only time it didn't was when Bob didn't come home. It has only been 5 years since he went to jail what do they expect from you?"

"They want me to talk about it they want me to tell them everything and how it felt but I can't you're the only one who gets it the only one I can talk to, they tell me I won't get better if I don't open up but how do I relive everything that has happened. You know these girls I get with are just a means to an end. I have sex I get up and leave I have sex I get up and leave same freaking pattern. I like sex I do but why. Bob molested me and I like sex. It doesn't make sense my shrink says it is because I have the control now and with Bob I didn't." Ricky said very frustrated,

"I think maybe the shrink is right you have the control, you make people fall for you and then have sex with them, you control it, after it is over you walk away. You could never just walk away with Bob he had you there for hours. He made you stay in bed next to him and if you moved he would beat you. These girls want you to stay but you have the power to walk away and not get beat." I told him knowing he didn't want to hear it but knowing he had to.

"Yeah whatever." I knew he didn't want to talk and it was getting late so I told Ricky to come one and let's go get dinner.