Aberly was silent after Ms. Reynold’s left, hating himself for not having done something for those boys when it had mattered. Now Luke was missing a leg. Mike was permanently crippled in pain and Wade had been so terrorized that he couldn’t speak. His speech therapist had said that he likely never would because of the young age he had been traumatized, an age where he should have been exploring spoken language. So, they had finally decided to just teach him American Sign Language in order to at least give him some means to communicate.
Aberly finally came to a very difficult decision which he had been playing around with over the past year, ever since the boys had come out of the woods. It involved great risk to himself but considering what those boys had been through because he hadn’t responded as he should have when they had needed his help–when they had first gone missing–it was only fair now that he took that risk in order to help ease their pain and suffering.
So, after a final moment of hesitation, Aberly walked into the Town Hall after Hank, and knowing that everyone was there who needed to hear what he had to say, including Jarrel’s brother Jonathan and his wife Adeline, he closed the door to ensure no outsider who might show up could hear what he had to say, and he began to speak in a loud tone. His natural deep tone of voice loud enough for the small number of town members to hear without a microphone.
“I don’t want to interrupt anyone’s eating, but I do have something very important to say. It’s going to take a moment or two for me to say everything that I need to say, so I’m going to ask you to please bear with me, and be patient until I am completely done because what I have to say is going to sound unbelievable to you. However, when I’m done having my say I will prove to you that what I am telling you is the truth.
Understand that I am taking a great risk in telling you this but I feel at this point that I am in part responsible for what happened to these three young boys. All of us, kept our mouths shut, rather than seek outside help, and because of that, these boys suffered terribly. So, I want to make amends, and this is the only way that I can think of. At the same time, I realize that you are all family. Therefore, what I have to say needs to be said to all of you, and what I have to offer, needs to be offered to all of you.”