Tears burn in her eyes and throat and heart as she stares at it. It has no business being here. She's not sure she's ever seen it in her driveway without him nearby.
For what must be the fiftieth time, Spencer looks down at the letter clutched in her hand. It's written on a sheet of yellow legalpad paper, scrawled hastily like the writer was in a hurry. He addresses it simply Spencer, and the first line says:
I would've written "My Spencer," but I guess you're not mine anymore.
And that's not true. He can't possibly know just how fully she's given herself to him, that he could have her for forever and a while if she were anyone else; because she was his and he was hers, but they've lost each other now and she doesn't know that they'll ever be able to find one another again the way they did before.
At the bottom of a page filled with words she has decided to commit to memory, he signs it, All my love, Toby.
She folds it closed. Already the crease in the paper is sharp from all the times she's read it, the sides crumpled a little where she's held it, careful not to smear any of the ink (which is also why she usually skips over the main body of the note – every time she reads it she cries).
Taking a deep breath and swiping at her eyes, the letter still in her hand, Spencer steps outside and approaches the truck. Unintentionally, she is moving cautiously, as though it's a grizzly bear she's approaching and not a parked vehicle.
She laughs out loud and then stops because it makes her chest tighten, remembering that once, out of boredom – and stress on her part – they'd Googled animal jokes and found a stupid website full of them, and there'd been one about a bear and a rabbit and a genie and it wasn't really all that funny, but she cracked up and Toby looked at her with I'm in love with a crazy person and that's okay in his eyes. He laughed at her laughing and somehow they ended up kissing and they were perfect.
She grips the door handle and pauses. They kissed here, too, against the truck and in the truck and everywhere the truck could take them.
Pushing the thought away, before she can go on remembering, she opens the door and climbs into the driver's seat, slamming it shut behind her, so she is sealed in silence.
Spencer's hands are shaking as she sets the note on the bench beside her and wraps her fingers around the steering wheel. She hasn't driven the truck since the day she gave it to Toby, the day he told her he loved her.
Spencer likes driving. It relaxes her. When her life seems to be spinning in circles, she can get behind the wheel and feel totally in control of everything – where she wants to go, how fast she wants to get there, who she wants to be in the car with her. But now A has taken even that away.
The key's still in the ignition, where Toby left it. She lets her hand wander to it and hangs onto it tightly for a moment; then she turns it and, with a roar and a shudder, the engine comes to life, along with the radio.
He left it on the variety station he always listens to and some song with piano and guitar is playing, and a man with pain in his voice is singing about coffee on Sundays and a beautiful sadness and his broken heart, and after it ends the radio guy says it's called "Goodbye from the Start" by some band she's never heard of called Alpha Rev and she is frozen in place, unable to breathe.
Next "Heartbreak Warfare" starts to play and she leans forward, puts her head on the steering wheel and tries to keep it together; by the time "The One That Got Away" begins she's ready to throw up and it's when the opening notes of "Breakeven" hit her ears that she finally starts to cry.
She hates A, hates A so much it hurts and she hates herself and she wants to hate Toby for making her fall in love with him, thinks that maybe the hate will lessen the hurt, but she knows it doesn't, so through the entirety of "I Can Barely Say" she sits in the truck she gave to the boy she loves and she knows only four things, and they are all about herself: She is hateful, selfish, in love, and definitely not in control.
Eventually, the winding piano of "What Sarah Said" reaches her and she collects herself enough to drive the truck down the street. She parks it in front of the Cavanaughs' house and shuts it off before the singer can ask who's going to watch her die and gets out.
For a second she considers knocking on the front door and telling Toby's father she returned it (and maybe add that she has never loved anyone the way she loves his son), but she's scared of Jenna opening the door and sensing her tears the way Jenna does, so instead she hugs herself the way Toby used to and walks back down the sidewalk with tears blurring her eyes and the music and her heart pounding in her ears.
a/n: dunno why i decided to write this, but i did. i really just felt so heartbroken for spence, especially when she started crying... poor spoby. :(
note the shameless plugging of some of my favorite songs. :P i thought they all fit, though, so here you are.
thanks for reading, and i would really appreciate it if you left a review.
disclaimer: i do not own pretty little liars. it belongs to abc family and sara shepard. no copyright infringement is intended.