"Spencer Jill Hastings! What the hell is wrong with you?"

"What?" Spencer snickers, rolling her eyes, annoyed. "It looks better like that," eyeing the car she had just totaled.

"Your behavior is completely unacceptable. You have missed more days of school than you have attended, and then you think it's okay to take my car for a joy ride and then run it off the road!" Another nasty look from Spencer. "Spencer! You are a junior in high school and not to mention, a Hastings," Veronica began scolding her daughter once again. "You have to keep up an appearance, and this," giving a gesture towards the car, "This is not it!"

"Spencer, your mother is right. I don't know what has gotten into you, but you need to fix it, and do it fast!" Peter warned. "Tomorrow you will go to school, go to field hockey practice, and then drag your sober ass back home. Do you understand?"

"No. I don't. But since I'm a Hastings, I'm going to have to put on that prep school uniform and that pathetic fake smile that I know all to well. I'll prance down the hallways greeting everyone I come into contact with. I'll smile, I'll laugh, but I don't think you can ever get me to understand this family."

"This is your family Spencer, whether you like or not you have to accept that. I did. Your father did. Melissa, she did, and look at where she is now. Thriving with two kids, a loving husband and a paying job. And it's sad because when I look at you, all I see is a huge disappointment!"


Earlier that morning.

"Hey babe." Alex said climbing in through Spencer's bedroom window. Jumping down from her bed, Spencer met him halfway, leaning in for a kiss. Alex's heavy hands traveled down the small of her back until they reached the belt loops of her denim washed skinny jeans.

"Don't." Spencer breathed against his ear, letting his lips continue down her jawline.

Ignoring her demand, Alex tugged at her jeans until her hips were placed perfectly against his. Alex's kisses became longer in length, and his hands continued down their path, perfectly mapped out on Spencer's body.

"Alex please no. Please don't." Spencer was frantically trying to redirect Alex hands, but was failing miserably now. She was no longer kissing him back, gasping for air, but he showed no mercy. Alex pressed into Spencer's body, sandwiching her between the bedroom door and his body.

"What? I thought you liked me?" He breathed, his warm breath against her ear, "I thought..." his voice trailed off as he left a mark at the base of her neck. He had begun to slide her jeans down her thighs, when she broke all contact between them. Alex finally got the message that Spencer had been trying to get across to him. He removed her completely of her jeans and threw her on the floor. Spencer was now desperate. Why didn't he get it? Why didn't he understand that she wasn't ready for this? Spencer released herself from his strong hold, trying to find her balance once she stood, now towering over an enraged Alex.

" Alex, I can't do this with you. I think you need to leave," Spencer suggested, clearly embarrassed.

"Who the hell are you to tell me when I need to leave?!" Alex was screamed.

"Alex, I'm sorry I-" Before she could let another word escape her swollen red lips, the imprints of the rings that rested on Alex's knuckles had been left across Spencer's lower abdomen. Clutching her side, Spencer fell to the ground. Alex didn't stop at that.

Repeatedly hitting and kicking her in various parts of her body Alex gave her an option.

"Why don't you call me later bitch, and we can talk about going to this party tonight," kicking her in the ribs one last time Alex continued, "But for now you can rot in hell."

When Alex had left, and Spencer regained her strength to stand without toppling back over, she stumbled into the bathroom reaching for a bottle of prescribed pills with her sister's name on the front. Melissa had received the pills after an operation she had gotten on her heart over the summer.

Prescribed To:

Melissa K. Hastings

Dosage:

Take 2 pills every 4-6 hours to alleviate any pain.

But that's not what Spencer wanted. She didn't want to just alleviate the pain. She wanted it to be gone. She didn't want to feel anything. Opening the childproof chamber that contained the capsules filled with toxic. She poured 5 pills onto the marble counter and stared at herself in the mirror. What have I done to myself? She swallowed one of the pills. Look at what he did to me? She let her hands brush against the bruises he had left on her body. Every time he gets mad he hits me, punches me, pushes me around, and I let him. She swallowed two more. Every time, all I do is go running back for more. Like I can't say no. Another one. He has this hold over me, a chain that can't be broken, the last pill slid down her throat, and it hurts.


3 hours later

The clock on Spencer's bedside table flashed 7:15 pm. The party started at 9. She got up slowly. Her vision blurred, and mind racing. She looked timidly for her phone to make a call.

One ring. Two rings.

"Hello?"

"Alex?"

"So you decided to call after all. I knew you'd come around. The party starts at nine, so be ready by 8:15 will you?.

"Yeah sure. Alex I'm sorry about earlier."

"Forget it. It doesn't matter."

Spencer obeyed, and scavenged her closet for almost 30 minutes trying to pick out the perfect outfit. She finally picked a white blouse and a knee length blue skirt.

"Hey Spensuhh!" Hanna screamed in a sing-song tone, already drunk, as Spencer walked through the door.

"You look like your having fun."

"Your finest choices of tequila and vodka are on the bar Spence. Go get some!" Hanna suggested beginning to walk past Alex and Spencer, but stopping short at Spencer's ear. "And then maybe you can get some of that," Hanna said shooting her eyes at Alex.

Hand in hand, Alex and Spencer sauntered to the bar.

"Hit me up again!" Now on her eight shot with Alex close behind at seven, Spencer was dancing on top of the bar.

"Shake that! Yeah, Spencer!" Alex rooted her on. "On the other hand," Alex continued, " you look exhausted Spence. Maybe you should slow down and come with me upstairs. We can lie down."

She nodded in agreement.

Alex carried Spencer up the stairs, tripping on every other step, as he was drunk himself. They entered a vacant room, and Alex threw Spencer across the bed, running his fingers through her hair.

Getting into a comfortable position Spencer broke the silence, "We shouldn't have stolen my mom's car to come here tonight."

"You said they would be out of town until later tonight maybe even tomorrow morning if we are lucky," Alex said with a smirk growing onto his face.

"Oh puhlease... you won't be getting lucky anytime soon." She looked up as Alex sat on the edge of he bed. "Not with me at least."

Alex rolled Spencer over so that she was lying on her back. He began to unbutton her blouse, and he removed her skirt. Spencer mumbled words into his collar bone that were slurred and inaudible.

"I want to have my way with you."

"I can't. I'm not ready for this. You know that."

"Yeah I know it. That doesn't mean I have to accept it."

"Alex please," Spencer managed to say as his hands walked up her thighs. "Alex, No! Stop. WAIT!" Spencer was now furious.

"You look hot when you're drunk and demanding."

Spencer stood, sliding her skirt up until it locked in place on her hips. She turned to the door buttoning her blouse again to look presentable. Before she reached the door Alex yanked her arm forcibly, stopping her in her path. Their hips dancing together in harmony like everything was just right in the world, as Spencer eyes did the exact opposite. Alex unbuttoned the two buttons Spencer had managed to button on her way out, exposing her bandeau once again.

He shoved her to the ground. She lied their and accepted every blow to her face, legs, and stomach that she received. Whimpering, she watched as Alex left the room and listened as she heard someone stop him at the bottom of the stairwell.

"Hey Alex. Do you know where Spencer went?" A concerned Aria asked.

"Yeah. I took her upstairs to rest because she had a little to much to drink. She's okay, she's just sleeping."

The voices faded in and out in Spencer's head, until they finally washed away. Leaving an unconscious and abused Spencer, on the floor.


4 hours later.

Spencer was finally regaining her consciousness, and was ready to leave the party. She couldn't just walk down the steps looking the way she did. The bruises, the blood, and ripped clothing. She saw the window that lead straight to the street, and figured that was her best escape route.

She couldn't risk asking Alex to drive her home so even though she was still under the influence she figured that driving herself was the next best alternative.

She had been driving for fifteen minutes, when everything ahead of her turned into a blurry fog. She felt herself getting dizzy, but still tried to concentrate on the road. Her head was pounding, and she found it hard to take deep, steady breathes. The last thing she remembered was the sound of screeching tires and her blinding headlights reflecting off of the street lamp pole.

Her mother's car wasn't completely ruined. It was still able to turn on drive, so Spencer put it into reverse and not even 10 minutes later she pulled into her driveway. Hoping that they had not returned from their trip yet.

"Hello? Mom? Dad? Is anyone home?"

"Spencer Jill Hastings! What the hell is wrong with you?"

"What?" Spencer snickers, rolling her eyes, annoyed. "It looks better like that," eyeing the car she had just totaled.

"Your behavior is completely unacceptable. You have missed more days of school than you have attended, and then you think it's okay to take my car for a joy ride and then run it off the road!" Another nasty look from Spencer. "Spencer! You are a junior in high school and not to mention, a Hastings," Veronica began scolding her daughter once again. "You have to keep up an appearance, and this," giving a gesture towards the car, "This is not it!"

"Spencer, your mother is right. I don't know what has gotten into you, but you need to fix it, and do it fast!" Peter warned. "Tomorrow you will go to school, go to field hockey practice, and then drag your sober ass back home. Do you understand?"

"No. I don't. But since I'm a Hastings, I'm going to have to put on that prep school uniform and that pathetic fake smile that I know all to well. I'll prance down the hallways greeting everyone I come into contact with. I'll smile, I'll laugh, but I don't think you can ever get me to understand this family."

"This is your family Spencer, whether you like or not you have to accept that. I did. Your father did. Melissa, she did, and look at where she is now. Thriving with two kids, a loving husband and a paying job. And it's sad because when I look at you, all I see is a huge disappointment!"

"Spencer, If you can not pull yourself together, then I want you out of my house!"

"Daddy-"

"No, Spencer! That's enough. I'm done treating you like a baby and waving this off like it's no big deal. You are a Hastings, not one of those wretched Cavanaugh boys. We have created this world of opportunities for you, and you come here and tear down every last one of our efforts! We want what's best for you, but you don't even seem to care."

Spencer felt her warm tears fall down her cheeks. She turned around, confused and not sure of what to do next, so she ran. She made it all the way to a dark, gated alley. She entered the alley way and immediately saw a boy, about her age, maybe a year or two older. He was listening to music, and she didn't dare to disturb him. She put a few feet's distance in between them and settled for the corner spot on the opposite side of him.

She slid down the wall, still crying about what had become of her life. She had no one on her side. Her boyfriend was abusive, and her parents could not care less about her. She just wanted someone to hold her.

The blue eyed boy finally looked up to acknowledge Spencer, who was now in her own world. He stood up, and walked cautiously over to the girl, who was hiding her face between a brick wall and her back.

"Are you okay?"

Surprised that he had talked to her, Spencer tried to wipe her tears and find her voice to speak again. "Yeah, I'm fine."

He sat down next to her with his MP3 player in hand. He offered her an earbud. She took it. "You don't look okay."

"My life, is just so...screwed up"

"Hey. I get it. This isn't my first time sitting in the alley alone." He looked into her eyes, "And I doubt it will be my last." Redirecting the focus onto her, "What happened? Why are you here, when there is a world outside waiting for you to explore it?"

"Do you really want to ask?"

" I want to know, but you don't have to tell. If you don't want to."

Spencer smiled enjoying the fact that he respected her enough to not make her tell anything she didn't want to.

"My parents don't care about me, and my boyfriend abuses me." Spencer choked out lifting her red stained blouse to show the cuts and bruises that Alex had left earlier. "What about you? You're a nice, good looking guy. Why are you here, what secrets do you have?

" I've been accused of murder, and no one trust me. Not my parents. Not my friends."

"Did you do it?"

He shook his head. "No."

"I do. I trust you." Spencer looked at him and their eyes locked. The song on the MP3 player changed. Spencer liked this song.

Made a wrong turn once or twice

dug my way out of

blood and fire

Bad decisions,

that's all right

Welcome to my silly life

"I like this song," Toby said looking up again at Spencer. "I feel like this song was written about my life."

Mistreated

Misplaced

Misunderstood

Miss "No way, it's all good"

Spencer looked at him once again, her eyes filling with tears again.

It didn't slow me down

Mistaken

Always second guessing

Underestimated

Look I'm still around

She grabbed the MP3 player out of the crying boy's hand and paused the music. She took the earbud out of both her and his ears and faced him. "Hi." she smiled. "I'm Spencer."

"Toby." He finally introduced himself. Even though she was still wearing a smile on her face, he could somehow still tell she was broken inside. He wrapped his arm behind her back, and pulled her closer to him. The both put in one earbud and Toby hit 'Play'.

Pretty Pretty Please

Don't You ever ever feel

Like you're less than

Less than perfect

Pretty Pretty Please

If you ever ever feel

Like you're nothing

You are perfect

To me