He wasn't really a rash driver, in fact he was the opposite. His mother had personally taught him how to drive safe, and every single thing that he associated with her was usually something that he carried with him all the time. She would have been really disappointed in the mess he had gotten into. In fact, he could picture her looking down at him with disapproval smeared across her face. Hastily pushing her image out of his mind, Toby parked his van in the outskirts of Rosewood and started running away from it.
In all reality, it wasn't even his van. It was one of the vehicles used by them, by him, to harass and torture four high school girls over something that had happened years ago. He missed his vehicle, his truck. The second hand blue beauty was something he treasured more than life. Everyday after his assignments he would park the van in the hideout, grab his truck and go home. He wanted to be in his van right now, but he was too far away, too far away from being done.
As he ran, the events of the night replayed in his mind, as if on loop. The way she asked "Is this what you are looking for?". Her voice was cracking with emotion, and he knew that she knew. At that moment the ardenaline rushes of the A-team assignments died out, and a sudden panic had replaced his face, his heart, his body. And in that one moment, his entire world had come crashing down. Refusing to show the emotions he felt, he turned around and walked up to her, his heart dying a little more with each minute as he saw the lone tear cascade down her cheeks. He uttered the only word he could, her name. Spencer. He expected the slap she threw across his cheek, and he knew that he truly deserved it. He wanted to apologize, to wipe away her tears, to hold her close, but all he asked her was "How long have you known?" His voice was completely devoid of emotion, and he knew that it was required at the moment. He couldn't let her know of the volcano of emotions that were erupting inside of him. She gave him his fake ID card to Radley, and just then her mother arrived, signalling him to leave from there.
Anger rose inside him as he ran with wild abandon. The wind was rushing against his hair, and the hoodie fell off his head. With each step that he took, he increased his pace. He was good at this, after all he had trained for the Rosewood Marathon for an entire month with Spencer. He was mad, livid even. He didn't want her to find out, not this way. He was mad at her. Mad at the fact that she had crept into his heart, even though he didn't want her to. He was mad at Mona for letting her manipulate him into joining a team that specialized in torturing his girlfriend, who also turned out to be his best friend. He was mad at Alison, because it all started with her, that little bitch! He was mad at Jenna, whose continous taunts about Spencer's affair indirectly pushed him into joining the team. But most of all he was mad at himself, because he had let down the only person who truly cared for him, and he had hurt her in ways unimaginable. He was mad at himself for falling in love with her, because all this would have been so much easier otherwise.
A part of him wanted to let it all out, all his emotions, because they were building up inside of him like an inferno. But he knew he couldn't. Over the past few months he had mastered the art of masking his emotions from people. He diverted them into different activities, like jogging for example. The tug at his legs as he ran incredibly fast prevented him from letting his heart react to the situation.
It was 3 am in the morning, and he was still sitting in his truck, listening to the radio. He had arrived at his loft at 12 am, but he had refused to get up and go upstairs. He didn't have the courage to go inside and see what was there. He knew that Spencer would come back and try to talk to him, and he knew that he didn't have it in him to talk to her, at least not right now. He was extremely ashamed of himself, and knew that Spencer deserved better than him. She wanted answers, and he couldn't give them. She wanted comfort, and he couldn't provide it. So he sat in his truck, pondering over what to do, and how to sort out the monumental mess which was his life.
Gods, the place had so many memories. Various images floated into his mind. The time he had professed his love for her in front of it, when she had brought it for him. Gods, life was so much easier back then! The time he promised her that they would never break up, the time she left him to protect him, and the time she came back because she couldn't stay away from him. There were multiple other memories also. He remembered how both of them had gotten drunk over a bottle of wine and had laughed and giggled late into the night. She had shone brighter than before that night and he had told her so, eliciting a fit of giggles from her. He had leaned in and kissed her then, and she had, for the first time, told him that she loved him too. He could have died from happiness that night.
How simple life was. They had their troubles, sure, but they were in love and they were happy. He knew that she still loved him and that he loved her more than anything, but happiness was just a distant dream for them. Nothing would ever bring them out of this. She had trusted him, and he had betrayed her. He banged his head against the steering wheel repeatedly until he was numb from all the pain.
Finally, he got out of the truck, locked it and made his way upstairs. Unlocking the door, he switched on the light and saw a half eaten meal on his table and a half empty bottle of wine. It was the same brand of wine they had gotten drunk to. He walked up to it, and saw a post-it note on the plate:
"1 down, 3 more to go.
PS: The wine is delicious."
Mona. That bitch! He hoped that she hadn't spoken to Spencer and made matters worse (as if they could get worse, but still!)
Enraged, he threw the entire table apart, only to notice a scrabble board. On the side were some words engraved onto it. He bent down to take a closer look. It read:
My safe place to land.
Always your girl,
On it were the words Glyceraldehyde and Goofball. She remembered. She remembered even the finest details of their relationship. Below that were the words "I love you." And that was when something snapped inside him. He went on a rampage, throwing his belongings apart and screaming in rage. Tears gushed out of his eyes furiously, and he made no effort to stop them. It finally hit him that in his silly and stupid quest for revenge he had ruined the single most beautiful thing in his life- Spencer. The only thing that shone brightly in his dark life, was now gone, never to return.
And she loved him too. The precise details and effort she had put into the evening made his heart bleed. He grabbed a bottle of wine from his refrigirator, and started gulping down it's contents. Placing it aside, he dropped down the bed and curled up into a ball and cried. Cried more than he had cried in his entire life. He cried for himself, and he cried for Spencer. He cried for them. Both of them had found in each other the perfect balance and now that was gone. He cried for Toby and Spencer, the young couple madly in love. He tried to pull the hair off his head. He wanted out. He wanted out from the A team. He couldn't bear to go back there, knowing that his involvement in it was what had ruined his life, and hers. His whole body was shaking, and he kept muttering out "Spencer" a million times.
He cried until he couldn't cry anymore. He cried until the numbness was no longer there and was replaced by a dull ache in his chest. He cried until he realized that he was now once again the lost boy in the alleway who cried because kids crossed the road when they saw him.
He was nothing.
And then he realized that it was not losing his mother, or being raped by Jenna, or being sent to jail, or being a murder suspect, or running away or being treated horribly by everyone, having foam in his locker, that did it.
It was losing Spencer, the love his life, his girl, his soulmate and his safe place to land that left him truly and completely broken.