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Don't Go Back- Part III

The next morning her eyes opened slowly to the sound of voices coming from downstairs. She proppedh herself onto her elbows, looking around her room everything was blurry and disfigured. "Crap," she groaned. Sleeping with her contacts in was always a sign of distraction in her life. The only times she ever forgot to take them out was when she had something on her mind. Over thinking caused Spencer to become ill with exhaustion which then lead her to fall asleep early and usually with her school clothes on.

Before she could get off her bed, Hannah walked into her room. Her hair pulled back in a pony tail, she a simple cotton dress- probably from Target- Hannah would lie and say J Crew.

"Why did you sleep in your clothes?," she asked. Spencer looked down at her outfit; wrinkled from tossing and turning through the night.

"Knock, much?," Spencer retorted. "What are you still doing here, anyways? Don't you have a house of your own?" She slid off her bed and walked over to the wooden dresser across the room.

"We're going to register for gifts for the baby shower." Spencer didn't even know the sex of the baby but she was already dreading another Hannah walking the earth. She wasn't sure where their relationship went off the deep end. Sometime between Spencer's birth and Hannah's jealousy of a new baby in the family. "You should come. It'll get you out of the house for a few hours."

Spencer leaned down and swiped her contacts out of her eyes. She poured her contact solution into the contact holder and slipped her glasses on. "Did you take my garbage out yesterday?"

Hannah's eyes follow Spencer's down to the empty trash can in the corner. "Why would I be the one to take out your garbage?"

Spencer looked up from the garbage and back at Hannah. "I don't know... you have habit of picking up trash." Spencer walked swiftly past Hannah, a grin coming across her face.

"Excuse me?," Hannah replied, turning around. Spencer folded her arms across her chest, scanning her sister's anger filled face.

"Oh you don't remember the boat stealing incident of 05'? Because as I recall, you spent that summer doing community service...." Her sister narrowed her eyes, something she did when she was trying to come up with something to say. She walked up closely to Spencer, her jaw tight, her lips pursed.

"I would choose your battles very carefully." Her words came out ice cold in the air, leaving a trail in Spencer's room as she left.



A few hours later, Spencer arrived downstairs to a quiet house. Her mother and Hannah had already left for the store and her father sat at the kitchen island drinking coffee and reading the paper.

"Morning," she said sitting down next to him. She unscrewed the orange juice, pouring some into a glass.

"Morning, Spence. How did you sleep?" She was always impressed at how her father could still have a genuine tone while still focused on something else.

Spencer paused, biting the inside of her lip. "Dad..." Her voice raising concern, he looked up from his paper, quickly taking off his glasses.

"What's up Spence?"

She timidly played with her thumbs in her lap, keeping eye contact with him to make sure she had his attention. "I'm sorry about last night... I didn't mean too embarrass you." Mr. Pearson breaks into a smile, putting his firm hand on his daughter's.

"You were far from embarrassing me, Spencer. Nothing you said last night was wrong."

She forced a faint smile. "Thanks, dad." He kept his hand on hers a little longer, before getting up from the table. "What are you up to, today? I'm heading over to the club, if you want to come." She played with the back of her earring, yearning her neck to look over at the garbage. Empty.

"Did the garbage get taken out yesterday?," Spence asked casually. Mr. Pearson slipped on his sport coat, pressing a quick kiss to his daughter's head.

"It should be in the garage- you know we do have fresh, clean food in the fridge," he joked. Spencer stared blankly back at her father. He looked back at her, a slight smirk on his face.

"Uh- Oh, of course," she laughed. "Phew, sorry. Still waking up," she said tapping her head. She so badly wanted to slap herself in the face. Come on, Spencer. Pull yourself together! As calmly as she could, she ran a hand through her hair. "Sorry, I accidentally threw away something for school... I look for it later."

Mr. Pearson nodded as he picked up his gym bag. "I'll be back in a few hours. Maybe go to the spa for a massage? You seem tense." As soon as she heard the door click, close, she dove for the garage door. Three huge, black garbage bags sat plump, next to each other. Already tied and ready to be set on the curb, Spencer knew she was going to have to go through each one until she found the ticket.

She started to dig her nails into the plastic; eager to sift through the vegetable Caracas and wet kleenex. As soon as he felt the plastic break she dropped her hands from the bag. "Okay, think. What is the best way to get the garbage bag open?- what am I doing? Why am I digging through garbage? Why am I talking to myself?" Spencer fell back onto her bottom. She already felt defeated- or fear that she would find what she was looking for. After another minute of silence and a staring contest between her and three inanimate objects she got back on her knees and began untying the garbage bag. As the plastic bag separated, an ugly oder emitting into the air. It was the smell that one gets hit with when they're throwing something away- the smell that you quickly run from as soon as the trash is in it. One is not like Spencer Pearson.

"I can do this. It's worth it," she whispered to herself, reaching into the bag. "Oh my- Ugh. What is that smell?" She had never smelled a dead body, but somehow was sure that whatever it did smell like, must smell like the garbage bag she was leaning over.

Her hands separated the pieces of garbage, looking deeper into the plastic for some sort of white, paper material. Her back had started to ache from leaning over the bag, and a few beads of sweat began forming at top of her forehead.

After looking for almost 20 minutes, she gave up and tied the first bag up again. Her hands, covered in rotten vegetable juice, she could feel a lump in her throat- and it wasn't from crying. "Okay...," she sighed. "Second's the best, right?" Spencer shook her head. "My mother would kill me if she heard me say that," she said, wiping sweat from her nose. She began the process again. Sifting through the garbage, she noticed that a lot of it was tissue and wrappers, which usually meant it was from the bedrooms. Quickly she started moving further down in the bag, her eyes scanning every last bit of paper, taking out tissue boxes blocking the way. She neared the very bottom, swiping a clump of tissues to the side- there it was. One half of the ticket, laid crumpled under the mass amounts of trash. Carefully, as if holding some sort of precious jewelry, she set it down next to her. "Please be here," she whispered.

Another ten minutes of looking it seemed as though it might as well just disappeared... or was just in the third bag. Spencer looked over at the third bag, letting the air she had been holding in out of a small hole formed with her lips. Slowly getting up she started to throw the tissue boxes back into the second bag. As she picked up the last one, something inside slid against the cardboard. To her, the sound seemed much louder, louder than it was in reality. She reached her hand in, moving her hand back and forth to find it. The tips of her finger landed on the thick, plastic like paper. She picked up the first part of the ticket laid on the floor and then the second one. Just as she was about to put the two together, the garage door squeaked. She looked up in surprise, her heart racing. "I'm just gonna get the list out of my car." Hannah's voice echoed in Spencer's ears, each word as dreaded as the next. Hannah pulled the door shut, her legs not moving from the stairs. The two sister's held eye contact. Spencer couldn't tell if Hannah's face was surprise, disgust or confusion. Or maybe all three combined. Surrounded by garbage, Spencer didn't think it really mattered at that point. Her sister's mouth slightly open, Spencer offered a smile. "How was shopping?"

After a quick explanation to Hannah and her mother about throwing something away, Spencer managed to slip out of the house. While her sister and mother were engrossed in every detail of the baby shower, she figured that it wouldn't bother them too much if she left for a few hours.

She stuffed her hands into her jacket pockets as she arrived at the train station. Her hands brushed against the ticket every few minutes, just to make sure that it was safe and secure. Spencer pulled her jacket closer as a breeze came through the station. She looked around her, busy people moving from point A to point B without much thought. She took a seat on a bench next to the ticket counter. As she scanned the people bustling around her, she wondered what it would be like to act on impulse, just like the people around her. Most of them weren't thinking- just doing. They knew what they needed to do and they did it. Some part of that reasoning felt foreign to her. Her life had been mapped out by her parents, every decision thought out by them. She longed to know what life would be like with a sense of the unknown.

She felt the ticket brush against her hand again. Spencer closed her eyes, the picture of the little girl stared back at her, wisps of brown hair loose from her braid. Her small hands folded in front of her, she could almost hear her voice calling out to her. Her eyes flew open. Spencer looked towards the ticket counter again. She stood up, the line clear, she went up to the window. "One ticket to Philadelphia." Pure impulse.




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