Alex is smitten by a new hot boy that she meets in her class, Cole Cozen. He is sexy, fun and he seems so nice. He is sweet, and he hugs her warmly. The boy waits for her while she is working at The Bread Basket, and then he takes her home. The teen is loving the feeling of being loved. She likes the idea of having a boyfriend… someone to care about and share her life with.  

Alex can always count on her best friends forever, Zack and Bethany. They have been a threesome for years. They recall her awkward moments as a seven-year-old. The friends are currently planning a fantastic skiing trip together. They go out to eat, attend parties and support each other in life. They have so much fun joking together and fooling around. Alex does not know what she would do without them.   

Then, Cole gets jealous of Alex’s relationship with Zack. He insists that Zack wants to be her girlfriend, even though she tries to assure him that their relationship is purely platonic. Cole randomly shows up at her house and admits that he has been following her. He swings her too fast at the playground and refuses to stop even when she pleads with him. Cole is too rough with her, but he apologizes. Then she visits him, and he calls her a slut because he observed her roughhousing with Zack. Alex gets angry and argues with him. Then, he does something unforgiveable.  

Cole grabs Alex roughly and punches her twice in the cheek.  

Alex sees flashes of light and she experiences searing pain. Her hip, face and other parts of her body have never known so much pain. She is forced to miss two days of school. Even makeup and clothing do little to hide the marks and bruises. Her sister, father and work supervisor are concerned, and they try to entice her to talk about her problems. The girl desperately wishes to confide in Georgia, her supervisor, but something holds her back. Cole brings her flowers, sweet apologies and promises to mend his ways. Alex knows that she should leave Cole, but she is hesitant to make the break and trapped in her own silence about the abuse.   

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown, 2011  

This work was a stark look into the reality of teenage domestic violence.