"Wake up, Spencer. The big sister act is just that, an act. And she's such a martyr with the Hastings family crap. She works so hard to be perfect because she doesn't want your parents looking beyond the glow of her halo. She doesn't want them to see you."
Spencer: "Melissa's just trying to survive in this family, just like me."
"Are you sure about that?" Alison asked, stabbing a pin into a cushion, like a voodoo doll. "Because it feels like she's winning, and you're not." Spencer was nearly weeping with fear; she wanted her weak. "Look. If you really want this, I can make it happen."
It wasn't that she wanted it, Spencer protested: She needed it. And that was all Alison needed to hear.
Byron was nearly shuddering when Aria made it home, looking for her mother. And this was the story he told:
"What you saw was the end of something, not the beginning. She's transferring out of my class. I won't see her again... I'm hoping that it's enough for you to realize that you don't need to tell your mom about this. I made a mistake. But it doesn't have to be any bigger than it is right now."
"Would you still think it was a mistake if I hadn't seen you with her today?" his daughter asked; he turned it on her too brilliantly even for Aria to see it happening: "All I'm thinking about right now is your mom, and this family. Aria, you have every right to be mad at me. I'm just hoping that this can be less about that, and more about protecting your mom."
And that was the story he told. And he wept. But that was the story she told, too.
"I know a doctor if you want to go on the Pill! You can't be too careful, Emily. I mean, Juno was a cute movie, but I wouldn't want to live it."
That was the story she told. Emily admitted she'd never slept with Ben; she had no reason to do so. "Then why is he telling people he took the VIP tour to Neverland? What aren't you telling me?" And this is the story she told:
"It's no big deal. Eventually we'll do it. So people can think it now, or they can think it later. Can we just keep this between us? I don't want to keep having this conversation."
Alison smiled, and caressed her friend's arm. She wanted them weak; people are unpredictable.
Alison grinned, and told Spencer she'd taken care of it. Nobody knew what she meant but Spencer.