Aria: "What's her story?"
Byron: "Students crash here all the time."
Aria: "Because you're so cool?"
Byron: "Yeah. Because I'm down with that.'"
It was funny. That's one of the stories he tells best.
MARIN HOUSE, AT NIGHT
Hanna was eating her usual amounts of popcorn, watching scary movies on cable and afraid to answer the telephone. Her power flickered, and the phone rang again: "Were you at the costume shop today?" asked Alison. "Did you send me a text?" Downstairs, the bell was ringing, and her questions made no sense, so Hanna said goodnight.
Downstairs, Ashley Marin was back from the Rosewood Grill, in the custody of Officer Darren, who'd noticed the number of martinis she'd drunk, and wanted to take her home. Hanna told him goodnight, and took her mother to the couch.
Ashley apologized for their circumstances, and Hanna told the story of her father: How he had deserted them, how he should rot in hell. Even on the edge of sleep Ashley told her to be kinder to her father, and Hanna covered her mother with a blanket, and told her mother's favorite story. And this is the story she told:
"You remember what I told you, right? She's pretty ugly... Hideous. And don't even get me started on her big ass."
And this was the story she told: "If you ignore it, it will go away."
She was talking about Mona, but she wasn't really talking about Mona. That's how her stories always worked. She wanted them honest and she wanted them to lie. If you ignore it, she wanted them to understand, It won't ever go away.
They were talking about Ben, and the story he told. Hanna heard from a boy she loved that Ben was telling everyone he'd slept with Emily. That was a story she began to tell, herself, now that the option was available. Aria wanted to stage a protest, Hanna was shocked because Emily was such a prude, but Alison knew it was a lie. She wanted her to lie, and she wanted her to tell the truth. Mona sat at a table with Lucas, because that was the story that was being told.
"Shy on the streets, sexy in the sheets," Alison smiled; and Emily smiled back. "I knew there was something different about you," Alison said. And that was a story they told together. She always loved Emily most, because Emily loved her the most; she made Alison feel less alone.
Mona chased them through the streets, Alison and Aria, and they laughed with their yogurt and kept running. They came upon Aria's father's car; it's a story she's told before. Meredith, and Byron staring back at them. At his daughter, while Alison laughed.