For MDS and RNS
An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.
HOW IT REALLY BEGAN
You know that boy who lives a few doors down from you who’s just the creepiest person alive? When
You’re on your front porch, about to kiss your boyfriend good night, you might glimpse him across the
Street, just standing there. He’ll randomly appear when you’re gossiping with your best friends – except
Maybe it’s not so random at all. He’s the black cat who seems to know your route. If he rides by your
House, you think, I’m going to fail my bio exam. If he looks at you funny, watch your back.
Every town has a black-cat boy. In Rosewood, his name was Toby Cavanaugh.
“I think she needs more blush.” Spencer Hastings leaned back and examined one of her best friends,
“I can still see her freckles.”
“I’ve got some Clinique
concealer.” Alison DiLaurentis sprang up and ran to her blue corduroy makeup
Emily looked at herself in the mirror propped up on Alison’s living room coffee table. She tilted her face
One way, then another, and puckered her pink lips. “My mom would kill me if she saw me with all this
“Yeah, but we’ll kill you if you take it off,” warned Aria Montgomery, who was, for her own Aria
Reasons, prancing around the room in a pink mohair bra she’d recently knitted.
“Yeah, Em, you look awesome,” Hanna Marin agreed. Hanna sat cross-legged on the floor and kept
Swiveling around to check that her crack wasn’t sticking out of her low-rise, slightly-too-small Blue Cult
It was a Friday night in April, and Ali, Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna were having one of their typical
Sixth-grade sleepovers: putting way too much makeup on one another, chowing on salt-and-vinegar
Kettle chips, and half-watching MTV Cribs on Ali’s flat-screen TV. Tonight there was the added clutter
Of everyone’s clothes spread out on the carpet, since they’d decided to swap clothes for the rest of their
Sixth-grade school year.
Spencer held up a lemon-yellow cashmere cardigan to her slender torso.
“Take it,” Ali told her. “It’ll look cute on you.”
Hanna pulled an olive corduroy skirt of Ali’s around her hips, turned to Ali, and struck a pose. “What do
You think? Would Sean like it?”
Ali groaned and smacked Hanna with a pillow. Ever since they’d become friends in September, all
Hanna could talk about was how much she looooved Sean Ackard, a boy in their class at the Rosewood
Day School, where they’d all been going since kindergarten. In fifth grade, Sean had been just another
Short, freckled guy in their class, but over the summer, he’d grown a couple inches and lost his baby fat.
Now, pretty much every girl wanted to kiss him.
It was amazing how much could change in a year.
The girls – everyone but Ali – knew that all too well. Last year, they were just…there. Spencer was the
überanal girl who sat at the front of the class and raised her hand at every question. Aria was the slightly
Freaky girl who made up dance routines instead of playing soccer like everyone else. Emily was the shy,
State-ranked swimmer who had a lot going on under the surface – if you just got to know her. And
Hanna might’ve been klutzy and bumbling, but she studied Vogue and Teen Vogue, and every once in a
While she’d blurt out something totally random about fashion that no one else knew.
There was something special about all of them, sure, but they lived in Rosewood, Pennsylvania, a suburb